Photography by Chris Osburn
Taking over Saatchi Gallery with two hundred winemakers showcasing more than a thousand wines, yesterday's Bibendum Times Annual Tasting gave those in the vino biz and those wishing to write about such transactions a fantastic sample of what to expect at London's better wine shops and restaurants in the next year or so. Sadly, Londonist didn't have the time (or resolve) to taste every bottle offered. But we did our darnedest! Here's a round up of our faves from the day.
For starters, Els Pyreneus wowed with a fresh Muscat de Rivesaltes 2008 (suggested trade bottle price of £8.55) which we reckoned would go nicely with some foie gras while their Maury Grenat 2006 (tbp £9.50) might end a meal well alongside some chocolate. Staying in southern France, Bouchard Aine & Fils' leggy Pinot Noir Vin de Pays 2008 (tbp £6.81) had some steely noteworthy umpf to it.
Riesling Grand Cru Osterberg 2007 (tbp £16.90) intrigued with its balance of mineral and floral tones. Lovers of Rieslings will delight in this Alsacian winner! The 2009 Bacchus by England's own Primrose Hill by Chapel Down impressed with a funky, lime flavour. And, pretty much everything we tasted by Portugal's Quinta do Vallado satisfied; their 2008 Moscatel Galego (tbp £8.25) with its prominent (but not overwhelmingly so) crème brulee loveliness was particularly inspiring.
Of course, it wasn't all about the grape! Plantation Rums' Nicaragua 1998 (tbp £24.80) had a nice vanilla and bourbon finish. El Tesoro Tequila's Anejo (tbp £33.13) went down right as well. Ron Los Valientes' 20 Year Old rum - which we discovered and loved back in September - continued to suit us just fine.
In true Londonist fashion, we ended our wine tasting visit with an ale. From Australia and brewed by a Yorkshireman, Cooper's Pale Ale (no price given) was crisp and cleansing and one we'd be inclined to drink again.