As another year winds down and the Autumn months tumble towards Winter, there are a few things that you can guarantee; the cold air in the mornings; the shops decorated with tinsel and decked out with their Christmas products; and the friendly and knowledgeable duo Tim and Gill from Joie de Vin arriving for their annual presentation at Upton wine club. The fact that this has become an annual tradition is what makes the November meeting of wine club extra special and well turned out, and so it was on 17th November when 30+ members of the club came to listen to the expertise of Tim and Gill and participated in the delightful sampling of some of their bestsellers.
The evening started with an enjoyable sparkling wine, a ‘Maison Peltier Vouvray Brut La Colliniere’. We were informed that this wine had been fermented for two years and produced in the traditional, or “champagne” method. The consensus was that this was a good quality, fresh and crisp sparkling wine.
Our second wine of the evening was a ‘Domaine Guillaman Chardonnay 2019’, a fresh and crisp wine with hints of apple and citrus. This wine is produced in the Southwest of France, not far from the Bordeaux region, and comprises of 15% Gras Manseng and 85% Chardonnay. It is a highly quaffable wine that can be drank on its own, but also can be paired nicely with chicken dishes. It certainly went down well with the crowd.
Joie de Vin’s third bottle of the evening was a crisp ‘Maison Peltier Vouvray Sec 2019’. A typical Vouvray, it is made with Chenin Blanc grapes and has notes of apple and pears on the nose and palate and would pair very nicely with grilled fish or mild curries, or like its predecessor, can be enjoyed on its own.
The final white wine of the evening was introduced as ‘Le Pommeraie de Brown 2016’, a wonderful example of a barrel-fermented white wine from Pessac Leognan, Bordeaux’s premier region for white wine. Made of 84% Semillion and 16% Sauvignon Blanc, the lovely wine had notes of citrus, pear and vanilla. An elegant wine and another crowd pleaser.
At this halfway point in the evening, Tim moved us onto the red wines in his collection, starting with a ‘Domaine du Bon Remede Merlot IGP Mediterranee 2019. Deep in colour with a fruit nose, this was a particularly lovely rich and smooth red wine, Tim recommended that this would go very well with a meaty fish such as monkfish.
Wine six of the evening was the ‘Domaine La Toupie Quator, Cotes de Roussillon 2017 AOP’, a lovely wine with soft round tannins, ripe fruit flavours, spicy notes, complexity and length. Made from four varieties (Grenache Noir, Syrah, Carignan and Mourvedre) in the foothills of the Pyrenees, the wine is hand-harvested. A wine that is great with red meats, cheese and charcuterie, it can be drank now through to 2024.
The penultimate wine of the evening was the ‘Domaine Trilles 10, Cotes du Roussillon 2018’, a rich, full wine with a deep colour and big fruit flavours – cherry and plum. The producers do not use chemicals in their processes and the wine is aged in oak. My personal favourite wine of the evening, Tim said it goes well with duck, rice casseroles and barbecues.
The final wine of the evening was a ‘Domaine Trilles Rivesaltes Ambre’, which had a deep brown/ gold colour with hints of honey, caramel, candied fruits and vanilla. A ‘vin doux naturel’ made, like port, by adding spirit to arrest the fermentation, it was the perfect end to the evening and one can imagine drinking it with a rich pudding or with strong cheeses.