New World Wine Tasting

14th August 2009

Two terrific New World wines tasted last night. First, with prawns and scallops, our own 2007 Meerlust Chardonnay from Stellenbosch. Scent of cream and caramel, followed by an already surprisingly complex palate (oops, warning, I am about to go all Robert Parkery here) showing woodsmoke, caramel, lime, fennel and an oatmealy element. Only 13 degrees of alcohol, and perefectly balanced. This youthful and so promising wine isn't given away at £16.50 a bottle - but as that sum buys increasingly little in Burgundy, I do urge Burgundy lovers to try it. Leave it six months to a year, decant it, and just show it to people: let them guess what it is and its price: I am sure you will be gratified by the response.

Second up, with sweetbreads and mushrooms (both perfect accompaniments for Pinot Noir) was a bottle of 1998 Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir from California. Still exhibiting some lovely berried fruit, fragrant and charming, this offered more evidence for my continuing campaign to age decent New World wines.

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