Archive for May, 2010

Art3: The Best of the London International Wine Fair 2010 Part1

May 21, 2010

Art3: The Best of the London International Wine Fair 2010

This Tuesday 19th of May, I made my way to the Excel centre in London for the first day of the International Wine Fair. This is the biggest show of the year where you will find anyone who is anyone in the UK wine industry.

The festival lasts three days but most people attempt to do it in one. This insurmountable task becomes apparent upon entry to a hall in which one could casually park a jumbo jet.

Having worked at the show for the last two previous years, I had forgotten how difficult it is as a ‘punter’ to fray your way through the suits, the wannabe wine buffs, the red-nosed aficionados and wine makers from all over the globe.

However the effort is always worth while in the search for hidden gems, and I was on a hunt for something exciting, something to write about…

Fortunately, there are always pillars to lean on. Both the International Wine Challenge and the Wine gang’s Top 100 are good starting points; these give you a well chosen snap shot into what is being exhibited. The IWC is now arguably the biggest award giving body in the world. They are unable to show all the wines they have awarded as there are hundreds. When we approached the stand they had about 24 wines on show, all great examples of their own genre. Here are a few that were really outstanding:

Barolo Cerequio – Michele Chiarlo 2005

Drinking perfectly now this serious red is all about balance. The warm toasted oak nose with delicate red fruit invites you in, and then the glorious palate of ripe fruit and rich dark under tones combined with lovely acidity and firm but not over-powering tannin brings you to an opulent long finish. Really can’t go wrong here!

Chablis 1ier Cru Montmains – Simonnet Febvre 2008

A classically flinty nose, but one with depth and elegance. Very inviting. The palate takes us through Beautiful layers of fresh citrus fruit, apples with a very smooth almost almond finish. A well-balanced white that makes you think that France can’t be doing that badly.

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – Blind River 2009

One to watch. I love recommending wines that will take some of the lime-light away from the overly hyped ‘Cloudy Bay’. This is a beautiful Kiwi Sauvignon, it pretty much has it all: gooseberry bush with animal notes, fresh citrus burst, smooth almost creamy body and lip smacking acidity. Above all it is not at all angular or over-done. A definite crowd pleaser.

Eiswein Rheinhessen 2008 – Schmitt Sohne 2008

Now this is Top of the pops! The wine fair is always a great opportunity to try gem like this which are unusually hard to find in the market. With sweet blossom, honey and citrus note on the nose the palate follows with more of the same crowned by the perfect balance between sugar and acidity.

And at only 8.5% alcohol there is no holding back. The production of this wine relies on the weather. Some years they can hardly produce any Eiswine. The producers tell me that 2008 is almost out of stock and that there is very little 2009. So fingers crossed for 2010, if it’s a good year this could well make it into a Christmas offer at Aldi so keep your eyes peeled.

For full info on these go to the International Wine Challenge website via the link below:

http://www.internationalwinechallenge.com/default.aspx

As there is soooo much to tell you about this great event I will split this article in two and post the second half as soon as possible. Oh and look out for ‘the best in show’. It is all VERY exciting…

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