Tasting Notes: Chairman’s Choice 2020, presented by John Harris, 16 December 2020

Lugana Ca dei Frati, Lugana, 2019. Wine Society £13.95
‘Deliciously fruity Italian white with body and zip from a vineyard south of Lake Garda and a fine estate with a proven record of high quality. It shows bags of peach and lemon rind on the palate and is perfect with seafood or creamy pasta.’ (Wine Society). Lugana is a little-known region; the whites are made from a local variant of Trebbiano. Yummy moreish, and so popular the Wine Society has run out! (January 2021), but available from other merchants.

Nielson Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2017. John Hattersley wines £19.16
‘This wine comes from three major Pinot Noir growing regions within Santa Barbara County, each of which is influenced by unique soil types and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Santa Maria Valley is one of California’s coolest AVAs with well-drained soils and one of the longest growing seasons in the world, brings pretty aromatics and red fruit flavors to the wine. Slightly warmer in climate, the Los Alamos area contributes ripe dark fruit flavors. Just south of Santa Maria Valley and Los Alamos, the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, characterized by steep vineyard slopes and a distinct gravel minerality, adds power, depth and austere tannin expression.'(Nielson website). The least favourite on the night, possibly needs more age as it did not seem very full or developed.

L A Cetto Nebbiolo Private Reserve, Baja California, Mexico 2014. Albion Wine £13.95
‘Estate founded in 1926 by Don Angelo Cetto, who was succeeded by his son Luis Augustus and then by Luis Alberto. The current winemaker is Camillo Magoni. At 1,000 feet above sea level the vines are protected by sea fogs which also bring much needed moisture to this arid part of Mexico. Nebbiolo is the big grape variety of Barolo in the north-west of Italy. Here it is full and concentrated with lots of rounded red fruit, and mature notes of tar and leather. Well-balanced with fine tannins and good length.’ (Tanner’s Wines). Sensational value!

Majella Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra South Australia 2015. Wine Direct £22.95.(£20.24 paid by Club for 22 bottles).
Fourth generation Coonawarra farmers, George and Pat Lynn, established Majella in 1968. Fruit had been prominently sold to premium, local producers, but on the whole Majella now reserves the best parcels for their wines, and are regarded as one of the best producers. The vineyard is on the prime cigar strip of red earth in Coonawarra, and the winery is high tech.. Bruce Gregory is the winemaker; he made the first wine for Majella and has made each one ever since, The Cab Sauv is the ‘second’ wine of the estate, but is really a sumptuous mouthful.
Review Aug 2015 – Lisa Perrotti-Brown – Deep garnet/purple, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon opens to a very minty, eucalyptus-laced nose over cassis, crushed blueberries and cedar. Full-bodied, concentrated and ripe, the palate is exuberant and finishes long.