Two wine tastings yesterday: A Wines of Chile tasting titled “Emerging Classics, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir” during the day, and some samples of southern Italian wines, in the evening. It’s a tough life, eh?
Let me dust off my violin for you for a minute, though: to get to the Chilean tasting, I had to travel from Ealing to Borough through the worst of the Friday afternoon traffic. I admit it was on the bike, which is more fun than any car or tube, and I did have another appointment in the City, so two birds were killed with the one stone (what sort of an expression is that, anyway?), but it was a lot of driving. Because of the driving, and also to maintain my professional integrity, I do have to spit them all out, so it isn’t as much fun as it sounds. So shed a little tear for your stressed wine taster…
The Chilean Wine Tasting was a little rushed, so I only tasted Pinot Noirs. On the whole I would say that the Chileans have, by and large, started to master the making of this difficult grape. I didn’t taste any of the boiled, soupy, sweet concoctions that used to be Chile’s offering. Instead, we had mainly clean, bright, fresh strawberry fruited wines, which is what Pinot Noir is all about. Highlights were a lovely Tabali Talinay 2009 from Limari, in the North, a terrific Kingston Family Vineyards Alazan 2010, reassuringly expensive (now there’s a good salesman’s pitch!), from Casablanca, an a fresh and clean Anakena Single Vineyard 2010, from Leyda. Bio Bio, in the south, is supposed to be cooler (although many would disagree, saying that the climatic divide in Chile is East-West, depending in how high up in the Andes you are), which should make it more suited to Pinot Noir, but the two on offer yesterday didn’t make it into this article (which isn’t a good thing)!
In the evening, an Irpinia Aglianico 2006, and two vintages (2006 and 2003) of Taurasi, all from a grower called Guastaferro. Never heard of these wines? No surprise, they’re regional Italians; so many names, so little time… no-one can keep up. These come from Campania, home of Naples and pizza, and are made from the Aglianico grape, a typical dark fruited, rich, acidic, and tannic southern Italian grape. Lovely wines, though, well-managed tannins, mature, and full of Mediterranean warmth.
Not a bad day; I got to moan about the stresses of wine tasting, too. We drank the Irpinia (well, it was open, it had to be finished…) with dinner of home-made pizza, to keep it regional, and it was a match made in heaven.