Another Thursday night soiree and another group of new people to meet. And another totally enjoyable evening with fellow tasters John and Sally, Dennis and Marisel, Adrian, Ju, Rene, John, Pauline and maybe a couple of others.
Hosted as usual by sommelier James who tried his very best to maintain some sort of order as he explained the wines to us.
Again some really interesting wines, and again some from regions I am not familiar with: two from Gascony in France and one from more familiar Tuscany in Italy.
We started with a Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec.
According to ‘Wine Searcher’, this is an appellation specializing in sweet white wines from a small area of Gascony in far south-western France. Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh wines are late-harvested dessert wines made from various combinations of Petit Courbu, Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, Courbu Blanc and Arrufiac. The classic Pacherenc de Vic-Bilh is sweet, rich and full flavored, with aromas of honey and tropical fruits. The less widely produced dry form, made from the same array of grape varieties, is Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec.
This is the wine that we tried. It is not unlike some straight Viognier wines, and some likened it to a chardonnay. It is quite rich and has overtones of apricots and other stone fruit, a little buttery and quite full bodied. I found it to be a little fat, needing a little acid to carry it through. It would also go well with some food.
The next wine was a also from Gascogne by Plaimont, a Corolle red Côtes de Gascogne Condomois Red.
Notes from the producer say ‘Corolle red displays a garnet red colour with cherry red tints, expressing red fruit flavours and floral scents. Its silky tannins contribute to a supple and fruity harmony, enhanced by spicy notes on the finish. Grapes : Merlot, Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon.’
Really enjoyed this wine, quite soft and smooth, easy drinking with enough kick to keep you interested.
The last wine of the night was from the massive Italian stable of Castello Banfi, a Rivo Al Poggio Rosso.
This is a Sangiovese dominant blend with Cabernet Sauvignon. It could be said to be a mini Super Tuscan, however I’d suggest that is stretching it a bit far.
However, although low in alcohol, it was a full and rich wine with good mouth filling fruit flavours, and very pleasant solid savoury tannins.
This was voted wine of the night.
So on we go looking forward to the next vinous delights that James has in store for us.