Meeting number 7 saw us meet for the first time at the Raffles Hotel on the 4th March 2014.
Summary of our progress so far can be found here, along with links to all our previous tastings.
A bit of a preamble to our 7th meeting.
It was almost Christmas in 2013 and I had just finished looking at my diary for the next few months. I was going to be away for a month in the New Year, my work and other commitments looked pretty full for the months immediately after my arrival back. How and when will I get a chance to plan the next wine century meet?
Clearly it was time to enlist some help.
I reached out to Christina Pickard, who runs Wine with Christina and School of Wine here in Perth. We sat down over lunch to discuss what the wine century was all about, our progress to date and asked if she would plan and host our next meet. So happy to see Christina’s eyes light up as she replied, “sure, not a problem”, cracked a big smile and said, “This will allow me to indulge my inner wine geek”. Sounded like we were in good hands.
Over to following weeks, Christina sourced the wines, venue and put together a well researched presentation to go with the wines. She even found & brought back 3 wines from her quick trip back to the states. 2 of which were from the Canary Islands…… never knew they made wines there. How’s that for effort?
How did we go with the tasting? It was easily our best wine century tasting yet. Christina presented so many tasty wines in her effortless manner. Each wine had a lot of excellent information dispensed to us in an easy to understand way without pretension. Big thanks to Christina for organising and hosting this and also to the Raffles for allowing us to use their facilities.
Based on our session with Christina, I can recommend her School of Wine classes and events. You can find out more from her website and also stay up to date by following her facebook and twitter feeds.
Onto the wines
2011 Quinta de Ameal. Vinho Verde, Portugal. 11%
Pale, lemon colour. Subdued nose.
Crisp, fresh. Apples, slight peppermint, dried herbs and light citrus notes.
Medium acid. Clean and refreshing with some leesy characters and lanolin like mouthfeel. Good persistence.
2012 Bodega Juan Matias Torres ‘Las Machuqueras’. La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain.
100% Palomino Fino, also known as Listan Blanco
This is the main grape variety used to make sherries in Jerez, Spain.
Deep yellow in colour. Lifted nose of bread, biscuits & almonds. Sour lemons. Sherry like, but without the intensity. “Sherry for beginners”
Low to medium acidity. Oxidative wine. Orange rind, honeysuckle. Minerality, slight saline. Nutty notes. Quite liked this.
2012 Gaia Thalassitis. Santorini, Greece.
Light lemon in colour. Subdued nose.
Figs and crunchy pears. Chalky mineral mouthfeel with a slight saline character and zippy acid. Some vanilla oak notes. There’s also a certain graphite quality that I really liked.
Will be seeking out more Assyrtiko to try.
2012 Casa d’Ambra. Ischia Bianco DOC, Campania, Italy. 12%
50% Biancolella 50% Forastera
Light lemon in appearance.
Expressive, pretty nose. Beautiful white florals, almonds, hints of tropica fruit and citrus. Moderate acidity.
This wine is more on the nose than the palate. Flavours of almonds, apricots & herbal notes. Wonderful, balanced wine.
2011 Fattoria San Lorenzo ‘Le Oche’. Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico DOC, Italy.
An area where it’s name also reflects the grape grown.
Pale lemon in appearance. Expressive nose.
Broad palate. Lemon rind. Almond notes. Musk. Some residual sugar here?
Full bodied. Citrus notes, Lemon curd and honeyed almonds. Sweet and savoury notes. Leesy, bready quality. Good Minerality. Excellent.
2012 Ocone ‘Flora’. Falanghina. Taburno DOC, Campania, Italy.
Deeper lemon in appearance.
Expressive nose of floral petals and apricot kernels…… Like walking into a florist.
Musk, orange notes. Lanolin texture. Expressive. Mouth coating. Rich wine. Nice saline, wakame salty edge. Another good wine.
2010 Grace Koshu. Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.
Japan’s own native grape and thought to have been cultivated there for 1,000 years.
This was kindly contributed by the guys at the Raffles.
Light colour. Delicate wine. Apples and pears. Refreshing with zippy acids. Slight oxidative character creeping in. Does not appear to be ageing well. Will seek out a fresher example to try this grape variety again.
2012 Puzelat-Bonhomme ‘La Terniere’. Pineau d’Aunis. Loire Valley, France
100% Pineau d’Aunis
Underwent carbonic maceration.
Light purple and slightly cloudy in appearance. Looks a bit like a Gamay based wine.
On the nose, intense white pepper, bright fruits, slight gerkin / pickle like salinity.
On the palate, pepper, juicy, apricots, ripe juicy pears with musk and cinnamon notes… and more pepper. Fine silky tannins.
Love! Wish I could go out and buy some of this right now….. alas, this was one of the bottles Christina brought back with her. If you see any available in Australia, please let me know.
2011 Fronton de Oro Tinto. Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain.
This is a blend of mainly Listan Negro (aka Negra Commun) with small amounts of Trousseau
Clear with a very light purple appearance.
Smells like a Gamay with lifted, bright purple fruits and hints of pepper.
Herbal edge, chinotto, aniseed, raspberry. Bitter sweet. Dark cherries. Pepper. Structured.
2011 Thymiopoulos Vineyards ‘Young Vines’. Naoussa, Greece.
Almost Pinot like in appearance.
Shy at first on the nose. Opened up to reveal red fruits and plums.
Sour cherries, aniseed, woody herbs and drying tannins. Slighty mulch / forest floor characters that adds to interest factor. Really needs food to tame the tannins.
2009 Nanni Copè Sabbie di Sopra il Bosco. Terre del Volturno IGT, Italy.
Blend of Pallagrello Nero 85%, Aglianico 12% and Casavecchia 3%
Espresso and dark chocolates
Deep dark chocolates, plums, cherries with bright acidity. Dense on the palate with, farmyard like game, leaf and touch of wet compost. Funky. Good medium tannins.
2010 Enrique Mendoza ‘La Tremenda’. DO Alicante, Spain.
Deep in colour.
Espresso, graphite, brambly fruits. Powerful, good balance. Black cherries. Good tannins. Lick of vanilla and cedar. Deep dark wine. Long aftertaste
2008 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge. Bandol, France.
100% Monastrell (aka Mourvèdre or Mataro)
Graphite, red deep fruits. Red plums and strawberries. Sweeter fruit profile than the Enrique. Smokey, charred oak. Rosemary, thyme, mineral graphite. Tight tannins. Structure ++. Some secondary characters are emerging.
Tally so far is 78 different grape varieties….the century is getting close.
Huge thanks again to Christina for organising such a wonderful tasting for us and the Raffles for doing such a magnificient job hosting.