Friday, November 04, 2022

Ancient Rivalries Tasting

WASP (Wine Appreciation Society, Penrith), Roundthorn Country House Hotel, Penrith. Thursday 27-October-2022.

We have missed several tastings because we were in Italy so this was only our second WASP tasting. This time we knew to bring our own glasses rather than have to borrow a couple from the hotel!

The theme was ancient rivalries and the wines were presented as pairs by Andy Falk of Butinot Wines (for Philip Cranston). I do like a "compare and contrast" tasting.

  • Pair A: Methode Champenoise: England ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ versus France ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท
  • Pair B: Chardonnay: France ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท versus England ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ
  • Pair C: Sauvignon blanc: South Africa ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ versus New Zealand ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
  • Pair D: miscellaneous: Greece ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท versus Spain ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ

Wine Name: Producer Name ; Country; Vintage; Cranston's Price

Henners Brut: Henners; England; NV; £32.00

  • Vinification: East Sussex near Hastings. A mix of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier (40%, 35%, 25% respectively, we think). 7 acres on clay soil, plus grapes from partners, grown on chalk. Three years on the lees. Sugar 7 g/L.
  • Tasting: Appley, slightly yeasty. Light, good minerality, dry, nice texture, shortish length.

Gremillet Brut Selec: Champagne Gremillet; France; NV; £29.00

  • Vinification: Cรดte des Bar, near Troyes. Kimmeridgean clay, 48 ha, 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay. 18 months on lees. Sugar 8–9 g/L
  • Tasting: yeasty, slight toffee/vanilla. Slight hint of pink colour. Richer, finer mousse, fresh, slightly longer. Not as dry as Henners.  

Chablis Domaine Daniel Seguinot: Domaine Daniel Sรฉguinot et Filles; France; 2021; £19.20

  • Vinification: hundred percent Chardonnay. Classic old world: no oak, no malolactic fermentation, cool climate. 
  • Tasting: Clean, fresh, tropical fruit/apple, melon, good, acidity, and mineralogy. Nice aftertaste.

Henners Native Grace Barrel Chardonnay: Henners; England; 2020; £17.80

  • Vinification: East Sussex, mixture of chalk and clay. 2020 was a hot vintage. Barrel fermented in 250/300 L barrels. 20% new barrels each year. Lees subject to batonnage (stirring).
  • Tasting: fresher, appley, minerally, yeasty, vanilla, good, acidity, and fruit. Nice texture, nice aftertaste

Circumstance Sauvignon: Waterkloof; South Africa; 2020; £12.90

  • Vinification: Stellenbosch winery using biodynamic principles but adapted to use the local herbs a.k.a. "natural". Aged in old oak.
  • Tasting: gooseberry, minerally, fresh, rich, toffee? Fresh acidity, grassy fruit. Good aftertaste, good length.

Sileni Cellar Sauv Blanc: Sileni Estate; New Zealand; 2022; £11.40

  • Vinification: North Island, gravelly, soil. Stainless steel, not oak. ABV 12.5%.
  • Tasting: gooseberry, fresh, flinty, grassy, pungent. Good length.

Erythros Papagiannakos: Domaine Papagiannakos; Greece; 2019; £13.90

  • Vinification: Peloponnese. Agiorgitiko, 70%, Cabernet Sauvignon, 30%. Six months in oak
  • Tasting: pungent, familiar, Bordeaux style. Lovely fruit, and texture, dark fruit, (plum, bramble). Good balance, excellent length.

Borsao Zarihs: Bodegas Borsao; Spain; 2018; £16.30

  • Vinification: Grenache 100%. Bush vines. Cooperative with 2,400 ha. South of Navarra, mountainous, 300/800 m. High altitude equals cooler equals slower ripening. 60% stainless steel, 40% new American oak
  • Tasting: sweet, tobacco, chocolate, red fruit. Soft fruit, slightly jammy, some acidity. Soft, tannins.

Our favourites out of each pair were:

  • Pair A: Methode Champenoise: France - Gremillet Brut Selec ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท
  • Pair B: Chardonnay: France - Chablis Domaine Daniel Seguinot ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท
  • Pair C: Sauvignon blanc: New Zealand - Sileni Cellar Sauv Blanc ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
  • Pair D: miscellaneous: Greece - Erythros Papagiannakos ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท

At the end we helped finish off the leftover wines and partake of the buffet. We had taxied up to the venue as it is a 35 minute walk uphill but we did walk back down for fresh air and exercise to work off the wine. 

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