Please find a list of highlights from the evening below this blog. You could find the perfect Christmas present for someone!
The last Thursday in September saw over 200 of Armit Wines' private clients descending on Bloomsbury for our Annual Tasting. The Annual Tasting’s is a wonderful excuse to show off our diverse portfolio to our clients, and this year we think we really excelled ourselves: there were 138 wines on show!
The sheer quantity of wines meant there was none of the usual problem one gets at tastings: everyone crowding towards the better known producers at the beginning. While Giacosa, Gaja, Ornellaia, Leflaive, Lafleur et al were as popular as ever, the room seemed more relaxed, with people spending time seeking out wines and wineries which maybe aren’t so well known and, hopefully, finding their own new favourites.
Two wineries really stood out for me as stars in their own right during the night: Seresin Estate, enthusiastically poured and introduced by Sara Fogarty, who are producing some of New Zealand’s best Sauvignons and Pinot’s, and Querciabella, one of Armit Wines’ new Italian producers and who, without hyperbole, are making some of the top Tuscan wines to be found anywhere at the moment.
The blind tasting table went down well as always: kudos to the winner, Seb Butter who scored a pretty honourable 9 out of 20 – possibly not the best idea at the end of the tasting!
In a new development, Steve Weids, our Fine Wine Investment Manager, was manning his own desk at the tasting – a chance for people to find out more about wine investment from our own resident expert!
All in all, it was a really friendly night in a superb venue. Thank you all for coming and continuing to make our tastings as enjoyable for us as we hope they are for you.
Blog by Nick Clarke
Private Client Sales
Below are eight wines that had everyone talking. With autumn settling in and Christmas approaching these are exactly the wines you should be ordering to drink.
Please let us know if you would like any of this selection:
The Top Wines of the Night
(6x75cl) Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet 2010, Domaine Sébastien Dampt @ £88.35 per 6 IB (£119.70 inc. Duty & VAT)
I am always astounded at the value for money offered by Sébastien Dampt’s wines and I can’t think of another 1er Chablis of such high quality for less than £20 a bottle! Delicious, mouthwatering salted almonds on the nose, followed by flowers and hints of caramel. Nice, ripe green fruits come through in the mouth, and fine minerality and precise lime zesty acidity carry you through to a long, mercurial finish. Powerful and bracing, but also with elegance and restraint that are extremely appealing and will ensure this lasts.(SW)
(12x75cl) Rully Blanc 1er Cru 2009, Leflaive & Associés @ £306.36 per 12 IB (£395 inc. Duty & VAT)
This Premier Cru from Anne-Claude Leflaive never fails to impress. It is a wine with the Wow factor, every time I poured this, guests asked for more. Green gold in colour, this has a biscuity, toasty nose, supple, generous flavours and a clean, subtly elegant and long finish. This wine has it all; Burgundy pedigree, Premier Cru class and it tastes delicious! (PG)
(6x75cl) Gran Riserva 904 1998, La Rioja Alta @ £145.00 per 6 IB (£187.69/cs inc. Duty & VAT)
La Rioja Alta are one of the top Rioja producers, so this was always going to be a popular wine to taste. One of the great things about La Rioja Alta is they age the wines in their own cellars and only release them when they’re ready. That’s not to say this needs to be drunk now; while hugely harmonious at the moment, with deep, bramble flavours, the poise suggests a couple of decades more longevity at least.(NC)
(6x75cl) Giusto di Notri 2008, Tua Rita @ £185.00 per 6 IB (£235.69 inc. Duty & VAT)
Tua Rita is one of the younger estates in Tuscany and has risen rapidly to the top echelon of producers in the region, gathering a huge number of followers in the process (myself now included!).This Cabernet based gem is instantly generous and rich on the nose. The lush black fruit and sweet spice is mirrored on the palate which is wonderfully hedonistic and perfect for drinking now. There’s little doubt that it will age gracefully for many years to come, but I’d be sorely tempted to open a case for this autumn. (SW)
(12x75cl) Volnay 1er Cru Fremiet 2008, Domaine Marquis d’Angerville @ £395.00 per 12 IB (£501.37 inc. Duty & VAT)
When it comes to Volnay there are few who can rival those of d’Angerville’s. The impeccable 1er Cru Fremiets drew plenty of praise last night and was open enough to offer a glimpse of the greatness that lays ahead when this beauty hits its stride. Lots of bright, juicy red berry notes linger on the palate, with the brilliant tannic structure found in only the best Volnays. Comparable in quality to the mighty Grand Crus further north, but at a fraction of the price! (AWW)
(6x75cl) Palafreno 2008, Toscana IGT, Querciabella @ £313.59 per 6 IB (£390.00 inc. Duty & VAT)
The Palafreno 2008 has been described by Cheval Blanc’s technical as ‘flawless Merlot, but distinctively from the Chianti Classico Hills’, so had a lot to live up to! Mercifully, it did. An incredibly complex wine, at least the equal of top Pomerol’s but with a slightly sweeter, darker fruit taste, was a real favourite on the night. A little bit of spice was to be found on the long finish; to my mind I’d hide this wine away for 5+ years for it to become even more mature.(NC)
(6x75cl) Barbaresco 2009, Gaja @ £495.00 per 6 En Primeur (Arriving in the UK early October)
When it comes to a wines that always to deliver, Gaja’s Barbaresco must be at the top of the pile every year. The fruit is sourced from Gaja’s own vineyards and offers a perfect balance of the single-vineyard cuvées and at an excellent price. The 2009 may well be the most luscious vintage I’ve tried to date and begs to be drunk immediately, although great rewards lie ahead for those of us with enough will power to keep it in the cellar! Gorgeous blackcurrant, dark cherries spices and notes of chocolate dominate of the most moreish of palates! (AWW)
(6x75cl) Ornellaia 2009, Tenuta del’Ornellaia @ £595.00 per 6 IB (£727.69 inc. Duty & VAT)
With a 97-point score from Parker and the top Italian wines generating such a buzz in the market, this was always going to be a popular stop for our guests and so it proved. It was the first wine to run out! The depth of fruit is phenomenal, the tannins so silky you feel you could almost drink this now (or wait ten years if you have the patience). Everyone should have a case of this in the cellar. It is Italy’s equivalent of a Bordeaux 1st Growth at a fraction of the price. (PG)