Change of venue

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Angie had the church singing group round on Sunday afternoon so we moved our semi-regular tasting to Geoff’s, down the road.

First was a Delicado Fino (Waitress £14 for 50cl). I blogged on the very good Delicado Amontillado recently so I was pleased to retaste this. Powerful, room-filling nutty nose, tangy, musty flor taste (a good thing), lots of depth and complexity, appealingly bright. A step up from a Tio Pepe, also made by Gonzalez Byass.

Next was a claret I know quite well having drunk several vintages (including this one) as part of various WS mixed Bordeaux cases. Chateau Beaumont 2010. (The wine is a WS favourite). First time from a half bottle though. Big red fruit nose, some blackberry, full tangy taste with balancing acidity. Roughly 50-50 cabernet and merlot. At 14% too powerful to be described as a ‘luncheon claret’ but in that style. It would be interesting to try with food and/or after a few years.

Finally, that rarity, at least for me – Italian red. I hardly ever buy it, for reasons previously explained. So this was an interesting opportunity. The wine was a 2010 aglianico from Vesevo (M&S, about £10). First impression was a strong vanilla nose. Some chocolate on the taste, thin mouth feel – like Rioja but in a good way. Rich and interesting at first but it faded quickly in the mouth and finished slightly sweet, perhaps because it had been open 24 hours. Glad to try it but wouldn’t buy a bottle.

[Geoff. Good to host Richard for a change. How evocative are smells and flavours! The fino took me straight back to Jerez and the dark, intimate bars dotted around the town where you can buy fresh, very light fino and manzanilla accompanied by manchego or an equally salty dish.

As regards the two reds, I was pleased I liked them. I admit to preferring white wines to reds but these restored my faith somewhat. I bought some half bottles to prevent the half-drunk bottles losing their freshness and the claret didn’t disappoint. Certainly full flavoured but still well-structured and fresh in the mouth. I have ‘found’ the southern Italian reds relatively recently and really enjoy their tangy, tart flavour without the thickness/jammy quality that wines of this richness can have. Aglianico and Negroamora are great value wines, more attractive and consistent than many Chiantis (see Down at Heel). They’re better on day one – but with some bottle age – because of the low acidity and high tannin.]

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