A few weeks back, Castlefield in Manchester was the base for the Oxford wine agency of Stevens Garnier to showcase their very best offerings in their latest trade tasting roadshow. Attracting wine makers from countries including Austria, Portugual, California and France, as well as industry folk like Ruth Yates of Corks Out and Chris Green of the Manchester Wine School, you just know your going to be in for a treat! But before we get onto the wines, who are Stevens Garnier?
It all started in 1976 by two gentleman named Edward Garnier and Alastair Stevens, and carried on by Alastair after the early departure of Edward for the next 32 years. The relatively small team invested themselves into ground breaking imports from Argentina, Chile, Australia and Canada in the early eighties – something of an unknown territory back then. Stevens Garnier were also amongst the first to bring Bag in Box wines to the UK and one of the first to form a winery/agency joint venture when Sogrape of Portugal took a stake in the company in 1986.
So with a little Stevens Garnier knowledge brought to the table, the event was set in the Castlefield Rooms next to Dukes 92, where a horseshoe of wines (105 to be precise, with 5 Champagnes and 10 ports also making the grade) were presented to us, with the wine makers waiting with a wealth of information as we prepared to sip and swirl through the delights! Now I have to admit, I didn’t try all 120 offerings, but below I give to you a selection with my thoughts and tasting notes on each –
Champagne Bernard Remy Carte Blanche – 12%
Light honey and citrus on the nose that develops into an intense freshness once it hits the palate. Lots of mint flavours mixing well with the lively bubbles.
Champagne Bernard Remy Blanc de Blancs – 12%
Bright and lively nose with no significant aroma, but soft offerings of citrus are present on the palate.
Champagne Bernard Remy Grand Cru – 12%
Soft citrus aromas swirl on the nose and hit hard on the palate and gives a long after-taste.
Champagne Bernard Remy Rose – 12%
Lots of fresh fruit on the nose dance well, with significant dark red fruits coming through on the palate to create an intense finish.
Champagne Bernard Remy Vintage – 12%
Light aromas of vanilla lie on the nose, with a good hit of floral flavours hitting the palate.
Cave de Kientzheim-Kayesersberg Pinot Gris 2010, France – 13%
Bold hit of fresh, ripe fruits on the nose that leads straight onto the palate. Short, sharp and crisp.
TYDY Sauvignon Blanc, Vin de Pays de Loire 2011, France – 12.5%
Herbal and floral aromas mix well on the nose, with a good blast of grapefruit. Fresh fruit flavours on the palate, with a fantastic crisp finish.
Lots of fresh fruits that become masked with a subtle flow of spice on the nose. Soft offerings of fruit on the palate sooth down the aromas that leads to a refreshing end.
Vacheron Sancerre Blanc ‘Le Paradis’ 2009, France – 13%
Incredible ripe green fruits on the nose that leads to a well-rounded sharp flavour on the palate.
Domaine Corsin Pouily Fuisse 2009, France
Elegant mix of citrus and floral on the nose, with a good balance on the palate that has a soft ending.
Domaine L’Arnesque Cotes du Rhone Rouge ‘Fleur de Garrigues’ 2010, France
Black pepper with hints of liquorice on the nose and then combines well on the palate. Very smooth.
Domaine L’Arnesque Chateauneuf du Pape ‘Capelane’ 2010, France
Lots of intense berry aromas on the nose, with hints of figs and prunes as it makes its way to the palate.
Domaine Rose Dieu Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010, France – 14.5%
Almonds and fresh fruits dominate the nose, with the fruit becoming bolder as it hits the palate. Long finish.
Clos Bellane Cotes du Rhone Villages Valreas Blanc 2010, France – 13.5%
Ripe grapefruit mixes well with fresh exotic fruits on the nose. Very lively and fresh on the palate.
Clos Bellane Cotes du Rhone Villages Valreas Rouge 2010, France – 14.5%
On the nose there is a good mix of blackcurrant and pepper, with the tannins on the palate emphasising the aromas. A long, fruity finish.
Jeaninne Boutin Cote Rotie ‘Bonnevaux’ 2009, France – 13.5%
Rich blackberry aromas are complimented by floral notes on the nose. Soft fruit offerings on the palate that leads to a good, fresh finish.
Chateau Genisson Blanc, AOC Cadillac 2003, France – 13%
Aromas of floral and peach combine with almond on the nose. Bold fruit flavours on the palate with a fantastic long sweetness.
Canapi Pinot Grigio 2011, Italy – 12.2%
Lots of citrus and tropical notes on the nose that combine well on the palate too. Well-balanced and refreshing.
Canapi Nero d’Avola 2010, Italy – 13.4%
A blast of red cherries hits the nose before hints of spice follows it onto the palate. Raspberry flavours follow nicely.
Sonsierra Perfume de Sonsierra 2009, Spain – 14.5%
Fantastic mix of strawberry and liquorice mixing well on the nose, with subtle hints of roasted coffee greeting the palate. An incredibly long and smooth offering.
Duque de Viseu Dao Branco, Portugal – 13%
Ripe fruit aromas of grapefruit and pear combine on the nose, which become heavy once it hits the palate.
Herdade do Peso Reserva, Portugal – 14.5%
Intense mixture of blackberries and raspberries on the nose with subtle aromas of spice and pepper coming through. Soft and well-balanced on the palate.
Los Boldos Momentos Chardonnay 2011, Chile – 13.5%
Aromas of green fruit blend nicely, with tropical fruits developing nicely on the palate.
Finca Flichman Tanguero Chardonnay 2011, Argentina – 13%
Light white fruits combine with floral notes on the nose, with a long offering of pineapple and peach on the palate finish.
Finca Flichman Misterio Malbec 2011, Argentina – 13.3%
Lots of deep aromas of black plums on the nose. Blackberry notes on the palate that creates a subtle finish.
Finca Flichman Misterio Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina – 13.5%
Deep aromas of blackcurrant and pepper on the nose, developing into a spice offering on the palate with red fruits and hints of chocolate.
Finca Flichman Paisaje Tupungato, Argentina – 15%
Lively nose of ripe cherry aromas that are also present on the palate. Long, delicate finish.
McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah 2010, California – 14.5%
Bold aromas of cassis on the nose mixes well with sweet hazelnut. Ripe black fruit flavours on the palate that creates a long lingering finish.
A fantastic varied selection, with both the Chateau Genisson Blanc, AOC Cadillac 2003 and Canapi Pinot Grigio 2011 being personal highlights for me. I’ve decided to keep the tasting notes of the two port selections separate, with the full range of both Offley and Sandeman tried and tested. This will be going live in the near future!
All of the above wines are available via the Stevens Garnier website, and the majority that you have read come in at a reasonable price.
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.