The May day bank holiday weekend is traditionally a time for celebration, many families far and wide get together to celebrate the start of the sunny season, to share a drink or perhaps attend a fete or fair. It’s with this last point in mind that the usual format of this blog is replaced this week with something a little unusual.
The White Hart Inn, is the centre of the sleepy village of Weston-in-Gordano in North Somerset, and it was here a weekend of wine tasting, music and food was to be held. Wine as I am sure you may be aware is undergoing a boost in popularity, it’s now “Tres Cool” to enjoy a slurp, even as it would seem in this corner of cider country.
So with glass in hand, and taste buds tingling, I ventured forward to indulge in a particularly long slurp, it’s a tough job!
The White Hart Inaugural wine festival featured seven suppliers, and a total of 200 wines. The quality on offer was excellent with each supplier offering wines from a global list.Each supplier was knowledgeable and able to offer even the very novice slurper, a good base of information with which to make an informed choice on what to sample.
My favourite pickings can be found below: –
Matthew Clarke – Picpoul De Pinet, Reserve Saint Anne.
My love affair with Picpoul continues with this amazingly fresh and vibrant offering from the Etangs of South West France. Citrus notes burst onto the nose, the gentle breeze of the med wafting a note of salinity, salty notes carry through onto the palate with a lip smacking burst of zing. Excellent!
Matthew Clarke – Rare Vineyards Pinot Noir, Vin De France.
I love Pinot Noir, but I don’t love the often overly floral notes and delicate finish, this wine is anything but. There is a gentle hint at floral notes, coupled with a real burst of red fruit. Cherries and blueberries explode on the palate with just a hint of vanilla spice. This is a Pinot far from home, produced in the foothills of the Pyrenees, this is a real treat, lightly oaked and supple, a great example of Nouveau Wine making and the trend for taking grapes away from the usual environment.
Raj Soni Wines – Cairanne La Brunotte 2012, Domaine Alary.
Recently recognised as its own appellation, this example of Cairanne is something special. Domaine Alary has pedigree in the wine making business having been refining the art since 1692. This is an excellent single vineyard expression, representing the quality of the terroir Dentelles De Montmirail. This is a standard GSM blend but differs from usual Rhone offerings in that it has a slightly less fruity and more complex mouth. There is a hint at dark fruit on the nose with a dense and sun-baked garrigue note.
Genesis Wines – Merlot – Domaine Baptiste Boutes, IGP Pays d’Oc 2013
Merlot is often a plummy style of grape, this is no exception, mellow and relaxed this wine has a soft texture revealing notes of spice and dark fruit, on the palate this wine is reminiscent of a Bordeaux, slightly less complex perhaps but equally as interesting, notes of dark fruits, well balanced and a good structure make this a worthy substitute for the more expensive St Emillions.
Majestic – Cuvee De Richard Rose, PGI Pays d’Herault – South Of France
A good Rose is a genuinely difficult thing to find these days, the insipid and often dull offerings from Provence proving confusingly popular. This Rose is different, it’s from Herault, which immediately means it’s bursting with flavour. What makes this one so unusual is that mingling with the bright crisp appearance, and lurking cleverly behind the notes of strawberry and the wonderful dry finish is a pop of grapeyness on the finish, beautifully balanced and lacking in the often high levels of acidity this is due to the inclusion of a small amount of Muscat, a grape native to the area and a surprise addition to this excellent Rose.
Massive congratulations and thanks to Mike and the team involved in the Wine festival, If you wish to sample the wines reviewed here, or are simply curious to visit what is perhaps one of the best pubs in the area please contact them using the below:-
The White Hart