Australia's young guns, a tasting
There was a collective deep intake of breath in the UK wine trade today, as everyone prepared for the London International Wine Fair, which is the big event in the calendar each year, and begins tomorrow (Tuesday). It will be a crazy busy three days, with lots of people in town from around the globe - from a journalist's perspective an embarassment of riches, making it hard to know just who to spend the limited time available with.
Today there was a pre-fair lunch with Australia's 'young guns' at Ransome's Dock restaurant. The young guns weren't all that young, to be honest. I mean, I was younger than some of them. They were Stuart Bourne (Barossa Valley Estates), Samantha Connew (Wirra Wirra), Linda Domas (Linda Domas Wines), Marty Edwards (The Lane), Mac Forbes (Mac Forbes Wines), Matt Gant (First Drop) and Celine Rousseau (Chalkers Crossing). All of them brought a few wines along, and there were also a couple from Ben Glaetzer who was meant to be there but had visa problems. Pictured above is Linda Domas in full flow; Mac Forbes is at the end of the table.
The wines were pretty interesting, and the food was excellent (fillet of red mullet with saffron, potato and fennel broth, followed by lapin au vin, followed by some nice cheeses). Standout wine for me was Mac Forbes EB1 Pinot Noir 2005 from the Yarra: 6 h foottreading, followed by 24 h maceration, then pressed to barrel. Remarkable stuff, which has put on some colour during its long elevage and is now super-elegant. Mac has spent some time with Dirk Niepoort in the Douro, and this shows in his approach, I reckon.
Ransome's Dock is hard to get to - the easiest route is through Battersea Park from Queenstown Road station. It's a really nice walk, and pictured is the view of a gasholder and Battersea Power Station that you get as you leave the park.