5-8 May 2023 (long) weekend drinking

Vitatge Vielh, Clos Lapeyre Jurancon 2018. Heard a few good things about it, and yes it’s good, though maybe some age will mellow the bracing acidity. It’s a lovely gold colour, as if it’s older than it is. Quite a curious nose … can’t quite put my finger on it … fresh, caramel/honey, maybe some nuts and stone fruits. Very bracing grapefruit acidity which is a little much cold, but much better balanced closer to cellar temp. Rather good, a little unusual. Normacorc (are these any good?)


An interesting, though admittedly ultimately meaningless, taste-off this afternoon, to match a home made asparagus and prawn risotto. Excuse for early imbibing based on awful stay-indoors weather and having to work tomorrow.

Anyway it was this
a Domaine Fevre (entry-level) Chablis 2019 against the newly-arrived most local to me producer, Winbirri Bacchus 2022.

Chalk and Cheese you might say. Indeed, so.

Julia Harding was fairly happy with the Chablis and gave it 16 points. For me, it is boring and ordinary and far too expensive for its £24. No distinct features, just a somewhat bland inoffensive white wine that could have come from a supermarket. Sure his premier and grand crus are a different matter but this was dull as ditchwater.

The Bacchus ? Honestly, this is not selection bias or pre-conception but it is gorgeous and imho a much better and nicer wine. Sure, there’s no chardonnay DNA in bacchus - being more rieslingy in its heritage and, of course, a proper vinifera and not a hybrid. Zingy and mouth watering, just a bit of tongue tingle, notes of pear, crisp green apple, jasmine, white pepper and citrous. Possibly their best - ever vintage for this variety. Often compared with SB, this is much riper than many-a-bacchus from earlier vintages; it’s properly ripe and a proper nice wine. Retail £18. 12% abv and not Chaptalised.


Last day in Spanish Basque Country before heading off to Bordeaux tomorrow morning. Had a long slow lunch here: https://www.bedua.eus/
No photos as I hate taking photos of food in restaurants. But we enjoyed seasonal artichokes, clams and a whole grilled turbot. And the wine? Lopez de Heredia Gravonia at a mere €39. Fantastic.


An excellent start to the weekend with this here tonight…

…a Ridge Geyserville 2013 ( the first of two ) which in this vintage is a 73:17:9:1 blend of zinfandel, carignan, petite sirah and mourvedre.

Still a strong cherry crimson colour fading to a watery rim in the glass. Ripe bramble berries, cedar and spice on the fragrant nose and deeply flavoured but elegantly balanced palate with a lengthy finish to end. Holds it’s 14.5% ABV easily with no hot or OTT jammy flavours to compromise its all too easy to drink balance.

Er, as can be seen by the level in the bottle, after I’d cooked my ribeye steak dinner, 30 minutes after opening…

…no prizes for the obvious presentation but, for once, at least everything fitted onto a single plate :grinning:

Whatever you’re up to this weekend I hope you all have a good one.


Those of a nervous disposition, please avert their eyes… but tonight, we’re having Foie Gras and caramelised apples, with this…

(Borrowed photo, my labels have long since gone).

Interestingly, 2008 wasn’t a particularly propitious vintage in Jurançon - 2009 and 10 were both lauded (I suspect because of Sauternes), and lavished with praise, but I think in this Cuvée, the 2008 wins out. I find the other two too ‘obvious’, too simply sweet but not showing that complexity that Jurançon can without having to fall over itself to please.

Lovely golden colour - though not yet bronzing, still plenty of life left in this yet! The tell tale tropical fruits, majoring on pineapple on the nose, but a bit more than just sweetness and fruit, with a slightly savoury/salty (slightly ginger-spicey?) middle, a hint of something chemical (almost like sweet VA, I find this a signature of Cauhapé, but couldn’t, even if my life depended on it, tell you exactly what it is) with a long, long, long lemony zesty finish.

This is when I fall back in love with Cauhapé :yum:

(2 bottles left and I reckon a decade over which to try to spread them :roll_eyes: )


With a silly-early start tomorrow for a footer tournament in sunny Stevenage [at the Lamex stadium itself, ooooh-eeerr], and on the back of a long old week of unremitting marking of student Gibbs-inspired reflections on work-life-study balance, I’m taking it easy this evening with just a half bottle of the 2018 Dr Loosen Red Slate Riesling Kabinett.

This stuff has become a trusty easy-does-it steed for a while now, and really is a terrific mouthful. Perfect balance of fruit-spice-minerality-sweetness, with just a slight tingly effervescence to wrap it all up. Very very nice indeed :~}


Drinking this tonight

Which caught my attention on a recent trip to Waitrose. Quite oaky and nutty, almost creeping into toffee apple territory. The oak is fairly strong - not quite too much, but I think 2 glasses will be as much as I can manage in one sitting. It’s pleasant enough, but with limited appeal.


I’ve found the use of them in Jurançon to be very erratic. I assume (but have zero evidence of this, just a hunch) that the riper vintages are under Nomacorc, and the cooler ones cork. TBH, I’ve found zero difference between the two (but am less than convinced by the argument we should just do away with corks. I’d like to see a bit more impartial, peer-reviewed evidence before I jump on board).


Champagne Taisne Riocour Blanc de Noirs

I prefer this to their Grand Reserve. Both good for their discounted prices.

They were doing this Buena Vista Napa Chardonnay at £16 recently so have gone for that too

Have a good bank holiday weekend all!


A couple of wines this evening bought off the back of @strawpig’s and @Winestwit’s reviews from the Spring Press Tasting. I cooked scallops with asparagus, Jersey Royals, samphire and sauce maltaise. A pre-dinner glass of Alvear Capataz Fino was followed by Juanico Teru Teru Albariño, 2022 with the food.

Really lovely Fino if you’re into it - a bit nutty, very balanced, nice flor character, intense and long. Sherry delivers so much for the money.

The Teru Teru delivers a lot for the money, too. It does the albariño thing of delivering tropical fruit while being dry, zesty and saline, and does it really well. Very nice with the food. Somehow it gets two bad reviews on the website - I’m much more in line with what I’ve read here :slight_smile:

Hope everyone has a good weekend, whether or not engaged with the Coronation!




Heumann Kékfrankos Reserve 2016 … Blueberry, touch of licquorice and violets, though some jamminess and confected-ness that blows off. Good balance of fruit and acidity. Nice, but the jamminess makes it a little more cloying than I remember.


From the mystery mature whites case. Wow. This is amazing. Nose a little shy at first, but develops so well into apples, lime and dried pineapple. The palate is amazing, rich, just off dry now, but so well balanced with nice acidity. Yellow fruits and marzipan on the finish. This is so youthful, I would put this at less than 10 years old blind.


Last night we opened but I didn’t get round to posting Pepe Mendoza Pureza Moscatel, Alicante 2020.

It was a bad choice with a fish teriyaki stirfry, but even making allowances I didn’t really enjoy this - maybe past its best - lovely nose but lacked fruit and a rather bitter finish.

Tonight with two very good T-bones from Farmison, which have been in the freezer a couple of months, Aalto 2007.

Oaky and spicy, not what we usually drink but I fancied it this evening and it’s drinking very nicely. Leathery, meaty nose. Blueberries, chocolate, caramel, well integrated tannin, some tempranillo acid on the finish. A bit international-generic but I’m enjoying it.


And something sweet to finish… Friedrich Becker Pinot Noir Eiswein… Don’t think I’ve had eiswein before, a good intro. Very pale lemon, but distinctive PN nose of cherries and a touch of smoke - kinda weird incongruence. This has a real viscosity from the sugar, and huge acidity to balance it. Quite floral too… opens out a lot with time - and again better not too cold. Delicious, delicious.


I know Bacchus can divide opinion, but when done well I really like it, and Winbirri is probably the best I’ve had. Yet to try the 2022


2nd attempt to enjoy this wine but on both occasions it’s missed the mark. I love the castelnau Brut Reserve but the extended lees ageing gives a bitterness which leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. On a positive note at least I prefer the cheaper one!


Not hanging about here today. This is absolutely delicious - acidity is toned down, it manages to combine apple and bready flavours like a tarte tatin, with a long and rounded finish. Wonderful stuff.


Great minds think alike @CCouzens


Castelnau Reserve for Coronation brunch. Nice. I don’t drink much champagne at all but this is very likeable. Quite fruit forward considering the time aging and on lees. Easy drinking stuff.