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Yalumba Wine Stories Blog
by Jane Ferrari, July 18th 2009

I’ve got some catching up to do – back to Hampshire for a minute – to Hotel TerraVina, in the New Forest at Woodlands, near Netley Marsh, near Southampton.

Gerrard Basset is one of the top wine men in the world. He’s certainly won the accolade of Top Sommelier in the UK several times, and has trained I think 8 of the last 10 people to win that award. Gerrard was the co-founder of the Hotel du Vin group, and has now traded that interest to establish his own operation – Hotel TerraVina. He has visited Yalumba twice, and we are very pleased to have several of our wines selected for his wine lists.

At TerraVina Gerrard runs Sunday evening wine dinners themed around a specific vineyard or region. We were lucky enough to shift this to last Monday night, and on this occasion we showed three pairs of wine to compare and contrast:

    * 2007 Eden Valley Viognier & 2007 Virgilius Viognier (the chef put on a Langoustine ravioli with coconut and pea cappucino)

    * 2006 Scribbler Cabernet Shiraz & 2004 Signature Cabernet Shiraz

    * 2003 Octavius Shiraz & 1998 Octavius Shiraz (thank you to Mr Nutt, a local wine dinner regular who volunteered this vintage from his cellar)

For the record – the 1998 Octavius is still travelling well, with lashings of warm berries on the front aroma and palate, moving into the secondary development of tobacco and cigar box with reasonable length and drying tannins. I would suggest it’s peaking right now, so not surprising that it went well with a sensational cheese plate that Gerrard put together – but particularly the Nanny Williams blue goats cheese from the local folk Ness and Gwynn at Loosehanger Farm, also in the New Forest.

So after having Gerrard at Yalumba, it was really nice to have Yalumba at Gerrard’s place – an oasis of beautiful stemware, tremendous wine lists, and chefs that are featuring the best in local and regional produce. Oh and by the way – he has Coopers beer (an historic brewing family from Adelaide, South Australia) in the fridge, to look after those homesick wine folk who happen to drop by.


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