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Christmas and New Year drinking thread 2021

Ah. Apologies. No, the first 2 were red table wines, not fortified.

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ah right!
was it the the first wine or the pombal do Vesuvio?

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First wine I believe

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Last red of the festive season needs no intro to some folks on here. With some very local Dorset steak with frites. Fabulous end to the festive season…about A$35.00 on release and worth every penny


Back in the saddle here tonight after abstaining yesterday ( some brief notes on the cause later ! )…

… which was matured in a mix of French and American barriques, 40% new, 60% 2nd and 3rd fill, for 20 months. The succinct notes on their site are spot on so I’ll crib and quote directly. An enticing nose of pepper, violets and berry fruits which follow through to a well-structured and lengthy palate with fine grained tannins.

Me - notably fresh acidity provides plenty of lift and easy drinkability and there’s nothing remotely hot about it considering it’s 14.5 % ABV. It was a lovely match to this evening’s dinner, for which, the usual caveats apply …

…but at least it’s colourful. The pincha steak was perfectly cooked for my tastes thanks to the meat probe ( 52 degrees in the pan and then rested for 15 minutes ).

Brief notes on NYE’s Alsace fest…

Muscat Grand Cru Pfersigberg 2017, Bruno Sorg - Clean grapey fruit, orange pith and sweet mint on the nose and palate. Superb purity of flavour, nothing coarse or obvious, lovely freshness and a delicate silky texture.

Riesling Brandluft 2018, Boeckel - Citrus, apples, spice and a whiff of petrol on the nose. Similar spicy fruit notes on tasting minus the hydrocarbons. A seam of fresh acidity ran throughout and it had lovely balance, texture and weight of flavour. Excellent VFM at £13.50 too.

Gewurztraminer Roche Roulee 2017, Zind Humbrecht - From a miniscule yield of 6hl/ha due to frost early in the vintage. Floral nose with lychee and citrus fruit and a hint of gingerbread. Similar notes on the fully dry, intense and broadly flavoured palate. Notably fresh acidity, for gewurz, provided plenty of cut and balance to the rich spicy fruit. Nothing hot or OTT whatsoever considering it weighed in at 14.8% ABV.

Pinot Noir Les Rocailles 2016, Paul Ginglinger - Violets, red berry fruit and a touch of spice on the fragrant nose. Elegant, mediumweight, sourly ripe raspberry fruit and subtle integrated oak spice on tasting with a touch of savoury complexity. Impressive stuff and as good an Alsace PN as I can remember tasting. Er, but no doubt I was in a jolly frame of mind by then :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

My very best wishes to all of you here for 2022, and that our lives return to some kind of normality. Fingers crossed !


Some lovely wine over the holiday season. One surprise though. 2000 The Dead Arm Shiraz. I’ve pretty well given up buying new world, well apart from a selection of Felton Road, but this wine made me wonder why. Fully mature, a bit brown on the rim, astonishing concentrated fruit well balanced with acidity. Outstanding


Lovely wine now nearly three years outside the TWS drinking window. Mature, complex, long, savory, delicious.


Last bottle of the festive season here, and a pretty good one it was too. I cooked comfort food that let me use up some stuff in the fridge - slow cooked beef short rib and root vegetables in red wine, served with garlic mash and cavolo nero. And the wine was Crozes-Hermitage Thalabert, 2013.

It’s drinking very well right now. It was pretty good on first pour, but after an hour or so, the aromas and flavours really came together - a lovely mélange of dark fruits, liquorice, forest floor and those meaty, black olive notes that it can bring. The tannins were smooth and harmonious, and well balanced with enough acidity to cut the fat of the meat. Purchased EP, and I’ve three bottles left - I’ll probably aim to drink a couple over the next year or so, and leave one to see what happens.

I hope that everyone has a good first week of January, and that the return to work is not too painful :slight_smile:


Merits a fuller reply, but for now… Great post, and I smiled at the last bit, re Mrs Robertd… I’ve not seen much home cooked food like that outside of households where at least one person is Chinese! Looks delicious. She trained you well, or you taught yourself brilliantly! :slight_smile:


Hi Robert
Your photos have given a wonderfully extra dimension to this year’s festivities
Thanks for posting.


A little bit of Pol Roger at lunchtime, then this one tonight. Really nice, dark fruits, bit of smokey wood and subtle spice on opening. If only we had a roaring fire and comfy arm chairs to settle back on and finish off the bottle. Here’s to more wines like this in 2022.


I shall be - without my (I consider) unsupportive other half’s participation - attempting Dry January after Tuesday night, as Wednesday is my (proper) return to work.

So, hopefully a couple of nights of oenological bliss should see me through. Tonight, a little left-field, with Cassoulet (because I pine for SW France , but you know, there’s this thing going on that keeps getting in the way…)

I first found this winery through Tom Stevenson’s excellent - and sadly no longer printed - Wine Report. ISTR it being run as a pseudo-charity, as they employ people who otherwise may struggle for work elsewhere (including, but not exclusive to, learning difficulties, disabilities and so on). I also (mis?)remember that IGP Ariège is the region’s newest area, though new one’s are created with alarming regularity, so I may be way out.

It’s a Bordeaux blend, and over the years the Cuvée has won the odd ‘award’. Certainly, for about 6€ a bottle, it punches well above it’s weight, and with a nice, refreshing acidity, it cuts through the weight of the Cassoulet perfectly. Two more nights before purgatory :smiley:


Interesting. I’ve had a few VdPs and VdTs from the Ariège over the years, tended to find them quite challenging (ripeness / tannins ) but not seen or heard of this one.
I couldn’t find Domaine du Sabarthes on Google Maps but the wine cellar in Foix seems to stock it so I might check it out next month (Covid fingers crossed)
Good post thanks

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Les Terroirs is the cellar, they sell various other products too - it’s in Montegut Plantaurel, about 20 minutes drive from Foix.

Yep - found it - thanks.

On my to-do list !


Friday We didn’t do anything special for NYE or even stay up to midnight. Been there, dun it. Whether or not we stay up, when we wake up it’s still the first day of a new year.

So, as usual for Friday we had plaice, new pots, peas (Mrs M), runner beans from the garden, via the freezer (for me) and a mixed salad and to drink

2019 Framingham Sauvignon Blanc Nobody’s Hero (New Zealand, Marlborough)

There’s some guff on the back label about turning up the flavour intensity to 11; if that was so, it must have been when the wine was fresh. They will soon be picking the 2022 vintage; this wine is three years old. Mrs M says she doesn’t remember buying this, but I didn’t and I reckon she got it when she visited Majestic in November to get potential replacements for Villa Maria. This is £12.99 and disappointingly no more than a generous 5 on the flavour intensity scale.

Saturday New Years Day) I never thought I’d make it to 2022, but guess what? When we woke we found 2022 had already started, tho’ the news seemed to have the same old items we’d been hearing for weeks.

Dinner was the usual chicken, new pots and home-baked beans. Saturday’s Pinotage was Bellevue Estate’s excellent estate wine with a M&S label.

2017 Bellevue Estate Pinotage Houdamond (South Africa, Stellenbosch)

I had a voucher for £5 off when £40 is spent in the food hall. The above wine was £13.50 so I took three to the till, got £5 off and a new voucher. So I went back next day and got another three, but regrettably no voucher.

Sunday Aperitif was

2010 Morrisons The Best Grand Vintage Brut (United Kingdom, England)

Vintage ESW is not common, and this one has a lot of aging, and yet costs only £18. It’s a mystery to me where it comes from, but it’s gorgeous stuff. Lots of tiny bubbles and a great taste. I’ve seen label pix before, but it made more sense to me when I saw the bottle is black glass. All the same, it’s ESW so I’d prefer the English flag was used.

With roast chicken, parsnip and potatoes, and steamed tenderstem broccoli, sprouts, cauliflower and carrots we had this beauty

2016 Bodegas Muga Rioja Selección Especial (Spain, Rioja)

This was my favourite at our wine club’s December tasting, and I was keen to try a bottle at home. It’s a blend of Tempranillo, Grenache, Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano, fermented with natural yeasts on oak vats then aged for 26 months in new French oak barrels, then aged further in bottle for 18 months in Muga’s cellars. It’s gorgeous.

(Framingham and Muga from Majestic, Houdamond from M&S, ESW from Morrisons)

And so 2022 hitches up it’s skirts and starts the long haul towards 2023 by which time I’m fervently hoping that Covid will not be disrupting our lives and we can just go to an airport and catch a plane to anywhere.


I believe it’s made by Hush Heath / Balfour. It’s been discussed on a separate thread earlier this year.


@peterm and @PHarvey
I looked on Morrisons’ website for this wine. A company called “Rolling green hills limited” is described as “The Manufacturer” by the corporate folk at Morrisons. The idyllically pastoral postcode for the said rural manufacturer is SW1.
The filed signed accounts by the sole director, one Rachel Collins, show Rolling green hills ltd has “cash in the bank and at hand” to the sum of £307,881.00. I wondered if their “Trading name” is " Rolling in money"
Anyway, if you happen to be in the St James area and see a lady with a handbag stuffed full of £50 notes and answering to the name of Rachel she should be able to inform you of the manufacturers component parts and how many widgets per hectare are in the blend.


Sunday we had some halibut which I decided needed a pukka recipe so served on a bed of shredded buttered leeks with prawns in a lobster bisque sauce. Tried my best to make it look pretty but no where near @robertd standard.


Tonight with Turkey pie.

Lovely white burgundy fresh acidity green apple, lemon, butter, cream and a hint of oak. Lovely finish delicious, have 2 bottles left of the ‘19 that I’ll leave for another year. I will be buying a case when the next vintage is released on the site, great value!