Our monthly wine tastings continued on 2nd April with a tasting of 6 Champagnes presented by Richard Lashbrook of Thorman Hunt.
We tasted the Premier Cru Champagnes from Veuve Fornay, and the Grand Cru from Paul Dethune. Both are grower made wineries which is particularly refreshing in the Champagne region.
They both produce very small amounts and use only the best grapes.
We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to taste the Veuve Fornay Blanc de Blanc Premier Cru 2004 and the Paul Dethunne Grand Cru Millesime 2004 at the end of the tasting which were marvellous.
The Henry Roots Wine Tasting series continued with ‘Intense and Exciting’ Italian Wine Tasting on the 12th March.
We was joined by 25 other guests to sip, laugh and learn as David Harvey, wine importer and columnist, took us on a tasty journey through some extraordinary wines from Italy.
David introduced some wines from upcoming regions and even a new category of wine…Orange. All of the wines sampled during the evening were natural and organic so….no hangover!! Even Better!
The first wine of the evening was;
Albert Vevey, Blanc de Morgex 2009, Aosta.
A white wine from the Mont Blanc region on the Italian side – potentially the highest vines in Europe! The vines are actually under snow for 3 months of the year making this a cold wine and as such a less alcoholic tipple with about 11/12% alcohol.
This producer is the only serious grower in the region and makes around 6000 bottles per year. So we were lucky to grab a bottle of this special tipple for our tasting!
Our second wine was from the official new category of wine – Orange!!!!
Munjebel Bianco No.7 2010, Etna
Created by radical wine producer Frank Cornelissen, this Orange wine takes us back to the days before processing. If you look at renaissance paintings you will see that people in them are drinking orange not red or white wine. The category was rediscovered in 1998 and since then has been taking the wine industry by storm with write ups in the Wall street journey and it’s appearance on the wine lists of top Michelin star restaurants.
This wine had mixed reactions at the tasting with some welcoming the new flavours and some thinking it smelt like sweaty cheese! Order some for yourself and see what you think!
Orange wine goes perfectly with Partridge and Grouse, soft milky cheeses and shellfish.
Wine numero three saw us jump to red;
Vigna de Franco, Ciro A’Vita 2009, Calabria
A beautiful red from The Henry Roots wine list, the wine derived from the Gaglioppo grape is a perfect wine to drink for any occasion. David particulary wanted us to try this wine as it is unpredictable and plays games in your mouth! We liked the games it was playing . This wine is born from an organic old-wine – even better, unpredictable but (kind of) good for you!
Sticking with the red our next wine was from the Lazio region;
Le Coste di Gradoli, Rosso Piu 2008, Lazio
The producer of this wine is one of the rising stars of the wine World. He has trained with the best in the World having been a wine maker and a sommelier, he makes sure that the production process of his wines is perfect. He works on the quality not quantity philosophy only making 15,000 bottles a year, less than 1000 bottles per hectare which is not a lot!
The most famous wine tasters in the world think that wines with the same qualities as this one are amongst the best in the World.
For Davids fourth wine we revisited radical wine maker Frank, after the controversial Orange wine, what did our guests make of his red?;
Frank Cornelissen, Rosso del Contadino No.7 2009, Etna.
Another organic, partyly ungrafted , unsulphited Frank creation, this wine ppeared slightly fizzante – David explained this was the wine giving off CO2. Most wines give off CO2 and can be served like that or decanted. This particular wine was fermented and bottled in 3 months, so it is a very young wine. Davide said the taste was dynamic with a flavour that stayed on the palettes. Our guests opinion…mixed, those that liked the Orange wine tended to enjoy this too, those that didn’t may well have bee completely put off of Frank and his radical creations!
We finished the evening on another red;
Podere il Santo, Rairon 2006, Lombardia.
This tipple was from the 6th Vintage of the estate. David described it as very very Italian and full of character. Italian wines have a cherry like taste exactly like this wine. It was a favourite of the room, or maybe because by this stage everyone was fairly tipsy. They make 6000 bottles of this wine per year with the UK being lucky if we secure 300 bottles. The wine spends 4 years in cement tanks, so we were very prvilaged to be able to open a bottle to taste here at the Henry Root on a Monday evening.
All wines were served with canapés prepared by our chef, Mr Daniel Pennington, including, prosciutto, Pecorino, Crab meat with chilli, parsley, lemon and olive oil on toast and other delights.
The next Wine tasting is on the 2nd of April and the theme is Champagne. To book tickets click here
Guests were treated to 6 wines from both the old and new Worlds and taught about the nuances between them. By the end of 6 glasses, we must admit we were slightly tipsy, but here are a few of the key points we remembered from the evening as well as the beautiful wines from The Henry Roots 200 strong wine list that we quaffed!;
2006 Maximin Grunhauser Riesling Abstberg Spatlese Mosel GERMANY
Simon Says!: Riesling is one of the most amazing grape varieties on the planet! It is so diverse and offers some of the best value wines in the Old World. If you asked a sommelier if they could take one wine with them to a Deserted Island you can expect more often than not that their response will be a Riesling.
This Riesling is from the Mosel Region – not only does this region produce outstanding wines but it is one of the best areas you could ever chose for a wine region holiday.
A comparison between; 2009 Pittnauer Chardonnay ‘Weisse Reben’ Burgenland AUSTRIA and 2008 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay ‘Sanford & Benedict Vineyard’ Santa Barbara USA
Simon Says!: This comparison is ABC….Darling! All About Chardonnay or in the case of our new world wine – Au Bon Climat.
We compared Chardonnay from the old and new worlds. New world Chardonnays has a reputation of being flabby and over oaked. It is The The ABC Chardonnay we tried was well structured with oakness under control unlike some of the over powering Aussie Chardonnays from the 80′s!
Chardonnays from the old world tend to be purer, to have more freshness and very little oak, making them easier to drink.
Malbec comparisions! 2006 Domain de la Berangeraie Cahors ‘Maurin’ Cahors, SW France and 2008 Altos Los Hormigas Malbec ‘Reserva’ Uco Valley, Mendoza, ARGENTINA
Simon Says!: Wine from the Cahors region was unpopular before the rise in popularity of Malbec in Argentina – the winemakers of Cahors responded to Argentina’s success by embracing “malbec” as the name of their grape and displaying it prominently on the label. They also have increasingly bottled their wines as 100 percent malbec to win favour in the wine wars!
The Malbecs from the old and new world are likely to be very different. Argentina tends toward a polished New World style, with new oak prominent but not so much that the tannins stick to your tounge and teeth!The French Cahors, however, is more earthy with new oak featuring less. and the flavours are more rustic.
A Big hug from the Antipodes!;
Our night cap for the evening was a Shiraz from South Australia - 2008 Elderton Shiraz Barossa Valley, South Australia.
It would be lovely to tell you some interesting facts about this wine, but by the time we had drank 5 pretty much full glasses of wine, our memory had been impaired. However we know that it was a very good tipple, so pop in to the Henry Root some time and try it for yourself!
The next wine tasting event will take place at The Henry Root on the 12th of March. Details coming soon! 6 glasses of wine and canapes for 10 pounds!
Aussie Sauvignon or Sancerre? Shiraz or Syrah? Which do you prefer? Either way come and enjoy the War of the Worlds – Old v New tasting, hosted by Simon Howland (wine without the snootiness or snobbery).
Find out how the wines from our Southern hemisphere and American cousins produce differing characteristics to the European producers. Come along for the opportunity to taste 6 interesting wines from around the world along with matching bites for £10.
Learn more and book by clicking here.
Monday Feb 6th – 7.30pm
This bearded Ligerien is in trouble with the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), the French wine authorities- over the labelling of his bottles.
His humorous addition of “Appelation Olivier Cousin” (AOC) to one of his latest box wines ensured the wrath of the powers that be.
His Petillant Natural tastes like a glass of summer fruit pudding, while his grolleau vielles vignes is also a sumptuous light and juicy vin de soif. His slightly more serious cab franc, personally sampled recently, is also super nice.
Get some before his antics land him in jail!
My secret ingredients for making the tastiest tipple in town include; an orange stuffied with 15 cloves, star anise and grated nutmeg.
From Finn x
At The Henry Root we have 4 natural wines by the glass. I particularly recommend the Barranco Oscuro from Grenada in Spain (The highest vineyard in Europe). It’s a blend of riesling, torrontes and albarino, and is a smashing wine to drink with our chacuterie board.
Pop along and see us in the lead up to Christmas and enjoy our outdoor blankets,candles, fresh pine tree, festive tunes and….mulled wine!
Made fresh everyday by Finbar our Wine Man, our mulled wine is the best in town, made with a secret blend of spices and warmed to perfection at our bar.