jamie goode's wine blog: A busy day of tasting, plus Monty's red!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A busy day of tasting, plus Monty's red!

Two very good tastings today. I started off at the Bunch press tasting at the Century Club. All the serious people were there, plus me (non-serious, of course). The Bunch is a coalition of six pretty serious wine merchants: Tanners, Berry Bros & Rudd, Lay & Wheeler, Adnams, Corney & Barrow and Yapp. Each merchant brings six wines plus one for lunch, although most of them sensibly had the lunch wine on the tasting table, too, because serious journalists don't tend to have long lunches washed down with wine these days. [Although, there is something to be said for actually enjoying drinking wine as opposed to just tasting it. On press trips, I often have wine with lunch, but not in the UK. Perhaps I have an inhibited, prohibitionist streak?] Lots of people asked me what I'd done to my face: obviously they don't read this blog.

I'll mention many of the wines I tasted later on this blog, because there were some really good ones. Tastings like this remind me why I love wine, and confirm to me that I've made the correct career choice. But just one will get a mention now, and this is an unofficial wine that was sneaked in by Adnams - it's Monty's Red. Attentive readers will recall my review of the first episode of Chateau Monty, a reality TV series on Channel 4 (Thursday, 8 pm) that has elements of wife swap, find a new home abroad and all manner of other reality TV delights. It follows the progress of wine journalist Monty Waldin as he sets out to make a wine in the Roussillon. And this is the final product. My verdict? He's done really well. It's a lovely wine that I really like, and which is better than he thinks, if the self-deprecating back label is his honest view - at 7.99 it's a really good buy.

Monty's French Red 2007 Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes, France
Lovely spicy, earthy edge to the fruit on the nose - quite savoury with some tarry notes. The palate is savoury and has an earthy undercurrent to the fruit, which is bright and expressive. A lovely wine, made in a style I really love. 90/100 (7.99 Adnams)

After the tasting I headed over to Lillywhites to buy a cricket helmet. I've never worn one before, but my experience on Monday showed me how vulnerable the face is to a hard ball. Losing a couple of teeth would be very expensive indeed. It's not just the quick bowlers that are the problem: when I played at Colchester this year one of the guys on our team had just spent 5K replacing his two front teeth which he'd lost against a spinner when he top-edged a sweep.

Then it was off to Vinoteca (fabulous wine bar in St John Street, but that's another story) for a tasting of Burgundies from HG Wines, the wine merchant arm of St John restaurant. These guys have bought very well, and I really enjoyed their wines. More to follow.

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4 Comments:

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Arvid Rosengren said...

It's a nice label, as far as design goes. But does anyone else feel like he'd trying to cram too much onto it. "Vegan suitible" for example? Does that mean it hasn't been fined with egg whites?

Also, I'm a bit confused by the phrase "biodynamically grown, organically certified". I thought you had to be certified biodynamic to use the term. Am I missing something?

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Arvid
I wondered about that too. I'm pretty sure that you can't mention biodynamics on the label unless you are biodynamically certified. Unless the vineyard was already run biodynamically, Monty couldn't have made a biodynamic wine there because of the conversion period.

 
At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Ben Walgate said...

Arvid & jamie,

Currently EU law only has guidelines for organic wines. There is no such protection of biodynamic status. Unlike the Soil Association, Demeter or Ecocert's Biodynamic arm Biodyvin have no contol over the use of the word Biodynamic on food/wine. I see this as a problem because it can allow the unscrupulous to take advantage.

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger Richard said...

Well done Monty.
Watched with interest the whole programme on ch4. So glad to see success. Would love to be helping on that vineyard. I lived in a mountain village in Spain, pruned and harvested grapes, almonds and olives in the 5 years. I am very pleased for Monty. Good luck for the future.

 

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