A warm sunny evening and a pleasant stroll from Warwick Avenue underground station heading towards the Truscott Arms Maida Vale London where Yalumba were hosting their aptly named Butcher, Baker and Winemaker dinner with Yalumba chief winemaker Louisa Rose.
I remember visiting the Truscott Arms many times although it was quite a few years ago now before its makeover and it was nice to return.
My wife and I were invited to the dinner courtesy of Tesco by submitting an online review of two of Yalumba wines the ‘Old Bush Vine Grenach 2013’ and the ‘Shiraz Viognier 2012’ and then Yalumba voting on the best reviews. (see reviews here).
On arrival around 7.00pm we were shown into the outdoor garden area for pre dinner drinks and canapes where we were given a glass of ‘Yalumba Y Series Riesling 2014′ which was crisp and dry but still with a lovely creaminess giving a little weight. This is where we met fellow review winners along with the guys from Negociants UK and of course Louisa who we had a quick chat with before dinner.
At 7.30pm we were shown to an upstairs dinning area where an impressively laid out table greeted us. After a few formalities and an introduction By Louisa Rose about the wines we were drinking our glasses were filled with the first selection of the ‘Eden Valley Viognier 2013’ and the ‘Old Bush vine Grenache 2013‘ to go with the first course Charcuterie. Both paired very well with a slight preference for the Intense and aromatic Viognier which was full of ripe apricots and wonderful texture.
Next up was Halibut with a Rousanne reduction, grapes and Salsify accompanied by a crisp, slightly acidic and perfumed Roussanne in which, after a show of hands not many people in the room had tried before.
Beef Cheeks were next along with a couple of reds, the ‘Patchwork Shiraz 2013‘ and my star of the night the ‘Signature Cab Sauvignon Shiraz 2010‘ a superb blend full of fresh cherries and red currants, slightly dusty and tannic with a touch of menthol, (didn’t decline the offer of a refill ).
For dessert we were treated to another brilliant wine the ‘FSW8B Botrytis Viognier 2014‘ Sweet but not cloying a perfect end to a perfect meal.
Louisa was friendly and knowledgeable answering all our questions and it was brilliant to meet her personally. All in all another fantastic night eating, drinking and meeting the guys behind the wines we buy. Superb stuff.
Ok, I know the label looks like someone printed this up on their home printer and stuck it on with a Pritt stick but looks can be deceiving as I found out with this impressive (for the price) Verdejo. I actually got this in Majestic, Calais for the ridiculous price of £2.99 and now I’m kicking myself repeatedly as I only bought the one as I wasn’t really convinced at the time but I knew I usually like Verdejo and at that price I thought why not try at least one.
Verdejo is one of the most popular wines in Spain and This ‘Real Compania De Vinos’ or the Real Wine Company was established by Bodegas Muriel (who make pretty decent Rioja) back in 2007.
Golden straw like colour in the glass with perhaps a touch of green. Really aromatic on the nose which brought an appreciative ‘nice’ from my son and a ‘Smells ok’ from my wife. For me Pears were evident even dominant with some limes and tropical fruit in the mix including mango’s and bananas.
The taste is where things changed slightly although initially sweet there was a strange bitter aftertaste which, although not unpleasant, it was , well, I say again rather strange. Not much in the way of acidity but a hint creaminess (pears with cream) with a herbal, flowery finish leading to that bitterness. Don’t let this description put you off, this was a lovely easy drinking Spanish white which was endorsed by both my wife and son, both commenting on how much they enjoyed it.
For £2.99 it’s a steal, almost worth taking the ferry back to Calais for more.
My Rating 7.5/10 Corks
Majestic Calais £2.99 a bottle – I repeat £2.99 a bottle.
I first came across this wine at a recent Majestic Summer tasting event and it was for me, one of the stars of the night. It was the wine I kept going back to for a top up and I must say the generous and amiable staff were more than happy to oblige. I did end up buying a few bottles along with one or two others I enjoyed over the course of the evening.
So whats it like, well, it’s made in the North west Italian region of Langhe within Piemonte which is famous for Nebbiolo and it is a blend of Barbera 70% and Nebbiolo 30%.
Fairly deep garnet colour with a very slight brownish tinge but still impressively dark, looking very inviting but it’s when you get your nose in the glass this is where the wine comes alive bright cherries and blackberries with a more intense backbone of dried herbs, leather, tar and liquorice all very heady.
Medium to full-bodied – first taste this was very tannic although it still had a bright fruity acidity which made the wine taste fresh. Dark ripe fruits along with bitter liquorice, herbs and an edge of aniseed were all lurking in the glass. There was also a meaty savoury thing going on as well which was appealing. Left in the glass for a while the chalky tannins did soften a bit leaving a sweeter taste but still retaining that bright acidity.
As a stand alone wine I would quite happily drink it on its own but its with food that this really shone. On the tasting night it met with mixed opinions although no one disliked it, some weren’t sure initially but it grew on them. I think this needs time to breathe to really get the best out of it but I liked it a lot.
My wife who is not a big red wine drinker enjoyed it with food and didn’t pull that face when she instantly dislikes a powerful red, so all round big thumbs up.