Just on my way home from Bordeaux, and a quick one-night stay for Vinexpo, the huge bi-annual wine trade fair.
The scale of Vinexpo, with it’s multitiered stands and kilometre long exhibition hall, is quite daunting. It’s not really a place for journalists to come to taste wine; it’s more about doing business.
I was here to present a masterclass on Loire Sauvignon. I can’t comment on my own performance, but the wines that were on show – 14 of them – were really good, and showed just how high-quality and diverse Loire Sauvignon is these days.
I also spent some time tasting wines – mainly Portuguese and Austrian.
An impressive Blaufrankisch from Weninger. Just beautiful: rich yet quite elegant.
A new producer to me: Malat from the Kremstal. Amazing freshness and precision in the wines.
The wines of J Reinisch, from the Thermenregion, were a nice surprise. Loved this Northern Rhone-style St Laurent. Striking stuff.
Tried through a large range of sweet wines from Tschida. This was the best: just beautiful complexity and balance. Remarkable.
Great German Riesling: such pure wines from Schloss Johannisberg in the Rheingau.
A really great wine from Joao Portugal Ramos. Ripe but very fresh, with great definition. This is seriously good.
Also from JPR, this Foz d’Arouce Vinas Velhas 2009 is a remarkable Baga. A paradox of a wine: ripe, sweet fruit, but also amazing structure and precision.
I’d never tried the wines of Pocas before, so I put that right today. This, their Simbolo 2010, is really striking. It’s quite savoury, with a bit of sternness, but there’s good fruit here too. It’s a proper wine, I reckon, and could age well.
And, finally, last night I dined at Brasserie Bordelaise with Ben Smith, previously of Enotria, now of Concha y Toro UK, along with a couple of Ben’s colleagues. We had a great time, and ended up in a pub drinking weissbier, served by an Aussie bartender who is related in some way to Amelia Jukes.