IWFS London Blog February 2019

In IWFS London Blog by ashepherdiwfs

I happily attended two IWFS London events in January: a Dinner and a Red Burgundy tasting.

The dinner was at Tredwells, its website by-line: “relaxed contemporary dining restaurant in Covent Garden”. It is a restaurant in the Marcus Wareing group. The chef is Chantelle Nicholson. We were celebrating New Year, an excuse to lighten up what can often be quiet and drab weeks following Christmas.

All the dishes of the set four-course menu had interesting combinations of flavours, well presented and matched with appropriate wines. Réserve de Gassac, Pays de l’Hérault 2017 was from the celebrated estate of Mas de Daumas Gassac, a blend of Viognier and other white grapes. Domaine de Ménard, Cuvée Marine, Côtes de Gascogne, 2016 was another white blend. The terroir is curiously of fossilised oyster shells, which give mineral notes, so that it was most suitable for the Scottish scallops it accompanied. Château Gaudrelle, Vouvray, 2016 was the wine chosen for the dessert of caramelised white chocolate mousse, tonka, espresso.

The only red wine of the evening was Dionisos ‘La Bodega de las Estrellas’ Tempranillo 2016. This is an organic wine from a remarkable vineyard in Castilla, Spain. The winemakers are pioneers of biodynamic farming. They harvest by hand and take account of the phases of the moon in working on the wine. The wine is aged in old clay amphora. Sadly the wines do not seem to be available in the UK for private buyers.

The second event was a comparison of Red Burgundies from four areas in Côtes de Beaune and Côtes de Nuits, led by Paul Mapplebeck.

It was very interesting to taste, learn about and compare the eight wines served two at a time from the two Côtes, increasing in quality and price, all most enjoyable. This culminated in a comparison of Le Corton Grand Cru (Tollot-Beaut) 2006, Côtes de Beaune, rounded and delicate on the palate, showing a fine acidity/fruitness balance, so that it will last for some time; round, full-bodied and finely balanced, with a long finish; and Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Clos de la Roche 2006 from Gevrey-Chambertin, which some of us found slightly disappointing and not as complex or as integrated as we had hoped for, maybe even needing another few years. These two wines would be worth about £80 and £450 respectively, although not generally available now.

Paul had provided an entirely contrasting bonus for us with a mystery starter, which turned out to be an attractive Vin d ‘Alsace Gewurztraminer from Marks and Spencer, costing £10, of 2017. Severe spring frosts had hit Gewurztraminer hard in Alsace that year, although harvest conditions generally were excellent. The acidity balanced the ripeness well here.

I’m looking forward to next month’s events, including a Sous Vide Masterclass and a Moldovan wine tasting. There are still places available for the English dining event at Dickensian City of London inn George & Vulture.

Rachel Burnett