I attended the SOMMELIER CRU tasting, entitled 'Forgotten Styles and Up-&-Coming Varieties, New Winemakers' in the West End yesterday. Sommelier Cru is monthly on-trade event that aims to indirectly serve the drinking masses by providing sommeliers with a wide ranging choice of wines to place on their tables and bars.
The venue was the 'Hellenic Centre' in Marylebone, so it was suitably fitting that Vickbar Wines had chosen to display a great selection of truly unique wines from Greece. The Sigalas Santorini 2004, was described by George Lemos as having a "focused" nose, which I am inclined to agree with. The true success of this wine is in the mouth where subtly rich fruity flavours are fused with a tangy mineral zest in the mouth. This is a delicious wine that is already proving a hit with some big names and, no doubt, goes some way to exciting those familiar with Santorini to seek it out both for drinking here and on their next visit!

It is also worth mentioning the Greek desert wines. These were exceptional. For more information visit www.vickbarwines.co.uk

Other favourites included:

Riccolo Grassi, Valpolicella, 2002 from the Veneto, available from Novum. This is the same wine, though a later vintage by one year, that I had with my memorable lunch in Verona back in January. Delicious and highly recommended.

Barbaresco Vanotu D.O.C.G., Pelissero available from Alivini (www.alivini.com). The classic nose always reminds me of a dark fruity iced tea. To taste it was very tannic, begging for succulent red meats to play with!

Top Summer Tip: Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir Rose, Victoria, Australia. On the nose, this wine is all about spring time, offering roses and the light scented herbs of... Provence! To taste, this is crisp and zesty wine that delivers a light plummy and black-curranty sensation that keeps the mouth dripping. Available from O.W.LOEB & CO LTD, for contact details visit: http://www.owloeb.com/

This unusual but recently popularised wine from the Pelee winery in Canada: Pelee Island, Vidal Ice Wine 2003. This dessert wine is honey sweet and richly smooth, concentrated aromas of apricots and peaches. A real treat. Michael Druitt Vintners who supply this wine, also had an intriguing Chapagne Moutard, 6 Cepages 2001. This Champagne mixed from 6 grapes, is very fresh and full of flavour. I detected a certain toastiness in the mouth! For UK orders of over 2 cases please contact Michael Druitts Vintners, Sales director, Tim Bartley, 07768 696800.

There were plenty more wines tasted at this event. The Sommelier Cru event next month is rumoured to be looking at wines that pair with ethnic and / or spicy foods. This will be on Monday the 10 April. For more information visit www.sommeliercru.com and I may see you there!
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