Yes I know. A week of wine tasting sounds fab. And yes I know you’re now waiting for me to tell you how hard a job this is. Well take my advice and trust me on this one: as hard as they can get, wine tastings are fun and anyone who begs the differ has a serious laziness issue.
So here we are again in day #2 of our massive tasting week (you can check our prelude and day #1 here) and this time I’m meeting old friends at the Bibendum HQ in Primrose Hill. Having spent a year socializing the wine world with the Bibendumites, tasting wine here feels like the reasonable thing to do. But nostalgia and business apart we’re here (we’re here) to get the coolest wine list in town going.
Having consulted Allesandra (my longtime Bib partner), we managed to agree on a shortlist of around 40 wines. This might seems like a lot of wine to taste but it is really the bare minimum. In order to get a cracking 70bins wine list, one has to go through at least triple the amount, which is, as already mentioned, a tough job.
This was the task of the day
The secret of a good wine list is no secret at all. Like any other aspect of our lives balance is the key here. But there’s one main ingredient that cannot be ignored, creativity. Nothing is easier than writing the same wine list again and again. The city’s full of them. The NOPI peeps agreed to take this approach one step further and demolish the usual wine list structure. So not only will we have unusual wines from interesting regions but we will also group the wines into some pretty unusual mini categories. And not just one, but many & all different ones. We are leaving the boring list by country, style or price behind and sorting the wines by their story. Wines can be categorized only by grape, by the special conditions in which they are grown, by the very good year they grew up in, or by the unusual winemaking techniques which were applied…but I guess you’ll have to see it to dig it.
Enough reveiled for one post, instead, here are the wines I liked best and a video where Yotam, Osh & Basha give us their top pics
Friendly Gruner Veltliner, Laurenz V (Niederösterreich, Austria)
Maybe the day’s favourite. From winery devoted to just a single grape variety: Grüner Veltliner.Super friendly indeed.
Vibrant freshness with loads fo herbacious notes. Very clean style with very light hint of residual, loads of aromatics & mouth watering acidity. Very good length as the minerality keeps on giving on and on and…
Wild Yeast Chardonnay, Spingfield Estate (Robertson, South Africa)
An unwooded Chardonnay, tank fermented with native yeast 70 days alcoholic fermentation 100% malolactic was allowed naturally 13 months on the lees. Unlike any Chardonnay you ever had!
Very complex nose with loads of bread & almond notes. Very intense on the palate. Loads of bready, martzipan flavours lifted with a fine mineral acidity.
Pinot Noir, A to Z Wineworks (Oregon, USA)
A interesting pick for our Pinot Noir group. Not often can you taste such a dangerously drinkable wine for such a friendly price. Simplicity at its best.
Lovely soft nose, beautiful primary and fresh fruit coming through. Pronounced strawberry on the palate with some soft aromatics. Light leafy character with a touch ripe fruit.
Morgon, Domaine Marcel Lapierre (Beaujolais, France)
Who’s afraid of natural wine? And who ever said Beaujolais can’t rock? Marcel Lapierre, the godfather of natural wine, passed away last summer. He shall be missed.
Light manure notes on the nose, then a burst of fresh red fruits comes through. Fantastic freshness on the palate, minerality and an intriguing combination of soft spices, black sour cherries and some leafy notes.
And as promised, here’s team NOPI thoughts of the day