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Samples in the Cellar with Emily Silva - Vol. 01

Thursday 2nd February, 2019

Presented by  Emily Silva

The Oxford Wine Company Shop, 6 Turl Street, Oxford, OX1 3DQ

Following many questions about when the tasting programme was going to get started again, Emily returned to the Turl Street Cellar to present her first tasting in over a year - the first in a new series which she is calling 'Samples in the Cellar'. These tastings are intended as an informal and informative look at six wines that are tasting particularly good at the moment. There's no set theme to the tastings, although if pushed she might say it's 'Good Wine' - ! 

With a full cellar full of keen tasters, Emily had six particularly interesting bottles lined up for an evening of wine and conversation. 

We began, naturally, with some fizz. The Domaine Regine et Gilbert Brigand Crémant de Bourgogne to be precise, which we all agreed lived up to the 'Creamy' texture suggested by the name 'Crémant'. Great quality and excellent value for money in comparison to Champagne.

We moved on to the Pietradolce 'Archineri' Etna Bianco. Emily was delighted with an opportunity to indulge in a bit of real wine geekery and to talk about the volcanic soils and altitude of Etna, and what this means for winemaking. This was a seriously high class bottle with real depth and concentration.

Our next wine came from Germany - the Biodynamite from Weingut Pfluger. This aromatic blend of Riesling and Gewurztraminer couldn't have been more different from the minerality we saw in the Etna Bianco. The Pfluger estate is farmed fully biodynamically, which led to a conversation about the merits of making wine sustainably, and with a conscience.

Moving on to red wines, we jumped over to South Africa for the Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal. A unique mash-up of Italian and French grape varieties including Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Syrah and Barbera, this was the real favourite of the night. Rich and complex but with an ethereal elegance it was unlike anything we'd tasted before.

We came back to Europe for our next wine, to Portugal's Douro and the Quinta de la Rosa Tinto. A rich and full bodied red from one of the pioneers of Douro table wine, this was a perfect winter warmer full of rich dark fruit flavours.

The final wine in our line up was the Bacalhoa Vinhos de Portugal's Moscatel de Setubal. Gorgeously sweet, with complex notes of orange blossom and tea, this was a delicious end to the evening.

Overall this was a great tasting, with a relaxed atmosphere and six very different wines that all had one thing in common - they tasted great!