Much amusement was had last night in the atmospheric candlelit N&P cellars, as we were lead blind by James Baker, our resident speaker, sniffing and slurping through six individual sparkling wines, the process of elimination the key to spotting the Champagne. The Gosset-Brabant Grande Reserve proved to be quite obvious stylistically with plenty of toasty and yeasty character, and also the most popular, but certainly not unanimously, the revelation for me being the diversity to be had beyond france’s most succsessful wine region. In fact all six wines would have found buyers on the night if it had not been for the fact that the Halfpenny Green Sparkling Rose was generously dontated by the winery for comparison only and not currently a stockline. This strayed farthest from my expectations with pronounced unusual aromatics which included from the room, smelly socks(my own observation), setting lotion and cheese & onion crisps, there was it appeared the possibility of some bottle variation and some of these oxidative aromas blew off after a while. This particular favorite of one taster is a blend of Pinot Noir and the lesser known Seyval Blanc, from the 2006 vintage and will benefit from an extra year or two further bottle maturation.
The first wine of the evening the Bianchi Valentin Sparking Brut, easy going Argentinian fizz, was correct and citrusy, not to dry, a friendly sighter. This was followed by the outstanding value wine of the evening for me, the Castellblanch Cava Brut Rose . It has a pale strawberry colour, and a hint of strawberry too on the nose from the 30% Grenache varietal, open, fresh and quite elegant. The palate is generous with good mouthfilling mousse, the fruit again is clean and vibrant. Excellent length, the balance is the key. A wine with considerable charm at this price level .
Next came the least dry and fruitiest wine of the wine of the evening. Prosecco is made using the Tank Method as opposed to Methode Champenoise(secondary fermentation in the bottle), which helps to retain more of the fruity flavours. The Prosecco Spumante DOCG Conegliano E Valdobbiadene Ca´ Morlin is made a little drier than some but still shows plenty of richness with a silky palate.
The final and for some bizarre wine of the evening the Wyndham 555 Sparkling Shiraz , was the most powerful. Sparkling red wine is not everyones obvious choice but this full bodied meaty wine, has a touch of sweet damson fruit, a slightly tannic edge and spicy and leathery aromas. An interesting summer’s day aperatif or try it with cheese dishes or as James insists, it is great with chocolate sponge…mmm
If you are interested to come along to one of our events, or organising your own group/corporate tasting contact James@nickollsandperks.co.uk for wine events or David@nickollsandperks.co.uk for whisky events
In the diary….