See Emily Play

Emily Harman will be too young to recall the Pink Floyd single of the title, but although her Unfiltered pop-up at Super Brick, off London’s Brick Lane, is probably the most fun idea I’ve seen all year in the world of wine, the wines themselves, all served out of magnum or larger, are entirely serious.

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The pop-up was set up to coincide with the Raw Wine Fair, and has been acting as the perfect post-tasting venue. It’s in a motorbike repair garage come studio on the edge of Cooperage Yard, the car park opposite the Old Truman Brewery, now the venue for Raw. The wines come by the glass, you can buy the whole magnum, or just a beer, accompanied by some cold cuts (I went for a tasty cheese platter).

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born to be wild…and Tony Rogers rummaging, under Emily’s watchful gaze, for a magnum

The main event is the magnum selection. We were tempted by a few, including some serious Keller GG, and Ganevat (There was also some Le Soula, Zidarich and Billecart-Salmon Champagne spotted), but sitting outside in the glorious May sunshine we made exactly the right choice in Suertes del Marqués‘ Vidonia Blanco 2014. The grape variety is 100% Listan Blanco from three individual plots at between 350-500 metres above sea level in Tenerife’s Orotava Valley. It’s a wine I know really well in bottle, but it’s amazing how a magnum opens a much bigger window on the wine. You see it develop in a completely different way to a bottle, over an hour or more, as it warms and breathes.


Tom Cannavan (on Winepages) wrote an excellent profile of this increasingly famous Tenerife producer back in April, and he described the Vidonia (2013 in his case) as “like a fine Meursault”. I know exactly what he means. There’s very fresh, but balanced, acidity backed by genuine depth. Its body is wrapped in nuttiness but the texture is fresh and lively on the tongue. Overall, the most apt of adjectives is elegant. I am not sure I could have chosen a better bottle (er, magnum) if I’d selected it myself.

The markups are very reasonable. Vidonia retails for between £21 to £25+ by the bottle, so with the magnum premium you are probably looking at up to £60 retail. I think we paid £77 between us, so a bargain.

I’m afraid the pop-up ends tonight, with the Raw Fair itself, but if you do read this and have a quiet Monday evening planned, just head down to Brick Lane instead (open 5pm until “late”). I don’t think you’ll regret it, and I’m guessing a bit of a party will be going down on the last night. It will be interesting to see whether Emily’s Vinalupa has any similar exciting ventures like this planned. I hope so.


About dccrossley

Writing here and elsewhere mainly about the outer reaches of the wine universe and the availability of wonderful, characterful, wines from all over the globe. Very wide interests but a soft spot for Jura, Austria and Champagne, with a general preference for low intervention in vineyard and winery. Other passions include music (equally wide tastes) and travel. Co-organiser of the Oddities wine lunches.
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