We held our first dedicated fine wine tasting for a select band of journalists in our St Johns Wood Fine Wine Centre yesterday, the aim being to highlight how much our offering has improved this year and to introduce Clayton Smith, the Fine Wine Manager, to the tasters.
Since Clayton started in St Johns Wood earlier in the year (having previously headed our posh Mayfair outpost) the sales of quirky and interesting wines has increased dramatically. So much so in fact that we’re buying more and more small parcels of wines which are either not suitable or not available to stock in all our stores, but which do have a following via the website.
Clayton will be posting on the same subject next week (and if his blogging skills allow adding photos – note our stiletto-sharp technical skills!) but, in the meantime, here are a few of the more esoteric highlights:
Riesling Steinertal Smaragd 2007, FX Pichler. High quality Austrian wines are definitely not mass-market, but this is a really impressive wine from one of the country’s best producers. Steely and taut, but massively concentrated. It’s a bit young to be frank but even so was a great start to the tasting,
Soave du Lot Inama 2007. You could miss this wine at a tasting if you weren’t concentrating; at first glance it’s a pleasant, easy drinking, light white wine. However, wait a moment and a box of delights reveals itself – a definite mineral complexity, a rich, lingering weight and a long, long finish. I’m massively impressed with this and will be buying some for Christmas.
And finally, another personal favourite, La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 1995. This showed brilliantly. Properly mature, gamey, and fantastic value. This is a style which belongs to Rioja, as does the price. No other country offers the same quality/value proposition. (Note – this is selling fast. If you click on the link and there’s nothing there it means we’ve run out. However, there’s more on the way.)