Tasting table

21 March, 2008

Selected notes from the annual California trade tasting in London

Robert Mondavi 2006

Private Selection Fumé Blanc

Supplier: Constellation Europe

£7 to £10

Partial barrel fermentation gives this rather restrained Sauvignon Blanc a lovely, integrated creamy oak that accentuates rather than dominates the lemon, lime, grapefruit and delicate stone fruit notes. CB

Ironstone Vineyards 2007

Old Vine Zinfandel

Supplier: HwCg £5 to £7

A complex nose of ripe red fruit

with black and white pepper and

spice is followed by a concentrated, intense, almost off-dry palate with rich black and red fruits, particularly strawberry.


Quady Winery 2006

Essensia Orange Muscat

Supplier: Hallgarten £7 to £10

They're not joking when they call it orange Muscat - this pale golden-amber wine has a rich nose of orange blossom and candied peel, and a palate that is almost like biting into a ripe orange. Lusciously sweet and oily, with plenty of zingy acidity to balance. CB

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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