I met Louisa Bassant (right), the driving force behind the Wine Collective, at the recent Psychology For All conference. She mentioned that she was about to start a new wine tasting service so it was nice to attend the launch party at the Sampler in Kensington earlier this week.
Themed as ‘Hidden Gems and Rising Stars’ Louisa led us through a few of her picks. I have to admit to having had a bit of a summer cold so found it quite a strange tasting. Berlucchi Franciacorta 2006, a passable fizz, opened proceedings but was not particularly memorable. Things then picked up with Sepp Grüner Veltliner 2009 and Von Buhl Paradiesgarten Grosses Gewachs Riesling 2008 which were both technically sound and enjoyable. A South African Chenin (with a bit of Viognier and Clairette) Mullineux Blanc 2009 went down a storm with most people but I couldn’t get past the coconut notes. I am not a big Chenin fan but lots of people are and would no doubt enjoy this (with food) . As my nostrils cleared intermittently it was a bit like a sudden window of intense smells. I was taken by how obvious oak was during these lucid moments. An unlisted 2002 white Burg appeared and was welcome but a bit wasted on me given my snozzle issues.
The reds opened with a luscious Foillard Morgon Cote du Py 2009. It reflected the good vintage and showed promise not usually associated with Gamay. It might well approach Burgundian complexity in a few years. Wine of the night though was the 2004 Rostaing Cote Rotie La Landonne. The black pepper and cherry notes cut through my cold. Not Guigal but still a real treat. Drinking well now and will do for the next decade.
Unfortunately a hot toddy and bed beckoned so I had to bail out and missed the rest of the wines and the celebrations. But I wish Louisa well with her project. Have a look at what’s on offer here.
Thanks also to Kate Noble for the picture