What’s Hot in the World of Wine: Port, Wine Awards & Emerging Markets





Every fortnight, the CellarVie Wines team immerse themselves in the weekend’s newspapers accompanied by a glass of something suitable, in an effort to determine what’s hot in the world of wine. In this instalment, The Sunday Times focuses their attentions on Port, The Daily Telegraph discusses the merits of wine awards, and the Daily Mail looks at emerging wine markets…


Port

Bob Tyrer of the Sunday Times focuses on Port despite a nasty experience following a “bout of hepatitis in El Salvador”. Tyrer concedes, like many it must be said, he has never “been keen on port, because it gave me crushing headaches.” While eager to champion Port, Tyrer, much like Adrian Bridge, was keen to highlight the fragility of the Douro Valley. The esteemed wine journo tries a three ports (Cockburn’s 1970, Dow 1980 and Fonseca 1985) and intimates “there’s a vast difference between everyday port and the stuff bottled in the outstanding years when shippers declare a vintage — especially when it’s more than 100 years old.”

CellarVie Wines:Although Bob Tyrer is in the enviable position of being able to try port from “outstanding years”, as Christmas looms this delightfully misunderstood fortified wine from Portugal offers up a number of affordable festive pleasures. Taylor's 10 Year Old Tawny is a Christmas staple and yours for less than £22, while their Late Bottled Vintage Port 2005 is equally delicious if you are looking for a bargain. Fortified wines remain something of misnomer to many, with sherry and port’s lengthy association with the aged preventing some from trying them. While the former has enjoyed a renaissance thanks to the plethora of trendy tapas bars opening up around London, Port is yet to enjoy a similar culinary association even though it deserves to.

Why not try:

Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 1991

Warre's Quinta da Cavadinha 1996


Wine medals

The Daily Telegraph asks whether or not customers should take any notice of wines that have won medals. While Susy Atkins suggests “there are just too many trophies” she believes the International Wine Challenge (IWC) is a particularly worthy award and their acclaim is reflective of a wine’s quality. That being said, Atkins also believes there needs to be greater clarity in regards to vintage. "Awards stickers should be crystal-clear – one year, one award, for that particular vintage or blend – otherwise you wonder if the wine in the garlanded bottle is the same that wowed the judges. Undated stickers are not a good rash to get."

CellarVie Wines:There are a ludicrous amount of awards around the word that can indeed undermine the more worthy competitions. There are some pertinent regional awards but often the quality of a wine can be exaggerated by local acclaim. That being said the likes of the Decanter World Wine Awards, the International Wine and Spirit Competition and the aforementioned International Wine Challenge are all globally recognised and respected. The Sommelier Wine Awards are also well-regarded but Atkins is right to urge caution for people picking their wines on the basis of their medals. A number of gems remain bizarrely unclaimed by some of the major competitions yet some are better bets than their more championed contemporaries.

Why not try:

Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2010, Stellenbosch [Decanter World Wine Awards 2012: Silver / Sommelier Wine Awards 2012: Gold List, Best Food Match]

Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc, Awatere Valley 2010 [Decanter World Wine Awards 2011: International Trophy Best Sauvignon Blanc over £10, Regional Trophy Best New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc over £10]

JJ Hahn Reginald Shiraz, Barossa Valley 2009 [no awards but a worthy winner nonetheless]


Emerging wine markets

The Daily Mail’s Olly Smith suggests finding some brilliant wines from emerging markets in the UK “can sometimes feel like hunting a Minotaur wearing night-sights in a pitch-black labyrinth.” Citing Greece, China, Brazil and Croatia as examples of countries gradually developing in regards to making good wine, Smith believes the UK consumer should get accustomed to seeing a greater variety of wines on our shop shelves (or online!).

CellarVie Wines says:In addition to the aforementioned countries Smith also mentions sunny Blighty which is very worthy given England’s currently lofty reputation. Although Nyetimber, one of our most championed producers, recently withdrew their 2012 vintage due to the poor weather, English sparkling wine has never been better. It is now considered an affordable but no less delicious alternative to Champagne.

Why not try:

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2006

Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2001

Gribble Bridge Dornfelder 2009
 
 
 
 

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