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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm Dermot Nolan, and I became a Master of Wine (MW) in 1997, and resigned from the Institute of Masters of Wine in 2023 after being an MW for exactly 26 years. I opened a wine shop in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library, which closed in 2018, and this is my personal wine blog. I will do my utmost to be fair and responsible in my posts – please read my Who Pays article in re the ethics of wine trips and writing. I have worked in wine education, retail, and consultancy since 1990. I was a Director of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events Committee, founder of the Trips Committee, and member of the Governance Committee. Having had problems with potentially libellous comments from unidentifiable posters, I now require that if you post a comment, you must identify yourself properly or it won't be published. Please note that I do not review products or services on request so kindly don't ask. I value my independence and I believe my readers (few that they may be) do so also.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What's the alternative?

The afternoon session was held in Yalumba's winery in an old, refurbished underground tank. In here, no-one can hear you scream....
Louisa Rose and Max Allen led an extensive tasting of many alternative wines. While a bit long (20 wines) it was interesting and there were some really thought-provoking wines. We started with 2 pinot gris wines (Henschke and Delatite), then 2 viogniers (Yalumba and Castagna) and a roussanne (Giaconda). Then an arneis (Dal Zotto), an albarino which cannot be so-called anymore because it's savagnin or traminer but that takes too long to say (Crittenden), a mad blend (Spinifex's Lola), a friuliano (Quealy) and a fiano (Coriole).
I liked both pinots gris, the Yalumba viognier, the arneis (which would be lovely with prawns) and the fiano. The friuliano was weird and the rest were nice but not great.
Then we had some reds. We started with gamay (R Wines), sangiovese (Greenstone), tempranillo (Gemstone) and mourvedre (Hewitson). I loved the gamay but seemed to be in a minority here. The sangiovese was very good, I found the tempranillo tough and tannic (all Australians say these are classic tempranillo characters but not where I come from!) and the mourvedre was an old-fashioned style but lovely.
Then 3 really good nebbiolos. Arrivo's lungo macerazione (very very good), Luke Lambert (good, fresh style) and Pizzini (rich and complex although, again, the group generally didn't like this one).
Then three oddities - Boireann's Tannat (big, chunky, good), Cobaw Ridge's Lagrein (very good, peppery) and First Drop's Montepulciano (extracted and massive and not like any montepulciano I've ever tasted).
Overall, some hits and some misses but very entertaining indeed.

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