Don’t be fooled by the bottle of water. Richard Hemming, Anthony Rose, a bunch of lovely wine-loving people and me spent an hour of Saturday afternoon
tasting drinking six wines and chatting about them in the sticky heat of a room in Hackney as part of the second-ever London Wine Sessions. We had a ball. Each of us wine writers chose two wines to pour and talk around the theme “wine into words.” Richard picked the Chilean sauvignon blanc that was the first bottle he took home on his first day as a Majestic shelf-stacker, plus a big shiraz from a winery in McLaren Vale where he once worked a vintage. Ant pulled out the stops with a serious bordeaux – Leoville-Barton 2000 – and another Aussie shiraz, Penfolds’ St Henri.
And me? These two, the first of which is an absolute banker for the warm week my iPhone tells me we have in store.
M de Minuty Rosé 2013 Cotes de Provence, France (Roberson, £9.95 at the moment; you can also get it for £11.24 in Majestic)
Palest pink, a whisper of a rosé. Made close to the Plage de Pampelonne on the St Tropez peninsula, which is exactly where I first tasted it, in true holiday style, at the side of the road, filling the car boot afterwards. On cracking form this year: refreshing, saline, teasing with an undertow of sandalwood….bring out the salade niçoise.
My second wine was….
Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2011 Italy (The Wine Society, £17.50)
I think we sometimes forget how good Italian wines, and in particular how good Chianti, can be. This red showed us. All sour cherries and church incense (it’s made from 15% canaiolo, which is very incensey) and spit-spot in perfect shape. We drank it very slightly chilled.
“This wine presents a good argument for drinking wines ‘too young’,” said Richard.
“This is the wine I took to Australia when I was pursuing a woman I’d met,” said Ant.
Reader, he married her.
Final thought: huge thanks to Emily O’Hare (opening bottles in the picture below) and Sophie Dening for such a great day. Also I’ve nicked your Minuty picture off twitter as I forgot to take one. I hope that’s OK….