|Tom Cannavan's wine-pages.com|
For fine wine buffs and collectors the fair includes a cracking reduction on the 1996 from La Mission-Haut-Brion, and for bargain hunters there are two wines with 90+ Parker points, for less than £7.00. The fair runs throughout September.
I make no commission from any sales, but hopefully there will be some inspiration for you in the notes. Prices are given in pounds sterling (£5=£7.50) and where a wine has been reduced, the original price is shown in brackets.
Champagne Delamotte - £14.44 (£16.99)
Plenty of small, steady bubbles. Lovely fruit on the nose here. Terrifically rich and full with plenty of fresh apple and pear. Clean but rich. Creamy and dense mousse and nicely concentrated fruit. Strikes a nice balance between savouriness and lemony crispness and has a long finish. Really very good indeed. Quite complex.
WhiteBlydskap Droe (South Africa) Steen 2000 - £3.79
|I Portali Greco 'Basilium' 2000 - £4.49|
From Basilicata in southern Italy, this is 100% Greco, one of my favourite white wine grapes of the deep south. The colour is pale gold, and the nose is lovely, with bags of citrus fruit and little sweet floral and spice notes, some confectionery and waxiness. On the palate filled with fat, almost oily lemon fruit that is chewy and dense, yet wonderfully fresh. Balanced, it is elegant and fine into a long finish, whilst staying driven by fruit.
|Pascal Bouchard (France) Chablis 1998 - £6.28 (£6.98)|
This is well-made and decidedly tasty Chablis, offered at a good price. The nose has hints of honey and acacia, over gently nutty and buttery citrus fruit. On the palate it has power, but a fine quality of fruit and lovely balance, with mineral acidity sharpening pear and lightly-mealy fruit, and plenty of citrus zing. This would benefit from a few years in the cellar.
Villa Maria (NZ) Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2000 - £6.98
Same as High Street price, but might well be worth sticking in a few of these if making up a case. This wine has just scooped the Sauvignon Blanc Trophy and 'Best Value White Wine of the Year' awards in the International Wine Challenge. Lovely pale gold with a hint of lime green. Lots of bright, juicy fruit. Zingy and fresh with gooseberry and raspberry aromatics. Nice creaminess on the palate, notes of orange and grapefruit with tangy citrus acidity and a fine purity in the finish. Very good indeed.
La Mission-Haut-Brion (Bordeaux, Graves) 1996 - £49.29 (£57.99)
I suspect that of all the wines in the fair this might be the one of most interest to collectors. The price is remarkable given that UK merchants have this from £75 to £99.99 according to wine-searcher.com, and that it is a truly aristocratic claret from a great vintage. With the as yet unbottled 2000 vintage going for £160 per bottle excluding VAT and duty, it is even more remarkable. The wine is still a baby, with an intense purple/black colour and a nose that is backward, only slowly revealing sweet cassis and plum fruit through a tough sheen of smoky, earthy and herbal aromatics. Gripping tannins coat the palate, and the medium to full-bodied wine is chewy and concentrated. This wine is difficult to assess accurately in its current phase of development and should be cellared until 2010 when I would confidently expect it to emerge with dazzling effect.
Catamayor (Uruguay) 'Castillo Viejo' Tannat, 1999 - £3.98 (£4.98)
Deep, rich crimson colour. Very spicy, with cherry fruit and a hint of toasted nuts. On the palate firm cherry and damson fruit, with a bright raspberry edge and a firm finish due to decent tannins and acidity. Good.
Clos des Jonquiers (France) Côtes du Rhône 2000 - £4.48
Vibrant crimson colour and immediately appealing fruity nose, with soft strawberry and raspberry fruit and just a hint of more liquoricy, powerful depth. The palate has full-body and a raft of silky tannins grip the mouth, allowing ripe black fruit to peek through. The balance of fruit, acidity and tannin suggests a year or two in the cellar would be rewarded. Very good.
Falesco (Italy) Vitiano 2000 - £6.79
A super-Umbrian blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese that has earned 91 points from Robert Parker, and a top rating from Gambero Rosso. It has a vividly dark colour and appealing, sweet, dark berry fruit and smoky earth nose. A background of creamy vanilla comes from four months in barriques. The palate is full and rich, with dark plum and chocolate flavours, but also a really keen edge of bittersweet cherry fruit that adds a crisp, lively sheen. Very savoury and chewy, with some tannins and again that creamy oak fleshing out the finish. Very good indeed.