Some finds from the 2011 London International Wine Fair
Last week was the London International Wine Fair which meant that there were producers from all parts of the world in town to show off their wines as well as numerous launches of new lines and blends to show off to the trade. To say there was a variety of wine on show would be an understatement. White wine, red wine, even one of my favourites, sherry had a stand or two for tastings.
Every night after the fair there was an event or 3 going on. The first night, I headed over to Camino in Canary Wharf to check out the launch of Tio Pepe’s Fino Rama sherry. A delicate,dry sherry that is only good for 3 months! It’s the only wine I know of that has a shelf life. The reason it has a shelf life is because the sherry is unfined, unfiltered and drawn from the middle of the cask. The only thing they do to it before bottling is allow it to settle before going into the bottle. This was their second offering of the Fino En Rama and this year’s vintage was much clearer then last year’s. It was a very cold Spring and the wine had two weeks to settle because it was 2 weeks before they could bottle due to the Easter holidays. A rather delicate wine with yeatsy, bready notes on the nose, citrus and nutty flavours with a dry finish, drinking that with almonds was almost impossible to put down!
I was in Croatia recently and so had to stop by the Croatian wine stand at the LIWF. I had to chance to speak with Mladan Rozanic about his red wines as well as try a couple. Besides the 2007 SuperIstrian which I had tried in Croatia, I also sampled his 2007 100% cabernet sauvignon and 2007 100% teran ( a native grape of Istria), both were monsters of rich dark fruit, the cab having pronounced mineral notes on the nose. The teran was a bit smoother but still rich with very smooth tannins, a round mouthful.
Another interesting find was a chardonnay from Australia made with fruit from Dijon clones that the estate had planted themselves. The Sidewood 2009 chardonnay was the furthest thing from a buttery, oakey chardonnay as you could find. Well integrated oak with some lovely spicy notes and bright apricot and white peaches, finishing off with a hint of lemon. Sidewood Estae is located in the Adelaide Hills which is one of South Australia’s cool climate regions and the wine was a fresh and cool character, typical of the area.
So not my typical winetasting week. I didn’t even get to touch on the Lebanese wine makers dinner or the claret themed boat trip on the Thames but those can wait for another day.