Tasting Notes: A Taste of the New World, led by John Harris, 26 August 2020

With the ongoing restrictions due to the pandemic, this was our third online tasting, and one of the most interesting. We tasted four wines and had a very good evening discussing them and some memories of the places they come from. The theme was “ A Celebration of the New World” although one might think that South African wine is really Old World, but whatever! All the wines were sourced from NY Wines (Shelford, Cambs)

2018 The Tea Leaf, Western Cape, South Africa

An interesting blend of Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc and a dash of Palomino, so named as the vines grow amongst the red tea (rooibos) plants, this white had a gentle slightly fragrant nose and good length on a lively palate. Some tasted a touch of apricots (? The Palomino) and the Grenache smoothed out the otherwise more robust Chenin beautifully, A well-liked wine that went equally well with seafood and Spanish omelette and reasonably good value at £13.99 (Boutinot).

2018 Trapiche Malbec Texture Fina,, Argentina

Classic example of how Argentina has adopted and tamed one of the neglected Bordeaux grapes that used to be better known as the tannic beast in AC Cahors wines. Although young, a beautifully balanced wine with velvet tannins and very subtle oak and black berry favours. Better after some air, arguably the favourite wine of the evening but not one with the structure for long life, but so good why would you keep it? £18.29/bottle (NY Wines Cambridge)

2017 Zorgvliet Richelle, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Clearly a young wine as billed and beautifully made, but just a tad disappointing as the most expensive wine of the evening. The tannins were more in evidence than the gentle oak but one of two of us doubted if the structure was up to long laying down as some think this wine will take. Definitely improved in the glass. £22.99/bottle (NY Wines Cambridge)

2016 The Sack Barossa Shiraz, Australia

A wine I know well and a proper boisterous and large Shiraz, archetypical Aussie. As one of us noted, there is a tendency for cheaper modern Barossa reds to be made softer and more subtle, but this is not their heritage, and this wine, with its vanilla, chocolate and minty black fruits, does that heritage justice. It divided us a little, some finding the size and fruit just too much. Great value at £11.95/bottle (NY Wines Cambridge)