Friday November 25th at Fontwell Racecourse was the spacious venue for a wine-tasting extravaganza where Gusto Wines served up a dégustation par excellence!
I will subsequently select a small selection of the vast array of wines on offer and, although there was an abundance of French wines to taste, I decided to cast my net further afield to Europe and beyond (with one or two notable exceptions).
Who then, pray, are Gusto Wines?
They are in fact a small family-run independent wine merchant based in Ford and fronted by Simon and Clare Wallace who were recently awarded the prestigious Overall Business of the Year 2016 at the Arun Business Awards, and pride themselves on a very personal and attentive service .
Simon Wallace hosted table six and I first elected to sample a 2014 Topuku New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and would ascribe to it qualities of an archetypal Sauvignon Blanc (priced at £9.69) being both crisp and fresh with lychee, citrus and gooseberry flavours.
On Simon’s recommendation I next sampled a Mitchell Clare Valley 2014 Watervale Riesling from Down Under. This wine took my breath away and resembled a French wine in its composition ably crafted and fermented spontaneously to complete dryness with ambient yeasts muting some of the riesling’s aromatic high notes, whilst leaving the intense ,citrusy varietal flavour intact. A crisp, bone dry finish complemented the concentrated rounded flavours and priced at £13.95 this wine is a veritable taste sensation!
Two red wines to savour then beckoned and for chocolate lovers the distinctively bottled Negroamaro Alfredo Rocca Salento priced at £11.99 would tantalise with its deep and dark red colour sporting a complex bouquet of ripe fruits and hints of spice. Produced in Salento, a few kilometres from the Ionic Coast, the wine exudes a velvety roundness with an oaky note-well worth a try!
Finally acquiescing to the lure of French vinification I happened upon a 2013 Vidal – Fleury Saint-Joseph from the Rhône Valley which fully justified its £21.99 valuation, being delightfully smooth with vanilla and spice to the fore and, in my view, a superbly crafted Rhône wine whose taste lingers seductively and with its peppery overtones is a wine to savour!
For high spenders the Champagne Gosset Grande Réserve at a princely sum of £41.99 is everything a good Champagne should be and the Frapin VSO Cognac divine (£44.99)!
Gusto Wines is well worth a visit and you will receive great attention at Ford Lane Business Park if you so choose!