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Tasting at The Sampler, Islington

I stopped in at The Sampler on Upper Street in Islington last evening. The store offers tastings of an excellent range of wines, making use of the Enomatic wine serving machines, similar to the Winesense stores in South Africa. Here are a few that I tried…

2009 Simonsig The War Horse Chenin Blanc, South Africa £7
Why not start with something from SA? The label makes you want to pick it up to start with and tasting it will make you put it in the basket. Incredible range of flavours and really tasty, enjoyable Chenin in the more tropical and juicy style. Good stuff.

2006 Gravitas Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough £12.80
Back in SA most people tend to relegate Sauvignon Blanc to the cooking wine shelf once the new vintage comes out, so I was interested to try this slightly older new world example. Nice, gracefully aged Sauvignon. Bit of straw and seaweed on the nose but the mouthfeel was still fresh.

2008 Pascual Toso Malbec, Argentina £7.75
As expected, loads of fruit on the nose, bright red berries with a odd perfumed character. Bold and juicy on the palate, with a bit of wood looking to add stucture. Oak is a bit out of sync, but at £8 I’m happily drinking it!

2007 Les Obriers de la Peira, Languedoc-Roussillon £11.50
My favourite of the evening. Dark fruit, laden with anise and cigar tobacco with a bit of meatiness. Long finish and plenty of fruit, but still very drinkable and not over the top. Under £12 a bottle – awesome.

Prices shown are from The Sampler.

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