Thursday, June 23, 2005

New World versus Old

A good wine tasting will have a theme to make it interesting and educational - be it 'vertical' (Vega Sicilia from the '80s and '90s), 'horizontal' (the 2004 vintage in Italy), 'varietal' (Rieslings from around the world), 'price' (supermarket reds for under a fiver), 'other' (bring something odd that the others might not have tried).

A popular theme is New World versus Old. Last night's tasting at the Charteris Wine Society went one better: Bordeaux versus South Africa. The wines were supplied by Virgin Wines and ably presented by the society's chairman, Jeremy. He knew his stuff but then so he should, he used to be a wine-buyer for Sainsbury's. The wines were:


South Africa

Chateau de Roques Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc 2004

Churchaven Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2004

Sichel Rocherolles Rouge 2003

Three Gables Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot 2004

Chateau Macquin St Georges St Emilion 2002

Radford Dale Merlot 2001/2002

Chateau Maucaillou Cru Bourgeois 1993

Rustenberg John X Merriman 2002

Worst of the night: the Sichel Rocherolles Rouge (slightly musty, little fruit).
Best of the night: Chateau Maucaillou Cru Bourgeois 1993 (good extraction, slightly smokey nose, gentle tannins).

Not entirely surprisingly I preferred the New world and Mary favoured the Old, apart from the last pair when we switched allegiances.

Then we wandered off to Carluccio's Smithfield Caffé for supper. Noisy but good food, I had an excellent liver - to eat that is, I am sure sure about the state of my own after all this wine.

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