Winehos returned to Harrods for taste of sunshine at their California Wine Road Trip tasting experience. The team hand picked 39 producers to showcase their wines which proved to be a packed out event. I think I was probably the youngest person there (apart from some of the people on duty!).
California isn’t a new wine region, they’ve harvested grapes since the 18th century but they weren’t appreciated globally until the 1970s. Chardonnay is the most popular variety grown followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Harrods Wine Advisor Pascal Kessedjian says that the region has many microclimates, and there’s no generic style. The aim of the evening was to showcase the best and demonstrate that all Californian wines are not the same. It was fantastic to try some of the Stag’s Leap wines (famous for outranking the French at the 1976 Paris tasting) and some more unusual varieties like the Arneis from the Seghesio Winery.
One of the wines everybody was talking about was the La Joie 2004 and 2007 vintages from Verité (pictured above). The Verité vineyard is located at the bottom of the Mayacamas Mountain range and has established a reputation for Bordeaux styled varieties. The La Joie 2004 is a blend of Cabernet – this was gorgeous, like drinking fruit velvet and I thought it had a lovely light liquorish finish . At £210 per bottle (or £166.50 if you buy a case) you’d expect exactly that. I loved it.
The La Joie 2007 had a lighter fruit finish than the 2004 and consists of Cabernet and Merlot varieties. Again it has a lovely intense colour and fruity aromas. Compared to the 2004 I round this a lot rougher and tangier, however apparently 2007 is the vintage to buy and this wine will continue to develop for the next five to ten years. At £385 per bottle (or £315 if you buy a case of six) this is definitely an investment.
The cost of attendance was only £40, and well worth it given the amazing wines up for tasting and of course Harrods’ fabulous canapes. We highly recommend attending the Portugese Wine Tasting on July 26 or Tuscan Wine Tasting on 20 September, and coming in at only £30 it’s a bargain. You won’t be disappointed.
For more information check the website here.
Thanks to Pascal Kessedjian for the invite!