South London wine expert Wayne de Nicolo reports back on a portfolio tasting for Bermondsey-based wine shippers, Mentzendorff & Co
Lead image: A view over the Bodegas Roda vines (photo courtesy Bodegas Roda / Mentzendorff & Co Ltd)
At a wine tasting earlier this year – before Covid-19 put paid to events that involved large gatherings of people and, um, spitting, I got to explore the portfolio of Bermondsey-based Mentzendorff & Co.
There are two types of wine tasting – the trade tasting (the stomping ground of the wine writer, buyers for supermarkets, wine merchants, restaurant sommeliers and such like) and the portfolio tasting (where you taste the wines of just one importer or UK agent).
Mentzendorff, which has been shipping fine wines and spirits since 1858, offers a portfolio of around 30 producers. At this tasting, I found particularly standout:
Jean-Luc Colombo Hermitage Le Rouet Rouge 2017 (13.5%): Syrah from steep vineyards in the Northern Rhône Valley. Soft, deeply flavoured and tasting of brambles and other black fruits. Needs a few years for the tannins to settle but promises excellent future drinking. Currently unavailable from UK stockists but the 2012 ( a very good vintage) is £44.99 from simplywinesdirect.co.uk
Roda I Reserva 2013 (14.5%): A top level Rioja. Deep flavoured yet elegant, with fine tannins and a streak of acid. Drinkable with food now it will soften more over the next five years and be enjoyable long after that. £44.95 (mix six) from majestic.co.uk
Taylors 20 Year Old Tawny Port (20%): A fine alternative to vintage port, this offers rich, sweet raisin and marmalade flavours with good balancing acidity. £32.95 from drinksdirect.co.uk