For The Marlow Wine Society, the New Year started, as usual, with its AGM meeting combined with a tasting of “members’ favourites”. This is when members are invited to present a wine that has stood out for them over the last year for whatever reason – and makes for some interesting stories and a wide variety of fabulous wines.
The evening kicked off with a 2014 Spanish Cava presented by Jo. The Especial Cava Brut with its fine, citrusy bubbles was fermented from Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel grapes by the Marques De La Concordia winery in Penedes. This tasty fizz was well received by the members, especially in view of its reasonable price tag. This Cava is a Bronze Decanter Award winner.
Next up was Natalie presenting a French Sauvignon Blanc which would have been hard to guess blindfolded if you are used to drinking new world Sauvignon Blancs. Overtly fruity with satisfying volume and lacking that “puckery” taste usually associated with other wines made from the same grape. Domaine de L’Aumonier, Touraine Sauvignon 2017 was chosen by Natalie because it was the wine served at a close friend’s birthday celebration she went to at Clarke’s restaurant in Kensington Church Street, London.
Karen, a relatively new member to The Marlow Wine Society, surprised us with a 2016 Riesling from Oregon, USA called Ovum Base Line from the Bradley Vineyard. The wine described as having “lip-smacking vibrant acidity, crazy complex aromatics and flavours” was presented by Karen because it was one of her favourites at The Tasting House in Reading, a wine bar where wine tasting is available via self-service machines. Oh, I said it surprised us? It was the price tag. No-one was close when we had to guess the cost. (It’s just shy of £30 a bottle.)
The last of the whites for the evening was presented by Chrissie. Cave de Turckheim, from the Alsace region in France wasn’t first choice for Chrissie but it was the nearest one that she and her husband could find that tasted similar to their favourite wine – and they said they did a lot of tasting to try to find the right one! This wine, a classic Gewürztraminer with hints of rose and white blossom aromas on the nose give way to a delicate, dry finish. This is the style of wine most favoured with Chrissie’s family.
First on with the reds was self-confessed Francophile Becca, another newbie to the society. Her delicious Brouilly from the Beaujolais region in France is produced by Domain Ruet, 2017 vintage. Apparently, it is recommended to drink Beaujolais within three years of it being produced or after nine years we were told by another informed member. Dense red in appearance with spice and black fruits on the nose, this full-bodied wine is bursting with blackcurrant flavour. This region of France is a favourite holiday destination in Becca’s household.
Richard gave the members a chance to taste a lovely 2014 Esporao Red Reserve from south-east Portugal. Made from Arogonez, Trincaderia, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante Bouscet grapes, this wine has a rich deep red appearance, a nose of spice and pine and a smooth flavour of oak and cherries. Sounds very seasonal. And it’s also readily available from Waitrose. Maybe that’s why it became a firm friend of Richard’s over the Christmas period!
Last of the reds was presented by our charming chairman Peter. Peter brought along a great wine served to him on special occasion – a 2015 Amarone from the producer Corte Giara in the Valpolicella region of Italy. Fermented from the Corvina and Rondinella grape this wine is a fine example of an Amerone with a lovely intense perfume and intense fruit on the tongue.
Very fittingly, the last wine to close off the evening was a dessert wine - Ariyanas Dulce from Malaga in Spain – with Jo presenting for a second time. This light amber wine made from Muscat of Alejandria grapes has a beautiful aroma (ariyanas comes from the Arabic word for aromatic) of orange blossom flowers, grapefruit spice, dried fruits and a semi-sweet, fruity taste.