Really enjoying this:
Noticed new Saint Remy de Provence basil in Grand Frais today so made new season pesto and added to a fusilliProcessing: 85A1AD16-1F0C-450A-9F35-246774FEC23F.jpeg…
pasta with Gorgonzola a la cuiller and some fresh leaf to finish it off. We are sipping a Falgore Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo at a mighty 15%. It came with a mystery case for Easter from Wine in Black, swiftly followed by an email offering me a discounted 11 , douze free at 142 euros. How do they know we are drinking it?
Today’s accidental but suprisingly effective wine pairing: hot buttered toast (industrial, squidgy, white) and marmite - made primarily for the toddler, but it would have been rude not to join him - and a glass of Morrison’s Fino Sherry.
Very much in the same sort of realm as Fino and twiglets, this brought out the yeasty savouriness of the sherry in the best possible way. Something I would actively repeat even when not trying to feed a grouchy 19 month old.
Hoping to taste more from Alsace and Germany over next couple of years. 2018 Trimbach pinot blanc this evening, this has been sat in home rack for a couple of years. Blend of 80% auxerrois, 20% pinot blanc. I guess auxerrois doesn’t sell like pinot blanc on a label. Was a little disappointed as I did not like the type of acidity, not sure of the terminology but prefer leaner acidity. Quick bit of googling shows that auxerrois grape is close to Chardonnay, the acidity of which I have long disliked (used to think it was too much oak in the 90’s but later figured it out). Shall try and remember to discount auxerrois in future which I now see is grown a good deal in Alsace.
On thinking about this further have realised that I tend to only drink wines with this type of acidity rather chilled, the colder the better as I find it dulls the acidity and as the temp rises I find the acidity unpalatable, overpowering any flavours. By contrast sauvignon blanc, picpoul, vino Verde, PN based sparklers I have happily taken out of fridge 20mins before drinking (thx to lessons here), still enjoyed the acidity as the temp rises but equally the way the palate reveals itself. I think of this acidity as leaner but not sure of terminology.
Albert Boxler, Pinot Gris, 2015
Coravined a glass to go with spicy vegetable tagine.
This was just delicious, and a wonderful pairing. Pinot Gris may not have a reputation as an a particularly classy wine, but Boxler elevates it to something different from run of the mill Pinot, and with a bit of bottle age it is delightful. Limited aroma, but beautiful golden colour. Broad palate that is both sweet and savoury at the same time. A touch of acidity to keep it in balance, but nothing overpowering.
Really enjoyed this, and have a few more of these in reserves. On this showing they are maturing beautifully and no rush to drink. I’m intrigued by what this may be like at 10-15 years…
2017 Thistledown ‘The Vagabond’ Grenache, McLaren Vale
An excellent Wednesday night wine. Really enjoying this.
@PHarvey thanks for sharing the Peru diaries!
It’s great to see so much diversity
I’ve often found the Trimbach wines somewhat ‘austere’ notably a Riesling Reserve and a Pinot Noir. Might be worth seeing how it drinks on day two?
At risk of inducing general tedium-at-large I still feel the urge to share my Peru diary. So today was an all day excursion into the Sacred Valley of the river Urubamba; sort of NW of Cusco - an Inca epicentre in the day and now a mix of high intensity agriculture - mainly different types of maize - and tourism, aimed at the Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo.
We stopped for lunch at an unexpected massive barn of a place where there was an eat all you want buffet for S65 - about £12; apparently subsidised by the Peru Gvt in the wake of Covid to encourage tourism.
Pretty good actually - satisfyingly incomprehensible and mysterious choices but I did get that the Main I chose was ragout of Cuyo (aka Guineapig ) This is the second time I’ve had this and is the last. It’s very fiddly to eat - more bony than wild rabbit and most of what is edible is the skin rather than any actual meat. It tastes a bit like rabbit and slightly more gamey. Like adoiuilles - no need to keep trying it. And to finish, of course, some Cacao leaf tea.
Back at the hotel and a re-visit to last night’s offey - happy to purchase a 2018 example of one of my top 5 whites of all time; Amalaya’s torrontes-riesling, interesting to note that the 2018 was on offer whereas in the UK we are on to the 2020.
Yes I have to concede I sneaked a cheeky chicken empanada to “balance” the wine.
What’s “quebranta”? I imagine it’s some obscure European grape under a local name?
I’m enjoying these too. Thanks for sharing. All looks great.
Loving the notes! But a minor pedantic correction; the leaves for tea in Peru and Bolivia is coca, where cocaine comes from, whereas cacao is where chocolate comes from. I lived off that tea; it’s supposed to help with altitude acclimatisation something my body is rubbish at!
I’m another here who’s grateful that you took the time to share your experiences and pics. Thanks for doing so, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the virtual ride !
Austere is a useful term and has led to some interesting reading. This was drunk with the family so no day two on this occasion. Will be interested in comparing with other Alsace domains.
This is also a bottle with some air miles but a lot less scenery than the interesting Peruvian travelogue @PHarvey !!
Last nights glass and a bit more tonight.
Quite sharp on opening but smoothed out and classic Barossa Shiraz. Hints of spice and vanilla embedded in the big fruit finish. Probably needs a bit more time…but nevertheless very enjoyable and well priced as as a first of a 6 case bought earlier this year.
That’s more or less what I thought about my first bottle of this too - very good but surprisingly tangy, and probably needs a little time to settle in. Good price for the case deal, definitely.
Guiseppe Quintarelli Tasting
Negrar, valpooicella, veneto is where the wines are from.
- 2015 Vallana Nebbiolo Brut Rosē £30
Dry, Fair acidity. Mellow brandy soaked strawberry. Fairly serious. Amazing transformation of nebbiolo. Bit of a food wine.
Phrases to avoid when describing the wine
- I could get recco on this prosecco
1b) Billecart-Salmon champagne 2002
Showing some age and a little oak. Very fine, great taste. Yellow. Great warm up act.
- 2020 Bianco Secco £30
Wonderful fresh fruit nose. Full of life. Peach, Field blend. Lovely. More acidity than I expected. Mountain wine. Nose beats palate
- 2018 Primafiore £50
Haven’t had a nose like that. Just want to draw more in. Note to self, need to breathe out too. Black fruits on the nose. Elegant. No appassimento. Fresh.
Crikey I realise I’m a future customer. Could drink this all day.
I don’t have a clear frame of comparative reference for this style but it seems it’s a distinctive one all of it’s own.
Apparently this is a “house” wine to drink when (if) you need a break from their Amarone
- 2013 Valpolicella Classico Superiore £70
Fabulous. 2nd wine of the year in a row I.e. eclipsed the last one.
50/50 appassimento and fresh. Then ripasso
Next level. Nose is fabulous. Layers. Sweetness and balance. Love the fruit, perfume and complexity. Apparently it ages not sure if I’d be able to resist
- 2013 Rosso Ca del Merlo £70
50/50 appassimento/fresh + ripasso. Added cab sav + merlot. Hello US market
Similar nose. Richer mid range with added grape varieties. Still love it
The deeper you breathe the better it gets. That’s not usually the case. Usually get more alcohol notes
- 2010 Rosso del Bepi
Todo watch: Barolo boys film Amazon prime
15.5% It’s not an Amarone, but made in same way. Not the same vintages as amarone. Two a decade.
Stunning, more concentrated. Super rich. Tasty. Super intense. Nose slightly less pronounced
“Brunello 2010 would be a waste to crack now” says MW in attendance. “Sigh” I quietly think as that’s just what I celebratory cracked just before the birth of my last child, knowing I was going wine free and losing my sleep over the months to come. Also coming up to two years ago now so must have cracked it with extra invinticide.
- 2012 Amarone della Valpolicella £300+
Nose fabulous. Magical. Absolutely amazing. Feels less alcohol at 16.5% than the Bepi. Third wine of the year of the night. The leap up is worth it
Very disappointing as I may have to buy some. I love it and it costs so so much. Must keep orders to two cases per year. Kids don’t need new clothes. They can leave school at 16. Perhaps I can ship them as manual labourers to Quintarelli
- 2011 Alzero cabernet £300+
Most desirable in secondary and US markets. CS grape. Quintarelli nose (apparent throughout the range)
Slightly American targeted. Sublime. Richer. Amazing. Some heat didn’t notice the heat on the Amarone
All these wines exhibit low residual sugar but taste sweet from the fruit.
I haven’t spent ages refining my notes ie trying to nail taste or smell components. The wines deserved my attention in the moment and pours were small. 3 “wines of the year… so far” in one night
Is it worth it?
People pay millions on art. We all accept this without a blink of an eye.
So I’m actually left thinking it is worth it and relative to long term NFT ownership bargainous.
Sounds like a great tasting.
I’m always stuck on that question of “is it worth it?” and “is it moral to spend that much on a bottle of wine”. It’s always much more difficult to answer after tastings like that. Obviously my bank balance (or lack there of) has a far clearer idea as to the answer! (£50 for a house wine?!?!?).
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