Closure with old world wines from Wine Fiesta

Crowd. Small talks. Getting in and out the way. Recalling all these as part of the Wine Fiesta experience, it is time I pen my closure to this year’s episode. Almost thirty producers and close to hundred of labels, my old world hunt was less than ideal. Finding balance was a challenge, with a few falling short on the lift factor, and some stood in the grey-area of wine faults.

Looking at old world wines call for a different perspective. They can be either in the “modernist” fashion or in the traditional classic. The latter calls for patience and one can be duly rewarded after proper cellaring, or equally disappointed. Generally I find it difficult to convince mass consumer to buy a wine and expect it to be picture-perfect 10 years later. If I ever take up a sales job, watch me turn into a hobo by the third week. Stalkish Pinot noir, tannic Madiran and sleeping wines weren’t what I looked for. Wines must be singing now if it wants to move from warehouse to cellar. It is that straight-forward.

Wine 15D: Chateau Mas Neuf, Compostelle Blanc 2011

A blend of Roussanne (90%), Viognier (10%) translated into a wine showing fresh melon with honey underlined by a distinctively floral aromas. A white wine of southern Rhone, the densely packed richness showed on the palate and ended only after a soft long weighty finish.

Wine 17B: Domaine Laporte, Pouilly-Fumé-La Vigne de Beausoppet 2009

Light hint of tropical fruits with plenty of mineral touch, including a chalky sense in mid palate before the classic medium power acid on the back. Finishing was enjoyable with its lasting aroma.

Wine 43A: Vietti Roero Arneis 2012

Complex bloom of flowers with a light touch of pear and smoke. A nicely balance mid level acidity lightly gripped the mouth before it finished.

Wine 15F: Chateau Mas Neuf, La Mourvache Rouge 2009

Gamey notes from the Grenache and real power from Mourvèdre tannins. Its fruit richness on palate make this a wonderful wine for roast.

Wine 19C: Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aine, Gigondas Rouge – Pierre Aiguille 2010

I was told to cut the chase and have the Gigondas. That was the right move. Complex aromas that switched between red fruits , dark fruits and sweet spices. On the palate its true strength showed, with a depth of ripe tannins and vibrant acidity that gave a long impressionable finishing.

Wine 29C: Bodega Vina Pedrosa, La Navila – Vina Pedrosa 2009

Initial whiff of sweet spices before wave of sour fruits and incense-like aromas. Palate showed great depth of freshness and balance. Piece of serious work.

Wine 40D: Tenuta Fanti, Brunello di Montalcino 2008

Dark cherries, plums with a light touch of vanilla. Its youthful vibrancy was clearly illustrated on the palate by its acidity but the well-tuned tannins left a sense of silkiness amidst its balance structure.

Wine 41C: Monte del Fra, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico – Tenuta Lena di Mezzo 2008

In the tropical climate, many had committed the disastrous move of serving Amarone warm. Serving this wine slightly chilled was the winning strategy. Sweet chocolate, raisin and rich. The powerful Amarone, while doesn’t showed much of its acid, had finished off with a tinge of its signature bitterness.

Wine 43B: Vietti, Barolo Castiglione 2009

Orange peel and rose petals. A very classic Barolo characterised by fresh acidity but made approachable with its welcoming tannins. This is, indeed, Piedmonte answer to Burgundy

Since I was informed of a representative for American wines, I decided to have a special mention for these missed gems in the new world section.

Sanford Chardonnay 2011

A Chardonnay with a nice touch of oak, and preserved good dose of acidity to give the grip. Very focused expression.

Sanford Pinot noir 2010

A new world style Pinot with sweet tannins and intensity. Slightly lacking on the acidity department. But with all considered, it was enjoyable.

Terlato Family Vineyard, Galaxy 

A blend of signature varieties from parts of North Coast California, the Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot joined force to present this powerful wine. Intense amount of black fruits with a gentle medicinal touch, the juicy palate with mouth-watering acidity paved way for a long cellaring potential.

the author

One fine day, Wai Xin woke up and decided to throw Java coding out of window in exchange for a career in wine. Believing strongly that wine is for enjoyment and not a trading commodity, he encourages sensible, affordable drinking and the exploration of individual preferences.