Dick Waterson, our man in the Scillies, and I flew off to these stunning islands for a couple of days schmoozing with customers earlier last week. We stayed at the rock-solid, Bell Rock Hotel on St Mary’s where we enjoyed very comfortable accommodation in this traditional hotel.
Dinner at the Star Castle Hotel included a bottle of our Decanter Magazine 4 star award winning Cotes du Rhone Villages, Plan de Dieu from Chateau la Couranconne – still a little young but with far, far more to come. The 5 star Seguret from the same producer arrives next month with our entire allocation all but sold so we are hoping to eke a few more cases out of vigneron Gerard Meffre.
Scilly was looking freshly scrubbed and ready for a new season although some out there are a little worried that the season seems to be getting shorter rather than longer which is a disheartening. It is expensive to travel and stay there, but oh-so worth it. We took a raft of wines over and clear winners were once again the almost gloopy Rosedale Barossa Shiraz, a nicely balance Rioja Crianza 2007 from the Alavesa Covila winery and the attractive, tropically fruited Parrotfish Chenin Blanc.
We were accompanied on the trip by David Courtenay-Clack from the Tamar Ridge winery in Tasmania – this range of wines, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Botrytis Riesling were all showing really well, really fine examples of modern, cool climate wines.