Walking down the wine aisle in your local supermarket amongst the hundreds of bottles on display sometimes a label suddenly catches your eye, not because it has distinctive artwork or design but because of what’s written on it.
In this case it was the words, Mouton, Baron Philippe De Rothschild and Bordeaux, so whilst my wife’s back was turned a bottle of ‘Mouton Cadet Bordeaux 2011’ (just happened to be on special offer as well) found its way into my shopping trolley next to the veg, bread , shower gel and toothpaste.
The question is was it any good and worth the clandestine operation to get it in the trolley? Well, in a word, not really (sorry, two words). This was one of the most disappointing bottles I’ve opened recently; maybe the £6 odd I paid should have alerted me that perhaps this is not what it seems.
After pulling out the cork with Baron De Rothschild printed on it I was looking forward to trying the wine, that was before I smelt it, not the best, being predominately Merlot a whiff of dark berries, plums, some earth and vegetal notes were the main aromas although there was a hint of something chemical which wasn’t nice.
Taste – medium bodied, a little on the thin side for me with a plums, blackberries and liquorice making it seem very bitter on the finish (which did subside after an hour or so left in the glass). Harsh and quite dry but not altogether undrinkable, definitely better with food.
Considering the prestigious name this was a little bit of a letdown, I know it’s suppose to be a budget level affordable Bordeaux and in some respects it does the job especially as a midweek everyday wine.
Not so much a Mouton Cadet more of a Mouton Regret
Sunday afternoon , big lunch, glass or two of something nice, settle down to watch TV and most likely fall asleep, to be honest doesn’t sound too bad. This particular Sunday though, I spent an enjoyable afternoon with my wife and four friends at the Tesco Wine Fair 2014 at Earls Court.
This was a new venue to last year’s which was held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre.
To be honest when we came out of Earls Court station my first impression of the EC building having not been to it for a while was how dated it looked especially with its corrugated iron walls it looked like a giant prefab.
We were about 20 minutes or so early, doors opening at 12.00pm but we did manage to get pretty close to the front of the queue. Once inside, the hall was enormous in previous years everything was far more cluttered but this worked much better with easier access to all the display stands.
We straight away booked a 20 minute ‘Wine Walk’ with the enthusiastic and energetic , very entertaining and slightly bonkers independent wine expert ‘Joe Wadsack’ taking us on a quick tour of his pick of the wines on display. A hectic tasting ensued knocking back Champagne and wine at a frantic pace but he did come up with some great wines, notably the ‘Finest Vinha Do Vinteiro Duoro Reserva 2011’, my first brief tasting of my latest review wine ‘L ‘Envas Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc’ (looking forward to to opening this up this week, review to follow), the ever reliable ‘Glorioso Rioja Reserva 2008‘. He was under a little more time restraints this year so the walk lasted just over the 20 minutes not like last year’s which lasted nearly an hour. Well done Joe thoroughly enjoyable walk as always.
Best and most friendliest stand was the ZGM and their excellent Peter & Peter, the guys on this stand were brilliant and I ended up tasting all their range and particularly enjoyed the ‘Merler Stephansberg Spatlese 2008’and I’ve seemed to have developed a fondness for German Pinot Noir as well and theirs was pretty good.
One little gem my wife and I both really liked was on the Gonzalez Byass Stand and it was the ‘Vinas del Vero Luces 2013’ from Somontano Spain and it was a blend of Chardonnay, Macabeo and Sauvignon Blanc, a very pleasant wine.
Later in the day we managed to get on a workshop with the excellent Lucy Clements (wine buyer for Tesco) ‘Sledgehammer Reds’, featuring some very nice wines including Trivento Reserve Malbec from Argentina , the South African Bernard Series Basket Press Syrah, Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon from California, Marques de Casa Concha Syrah from Chile and the very nice Tim Adams Clare Valley Shiraz, probably not the ideal workshop at 3.30pm after numerous tastings but i must say all the wines she presented were again excellent although my least favourite was the Californian Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon (little too sweet for me), the best was tied between the Tim Adams & Casa Concha.
Nice to see a fellow Tesco Wine Community member Mike S and he mentioned a Hungarian ‘St Sephen’s Tokaji Aszu 2008’he’d tried earlier, it just happened to be our last tasting of the afternoon and it was a nice way to end, with bright acidity,full of Peach, apricot, slight orange flavour, honey, not at all cloying or sickly sweet.
Apart from a few stands where the tasting portions were slightly on the mean side, just barely getting a sip out of the glass but overall we all had a pretty good time.
Rummaging around in my wine rack the other day, I came across a few bottles of the Vina Mara Reserva Rioja 2007 I bought at least a couple of years ago and forgotten about, it was liking finding an old comfortable pair of slippers.
When I first drank these it was probably up there with the better Rioja’s I’d tasted at the time and enjoyed by everyone I shared them with. I was initially looking for something to drink with our Sausage & Chorizo Casserole and in the process of moving stuff around I also found a few bottles of it’s bigger brother the Vina Mara Gran Reserva 2004, another very good wine although I actually prefer the Reserva.
When poured there was a wonderful aroma of candle wax, dark fruits, smokey wood even a hint of church incense.
On first sip I thought, this is what a Rioja should taste like, full of raspberries, cherries with pronounced sweetish vanilla and a big hit of oak, transporting me to a tranquil bar in a sleepy Spanish village, Flamenco dancers kicking up dust with frantic guitar music playing in the background.
Although you can’t easily find the 2007 now, the 2008/9 vintages are still pretty good (still winning awards), maybe not quite as good, in my view but they are solid decent Rioja’s pretty much what you would expect from ever reliable Baron De Ley.