Thursday, 30 June 2011

IWC Taste of Gold - Whites & Sweet

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 short notes on white and sweet wines which were particularly notable.

Wines are in no particular order; any price given is the guide retail price provided by the suppliers during the tasting. Many thanks to Naked Wines for the free event ticket.

2010 Stanley Estates Sauvignon Blanc
International Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand White, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Marlborough Trophies.

Very green on the nose, tomato leaves, green capsicum and asparagus, some citrus and gooseberry also peeking out - very correct and varietal on the nose. Palate is awash with ripe fruits, a slight hint of residual sugar; filling, almost savoury mouthfeel. Acidity is fresh, finishing with a streak of minerality. I normally dont like NZ Sauvignon Blanc but this is a wonderful expression. Great stuff.

2010 Zohar Torrontes, Dominio del Plata
Torrontes, Argentinian White and Cafayete Trophies.

Vineyards are ~2000m high, hand harvest, 20 years avg vine age.
Green apples and pears on the nose, some white fruits too, blossoms; very lifted and exuberant. Palate is restrained, plenty of fruit and acidity keeps it fresh; notable texture and minerality. Great example of restrained yet very classy Torrontes.

2009 Madbay Unwooded Chardonnay
Tesco Wine. £9.49

Plenty of white fruits, some floral tones, cool and restrained, not jumping at you. Palate is fresh, decent texture, some slightly bitter pith at the end (like grapefruits). Well put together.

2004 McGuigan Shortlist Riesling
International Dry Riesling, Australian Riesling and Eden Valley Trophies

Plenty of lime and citrus on the nose, with touches of kerosene / petrol. Palate is awash with fat acidity, really fresh zippy stuff, lime cordial; nice texture to it too, probably from the aging. Mouthwatering finish.

2008 Grasevina Principovac, Ilocki Podrumi. Croatia.

Grape variety is Grasevina.
Nose is very sweet, honeyed, treacle, botrytis, like a good TBA, which is alright but then the palate can only be described as off dry, maybe 20ish g/l residual sugar, so there is a weird disjoint there - smells much sweeter than it tastes. Decent texture and acidity, with an incredibly drying, almost sappy finish. Weird, but then again I've never had Croatian wines before.

2003 Tempus Two Zenith Semillon
International Dry Semillon and Hunter Valley Trophies

Waxy lanolin, wet wool, and some peach / white fruits too - unmistably semillon. Fat acidity on the palate, really generous; fruit is ripe on the middle palate; towards the end theres a savoury and minerally character showing. Wonderfully integrated, settled. Drinking beautifully.

2009 Penfolds Reserve Bin 09A Chardonnay
International Chardonnay, Australian Chardonnay, Australian White and Adelaide Hills White Trophies.

Developed nose - toast, creamy, sweet vanilla and slight nuttiness points to barrel fermentation and plenty of lees and oak contact. Palate is complex and textured; plenty of ripe fruit backs this up, acidity is firm, nice mineral edge too. Its a big wine, but isnt flabby, restrained power all held in tension. Excellent stuff, not so sure about the price.

2009 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Domaine du Pavillon, Maison Albert Bichot
Corton-Charlemagne, White Burgundy and French White Trophies

Buttery, creamy, savoury stuff; cheesy mushrom brioche. Palate is textured, lots of oak treatment and toast, carried by the acidity and so much fruit. Its a big big wine, fantastic structure, tightly knit, great fun.

2009 Man O'War Vineyards 'Valhalla'

Creamy, buttery on the nose, sweet vanilla too, some toast. This is a fully tricked out Chardonnay, with barrel fermentation, lees contact and further oak aging. Plenty of ripe fruit behind all this treatment though, carries it well; mouthfeel is generous and wide, rather savoury. Acidity could be slightly higher, but thats just nit picking. Very together, a composed wine; long finish. Reminds me of the Pegasus Bay Chardonnay I had recently, very similar style.


2009 Riesling Ausbruch, Weingut Turk
£28 (37.5cl)
Ausbruch and Sweet Riesling Trophies

Light gold in colour. Acacia honey, floral, lifted nose, candied and dried fruit, some caramel showing too. On the palate has plenty of dried apricots, sweet nectarines, tinned fruits; acidity keeps everything fresh and together, doesnt cloy, despite what I suspect is in excess 100g/l residual sugar. So much ripe fruits, finishes with a tinge of marmaladey bitterness. Beautiful.

1982 Don PX Gran Reserva, Bodegas Toro Albala

Treacle and burnt caramel on the nose, with coffee and dark chocolate undertones, definitely oxidized. This is very thick, gloopy and practically black; in fact, it looks like, smells and has the consistency of cough syrup. On the palate, its unsurprisingly heavy, coats the mouth thoroughly; so much sugar, like drinking golden syrup; lingers forever, with notes of coffee. This should be tasted by the spoonful. Astonishing length.

1998 Arele Vino Santo, DOC Trentino, Cavit.
£36 (50cl)
Vin Santo Trophy

Rather viscous, copper / amber colour. Lifted acacia honey, dried apricots, white flowers; rich and full, toffee and fudge; honeyed almonds, nutty edge. Very exciting and complex on the nose, alot of things going on. Palate is very sweet but still some acidity to keep it going, very rich, coats the palate in its entirety, doesnt feel clumsy at all. Oozing class, lingers forever.

2007 Verduzzo Friulano 'Cratis', Azienda Agricola Scubla Roberto
£20 (37.5cl)

Golden syrup and honey, dried fruits too, some muttiness. Palate is full, a lot of sugar, in excess of 200g/l would be my guess. Feels rather heavy and cloying, but does linger a long while.

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