At Decanter we all love our wine, and every week members of the Decanter team - from editorial assistants to publishing director Sarah Kemp - tell us what they've been enjoying at home and when they go out...
Valentina Cubi Iperico Valpolicella Classico 2007
At a recent tasting organised by Decanter of wines from the Veneto, this uncomplicated yet delightful Valpolicella from an exciting estate near Verona. In an age of reds that batter you over the head with alcohol and leave you with a burning desire for no more, this light-bodied wine has bags of fresh red cherry, berry fruit and a hint of vanilla. Vanilla is one of those adjectives that usually sends me in the opposite direction, bringing to mind lashings of sickly buttercream American oak. Don’t worry, this is just a dash, and doesn’t detract in any way from the delicacy and freshness of the wine. Lots of appeal, won’t demand too much of your attention, and will leave you clear headed.
Editor, Decanter magazine
Yering Station Pinot Noir 2006, Yarra Valley
Listening to the dramatic trials and tribulations endured by Victoria winemakers during the recent bushfires brings home the fragility of a winemaker’s existence… and more besides. It’s impossible to fathom the trauma of producers whose livelihood was threatened, or families who lost fathers and mothers, sons and daughters. But as a small tribute or token, I opened a bottle of Yering Station’s 2006 Pinot, from the Yarra Valley, enjoyed its bright fruit and earthy tones, and sat back to enjoy one of the simpler forms of human endeavour – Liverpool’s humiliation of Real Madrid in this week’s Champions League.
Alain Thienot, Cuvée Stanislas, Champagne 1999Far from being a great vintage, most 1999 Champagnes are lacking of acidity with too much dosage however this cuvée – which I drank with a friend at the Dorchester on Wednesday night – might not be the most complex but has elegance, freshness and balance and make it the perfect partner for an aperitif. Named after Alain Thienot’s son, this 100% Chardonnay exhibits elegant dried fruit and honey. A refreshing acidity is revealed on the palate with some elegant apricot characters and honey hint on the finish.
Te Mata Estate, Bullnose Syrah, Hawke’s Bay 2006
Founded just before the turn of the 19th Century, Te Mata claims to be New Zealand’s oldest winery and is still family owned. Its Bullnose Syrah possesses alluring inky depths and sprinklings of pepper on the nose, with further spice notes, iodine and blueberry on the palate. Wonderful expression and buckets of character.
Gabriel Meffre Laurus Syrah, Cote Rotie 2006
Very soft nose of nutmeg and allspice, silky tannins and dark forest fruits with some raisiny notes. A very smooth, elegant wine, perfect with robust winter stews but also equally at home with summer meat dishes like spicy grilled chicken and so on. A Decanter World Wine Awards bronze medal winner. I’d say it was one for a midweek supper, which is when I had it.