Since our train home wasn’t until 10pm, we were fortunate to have the whole day available after the Taste of Gold event, a trip to London just wouldn’t be the same without checking out one or two wine establishments.
We had pre-booked onto a Vinopolis tour at 3pm, so we took the opportunity to check out the jewels in the Hedonism Wines crown on Davies Street, Mayfair … and what sparkly (and eye wateringly pricey) jewels we did indeed find!
A particularly funky touch was the decks and vinyl record collection, which provided great background music whilst you browse in the store.
The store is attractively laid out to showcase the wines, including interesting little alcoves housing individual producer collections such as Penfolds (priced at £1.2 million) and Sine Qua Non, cult Californian wines. Enomatic machines allow you the chance to taste a good number of samples. The staff are very friendly and informative, willing to spend time chatting enthusiastically about the wines and the store.
On show is an extremely impressive collection of large sized bottles from Magnum (1.5L) to Paramount (27L), including the Torbreck Laird, 2006, Barossa Valley, signed by the Chief Winemaker Dave Powell, a snip at £29,942.70! Although that’s a bit of a bargain compared to the Chateau D’Yquem 1811, one of 10 bottles left in the world, the last one sold at auction in 2011 fetched £75,000!
Overall a fantastic place to visit, if you find yourself in London make sure you pop in.
The tour with Elodie at Vinopolis was great, informative and educational. Afterwards you are left to your own devices to taste your way through the different zones, from Champagne to white and red wine, discover different styles from light to powerful, different regions, grape varieties and compare the new and old world. Also discover wines you might not have come across before, Nyetimber English Sparkling and Georgian wines were available to taste.
Staff are on hand to talk through any of the wines you are tasting, Patrizia was most helpful with her knowledge of the wines and recommendations. We also had the opportunity to speak with Tom Forrest, Executive Manager, who we had the pleasure of first meeting at IWC 2013.
It was easy to while away the hours here and we came away feeling that we had added to our wine knowledge and experience.
We tasted the following:
Canard-Duchene, Brut, NV & 2005
Tbilvino Rkatsiteli, 2008, Kakheti, Georgia
Qunita de Porrais, Rabigato, codega do Larinho, Douro, Portugal
Mount Horrocks, 2011, Semillon, Clare Valley, Australia
Nytimber Blanc de Blancs 2007, Chardonnay, Sussex, England
Pieropan, 2011, 85% Garganega, 15% Trebbiano di Soave, Soave Classico, Italy
Dourthe No1, 2012, Sauvignon Blanc, AC Bordeaux, France
Montagne Noire, 2012, Sauvignon Blanc, IPG Pays d’ Oc, France
Reichsrat Von Buhl, Deidesheimer Maushohle Qualitatswein, 2012, Riesling, Pfalz, Germany
Louis Jadot, Bourgogne Rouge, 2010, Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France
Babich Family Reserve, 2010, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand
Collezione di Paolo, Chianti Reserva, 2009, 95% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino, Tuscany, Italy
Celita Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore DOC, 2010, Sangiovese, Emilia Romagna, Italy
Ken Forrester Le Petit Pinotage, 2012, Pinotage, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Giesta Dao, 2010, Touriga Nacional, Tina Roriz, Jaen, Dao DOC, Portugal
Balnaves Cabernet Merlot, 2009, 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, Coonawarra, Australia
Vinzavod Ententa, 2003, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mavrud, Rubin, Assenovgrad, Bulgaria
Barbadillo Manzanilla NV, Palomino Fino, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Jerez, Spain
Barbadillo Dry Oloroso NV, Palomino Fino, Jerez, Spain
La Tirela Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC, 2009, Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara, Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro NV, Moscatel, Spain
Fattoria Dei Barbi Vin Santo del Chianti DOC, 2006, 55% Trebbiano, 35% Malvasia, 10% Sangiovese, Tuscany, Italy
Torres Vendimia Tardia (Late Harvest), 2008, Riesling, Curico Valley, Chile
We particularly enjoyed these wines:
Vesuvium Greco di Tufo DOCG, 2011 Greco, Campania, Italy – lightly smoky nose with hints of apple, melon and nectarine, quite creamy mouthfeel, rather lovely.
Mont Destin, 2010, Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa – a really good example, rich honeyed apples, gorgeous.
Nytimber Classic Cuvee, 2008, 79% Cgardonay, 13% Pinot Noir, 8% Pinot Meumier, Sussex, England – crisp and fruity, pears and apples, lovely English bubbly.
Grosset Polish Hill Riesling, 2010, Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia – loved this one, classic riesling zesty lime, apple and pineapple, that touch of kerosine and mineral freshness.
Luigi Bersano, Bric di Bersan, Monferrato DOC, 2009, Dolcetto, Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy – rich berry and cherry fruits, nicely balanced.
Weingut Paulinshof, Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett Pradikatswein, 2011, Riesling, Mosel, Germany – luscious mouthfeel with great flavours and body, spicy orange citrus and honey, nice touch of residual sugar, all at 10% abv.
Ballard Road, 2011, Pinot Noir, Southern Oregon, USA – lovely combination of red fruits and savoury smoky notes.
Napier Medallion 2000, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Wellington, South Africa – fabulous to have an aged South African Bordeaux blend, full bodied, still very fruity and complex.
We would highly recommend a visit here, easily situated near Borough Market, where there are quite a number of interesting little wine haunts.
Our final stop, a short walk from Blackfriars tube station and over the railway bridge, was Copa de Cava, the UK”s “first dedicated Cava bar” located in intimately lit underground vaults on Blackfriars Lane. We tried four Cavas by the glass, ranging from the house Brut at £4.75 to the Gran Reserva at £8. The drinks came with a complimentary shot glass of cold vegetable and garlic soup, which isn’t quite as strange as it sounds, it was rather tasty but the garlic was a tad overpowering for the Cava.
Vilarnau Brut – Macabeu 50%, Parellada 35%, Chardonnay 15%. Crisp, fresh, appley fizz with a creamy, brioche finish, good structure. Decanter 90/100 – this turned out to be our favourite, each time we went back to it, it still held up.
Mont Marcal Brut – Xarel-lo 40%, Macabeu 30%, Parellada 20%, Chardonnay 10%. Fuller bodied than the Vilarnau, with more yeasty, creamy, brioche notes, with reasonable finish. Guía Peñín 90/100 – we both felt it was served a little too warm.
Gramona Brut Nature 2007 – Xarel-lo 50%, Macabeu 40%, Parellada 10%. Rich, ripe white fruit, hints of brioche and almonds. 93/100 Guía Peñin.
Raventós i Blanc de Nit Reserva 2010 – Macabeu 55%, Xarel-lo 30%, Parellada 10%, Monastrell 5%. Crisp and dry with strawberry, raspberry fruit, hints of biscuit. 93/100 Parker.
This was a fantastic end to a great day.