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Midweek Drinking Thread [8 to 11 June 2020]

After reading @Embee’s lovely notes about Yves Cuilleron’s ‘Les Vignes d’a Côte’ 2018 Viognier last week, and his recommendation that it’s definitely ‘drinking now’ – I decided to take the advice literally! The husband is making a Goan pork curry as we speak, so I thought this would make a good match to the wine:

My notes are very similar to Mark’s. This is a rather opulent Viognier, which nevertheless displays fantastic minerality and well-defined aromas and flavours. Lovely pale gold in the glass, the nose has notes of apricot, nectarine, rose petals and honeysuckle; on the palate it hits you with ripe - but fresh - notes of apricot, peach and acacia honey, mingled with cinnamon and saffron. That’s a tagine meal, right there! :smiley:

What saves it from being cloying, heavy or too alcoholic on the palate (it is 14%) is a lively minerality which underlies it, and a slightly bitter tang to the finish. The vinification included a third of the parcels maturing in foudres, a third in Bourgogne barriques and a third which was maturing on the lees - which would explain the wonderfully chewy texture.

We’ll see how it evolves with the meal, but we both feel that this is Viognier as we love it – fresh, but unabashedly rich, rounded but also vibrant and precise. A good ending to a rather dreadful day.

What’s in your glass this week? :clinking_glasses: :grinning:


This on our (unofficial 13th) anniversary with a spicy and smoky pasta dish. Nice and concentrated, took a while to open up, Looking forward to trying Cirelli’s amphorae version.


Congratulations! :grinning::tada::wine_glass:


This modest but tasty wine went well with a mixed salad. Reduced to £6.50 at Morrisons, it’s a bargain.


Something a bit special for our anniversary tonight. And what a way to christen a new set of Gabriel Glas. Garnet/brick rim, nose full of black cherries, with chocolate and coffee on the palate, graphite in the background. Very fine tannins, everything in perfect balance. Delicious with a couple of thick sirloins. Lockdown ain’t all bad.


Tried this at a tasting early last year, thought it was the best (affordable) white there, and got a few bottles. Tonight with a tuna salad. It’s very rich, sort of apricot through butterscotch flavours, slightly aromatic herbiness, almost going to bitter-sweet toffee as it gets warmer. Very good.


@Inbar your notes were so evocative it felt like I was tasting the wine again, nice one !

Sorry to hear about your dreadful day though.

Funny you should mention tagines, I’m picking up another bottle tomorrow to enjoy with the very same some time in the near future. Thanks for the vinification info too, I had no idea so much trouble was taken. The different methods employed certainly seems to be reflected in the wines complexity.

Congratulations to those celebrating anniversaries too.

An easy meal here yesterday, reheated beef and bean ragu with some pappardelle…

…with a bottle of Colline Novaresi Nebbiolo ‘Tre Confini’ 2017 from Torraccia del Piantavigna ( £11.50 ). Violets, red cherry, raspberry and herbs on the fresh and fragrant nose. Light to medium body ( 12.5% ABV ), sour cherry and red berry fruit, with a distinctly herbal note, is nicely structured by bright acidity. No fierce tannins here. Fresh and tart when drank on its own but the food really brought it to life giving it more dimension, complexity and depth. So much so, I had to take a sip after every mouthful. No wonder I’ve got a thick head today !

Have a good week everyone. Looking forward to reading more.


Good grief this is a nice surprise. Purchased on the basis of a taste at a Christmas lunch this is the real deal. Montagny is in the Côté Challonais but it’s a dead ringer for a Côté D’Or (probably Meursault as it’s fairly broad in the mouth). A bit restrained on the aroma (maybe a little overchilled) but ripe fruit and spice, a mix of lemon and honey and a long finish. Seems to have the structure to age for a few years though I doubt I can keep my hands off the other bottles.


The Chardonnay theme continues here with this Seresin. I’ve a “blistering” level of capsaicin Thai green curry on the go so I’ll probably just enjoy this on its own for now, but enjoyable it is. Says it’ll hold its own for 5 years, but not tonight.


We enjoyed this last bottle of the following wine from the Swartland area of the Western Cape which was taken with our evening meal.


This is what I am on tonight:

I’m much more of a new world guy and, especially with bigger reds, generally stayed clear of Bordeaux (don’t judge…) especially as I find it a minefield and rarely offers value for money.

Not sold on this just yet as value, but it’s a delicious wine. Aerated it through a pouring device but it was still very muted earlier this evening. Fruit is shining through now - really ripe bramble going on here - with lovely delicate oak and just enough grip with the tannins. Trying not to finish the bottle tonight…


Last night we had a veggie moussaka with this serious styled Beaujolais. Typical of the 2015 vintage this has a bit of a Southern Rhone like warmth to it. Spiced red cherries in alcohol with more complexity than you’d expect for a sub £20 wine. The last of my 2015 Beaujolais, they were all interesting and very atypical, lots of 2018’s just ordered for the summer.


This cheap and (incredibly) cheerful 2018 Zibibbo this evening, another one from Lidl’s current ‘summer wine tour’:

Absolutely delicious and excellent value-for-money is our verdict. Lovely and perfumed on the nose - the expected ‘grape-y’ scent, mixed with jasmin, honey, orange blossom and stone fruit; on the palate it is dry, with notes of stone fruit, citrus and a touch of green and crunchy apple. The finish is incredibly fresh with a twist of orange zest and a floral backnote. This can be a real party crowd-pleaser! If we ever have parties again, that is.

We weren’t sure what to cook this evening, but settled on Flammenkeuche/tarte flambée with some salad. We usually have Sylvaner or the Society’s Vin d’Alsace/Edelzwicker with it, but I’m sure the Muscat will work just as well, and make a nice change. :+1:


With pan-fried tuna steaks served with steamed asparagus came one of our regular mid-week wines which matched really well coping with the sweet chilli sauce on the side.


Somewhat motivated by the disappearance of merlot from consideration I searched in the depths for a bottle of Concha y Toro Winemaker’s Lot Merlot 2003, and sure enough there it was. With undue haste I decanted it but of course as a result it’s a bit cloudy, even if the major sediment is removed. However the colour is still strong and deep with not even a hint of fading.

Rich, deep plummy aromas, with perhaps the promise of too much sweetness. In fact it’s sweet but not too sweet, despite 14.5 % alcohol. The taste is similar to the smell - black plums, black fruit, tar and menthol. Not outstanding, but better than I expected, and certainly very enjoyable. I really don’t think merlot deserves the opprobrium.


Not so surprised these fairly humble Chileans last a while.

i like a cool climate Merlot from time to time. Had a few nice ones in NE Italy and Slovenia. As a warm climate grape, not so much.

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Enjoyed this trad Red burgundy over two nights

Very classy and unmistakably burgundy however still needs longer to fully unfurl and show its best. Makes me wonder if it is worth the bother of buying bottles such as this to wait years for them to come round. Plenty of lighter bodied, low tannin perfumed reds which give more immediate pleasure ie mencia etc. And many will age a few years to show interesting dimensions


The same thought crosses my mind several times a week!


Certainly not only Mencía either. Plenty of other options, esp from the Alps, Sicily…


Last week I checked out CT to see what in my cellar was due to drink up this year and next, to make sure we crack on with them.

The Skylark is a local sparking purchased from the producer at a school parent wine tasting night. I remember loving it when we tried it (2 years ago) but did not like the first of two I tried again a year after purchase. However, now it has had two years in the cellar it is the same sparking again from the tasting. The producer was obviously wisely giving samples from some with cellar age - I am not sure I checked the vintage on offer at the time. I will look out for some more of this now I know how to handle it - have to keep supporting Norfolk wine!

The 2016 Moulin-A-Vent was a treat, although I only had one measly glass (my sister in law and husband popped in for a socially distant drink. When I stepped away to take a work call it had been devoured by them and my other half, and only their Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Furmit was left - which was ok). :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :astonished:

From my small glass, it was a gamay delight - all fruit, spices, a touch of oak and maybe some vanilla. Drink until 2021 apparently but good to go now IMO.