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Cadman Fine Wines

Head to head - New World Sauv Blanc vs Old World - what do the experts say!

If you like wine, then you’ll LOVE Cadman Fine Wines! I visited these guys in the beautiful surroundings of Castle Ashby a few weeks ago and love what they do. They specialise in the world’s finest, most sought-after wines from great and historic vintages, plus real finds from small producers…and prices start from around a very reasonable tenner (for superb wines). If you want something a little different for your dinner party/big Birthday celebrations/something to lay down for a decade or just to drink now, CFW is a no brainer!

Such is their knowledge, Muddy tapped them up for their verdict on the Old World/New World Sauv Blanc debate; I’m well and truly in the the New World camp on this. But since I don’t know a lot other that what it tastes like on my thirsty tongue, I chatted to David King – Fine Wine Sales Manager at CFW. We’d already broken bread (or rather popped corks) when he appeared on my radio show at NNLive, and this guy seriously knows what he’s talking about! I actually quaffed the Old World wine on the show and absolutely loved it. Maybe I’m a convert…Take it away David!

David (on the right), with colleague James. You too would be laughing if you worked around wine all day

New World/Old World Face Off – Sauvignon Blanc – same grape, different Hemisphere 

The gulf in style between two wines made with the same grape is rarely this wide. Both wines are outstanding but why should there be a difference? We now start looking at what happens in the vineyard. Differences in micro-climate, soils, altitude, hours of sunlight are all factors and of course the French language parcels all of this up into one word…Terroir. This word has been in use by Oenophiles across the world but perhaps we can start breaking down its mythical status through the practice of wine drinking.

Sancerre Les Blancs Gateaux, La Croix Canat 2015 (Domaine Tinel-Blondelet). France – Loire Valley £14.39 / bottle

No cakes here, Bake Off fans! Les Blancs Gateaux refers to the white flints covering the limestone slopes of La Croix Canat in the Loire valley; and the generally accepted ‘home’ for Sauvignon Blanc. The reflected sunlight not only helps the ripening process, but also the make-up of the top and sub-soil structure that creates the distinctly mineral character of this delicious wine. The citrus (lime) and peach like fruit flavours and the mouth-watering acidity which gives a lingering mineral (almost very slightly saline) finish. The perfect accompaniment (perhaps instead of a squeeze of lemon) to smoked fish, shell fish and oysters in particular, but also a delightfully satisfying aperitif (*Editor’s note – I am definitely down with swapping some lemon for a glass of vino : )

Auntsfield, Single Vinyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016. New Zealand – Marlborough  £12.82 / bottle

This wine has received international recognition, and rightly so (Decanter Magazine rated 98-100 points). The broad range of fruit flavours on the palate are immediate and alluring, but also this wine displays texture, richness, complexity and thanks to carefully judged acidity, supreme length in the finish. Characteristics produced by grapes from older vines growing in what is the first vineyard established in Marlborough (1873). No sign here of the oft blousy one dimensional fruit-salad style of more everyday NZ Sauvignons. This is a multi-layered stylish wine should be enjoyed with any fish or white meat dish particularly if there is a rich sauce involved, but also a real crowd pleaser as an aperitif with canapes.

Soooooo (back to me, Muddy Ed), they both sound fabulous do they not? I suggest trying the pair and making up your own mind up, but definitely pop along to CFW or visit online for a vino mooch. Yes it’s easy to top up your plonk at the supermarket, but here you know that the wines are intelligently and skilfully sourced by CFW’s experts from their numerous field trips and wine fairs (oh my, I want that job).

The guys will also give you loads of info, tasting notes and reviews to make an informed buying choice. And you can get it all beautifully wrapped!

Handily, there’s going to be a tasting at their offices in Castle Ashby on Thursday 30 November if you want to try some delish wines yourself. Drop them a line for deets 01604 696242 or, there are limited spaces as you guys are very wine keen, but if you manage to bag a couple, I know they’ll be very happy to say hello to you gorgeous people of Northants. You’ll probably see me there trying one of these wines below, which I can heartily recommend (because I had quite a lot of each).

For any info or just a chat with Cadman Fine Wines, visit their website for loads more wine news.

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