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John Farren

Meeting 423 - Friday 12th April 2019

Part 1: The Branch Annual General Meeting 2019

Part 2: New Listings --- Speaker: Gavin Whitmee (Purple Foot Wine Company)

1: AGM of the Branch

       The AGM of the Berkshire Branch of the IWFS was chaired by Colin Mair, who thanked the Officers for their sterling work throughout the year. Jules Graham's Secretary's Annual Report for 2018 is available here. Following the AGM, Colin presented well deserved awards to some members. Notably Jules and Chis Graham for their outstanding work as joint Secretaries over many years and Charlotte for her service providing us with many excellent meals with our tastings. Secretary's 2018 Report and Pictures to follow

2: Gavin's Tasting

       It was a great pleasure to have Gavin to talk to us. We regularly receive information about his wines. So it was particularly pertinent that he should give us a presentation of some of his most recent acquisitions.
       He got us in the right mood with a refreshing Spumate Brut from Veneto. (100% Glera but not Prosecco!!) Good lime fruit on the palate. The South African Gables End (UK bottled) Sauvignon Blanc was much less in your face than its normal New Zealand equivalent but was a pleasant, easy drinking, clean and refreshing light wine. It was followed by a Rioja Bianco (100% Viura). With a flowery nose and gooseberries on the palate with a lightly acidic finish, it too was made for easy drinking on its own or with food. The B & G Viognier from Pays d'Oc IGT lived it to the grapes reputation for tropical fruit on both the nose and palate which carried on in it's fairly long finish. The last of the whites, an Albarino from D Pedro, Spain had been left on the lees for some time to reduce the normal acidic nature of the grape. What resulted had a mown grass nose and light fruit wine, well balanced and made again for general quaffing anytime.
       To go with the white wines, Mark provided a delicious gin and beetroot cured salmon taster.
       In general the reds which followed all gained marks equal to or better than the whites. The Volcanes Pinot Noir from Miapo, Chile, for example, with its strong plum and damson nose with a hint of farmyard and spicy, stone fruit palate received equal top rating. The Hanger and Flank Mendoza Malbec (bottled in Germany) didn't do quite so well, even though it had all the firm fruit and well balanced tannin and acid one would expect from this popular Argentinian grape. The Chateau Pinet La roquette from Cote de Blaye was a classic Bordeaux. Leather on the nose, blackcurrant and forest fruits with enough tannic to think this could go on for a while yet. The last red was from the McManis Estate in Lodi, California. Probably the best wine of the day. Soft berry fruit on the nose. With full fruit and good balance with soft tannins, this wine has a few years to go.
       Mark, as usual, provided an excellent main course of Chicken in a mushroom Marsala sauce accompanied by fondant potatoes and green beans.
       All together a very enjoyable evening with well deserved awards to our hard working joint secretaries, Charlotte who provided us with such good food for so many years and an enjoyable range of wines from around the world provided by Gavin.

The Wines
10 Max
Aperitif: Palladiano Durello Spumante Brut NV, Veneto, Italy
(1) Gable's End Sauvignon Blanc 2017, South Africa 5.50 6+
(2) El Meson Rioja Biaanco 2017, Spain 8.30 6+
(3) B & G Viognier 2017, Pays d'Oc France 7.95 7+
(4) D Pedro Albarino 2017, Spain 11.85 7+
(5) Volcanes Reserva Pino Noir 2015, Maipo Chile 11.40 8*
(6) Hanger & Frank Malbec 2017, Mendoza Argentina 8.50 7+ *
(7) Chateau Pinet La Roquette 2014, Cote de Blaye France 9.99 7 *
(7) McManis Petit Syrah 2017, Napa Valley California 11.99 8

* Average of a wide range of scores!