We had a fantastic turn out for our annual medal fest.
The wines we tasted had been judged top winners in the Decanter World Wine Awards, the International Wine Challenge and the Wine Merchants Top 100, competitions that are judged by expert tasters, with suppliers submitting their wines to be considered alongside similar wines in many different categories.
English fizz kicked off all our tastings. At Teddington we drank the Kingswood 2018 vintage from Henley, at Richmond the Candover Brook Non Vintage from Basingstoke (or nearby). Both were very high quality wines that confirmed the stellar rise of quality of English wine. The former had won a Decanter Silver Medal, the latter deserved its ‘English Classic Blend Sparkling Trophy’ at the IWC.
At Teddington we drank a Trophy Winner from the 2022 IWC awards, the Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay 2020. Frustratingly this was not tasting as well as the 2021 I had presented at another event a few days earlier, perhaps it had entered a ‘dumb phase’ (wines evolve in the bottle and this could emerge fresher and more vibrant in a couple of. years).
We contrasted two whites, at around £15/bottle, a Fiano/Greco blend from Basilicata in Southern Italy and a Touraine Sauvignon from the Loire Valley. Both were super, fresh and full of flavour and very different. The Basilicata wine (a first for many of us) had peachy flavours with nice minerality and was one of the Independent Wine Merchants Top 100, while the Loire wine, with its elegant Sauvignon aromas and flavours had won a Decanter Gold. Another Loire wine was also a Decanter Gold medal winner – a Sancerre Rosé, which delivered some fantastic flavour and texture, definitely a foody wine.
All our reds had won Decanter Gold medals: a Douro red that showed the fantastic quality of still wines that are coming from this region still mainly associated with Port, the Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir from Giant Steps in the Yarra Valley, which brought back very happy memories of a picnic for those who had been on my 2019 wine tour to Australia, the LAN Gran Reserva Rioja (more happy memories for this year’s Rioja wine tour members), and an Amarone della Valpolicella from a top co-op, made from grapes that have been dried after harvest so are super concentrated and produce a rich spicy smooth experience.
Every evening was rounded of with the IWC 10 Year Old Tawny Port Trophy Winner from Ferreira, basically Christmas in a glass. Despite it being the hottest weekend of the year and frosty weather felt a very long way off, this was a great way to set up our drinking plans for the rest of the year.
As always, at Richmond the Britannia produced a lovely dinner – pea risotto followed by roasted salmon (Sunday) or cod (Monday), while at Teddington the crew delivered an excellent ‘Cook’ lasagne with some Blacksticks Blue cheese to round us off.
Full details of wines and prices are on the Wines we have tasted page.