Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Sampler!

For the uninitiated, The Sampler is a great place to find new and interesting wine. Branches are in South Kensington and Islington in good old London town. I swung by the South Ken shop when I was back in England a couple of weeks ago.
The key advantage to shopping here is that many wines are available for tasting in Enomatic machines! This means you can have a perfectly served sample size of a wide variety of wines. Simply hand over some cash, get a card, get a glass, pop your card in one of the machines and taste away!
I had an hour and a half in here and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Here are my impressions of some of their offering!

2010 Domaine Maroslavac-Leger. Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes. Fine crisp acidity, not as much fruit as advertised. Obviously lovingly produced with wonderfully balanced oak and a touch of creaminess. Great value.

2011 Domaine du Chêne condrieu Restrained fruit with English pear and musk melon underplayed with smokeyness! Pricey.

1998 Viña Tondinia Rioja Blanco. Like a very herbal white Bordeaux. White flowers and some orchard fruit. Acid well balanced and great length but I'd hoped for more for this money

2012 Monsters, Monsters Attack! (Yes, that's its name) Rich, primary Riesling. Candied pineapple and sweet shop on the nose.

1976 Ch Leoville Barton. Obvious pedigree on the nose. Still very fresh and I'd never put this at 35 years old. Hint of sour. Christmas spice Length long! Is this wine holding up better than me? I don't think so. If I paid 90 quid for this I'd feel a bit on the robbed side, the highway robbed side. I suppose there's always a premium on Bordeaux.

2001 Viña Tondinia Very sophisticated red fruit but could certainly put up a fight with richer foods. Dust. Massive length. Restrained and in no need of having to try hard. Just needs to resolve the acid a bit more to be a real stunner. Drink from 2016

2010 Domaine de Chêne Anaïs Saint Joseph Fantastic. Syrah fruit and cloves! Wallop!

2010 Juan Gil Jumilla Monastrell. Double whammy! This is a blast of fruit extraction. A chocolate bramble flamethrower of a wine. BBQ plonk on plenty on steroids and not without savory character to retain the drinkers' interest. Oak spice aplenty.

Bizkaiko Txakolina Gorrondona tinto. Hondorrabi Beltza grape (no, me neither...). Tastes like Blaufrankisch. Acetony.

2010 puy de dôme Pinot Noir. Concentrated and new worldly, this also has a dried meat character to it. Wonderfully cheap!

I hope you get the chance to go to one of their branches soon!

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