Unwinding after the final day of the trade fair with some Vouvray

I am properly tired. The third day of the London International Wine Fair (held in the Docklands, above) was a good one, but after a late night last night (at the wonderful Brawn), an early-ish start this morning, and some residual illness from the weekend, and I’m spent, gov. Nothing left in the tank. Oh, and I also had a cricket net session this evening. Fun, but probably ill-advised.

Now I am relaxing with the help of Vouray. It’s the remains of a bottle of Domaine des Aubuisieres ‘Les Giradieres 1er Trie’ 1996, which I bought back in 1999 (I think) from Oddbins, for around £13. I opened it on Tuesday for house guest Illka, but we had quite a few bottles open, so this didn’t get finished.

Every wine in its time. And this is, I think, a good time for this wine, although it will probably age nicely for another 25 years. It’s taut and fresh with nice acidity offsetting the sweetness, and lovely flavours of melon, herbs, straw, cheese, nuts and honeysuckle. It’s richly textured with quite a bit of sugar, but also has a savoury dimension. It’s a useful food wine, I reckon – certainly not a dessert wine. I’m happy I bought this wine all those years ago.

The final day of the fair was just as positive as the first two days. Some people complained that it was quiet this year. I found it the best – in terms of who I met and what I got to do – that I’ve attended. The final day is a bit more relaxed. Dourthe kindly asked journalists to join them on their stand for a spot of lunch. This was fun. We ate quails eggs (‘one for you, one for me’) and drank some lovely Thienot 1999 vintage Champagne, which was deliciously rich. And it was great to chat with Sarah Chadwick, Kate Sweet and Sue Glasgow, as well as my peers. A fun bunch.

I also managed to taste some wines today. It was really nice to taste the Casa Marin wines with Andres Schloss and Maria Luiz Marin (above) – they own one of Chile’s few high-end truly boutique wineries, based in San Antonio.

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