The 36th London Wine Fair turned out again to be one of the world’s leading wine and trade events. With an anticipated 700 exhibitors from across the globe, showing some 13,000 wines, there was much to see and expect.
This year’s wine fair was held two weeks earlier than usual, so as to ensure a better fit with UK and International buying schedules – a good move.
It was interesting to see a selection of Japanese sake at the Fair, so it was an easy decision to start with sake tastings!
Amongst those sake that were exceptional: Urakasumi sake from Shiogama, Miyagi prefecture, and Daishichi sake from Nihonmatsu, Fukushima prefecture. There were also tastings of Tokusen, Tokubetsu Honjozo from the Takashimizu brewery, Kawashiri, Akita prefecture. Akita prefecture breweries are certainly a benchmark for lighter styles of sake.
Prosecco wines that stood out included, Monroe Overdry (Special Edition) Prosecco DOC: excellent with savoury foods, and from the same lineage the Monroe Overdry (Extra Dry) Prosecco DOC. The Extra Dry prosecco would complement any strawberry and fruit dish beautifully. Monroe Overdry is a British project: a superb, high quality Prosecco DOC(s), produced in Italy with 100% Glera grapes from the Treviso, Veneto region.
Azienda Agricola IL Casello was an exciting discovery at the Fair. Established in the 1950’s, and located at Bacadesco Basso, Vernasca, Piacenza province, Italy. The winery specialises in the production of Colli Piacentini wines: Gutturnio 2011 DOC Riserva and L’Invito both tasted superb.
Continuing the Italian wine theme, Cantina Montelliana E Del Colli Asolani, a wine cooperative in Montellbuna, offered some interesting Asolo Prosecco DOCG, and Primizia wine.
Amongst the South Africa wine offerings, I rediscovered Kleine Zalze Wine Estate, from the Stellenbosch wine region. The 2015 Shiraz Mourvédre Viognier was excellent if not a little young. However, Kleine Zalze 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Cellar Selection) is still drinking from my own cellar; although I doubt there is any left for sale! The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon has aged very well: mature, and spicy yet still with luscious fruity notes. From the show: Kleine Zalze 2015 Chenin Blanc, youthful and exciting – a world Chenin Blanc benchmark.
The French wine estate, Gilardi Vins Domaines Chateaux offered a range of slightly blush wines, including Chante Provence AOP Cotes de Provence: all with beautiful aroma and freshness.
Brotherhood Sparkling Chardonnay, Washingtonville, NY. Martha Clara 2014 Chardonnay, Riverhead, Long Island, NY. Thirsty Owl 2014 Chardonnay, Cayuga Lake, NY. Fox Run 2014 Cabernet Franc and Lamberger, Finger Lakes, NY were interesting New World wines.
Finally, Croft Pink, a new rose style of Port from Croft Port. This has been made by a new technique which extracts fresh, fruity flavours and which produces a subtle, delicate pink colour from the grape skins. Delicously light with aromatic raspberry flavours, Croft Pink proved to be very popular amongst the tasting fraternity!
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