Les Caves Goes North!

In the upper gallery of Manchester’s Salut wine bar on 27 February, Les Caves showed off some 70 wines to the local trade in a welcome venture up north. 

Scheduled guest Bryanna Schneider Holden from Sokol Blosser was unfortunately unable to attend the tasting but her Evolution wines from Oregon were showing in fine style.

Evolution Red, a blend of Syrah, Sangiovese and Montepulciano, was light and balanced, with cherry fruit and plum skin, while Evolution White – a veritable kaleidoscope of varieties with Müller-Thurgau, white Riesling, Semillon, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Sylvaner – somehow unifies to deliver a fresh, coherent smack of spice and citrus.

The sparkling wine is approachable and fragrant, eliciting a note from one attendee that “it’s a sparkler you don’t need a celebration for. You just enjoy it!”

Also from the US, Hank Beckmeyer’s Clarine Farm Albarino from Sierra Nevada was light and mineral with a crisp finish, aching for the companionship of a seafood platter.

Les Anglophones

On the French table our own Line Moullier picked out some notable wines with Anglophone influence:

Rockaille-Billy from Vincent Marie’s Domaine No Control:

 “It’s Gamay from volcanic soils in the Auverge, with whole bunch maceration, so it’s really fruit-forward,” she says. “You taste it and you know exactly where it’s from.”

From the Jura, Straight No Chaser from Domaine Hughes-Béguet,  a blend of Savagnin and Chardonnay:

“They work biodynamically in the vineyards and in the winery use indigenous yeasts, do not filter the wine and don’t add any SO2 at bottling. In terms of aromas, I would say ripe apple with some buttery/leesy notes, with a wonderfully vivid acidity.”

And this one’s entirely French - but somewhat a-typical of the local language: Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme’s Touraine Sauvignon 2015 delivers something entirely against your grass-and-gooseberries expectations, with apple fruit and a savoury, almost sherry-saline finish.

More staff picks

Les Caves’ Vicky Riddell said: “I heard quite a few people raving about the Damiano Ciolli Silene Cesanese Superiore Rosso, which is one of our new Lazio wines [see more on March’s wine of the month, here].

“For me the Arndorfer Grüner Veltliner Handcrafted was a real standout. It was delicate with a lovely bit of spritz at the end and quite a few people who tried it were impressed with it, too.”

Vanessa Woodfine’s highlight was the Sato Pinot Noir 2014: “We had loads of positive feedback on it and lots of keen interest to start listing it. It has amazing fruit and is very quaffable!”

For more information on any of the wines listed above or to order:

Call 01483 538820 or email [email protected] (trade);
or 01483 554750,  (retail) [email protected]