Hi, I'm Dan and I am relatively new to wine. I first came to properly appreciate wine a few years ago when I was gifted a tour of the Chiltern Valley Winery in Oxford and we were given a wine tasting lesson by an ex-sommelier. Since then I have tasted wine in a different way. I am now completing an online course and an NVQ 2 wine tasting course.
I look forward to getting to know you and sharing some great tasting experiences.
- Reply by EMark, Dec 12, 2013.
Welcome to the Snooth Forum, Dan. It is always interesting to learn how others became interested in wine, and your story is a good one. We look forward to learning more from you. Living in the U.S. I am, as you might imagine, completely unfamiliar with the Chiltern Valley Winery. Can you fill me in on what kinds of wines they are producing?
- Reply by bigbaddan1977, Dec 12, 2013.
Hi. The Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery is in the Chiltern hills near Henley-on-Thames and is the best know English winery. http://www.chilternvalley.co.uk/
We got to sample some amazing wines, ales and liqueurs. I think I remember the wines we tasted.
A medium bodied red akin to a gran reserva tempranillo although the grape variety is Montipulciano. Really plummy, with berries with an oaked finish. I tried a 2008 vintage on the day (2011) and I laid 4 bottles.
I opened one a few weeks ago and it had rounded off so beautifully with notes of vanilla, raspberry and a much mellower finish. I think the other three will be opened in over the next few years as the sommelier recommended laying for up to 10 years.
We tried the oak aged dry and it was incredibly smooth with a finish that I thought was never going to end.
The Cuvee was a beautiful example of a medium dry white, incredibly fruity with a nose of deep orchard fruit and with pear and notes of vanilla and citrus
We were incredibly fortunate to sample the sparkling wine. I say lucky because this wine is a particular favourite of the Duke of Edinburgh who usually orders several cases per year and they rarely have any for tastings. According to the sommelier this wine caused quite a stir when, in a blind tasting, several French tasters rated it 4th, above some of the finest Champagne houses in France.
For me the highlight was a stunning little dessert wine. It was like nectar with a very heady note of elderflower and peach.
We also tried several of their liqueurs:
Wild Strawberry, mead, blood orange and wild peach.
Gold, dark roast, damson ale. We would have tried the barn ale but it it wasn't ready for drinking at the time we were there.