The AWE Blog

The AWE blog is a collection of posts from AWE members.
  1. Heather Dougherty

    To boldly go? The wines of Yealands Estate

    By Heather Dougherty
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    Chief winemaker at Yealands, Natalie Christensen, was in London last week to show off the Awatere estate’s new releases, having just caught up with her extended family in Denmark. Yealands has made a name for itself as a maker of a grown-up style of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – and it still does that. But the focus here was broader, showing their full range of whites including Pinot Gris, Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer and Riesling, as well as a handful of Pinot Noirs. And why “to boldly go”? Yealands’ marketing strapline is “Think boldly. Tread lightly”, referencing their pioneering attitude with green credentials. Things I took away from the tasting: Exposure to wind in the Awatere makes for smaller berries with thicker skins and results in intense flavours in the wines. There is life beyond Sauvignon Blanc – Yealands Estate Riesling really impressed with its gradually flowering aromas of orange blossom and lime and herbal palate. The Pinot Gris struck a fine balance between the simple, crisp pleasures of Italian Pinot Grigio and the richer, more aromatic Alsace incarnation. Having said that….Sauvignon Blanc is still 85% of Yealands’ production – and they do it well, with a range of bottlings showing different...
  2. Paul Quinn

    Ramos Pinto with Ana Rato

    By Paul Quinn
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    Ana Rato winemaker from Ramos Pinto presented a tasting of Port’s and wines at Storrs Hall near Windermere to Sommeliers and invited quests. We were introduced to Adriano Reserva White Port that Ana showed as an aperitif mixed with tonic, ice and mint, this was very refreshing. We then moved onto the main tasting, mentioning that all of the port’s that will be shown today have been in lagar with 4 day’s treading by feet. Most of the Brandy that fortifies these ports is from France and Spain. Ramos Pinto Late Bottled Vintage 2013 (95 Decanter Points). Unfiltered but very fresh with ripe blackberries, raisin, coffee with a fresh kick of acidity. Ramos Pinto Quinta de Ervamoira 10 year old tawny. Situated in the Douro Superior with 234 Acres of land with 150 h/a of vines with an average age of the vine being 30 years old. This is the largest Quinta in the Douro and all of the grapes are hand harvested This property was purchased by Ramos Pinto in 1974, but the vineyard was nearly lost when the construction of the Coa dam in 1996 started and flooded the lower end of the vineyard, but fortunately it was...
  3. Pippa Hayward

    Indigena Marche seminar at 67 Pall Mall October 4th

    By Pippa Hayward
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    The Marche region and  Verdicchio grape might seem unlikely fodder for a whole day of specialist seminars with Ian d’Agata of  the Indigena Wine School – but having signed up for the morning  only, I found myself so enthused by lunch time that I stayed on for the two afternoon tasting sessions as well! As Ian D’Agata pointed out, Verdicchio is a victim of its enviable ability to turn out great quantities of perfectly decent wines at high yields with no loss of concentration. What a Pinot Noir producer might give for that! There is a lot of it and it is mostly good and mostly cheap and so we disregard it. I was about to discover the scale of my omission…….. Over the course of the seminars we tried 20 Verdicchios, including a fantastic late-picked passito example, several wines from the lesser known Matelica DOC and some excellent examples of older Castelli di Jesi Reserva Classico and Superiore wines, all of which demonstrated how the grape’s naturally high acidity level enables it to age beautifully and make beautifully balanced and refreshing sweet wines. In his introduction  D’Agata compared  the quality of Verdicchio to Fiano and Timorasso as amongst the...
  4. Christos Ioannou

    Benevolent Quiz Thursday 18th October

    By Christos Ioannou
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    I have just seen Joe Wadsack’s Tweet about the Bordeaux Quiz for The Benevolent on Thursday 18th October. It starts at 6.30 and is being held near Covent Garden and tickets are £25 – anyone available and interested in making up a team? You can see more details and book tickets here: Christos Ioannou