A happy Monday for me - celebrating last day in current job, with the rest of the week off before starting a new role next week.
Taking things a bit more down market
This has been recommended by Joanne Simon and Jane MacQuitty in recent weeks, so I thought I’d give it a try. SB dominates, but rounded out by the Semillon. Good value at £8.
A really decent SB. And yet another non WS wine but not purchased by myself this time. Left by the parents after my birthday meal. A Naked Wines purchase I believe. Uncomplicated, lively and fruity. Will have it as an aperitif and with leftover Morrocan style stew.
As part of my continuing mission to clear a bit of space in our wine fridge from assorted random bottles picked up over the years, we started on a bottle of this tonight - a 2014 Farnese Edizione Cinque Autoctoni - and it is in a word atrocious! For my tastes at any rate. So sweet it’s ridiculous.
I think it was an impulse buy at Lamezia Terme airport some years ago; I was swayed by the Luca Maroni score of 99. I clicked a few years ago that some of his scores seem quite curious, but this one beats the lot. It may work for some people, and wife quite liked it; but for me it was dreadful stuff. There was something more interesting and savoury in there somewhere, but it was overwhelmed. Shame.
A couple of posts from yesterday and today. Yesterday was about having a quick look at Conca de Barberà region; just north of Tarragona; reason being that here there is a recent renaisscance of the Trepat varietal; which of recent historical relevance has been a mere bit-player in some Cava assemblages. But some wineries are starting to produce since cepage red wines from it and they ain’t half bad at all. Medium- full bodied but pretty high ABV (14% seems to be the norm) they remind me hugely of nebbiolo but with a bit more body and fruit; think plums and blueberries, and a camphor-like finish. Why this varietal is not already a mainstay is perplexing but it seems in the ascendancy. Prices range from €8 - 25 or thereabouts.
The best place to try and buy some - on a Sunday at least - is the wine shop attached to the Cistercian monastery of Poblet - (the monks don’t make a single varietal just a trepat-dominated label) - but the shop stocks what, about 10 examples of local winemakers’ 100% trepat. We opened a Succes el mentider SUCCÉS VINÍCOLA – Uncharted Wines example - it was about €18 I think - that night to have with local cheese and jambon de bellota and was a spot-on “se marriage”.
Hey TWS - what about a future Bin xxx being a Trepat ??
I think he gives out a lot of 99 points.
I think his keyboard is locked on 99 :~}
Bononia Gamza for us, served cellar cool. (Bononia Estate Gamza 2019 - Bestsellers - Popular - Offers - The Wine Society)
Well, it’s a nice light pale red, in a shade that won’t be adequately captured by my phone’s camera. A definite wild strawberry aroma on the nose, with something a bit deeper in there too. And then a distinct cherry and pomegranate flavour on the palate, with a pleasant sour twist. There is also some very slight savoury, leafy characteristics in there.
Think of this like a competitor to beaujolais, Pinot Noir, or other lighter reds. It’s perfect on a summer’s evening, served slightly cooler than most reds.
Frankly, goes straight into my favourite-wines-that-cost-less-than-a-tenner list. Not sure if it is a food wine per se, maybe with chicken or something relatively light, but it’s a perfect wine for midweek drinking sat in the garden.
Having only drank two beers and a half bottle of Manzanilla since Friday, which almost felt like abstinence, my usual appetite for wine has thankfully returned…
…the gothic script on the label isn’t the easiest to read. It’s a Hattenheimer Mannberg Riesling Spatlese 2015 from Von Simmern.
The lustrous golden green colour is just beautiful. As is the nose with it’s ripe yellow peach, honey and earthy spicy aromas. Similar on tasting, soft, squidgy , peach and peach skin fruit, honey and toffee complexity and a subtly spicy undertow. Acidity isn’t that pronounced but it provides lovely balance to the rich medium sweet flavours and a bit of tangy lift on the finish. Very nice indeed !
I should also thank TWS for their generosity as it was literally free wine. I actually ordered an Erbacher Marcobrunn but I think Von Simmern mistakenly supplied this instead. As it’s from an adjoining vineyard and very similar in style I wasn’t that fussed but when I contacted Members Services to advise of the error they said keep it and that they would still supply the Marcobrunn when it arrived. Which they did. Nice one !
Denis Race is top Chablis. No traces of oak. Superbly chiselled fruit. Classic acidity. Complex finish. Wonderful with fish or goats’ cheese. Not one of the glamorous makers but a wine with grip and integrity.
A fantastic Rhône tasting this evening with the Sussex Wine School. I don’t know what I enjoyed more - the wines or the fact that this was my first in-the-flesh tasting in nearly 18 months… a mixture of both, I guess!
There were 7 wines - most from the North, and my highlights (in no particular order) were:
Delicious on both nose and palate (can a nose be delicious? perhaps I’m delirious). Everything you’d expect from a high class Viognier: oodles of stone fruit, beautiful floral notes (honeysuckle, citrus blossom) honey and cinnamon. Unctuous on the palate, it nevertheless had good tension, with ripe apricots, honey and spice, but also a bitter, almost ‘herbal’ note on the finish. Tres bon!
We had the 2018 - which was surprisingly approachable already; bramble, blackcurrants and liquorice on the nose, generous on the palate (ripe fruit, rounded texture) but with a nice floral and spicy lift. I have the 2017 in my wine fridge, and may broach this Christmas.
An awesome wine, if still very young. One of these wines that just keep evolving from minute to minute, even as you try and name the aromas and flavours. I left it for a while and tried again at the end of the 2 hour session and it was simply magnificent and would no doubt be even better with some years under its belt. But for the here and now - there was much going on: plums and prunes, dank forest floor, violets, pepper, tapenade, black cherries… with time some medicinal note and something I can only describe as hot coco with mint flavour. Wowzers!
Again, young - but so promising already! Would have added to my basket if it weren’t OOS. A lovely violet and spice concoction with damson and liquorice thrown in, and on the palate - smooth though with a bold tannic grip - but fresh too, with a minty/herbal finish.
My wine of the evening was this, though (Little Miss Predictable?):
I am so chuffed to have 2 of these in my wine fridge, courtesy of Waitrose Cellar last year (at £29 each! ). It’s just a wine that keeps on giving, it seems. Floral nose (violets, Iris), generous fruit - but nothing flabby or cooked; a touch of tapenade and maybe even a whiff of smoked meat already, but it’s only just beginning to unfurl. Elegant, with a wonderful mix of the herbal and the floral and a finish that we all agreed was the longest of all the wines of the evening.
Very much enjoyed the St Jospeh too:
and the Corzes- Hermitage:
Though the others were a tad more exciting.
A fine evening!
Tried this recent purchase from Waitrose earlier this evening with a cod mornay style bake. Very crisp dry white from the Loire Valley. Would I go for this pairing again? Probably not. I thought the tart apple (almost cider) flavours would be a match for the richness of the bechamel and the parmesan. Anyway, a better match would perhaps be a green salad or Thai/ Chinese starters.
Wow, what a fabulous line up !
And, as always, thanks for the evocative notes, it felt like I was tasting them with you when reading through
Thank you @Embee!
It was, indeed a fabulous line-up, and for my first in-person tasting since you-know-what, an excellent way to return to something I enjoy so much. Beats virtual tasting any day!
Nicely turned phrase!
Thank you Peter, just re-read my note…Hmmm I thought… perhaps a touch over eloquent!
I’ve been working very sedately through a 2016 Guigal CdR this week and will finish it tonight. Beautiful aromas of black fruits and spice on opening, full of promise. Somehow the drinking didn’t quite deliver as much as the bouquet led me to expect. Still very good for <£10 a bottle mind you, but the highlight was definitely the sniffing!
Excellent write up @Inbar. Good to see someone recommending wines without needing a critic score.
Continuing on from Sunday another 1996 from the mixed case that time forgot!
A wine that has made it to 25 years of age. There’s an old adage that all old red wines tend to start to resemble one another and I could just convince myself this is Burgundy. Some roasted smoked bacon on the aroma. Plenty of redcurrant and a hint of cassis to taste and properly mature tannins. Just the right amount of acidity (maybe a hint of citrus/orange to it) to that keeps everything balanced on the long finish.