Cue fanfare, drumroll, bunting, popping corks, generous applause, and whoops of celebration please. The inaugural Mr Vine Tasting Panel blog is here!
Before we get started though, why not meet the team?
Recently our glistening new tasting panel met up at The 10 Cases, nestled on Endell Street in London’s Covent Garden. Zeren, Helena, Matt, Richard, and Nathan arrived eager to get stuck into an array of top tasty choices selected by the Mr Vine team.
Although there wasn’t a specific theme to the wines, there was a cracking selection from South Africa, with some lovely, quirky offerings from elsewhere. You’re probably wondering what constitutes a ‘quirky offering’, so why not read on to find out!
Here’s a list for your visual digestion, all available on the ‘Mr Vine’ mobile app:
- ‘Pink Pony’ Grenache 2013 Rosé (South Africa) – £8.99
- ‘Haute Cabrière’ Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2014 White (South Africa) – £10.99
- ‘Glenwood Vignerons Selection’ Chardonnay 2011 White (South Africa) – £18.99
- ‘Côte Mas’ Piquepoul Frisant 2013 Sparkling (France) – £9.95
- ‘Boroli Quatro Fratelli’ Barbera d’Alba Red (Italy) – £13.99
- ‘Clos des Menuts’ Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2009 Red (France) – £19.20
- ‘Rainbow’s End’ Cabernet Franc 2011 Red (South Africa) – £12.49
- ‘La Couronne’ Malbec 2012 Red (South Africa) – £13.99
- ‘Stag’s Leap’ Petite Sirah 2009 Red (USA) – £25.00
- ‘De Krans Cape Pink’ Touringa Nacional NV Pink Dessert (South Africa) – £8.99
An exciting, eclectic mix we’re sure you’ll agree?
Although fairly South African heavy, this veritable mixed bag went from an interesting pink dessert wine from the Western Cape, to a bright and perky Barbera from the beautiful town of Alba in Italy’s Piedmont, and even a sparkling take on the very in-vogue Piquepoul de Pinet from the Languedoc in Southern France.
So without further ado, which wines did more dancing in the mouth and therefore enough to cajole themselves into The Panel’s Top 5?
2009 Saint Emilion Grand Cru from Nickolls & Perks
This Merlot based blend was described as ‘serious stuff’ and a ‘classic claret’ with ‘strong black fruit and a nice savoury smoky character.’ Because this is a serious wine, we think you carry on the serious theme and invest in some seriously big Tomahawk steaks to accompany it one evening. Although, if you’ve got anything meaty in mind and fancy some cracking stuff around the £20 mark – this wine is your fella!
2014 Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir from Hard to Find Wine
With a 60/40 split of Chardonnay to Pinot Noir, this still white is unoaked and crammed with stone fruit. With a lot of ‘fleshy melon’ in there and displaying a nice weight (or feel in the mouth), a silky texture and a ‘touch of red fruit’ from the Pinot Noir this was a safe bet for making the Top 5. A ‘clear and clean’ wine with that something different; why not try as a proper tasty aperitif this summer before a roaring BBQ or something very sophisticated in the sunshine.
2011 Boroli Quattro Fratelli Barbera d’Alba from Soho Wine Supply
A lovely Italian red, this one provided hints of ‘chocolate covered cherries’, with a medium body and ‘fresh, juicy cherries’ on the finish. A versatile and highly drinkable red, it ‘cries out’ for an Italian dish. This one has been aged for a little while so should be well paired with grilled meat, game, aged cheeses, and truffles. Or if all of that isn’t quite your bag, your mum’s lasagne is just as good, trust us.
2009 Stag’s Leap Petite Sirah from Soho Wine Supply
Another banger courtesy of the guys at Soho Wine Supply. It has a lot, and in abundance. ‘Dark earth, truffle, pencil shavings and winter fruit compote’ and some ‘wafts of chilli powder and sandalwood’ too. This one from across the pond is a really deep, intense, and contemplative wine. Get yourself comfortable one evening by a roaring fire and see what you can taste. Or just drink it with your friends and impress them with how wonderfully good it is. This is also the perfect gift at £25 for that relation of yours with a big, red, experienced nose and a penchant for a beast of a wine that still offers lots of beauty.
2013 Côte Mas Piquepoul de Pinet from Soho Wine Supply
Stop it Soho! Well here’s your ‘quirky offering’ as promised. The white wine equivalent to Argentine Malbec in terms of what’s trending out there, Piquepoul de Pinet is a lovely crisp, clean white with plenty of citrus fruit. This one gives you that extra dimension with some naughty little bubbles. The Panel at large loved the ‘bags of grapefruit, lemons and green apples’ and saw all of this as something of a ‘revelation’. It has a wonderful saline finish which combined with all that fruit leaves you wanting more; and the great thing is you can justify more at just under a tenner a bottle! Get down to your local fishmonger and get them to sort out some shellfish to go with this bottle, you won’t be disappointed.
Starting as we mean to go on then! Bringing you value, taste, quirkiness, and also a stunner of a label with this bottle in particular. The only drawback is there’s limited availability with this Piquepoul so get a move on and get it in your life. We implore you!
The next tasting is happening soon – so stay tuned on social media for news of the next blog release!
If you like tasting wine, but you’re not able to make any sense of what you can taste – take a look at this great infographic from the guys at Wine Folly as a brilliant way to stimulate the connection between your brain and your wonderful tastebuds.