It is a sunny Friday evening. You are casually walking around East London. A friend calls to say he is nearby. At this very moment two seats on the terrace outside of Bedales at Spitalfields miraculously free up. What do you do? (Rhetorical question. I think we all know the answer to this). What followed was an incredibly pleasant evening where we sampled three very different glasses of wine. As background, Bedales Wines is a wonderful wine shop, bar and tasting venue with excellent food options. They have three locations – Borough Market, Spitalfields and Leadenhall Market – all of which have friendly, helpful and thoroughly knowledgeable staff. The wines we tasted were:
2013 The Three Foxes Clairette Blanche
This wine was recommended by Silvia at Bedales Spitalfields. An organic and naturally produced white wine from the Swartland region in South Africa, 50% of the wine is fermented and aged on skins giving the wine an incredibly aromatic and interesting nose. Funky baked red apples and some citrus peel (for me this presented itself as grapefruit) morph into almost chalky mineral notes on the nose. I would be very interested to see how this wine opens up in the glass (I was rather hasty in drinking it) as I imagine it would show many other expressive qualities. On the palate, the wine was light and refreshing. Dynamic and energetic minerality with a juicy baked apple quality dominated for me. A very interesting and obscure wine that was thankfully brought to my attention. I will be looking to grab a few bottles of this to try with friends and family.
2012 Azienda Agricola Cos Sicilia Pithos Rosso
I sampled the 2012 Cos Pithos Bianco (made from white grape variety Grecanico) recently and was super impressed so I had very high expectations for the Pithos Rosso. Made from a blend of 60% Nero d’Avola and 40% Frappato, the wine is fully fermented and aged in concrete amphorae (terracotta pots) in a similar manner to the Pithos Bianco. A bright ruby red colour, the wine is flamboyantly fruity on the nose: raspberries and sweet red cherries dominate but these work harmoniously with a subtle herbiness. On the palate there is a distinct fresh red fruit flavour (somewhat incredibly the producers manage to create a wine with fresh finesse in the intense Sicilian heat) of raspberries and strawberries alongside a floral violet note. A delightful and unique wine.
Bodegas Pinord + 7 Priorat 2009
Chosen by my friend who has recently developed a Priorat habit – he is even contemplating heading out on a wine trip to Catalonia without me which I find totally outrageous. A blend of 50% Garnacha (Grenache to the Francophiles out there), 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Syrah, the wine is aged in a mixture of French and American oak. On the nose, the oak is prominent yet very compelling. Sweet spice, cloves and a touch of toasty smoke work alongside plummy (both red and black) and blackberry fruit aromas. Concentrated, smooth and lavish on the palate, the blackberry and plummy fruitiness expresses itself wonderfully with a complex oak-induced backdrop. A big, powerful and thoroughly captivating wine. This is my kind of wine.