Seems to be wine tasting season! Yesterday MOT attended the Lifford Grand Tasting hosted by the Lifford Wine Agency held at the beautiful Stanley Park Pavilion. 6 countries, over 20 wineries, and a collection of liqueurs and spirits were available for tasting.
Right off the bad, MOT was put into the wine tasting spirit with the perfectly weighted Ca’Del Bosco Cuvee Prestige Brut Franciacorta. This sparkling has just the right balance of body and citrus flavours to liven the palate and get us ready for the whites. The selection of whites was on the minimal side, but the favourite today was a stellar value wine, the 2010 Arboleda Chardonnay from Chile.
Moving onto the reds, the country that showed the best overall was Italy. The Rocca Delle Macie and Tenuta Il Poggione wines were excellent throughout their entire lineups, but it was the unheralded DOCG of Gattinara that captured our attention today. Travaglini is a small winery that makes 100% Nebbiolo wines that are slightly more delicate than wines from the neighbouring Barolo, but these wines still pack a punch. The 2001 Gattinara Riserva was so light in the glass that it was almost inconceivable 5 minutes later that we still tasted the finish. The other wine that never stopped was the 2008 Serpico from Mitolo. A Cabernet Sauvignon from McLaren Vale that is produced in a style reminiscent to Amarone, using dried grapes to create a concentrated wine with layers of depth.
After we exhausted our wine palates, we grazed and stared down the whiskeys. Always a fan of the peaty Islay offerings, we were shocked when Bowmore said we had to have their 12 yr old with an oyster. We obliged and were amazed at how well the saltiness of the oyster danced alongside the smoky peaty offering from the whiskey. Nothing could prepare us for the joy of the Bowmore 15 yr old Darkest though. Caramelized peat is the best way to express the flavour profile. As it slowly dissipated on an extremely smooth finish we walked out the door with a smile on our face.