Midweek Drinking Thread 4th to 8th April 2022

Yes. Beforehand I was thinking it would be a perfectly acceptable outcome if I found the higher end wines a little bit better but definitely not worth it.

Despite my tongue in cheek notes I am left thinking the Valpol at £70 is worth a case of 6 in bond next time I can. The Amarone I could potentially stretch to the odd bottle.

Relative to bordeaux where cost is similar for high end wines and production quantities are relatively huge. These are very small production (11 hectares) and relative to those I think definitely holds its own (he says with very limited experience of high end bordeaux)

£50 for a house wine

I’ve spent more on worse bottles. The only reason he described it as that is it’s purely fresh grapes so, lighter and fresher tasting. I can imagine with the abv and intensity of the higher end, it would represent a fresher change for the palate


I’d also say as a tasting group (we paid £60 per person). This is a great way to experience these high end wines without being destitute


I imagine Mr Harvey has his time filled with chasing guinea pigs for dinner :slight_smile:

Wine Grapes says Quebranta is a

‘traditional red skinned variety from Peru, where it is grown mainly to produce pisco, the national grape spirit, but also for rose or red table wines at varying sweetness levels for domestic consumption.’

Book says it is a cross of Listan Prieto (aka Mission) and Negramoll


I’m loving the pics & the virtual experience from a cold grey Hertfordshire, so keep it all coming please!

I had a similar trip in Argentina 15 years ago - for work in fact, but with lots of time before-during-after for my own stuff - and following your stuff is taking me right back to the mountains & wines & blue skies of South America :~}


That seems a good deal to me, I must say.

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Monday I made a new dish taken from a recipe in Waitrose’s magazine. It uses 4 ingredients, all (no surprise) from Waitrose. I followed the recipe almost exactly apart from the 25 minutes given for it. I’ve learnt that such times are not possible (not by me anyway) so I allowed an hour.

Sausage and Cannellini Bean Stew

The four ingredients are:

  • Waitrose 6 Cumberland Pork Sausages 400g (seasoned with pepper, mace, nutmeg & dried herbs).
  • 2x - Waitrose chargrilled vegetable sauce with olives 350g (A sauce made with tomatoes, vegetables, olives and extra virgin olive oil)
  • 3x - Cans Essential Cannellini Beans in Water drained 235g
  • 2x - Baby Leaf Greens 200g

The recipe is for six. There were six sausages so that means each portion would have only one sausage. I decided to do exactly what the recipe said (tho’ I misread the recipe and used only two cans of beans, which was plenty) and freeze the excess.

  1. Cook the sausages and
  2. Heat the sauce in a large pan
  3. Drain the beans, reserving their water
  4. Add drained beans to the sauce
  5. Cut half the greens to bite size pieces, discarding thick stems.
  6. Cut cooked sausages into 4 or 5 pieces and add the pan
  7. Add the greens to the sauce, stir through over a low simmer
    recipe says to steam rest of greens and serve on side - I didn’t

We ate probably half the stew. Mrs M was very enthusiastic about it. Next time I’ll use pak choi or pointed cabbage or cauliflower florets instead of the greens, of which I used only one packet.

With it we enjoyed:

2020 The Wine Society Portuguese Red (Portugal, Vinho Regional Península de Setúbal)
What a super, drinkable pleasurable wine. Simple, rewarding, warming lovely and … amazingly cheap. Well done, TWS!!

Tuesday Mrs M had her usual on-line bridge session which starts early so we had an early dinner of Mrs M’s favourite crispy slices of aubergine in tomato & basil sauce and penne with a mixed salad and no-brainer™

2020 Casa Vinicola Roxan The Wine Society’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Italy, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo)

Wednesday I stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts and red pepper strips in black bean sauce, accompanied by boiled rice (and for me chopped red chillies in Thai fish sauce) and stir-fried pak choi in oyster sauce with which we had we had

2020 Riebeek Cellars Cinsault Morrisons The Best Bush Vine (South Africa, Swartland)

I was not sure what wine to have with the strong tastes of black-bean and oyster sauces, but this was just tickety-boo, and greatly enjoyed.

Thursday tea with tonight’s dinner for afterwards I’ll be going to our monthly U3A Wine Tasting, which is titled Every One a Winner. All I know about the wines we’ll be drinking tasting is they are medal winners from the Wine Society list.

(all this week’s wines are from TWS except the Cinsaut from Morrisons)


I understand where the costs come from particularly with these small producers, 11 hectares is big for northern Italy! As you say it’s a little harder to swallow when you look at Bordeaux/Super Tuscan/Napa production. £70 a bottle for a case of 6 is about where I’ve top out (I try to stay under £50 but then Massolino single vineyard Barolo and a few Brunello, I tried to go higher in this years Burgundy, but ended up with a single bottle!) but I’ve not yet made it to the £300ish (and only over £100 once) odd bottle but it does also sometimes feel like it’s only a matter of time.

£60 for that tasting does seem like a good price! The question I have now is “where from?” as I’d like to give a couple of those wines a go myself!


yes it was fabulous value, with a not for profit wine club. slightly subsidised against other tastings

Opened last night - wrote a grumpy review then thought better & deleted it. Better today.

Domaine Bruno Clair, Marsannay Les Grasses Têtes 2017

At £36 this is expensive for me, or is it cheap for a Burgundy? certainly it’s excellent in the glass & that is what matters - as an occasional treat. Has a new world richness & concentration, full bodied for a P.N. No secondary notes (yet) so although drinking extremely well currently, will benefit from more time in the bottle.

I wouldn’t buy again because there are much better ways to spend £36 at the TWS. But that is down to Burgundy and the wine market in general - not a reflection on this wine.


Thanks, Peter! Most interesting, and not at all surprising! :grinning:

What is perhaps most surprising is that, at least as far as I know from talking with the top two producers on the island a few years ago, there is no such crossing on the island of La Palma itself, where the cuttings from the two grapes almost certainly came from (I’m not aware of listán prieto on any other Canary islands).

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@suiko My understanding is Listan Prieta was collected by missionaries when their ship stopped there on its way from Spain to the Americas.

Listan Prieta was planted in the missions to provide the necessary sacramental wine and over time it became known as the mission grape.

I have drank Mission in California , but I had to hunt it out as its pretty rare. Most was made in recent times into a fortified wine called Angelica, but I had the red table wine from several wineries, and visited Storey Winery in Amador County which has some ancient Mission vines and bought some bottles.

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According to Wine Grapes Negramoll is a very old variety that originated in Andalucia, Spain and was taken to South America (from Spain) where its first appearance is in a document dated 1787.

As per my earlier post, the cross with Listan Prieta is said by Wine Grapes to be a natural cross that took place in Peru

Yes, sure, I know the history. The main source of interesting Listán Prieto is now of course Chile, where new (and very good) wines seem to be coming out yearly.

I didn’t know Negramoll / Negra Mole was supposed to have originated in Andalucía, though. There is nothing in Andalucía today that even resembles it (no light-bodied red grapes at all as far as I know), though there is most certainly Negra Mole in the Algarve, where it is undergoing a renaissance in my local vineyards. I was told here that it has no connection with the Tinta Negra Mole of Madeira, though I am sceptical (as I am of the Wine Grapes Andalucían origin!)

Interestingly, both Listán Perieto and Negramoll are much commoner on La Palma than the other islands, where Listán Negro is the dominant red grape.

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Thanks for your note on this @lapin_rouge. I had a bottle of this over Christmas and was also not as enamoured as I expected to be. I treated myself to a couple of bottles of burgundy last summer, bearing in mind the advice that burgundy (and PN in general) is necessarily expensive. Lovely deep, ripe red fruits as I remember but I was expecting something more somehow. As it was opened at Christmas I didn’t have the chance to taste it the next day! So perhaps a few more years in it would improve it.

That said, perhaps not developing a taste for burgundy isn’t the worst thing in the world from a financial point of view!

I still have a bottle of Jean Marc Vincent Santenay Premier Cru Beaurepaire Rouge 2017 to try, will make sure I give it a decent decant, or try my very best to leave a little for the next day


This terrifically blowsy white this evening:

Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, Guigal 2020

A blend of Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc and my, what a nose…! :heart_eyes: Lancôme is missing a trick.

Floral in the extreme on first sniff: heady jasmine, honeysuckle, even rose petals, which are followed by ripe peaches, juicy apricots, cinnamon spice and ginger. We said it almost in unison - tasted blind we would have thought it an Alsatian Gewurz.

On the palate it is rich and luscious – very much a Viognier solo, despite the other members of the band, but for all that rich unctuousness and ridiculous ABV there’s nothing remotely flabby of flat here. The stone (and pear) fruit is ripe, like something out of a cornucopia, but there is also a herbal note, ginger spice warmth and a rather delightful almond bitterness on the finish.

I can see some people absolutely hating it, but for me (not to mention for him) this is love in a bottle. :relieved:

To contrast (this is an understatement), a glass of this delectable Manzanilla with some salted almonds for aperitif:

Domecq Manzanilla

Oyster liquor, bruised apples and sourdough on the nose; the palate is savoury with notes of apples and citrus, as well as brine and is very delicate and subtle. Terrific stuff… all too moreish! :ok_hand:


Viognier for us too tonight, every bit as delicious as the last vintage I tried, with peach and apricot, depth of flavour and still refreshing. Great vfm.


First blaufrankisch with a WS 2018 tonight. Rather nice tanins, can tanins be tasty because these seemed to be. Almost on the edge of chalky mouthfeel but overall felt light. Some heat from spicyness but only 13%. Nose like CDR but cannot decide if palate has slight mineral or citron element. Tanins and acidity almost integrated but tanins to the fore, at least initially. Keen to try other producers of this grape. With alcohol in the Rhone rising I could be tempted by this a little more often, a candidate for autumn when my gullet gets ahead of me and I cannot resist those early stews.


Tuesday evening with cold weather saw us eating slow-cooked shin of beef with The Society’s Exhibition Vacqueyras, 2016. Today, a bit of an uptick in temperature (until it chucked it down from about 5.30pm) saw us eat feuilleté de jambon from the butcher with white asparagus, with Mrs Robertd continuing her “happy meal” plating. We drank Hubert Meyer Sylvaner, 2019.

Our last bottle of the Vacqueyras, and probably the right time to drink it. Excellent balance between spice, acidity and tannin, but it seemed to have lost a bit of togetherness, and the bramble fruit is fading a bit. The sylvaner is a really good midweek wine - the variety is a speciality of Blienschwiller where the producer is based, and this is a good, solid example of why it can be great value. Bright fruit, good acidity, and tell-tale apple-pip bitterness on the finish. Further to the recent discussion about the grape - this may not reach the heights of Franconia, but at €5.10 a bottle cellar-door, it’s excellent.


2013 Flametree S.R.S Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River

Drinking some good stuff this week. Back in the land of Oz.
Mmm, this is lovely.
Pure blackcurrant, menthol, mint, oak is fantastic and super well judged, can tell it’s still there though.
Tannins still have some chalky grip.
This is 9 years old, has had a 3 hour decant and somehow is still broaching infanticide.
Classic Margaret River under screwcap I spose.


Indeed. I’ve only seen these parent varieties before on the Canary Is. In Ica region they go by different names; negra criolla and mollar, respectively. Of note is that pisco may be made from base wines of any of eight varieties and the only producer which does both cultivate and vinify all of them is La Caravedo in Ica town.

To complete the set is torrontel (not in JRWG - but personal correspondence with Julia Harding suggests it is hybrid based on torrontes), moscatel, Italia (a moscatel x bical vinifera cross), albilla (which I assume is albillo), and uvina (a mystery grape that even JH doesn’t know its provenance but I think is a hybrid)

The piscos labelled “acholado” are a blend; usually of three base varieties. And for completeness’ sake, “pisco mosto verde” is distilled from only part-fermented wine; meaning the natural fruit flavours are more to the fore, and is more expensive as more grapes / litre of distillate are needed.