Isn’t the Guildhall in London just fabulous? It’s properly grand and very old, and it proved to be a great setting for last night’s IWSC Awards Presentation and Banquet. It was my first visit to this venue, and I was attending the banquet because I had been shortlisted for the inaugural Blogger of the Year award.
The good news (at least from my perspective) is that I was joint winner, along with Helen McGinn’s fabulous http://knackeredmotherswineclub.blogspot.co.uk/. Our sites are both quite different, so giving both the gong was an inspired idea.
The food was excellent, considering that they were catering for around 400 covers. We began with a very good rabbit and prune ravioli, before moving to a superb ceviche of bream, scallops and razor clams with a radish, cherry tomato and cucumber garnish. The main of poached tournedos of rose veal was also pretty smart.
I took notes on some of the wines that were served.
Stellenrust 47 Chenin Blanc 2011 Stellenbosch, South Africa
This is a rich, bold Chenin Blanc from 47 year old vines. I guess the number will have to change each year? Bold with citrus, spice, vanilla and toast notes. Rich and intense, but with good acidity. A real mouthful, with well integrated by noticeable oak. 92/100
Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Central Otago, New Zealand
Powerful, full and vibrant with black cherries, plum and spice. Lovely floral, meaty aromatics with focused, pure fruit. Good grip on the palate with nice freshness and structure, as well as admirably taut cherry and berry fruits. 95/100
De Bortoli Old Boys 21 Year Old Tawny, Australia
A fabulous fortified wine. Warm, rich, spicy and sweet with good freshness and focus. Lovely raisin and citrus peel characters. 93/100
Graham’s Crusted Port, bottled 2006 Douro, Portugal
Fresh and bright with a hint of mint and lovely depth of fresh blackberry and cherry fruit. Pure black fruits to the fore, with a bit of spiciness. A lovely Port. 92/100