The wine competition took place this year as usual and here are my favourites from the flight of winners.
Camie Salié Jurançon Sec 2014 – way down south in a lesser known region of wine making in France comes this gem made from Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng, also lesser known. But the careful hand vinification has produced a wine with walnuts, mandarin, sometimes marmalade and vanilla. Each sip is a new revelation. Alko price €18,89.
Dal Cero Vigneto Runcata 2014 – a soave superior with the classic Garganega grape. Its deep flavours come in the form of rich butter, citrus and baked notes with plenty of acidity to give it structure. You could mistake it for a Chardonnay but then there’s this nervous finish which gives it a whole new profile. Alko €22,90.
Fraser Gallop Parterre Chardonnay 2015 – all the way from Margaret River this wooded Chardonnay is made from free run juice and has elegance second to none. It is wooded but not overtoasted and shows a mingling of citrus fruit and baked Alaska leaving you with a mouth full of creaminess in the finish. Alko €32,98.
Baron de Ley Gran Reserva 2010 – a big wine, full-bodied and ready to take on any steak or red meat delivery out there. The woodsmoke shouts out for a barbecue and the strawberry and dark cherry puts it on a level with some outstanding rivals. Balance is the key and firmness can be found in the finish. Alko €24,94
Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – wood ash opening up to cigar box and cherries on the nose, this comes from Stellenbosch, South Africa. It’s got a whole load of stuff happening with plums, cherries again, coffee and chocolate. A barbecue is calling you with a nice fat lamb chop on it. Alko €16,89.
Domaine Bousquet Ameri Single Vineyard 2011 – an organic wine which at first almost gives you a fright with its pungency of balsam dissipating into boysenberry and chocolate notes. It’s a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot that grows on you and keeps coming back with more intriguing flavours every time you have a taste. Definitely made for meat in its full robustness. Alko €29,94.
NEXT TASTING – get your head around some dizzying rosés on Tuesday 30 May 2017 at Nomad Cellars, Annankatu 22, 00100 Helsinki with Veli-Antti Koivuranta. Bookings: +358 40 4143705.