Another week, another set of wines to review - on this occasion Private Cellar's Laura Taylor and Andrew Gordon came into the IPA to present a selection based on a benchmarking of our current range of styles and price points.
Private Cellar's list focuses mainly but not exclusively on Old World classics and so our tasting was heavy on Bordeaux and Burgundy.
MW exams are considered some of the toughest in the world - the oenological equivalent of climbing Mt Everest - so with an MW selecting your wines, fault-free quality and typicity are a given and it really just comes down to stylistic preferences.
The wines were arranged in pairs, with typically a more classic and a more effusive example.
There was not time to take detailed tasting notes - and the overall standard and value-for money were high in any case - but a few stood out as especially interesting.
A couple, I felt, did not get the chance to show their best due to the wines that came immediately before - and with a team meeting to run, there was not time to go back and re-taste later.
Les Rafelieres Sauvignon Blanc Val de Loire 2012 an entry-level Loire Sauvignon, this is classic, elegant and well-balanced. Really lovely. Good.
Vire Clesse, Domaine Seguin Manuel 2012 more ambitious Maconnais. Good.
Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, Domaine Lamblin et Fils 2011 poised, well-structured and substantial. Still young. Very Good.
St Domain, Domaine Matrot 2010 a baby-Meursault from the next hill along. Incredibly long and concentrated. Barely ready now, it has years ahead of it. Very Good.
Reserva Malbec, Lujan de Cuyo, Bodega Foster, Argentina, 2008 ripe, concentrated and complex - a favourite of Robert Parker, but don't let that put you off. Very Good.
Chateau Capbern Gasqueton, Cru Bourgeois St Estephe 2005 wonderful classic aged Medoc nose of leather, truffles and bell peppers, from a very good year. Dense and concentrated, still young with some grippiness. Very Good.
Other wines were also good examples of their style:
Champagne Chauvet Brut Blanc de Noirs NV ripe red fruits on the nose, smooth and creamy, fresh.
Domaine de Lamy Fontareche Rouge, Vin de Pays de l'Aude 2012 ripe, fruit-forward, crowd-pleasing quaffer.
Chateau Beaulieu, Comtes de Tastes, Bordeaux Superieur 2009 good but somewhat Parker-esque effusiveness.
Other related articles