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Midweek Drinking November 29th - 2nd December

Whilst attempting this tonight…


We’ll be drinking this…

Which, ignoring the 2012 label stuck over the 2013 one (2012 cork), seems to be in good condition. And really quite Nebbiolo on first sip. I’ll endeavour to report back as it evolves :smiley:



I’ve opened a bottle of this for Monday night thrills - a new grape to me called Bukettraube, from Waitrose “Loved & Found” range; sounds not dissimilar to the M&S effort at same. Is this a Cuthbert the caterpillar moment coming on, I wonder …

It’s nice enough, fruity & clean, inoffensive, but just rather a bit overbearingly sweet and without any acidity to balance it out better. You can taste the German influence in the grape, and reminds me of a cheap & cheerful Mosel Riesling.

Not a re-buy for me, and I do wish Waitrose still did the Zweigelt Rose they had in a similar range a year or two back. Now that really was very nice indeed.

Waitrose have an annoying habit of de-listing just about everything wife and/or I take a shine too, and we’re rapidly going off them. Ho-hum.


Interesting to hear how this one develops, @Tannatastic - I’ve got some of the 12s and 15s stashed away but was planning to sit on them a good while yet.

I’m planning on opening a 97 at some point over Xmas, and assuming that’s as good as I’m expecting / hoping, I’m kind of thinking to let the 12s & 15s even go as long as that maybe. While hoping I’ll still be alive & of sound mind to enjoy them if so :~}


Open one!

Plenty of rasping tannins and acid on the moment - it opens like young Nebbiolo - but it’s also packed with the sour fruit I love from Xinomavro. There’s perhaps that touch of tomato paste that you get, though if I might venture a slight criticism, the alcohol is a little hot on the finish, despite only being 13.5%.

The food pairing wasn’t my finest hour, I think there was a bit too much sweetness in the dish for a wine that is very dry and tannic (and indeed, slightly sour).

Safe to say, I think it represents runaway value at c. £20. Though caveat for the tannins and acids - I suspect to those who favour bigger wines this would come off as a bit thin and austere (certainly at the moment).


I’m not entirely averse to the acids of a young one, especially slightly chilled with a barbie; but I found a Ktima Foundi 2016 a bit too much a few weeks back. I know they’re particularly renowned for taking several centuries to settle down, but the rest of those Ktimas are getting another decade at least I think.

A 2018 Thymiopoulos Naoussa a few weeks back was already singing though; almost non-Xin-like! Very very nice though :~} I was surprised, given its youth, I must say.

I suspect we shall be seeing a tendency towards the taming of Xin’s wild nature for a bigger audience before long; started already in fact, judging from the Thymiopoulos above.


I concur with the idea that many a producer will dial down the tannins and acids to open up to a wider audience, though the hope is there will be one or two throwbacks who will like to keep things ‘traditional’ (such as it could be said to be with such a nascent appellation/AOP system as in Greece). It seems to happen in most places - I think Markovitis would be reading the runes wrong to go down that path (fingers crossed!).

As it happens, I’m a massive fan of Thymiopoulos’ style, and I’d dearly like to think the two can coexist. In fact, at the moment, my favourite bottling of his is the Naoussa Alta, which is slightly higher-toned in it’s a acidity, slightly less broad on the mid-palate than the regular. Although I also love the Earth and Sky.

On a related note, I’m also sitting on a single '97, though the plan is as a mid-February pick-me-up with some sort of lamb stew, perhaps the Hairy Bikers one, for when winter metaphorically seems like it might last for another thousand years :smiley:


I think both approaches & styles can and will co-exist, whether via different producers or via different products by the same producer. Not unusual to see it.


We went to a ‘soft’ opening evening of a local pub last night. The food was on the house so I bought one of their more expensive wines.


Pretty awful on the nose in opening, but a taste suggested it would be ok, and indeed it was. The stink disappeared and the fruit shone through. At £39 (£21 at TWS) a fairly modest mark-up. The food was good too.


Another busy working day has come to an end (I have measured out my life with busy Tuesdays) - so wine and food are on the mind:

This delectable 2017 Douro blend (Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinto Roriz) is a perfect mid-week quaffer. Not complex, and doesn’t require much analysis - but pleasurable all the same.

Deep ruby in the glass, the nose has notes of violets, dark hedgerow fruit, plums and Morello cherries jam (I can vouch for that, as I sniffed the one in the fridge! :grinning: ). Some pepperiness comes through too.

On the palate - it’s smooth and less heavy than imagined. Still tasting very young, it has notes of damsons, cherries and bramble, with some spice (cloves?) and parma violets too. Lively acidity and chalky tannins frame it nicely, and the finish is decent with gentle spiciness and sour notes.

Wild boar meatballs and pasta will soon accompany the wine, and I think this should prove a suitable marriage! :wine_glass: :+1:


Sounds not disimilar to my bottle opened tonight!

Esporão Monte Velho Tinto, Alentejano 2019 I’d forgotten what good value this wine is. At just £7.95 it’s not massively complex but richly fruity and with a backbone of good structure. All well balanced with noticable but smooth tannins. Lovely easy drinker definitely hitting above it’s weight.



Another of my ageing experiments saw me pop one of these from the back of the wine fridge tonight - a 2015 Waitrose El Escoces Volante ‘On the QT’ Bin 19: Albarino - kind of expecting it to have rather faded away to indistinction.

How wrong was I … this is really very good indeed, and good value too. Nice dry yellow fruits, good full but dry texture, intense taste [for the price], and above all a lovely dryness and grip at the end with minerality and a whiff of salinity. Very impressed and in a different league to some of the watery fruity albarinos that abound these days.

I’m looking forwards to their next 25% off deal :~}


Cracked into our Christmas halves case a little early and opened this Half bottle of Crozes-Hermitage Mule Blanche, Paul Jaboulet Aîné 2017 with a chicken and leek pie (minus the pastry + chips + greens).

I believe this is our foray into white Rhones and husband and I were both blown away. Delicious buttery apples, flowers (mimosa?) and honey on the nose. Honey and elderflower on the palate with a nice back note of acidity.

Husband declared it one of our best ever wine and food matches with the creamy chicken. Sad to see it’s out of stock now! Will have to investigate marsanne and roussanne further!


I wondered if this was from South Africa’s Cederberg winery - they produced the only Bukettraube I’ve had in the past, but I don’t recall it being overbearingly sweet or lacking balancing acidity.

I went to the large Waitrose in Welwyn Garden City to find it, but all the wines from the Loved and Found range had been snaffled, except for a few red Pais, Marselan and Perricone which was new to me so I bought it.

Bukettraube is - to English speakers - an unfortunate name, but instead of Bucket think Bouquet* which is what it means, and the wines I had were very floral and aromatic.

I couldn’t find the wine on Waitrose’s web site - a search for Bukettraube offered as the 5 most relevent:-
Waitrose Blanc de Blancs Brut NV, French, Champagne
Gosset Grande Reserve Brut Champagne
Essential Cucumber
Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV Champagne
Duracell Plus AA Alkaline
Cuvée Royale Brut Crémant de Limoux

*now, where have I heard that before?


Funnily I’m in the Douro tonight too


I suspect this is a more widespread phenomena on here, perhaps frighteningly so, than one might presume, but apropos of nothing, I was sent off to Sainsbury’s for some milk and bacon one Sunday morning a couple of months ago. ISTR forgetting the milk and having to call in at the corner shop on the way home to cover up the crime, but I did manage to get a couple of bottles of Champagne and this (which is surely as good as a bottle of milk?)…

Gros Manseng is not necessarily a supermarket staple over here (although it should make up large chunks of Cotes de Gascoigne, so maybe it does?), so it was highly unlikely I could have passed it by. And the idea of an Orange Wine made from it certainly made me think ‘ooh, yeah that could work’.

However. It is made by Rigal, who in my experience are somewhere around the Expert Club level of wines, but usually with a slightly higher price tag, and my suspicion is that it was either underripe and chaptalised (with extra skin contact for ‘interest’) or a still wine gone wrong, and relabelled. I could be wrong, but it seems to have some residual sugar that seems detached from the body of the wine, and it’s Orangeness doesn’t seem to add anything. It’s a bit thin beyond the sugar, to be honest. Maybe air will help?


If you look at the fascia of the building, there is a cherry tree in the plaster. The last memory of it’s former glory as WGC’s only original town centre pub as The Cherry Tree (the Fountain pub does not count - although that is where I used to drink). The Cherry tree is where Led Zeppelin played in 1969, and Whitbread honed the art of destroying city centre pubs.

Incidentally, the Waitrose car park is above what used to be a bowls green, and before that (apparently) a burial ground.


Esporao’s new Douro wines (Quinta das Murças) definitely hitting the zeitgeist full in the face and well worth a try.

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I don’t remember having had a Plan de Dieu before. This (2015) is from a mixed southern Rhone case.

Perhaps a little hot at first at 14.5%, full bodied, blackberry fruit, but still showing freshness and with a long finish.

Jaboulet strikes again.


My Waitrose only had the Arneis from the ‘Loved and Found’ range, it was cheap for the grape but is it any good, time will tell and so will I.
None the less it is good that big players are digging out these rarer grape varieties and making them generally available.
As you say PeterM they seem to be flying off the shelves as with M&S Found range, no further comment on the similarity needed, but if nothing else it proves more people are interested in these relatively obscure grapes and what they can offer than we would have thought, and that is a good thing.


I went back to this Bukettraube tonight @peterm, after revisiting the Albarino from last night too - still excellent and a definite unexpected treat - and it’s filled out more and lost its [to my tastes] OTT candy-sweetness to become something more interesting. More like a Spatlese now with some depth and body to it.

Still not as much balancing acidity as I personally like, but If I notice any more bottles, I’ll pick up a few and let them slumber a while in the wine fridge. We’ve got a voucher waiting for something just like this :~}

I got mine from the Hitchin Waitrose btw; we switch between the Hitchin / Welwyn / St Albans ones depending on other things we need to do / places we need to get to etc, as they’re each pretty much the same distance from us. Mine was the last bottle though. I’ll let you know if I spot any more. It is from Cederberg btw.