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Midweek drinking 4-7 May 2020

Bit surprised to be the first on this, though maybe it’s getting harder to tell the difference between midweek and weekend.

Not actually started on the wine yet but just decanted a bottle

Wow! Beautiful deep red colour. Rich dark fruit, spice and chocolate aromas. Lovely. Just got to do my exercises and then the reward beckons!

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A 2016 Hanewald- Schwerdt Spätburgunder this evening, to go with Chinese spiced chicken wings:

This is a Pfalz producer (two cousins) recommended to me by a friend. I subsequently had their village/soil-specific wines (Kalkriff and Kalkofen), which I highly recommend. This one is their entry level wine and is simpler on both nose and palate, lacking perhaps some of the minerality and tension of the other two.

Having said that, for a mid-week Pinot it is actually very good value for money (I paid £13), with good varietal character and this lovely deep kirsch and earthy notes (even a bit of tobacco leaf funk) you often get with German pinot. For a 4-year old entry level Pinot it’s still very vibrant, with mellow tannins and a good amount of acidity. A touch of spice on the finish rounds it off nicely.

Right! Off to check that the wings haven’t taken flight. Happy Tuesday! :wine_glass: :grinning:

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This was excellent last night with tamarind and honey glazed duck breast. Very nicely balanced, Burgundian in style with a bit of vegetal complexity. Punching well above its weight. It is drinking now though and I am not sure I would cellar it personally - not sure you would gain much and the freshness is part of its charm.

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Bought this on Saturday from a local trendy bakery and opened it that evening. I paid over the odds for it (£18) and was slightly disappointed by it. A little imbalanced - too acidic. However lots of great spice on the nose and sour black cherry on both the nose on the palate. Very refreshing.

Served it slightly chilled the following day and was much much improved.

By today (even kept in the fridge) it’s lost it’s freshness.

Verdict - I love Austrian red, especially in this weather, but wouldn’t buy this one again…

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Faro 2012, Bonavita 60% Nerello Mascalese, 30% Nerello Cappuccio, 10% Nocera from the hills above Messina. Deeper in colour and somewhat fuller bodied than an Etna wine, maybe because of the higher proportion of Cappuccio? Some browning apparent, but the wine is possibly approaching peak. Floral and rather nebbiolo like nose, but stonier and still with plenty of tannic grip. Nice juicy acidity makes it a great food wine. A bit expensive maybe, but try googling these (recovered) vineyards and you’ll see why! Will be interesting to see how the rest of this is tomorrow.

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Well done on keeping it. I have found early vintages quite impenetrable or just a bit mmmmhh, disappointed. Patience is a virtue

That’s going to be spectacular @Andy999

Yes indeed @adbdorset. It’s delicious. It’s 14.5% but doesn’t really seem like it. The first taste is quite sweet but then it’s balanced by freshness and gentle acidity. To me it doesn’t feel like a 14 year old wine; it tastes much younger.

This leads me to another thought about keeping wine - that absence of light is more significant than a little temperature variation. But of course I might just be making my theory to fit my observations!

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Nothing tonight, but last night had a couple of glasses of Mezquiriz Reserva, Navarra 2013 with a Pork and Olive casserole.

I picked a bottle up to try in Lidl two or three months ago, used a glass in the casserole and had two.

Have to say it’s one of the best value £5.99 wines I’ve had for a long long time. Quite light and aromatic oak around a core of plum and bramble fruit, little tannin, good balance, and some nice bottle age too. It was better than many a Rioja at twice the price. Sadly, it was part of their Wine Tour which isn’t part of the core range, but deserves to be. Now out of stock…

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I wonder though whether it’s more the Botox of red wine… the screwcap closure. I’ve a number of old Aussie reds that just seem to age very, very slowly with screw caps; retain an unwrinkled freshness as if they’ve sold their soul. We need patience.

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Well, it is a screw-top so maybe that’s what it is; certainly no sign of ageing at all.

Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albions Saint Cosme 2012

Bought EP in 2014 (£92/12) and the first batch withdrawn from Reserves before Lockdown. It has no obvious age characteristics - strong, dense red appearance in the glass, great nose of summer pudding fruit and subtle leathery notes, even without any decanting. Smooth with drying, but well integrated tannins and enough acidity. Delicious!

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Inspired by danchaq 's bottle of L’Homme Mort at the weekend,
opened a bottle of Chablis (acquired relatively recently from the Domaine) to go with a Tagine of mixed lamb and pork, cous cous, sweet potato & lightly stir-fried greens.


Note on the wine: Apricots & honey on the nose, a fresh aroma. Good rich fruit, crisp, with some butteriness followed by a lemony mineral streak. There is a richness about it , with depth. The slight butteriness makes it lean a little towards a Cote d’Or style of chardonnay but it is still recognisably a Chablis! A hint of wood bark (pleasant) somewhere in there at the back of the throat towards the finish.
Note on the food: Aromatic, spicy & delicious! […Even if I say so myself :yum: ].

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That was also my verdict on the same wine

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Found hiding in the cellar. Seemed a bit tannic on opening but fruit and richness came through after 30 minutes. Absolutely delicious with risotto

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Another new wine for me last night, I opened a half bottle of this:


At just £4.95 for the half bottle (full bottle £7.95) I wasn’t sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised by its level of complexity. The TWS note is pretty much spot on; rich dark fruits and spice on the nose and on the palate fruit forward with silky smooth tannins. Should definitely be a repeat buy for me, excellent VFM.

As a side note I finished the Elena Walch Lagrein that I opened for last Thursday’s mass tasting developed beautifully in the eto and was drinking as well if not better when I finished it a couple of nights ago. Shame TWS don’t do it (at least I’ve not seen it) as I’ll certainly be getting more!

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Just enjoyed the first bottle of the 2016 vintage of this wine (bought EP from TWS) a wine which I buy every couple of years. It went well with a pasta dish enveloped in a beef mince ragout standing up to the tomato element of the sauce.

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I have some of the 2010 still. Must check how it is coming along!

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Just this one this week, apart from the claret tasting reported separately:

( 2017 Julien Schaal “Mountain Vineyards” Chardonnay )

Just for reference, I’ll drop the following two in here as well, though we had them last weekend:

On the left is a 2014 Lethbridge Yarra Valley Pinot Meunier (yes, a red Pinot Meunier. I’d like to say I can spot the difference between this and a Pinot Noir, but to be honest, it tasted just like a better quality Yarra Valley PN.

The other bottle is a 2017 Ferry Lacombe “Mystère” rosé - a S. of France rosé in a style that many are made in. This one was from Grenaches Noir & Blanc. Interestingly, it developed quite a bit more character after being open for 24 hours. Though let’s not go overboard about it.

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An old favourite and a new arrival…

…the Fino ‘Perdido’, in the glass, has more depth and complexity than the norm due to its age ( around 8 years ). Full golden colour. Yeasty dough, apple skin, lemon and roasted nuts on the nose. Broad and tangy flavours on tasting with similar notes to the nose. Refreshing salinity on the finish makes a second glass impossible to resist. Amazing VFM ( £8.50 ).

The Alsace 2018 from Boeckel arrived yesterday. 70% Sylvaner with Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris making up the rest of the blend. I was looking for something inexpensive for easy uncomplicated summer drinking. Does it fit the bill ?

In a word, yes. Pale colour. Meadow fresh nose, something floral, orchard fruits and citrus pith. Clean and refreshing on tasting with flavours of lemon citrus and golden apples. A slightly oily texture adds depth and interest. A small amount of residual sweetness rounds out the palate before the clean and fruity finish. It isn’t going to set the world alight but for £7.50 it doesn’t disappoint either.

However, the Society’s Vin d’Alsace from Hugel ( £9.50 ) offers more depth and flavour at a very reasonable price too. In an ideal world, it would have been nice to have six of each !

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