IWC Taste of Gold event, Lord's Cricket Ground Nursery Pavillion, 29 June 2011.
All wines shown in this event were gold medal and/or trophy winners from the 2011 International Wine Challenge. I tasted through 57 wines on the day and understandably, the quality of the wine on show were seriously high. Below are necessarily short notes on red and fortified wines which were particularly notable. Many thanks to Naked Wines for the free event invite.
2009 Bird in Hand Shiraz
Australian Red, Adelaide Hills Red & Australian Shiraz Trophies
Ripe dark cherries, dark berries, jammy compote; some dark chocolate too, lovely nose. Palate has plenty of good extracted fruit, some dustings of chocolate, nice depth to it; acidity all in check as well. Nice mouthfeel, generous, decent length. Impressive effort.
2009 Bird in Hand 'Nest Egg' Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark berries, some green touches of mint and leafiness. Palate is big, lots of extracted fruit, chunkier tannic structure means it probably will keep well.
2009 Vina Carmen Gran Reserva Carmenere
Plummy dark fruits here; subtle touch of burnt tarmac as well, even rubbery; good ripe aromatics. Big wine, decent structure; fruits forward, full extraction means this will keep for a while yet. Good, classic varietal expression.
2007 Vina Ventisquero 'Vertice'
Another Chilean Carmenere but a more restrained style; plenty of fruit, big but doesnt whack
you out. Some new french oak treatment which is carried well.
2007 Wolf Blass Platinum Label Shiraz
Barossa Shiraz Trophy
Jammy nose, blackcurrants, dark berries and cherries, a bit hot like cooked / stewed fruits; doesnt feel heavy though. Palate is large, again dominated by ripe dark fruits but retaining some complexity; nice acid and tannic structure, this wine will age gracefully.
2008 Saltram Mamre Brook Shiraz
Good expression, plenty of fruits again, all very correct but not very exciting; feels slightly overdone, the alcohol at 15.5% does show.
2006 Saltram No 1 Shiraz
Good fruit expression, feels very extracted on the palate much more so than the other Saltram; big wine, no holds barred kind of style. Again, I have some issues with the 15%, though this carries it better.
2006 Wolf Blass Black Label
Blend of 51% Cabernet, 40% Shiraz and 9% Malbec.
Full on dark fruits, expressive on the nose, noticeably darker than the previous wines. Palate is expansive, extracted dark fruits, big and serious; its drinkable now but will keep at least another decade.
2008 Kurt Angerer 'Granit' Zweigelt
Noel Young £20
Zweigelt, Niederosterreich and Austrian Red Trophies
Straightforward red fruits, cherries mostly, nice floral notes too. Palate is fresh, nice acidity running through this; sour cherries and raspberry almost, feels quite soft, not heavy at all. Slight touch of sweet oak. Serious wine, class, not bad value either.
2008 Panta Rhei Blaufrankisch
No representation in the UK
Very savoury nose; theres a gamey, meaty cured meats nose, then comes the violets and dark fruits, really rather interesting. Palate is balanced, settled fruit, acidity and rustic charm all held together. Not your usual fruit forward wine, but is interesting.
2001 Coto de Imaz Rioja Gran Reserva
Meaty, rather feral notes, damp earth and rustic charms, then the fruit pops out at you with a touch of sweet oak - classic Rioja nose. Palate is very silky and smooth, fresh acidity with settled fruits, has a nice raspberry crunchiness to it too. Classy, showing well now.
2008 Finca Egomei
80% Tempranillo, 15% Graciano
Meaty rather furry nose, red berries too, looks extracted; some sweet oak. Palate has lots of ripe red fruits, raspberry and cherry, fresh acidity; tannins grip towards the end. Nicely balanced stuff, will keep.
2009 Crozes Hermitage 'La Petite Rouche' M Chapoutier
Noel Young £13
International Syrah, Crozes Hermitage & French Syrah Trophies
Peppery on the nose, white and green; some meaty tones, nice fruits too. Palate has decent extraction, lots of lush fleshy fruits, cherries and raspberries; bright, not heavy; not much tannins, very approachable now, drinking so easily.
2008 Domaine Gayda Chemin de Moscou
Dark cherry and blackberry compote, with some green tinges; a bit hot and alcoholic too. Palate is wide, fruit dominated, with some grip at the back.
2009 Man O' War Vineyards Dreadnought
New Zealand Syrah and Waiheke Island Trophies.
Gamey, some cured meats; lots of smoked bacon, plenty of savoury notes. Palate is big, so much fruit, extracted all the way, but doesnt knock you out; theres still a balance to be had. Complex, serious length; classy stuff.
2009 Tinto Figuero 4 Roble
2005 Tinto Figuero Vendimia Seleccionada
Ribera del Duero Trophy
Both display nice fruit expression, jammy red fruits, the '05 shows a bit more sweet oak. Both show nice balance, a more mature style, not just fruit bombs.
1978 Barbeito Sercial Frasqueira
Madeira and Sercial Madeira Trophies
Lots of nutty and dried figs, dried prunes and dates, marmalade along with a touch of saltiness; fully oxidized. Mature, cleansing acidity just runs through. Impressive freshness and intensity for its age. Brilliant.