Tasting Something Different

Ellis Wines Annual Portfolio Tasting : Vintners Hall

The annual Ellis Wines Tasting was held as usual in the magnificant surroundings of Vintners Hall, taking up a total of 4 rooms in this historic and iconic venue. As we wandered between The Livery Hall, The Swan Room, The Gassiot Room and the Drawing Room, we tasted our way through over 100 wines, with a few of the more esoteric listed below...

Having never tried wines from Moravia in the Czech Republic, this was a great opportunity to find out more about the wines from this historic vineyard, named Sonberk (Sunny Hill) which is overlooked by the Protected Landcape Area of the Pálava Hills. It is these hills that have given their name to an interesting grape variety unique to Moravia.
Pálava 2017 VOC : Pálava is a unique cross between Müller Thurgau and Traminer which spend 20 years being cultured before becoming  an officially recognized wine grape variety in 1977. It is pale yellowy green with reflective glints. The aroma is intense and aromatic with notes of rose and orange peel. The flavour is rather tropical tasitng of orange, grapefruit, pineapple and mango. Lingering flavour with a long finish. A very pleasant wine which we think would pair well with pungent, washed-rind cheeses or lightly spiced food.
Pálava Straw Wine 2013 : Presented in the cutest little 25cl flask shaped bottle, this sweet (nearly 200g/l residual sugar) wine is made by the laying the grapes out on straw mats to dry. This concentrates the sugars making this intense and naturally sweet wine. This delicious dessert wine has tropical aromas of peach and mango with a flavour like liquid marmalade infused with sweet cinnamon and crystallised ginger. Any blue cheese would pair well with this wine, but we would recommend a soft, creamy style such as Gorgonzola or Beauvale.

Paulett Wines Riesling
Neil and Alison Paulett had travelled all the way from Clare Valley in South Australia to present their excellent wines. They had a total of eight of their excellent wines, but we focused on two of the more unusual styles.
Trillians Sparkling Riesling NV
Made in the Polish River area of Clare Valley, to the north of Adelaide, it is rare to find a sparkling Reisling. This unusual wine is has a persistant fine mousse and is bright straw with hints of green. Aromas of citrus and yeast. Flavours of pineapple, citrus and honey.  The refreshing natural acidity makes this an ideal pairing for a full flavour, soft creamy cheese such as Tunworth or Brie de Meaux.
Botrytised Riesling 'Alison' 2017
Made from grapes affected by the legendary 'noble rot' in the same way that Sauternes is made in Bordeaux. This delicious dessert wine has tantalising aromas and flavours of marmalade and sweet pear. It has a good level of acidity to balance the sweetness. Not only a great pairing with most blue cheeses, but we feel this would pair well with a soft, sticky pungent cheese such as Epoisses or Taleggio.

Familia Schroeder
Schroeder was one of the pioneering vineyards in Patagonia, located 800km south of the more famous region of Menzoza. Famed for having unearthed a fossilised dinosaur when building the winery, they have even named one of their wines after it. As well as a good quality range of Malbec, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, what caught our eye for the curious and interesting was...
Deseado Sparkling Torrontes NV
Unusual to find a sparkling version of Argentina's popular white grape, this Sparkling Torrontes has been made using the 'charmat' method, the same method used to make Posecco in Northern Italy.
The wine has a greenish-lemony hint with small bubbles. Aromatic, floral, citrusy aromas and a honetsuckle, rose and blossom flavour. With over 75g/l residual sugar and an alcohol content of under 10%, this is a very easy drinking wine. As pleasant as it is, you wouldn't want to drink to much before it became to cloying.

a'Beckett's Vineyard
Delighted to have found this lovely English still wine, from a'Becketts in Wiltshire. We also tried their Chalk Hills Seyval Blanc 2015 which was fine, but we particularly liked...
Two Degrees West Chardonnay 2016
So named due to the vineyard being located on the second degree west of longitude from Greenwich. The grapes are grown on Burgundy clone vines and the wine is made totally oak-free. This results in a refreshingly tasty wine, with aromas and flavours of honeysuckle and fresh lemons. Zesty and zingy and ideal with a full flavour goat's cheese such as Rachel or a rich and creamy sheep's cheese - we would recommend Wigmore.

We tasted many many more wines at Vintner's Hall, most of which were not only interesting but very tasty as well, but we hope the wines above give you a 'flavour' of some of the more interesting styles.