The World of Wine at an Easy Click
In this new section, Winefullness Magazine visits a tasting and has one hour to try the wines and form impressions. Is it an impossible mission?
A Time To Get Excited
The tasting season seems to be coming to life after a brief rest from the fray over December. What this means is that indulgence is kept indoors and local instead of travelling to London, and this can bring on a plethora of contradictory feelings.
It’s the Liberty Wines Burgundy Tasting that is taking place in Lincoln’s Inn Fields at the home of the Royal College of Surgeons (you can't say that you don't visit some excellent locations in this job).
I don’t know what to expect from either (the locale and the wines) but as it’s Burgundy it’s likely to be Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in abundance, a few Crémants, and one or two surprises thrown into the mix. It seems that Burgundy is taking a lead in the tastings for January, and a notion enters my head that it might be worth a visit over the summer. The sight of gently sweeping vineyards lying beautifully inviting in the summer sun cannot help but stir something (perhaps it’s the need to get out of drab Britain).
Eventbrite now seem to be the one-stop site when one is searching for various tasting events, and the roll call of these is very ambitious.
I’m trying a new strategy for today (why I can't stick to a single strategy I'll never know) and it’s to do very little research beforehand so that I have no expectations, beyond the usual.
I’ll probably pick a few names, a few newbies (to me) and see if there’s anything else besides the usual suspects. Of course, I’ll be looking for the big boys and the price monsters, but I’ll also be trying find those little bargains to be had.
There were thirty-eight wines tasted, with five gaining full marks, and another eighteen receiving six or six point five (high scores overall).
The quality was consistent throughout. I found the wines very approachable and of an ilk that I just wanted to sit down and spend my time really getting to know a few of them.
The event was in one of London's classic buildings on the south side of Lincoln’s Inns Fields. That makes it somewhere between medical and legal. It boded well from the start because it wasn’t too many tube stops and then a short walk to the location (just enough time to avoid over excitement).
Liberty Wines had organised the event with a well-worked ease that made you feel welcome and ready for what lay ahead. There was a lovely lunch being served, but I used the time to get around. Events like this can be fit to bursting, and moments of tasting are often wasted as you queue and wait for people put important conversations to bed.
I love Burgundian wines, but this has made a visit to the region almost a pledge. One or two of the wineries I review below are sure to feature in greater detail if they’ll let me through the front door for a visit and interview.
What Delights to Behold
one or three that stood out
Domaine du Château Philippe le Hardi
This majestic estate was once the home of the first Duke of Burgundy so you've got to produce wines of breeding if you live in such exalted company.
I found the colour was delicate with a creamy red rim that promised so much, like a first date, but this delivered in such a big way, with spicy wood, minimality and those traditional Burgundian flavours we've come to expect.
It was a warm wine that gave forth strawberries, hints of dark fruit, pepper and cedar.
6.5 out of 7
2020 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
As I tasted this wine I wondered if life could get any better, because this is the sort of excitement I just crave every time I go to a tasting.
Domaine Chevalier was established in 1850, and with a total of fifteen hectares lying on chalky soil it's got the background you want.
Firstly, I'm getting lovely fumes of smoke, white stone and tree branch that isn't harsh or off-putting. Then a restrained vanilla taste enters the fray and before you know it you're getting yellow apples, pear, stones and creamy desserts in the memory.
7 out of 7
2021 Puligny-Montrachet ' Les Grands Champs'
Situated in the village of Rémigny in the Côte de Beaune, this Domaine feels as though it's right in the heart of the action. Their vineyards cross some of the legendary names of Burgundy, so I'm assuming that they're not going to let down the side.
I don't know if my mind is playing tricks, but I'm aware of a very terroir-driven taste that has pronounced minerals, earthy, and a slight salty flavour.
Suddenly there's icing sugar, apples, honeydew melon all lying on a toasty bed of flavour. What a great mouthfeel!
7 out of 7