Midweek drinking (6th to 9th March)

Happy Monday - it’s almost but not quite Spring.

Continuing my attempt to reduce the wine in the garage, this evening another bottle of the Isle Margaux 2015 (with rump steak, green peppercorn sauce & saute potatoes).

This wine just gets better each bottle, yet while the tannins diminish it retains an essential lift of high end aromatics and freshness. Almost burgundian right now.


I’m making a favourite Fiona Beckett recipe this evening - spiced chicken with cardamom and Viognier, so cue for some… well, Viognier to go with it:

Paul Jaboulet Aîné Viognier, Vin de France 2021

Nothing complex or challenging here, but it has good varietal character and is quaffable extraordinaire. I think the fruit for this wine comes from the Luberon (don’t ask me to reference this), but in any case - it’s got sunshine and laissez faire written all over it, which is good for a cold, drizzly, grumpy Monday.

Pleasant nose of pears, apricots, jasmine, honey and cinnamon and a palate where the fruit takes centre stage - mainly ripe stone fruit, but also some pears and cantaloup melon. There’s just a hint of leesy-ness to the texture, and a nice tangerine freshness - with acidity enough to ensure this is no flabby monster.

Finish is short, which lets it down a bit - then again, for a tenner (and I actually paid £8) this lifts the spirit at minimal cost. Can’t ask for more this early in the week (and MOT was NOT cheap)! :upside_down_face:


MOT’s are never cheap. Mine is going in for a service and new brake pads this wednesday… will get a decent bottle warmed up well in advance.

Cardamom and chicken ! did the Viognier work with that ? but for a Monday and for £8 it seems a very fine choice.


Incidentally - does anyone know how to add a spellchecker to my posts? I use firefox. My spelling is not very good.

I use Firefox and if you go to settings - General and scroll down there’s a tick box for spell checking as you type. I just have that ticked and it all works fine.

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Opened a bottle of Spice Route Chakalaka, Swartland 2015 and it is just brilliant!

Rich nose and a beautiful smooth palate. Dried dark fruits and forest floor coming through with a lovely Syrah spiciness, Absolutely singing right now. I bought this back in 2019 as part of a mixed Charles Back case. The others - Bushvine Cinsault and Extrano - were good but this one outstrips them by far. Sadly I’ve not seen it on the list since. If TWS aren’t going to stock it I’ll have to look elsewhere!

I would add that whilst TWS have the drinking window ending this year it doesn’t taste to me as though it is fading in any way at all.


Willi Haag Juffer Sonnenuhr Braunberg Riesling Auslese 2020. What complicated names they have… anyway the wine is a little more straightforward, lovely balance of acid and sweetness, and lovely tropical and citrus flavours.


Odd - I have that box ticked. Maybe one of my spam / adblock apps has stopped it functioning. Or something.

I don’t have adblock apps, so maybe. It’s never been a problem for me; works on all forums I use and Facebook etc.

Now in the hill country of Portugal we dipped back into ‘ civilization’ to buy a few things including this. The wine of the Alentejo’s lost grape varieties , grapes unknown to me( see photos). Straw coloured in the glass and , over chilled alas! hanging back on the nose, to open up later to lemon verbena, acidity to make your mouth water, the taste of sweet almonds , lemon peel becoming creamy and long persistent. We enjoyed with black rice, cuttlefish fish , octopus and tiny feve beans. A joy! A one pot wonder!! Feeling happy and very lucky.


I remember having a case of the 2013 Chakalaka and really enjoying it, but regrettably the case of 6 turned out not to be big enough. Don’t think I noticed the 2015 and haven’t seen it recently.

In a fit of I don’t know what the other day I bought a bottle of

Probably just because it was reduced to £7 and there was only one bottle left. It’s labelled to look rather American but turns out to be Italian Chardonnay matured in American oak, plenty of it. Yesterday all vanilla creaminess and I found myself wondering if it would burn if I poured it on the fire. Today there are some hints of fruit behind the vanilla. Not in the least unpleasant, in fact it’s quite drinkable if you don’t mind oak, but I’m not too upset it was the last bottle.


Château St Cosme Cotes du Rhone “Les deux Albions” 2015.

I think I’m going to find it hard to keep my hands off this. Nothing amazing but right up my street, that lovely rough round the edges rhone thing. I much preferred this to the Mon Coeur Chave I had the other day, which seemed a bit too clean. I hope I can keep this for a year or three to see how it develops.


I think we’ve been spoiled. The car (known as ‘Sherman’, after the tank) passed the last four MOTs (£67 or thereabouts each) despite being an old banger which we love dearly. Still, it’s showing its age now, sadly :disappointed_relieved:

Oh, god yes! A wonderful match! :ok_hand::grin:


Is it a Volvo …??

This one was bought in a mixed case: The Charles Back Championship
Hat-Trick case
. I never saw it on the list on its own.

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Beef filet mignon with peppercorn sauce and frites paired beautifully with this.


TWS Member friend Mark Lewis’s 60th birthday supper! A small restrained and intimate evening of nostalgia and wine!! :blush:


Ha ha, no! It’s a Peugeot 307 Estate.

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After a long day behind the wheel, home to a cold house and even colder this….

It soon warmed up once we got cooking and it was superb with some Cumbrian lamb!!


Not least for my own education, what was the '88 Cheval Blanc like ? I’ve never had one let alone that old. JR has never posted a review of this vintage or the '87. Is it “worth” the current market price of about £450 ?

From Wine Searcher, the average critic reviews gives it 92 points, yet the thrice as expensive '89 gets 93 points…