WSDC Event - Wines from the English speaking world

What: Wines from the English speaking world  
When: 07 Oct 14 ,18:30 -20:30
Where: Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining SW1Y 5DB map
See summary here



For our first event after the summer break we return to Carlton House Terrace for a tasting of wines from, at least partially, English speaking countries – Australia, New Zealand, England itself, the United States, and South Africa. We have fifteen wines to try in all – 2 sparkling, 7 white and 6 red. In an effort to educate as well as to entertain I have chosen wines from the current Wine Society list that may not always appear on our members’ order forms!

We start with a comparison between two sparkling wines, Blind Spot Tasmania Sparkling Brut and Quartet Anderson Valley Brut. Blind Spot is a Wine Society own label venture. This wine is new to the list, showing baked apple on the nose and lemon and apple on the palate. Quartet is Californian, a creamy blend of 70% chardonnay and 30% pinot. Last summer was good for English wine makers and we have two examples. The first is Bolney Pinot Gris 2013 made in West Sussex with spice and honey flavours, which we can compare with Willakenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2011 made in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and sounding like a girl group: dry, bright, peachy and spicy. The second is Chapel Down Bacchus 2013, a light refreshing wine with a gooseberry finish.

We contrast three styles of Sauvignon Blanc. Greywacke Marlborough 2013 is made by Kevin Judd, the founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay. Springfield Life from Stone 2013 is from Robertson in South Africa; the stones in the soil concentrate the fruit in the vine. Frog’s Leap Napa Valley 2013 is unoaked, with acidity and citrus flavours. Our final white is Kumeu River Auckland Chardonnay 2011, with a nose of apple and lemon, elegance in the mouth and a long finish.

Our reds begin in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with White Hall Vineyards Petit Verdot 2010. Apparently plump, balancing blueberry flavour and peppery complexity – we’ll see, as they say. Those who attended the blind Pinot Noir tasting eighteen months ago should have no difficulty in identifying an example from South Africa – Chamonix Franschhoek 2011 – and one from New Zealand - Mount Koinga Central 2012. The former is fragrant and should be drinking well now. The latter is silky and exuberant, and exclusive to the Wine Society.

From Australia comes the Exhibition Victoria Shiraz 2010, full flavoured and complex after 14 months in oak barriques. Finally two blockbuster 14.5% wines made from Zinfandel grapes – Peachy Canyon Paso Robles 2011, balanced and again with blueberry flavours; and McHenry Hohnen Rocky Road 2012 from Margaret River in Western Australia where the coastal climate gives freshness to the wines.

Nigel Black


Dress Code: Smart casual

Guests: £32
Members: £29

Forthcoming events:
14th November 2014 – Pauillac Dinner at the Drapers Hall. This will include Chateau Lafite 1997 from our reserves. Members get a bargain at under £150 a ticket, so reserve the date in your diaries!

9th December 2014 – Christmas tasting and raffle at 1, Carlton House Terrace

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