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Midweek drinking thread [19 to 21 April 2022]

A magret de canard for dinner this evening, having marinated for the past 24 hours - and this Etna Rosso will accompany it:

Pietradolce, Etna Rosso 2019

This is the ripest vintage I have tasted - but it’s still a lovely and lively example of the grape and the region. A charming pale ruby with garnet reflection in the glass, the nose has notes of wild strawberries, forest berries, dusty earth, bay leaf and dried rose petals.

On the palate it enters on a ripe flourish - of wild strawberries, cranberries and cherries, but it quickly resumes its Etna Rosso character and becomes more sour and herbal (dried Med herbs, maybe?) with a touch of tar and a pleasant minerality. Acidity is lively, and tannins chalky with a good grip.

The finish is rather long, ending on a slightly salty tang. There’s something a little feral about it, though it’s a tad less savoury than previous vintages I tried, lacking that soy/balsamic note I really like.

Still, a delicious Etna Rosso, easy to enjoy with that slightly wild edge that makes these wines so interesting! :+1:


Thanks, Akos… On holiday dates mean nothing :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:


An absolutely delicious Pinot Noir from Franken. Fruit forward, unmistakably PN.

Also tried with some anchovies, a bit of an up hill battle, but the wine stands it’s ground.


This here tonight with a roast chicken breast, polenta chips and some excess white wine, stock. creme fraiche and mushroom sauce leftover from yesterdays chicken casserole (waste not want not) with some added frozen peas…

TreRè Arlùs Albana Secca, Romagna 2020.

Albana is a new grape to me, the one’s in this were late harvested with some noble rot.

TWS notes are spot-on. The botrytis is evident on the nose, otherwise, the aromas are similar to the flavours on the palate. Ripe peach, apricot and citrus fruit with a lovely spicy kick on tasting. Dry and richly flavoured with plenty of fresh acidity to structure and balance with some creamy texture too.

A delicious wine for £10 that might appeal to lovers of Alsace wine as it has a similar weight, body and structure, albeit with different flavours, to some of the richer wines found there.



After a really disappointing showing of a special treat wine last night with a carefully cooked dinner-dish [Sandhi Sta. Rita Hills La Côte Pinot Noir 2013; I’m sure it was corked / “off” in old-fashioned parlance], a bottle of this charming and oh-so-gluggable 2020 Tasca d’Almerita Bianco tonight.

I have to say I’m a big fan of Tasca wines generally, and this is no exception; beautifully forward but fresh & balanced fruit-acid-texture, and the bottle has almost disappeared in no time. Takes me straight back to my Spring-early-summer working times in Sicily, when I’d invariably spend the evenings sat quietly by myself enjoying spaghetti alle vongole & fritura mista & a juicy salad with a jug of something like this. Simple delightful decadent deliciousness.

I should say I’m on leave this week, and have been busy out in the garden all day, creating a fine thirst for refreshment. Nothing quite like having the place to yourself, with wife in at the office for her monthly visit, and sonshine back at school again. Perfect :~}


That is a delicious wine, and a bargain for the quality; as too is their other one. Great WS finds IMO.


Tonight, English Simpsons Rabbit Hole Pinot Noir - as recommended by a couple of fellow posters.

Perhaps it’s the lingering effects of CV on my senses, but the wine really isn’t to my taste - sweet-ish & syrupy - a garish light red / dark pink. Gave up after half a glass & replaced the cork. I’m amazed they managed to get the P.N. to ripen to that level in Kent.

Instead opened Santa Tresa, Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2018 - Much better. Nothing special, but it’s a sound, well balanced midweek bottle.


Couldn’t agree more. Both wines were great VFM but this is even more to my taste and l’d certainly buy again, and in quantity, should the 2021 be listed in the future :yum:

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Château Caronne Sainte Gemme, Haut-Médoc 2015 (thewinesociety.com)

Opened this last night with steak frites - a Christmas present from my brother. I really should have given it a decant but still very nice on a pop and pour but definitely opened up as the evening went on.

Cassis and liquorice on the nose, cherry, cedar and pencil lead on the palate - I suspect I’d have gotten more if it’d let it open up properly though. Happily finished of the rest this evening. I appear to have let a fair amount of claret that’s ready to drink accumulate in the house - I really must do something about that


Carl Loewen 1896 Riesling, 2016

First time trying a Carl Loewen dry riesling and it’s very very good.

1896 refers to the year the vines were planted and these are reckoned to be the oldest riesling vines still in production.

Good aroma, buts it’s in the mouth that this wine gets going. Electric, almost fizzing on the tongue. Acidity is in check though and it’s rich with a long after taste. 6 years old but very young and a shame not to be able to see what this is like in its middle age.

Great match with a few veggie dishes, and now with some classy aged cheddar.


Would/could this have anything to do with potential chaptalisation?

Are you allowed to do that to still wine?

Sure are


I’m pretty certain - indeed the article confirms such - that Chaptalisation is to raise the potential alcohol content (which admittedly can add ‘false’ body), but I thought false sweetness was due to other manipulations (the name of which escape me right now)?

Wow! I knew it happened with sparkling wine but had no idea it was so commonplace in so many parts of the world for still wine.

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Recollections from visiting English producers’ cellar doors for the past 2 decades or so; I usually ask - has this wine been Chaptalised? (particularly if the variety was pure vinifera) - and of late - say the past 5 years - the answer has tended to be no we didn’t need to… for that vintage. But as far as I understand it’s perfectly legal. Wasn’t it standard practice in Burgundy during poor vintages within living memory ?

I seem to remember reading that this was the case. In Savoie they used to chaptalise quite regularly, until the last few years when it became unnecessary due to consistently warmer vintages.

I believe most English producers chaptalise in cool years (like you, I have asked producers I visited), but I seem to recall that it was unnecessary in the excellent vintages of 2018 and 2020, so my hunch is that the Rabbit Hole pinot wasn’t chaptalised.

Chaptalisation as far as I’m aware is carried out all across France - hence the use of a lovely, professional-sounding word rather than ‘bung a load of sugar in to rescue the vintage’ - and I’m aware that the practice has at some times in the recentish past been used in Jurançon. But I’m certain it’s widespread, if not ( for obvious reasons) much publicised.

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I should underline that it might just be my sense of taste being suspect, because other posters have been mighty favourable regarding the Rabbit Hole.

Deviating slightly… back in the mists of time (1985) I worked the vendange in Regnie. There were a few industrial sized sacks of sugar stacked neatly in the courtyard.


Was an Etna red here last night also

2015 Cottanera Etna Contrada Diciassettesalme

Via Waitrose I believe.

Got better and better as it opened up. Maybe I should have decanted?
Oh well, freshly turned soil, hedgerow fruit, beautiful balance between ripeness, soft integrated tannins, acidity. No obvious oak (think is aged in larger format, older oak)
Last glass the best.
Tempted to get a bottle of the one you had as well Inbar.