Tasting Room

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Drinks: Drinks

A tour of the wine-tasting circuit this week bore fruit in the form of two really appealing ranges. We also explored Sam Sake’s range of products alongside food from Novikov.

Domaine Bott-Geyl, Alsace, France 
Calling all Riesling fans… The characterful biodynamic wines from this Beblenheim producer were one highlight from the recent Wines of Alsace tasting. Les Eléments 2011 (£10.42) had warm aromas of ripe apricots and spice, leading to a softly fruity palate (mandarin, yuzu and more apricot) with Christmas spices, underpinned with clean minerality and crisp grapefruit notes on the long finish. While Grafenreben 2011 has a pretty pink grapefruit nose with a touch of creaminess; followed by a well-balanced palate with layers of sweet fruit, spice and crisp lemony acidity. (£11 for the 2005 vintage). Finally the Grand Cru Schlossberg  2010 (£20) is top-end stuff: layered and savoury with fantastic depth. 
OW Loeb, 020 7234 0385

Altano, Douro, Portugal
You’ll probably know the Symington Family as port producers, owners of brands such as Graham’s and Cockburn’s. But their portfolio also includes a clutch of good value Douro table wines that are well worth a taste. Altano Organically Farmed Red 2010 (£6.56) is rich and fruity, delivering plenty of bang for your buck; while Altano Quinta do Ataíde Reserva 2009 (£8.55) is a smooth operator with chocolate notes and hints of violet. But surprisingly our favourite was the zesty Altano White 2011 (£5.43), a blend of Malvasia Fina, Viosinho and Moscatel Galego Blanco with crisp gooseberry fruit. Great for summer wine lists. 
John E Fells, 01442 870900

Mansakuno Hana Hyakunenmae (1oo years ago) Junmai
An aged sake, this proved to have great food-friendliness, with its sherry aromas, as well as marshmallow notes. Tangy sweetness followed on the palate, with marzipan and dried fruit, leading to a bitter, nutty finish. An interesting, versatile sake. It’s made, as the name suggests, using a 100-year-old method. 
Sam Sake, 0208 451 0084

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Since its launch in March 2007, Imbibe magazine has established itself as the UK’s leading publication for on-trade drinks professionals. Imbibe’s editorial coverage takes in all the main drinks categories, from wine to water, spirits to soft drinks.

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