April 11, 2017

London Tipplers Tasting

Host: Bill Kiel  - 13 Indian Rd. London

All Tipplers members were present except for the missing Benjamin Forster who allegedly was enroute from parts unknown in Mexico and, of course, Bordeaux Bob who is still residing in the UK.


Fonseca Porto Siroco Branco Extra Seco served over ice with an equal mix of tonic with fresh mint leaves. Common Portuguese aperitif that seemed to be enjoyed by all. Ken and Joe preferred theirs without the mix. Peter complained that the mix was of the PC variety. Bill brought this wine home from a 2016 trip to the Douro Valley where the wine was tasted at the Fonseca tasting room in the heart of the Douro Valley. Spectacular setting overlooking the valley and highly recommended if you are ever in the Douro. The winery parking lot is not well marked and is only 500 yds off the county road as you climb the mountain (we missed it on the first pass and proceeded to the top of the mountain on a treacherous winding road).

Chaberton Reserve 2014 Bacchus $15.75 cellar door price, Fraser Valley B.C.  Bill and Kathy did the tour of Chaberton Estate Winery in 2015 (in the Langley/Abbotsford area of the Fraser) and brought back this bottle. Bacchus is a white grape created in 1933 and is a cross of Silvaner x Reisling with Muller-Thurgau. Quite powerful and lip smacking. Exuberant. Low in acidity. Most enjoyed having at least 1 glass.

The Tasting

Six red wines were presented (as usual). Simple list of questions asking:

Old vs New World



Age more or not



The wines presented were 2 wines from each of Spain, Italy and France and were as follows:

#1. Brunello Di Montalcino,  Pinino,  2010, Sangiovese  $54.95 Tuscany


#2. Cote – Rotie 2009 Brune et Blonde de Guigal, Syrah $77.00 Northern Rhone


#3. Vinedos y Bodegas Gormaz 12 Linajes Reserva 2007, Tempranilo, $34.95 Ribera del Duero


#4. Balbas Reserva 2005, 90% Tempranilo, $ 22.95, Ribera Del Duero


#5. Il Molino di Grace Riserva Chianti Classico 2009 $24.95, Sangiovese.


#6. Chateau Coufran Haut Medoc Bordeaux 2005 $56.95


If there was a trick in this tasting it was to get the country pairings first and then move onto the grapes.

Needless to say the Tipplers performed in usual fine form and were all over the map when it came time to render their opinions. Only 2 had all six from the Old World and another 2 had all six as New World wines. A clue was offered indicating that there were at least 2 pairings from the same country and with the same grape. This unlocked the usual medley of questions and head scratching. In the end it was my recollection that Joe was the big winner with the most correct guesses (or should I say …opinions).

When it came to the Favourites, it was very interesting. Only 3 found #2 Cote-Rotie to be their favourite, while 4 preferred #4 Balbas Reserva, which once again proved that the cost of the wine has no correlation with the wines we find most enjoyable to drink. With respect to the least favourite wine of the evening, #5 Riserva Chianti took the top spot with 5 Tipplers while #6 Coufran got 2 votes. It was interesting that the Chianti was the favoured wine of the night by Allan, while Tod was convinced that the Chianti had been uncorked some days before and had been left to ferment. I attempted to assure Tod that all wines were decanted at 6 pm on the night of the tasting but was not sure he was convinced.


Dessert & dessert wines

Poached pears in a red wine sauce with vanilla coconut sorbet served with a mixed variety of small chocolate cakes. Wines were:

2010 Grof Degenfeld Tokaji Szamorodni, $17.95 500ml. Hungary (Tom likes this one)

2012 Lenz Moser Prestige Trockenbeerenauslese, $20.95 375ml. Austrian

It was a pleasure to host this event and I hope all had a good time and enjoyed themselves.


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