Cambridge meeting


The tasting at Jesus College was once again well attended with newer and older members of the club coming from as far afield as Bath, Kent and exotic Northants! The theme of wines from outside the E.U. allowed some unexpected wines as in the strictest interpretation of the wording allowed wines from current E.U. countries previous to 1993; as the E.U. was only created at Maastricht. Well at least some people are aware of their modern European history ! So onto the people and their wines.

Mike Duggan and Ann Mills-Duggan:
Chile, Maipo Valley, 1993 Chardonnay, Santa Rita, Oddbins 5.99.
Most enjoyed this wine but had difficulty placing it, all agreed that it was made with all the latest technology and little if no oak. Guesses ranged from Loire Sauvignon to non-Eastern Europe Chardonnay!

Gary Hunt:
France, Loire, Saumur, Chenin Blanc 1984, Reserve des Vignerons, vineyard 18FF.
The nose on this wine was complex, almonds and pears, cardboard and lemons. The taste was described as being like gentle bitter lemons. Most guessed Chenin from the Loire.

Ed Kay:
New Zealand, Marlborough, Chardonnay 1989, Hunters approx. 10
This was the favourite white. A tropical (and typical) apricot/vanilla/honey and bananas nose, followed by a crisp lemon acidity with a creamy rich balance from the oak. Ed was convinced that this wine was from a single grape, however everyone else disagreed as it's a well known fact that it takes a couple of bunches to make one bottle!

Mike and Clare Brown 1:
Croatia, Istria, Pinot Noir 1990, Tesco 3.50
A bright cherry drink colour, smelling of strawberry and raspberry, the taste was described as non-descript (which I know is a contradiction in terms!) a little fruit and pepper. Most guessed at Eastern Europe, Caz said the barrels were probably 50 years old!

Caroline Gilbey and David Bailey 1:
Malta, Cabernet Sauvignon 1982, Marsovin. A gift.
This looked venerable, smelled typically of old Cabernet and tasted dry, a bit oxidised and rubbery. Most who expressed an interest decided it was Cab. and probably very pleasant in its youth (Dave assured us it was!). No-one got near Malta, not surprising really as no Wine book I own even mentions it !

Chris Edmead:
Switzerland, Merlot de Ticchino 1991, Cantina Sociale Menchisio. gift
This was well liked as easy drinking, fruity nose, and a jammy taste, most folks spotted that it was Merlot although geography once again proved difficult!

The Browns 2:
Chile, Santa Ana Maipo, Pinot Noir 1992, Undurraga, Tesco 4.50
Bright and smelling of brambles, green leaf tea and nettles (much like NZ people said) the palate was a little disappointing though being a little "hot", with a sweet oiliness. Most said Pinot from somewhere quite hot; nobody was arguing at this point!

Jonathan Foweraker:
California, Santa Cruz, Sangiovese/Malvasia 1992 Ca'del Solo, Il fiasco (Bonny Doon) Independent 9.50
HUGE, HUGE, HUGE amounts of fruit, cherries, pepper, blackcurrents etc. with good balance and no obtrusive tannin. Joint favourite red. People said "Yum" and it's a super-Tuscan, they weren't that far out!

Orville Gardner:
Australia, South A. Cabernet Sauvignon 1992, Wolf Blass Yellow label, Oddbins 6.95
This was typical and everyone enjoyed its abundance of jammy fruitiness and spicy, savory flavours with an interesting chocolate finish, as well as having a pretty good idea of what it was and where it was from!

Caz and Dave 2:
Australia, Coonawarra, 1986 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lindemans St. George 15
This was a popular wine, with a complex mature nose, someone even mentioned a smell of cold turkey! The tastes were equally as complex and mature with loads of powerful, jammy blackcurrent and savory roast flavours. Guesses were getting few and far between now!

Katie and Stuart Ruffle:
Australia, Barossa, 1990 Shiraz, Rockford Basket Press, Oddbins Fine Wine 9.99
Inky and dark, smelling of rich raspberry, eucalyptus and mint, and having a spicy, mint, raspberry and meaty flavour with a long finish. This was also joint favourite red. Everyone still able to haul themselves to the edge of their chairs to express an opinion (mentioning no names of those who couldn't - Mike Brown) knew it was Oz Shiraz!

So that's it! I think everyone really enjoyed the wines and meeting Caz and Dave again after a bit of a break, I know I enjoyed extracting their back-dated membership fees! Unfortunately it was too wet to go punting (with rain I mean!) so we finished up the food and wine and walked though Cambridge sampling the finest Cantabrian cakes and ales before out Thai meal.

Thanks once again to Jonathan Foweraker assisted by the Browns for arranging everything.

Future events

The next tasting will be in London in February, so you have a nice long break to find some "VC" wines! further details will be sent out in December or January.

After much head-scratching and rummaging through old memories it was recalled that the fist Vintage Club meeting was held in the summer of 1986, so the tenth anniversary meeting is 18 months away, so start thinking about things we might like to do to celebrate or a special theme etc.

Well that's about it for now, keep slurping!