Yesterday I wrote a post about the whites I enjoyed at Roberts and Speight's Spring Wine Tasting event. Today I thought I'd finish up with a post about what I though were the best of the reds.
Cuvée Guy de la Nine Rouge, Provence, 2006. A Syrah /Cabernet blend with a lovely forest -floor earthiness and spice from the maturing Syrah backed up with good tannic structure from the Cab. Both this and the white were some of the undoubted stars of the evening for me! £21.49
Ch. Coquillas Rouge 2009, Pessac-Léognan. Although this still has a bit of maturing to go I thought it was great. Die-hard Bordeaux fans might find it a bit fruity but I don't see anything wrong with taking some of the better characteristics of new world wines and giving them a French twist. (The white was also good.) £19.99.
Federico Paternina 'Clisos' Rioja Reserva 2005. This is rather modern and fruity but still has big, bruising tannins and almost port-like flavours. Good, but not for the faint hearted. £13.99.
'Il Passo' Nerello Mascalese 2011. For me the best red I tried for the price. Reinforcing my long-held theory that drinking away from the fashionable is where you can get the real bargains, I thought that this was fantastic. Extra concentration is achieved by a viticultural technique similar to that patented by the Grossets in Clare Valley; Cordon Cutting (See Mt Horrocks Riesling). The result of the clipping is a drying of the fruit on the vine, hence the nod towards (if not the DOC rule-infringing use of) 'ripasso' in the wine's name. The fruit concentration is superb, with a lovely perfume and bags of black fruit and dark chocolate flavours and silky ripe tannins. £12.79.
Masard & Brunet 'Humilitat,' Priorat, 2009. A Cariñena/Garnacha 50/50 blend with lots of red fruit on the nose. The Grenache seems to be the power in the blend, there's lots of juicy, alcoholic fruit in there, it might benefit from a little more bottle age but if you like your wines to be powerful and fruity then this would be ideal. £16.99.
Pago De Los Capelannes, Ribera del Duero, Crianza 2008. Another big, porty, tannic wine - it's still very young! A testament to the amount of ripeness that they're getting in the Duero. Lots of herby spice from the Tempranillo and judicious use of oak. £19.99.
Langlois-Chateau VV Cabernet Franc, Saumur Champigny, 2005. Unfortunately it was a little bit dwarfed by the big Spanish wines I had before it, but still a very good, savoury wine that I thought would go brilliantly with food. Restrained and with a good minerality rather than being fruit dominated. £16.99.
All in all some fantastic wines and a great evening. Most enjoyable and I'd highly recommend it to everyone who can make it next year, I certainly hope to do so.
On a final note, it was great to see that the Wold Top Brewery had a table at the tasting last night, and from what I can see they looked like they were doing great business too. Hopefully this is a sign that beer is gaining the same level of acceptance that wine enjoys in terms of being something with flavours worth exploring rather than being dismissed as less rewarding. Long may the rise and rise of beer continue!