Wineware were lucky enough to attend this year’s London International Wine Fair (20th-22nd May 2013). The team returned back to Sussex feeling enthused and excited about their new wine discoveries whilst gaining an insight into the future for the wine industry. (They did sample some delicious wines too). Here is Managing Director, Chris Wellman’s thoughts on the event.
We went to the last day of this year’s London International Wine Fair and have several points to reflect upon. We visit the fair every year to try and discover any new products or innovations in the world of wine related accessories and often come back loaded down with brochures, leaflets and contact cards, some of which (but not all) we follow up after weighing up the pros and cons of the item/s in question. Our focus is definitely the accessories, however the main point of this international fair is the wine and the bringing together of the UK wine trade in one place to sample a host of new wines and vintages from producers worldwide.
It is therefore, plainly rude, not to get even slightly involved in trying something at least. What can I do? It’s there waiting to be tasted so I felt I had to oblige, like anyone would. One of my favourite wines over the years and one that I have tasted on many occasions and which has never let me down is Chateau Musar. This 100% family run winery is an absolute marvel and has been making quality wines since 1930. Practically the entire Hochar family from Lebanon, their ‘adopted’ family members working in the UK offices and even Tarek Sakr the chief winemaker himself attend the LIWF each year; leaving you wondering who is back in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon looking after things at the winery. The Chateau Musar red and white wines are highly valued and collected by enthusiasts and the winery has a huge worldwide following. Browse Chateau Musar’s fantastic wines here.
The secret, I believe, is to not just look at the obvious Grand Vin, but to look a little further, sideways even, at the Jeune range and especially the Hochar Pere et Fils Red. This is the wine, from the newly released 2008 vintage that caught my eye and taste buds. This wine is made from grapes from a single vineyard and is not, as many assume, the second wine of Chateau Musar. It stands up for itself and is a complex and concentrated beauty that blends Cinsault, Grenache, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a very Pinot Noir type bright red colouring with a nose of figs and plums and to me, a waft of strawberries (even though you probably won’t read that in any other tasting notes!). A bit of an aftertaste of leather and a pleasing tannic tea flavour which also lingers making this soft velvety, smooth balanced wine a definite joy to drink. Perfect on its own or to accompany a meal.
This wine is undoubtedly a winner; one that fully deserves to be after all the effort put into its production and presentation by the Hochar family and the UK team. Please don’t let this one pass you by! The team are already thinking about next year, what will LIWF 2014 behold?