Cheltenham Wine Festival

Posted on April 14, 2018

Another great Cheltenham Wine Festival : Well organised, well attended and well enjoyed!

This isn't really a Blog, but a refresher or reminder of all those wines that were tasted at CWF 2018 - and if you weren't lucky enough to grab tickets, here's what you missed, with visitor comments.


Langlois-Chateau Cremant de la Loire Rose NV, France : £13.00 

Fresh, fruity and full bodied, bursting with raspberry and blackcurrant.

Really popular on the day, people thought it was a good alternative to champagne, but much cheaper.  They like the summery fruits with crisp acidity which made it crisp and dry but without killing the flavours. 



Ai Galera Mistico 2017, Portugal : £7.50

Fresh with gentle flavours of ripe fruits. Pleasing soft finish.

The verdict was an easy drinking wine, suitable for most palates - so a good dinner party choice - especially at the price. And everyone loved the label.





Paso a Paso Blanco 2017 (VdT Castilla), Spain : £8.40

Fruit driven with attractive lemon notes. Fresh with pleasant lingering acidity. 

Another very popular wine.  Got people thinking of summer, they loved the fruit flavours with soft acidity which kept it dry.  A wine to drink at any time, anywhere - perfect on it's own. A wine that got people talking.



Akareggi Txiki D.O. Getariako Txakalina 2017, Spain : £14.60

Tropical and citrus fruits, lively in the mouth with crisp, dry finish.

This wine caused lots of interest. People thought it was Greek - the name; and German - the bottle.  All felt it would be good match to slightly spicy foods, such as Thai.  Definitely a wine for foods, the bold roundness would cut through that spice.



Santome Pinot Grigio 2016, Italy : £11.00

Aromas of peaches, apricots, mango that play out on the palate.  Acidic balance closing with a dry finish. 

Amazingly people weren't at first interested in tasting a Pinot Grigio - however, once tasted they were delighted to find one that had bold fruit flavours that lasted.  All agreed that the Italians have been keeping this for themselves.



The Shy Albatross Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand : £7.99

Gooseberry and tropical fruits - ripe and fruity with lovely soft mouthfeel. Perfect Cold Climate Sauv Blanc.

People were amazed that you could get a Marlborough Sauv Blanc of this quality at this price.  So Yes, this was popular.  People reported they have been moving away from NZ Sauv Blanc - over produced, over priced, disappointing - They loved this one!



The Googly One Chain Chardonnay 2017, Australia : £7.45

Ripe melon and apple with touches of pear and honey. Crisp, lively, bright with balanced textured soft finish.

Happily this Aussie Chardonnay is unoaked and full of fruit.  Again people were shying away from this wine, but once tried, they really enjoyed.  Another wine that over came preconceived ideas.  Cricket lovers all had to try this one!



Santu Tresa Rina Ianca Grillo Viognier IGP 2016, Sicily, Italy : £10.80

The two grapes varieties combine as a fragrant, racy well balanced wine with an interesting character.

Well this was the wine that didn't arrive in time! We brought along our top selling Viognier to fill the gap!


Domaine de Brescou Viognier 2015 : £10.45

Delightful aromas of honeysuckle notes leading to the fresh peach and apricot which follow through to the palate. Full in the mouth, it is fresh and balanced with good acidity.

After the initial disappointment, everyone enjoyed the replacement. they loved the full bodied, soft fruits with minerally dryness. Discussion lead to which foods to match with - fish of course, but also Roast Chicken with all the trimmings. 



Pierra de Taille Coteaux d'Aix en Provence AOP Rose 2017, France : £10.00

Typical of the region - red currants, cherries, wild raspberries and spice. Soft, light and dry. 

Okay so people prefer the typical Provence style bottle, but they liked the juice in this bottle. Very light, the sharp fruit of the wild raspberries kept it dry which was very popular.  Thoughts turned to hot summer days, barbeques, lazy afternoons.


Calusari Pinot Noir 2017, Romania : £7.69

Strikingly aromatic. Juicy plum and red cherry with velvety smooth finish.

Romania proved interesting. Some came to try this wine, because of Romania - some tried the wine before knowing where it was from. All agreed that this wine is smooth, delicious fruits and a fraction of the price of most other Pinot Noirs out there. Biggest seller on the day.



Paso a Paso Tinto Joven 2017 (VdT Castilla) Spain : £8.40

Supple and juicy with spice accented cherry and herbs.  Finishes on a tangy note with good length.

Easy drinking, perfect for sharing with friends.  The Tempranillo grape was very popular, many came just to try the two Tempranillos - think this might be taking over from last years popular Malbec.  



Ai Galera Poetico 2016, Portugal : £7.50

Red berry fruits.  Round in the mouth, medium bodied.  Mellow tannins leading to a lovely soft finish.

We brought this one along to prove that you don't need to spend a fortune to get good drinkable wines. Along with Ai Galera's Mistico CWF visitors thought they made a great pair - perfect Red & White partners for the fridge and rack.



Cielo e Terra Primitivo Primi Soli 2016, Italy : £9.60

Red berry fruits, violets, spice and smooth tannins.  Long rounded finish.

After the success of the Origini Primitivo from CWF2017, we were delighted to find another Primitivo to bring along.  There was real interest in this grape, visitors recognised it more easily this year - many more searched it out to try. Young fruits, great texture - almost crunchy was the majority opinion. An interesting wine worth trying and buying. 


Sabina Estate Crianza 2013, Spain : £9.35

Blackberry, spice with vanilla oak notes. A lovely smooth drinking wine.

We got people to taste the Paso a Paso Tinto Joven first, followed by this one - a lovely step up in taste and quality.  The extra years' maturation has rounded out the flavours, the smooth sweet fruit flavours were popular and voted one of the favourites of the day.


Tom Foolery Young blood Grenache 2017, Australia : £21.00

Made in Joven Old World style. Lively fruit with fennel, spice and tight savoury structure.

So our biggest seller was the Calusari Pinot Noir at £7.69, and this was second.  Yes we get that people want to try the most expensive wine on the table (but certainly not in the room), but this was the star of the day for us.  We made a few regulars taste this wine blind - no-one guessed it was Grenache or 14.4%.  All agreed it is exceptional and at a great price.  Light in colour and on the palate, but heavy on flavour, quality and tops points from tasters.



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