Bancroft Wines portfolio tasting
Earlier this week, The Fish and I attended a tasting at the very grand and glamorous Westbury Hotel in Mayfair. The tasting was organised by Bancroft Wines, a London wine merchant, to show off their entire portfolio. The event was also a chance to try the latest Burgundy vintage as well as to show off the latest offering from the Rhone (both 2011).
What was really motivating about the evening was the presence of the winemakers themselves to present the wines they are obviously so proud of. It was great to see winemakers from France, Spain, Germany and Italy standing side by side, along with representatives from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
There really were prices to suit all pockets on display and some of the sub-£10 offerings were outstanding wines in their own right. Obviously the more expensive wines were fantastic too, but it was so refreshing to see such wide range, from so many countries at so many price points.
It’s so hard to pick out my favourites… But don’t worry I have! The whites from Sancerre and New Zealand Rieslings struck a chord (The Fish was all over the Gewertztraminer, but a bit overwhelming for me!) and it was the reds of Rioja and Languedoc that shone through. But for value I have to go for Sicily – a red and a white of real class for under £8.
We did also try the latest vintages from Burgundy and The Rhone but again I found it so difficult to judge these youngsters… However I think I found the bargain of the vintage from an old favourite from Meursault; the ever wonderful Patrick Javillier.
So here’s my top picks as well as a link to the Bancroft Wines website. Enjoy!
Domaine Vincent Pinard Sancerre Cuvée Nuance 2011 (£22.40)
Lots of minerality and beautifully racy – so much more elegance from these Sauvignon Blancs than so many of their NZ counterparts.
Domaine Vincent Pinard Sancerre Harmonie 2010 (£29.95)
Almost Burgundian nose and layers of soft tropical fruit and lots of finesse. A real winner.
Andre Kienztler Riesling Reserve 2009, Alsace (£17.50)
Bone dry slate and lashings of lime. A real stunner.
Domaine Christophe Cordier Bourgogne Blanc 2011 (£13.50)
Big and rich and creamy. This really punches well above its weight.
Domaine Christophe Cordier Pouilly Fuisse Vieilles Vignes 2011 (£26.00)
Another huge white Chardonnay that builds and builds, layer upon layer. Wowsers!
Cottarato Parva Res 2012, Sicily (£7.25)
Beautiful pears and anise – a bit like a poached pear dessert – great for quaffing, especially if the sun ever shines again! Absolute steal at this price.
Wild South Riesling 2010, Marlborough, NZ (£11.95)
Like tinned pineapple with just a hint of residual sugar – one to pair with spicy food.
Domaine Rewa Riesling 2011, Central Otago, NZ (£20.45)
Lots of crunchy fruit, a lovely whiff of petrol and just a hint of sweetness on the finish. Great aperitif.
My bargain of the 2011 Burgundy offer is also a white:
Patrick Javillier Bourgogne Cuvée des Forgets 2011 (£125 for 12 in bond)
We visited Patrick at his domaine in Meursault last summer, bring back a few of the 2009 vintage of this wine… This could be even better. Meursault in all but name!
Chateau Fontenil Rolland Collection 2005, Fronsac, Bordeaux (£33.95)
Exceptional claret from the much underrated Fronsac appellation. Big red fruits and earthy, cedar flavours build and build. Quality.
Bergerie de l’Hortus Rouge, Coteaux du Languedoc 2011 (£11.95)
This could come from the Northern Rhone – spice and bacon fat (really!) and very, very smooth.
De l’Hortus Grande Cuvée Rouge, Coteaux du Longuedoc 2010 (£19.50)
Sophisticated, fruity and spicy. Very grown up stuff this.
Chateau de la Negly Rouge La Côte, Coteaux du Longuedoc 2009 (£11.25)
Really bright and fresh, like a liquid summer pudding.
Nero D’Avola Parva Res 2012, Sicily (£7.25)
Hiw do they make such good wine at this price? The perfect accompaniment to a Margarita pizza. Exceptional value.
Silvano Bolmida Barolo Bussia 2008, Piedmont (£29.95)
It seems older than 2008 and very approachable fir a young Barolo. I’d love to drink this in 5 years time.
Bodegas Altanza Lealtanza Crianza 2009, Rioja (£10.70)
Strawberries and creamy vanilla – very easy drinking and a bargain.
Bodegas Altanza Lealtanza Gran Reserva 2005 (£24.05)
The nose was a bit off putting but the flavour is intense and immense. Deep strawberry fruit and beautifully integrated sweet oak.
Hay Shed Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Margaret River WA (£17.95)
Heaps of blackcurrant fruit, mint and eucalyptus. I really am falling for Aussie Cabernets.
Bodegas Luigi Bosca Gala 1 2009, Mendoza, Argentina (£21.00)
Blend of Malbec, Petit Verdit and Tannat delivers a huge wine of depth and complexity. A steak is needed with it mind. A big one!