Top 10 Wines @ Liberty Wines Annual Portfolio Tasting 2017

Getting a chance to attend the Annual Portfolio Tasting of Liberty Wines in London was a professional beauty in my agenda. The company was founded in 1997 by David Gleave MW as a start-up with just four people working as staff. Today, it employs 130 individuals and has an annual turnover of £45 million. With awards annually pouring in from IWC, Decanter and SWA (On-Trade Supplier of the Year, Merchant of the Year, Wine Educator of the Year…), I honestly don’t see the need to bore you further with data and statistics of what Liberty Wines is in the international market today.

The APT 2017 was held on the 17th of January in the fascinating Kia Oval cricket ground in South London. This is the chief event of the company and gives wine lovers a chance to taste over 600 wines, spirits, beers, ciders and olive oils from over 150 representatives. To be frank, I only tasted around 250 samples. I started off slow and focused on my writing, but after a few hours I figured out how time is soaring by without me trying anything French or Italian. Luckily, eight hours presented a perfect time period to keep me sane and awake (though a lil’ dehydrated), so I cherry-picked the most sophisticated examples in the last 60 minutes. Being a WSET Diploma student, I really can’t complain about the producers selected for this event, because everything I wanted to cover and rehearse for the upcoming Unit 3 exam was there – Barolo, Tuscany, Australia, Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, South Africa, Rioja… Continue reading “Top 10 Wines @ Liberty Wines Annual Portfolio Tasting 2017”

Wine Blown: Bratanov Merlot Single Barrel 2012

Don’t worry, the first Bulgarian wine I’m going to write about is not going to be Mavrud, because realistically, no one knows what the fuck that is. Except the Bulgarians. And some wine experts that were lucky enough to get hold of this plump liquid. But today, we’re going to cover easy stuff – Merlot.

From the outside, Bratanov Merlot Single Barrel 2012 looks like something cryptic that you would keep closed in a vault until the dark forces send you a signal to open it up. What you get for aesthetics is a green bottle and a piece of carton stuck to the neck of it. No hidden messages, but only the basic information about the beverage. In the glass, the wine is gorgeous like a horse – silky, smooth texture, opulent body and serious body. Continue reading “Wine Blown: Bratanov Merlot Single Barrel 2012”

Wine Blown: Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007

Every now and then I start my article with the thought that it would be so cool to be in the epicenter of action, i.e. in the wine region I’m about to describe. Doesn’t every writer strive towards being fully inspired by his/her surroundings and bringing the reader a close to tangible experience? Of course. But hey, an apartment with a sunny view and some imagination is good enough for now. The Rhone Valley will eventually be crossed off the bucket list.

Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007 has one hell of a name and if you don’t know even a tad of French, you’re in for some laughs and confused squints. Drinking it is a whole other story. Continue reading “Wine Blown: Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007”

Wine Blown: Quinta Milú La Cometa 2012

To be honest, I’ve always avoided one of the top three classical regions of the Old World – Spain. It’s not because I didn’t like the wines or because the DOs were not as interesting. The main reason was totally coincidental – bottles from Italy and France always found their way to my table before any other did. So today is the day I warm things up with some laid-back Ribera del Duero.

Quinta Milú La Cometa 2012 excites me just by its label. It’s very simple, minimalistic and approachable. The colour of the wine in the glass is deep violet, indicating a youngster on the rise. Now, the nose is where things start to get interesting. Pretty reductive on the first sniff, but after some decanting, this disappears and fuses into notes of blueberry, black currant, dried plum, leather and Mediterranean spices. Continue reading “Wine Blown: Quinta Milú La Cometa 2012”