Monday, 8 September 2008

Cederberg's Night of Triumph

Monday night marked the beginning of the wine trade's awards season. It's a fairly short season, lasting around three days, but no less important for its brevity.

From a Bancroft perspective, we were looking forward to the Decanter World Wine Awards Dinner with great anticipation, as Cederberg, our superstar supplier from South Africa, was in line for a number of trophies. The evening did not disappoint.

Midnight found me staggering down Bayswater, encumbered not by an excess of Champagne (this was a Monday night, after all), but by the three trophies which the awards had yielded. Amongst these was the Regional Trophy for Rhône Varietals, won by the soon-to-be released Cederberg Shiraz 2006, which then went on to win the International Trophy in the same category, beating the best of the Rhône, Australia and the rest of the world.

It was a night of stunning success for South African winemakers, who scooped up almost a quarter of the international awards. I spent the evening seated beside Lynne Sherriff MW, who chaired the South Africa judging panel. She completely failed to contain her excitement as the trophies piled up.

On Tuesday morning I fired an email off to the estate to congratulate them. Pieter du Toit replied, copying in all of his contacts, one of whom was Jancis Robinson MW, who included it in her own account of the event. You can read it here.

David Round MW

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

A star from Languedoc... Negly Falaise 2006

As I have a quiet day today, here is my first contribution to the HHB Blog, drank last night…

Falaise 2006, Chateau de la Negly

This cuvee from Ch. De la Negly is a fairly typical Languedoc blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre. In the glass the wine is saturated black, almost opaque in appearance. The nose is powerful and really pure, revealing mixed berry fruit, red cherry, black olive tapenade and a background of cloves and spice. On the palate the wine is full bodied, soft and voluptuous with a velvety texture and absolutely no aggression. The characters found on the nose follow through on the palate with masses of ripe fruit, violets, raspberries and blackcurrant and a creamy, Vimto type character. The finish is warm and generous with a hint of spice and seamless, almost unnoticeable tannins. The alcohol is very high at 15% but with the masses of concentrated fruit and great overall structure it is not too overwhelming and remains balanced. This is a very individual, expressive wine which is so soft and fruit driven you could enjoy on its own or it will pair well with rich, powerfully flavoured foods and bizarrely goes well with dark chocolate.

Sean Burbridge
Account Manager