Friday, May 6, 2016

Memories from a Master class on the wine from Tejo, Portugal

Master class on Portuguese wines from Tejo:

"Warm days, cool nights " by Jamie Goode and Martta Simoes.

at the London Wine Fair 2016

Région west of Lisbon.

China  is the first export market!

Touriga nacional main indigenous variety also Tricadeira and Castelao all mixed with international varieties.

Whites: alvarinho arinto, fernao pires.

1. Casal Monteiro 15, 13abv

Fernao pires, arinto 50/50

Citrus, flowers fresh

Moderate and smooth length

Score 88

2. Fiuza alvarinho 15, 12.5abv

Alvarinho 100pc

Moderate fresh well balanced.

Stony fruity but smooth end.

Score 88

3. Quinta da Alorna arinto 15, 13.5abv

Arinto 60 and chardonnay 40

Chardonnay on oak 5 months

Perfect balance. Vanilla and honey from chardonnay, freshness enough from arinto. Moderate length.

Score 90

Retail price in Portugal is 6euro!

4. Adega do Cartaxo plexus 15, 10abv

Alicante bouschet 100pc

Deep violet color

Cherries, intense aroma.

Slight effervescence.

Cheap and cheerful.

Some sweetness prevail overall, some freshness resists.

Score 83

5. Quinta da Ribeirinha 12, 13,5abv

Touriga nacional 100pc

Flowers cherries

Tannins strong, maybe 5 months in oak nit enough.

Score 85

6. Pinhal da Torre two worlds 13, 13.5abv

Touriga nacional,  tinta roriz, sousao,  Touriga francesa,  Touriga franca.

Spicy and fruity

Unbalanced too hard.

Score 83

7. Quinta da Alorna reserva 12,

Touriga nacional 65pc, and cab.s. 35pc. 12 month in oak.

Fresh red berries.

Spicy. Unbalanced too harsh.

Score 84.

Overall better whites, balanced and pleasant. And a steal at their prices.

Better than reds, generally too harsh.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sake master class by Natsuki Kikuya

Sake master class. Let's go. "journey in the sake glass" by Natsuki Kikuya, director of sake museum in London. Great event learned a lot.

In Japan sake is a declining industry, not considered cool by young people. In Europe opposite, even non Japanese restaurants now propose it.

Interesting that sake producers don't grow own rice. Can buy from anywhere in Japan.
No "terroir" but different climates change taste of sake from prefecture to another.

Tasting notes:

1. Azure Ginjo. Yamanadishi, 15%. Green apple. Add distilled alcohol for sharp finish.  Good with raw fish. Score 86.

2. Takashimizu junmai daiginjo. From Akita prefecture. Smooth, structure. Good with salmon. Score 90.

3. Urakasumi Junmai. From miyagi prefecture. Fruit almond slightly bitter . Smoother, bananas milkshake. Score 88.

4. Shirakabegura kimoto jumai. From Hyogo prefecture. Beef country. Bananas figs. Richer nose.fuller palate. Score 94.

5. Shichida junmai ginjo. Saga prefecture on Kyushu. Sweet food lots of soy sauces. Fresh and smooth, balanced. Long. Score 96.

6. Daruma masamune. 5yo. 17%. Exception, sake usually doesn't age. From Gifu prefecture, only landlocked prefecture in Japan. River fish. Preserved foods. Sweet. Amber color! Smooth structure. A bit oxidized, reminds of Sherry. For after meal or fatty food. Score 95.