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.
Spent some time with the Baron De Ley selection and really enjoyed the ‘Tres Vinas Blanco Reserva 2009’ and the ‘Finca Monasterio 2011’ (which I’ve drank before but couldn’t help sampling again). Also have to mention the Errazuriz, Jadot & Cune stand with the very nice Contino Reserva Rioja 2007 and the Cune Gran Reserva 2007.
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.
My favourite wine from the whole show was the fantastic ‘Finest Vinha Do Vinteiro Duoro Reserva 2011‘ from Portugal, a little expensive but well worth it.
Show rating 7.5/10 Corks