20th February 2009
Phil Crozier, wine buyer, Gaucho Grill gives his verdict on the Bibendum Trade Tasting 2009. I don’t go to many tastings, but I am in need of some further education, as are some of our staff.
I took Georgie, one of our trainee sommeliers to this tasting so that she could taste the world.
The venue was the Saatchi Gallery. Boy, these guys know how to put on a show. The curators must have been pulling their hair out with all that swirling wine in such close proximity to such elevated art. I was hoping to see some more cows sewn in half and preserved on formaldehyde, but I guess see enough of that at work.
I love the way each room had a theme. We went to the New Zealand aromatics, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and of course Sauvignon Blanc. We started with the pricey Huia Vineyards from Marlborough, lovely clean mineral aromatics that jumped from the glass and smacked you in the face. I was really impressed by the Spy Valley wines too, particularly the Riesling. By way of education, we then went to the Alsace, and tasted the organic Jean Baltenweck Pinot Blanc and Gewurztraminer – big, rich and powerful. A good lesson in Old versus New World style, especially when it comes to acidity. Much more honey and richness in the Old World.
We followed the same pattern, going from the glorious Rhone varietals in Australia, by way of some of the Spanish varietals there too – most unexpected and very surprising. The Tempranillo/Garnacha blend from Mitchelton was really good. Their whites were very impressive too.
I like to see which countries are attracting the most interest and I have to say Argentina was very busy all day. These guys are on fire at the moment, on cracking form with their innovative, altitude blends. I loved the Alamos Torrontes and the 2006 Malbecs – a great vintage and great wines.
After an exhausting day, I treated myself to a cracker from Germany – the Dr Loosen Wehlener Riesling Kabinett 2007. I love these wines, theres so much passion. I think they still offer amazing value for money.
Flash and blingtastic tasting? Maybe. A great education? Oh yes. Would I go next year? Just try and stop me. Well done guys.