Having read great comments from bloggers who attended last year’s Bibendum Times wine tasting event, I knew the event is a hugely popular one with wine drinkers. But as I don’t drink wine, other than syrupy sweet dessert wine, I wasn’t sure it was worth my attending.
However, the Bibendum team assured me there were a number of dessert wines included and, for good measure, kindly allowed me to bring along my husband who particularly enjoys full-bodied reds.
The Palate Test confirmed what I already knew: that “I’m sweet”. And I was given a little sticker badge to proclaim my preferences (or maybe my sunny nature 😉 !
I already knew I’d enjoy the Sauternes. And I did. I have fond memories of a trip down to the Bordeaux region a few years ago. To Pete’s delight, as I don’t drink regular wines, I am happy to be the designated driver and he can deguster to his heart’s desire as we meander through the beautiful wine-producing regions! But our roles were reversed for the day we spent in Sauternes and I happily tasted (and chatted) my way around a number of local producers. And came home with quite a number of bottles…
The one I tasted at the event was a very nice Waitrose Sauternes Chateau Suduiraut 2005.
New discoveries for me during the palate test: Chateau Pierre-Bise, Close de la Soucherie, Coteaux du Layon Beaulieu 2005 and Dr Loosen Bernkasteler Riesling Beernauslese 2006. The first was not disimilar in style to a Sauternes and, unsurprisingly, I rather liked it. The second was far crisper but without any unpleasant astringency and was a great find for me as it’s a very different style to what I’ve tried before.
Another wine I tried elsewhere at the show was a Suavia Veneto Reciotto di Soave Acinatum 2006. It had a rich, dried fruit flavour which I liked though I don’t know that I’d seek it out as I would those included in the palate test.
When we saw the Grover Vineyards stand showcasing Indian wines I was quite intrigued. My parents are from India and it’s certainly not a country known for it’s wine! Pete tried a couple of their reds and reckoned their La Reserva 2006, a cabernet sauvignon and syrah blend, was very drinkable. It was a dark browny-red in colour, had a good tannin kick and he found it pleasant.
Mr Amber Vaidya, VP of Sales and Marketing in the UK was kind enough to tell us a little about the producer and wines. The vineyard was created in the foothills of the Nandi Hills in Karnataka, Southern India by Kanwal Grover, a businessman who developed a love of fine wines during numerous business trips to France. The beautiful labels are designed by a range of talented and well-known Indian artists. Very appealing.
I don’t know that we’d seek these wines out over reds from elsewhere in the world but… I’ll see if I can get hold of a bottle for my dad. I think he’d be impressed!
For Pete, the winner of those he tasted was a Brazilian red wine from Fortaleza do Seival. Whilst he liked their Alisios do Seival Tempranillo/ Touriga Campanha 2009 it was the Fortaleza do Seival Tannat 2007 which really impressed. It had an intense, deeply fruity smell and a tannic, full-bodied flavour. The tannat grape is one used commonly in Uruguay and the producer is tucked into the extreme South of Brazil not far from the Uruguayan border. The climate produces a fresh, acidic wine which still has lots of great fruit flavour and is not too high in alcohol. Pete agreed with the producer’s assessment that it would be very good with red meat.
Thanks to Bibendum for inviting us to attend this event and giving us the opportunity to try wines we’d not come across before.