What makes a good Portfolio Tasting? The wines, venue, people, and host of other things. Point to note . It’s not just the wines.
Vinostito is an energetic young distributor specialising in organic, biodynamic and natural wines from across Europe. They have a particular interest in Spain.
Their portfolio tasting at the Drury Buildings this week was impressive. I can’t stand the venue – brown table tops, a fan to keep the place cool – it blows the bouquet off any wines near it, its noisy and in places dark. That should wreck a tasting but it didn’t as the good folk at Vinostito are always in such a good and relaxed form. Oh, and because their wines keep throwing up genuine surprises.
Mind you, if I opened 200 wines I’d hope for at least a few surprises!
Wines that are made with a passion rather than with an exact science can challenge a tasting. Questions float across your palate such as: Is that oxidised or oxidative? Is that funky or just downright awful? What is that smell – I’ve never come across it before? Will this wine settle down with time or will it keep prancing around like this forever?
Here are a few that stood out for me on the day. If these interest you then look up Vinostito and find out where you might find them. While you’re there glance through their list – it really is impressive.
a few Whites
Austria: Bernhard OTT Spiegel 2012 Gruner Veltliner. Stand out textural wine with a brilliant finish. We like our Austrian Gruner Veltliner’s!
Czech Republic: Milan Nasterec 2015 Klasika Pinot Gris. Quirky. Forest fruits bouquet lead to an oxidative style put together beautifully. A good wine maker at work.
France: Domaine Rolet Pere et Fils 2008 Vin Jaune AOC Arbois. This is a style that doesn’t appeal to everyone at all. Think Fino sherry meets healthy Straw! Oxidation and yeast effects play a big part in the bouquet and palate. Intense stuff. Really brilliant. …. when cheese was invented someone must have had Vin Jaune in mind …
Italy: Agricola la Jara 2016 La Jara Pinot Grigio. I’m not a great Pinot Grigio fan and wasn’t expecting much here as this was one of the least expensive wines on show. Then I was impressed. Lovely structure holds a clean and full fruit together with ease. Second bottle please..
Portugal: Folios de Baco 2016 Uivo Branco Rabigato. Top Class Wine. (In fact, I really liked all three of this lads wines). Excellent fruit and immense structural integrity. Must follow his label.
Portugal: Luis Seabra Vinhas 2015 Granito Cru Branco Alvarinho. Oxidised style balanced brilliantly with an aged fruit. Love it. Not for the faint hearted but one to explore with.
Spain: Enric Soler 2015 Improvisacio and 2015 Nun Vinya del Taus. Both wines made from Xarello in DO Penedes. Very impressed by both wines. Impressive depth of flavours that keep giving more. Great structure and length.
… and a few Red Wines
Czech Republic: Milan Nasterec 2016 Nach Musika Pinot Noir, Zweigelt. All light, soft, inviting and fragrantly fabulous!
France: Chateau Payral Bergerac rouge. Good Value Wine that works well in that it ticks the boxes of ample fruit, good aromatics, fine structure and good length and comes in at the low end of the Vinostito pricing.
Spain: Flor de Pingus 2015 Ribera del Duero is sensational but comes in at whack of price. Worth it? probably …. Much better value and truly excellent is the 2016 Quinta Milu Ribera del Duero. Dark fruit style with tremendous elegance.
Spain: Celler del Roure 2014 Vermell (Monastrell, Garnacah , Mando). Everyone needs to try a Mando sometime! Good honest rustic wine making. A treat.
Spain: Marc Isart DO Vinos de Madrid. 2016 La Maldicio (Tempranillo, Malvar) Top class wine. All good with depth of flavours and packed with nuance and quality structure. 2016 Malvar de Valdilecha. A lot more structure to this lad but fruit is just a fabulous as the blend. Two excellent wines.
Portugal: Luis Seabra Vinhos Indie Xisto Old Vines Field blend. This is what it’s all about! Raw energy racing across the palate and this is all about palate structure and intensity. Muscular and packed full of life!
As with all mega tastings I couldn’t, wouldn’t and shouldn’t try all of the wines on show. The ones listed here show the diversity and style of Vinostito as a wine distributor in Ireland. Great to have them.