Jancis Robinson MW Dinner @ Aberdeen Marina Club - 06/03/14

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This week in HK is a bonkers one for wine critics. The Big 3 are all in town - Robinson, Parker and Spurrier - so competition for wine dinners is rife. Last night I attended the WSET Diploma student tutored tasting and dinner event hosted by Jancis Robinson MW which took place at The Aberdeen Marina Club. 

To tie in nicely with the launch of the 7th edition of The World Atlas of Wine, Jancis had selected a tasting line up of wines from regions which were all, with one exception, newly mapped regions in her book. With so much variety now in the world of wine she emphasised the need to always pick a theme when hosting wine events. As China now features several new regions, I guess it seemed apt to bring some of these wines into the evening’s limelight. 

The selection spanned from Slovenia, to the far eastern Douro, Italy’s Alto Adige, China’s Ningxia province, Turkey and Georgia. Certainly very interesting but not necessarily showing wines of the highest quality. A relief indeed for my Tuscan winemaker friend who was sat next to me! 

These regions, barring the Douro and the Alto Adige which have been well established and producing top quality wines for many years, still, I believe, have some way to go. But the fact these new regions are even getting on the map is testament to the sheer variety and endless diversity within the world of wine today, something which Jancis and I are certainly raising our glasses to. 

Larmandier-Bernier Terre de Vertus, Non-Dose NV Champagne 

Served as an aperitif with canapes before the tasting this had a very brioche dominated nose with touches of citrus fruit. Smooth and round on the palate with high acidity and lots of toasty, brioche, savoury complexity. A nice example of a more boutique Champagne house. 17

2011 Sipon Furmint, Dveri-Pax, Stajerka, Slovenia 

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Light aromas of green fruit on the nose with a touch of floral character. Much more character on the palate with green apple, peach, apricot notes, medium body, nice acidity and a decent length. Textured with slightly warming alcohol. 16. 5 

2010 Grande Reserva Branco, Quinta da Maritavora, Douro, Portugal 

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Overly pungent, oaky, nose. Touch of something chemical/petrol like. Green apple touch. Savoury and very oaky on the palate, medium body, decent acidity, touch of tannin from the over use of oak, very tart and tangy. Oak totally dominates the fruit making it unbalanced. 15

2011 Sanct Valentin Gewurztraminer St. Michael-Eppan, Alto Adige, Italy 

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Lovely aromatic floral rose petal nose with lots of lychee tropical fruit character and a touch of fresh citrus. Full bodied, rose and lychee character follows on to the palate with a tangy touch from the good acidity levels. High alcohol but balanced by the fruit. Nice texture, not oily like some Gewurz can get. A restrained and elegant style. Round but not too fat. 17 

2011 The Summit, Silver Heights, Ningxia, China 

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Scented, savoury nose, pungent spice, a touch of greenness, some black fruit with a hint of floral character. Quite complex. Medium body, lots of black fruit, plum, spicy, tangy, in fact quite sour. Tannins out of balance with the fruit and the alcohol. Certainly has potential but clearly this was a difficult vintage. 15.5

2009 Prestige Okuzgozu, Kavaklidere, Eastern Anatolia - Elazig, Turkey 

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Tons of black fruit on the nose, jammy, baked, blackberry, blackcurrant. A touch overripe on the palate with lots of baked black fruit character. Full bodied, high alcohol, a touch one dimensional, some structure, nice ripe tannins, long length. Drink now with a BBQ as not getting any better. 16 

2008 Saperavi, Pheasant’s Tears, Kaketi, Georgia 

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Funky to the EXTREME! Incredibly distinct nose of Montgomery Cheddar mould and horse sweat. Not appealing. Same on the palate sadly. Very tannic. Not a wine I’ll be buying or recommending! 13 

Wines with dinner were a bit more main steam (thank god!) but were picked because these are all from regions which need a bit more consumer support! 

2011 Kreuznahcer Krotenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett, Donnhoff, Nahe, Germany 

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Lovely floral nose with lime citrus. Wonderfully high acid to balance the residual sugar which gives and off-dry wine which finishes dry. Lovely peach character on the palate with limey touches and a long, mineral finish. Stunningly balanced, long and complex. Really delicious. My wine of the night. 18 

2003 Valpolicella Classico Superiore, Quintarelli, Veneto, Italy 

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Deep red cherry nose, coffee and mocha hints, a touch jammy and baked with a hint of herbal character. Cherry spice character and baked plum fruit on the palate. Medium acidity, warm alcohol, soft tannins. From a hot difficult vintage. Would like to see from a cooler vintage. 16.5  

Maury Cuvee Speciale 10 Ans d’Age, Mas Amiel, France 

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Deep jammy prune, fig and raisin character. Sweetness balanced by lovely acidity. Nice cherry fruit on the palate with some sweet spice. Complex, full bodied, high alcohol. 17

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