The 35th London Wine Fair 2015, held at Kensington Olympia – one of the best international events for discerning wine buyers and aficionados.
Over 10,000 wines from over 80 countries were available to taste, and which provided every opportunity to discover some real wine gems. As a regular event goer, and with so many wines available to sample, it is often difficult to know where to start on a new journey of wine discovery. But I did, and here are some of my discoveries and an old favourite!
It was great to see the Austrian wine stand again, and to experience the diversity of Austrian wine with a master-class hosted by Anne Krebiehl.
The Grüner Veltliner grape is of course Austria’s signature grape and the most planted grape variety, representing about 33% of total wine plantations. Outstanding was Kurt Angerer Eichenstaude Niederösterreich Reserve 2014, beautifully ripe, full and balanced. Turning to the Riesling grape wines, the Steinmassi Kamptal DAC Reserve 2012, was beautifully ‘grassy’ with complex fruity notes. Another Riesling wine, Peter Schweiger Zöbinger Terrassen Kamptal DAC Reserve 2013 was truly excellent, clean, tropical and with a hint of strawberries.
Moving on to French wines, some of my favourites wines are from the Beaujolais-Villages AOC. Unfortunately the Fleurie and Morgon 2014s were simply too youthful for meaningful analysis; apparently the success of the appellation meant there were no earlier vintages to sample!
However, all was not lost with my French wine discoveries and I found Louis Métaireau Domaine du Grand Mouton, Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur Lie 2013 – a crystal clear wine that was simply outstanding.
The wine made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne is, I am told, one wine the estate owners often drink with fresh oysters: a truly superb wine and a Wine Merchant winner.
Next up, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation of wine makers showed some excellent and interesting wines. In particular, the Wölffer Estate Diosa Late Harvest 2012 from the Long Island NY terroir and the New York State Leonard Oakes Estate Winery Vidal Blanc Ice Wine 2011 were two interesting late harvest style wines.
So with a sweetness on my palate, I headed off to meet an old favourite at the Nederburg (South Africa) stand. The Nederberg Masters Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2012 is the Botrytis late harvest to beat. I could have spent the afternoon on the Nederburg stand – just needed my slippers!
Finally, onwards to discover Italian wines. I was given a wonderful presentation and exposition of sparking wines from Marta Poli, Export Manager of Mirabella Franciacorta (est,1979) wines. The company owns 56 hectares of Franciacorta DOCG in Brescia, Lombardy.
The Mirabella Franciacorta range of sparkling wines included: Franciacorta Brut DOCG, (Chardonnay 70% – Pinot Bianco 30%). Saten Franciacorta DOCG (100% Chardonnay), an interesting copper/pink coloured Franciacorta Rose DOCG (Chardonnay 45% – Pinot Nero 45% – Pinot Bianco 10%). And the quality, Elite Franciacorta DOCG Extra Brut (100% Chardonnay).
A side-by-side comparative tasting of the selection highlighted the true family of the Mirabella Franciacorta DOCG wines. They are all very exceptional, clean on the palate, with some complex flavours that would suit a range of individual palates – a true discovery.
© 2015 Dr Robert Frew. All rights reserved.