I’m not sure about you, but I was definitely glad to see the back of 2020. Not that 2021 is much better currently, being in tier 4 with the prospect of tougher restrictions coming and not being able to open the restaurant at the moment, but hopefully there will be a light at the end of the tunnel this year.
One of the great things about 2020 (and I’m hoping 2021) was having a bit more time to try some new wines and continuing my learning.
Here are the wines we saw out 2020 with:
Sifer Wines Samuel
Sifer Wines are based in Spain. Their terroir has soils composed of sand, clay and silt which you would not expect to produce particularly great grapes. Situated between 300 and 350m above sea level with a continental climate and relatively low rainfall this vineyard manages to grow Garnacha (or grenache if you prefer) and Macabao very successfully.
The high temperatures make for a lot of residual sugar and alcohol in their wines and the Samuel was no exception at a whopping 15.3%!
Grape(s): Garnacha (100%)
Appearance: Very dark purple as to be expected from such a young wine
Nose: The nose had characteristics of dark fruits, marzipan and spice
Palate: On the palate some very grippy tannins, a touch of acidity, marzipan and dark berries with a medium plus to long finish.
Verdict: The high percentage of alcohol did lead to a bit of alcohol burn at the back of the palate and down the the throat, however, it had quite a rounded mouth feel and some really lovely notes of berries and almonds. I would definitely drink this wine again, and I also really loved the fact that it was made more traditionally and aged in amphora.
Davenport Vineyards Horsmonden Dry White
Grape(s): Bacchus, Ortega, Faber, Sieberrebe and Huxelrebe
Appearance: Almost clear, but a very pale lemon colour
Nose: The nose had hints of peach, apricot and elderflower
Palate: On the palate stone fruits (mainly peach), some citrus (lemon oil) and a slight creaminess on the finish. Dry, but not overly so.
Verdict: A really lovely example of an English white wine and very easy to drink. For me, it wouldn’t work as a food wine as anything too acidic or vinegary would affect the flavour of the wine too much and make it unpalatable. This is definitely a ‘sit on the balcony in the warmth of a dying summers eve and drink with friends’ kind of wine.
Grape(s): Roditis (100%)
Appearance: Clear and light, a very pale lemon
Nose: The nose had notes of citrus, mainly lemon and grapefruit and an almost cheesy aroma
Palate: On the palate it was very smooth with bright acidity, notes of pine, citrus and stone fruits.
Verdict: To begin with the wine was incredibly easy to drink, interesting and complex and would work well with fish and lighter meats cooked on charcoal. On a second tasting (the next day), the cheesiness started to come through more strongly which I found to be quite off-putting. I would definitely give this another go with food, but it appears to be a wine that needs to be quaffed pretty much as soon as it is opened, as any oxygen seems to mar the flavour.
(Purchased from Theatre of Wine)