March 2011 Meeting - Mad as a March Hare

The mystery of Paul and Ronnie Gilbert’s tasting theme “Mad as a March Hare” was quickly revealed at our March event when they explained that no hares were actually involved, just a selection of wines that featured something to do with animals (or fish) on the labels! ...

We started off with a Nobilo Orca Bay 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, at £5.99 an excellent value New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that displayed a fresh tropical style with a crisp finish.  This was followed by a 2008 St Hallett Poacher’s Blend from South Australia; a very refreshing and easy drinking white made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Riesling grapes and, at £5.99 on special offer, another excellent value wine. 

Moving on to reds, we tried some St Hallett Gamekeeper’s Reserve 2009 from the Barossa Valley.  This blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Touriga Nacional was full of ripe fruit with savoury spice to balance and again came in at the magic price of £5.99.  Returning to the Northern Hemisphere, we then tasted La Vieille Ferme 2009 from the Côtes du Ventoux.  Made predominantly from Grenache and Syrah, this was similar to the Gamekeeper’s Reserve but with an added hint of oak.  Our third and final red was a Fish Hoek Shiraz 2009 from South Africa’s Western Cape (£5.59).  This smooth, full-bodied red had an attractive spicy finish and complemented the other two reds that we had tasted. 

We finished with a white wine – La Difference Viognier-Muscat from the Catalan region in the south of France.  This medium dry wine was rich with flavours of ripe peaches and apricots and fresh grape juice from the Muscat.  The wine went well with shortbread and cost £6.49. 

All in all an interesting selection of wines at affordable prices sourced from Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose and accompanied by a selection of delicious canapés kindly provided by Ronnie.