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Mid week drinking February 21-24 2022

Of possible related interest is my pics of visit to Lyrarakis in 2018. View from the cellar door, those very vines, whites tasting line-up and cellar door price list.


Plus: Tinned corned beef, rough mashed potatoes, cheddar. Shove in the oven to go golden on top. Brown sauce or Henderson’s. Add a fried egg (or two) if feeling flush or entertaining.


My working day is nearly over, and the other half is busy making lamb hotpot. A just reward, methinks. Then again, I would say that. To drink, 2017 Hochar:

Last bottle of three, this is soooo good! :heart_eyes:

The nose is full of sweet fruit - plums, cassis, bramble plus Christmas spices, dusty Mediterranean herbs, cedar and earth. On the palate the fruit is dialled back a bit - though still very much there (red plum, cassis, red berries and figs), but it’s the savoury, spicy notes that really sing. The leathery tannins still have a grip, balanced by tangy and appetising acidity and a spicy finish.

Delicious stuff! :+1: :wine_glass: :lebanon:


Isn’t it though, and whilst I love the first wine, this is undoubtedly much more approachable! It’s been too long since I opened a bottle!

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Mini celebration after being offered a new job (for the second time in 10 months - let’s hope I prefer this one to the last one I accepted!).

Drinking Lay and Wheeler Premier Cru Chablis 2014 which is delicious and still very primary. Tonnes of apple and flint, quite a fleshy palate but in a good way.

Eating smoked trout and fennel salad with a horseradish yoghurt dressing and lots of dill. Pretty good match.


Congratulations on your new job David, here’s hoping you’re still enjoying it in 11 months!

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Thank you - me too, very much so!

Big bold Malbec by Susana Balbo, followed by 14yr Bunnahabhain on an Oloroso cask.


Bit of a culinary upgrade today with pan-fried lemon sole, with salt, pepper and lemon. To help it down I opened a bottle I was given recently - Te Pa Signature SB 2021which I haven’t tried before. Now I do like NZ SB, fortunately, but drinking this I can understand why some people don’t take to it. It has everything you would expect but it’s just too much. Sipping a glass now after finishing eating, it’s almost giving me heartburn. If it were my first ever I doubt I’d bother with any more, but I’m happy to say more refined versions do exist!



Caught up with a friend yesterday, discussed the Barolo offer over some wine and a beef ragout.

Started with some leftover wine:

Clos Floridène Blanc, Graves 2015 - wonderful stuff before the food, could not figure out the blend , but this may be just Sauvignon Blanc, quite different from the Latour-Martillac, but equally enticing.
The Society’s Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2018
- currently 2019 listed, we had the 2018, sweet fruited also surely some RS, good to have a glass, but not really my type of red, good value for the money though

Then with the beef:

Half bottle of Château Langoa Barton, Saint-Julien 2010 - This is one of those wines that make things make sense. Now I understand what cigar box and leather mean in a tasting note. This was the wine of the night for me. Layers and layers of flavour.
Takler Bikaver 2016 - A bull’s blood from Szekszard, wine of the night for my friend.


I had the society’s french syrah other night they must have had some 2016 spare last year it was very drinkable


seems to vary vintage - vintage
55% Sémillon, 44% Sauvignon Blanc and 1% Muscadelle in the 2019
75% Sauvignon Blanc - 24% Sémillon - 1% Muscadelle in the 2020

so your hunch on the 2015 may be correct !


Opened on Sunday to go with a ribeye steak, polenta chips and a creamy mushroom sauce and finished on Monday with venison meatballs, tomato sauce and pappardelle…

…a Barolo ‘Arborina’ 2014 from Nadia Curto ( £23 ).

Translucent garnet colour. The fragrant, complex and nuanced nose with aromas of red berry / cherry fruit, fresh roses and dried flowers, liquorice, herbs and baking spices repaid repeated sniffing as it evolved with air. The same again on tasting, sweetly ripe red fruits, a raft of ever changing herb and spice notes, a liquorice streak and a subtle savoury undertow. Fresh acidity and well managed tannins provided an unintimidating easy-going structure to the generously flavoured fruit and there was good length on the expansive finish to end. A thoroughly satisfying wine that provided good typicity and VFM. Not one for the long haul perhaps but with my ever advancing age in mind that’s just another plus point in its favour !

And yesterday, as solace for my car failing its MOT and with the same meal as Monday…

…The Society’s Exhibition Langhe Nebbiolo 2018 from Rizzi ( £11.50 ). So what do you get for half the price and how did it compare ?

Very favourably, it has to said, with similar notes on both nose and palate to the Barolo but without its nuanced aromas and flavours.

Red cherry, raspberry, dried flowers, herbs and a smoky note on the fragrant nose. Plush and ripe red fruits, herbs, a floral quality, cinnamon bark and liquorice notes nicely structured by fresh acidity and discreet tannins on tasting. Oak input provided some creamy texture but nothing in the way of overt flavour and it slipped down far too easily, and without any impression of alcoholic heat, for a wine that weighed in at 15% ABV. A lovely example of its type and incredible VFM considering its origins. Well done TWS !


This is good to hear. The Society’s Langhe Nebbiolo was a bit of a hot mess when I tried is just after they first released it. I have a couple more bottles I’ve been saving in the hope of a review like this one.


I managed to find the factsheet of the 2015. 52% SB and 48% Semillon, so my hunch was pretty far off.

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You have far greater experience with nebbiolo than me Patrick so fingers crossed you’ll be of a similar mind if you do decide to open one of yours in the near future.

If you do, I’ll be keen to read your thoughts on it either way but obviously hope it now meets with your approval too.

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I decided to try the Introduction to North east italian wines next week / It was by ticket . so I opted for a free ticket. Something went wrong and i had four emails . Two said thankyou for your order etc and two with my numbered tickets and a button to press to enter on the day and time. So i phoned member services because I thought I would not want my spare ticket to be wasted. I was told it doesnt matter theres no limit to the number of people who can attend. If it doesnt matter how many people attend why have numbered tickets?

A bottle of Marestel with tartiflette on the slopes today.

Delicious, fruity - and enough acidity to make its way through the cream and the reblochon


Am I bad person for opening this tonight when my partner has gone to visit with her friends for a couple of days? I don’t think so (I’ve still two bottles left)……

Another wine where half the CellarTracker reviews are just plain odd (I’m being polite). This is absolutely a point with lovely sweet fruit very fresh acidity and fully resolved tannins. Not in least bit farmyardy and the sort of wine to convince those who don’t get aged wines that there is something in it.


Looks fantastic! :heart_eyes: very jealous…

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