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Midweek Drinking Thread [13th - 16th July 2020]

Can’t see one for a Monday night. Mrs @Winestwit and baby @Winestwit have gone to visit grandparents for a couple of days, so I’m definitely drinking for one this week.

Thought I’d start of the week with a hype! Or perhaps a bang!

What a great wine, loving it. So pleased I have a few in reserves for next year when I think it will be even better. How is everyone else getting on with a midweek vino?


OK slackers,

The note is accurate, well, sort of. I know I must not expect much at £22/bottle in burgundy. And I have definitely tasted many a bottle which was much worse but I want to be a bit beguiled. I think there might have been a thread about this wine. I will go and hunt about for it. It got better later, around four to six hours it breezed along nicely. The wings of an ostrich.


Last weekend our virtual group tasted 3 Argentine blends at 3 price points. The reaction from group members used to a diet of big Malbecs was interesting - whilst they missed that initial fruit kick from the Malbec, they did enjoy the ‘longer’ finish that the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc brought. We were also intrigued by the blends available here in Argentina noting that variations in growing conditions delivered by altitude were allowing producers to experiment with blends of grapes that you would not find in other regions of the World where you cannot, perhaps, replicate good growing conditions for Malbec, CS, CF, Tannat, Bonarda, Merlot, Petit Verdot, etc all within a 100km range of each other.
The three wines were the Pequeño Viñedo, a smaller producers at around £4 a bottle in Argentina, Trapiche at around £7 a bottle and El Esteco’s Chanar Punco from Catamarca ar around £15.

Pequeño Viñedo - non vintage made from Malbec (2015), Tannat (2016) and Cabernet Franc (2015) grown in La Consulta in the Uco Valley. My notes : Deep red centre, red rim with hint of purple. Light nose. Perfumed. Red currant. Red plum. Hints of strawberry and pepper. Light palate. Dry. Medium tannins. Fresh acidity. Red fruits. Cranberry. Short finish.

In 2016, Trapiche replaced the Merlot with Cabernet Franc alongside Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon in this blend based on fruit grown in the ‘premiere’ or first zone close to the city of Mendoza. My notes: Deep red centre, red rim. Medium nose. Black fruit. Black currant. Medium plus palate. Ripe fruit. Firm, ripe tannins. Fresh acidity. Plummy fruit. Bramble. Medium finish. Rounded blend that reminded me of a inexpensive Bordeaux.

I had previously tasted the 2014 of the Chanar, which I had described at similar to a much more expensive Margaux. The grapes for this wine are grown in a relatively new zone at over 2000m in northwest Argentina. The zone is also very remote.

My notes: Opaque, inky wine. Purple rim. Closed nose. Hints of black fruit and vanilla - seeing if decanting will open it up. Rich palate. Ripe fruit and high tannins. Good acidity. Again, closed. Hints of black currant, black plum and vanilla. Powerful wine. Coats mouth but clearly needs time.


Tonight it is our last Argentine steak for a couple of weeks as we are returning to UK for a short period. However, instead of Malbec, I thought I would finish of some Syrah that was bought last year in Chile - Viña von Siebenthal’s 2015 Carabantes Syrah from the wine-growing area of Panquehue, in the Aconcagua Valley. This is a very small sub-apellation of the Aconcagua Valley but has an excellent reputation for the quality of its grapes.

My notes were: Opaque centre. Violet rim. Intense, perfumed nose. Black fruit, tabaco and vanilla. Damson. Rich palate. Dry. Firm, ripe tannins. Fresh acidity. Ripe, black current fruit. Hint of black pepper. Balanced and refined. Long finish. Still youthful with all of the attributes to age. Lovely wine.


A good way to start the week. We entertained two family members on Monday evening and, after a leisurely aperitif, dinner was a home-made vegetarian lasagne with which the CNDP went really well. Cheeses followed and the Rioja Reserva complemented these perfectly. Dessert was “pick-your-own” strawberries donated by the guests and served with home-made semi-freddo which incorporated crushed dark chocolate and stem ginger cookies. M y hopes of some dessert wine were also crushed as I was out-voted on the question of opening another bottle. :frowning:


That’s a shame. I’m sure you had a half bottle tucked away somewhere that would have slipped down very nicely and unobtrusively


I tend to use my power of veto on such occasions! :muscle:


Democracy is over-rated. If you have to ask others for their opinion surely the only question is which bottle next?


But I know my place. :unamused:


Or just open open the bottle and ask " Who would like a glass?"


But I value my personal safety. :worried:


We’re making a Brazilian recipe this evening, of skirt steak drizzled with garlic butter, and mash on the side. I stared blankly at the wine rack for a while thinking what to open, and finally decided on a wine recommended by a friend, who is a bit of a Malbec head and loved this M&S offering from Matías Riccitelli:

Malbec is not a wine I buy or drink regularly. I am not sure why - because the ones I have tried have given me no reason not to buy more - quite the opposite. But - a bit like wines from Rioja or Chianti - I seem to hear no Sirens singing, and so rarely ever gravitate towards these wines. In any case, our friend was right and this one is a real gem!

I know next to nothing about Riccitelli*, other than he’s the son of the former Catena winemaker and that he likes experimenting. This one is made with fruit from the Uco Valley, using whole bunch fermentation (which I guess is not a usual way to vinify Malbec?), and then aged in concrete vats for 8 months. And boy, the fruit and floral notes are explosive!

The nose is quite intense with blueberries, plums, incense, spice (clove? there’s something camphor-y about it) and floral notes - hibiscus came to mind. First impression on the palate is of ripe berries (blueberries, blackberries), red plums which then develops into spicy notes, liquorice and a nice mineral note too. Tannins are very much present, and chalky in texture, and acidity is vibrant. It’s ‘fruit-forward’ but very elegant; despite its 14% it is medium bodied, and there’s good length to the finish. For £15 this will definitely be a re-purchase! :ok_hand:

And perhaps the next time I’m about to overlook a Malbec I really ought to think twice, Sirens or no Sirens.

  • Hopefully @Robin63 can offer some info?

A supermarket Chablis for us tonight.

It’s fairly generic but going down fairly well for a miserable Tuesday


Just don’t let them have a vote next time - tell them there’s been a coup and the dictator says “Yes!”

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I’ve just had my Chateau (d’)Angludet Vertical. 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015. All introduced by Max Sichel. It was supported to be Ben, but he refused to take the night off tending to the vines apparently.

I can firmly say their earlier “Parker” wines did not work for me. The earliest three were coopery and over extracted, trying to be wines that they were not. The 2009 was good for what it was, but not my thing. Let Margaux be Margaux. Fantastic step change with the '11 (by far my favourite) to a far more elegant style that reflected the terroir. The '15 was also an incredible wine, but WAY too young.


You need to try some Brazilian wine :wine_glass::hugs:! It’s ace :+1::wink:!

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Hi Inbar

Matias Riccitelli is rising star here in Argentina and, I understand, was Tim Atkin’s winemaker of the year in 2016. His Bodega is in Las Compuertas next to Cheval des Andes in on Route 82, which heads up into the foothills of the Andes. It is not that far from Lujan de Cuyo. His Malbec from here is made using destemmed, concrete fermented, mixed oak ageing.
For those that are aware of the move south in search of slightly cooler climates, Riccitelli is now making wine in the Province of Río Negro where his Semillon wines are gaining a growing reputation. Reds are also being made but I could not quite read the label on your Malbec. Riccitelli also consults for other Bodegas that are worth looking out for.


You couldn’t possible believe how great this wine was tonight overshadowing my children’s horrendous behaviour … 8 more weeks of this before they go back to school and Mr.Leah still away :neutral_face::neutral_face::neutral_face::neutral_face:!
This is a joy!! 100% Listán Blanco from the Valle de la Orotava in Tenerife made by Seurtes del Marques ! Just everything I needed tonight ! Grapefruit, slight oak , some lees and a volcanic sulphur hint … ! Definitely buying more of this ! :yum::yum::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:!


This is coming up to the end of my personal drinking window for it. I have one or two more, tucked away in 2011 for just such a damp Summer’s evening. Tonight’s a celebration of forward-thinking and deferred gratification, all wrapped up in a savoury, nutty, crisp and light package. Watching them evolve has been as children growing up - and this wine’s confident maturity suggests a successful adult; helping out his aged-parents, repaying the love and care.


That’s a great label. I had a bunch of their wines in Tenerife last year and brought some more home. Sadly all gone :cry: