A few weeks ago I was asked to the Decanter Sparkling Wine Exploration event on the 8th June, in London.
Well obviously I signed up in a heartbeat! Then the Government decided we had to vote again – GUESS WHAT DAY!
So the 8th started with me at the polling station at 7am, doing my civic duty, as I had a 2.5hr train journey to London to the Decanter event starting at 1:30. Vote cast then a taxi to the station for the important life changing part of the day = the SPARKLING WINE tasting!.
On the train I am on my phone trying to decide a) who to see b) what to try. Simple
Simple it was not, when you realise there were 56 exhibitors from 14 countries and about 300 wines and 3 hours! OK no need to panic…… its easy = time for short list.
Obviously, for me, began with Italian producers…. Here started my problem.
- 6 x Franciacorta producers
- 15 x Prosecco producers
- 2 x Trentino producers
- 2 x Lambrusco producers
- 7 x Durello Producers
- 2 x Piedmont Producers
Ok that leaves me already about minus 3 hours.
PANIC! PANIC! PANIC!
Note to self: The short list needs to be a lot shorter as I still have to look through the rest of the exhibitors from the following countries
- Argentina – Mendoza
- Australia – Tasmania
- Canada – Nova Scotia
- Chile – Curico Valley
- Croatia – Plešivica
- England – Dorset & Kent
- France – Burgundy, Champagne, Crémant d’Alsace & Languedoc
- Luxembourg – Crèmant de Luxembourg Moselle
- New Zealand – Marlborough
- South Africa
- Spain – Cava, Conca del Riu Anoia, Penedès & Rias Baixas
- & last but not least USA – Napa & Sonoma
Well now I had a very….. very…… LONG short list! Not quite Mission Accomplished!
Arriving at the venue, it was a beautiful location and the tasting room stunning! Church House, behind Westminster Abbey, in the heart of Westminster, is opposite the houses of parliament, Ironic really as we were all voting today for a government…. of sorts!!!
On entering I saw a great friend of mine Michele Longari who is an Italian sommelier employed by HAYWINES an independent wine merchant I frequent. Big Italian hugs later he didn’t get me to try his wines as I know them all so well, (representing Spagnol Col Del Sas. Stunning Prosecco & is one of two producers I always have at home – Bastia is the other) but suggested I try the Croatian wines on the next table. —- OK OK Itinerary already out the window!
We were just checking where the crazy hair awards were being given out!!! I may need a hair cut….. Michele has just had his done!
Tomac Winery – Plešivica – CROATIA (I had shortlisted this) Honestly!
- Tomac, Diplomat, Plešivica 2014
- 90% Chardonnay, 10% Zuti Plavec
- 4g/l Res/Sugar Alcohol:12.5% Months on Lees: 36
- Nose: its pure crusty bread and brioche, palate bursts freshness apples/pears, yet the wine is rich/full with nice balanced acidity. V good
- Approx. 4000 bottle production
- Tomac Winery – Amfora Brut Nature Plešivica 2010
- 50% Chardonnay, then remainder is Neuberger, Crveni Veltlinac, Zeleni Silvnac, Kraljevina, Zuti Plavec (to name but a few I am told)
- 0g/l Res/Sugar Alcohol:12.5% Months of lees: 50
- Initially the first thing I thought was that this was an orange sparkling wine from Friuli or Slovenia!
- This is the worlds 1st Sparkling Amphora wine. They use Georgian Amphora’s for 6 months move to oak for 18mths. Then to bottle
- Its an interesting orangey colour, hits you on the palate with apricots, nutty & orange hues. Quite fine bubbles, dry finish but good acidity.
Benjamin Bridge – Gaspereau Valley Nova Scotia CANADA
Bizarrely I have been to Nova Scotia a couple of times, but only the airport, flying from the UK via NS to relatives on Prince Edward Island! Benjamin Bridge is a classy producer and all the wines tasted are made to a very high standard. What is interesting is that all the wines have a slight Saline touch which I like a lot, not surprising when you look at the terroir of Nova Scotia. Jean-Benoit was an absolute pleasure to chat to.
Benjamin Bridge, BRUT 2011
- 100% Chardonnay
- 13g/l Res/sugar 11% Alcohol Months on lees 48
- Pale in Colour, Fresh Citrus, Apples, definitely mineral on the palate
Benjamin Bridge, BRUT RESERVE 2005
- 58% Pinot Noir, 42% Chardonnay
- 7g/l Res/Sugar 12.%5 Alcohol Months on Lees 72
- Deep yellow in Colour, Honeyed apples on the nose. Limes & Apples. This wine is rich yet beautifully balanced with acidity.
Benjamin Bridge, BLANC de BLANCS 2004
- 100% Chardonnay
- 4g/l Res/sugar Alcohol 12% Months on Lees 108
- Fine bubbles in this light golden delight! Bright but rich citrus fruit, long mineral finish Stunning wine🍾
- Unfortunately only 200 bottles exist! ok maybe 199 now.
Well here are the first few wines, in part 2 it’s on to Italy, Prosecco, Trento & Franciacorta
Will be out soon (ish)
Enjoy your wine my friends SALUTE🍷