The July meeting of the Wine Club, gave us a hot night, an eclipse of the moon and a flight over some of the world's most famous wine country, Burgundy.
The Club owes a very large debt of gratitude to our guest speaker, the recently retired Wine Steward of St. John's College, Ian Sobey.
Ian has a love of wine, a love of French wine and a love of the wines of Burgundy. As Wine Steward he was for many years the man responsible for the purchase of the many wines needed by the college to support it's various functions and hospitality needs.
Ian was went on to describe to us the history of wine and its place within the culture of hospitality at the College both today and in the past. He introduced us to the cellars, the old cellar dating back to the mid to late 1400's and the new cellar a mere 500 years old.
Ian, a mathematician, also shared with us the relative costs of of Burgundy wines over the years.
Our tour of Burgundy though was not just via the wonderful wines that he was able to introduce but also a virtual arial tour by courtesy of Google Maps and some great use of that technology. This was great help in seeing how the vineyards are made up, or one should say, split up given the effects of land passing through families on death.
We saw also also the ability to drop down and look at the the villages and towns 'up close and personal' allowing Ian to share with us some of the great restaurants discovered over many years of visiting the area.
Ian, many thanks, it was a great evening and superb to understand a little more of both the role of wine steward and the wines of the region.
We enjoyed two White Burgundy wines:
The first of the two Chardonnay wines was the St Romain Blanc, 2013. Now we know that Chardonnay has a reputation that many will not touch a wine made with the grape. That dislike is present in some of members but last night even the most strident ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) member was a little seduced by the soft and subtle flavours of these wines. This was classic Chardonnay but with crispness and good length.
The second Chardonnay was still an obvious Chardonnay but now different, a little more robust, with more fruit and softness.
The red wines, all Pinot Noir. The grape that is the most demanding of grapes to produce exceptional wine.
All were subtle, with great length and begged to be drunk with suitable respect with good food and ideally with friends that appreciate the subtle flavours.
The most obvious physical difference was the colour, we were told a function of time. The older wines showing a darker, maroon colour, one that one could not see through unlike the youngster where the typical Pinot soft colour was an immediate give away to the grape type. The flavours more pronounced with more tannin in evidence in the oder wines but also great length and flavour. Oh yes a very good night!
The wines concluded with a non Burgundy sweet wine, a 2003, a Bordeaux in this case and from the Ch Brouset (2003). To think that some people dislike sweet wine, how can that be, this was just gorgeous.
The, last wine served with white chocolate and dark chocolate. The perfect end the to the perfect evening
Date of next meeting
September 29th. South Island wines but no Savvy Blanc!
For those that want more info re the Oxford Wine Festival
go here https://www.oxfordwinefestival.org