Photography by Chris Osburn
Held at Lindley Hall with plenty of appreciated sunshine streaming through the Edwardian building's large glass roof, yesterday's annual trade-only California Wine Tasting presented 200 some odd wineries for the consideration of the UK market. With glass in hand, Londonist gave the event a proper sniff and walked away with a few sun kissed faves.
Actually, every Cali quaff that we sampled was enjoyable. Even UK's top selling American wine, Blossom Hill, pleased us well enough with its downmarket NV White (Recommended Retail Price Band of £3-5). New to market, available at Tesco's and slightly more pricey, Barefoot's NV Pinot Grigio (RRPB £5-7) was a temptingly affordable delight: fresh, young, pert and full of value.
Moving up in price but still hovering at entry level, Au Bon Climat's 2008 Wild Boy Chardonnay (RRPB £10-15) was wild indeed with bold and buttery fruit flavours. Chardonnay lovers would adore it. Equally vivacious and at the same recommended price mark, Birichino Vino's 2008 Malvasia Bianca and EOS Estate Winery's 2008 EOS Paso Robles Late Harvest Moscato were lip smacking treats with hints of jasmine and lychees and would be good for pairing with Southeast Asian cuisine.
A couple from the “seeking representation” aisle that we'd love to see make it 'cross the pond included Fess Parker Winery's 2008 Parker Station Pinot Noir (RRPB £7-10). This very cherry Pinot was the best we tasted during our visit. The King Cabernet Sauvignon (RRPB £7-10) grabbed our attention too - but more for its Elvis '75 label than its taste. That said, this rockingly regal red wasn't bad at all. Already Sweden's most popular American wine over €10, we'd love to see this stuff on shelves in London and reckon it would go well with peanut butter and banana sarnies.