Jamie Hutchinson reviews the Fields Morris and Verdin Tasting.
What is it about hosting wine events in a St James gentlemans’ club? Sure, the RAC Club building is lovely and the room a decent size, but the welcome from the staff is like a slap in the face from a pompous and slightly decaying salmon, and the requirement to wear jacket and tie simply ridiculous.
I can barely remember how to tie a tie, as was obvious to those of you who saw me there. All credit must go to the chap who turned up in a bright pink dress suit – I wish I had thought of that.
Anyway, other than not being able to breathe or swallow, the Fields tasting was really very good indeed. They should be particularly praised for managing to bring along quite so many top notch winemakers ranging from Jim Clenenden of Au Bon Climat and Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda to Jean-Nicolas Meo of Meo Camuzet.
The standard of wines was generally very good, and whilst it may have lacked any wines that really blew me away, there were plenty of lovely wines.
Particular standouts were Qupé’s Bien Nacido Pinot Noir (a country mile better than the straight Central Coast Pinot), Gerin’s Cote Rotie 2005 which I thought showed better than even the single vineyard 2006, and Yarra Yerring Dry Red No 1 which interestingly came in two different versions; I especially loved the smaller production, Agincourt, cuvee.
I was left slightly underwhelmed by the Italian whites and relentlessly modern Spanish reds, but the Burgundys showed well and the Aussie, Kiwi and USA wines were exceptional. The greatest shame is that Isabel Estate’s gorgeous botrytised Sauvignon is not going to be available in the UK due to some insane EU regulations. Would anyone who visits them in the next few months bring me back a bottle or two please - I can swap you a wine-stained tie for them.