By Claire Burgess, 11 July 2014, Ultra Vie

On Thursday the 3rd of July Ultra Vie members gathered at La Compagnie Delicatessen for a fine wine tasting of Old and New world wines to taste some of the leading second wines from some of the worlds greatest estates.

The tasting was led by Paul Hammond and Jon Hirsch of IG Wines and explored the innovations of winemaking delving into different winemaking styles, techniques and grape varieties to determine whether we can distinguish between old worlds tell-tale minerality and harmony against the new world’s ripe fruit flavour profiles.

The tasting focused on the second wines from leading estates. Almost all leading chateaux in Bordeaux and Tuscany produce second wines which makes sense commercially as they develop naturally out from a selection of vines that did not make it into the first; however, they are from the same vineyards and of the highest quality. When vines are young they are exuberant and virile, producing high yields. As they age they begin to produce less wine but with more concentration. Second wines can usually be drunk a little younger, but age wonderfully.

Members were impressed with the bold Flavours of the New World Wine, especially the Clos du Val Chardonnay, 2010 compared with the Old World Chardonnay Maison Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet, 2011 which exhibited much sharper flavours and intensity.

Paul talked of the first wine of Lebanon, Musar 2007, which interested members who were familiar with the wine. The wine, although new world, has been described broadly as a bordeaux blend coming from the Hochar family of French origin who arrived in Lebanon with the Crusades, brining with them the same wine making practices coming from Carberney Sauvignon and Bordeaux.

Comparing this to the old world wine the Dame Montrose, 2008, a famous Bordeaux wine, it differed from the elegant and youthful tannins and acidic structure of the Musar, 2007, with sweet tannins and acidity, lush and concentrated flavours. Both wines were crowd pleasing head turners.

Paul who considers his favourite wine under £25 to be Guidalberto, 2011,  an old world wine from Tuscany, was compared to the new world wine Glaetzer Bishop from the Glaetzer family, South Australia. What was noted was the medium levels of grainy tannins in Glaetzer Bishop, which gave it its full-bodied frame compared with the silky tannins which captured a resonant and super sensual style.

After the suitably besotted affair members headed over to La Compagnie des Vin’s Surnaturels to enjoyed more wine from their extensive wine list of over 400 wines and plates of crispy baby squid, marinated courgettes, foie gras a la plancha, spring salads, crudities and dover crab in the specially reserved area for Ultra Vie members, ‘The Alcove’.

This was a truly tremendous night and there will be more to come. Keep your eyes peeled for future food and drinks events with Ultra Vie. Nights not to be missed!

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