Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.


Published:  09 March, 2009

Natasha Hughes picks out some favourites from recent tastings.

Natasha Hughes picks out some favourites from recent tastings.

Annual tasting of Austrian Wine, London, 10 February 2009

Familie Prieler, Leithaberg Pinot Blanc, Burgenland, 2007 (trade price £12.09 ex VAT, Clark Foyster Wines). A lot of Austrian Pinot Blanc is so over-oaked that it loses the delicate floral fruit that is its biggest appeal. This wine, on the other hand, has been oaked with a delicate touch, so that the oak is expressed in the texture rather than the flavour.

Nikolaihof's Nikolaihof im Weingebirge Grüner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau 2006 is seductively creamy and ample, while a luminous streak of acidity provides it with the necessary backbone to allow to age well. If you need proof of its ageworthiness, you only have to look at the Vinothek 1993 cuvée of the same wine, a sublime blend of intense minerality and sophisticated, complex secondary fruit.

Liberty Wines' tasting and lunch with Marilisa Allegrini, London, 12 February 2009

A flying visit by Marilisa Allegrini provided Liberty Wines with a perfect opportunity to show of some of the wines in the range over lunch at London's l'Anima restaurant.

The Valpolicella 2007 (rrp £8.99) is of Classico calibre but is not allowed to put the term on its label because it is sealed in screwcap. The wine has an expressive nose of cherries, spice and violets. These notes are echoed on the palate, which is supported by lively acidity and supple tannins.

Brunello di Montalcino's Poggio San Polo is a relatively new addition to the Allegrini range - the property was purchased in 2006. If the 2004 (rrp £39.95) is anything to go by, Allegrini's future in the region is pretty much assured. This is already a confident wine of great depth and complexity, but when the current investments in the property come onstream, it can only improve.  

Gambero Rosso, Top Italian Wines Roadshow, London, 16 February 2009

There's a richness and complexity to Eugenio Collavini's Broy Bianco, Collio 2007 (trade price from £17.30 ex VAT, Hallgarten Druitt). This is derived, in large part, to the complexity of the vinification process, in which the Chardonnay and Tocai Friulano grapes, each of which make up 40% of the blend, are dried at low temperatures to concentrate the sugars. The balance is made up of Sauvignon Blanc, which is fermented at low temperature before being blended back in with the free run juice of the other grapes, which are then aged in oak barriques. Terrific balance and a long, seamless finish.

You know spring can't be far off when you taste your first rosé of the previous year's harvest. Mine was Planeta's Rosé 2008 (trade price £7.63 ex VAT, Enotria), a fresh, lively 100% Syrah that showed a good concentration of strawberry, cherry and rose fruit on the palate.