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Midweek drinking thread (9th to 13th August 2021)

Is today a general AFD?

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No, I was just creating the thread when you beat me to it. You can tell we’re on holiday, because we’re doing Midweek Drinking :slight_smile:

We’ve done a couple more producer visits recently.

  • On Saturday, we visited Bott-Geyl at Beblenheim. I’ve been meaning to visit for ages, and a recommendation from Aura Meyer at Meyer-Fonné finally pushed us into it. They make wines from no fewer than six Grands Crus (Schlossberg, Schoenenbourg, Sporen, Sonnenglanz, Mandelberg and Furstentum). Amazing differences in their wines between the terroirs - the Schlossberg riesling is very dry, clean and long, Schoenenbourg somewhat rounder, Mandelberg has more sugar and petrolic character, but is still surprisingly light, and they make a fabulous riesling from 100 year-old vines on the Sporen (better known for gewurztraminer, but this riesling was special)
  • Today, we visited Beck-Hartweg at Dambach-la-Ville. Another Bas-Rhin producer trying different things, they’re making low-intervention, non-filtered wines as both single varieties and blends - assemblages rather than field blends. Of the single varietals, the Grand Cru Frankstein gewurztraminer was the most “normal”. Granitic terroirs such as this are normally riesling territory, giving quite high acidity and structure, but gewurztraminer is the most widely planted variety on the Frankstein, and we really liked the restraint and balance that it had. However, their most interesting wines are the blends - they all include riesling, pinot gris and pinot noir, with some skin contact. High acidity again, and a fascinating combination of fruit and grip. Not quite natural wines, but some have a touch of bruised apple lees-iness to them.

We ended up drinking one of Beck-Hartweg’s wines with dinner. I spatchcocked a couple of coquelets from the butcher, and stuffed the breasts with garlic and herb butter, then cooked them on the barbecue. We drank Beck-Hartweg Rittersberg, 2018.

The Rittersberg is another granitic terroir. The wine is not quite rosé, not quite orange, a bit cloudy, and needs to be served cool but not cold. Some grapefruit, some red fruits, some tannin, some lees, and quite high acidity. It’s a wine that needs food, and once again a wine that I don’t think I’d want to drink every day, but it really cut the butter and charring on the birds very well.

What should be a sustained spell of nice weather has finally arrived here, for our last week. Hope everyone else has a good week.

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No work here, finished off Riesling Auslese from the weekend. Followed up by a hop-shake IPA, very good.


And a couple drams of this Dufftown whisky, lots of black liquorice here, wonderful.

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Took part in TWS blind tasting today. Very interesting session . I’m revealing nothing in case others are doing this via the recorded session another time.

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My other half made a rather hot veggie chilli, so we didn’t want anything to sophisticated or subtle to drink. This fits the bill nicely and is a regular re-order from us as an everyday red:

Nice red fruit and spice, full, but not out of balance or jammy. Their Picpoul (Society’s own label) is also pretty fine for seafood.

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A Langhe Arneis this evening, with crab linguini:

This is very good! Bought from Vin Cognito a while ago and worth every penny. I’m not entirely sure about Vin Cognito’s insistence that this wine is ‘understated’, though. It’s certainly not ‘shouty’ - but, once a little warmer, it expresses itself rather generously.

Both nose and palate has similar notes; first lemon, but then it gets a little more like mandarine/orange. There’s citrus blossom, chamomile and fennel fronds sort of flavour, underlined with something a little nutty (I thought hazelnuts).

The acidity is medium but very lively still, and the finish is lingering, and is not unlike chamomile tea sweetened with honey. Absolutely delightful! Not sure yet whether I worked out the differences between a Langhe vs a Roero Arneis - only that the latter tends to feel (relatively) more sumptuous - but maybe it’s a bit like trying to tell the difference between a lemon and a lime (to quote XTC) :thinking:

But first, a glass of Piña colada - the daughter’s special request - to celebrate her A-Levels results and her (now confirmed) sojourn to Cambridge after her gap year. She’s a cheap date, for sure! :+1: :grinning:

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A game of two halves to report. One half left over from Sunday’s lamb, the other from last night’s pizza, leaving two halves to drink up with pork sausages, the last of the broad beans and crushed roast new potatoes with rosemary.

The Ksara is really nice - not too young, very rich fruit and spice driven, some sage in there and a nice peppery lift. Gorgeous.

The Chianti ?.. A bit Meh; tbh. Can’t think of anything to say about it except it was drinkable yet unremarkable. Where’s the sappy sour cherry bite, crunchy acid and the background hint of earthy vanilla ? Not in this offering to be sure; it was just… bland.


No longer stocked - TWS has the Classico 2018 only now

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My partner is away at the moment visiting family, and I must admit I am a little bored in her absence! But boredom always provokes good food whether homemade or otherwise. In this case the former bar the anchovies. The hummus was a revelation - so much better than usual now I peeled the chickpeas (not as onerous as it sounds) and with zero oil in the mix. Tomatoes with basil and balsamic, homemade sourdough.

The wine was from M&S, I bought several bottles on a heavy discount several months ago. I wasn’t overly impressed with the first one I tried but I’m liking it better second time round, think I’ll try to keep the other three to next year but it’s quite appetising now. Quite rich with some leesy character; some wax and toastiness which I wasn’t really hoping for but is actually very enjoyable. So long as you’re not looking for trademark steely green apple style chablis all is well. Definitely better above fridge temp.


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Congratulations to your daughter @Inbar.

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Congratulations!!

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Many congratulations to your daughter, @Inbar

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Congratulations to your daughter! Exciting times ahead. :mortar_board:

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That line often springs to mind when tasting here too :laughing:

Although very much stuck at home I’ve decided that this week’s a holiday so I’m indulging accordingly. At least both wines were ( just ) sub £10…

…the 2020 Soave was heavily discounted when bought as a six pack though.

75% garganega, 25% trebbiano di Soave from a hillside vineyard in the heart of the region. Please excuse the obvious alliteration but it’s fragrantly floral and fruity with a twist of herbs, chamomile and mint perhaps, on the nose. All kinds of fruit, citrus, peach, something tropical, a bit like a delicious fruit salad, with similar herbal notes and a hint of white pepper on tasting. Lovely purity and depth with a mouth coating oily texture that requites a proper slurp to bring its mineral fresh acidity to life. Amazing VFM with the discount, a delicious wine !

Er, somewhat sketchier thoughts on the 2019 Marcillac 'Lo Sang del Pais that followed with a supermarket confit duck leg, Puy lentils, etc.

Bright translucent crimson / magenta colour. Ripe bramble berry fruits with a lightly savoury and complex undertow reminiscent of a Beaujolais Cru on the nose, The same again on tasting, bright and ripe flavours that slightly obscure, in this vintage. the iron rich blood notes, but still subtly present, that were more obvious in previous iterations. Tannins are very much in the background but fresh acidity provides more than sufficient cut to structure. A very satisfying wine for the money.

I hasten to add that both will be finished off tomorrow with the same meal !

.

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Wow congratulations to her! That’s quite some achievement.

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Wow!

One of the most impressive whites I’ve had at such a modest price for quite a while. The back label mentions that some of the grapes are botrytis effected, whilst the W/S just mentions late picking.

Lovely golden colour in a glass with a little spritz (looking like a young Spätlese
!) The bubbles soon dissipated and you could pick up almondy creamy notes on the nose. The flavours were stone fruit with herbal notes. My other half said it was like a white Rhone with more acidity. Dry but certainly not shy, with plenty of concentrated flavour.

Sounds like something that could have gone wrong but has been done in a well judged way.

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Congrats to your daughter! Great achievement in these difficult times.

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Boy do these Aussie Rieslings take a long time to come around. This is the first from a case of six purchased from Tesco in 2009 which hasn’t been like sucking lemons. This was back when Tesco stocked a half decent fine wine range by the case online. Regularly discounted and they gave up entirely about five years ago. This was half price from memory.

It’s under screwcap which probably means it takes even longer to evolve. A bit of spritz when first poured, the colour points more to a German Riesling with a bit of age. The acidity is still there, but more balanced with some lychee or tropical fruit also. Cleansing finish and good with salmon in a cream and spinach sauce. About 2/3 of the bottle popped back in the fridge to retry in a few days time.

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Appearance

Deep intensity, ruby colour.

Nose

Medium intensity, primary aromas of red fruit, cherry and aromas of black fruit, blackcurrant, hint of dried herbs. Secondary aromas include oak aromas, vanilla and hints of cedar, no tertiary sensations.

Palate

Dry, with medium acidity, soft medium tannins, high alcohol and full bodied, medium to pronounced flavour intensity and similar flavour characteristics as on the nose but with more black fruit, blackberry, plum. Also some spiciness, pepper. Long finish.

Conclusions

A well balanced wine, with a good concentration and a long finish. Some complexity, and overall a very good wine.

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@JosK Many thanks for these notes. I have some 2018 and one 2016 in the cabinet.

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Congratulations! Maybe you can join the Cambridge crew for an offline sometime?!

Vin cognito do find some good stuff.

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