Definitely eclectic, Melhor, Piedmont and Verona

Definitely eclectic, Melhor, Piedmont and Verona

Dear Samplers,

One of the my favourite things for my colleagues and I to do at The Sampler is to read  the wine trade magazines that we get sent  - even though we never order them. I say read, but I actually mean flick through them looking for the worst wine adverts. You think perfume and car adverts are bad - they have nothing on wine. It's either a photo of a South African mountain, a Tuscan estate or a wooden barrel - but all of them will include someone smiling, usually with a friend, holding a wine glass in a very unnatural manner. My friend actually makes adverts and told me that big companies employ a 'Hand Choreographer' to make sure their mobile phone or Gucci handbag is held correctly by the model. That's a such great job!! The budget for wine adverts clearly doesn't stretch this far. And there is no worse advert than a 'celebrity  who has a wine' advert. These are our favourites - see for yourself....                                     Gno thankyou Graham Norton - flip him in the red chair      Cara Delevingne's 'vegan' prosecco. Virtually all prosecco is vegan love. Italian hills - check. Clinking glasses - check. Cornichons - che....actually who eats cornichons with prosecco?                                                       Jason Donovan has let himself go a bit.                            Cliff going classic here - superimposed onto a vineyard, wine logo on the polo shirt, textbook awkward wine bottle hold.       This has everything you could want in a cheesy ad  - it can't be surpassed. Moody lighting, bowl of grapes, backgammon, the awkward glass lift, a wine bottle with piano keys, and Gary Barlow. What on earth is he doing with his elbow?And now for the wine, none of the above I'm afraid : )

New Wines 

From next week we will have the start of a deluge of wines for Christmas. This week we've gone a bit eclectic! Look out for some Spanish and Argentinian with a bit of bottle age. And we've got some top notch Portuguese wines, and some very good value Italian reds.....

                    Quinta da Pedra, Duoro, Portugal                                                  An old plough enjoying its retirement spotMatt Gant from one of our favourite Aussie producers First Drop wines and João Pires from Quinta da Pedra met in 2007 and shared harvests in Australia and Portugal ever since. Now they have teamed up at Quinta da Pedra, The winery is located in Soutelinho Favaios near Alijó, in the Cima Corgo sub-region of the Douro Valley, Portugal. Quinta da Pedra Alta is the only vineyard in the Douro to have three granite markers (Marcos Pombalinos) on its property. These were awarded to the best land during the demarcation of the Port region in 1761. João is passionate about the land and the viticulture and Matt loves experimenting especially with blending, which is lucky as blending is the tradition of the Duoro. The wines have been very popular since they arrived and we're very pleased to have two of their new releases.                   
  • Quinta da Pedra Alta 'Alto' 2018 £48 - Touriga Nacional (92%) Sousão (7%) Fernão Pires (1%). 20 months sur lie in new French oak  puncheons (30%) and old French oak barriques (70%). This is a perfumed, hedonistic Douro red, made from parcels from the highest (Alto) elevations on the Quinta. Very dark fruited and spicy with Port like flavours.
  • Quinta da Pedra Alta 'Melhor' 2018  £62 Touriga Nacional (73%) Touriga Franca (20%) Sousão (5%) Tinta Roriz (1%) Fernão Pires (1%). This is a blend of the best barrels from the lowest and highest elevations on the Quinta. Very different in style than the Alto - still rich and textured but with more red fruit flavours and  slightly higher acidity - the Touriga Franca being more noticable.

Two great value Italian reds

Piedmont is one of the loveliest Italian regions to visit in Autumn - the beautiful hazelnut trees, Alba white truffle season - what is not to like! I drink a lot of Piedmont reds this time of year and you'll be hard pushed to get better value than  the latest vintage of this wine.
  • Povero Cabane 2017 £15 - Nebbiolo, Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon - really lovely blend - get some truffle quick.


                   The following are amongst many delicious wines sampling this week:Clos des Papes Chateauneuf 2007Figeac 1975Lachaux Bonnes Mares 2005 Muga Torre  2004Vietti Barolo Brunate 2008 - this is delicious!Gauby  Muntada 2006Croix de Beaucaillou 2009Brane Cantenac 2009Have a lovely weekend and hopefully see you soon,Dawn                           

Dawn MannisThe Sampler266 Upper Street N1 2UQ 0207 226 950026 Leopold Road SW19 7BD  0208 947 4029


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