Too busy after service to get to Swig’s new artisan portfolio tasting at 67 Pall Mall? Do not fear, The Buyer was there and here are six wines we thought were stand-out.
Swig’s new portfolio tasting shows off some of the world’s best artisan winemakers
There was, of course, many more than six wines to enjoy at Swig‘s new portfolio tasting held in 67 Pall Mall, London on May 25. The six highlighted here don’t give the range as much credit as it deserves.
Not mentioned, for example, are Savage Wines from the Western Cape, a great new set of wines from BK Wines in the Adelaide Hills (check out the Cult Syrah, 2013), the Molino range from Barbaresco in Piedmont (check out the Dolcetto ‘Le Querce’ Molino, 2015), an excellent new range of Chablis called Origine from Louis Morea (check out the Premier Cru Vaulignot ‘Origine’ 2014) and many many more.
Here, though, are six complete stand-outs:
Sami-Odi, ‘Hoffman Dallwitz XIV’ Syrah, 2014. Seriously impressive Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. Sami-Odi is ex-Torbreck and a Beaujolias fan, so you can anticipate the marriage – big juicy fruit given great structure and length through carbonic maceration, early picking and whole bunch pressing.
Blank Bottle, DOK, Elgin, 2014. If sommeliers need stories to help them hand-sell then. Pieter Walsar, the iconoclastic winemaker at Blank Bottle has got them in spades. This is a sumptuous white blend (grapes not mentioned on the label) that has elevated, inviting floral aromatics, a sweet edge, complexity and minerality. The grapes, incidentally are Riesling, Sauvignon and Semillon.
Monte Santoccio Nicola Ferrari, Valpolicella Ripasso 2013. Winemaker Nicola Ferrari is the second major winemaker to have emerged since leaving legendary Quintarelli. This is Valpolicella as it should be made. The fruit has a sweet edge, and pepperiness, but is not over-extracted. The 14% alcohol is kept in check by firm, yielding, well-integrated tannins. Pretty nose, light ruby.
Glaetzer-Dixon, Uberblanc Riesling, 2014. Great food-matcher for desserts and Thai entrées. This has bags of citrus (lime) fruit. It is clearly New World but shows a few Old World/ Pfalz tricks learned by the winemaker, particularly with the backbone of fresh acidity. Clean with a tiny spritz. Nice. Also liked their Pinot Noir.
Champagne Collard-Picard, Cuvée des Archives 2002. All about the years this one. Prestige Champagne made with vines planted in 1923, and the wine made in the cracking 2002 vintage. No fining, filtering and aged on the cork with staple. This drinks like the finest aged Champagne, very deep biscuit flavours and savoury notes. Great acidity. Worth the large price tag.
Keermont Estate Syrah, 2012. Relative newcomer Alex Starey (first official vintage was in 2007) has made a cracking Cornas-style Syrah. Big black fruit, dried flowers, meaty and smoky. It’s a big wine but has great balance and focus. I’d buy some any day of the week.
So, were you there at the Swig tasting? What do you think of our selection? If you get time, let us know what you think.