Mentzendorff - Annual Portfolio Tasting
It is always with great anticipation and pleasure that we mark our calendars for Mentzendorff’s Portfolio tasting. The range of producers Mentzendorff works with and brings to the UK is among the best and it is invariably a pleasure to taste new vintages and catch up with some of the faces behind wines we so love. It is not by chance that we’ve worked with Mentzendorff in most of our most exclusive events, such as past editions of our Ultimate Champagne Evening and our upcoming Champagne & Sparkling Wine Festival on April 25th.
Below are some of our highlights of this year’s tasting along with corresponding tasting notes. We are particularly proud to be showing some of the standouts at our fizz event.
Michel Chapoutier, Saint-Peray "La Muse de Wagner" 2012
A sparkling Marsanne from the Rhone wouldn’t necessarily be an obvious choice when shopping for a fizz. Well you might want to look into this elegant “Muse”. It is extremely supple and gently complex, with an aromatic range from fresh citrus to toasted hazelnuts and acacia honey. The plate is broad and the finish is long.
Champagne Ayala, Le Blanc de Blancs 2012
Ayala is the Chardonnay Maison par excellence and the love that chef de cave Caroline Latrive has for the grape comes through in every bottle. This Blanc de Blancs is both soft and vibrant, with an energetic zestiness balanced by a mineral backbone. One of the wines you’ll want to taste at our Champagne & Sparkling wine festival.
Champagne Bollinger, La Grande Année 2007
Mineral, precise, nutty and with a gentle umami character that lingers on the palate and makes this champagne a perfect companion to goats cheese, sushi and grilled vegetables.
Champagne Bollinger, La Grande Année Rosé 2007
Another of the wines we can predict will be a star pour at our fizz event in April. Aromas of raspberry, pink grapefruit and white peach held by a solid structure and mineral backbone.
Langlois-Chateau, Saumur Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2015
A wine made with fruit from a centennial vineyard, hand harvested and fermented in oak with no MLF. All these variables allow it to be a particularly fine expression f Chenin Blanc with aromatic intensity, rich texture and great development potential.
Domaine Chanson, Pernand-Vergelesses ‘Les Vergelesses’ 1er Cru 2013
Chanson is an historic name in Burgundy with a just reputation for bringing out the best expression from each of the multiple terroirs they work with. This Les Vergelesses is a a good example of this knowledge and skill: elegant with an aromatic and spicy nose; a complex palate of both red and dark fruit with a long liquoricey finish. Still a baby, with great ageing potential.
Domaine Chanson, Beaune ‘Bastion’ 1er Cru 2013
Lovingly textural, this Beaune reveals itself in layers of vibrant cranberry, pomegranate and wild strawberry and finishes with amazing spicy complexity (black pepper, cardamom, nutmeg). Much more showy and seductive than the Les Vergellesses but equally elegant. Another wine to keep.
Domaine Chanson, Puligny-Montrachet 2014
Showing all the freshness of the 2014 vintage this wine is vibrant and uplifting. Blood orange and bergamot give it a citrus zing, carried by some red berries underneath. A joy to drink.
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, Brunello di Montalcino ‘Pianrosso’ 2013
This single vineyard Brunello is only made in excellent vintages and indeed excellent it is. It is an extremely complex wine to be appreciated at length rather than simply drunk. Leave it in the glass and you’ll see it evolve with multiple layers gradually revealed: first gently floral aromas; then wild black berries followed by dried herbs; finally, earthy umami notes wrapping all up.
Ceretto, Barbaresco ‘Bernadot’ 2014
Bernadot is a prime plot where Nebbiolo grapes grow to express their full potential. Sitting at 400m altitude on a very steep limestone and sand slope, 60 year-old vines are worked and harvested by hand. The result is this elegant, gently spicy, lengthy Barbaresco that you’ll want to save for a few years (if you can resist it!).
Bodegas La Horra, Corimbo I 2013
The 2013 vintage brought out a particularly vertical and lean expression to the ebst wines in Ribera del Duero. This is what we love about this Corimbo I, showing concentration along with minerality and firm but small grain tannins.
Klein Constantia, Metis 2016
A very fine expression of Sauvignon Blanc. Vines with some age and grown at some altitude produce fruit that has both aromatic concentration and acidity. The fact that Klein Contantia ferment exclusively with indigenous yeasts and only add sulphur prior to bottling allow for the fruit’s character to fully come through to produce a wine that will challenge general (and false) assumptions about Sauvignon Blanc.
Klein Constantia Methode Cap Classique Estate Brut 2014 (pictured above next to the Metis) will be another fantastic pour at our Champagne & Sparkling Wine Festival on April 25th.
Kilikanoon, Block’s Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Yes, you will still get that dark berries+mint character that make this wine, unmistakably, a Cabernet Sauvignon. But underneath you’ll smell and taste a surprising earthiness (think of a field just after it’s been ploughed) that brings additional complexity and texture.
Kilikanoon, The Duke Grenache 2012
A muscular Grenache, but not without elegance. Think of the lean precise muscles of a ballerina, rather than of a bodybuilder’s bulk. Red and black plum, cranberry and wild strawberry combine for an affirmative but elegant wine that is ageing gracefully.
Kilikanoon, Oracle Shiraz 2012
This wine’s 14,5% alcohol could not be better integrated, held by a feminine savoury character. Aromas of tapenade, cured Kalamata olives, crushed violets and dried thyme and oregano bring both power and elegance to a Shiraz that is ready to drink but could still evolve beautifully for a few years.
The Crossings, WildReserve Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley 2016
What’s most pleasing about this Sauvigon Blanc is its lovely texture, soft but gently grainy. This is a result of the spontaneous fermentation and the time spent on full lees in a concrete egg. Rich citrus aromas combined with a nutty undertone.
The Crossings, Pinot Noir Awatere Valley 2018 (tank sample)
It was a privilege to taste this tank sample, beaming with freshness and vibrancy. The wine will certainly gain added complexity and precision once it’s settled in bottle so we look forward to tasting this again in a few months.
— posted by Ines Salpico