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New wines a success at Long Pond wine tasting

It seems that EPWAS is stronger than ever. For those of you that do not know who EPWAS are (and that’s everyone as I’ve just made it up) it’s the Eltham Park Wine Appreciation Society, a group of customers of the Long Pond micropub in Westmount Road, Eltham that gather for a wine tasting quarterly hosted by yours truly.

Previously the themes have been country specific but last Monday’s but more a case of ‘anything goes’ and I took this as an opportunity to showcase some new wines within the portfolio that were slightly ‘off piste’ so to speak…off piste I said!

First of all it was a taste of the ultra-rare Tio Pepe en Rama 2015 release. This is the limited edition Fino sherry released annually by Jerez’s most famous producer. Just 16,000 bottles are made and it is much sought after by wine lovers over the world. Coming to the end of its official lifespan (Tio Pepe recommend it is consumed in its first 6 months) this amazing sherry showed wonderful complexity and a superb nuttiness. What makes this so special is that it is bottled without fining or filtering so it retains so much of its cask freshness. The 2016 Tio Pepe En Rama will be released in May 2016 and Wren Wine is the only Kent wine merchant to receive an allocation of this wonderful wine.

Next up was the delicious 2014 Gasper Chardonnay/Rebula from Goriška Brda region in Slovenia. All present were charmed by this stunning, vibrant white with its delicate rose petal nose and fresh finish. A real bargain at £11 a bottle. A little further west, from the Trentino Alto Adige region of Italy, came one of my favourite whites of the moment, 2014 Terlaner Classico, Cantina Terlan. This is a blend of 60% Pinot Bianco, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon Blanc and offers a complex nose of pear and apricot fruit with hints of herbs and a long, rich finish. At £16 it may be more than your everyday bottle but as weekend treat its highly recommended.

Pick of the reds was the fantastic 2013 Pinot Nero, Ca di Alte from Veneto, Italy. A wonderful delicate red cherry nose with hints of fennel, it is an amazingly complex wine at just £8.75. Notoriously difficult to cultivate, it’s pretty hard to find decent Pinot Noir under £15 these days so this at nine quid is an absolute winner.

The final wine of the evening was the brilliant 2012 Rioja Graciano,Bodegas Casa Primicia. It’s rare to find many Riojas made entirely from the Graciano grape (Tempranillo is the norm) and they can be hit or miss but this beauty is a sure fire hit. With a tiny production of 10,500 bottles it is aged for 11 months in Hungarian oak. The result is a ripe, complex wine of dark fruit character and luscious spice. It is beautifully silky on the palate and the finish is long and full. A superb example of Graciano and worth every penny of its £12.95  – as all members of the EPWAS agreed.

So to cleanse the palate it was a pint of the wonderful Pond Life, the Long Pond’s session ale and if you can find be a better served pint in South East London then I’d like to know.

Alright, I had more than a pint…


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