Thursday, 24 May 2018

London Wine Fair - west to eastern Europe

London Wine Fair has wines from all over the world, from countries well known for wine producing and some lesser so. We decided to focus on European wines as this is an area of the world we are more likely to visit.

Currently we are considering a holiday in Portugal, in particular the Algarve. This so it was no surprise that stand L23 CVA - Comissao Vitivinicola do Algarve caught our eye. What a superb collection of wines from this southern Portuguese region.

John Crook from Grace Wines was very passionate about his Portuguese wines available here in the UK online. Two white, one rose and two red, the simple yet very effective label made these wines stand out from the others on display.

Of the five Grace Wines my favourite was Dialog with it's minerality and dryness, however I did also enjoy Grace Branco with it's tropical fruit and pear flavours

Quinta da Tor are located in Loule in the centre of the Algarve and offer wine tasting tours which are always an exciting part to our holidays. At the show we tried three of their wines including an amazing Syrah at 17%. At this strength I was expecting a more fortified taste and a very heavy wine, such a surprise when it was smooth and more like the Syrah 14% wine we know.

Leaving Portugal and travelling geographically north east into the Northern Navarro region of Spain we visited Bogegas Manzanos' stand with their eye-catching bottles of Siglo wine. Bogegas Manzanos had four Siglo wines which we both enjoyed the tasting, however our choices were split.

 Siglo Tempranillo in its hessian cover is a wine we have enjoyed previously at a Spanish bar in Cardiff and actually have a bottle at home. We both liked this wine but we differed on our second tasting - Siglo Crianza Edicion Oro. I quite liked this gold fabric clad wine and didn't find it too tannic at all.

Our third Siglo was Crianza Seleccion in a Burbury style cover. This for me was too tannic but Nick enjoy it, as he did the final wine Siglo Reserva in a bright pink cover. It is always interesting to try the same wine but with different ageing and equally as interesting to see how we all differ in our tastes and preferences.

Before leaving the stand we were invited to try another wine - a rose wine Las Campanas. What a colour in the glass, so vibrant it was almost florescent. 100% Garancha it was full of floral notes, a dense flavour and a lovely long finish.

Across the border into Italy we discovered two great wine producers, very different in style and age. Ferro 13 is a contemporary brand with its own quirkiness of wine from Northern to Southern Italy. All their wines have 'attribute' labels; The Boss, Nerd, Hipster, Hacker, Gentleman, The Lady and Hashtag.

Federico was very passionate about his wines and rightly so as they all had great character. Hashtag being Sauvignon was lovely but my favourite was The Lady, a Pinot Grigio wine. Each wine has a personality with character and style and is cleverly linked to music and a movie. The Lady's song is Champagne Supernova bu Oasis and naturally its movie is 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. I loved everything about Ferro 13 - one I'll be looking out for from now on!

Our other Italian tasting was the complete opposite to Ferro 13 - two older Italian men, one of whom spoke very little English but was obviously very passionate about his wine. Monte Solaio wine has traditional style labels all depicting the beautiful chateau at the heart of the vineyard. The whole atmosphere at stand P20 was good wine, good olive oil and the enjoyment of life.

Our final wine is the furthest east geographically - a wine that was recommended by Chris at Bolney Estates and rightly so as it was superb. Very striking labeling again in a style we have seen becoming more and more popular these wines were from Domeniul Coroanei in Romania.

Minima Morralia is a range of wine with each wine having a black and white image of someone's face and a virtuous name.

Honesty - oaked and unoaked Viognier, Tamaioasa Romaneasca

Honor - Feteasca Alba, oaked and unoaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris

Hope - Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, oaked Cabernet Sauvignon

Gratitude - Cabernet Sauvignon

Respect - Cabernet Sauvignon, Marselan

Devotion - Syrah, Cabernat Sauvignon, Marselan 

Romanian wine is fairly new to both of us, having tried just a few at various tastings. It was so interesting to learn about these striking wines, for me Honesty stood out but they were all very good wines.

Our London Wine Fair virtual trip across Europe certainly produced some surprises - some of which we hope to experience in reality as we travel more and more in time.

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