It’s a wine community - and this is Whisky - not even from TWS. These are cask strength, non chill filtered, no caramel, clear age statement. All three, £140 including delivery & a free miniature.
I shall refrain from moaning about TWS current whisky offer.
These ‘natural’ whiskies always develop in the bottle as the level goes down, typically mellowing and becoming more nuanced - so the first nip is deceptive. However…
The Ardmore is classic Teacher’s whisky main-malt: Peated, coal smoke edge… rich and sweet, very rounded & fruity - instantly likeable.
Orkney is USUALLY Highland Park, however in this instance I’m undecided: there is a wisp of peat, but mostly a nutty peach palate (Scapa?) and quite mouth watering & salty. MUCH more to it than your usual H.P. so I’m reserving judgement - I think this will open up nicely. I had AD Rattray’s 18y/o Orkney recently - it was obviously HP & not as good.
Tobermory 12 is a classic straight hit, highland malt, exactly as expected - but with everything turned up to 11. I’m hoping there are hidden depths - but it is very drinkable with a third added water.
I have a tale of 3 pinots + 1. Purely in the interests of research the task this weekend and lunch today was to find the best pinot match for a) home made pizza (mozzarella, tomatoes and sweet peppers) and b) Jamie Oliver inspired paella ie with chorizo.
TOH liked none of them and got me to open the primitivo instead which is too fruity and sweet for my taste. But pinot-head soldiered on and concluded that the Mt Difficulty was the winner for both dishes.
Tbh not especially remarkable. Obviously Burgundian - fusty nose, leafmold / dusty in the mouth, some plummy / raspberry fruit in the background, fine low level tannins. A fairly straight bat and a perfectly correct wine - but would have been better with a meat dish, lamb or veal maybe, I think it didn’t really complement the tomato / pepper sweetness or stand up to the rich spice flavours of the paella nor provide an interesting counterbalance. The Otago was more distinctly flavoured all round and I thought the more noticeable sweetness was well balanced with both the more obvious fruit, even a bit of pepper, and the backbone of flinty tannins, less of a fussy / subtle wine than the Marsannay. But don’t get me wrong, the roles could well have been reversed with a different food pairing. The S African was pretty lightweight and unmemorable and came third overall.
Thought I’d check in on this, bought a year or so ago from the Society. First taste was a little high acid, but as it got some air, it broadened. You wouldn’t mistake it for Chardonnay and it probably shouldn’t be compared, but it was a superb balanced palate tingling experience. An exciting glass, I’m sure I got notes of lemon curd, a sense that it might relax a bit in a year or so, so will hold on to my other bottle. A definite re buy if I get the chance.
Bog-standard is actually a really unfair description; this is lovely and very easy to enjoy. According to Latour’s website, the average vines’ age is 30 years old, and the wine fermented and matured on its lees for 8 to 10 months in a stainless steel tank. The lightly floral nose had initial notes of orchard fruit and delicate blossom. As it warmed up peach and even apricot notes came to the fore, as well as orange and a whiff of porridge oats.
On the palate, first impressions are of a creamy, rounded texture, but there is orange zest there too, stone fruits and a touch of leesy, yeasty note as well. It’s fresh and vivacious, yet comforting like a nice hug - a good balancing act.
Not super complex, but it really delivers a lot for the money – especially at £10 (usual price in Waitrose is £14.99). Just what the doctor ordered. I think!
…I think this must have been an exclusive to Majestic as I can’t find any info on it on the producers website. It’s a barrel fermented Western Cape Chenin Blanc ‘B28’ 2018 from Stellenrust. However, I’d presume the B28 designation indicates it comes from a block of 28 year old vines. The label does state it’s made from bush vines grown on a granite soil and that it undergoes a wild yeast fermentation.
The pic doesn’t do its colour justice, it’s a lovely yellow green colour, something I associate with top end Chablis. Stone fruit, apples and abundant, integrated, mealy barrel ferment notes on the nose. It smells a lot more expensive than the £10 it cost. Which its palate more than confirms, peach, tart apples, hints of butterscotch, integrated oak and a rich savoury mealy texture with a notable seam of refreshing acidity running throughout. It’ s a fabulous wine for the money and one which put me in mind of TWS Exhibition Limari Chardonnay, albeit one with chenin flavours, in its QPR. If I’d paid double I’d still be happy !
Gosh, it’s absolutely delicious - an abundance of honey and hazelnuts, a hint of creamy mushrooms and pineapple. Not a 3 on the dry-sweet scale though; certainly a 4 or 5, as indicated by the existing review and the 2015 vintage which is available now.
Drink dates are 16-22 but I’d be happy to bathe in this until next year. So good.