A Full-Bodied 2015 at The Vineyard – Wine Regions to Watch
21 Nov 2014
The Vineyard near Newbury in Berkshire is the UK’s leading wine hotel with a striking two-storey glass cellar holding over 30,000 bottles from both the New and Old Worlds as well as the award-winning wines from owner Sir Peter Michael’s estate in Sonoma County, California. The wines form the perfect accompaniment to the celebrated contemporary French and Mediterranean cuisine, using seasonal and sustainable produce, from award-winning executive chef Daniel Galmiche, who regularly appears on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen.
2015 – A Vintage Year?
Romain Bourger, The Vineyard’s Head Sommelier highlights the top ‘new’ wine producing regions for 2015 with recommendations for similar wines from the extensive cellars at The Vineyard.
With a great diversity of climate conditions ideal for a wide range of grape growing varieties – hot summers, cooling coastal breezes and moderate rainfall – Chile offers such revered wines as Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Pinot Noir.
Valle de Casablanca, Chile’s first cool-climate wine region has produced crisp white Sauvignon and Chardonnay; further from the coast Valle de Colchagua has a warm climate producing rich Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, and Syrah. San Antonio valley is one of Chile’s youngest wine regions, with low temperatures and thin soils. Pioneering wineries produce exciting cool-climate wines such as Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc with bright fruit, naturally high acidity, and a distinct mineral character.
* 2011 Viña Santa Rita, Chardonnay, Reserva, Casablanca Valley £42.00
* 2011 Casa Lapostolle, Syrah, Cuvée Alexandre, Colchagua Valley £48.00
Less known in the UK, Austria produces a diverse range of red and white wines but the star of the show is Grüner Veltliner, a zingy, crisp white. The terraced vineyards of the Wachau valley on the Danube River form one of Austria’s most exciting wine regions (along with neighbouring Kremstal and Kamptal) with cold winters and hot summers evened out by the influence of the Danube. Vines were cultivated here by monks in the Middle Ages and today most of the country’s leading dry whites come from here.
The milder climes of the hills in the Styrian regions produce aromatic Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc while rich red wines such as Pinot Noir grows well in the hot, continental climate of Burgenland.
* 2013 Schloss Gobelsburg, Grüner Veltliner, Steinsetz, Kamptal £42.00
* 2011 Umathum, Zweigelt, Burgenland £39.00
South Africa is the oldest ‘New World’ wine-producing country producing many different styles of wine, from intense, concentrated Cabernet or Merlot to spicy, delicate Syrah. Rustic and leathery local grapes make Pinotage while Chenin Blanc is the most widely planted variety.
The Cape Winelands at the southernmost tip enjoy a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The mountain slopes and valleys such Table Mountain and Constantia are cooled by sea breezes producing Sauvignon Blanc.
Stellenbosch is perhaps the most famous wine-producing region, hot and dry with exposed hills and sheltered valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is the region’s most widely planted grape variety, and is often combined with Merlot to create Bordeaux Blend wines.
* 2007 Ashbourne, Pinotage, Walker Bay £53.00
* 2011 Ken Forrester, Chenin Blanc, FMC, Stellenbosch £70.00
Fans of Riesling need look no further as Germany offers some of the world’s greatest: dry and fresh; rich and full bodied or sweet. The good news is they are lower in alcohol too. The Mosel region is dominated by Riesling grapes which ripen in the sun on the steep hillside vineyards – Germany’s oldest. Baden is Germany’s southernmost, warmest and sunniest wine-growing region producing red and white pinot wines.
* 2011 Weingüt Egon Müller, Riesling, Scharzhof, Mosel £62.00
* 2011 Weingüt Meyer-Näkel, Spätburgunder, Ahr £45.00
Over the last 20 years wine making in England has hugely improved, in particular English sparkling wines. Made in the same way as Champagne, English home-grown sparkling wines offer a great freshness and identity despite the climate and soil being similar to that of the Champagne region. In fact English slightly cooler climes are said to give home-grown grapes greater elegance, with Sussex, Hampshire and Cornwall among the best sparkling wine producing regions.
* NV Coates and Seely, Blanc de Blancs, Brut, Oxfordshire £61.00
*2011 Gusbourne, Pinot Noir £60.00
The Vineyard and fine wine make the perfect pairing for 2015.
The Vineyard, Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8JU 01635 897589
A night at The Vineyard is priced from £235.00 based on a Luxury Double room
for two guests sharing inclusive of breakfast