Wines for 2008 Annual Lunch

1. Tramoya Verdejo 2007, D.O. Rueda, from Bodegas Pedro Escudero

Grape Variety: 95% Verdejo, 5% Viura 13% Ageing: Unoaked

Tasting Notes: A classic Verdejo wine with a yellowy-green colour and added tinges of green. On the nose, it is quite intense with a predominance of herbs (hay, fennel), pineapples and hints of summer fruits. Full and well structured with a fresh, crisp taste and a long finish. General Notes: Included in Washington Post wine journalist Michael Franz's top 5 Verdejo wines for quality and freshness, this bodega's wines are a superb example of the internationally renowned Verdejo grape wine - perfect for drinking on a hot summer's day, over barbecues, with seafood or simply as a cool aperitif. One of Spain's best kept secrets, these superb wines from the Rueda region are at the vanguard of the country's white wine offering.

This modern bodega is located in the heart of the region's wine producing area in the picturesque village of La Seca, some 70 km north west of Segovia. For several generations, the Escudero family has been the heir to an old tradition of vine growers, with strong loyalty and enthusiasm to the terroir, customs, and viticulture of the Rueda region.

2. Bodegas Laus Flor de Gewurztraminer 2006

A quite delicate and summery style of Gewurztraminer, perfect for al fresco drinking and with lightly spiced salads, fish etc. Classic notes of rose petal, lychee and spice with flowers and herbs too. The palate is perfect Gewurztraminer done with a delicate touch, restrained yet characterful and beautifully balanced.

3. Oscar Tobia Reserva 2003

Grape variety: Tempranillo 13% Ageing: 24 months in French and Hungarian oak barricas prior to bottling in October 2003.

Tasting Notes: Clean, bright cherry red colour with deep red hues. Elegant and refined nose with gentle aromas of coffee spiced with caramel and eucalyptus. Well balanced and rounded with mature tannins; a full-bodied wine with a long finish. General Notes: A very special limited production Rioja made by Oscar Tobía, one of the new generation of Rioja winemakers. A long maceration process plus the mix of different types of oak give the wine a unique complexity whilst retaining much of the traditional Rioja style. This wine is a constant yearly winner of various medals at the Bordeaux International Wine Challenge and Spanish national and local competitions.

4. Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak 2005

South Africa Pinot Noir 14%

South Africa's Walker Bay is one of the coolest wine growing areas on the Cape making it ideal for growing the tricky Pinot Noir grape. Medium bodied. Fantastic fruit - wild strawberries, black pepper, with hints of vanilla. Soft palate with well integrated tannins providing great structure. A wonderfully smooth wine with tremendous nose, fantastic fruit and a hint of vanilla.

5. Baron de Lay - Finca Monasterio 2004

Grape variety: Tempranillo

Baron de Ley is a large estate also created with a Bordeaux-like philosophy producing widely available, new-wave Rioja. This is their premium cuvée from the single monastery farm house/vineyard. It has a dark red-black hue, concentrated right out to the rim.

6. Leon Beyer Vendanges Tardives 2000

The finest of Alsace wines, full and sweet, produced in the best years from grapes harvested when overmature, chapped, or in general having attained noble rot. Very rarely obtained from a late harvest (Vendange Tardive). The subject of the most stringent legislation in France, they are unique and magnificent, with great body, exceptional generosity and astounding length - exquisite white wines, the finest Alsace has to offer !
2000 vintage. Following an uneventful winter, and a warm and sunny spring, budburst occurred around 20 April. The good weather continued and so flowering was extraordinarily early and very rapid throughout the region. June continued hot and dry, under ideal conditions, right through to early summer. The weather throughout the months of July and August was more contrasted, with cooler temperatures and a few scattered rain showers. The 2000 vintage began on 2 October for late-harvest Vendanges Tardives. From a quality point of view, the overall sanitary state of the harvest was quite satisfactory. With excellent maturity, balance and structure, each wine appears to be close to its ideal varietal characteristics. 2000 was a great vintage for Riesling, and these wines show both freshness and substance.