Cambridge Wine Merchants Bridge St for EACASS, sponsored by Pure
Another year, another tasting for a group of student Chartered Accountants at Cambridge Wine Merchants.
With a budget for around 10 wines, I decided to show a mixture of mainstream styles with a few less obvious grape varieties and countries.
We started with a fizz on arrival, the elegant Ayala Brut NV.
Certainly the acidity on the next wine, a New Zealand Albarinho, was much higher but this proved very popular, perhaps because its fresh, pungent aromatics were a familiar style.
We then moved on to a less expressive but rich and food-friendly Italian white; lemony and leesy it would be a perfect match to a bowl of creamy pasta or chicken.
The final dry white was a Languedoc Roussane - by nature fat and waxy in its native Rhone, this was served a little overchilled and so came across as simple and fresh.
Fresh and elegant with redcurrant fruit and good underpinnings, the Tavel was a sophisticated rose but did not register particularly well with the audience.
They were, however, much keener on a Western Australian Pinot Noir from Robert Oatley - if that was an elegant yet lithe ballerina, the Big Spanish Red was an in-yer-face flirty Nigella.
The red Rhone from Cairenne was a classier, more classical affair, with aged leather, elderberry fruit and peppery spice.
The final red, a fresh, dark, plummy-eucalyptus Douro red, was essentially an unfortified port.
Saving the best to last, my final wine of the night was a Loire sweetie - a Coteaux du Layon with flavours of beeswax, sweet spice, baked apples and old leather books, it was truly stunning.
An informal poll revealed the most popular wines to be the most mainstream and familiar - the crisp aromatic NZ white and the Big Spanish Red.
My personal favourites were:
Ayala ‘Majeur’ Brut NV Champagne
First Drop 'Fun in the Sun' 2013 Australia
Te Awa ‘Left Field’ Albarino 2015 New Zealand
Cesari ‘Cento Filari’ Lugana 2014 Italy
Dom. des Trinités ‘l'imaginaire’ Roussanne 2014 Languedoc
Dom. de la Mordoree ‘La Dame Rousse’ Rosé 2014 Rhone
Robert Oatley Signature Pinot Noir 2013 Australia
Casal de Paula Tinto 2014 Spain
Dom. Wilfried Cairanne 2013 Rhone
Ramos Pinto ‘Duas Quintas’ 2013 Portugal
Dom. du Landreau Coteaux du Layon Tri de Vendange 2011 Loire