Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal Tutored Tasting at Open Wine Restaurant

We were invited as media to this small vertical tasting, guided by the winemaker Chris Albrecht. Three wines in each flight were to be tasted blind. Two of them would be different vintages of Hannibal. The third wine would be something different but similar. We were to see if we could spot the odd one out. Hannibal is a Sangiovese led blend of six Italian and French varietals, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Shiraz, Barbera and Mourvedre, none of them Bordeaux,. Each one is barrel matured for up to 16 months. It was awarded 4½ stars in Platter. The blend differs every year according to the harvest. When introduced, the blend was frowned upon, but it has a good following and has had great success
The tasting was held in the Open Wine wine bar in Wale Street, Cape Town
A wall of some of the wines they serve, with the price per glass or per bottle. Yes Lynne is trying to duck the camera, as usual
Gathered like this, it reminded her of the Last Supper
In another section of the bar, whom should we spot but an old friend, Karl Gostner, Group Head of Strategy at Primedia Broadcasting
The tasting was organised by PRO Janie van der Spuy of Five Star PR
Pouring the first flight
Winemaker Chris Albrecht starts the tasting and says can we spot the incomer? We could! They all had very different noses, but the Hannibals are similar in quality, flavour, and identity and their elegance far outmatched the Chianti from Montalcino, which is fairly basic Italian but drinkable
The flight: Hannibal 2010 and 2011 and a Tùran Tenute Silvio Nardi
We were served some food made by the wine bar with each flight. This was a mini smoked salmon 'bagel', salami and some cheese on bruschetta
And then some deep fried cauliflower and broccoli with a mustard dip
The second flight again showed how easy it was to spot the two similar Hannibals next to the Morgenster Italian Collection 2009 Nabucco, which is a single barrel matured Nebbiolo. All these wines were excellent, the 2008 Hannibal being full of sweet fruit, still young and powerful, herbaceous and liquorice notes brought the Italian components to the fore. The 2009 was similar but more French in its style and elegance
Frieda Lloyd, Manager Cape Whale Coast, Hermanus Tourism, Hemel-en-Aarde Winegrowers' Association and Khail Van Niekerk, texting and tasting
A small onion tart with balsamic reduction
Third flight Hannibal 2006 and 2007 Powerful full fruit and wood on the elegant 2006, meaty from the Mourvedre. The 2007 has elegant dry tannins, still a bit closed but with aging potential. The Incomer was herbaceous with a strong Italian identity, with fennel on the nose and palate. 2006 Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany, 100% Sangiovese
Winemaker Chris needs to sit down, eat something and chat
A plate of gnocchi with a meat ragout
Fourth and final round. 2003 Hannibal was wildness, sweet fruit, chalky tannins liquorice and intense fruit acids. Built to last. The incomer was a 2003 Sangiovese from Idiom in Somerset West , with incense wood, good fruit on the nose and slightly fizzy sweet and sour berries on the palate, a typical forward Sangiovese. The final Hannibal from 2002 has incense and smoke on the nose, good fruit and liquorice on the palate
Some polenta, layered and topped with cheese. A really interesting tasting, which taught us a lot about Hannibal, which under all its different guises and blend differences, it is easy to see a thread of similarity in the vintages of these elegant drinkable wines
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