Dont mind me Ive picked already thanks.
Looks like Wednesday June 22 is the winner, with 71% of the votes. Off now to the WhatsApp chat to organize the tasting.
- June 29
- July 6
Confirming 6 July at Crouch End Cellars, 6.30pm. Cost is £25pp for bread, cheese and charcuterie, payable on the evening, no corkage. Theme is North America - Canadian icewine accepted
If anybody wants to join who’s not already on the WhatsApp group, please let me or @NW3Andre know and we can add you - detailed planning and wine nominations will happen there.
I would really love to come could you please book me a place.
Fantastic. Look forward to seeing you at Crouch End Cellars.
Great - if you send me a direct message with your phone number I’ll add you to the WhatsApp group.
Would love to but am currently in the USA, so will be tasting wines in their natural habitat. Hopefully next time I’ll be around.
Last call. Please confirm via WhatsApp group if you plan to attend this Wednesday’s meet up, in case you haven’t done yet. Back to our original haunt - Crouch End Cellars - for a 6:30 to 7 pm start.
Great fun last night, although I didn’t like the wines as much overall as on previous occasions.
We bought the ESW from the venue while we waited for everyone to assemble. Really nice sitting outside with the terrace to ourselves, plus large quantities of excellent cheese and charcuterie.
2015 Davenport Vineyards Limney Estate - United Kingdom, England, Kent
Chardonnay 80%, Pinot Meunier 12%, Pinot Noir 8% - and alcohol only 11% (yay). A good example of ESW, with some attractive aspects from several years’ ageing on the lees. Doughy nose, with some apple and wet wool giving a Chenin feel. Bright green apple dominated on the palate, but with an overriding feeling of softness. Barely fizzy, extremely drinkable. (91 pts.)
2017 Sleight of Hand Chardonnay The Enchantress Old Vine - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Greenish scents to the nose, along with some creamy leesiness and a touch of oak. Quite streamlined on the palate despite being overall pretty soft. Slightly buttery, good depth. I’d gladly drink this again. (90 pts.)
2017 Rhys Alesia Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains - USA, California, Santa Cruz Mountains
Pretty oaky on the nose - stereotypical Cali Chardonnay! Vanilla, but also floral and grassy. Relatively opulent on the palate, with plenty of extract and some custard flavours. I like this kind of wine, and this bottle was good fun, but something more refreshing would have suited the warm evening better. (90 pts.)
2018 Pax Dazed and Carbonic - USA, California, North Coast
Second time trying this, and I still think it’s pretty great. An attractive pale crimson, albeit very cloudy, reflecting the fact it’s 35% Viognier and 30% Trousseau as well as 35% Syrah (all whole-cluster and carbonically fermented). Served initially after about 90 minutes out of the fridge and more like the first bottle: musky violets, cranberry, strawberry and orange peel, akin to a rather ‘natty’ vermouth. We then put the second half of the bottle back in the fridge and drank it about an hour later, and it had changed, slightly for the better, to become like an exotic beer, with lots of peach and tobacco leaf. Unique, fun, and really aromatic. (91 pts.)
2006 Sean Thackrey Pinot Noir Andromeda Devil’s Gulch Ranch - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Marin County
Really quite dark for a 16yo Pinot Noir, with some evident extraction and oak, but very elegant with it. A gorgeous Ribena scent that reminded me of a Grivot wine, along with a muskiness. Good depth on the palate and just a touch of tertiary savouriness creeping in. Unanimous WOTN. (93 pts.)
2015 Sleight of Hand Syrah Levitation - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Dark-toned and heady, this drank younger than it actually was. Pretty classic whole-bunch Syrah, with blackberry, sour cherry, violet, some meatiness and a bitter tapenade-y finish. Good length and plenty of scope for this to get better with more time in the bottle. Think I liked this more than the others did. (91 pts.)
2018 Ridge Zinfandel Paso Robles - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
I didn’t really like this for the first 15 or so minutes, finding that the bright, tart nose was belied by a thick, syrupy palate that lacked energy. Somehow the wine pulled itself together after that, with some really pretty floral notes on the nose and the palate becoming, in effect, a deep, purely flavoured liquid raspberry jam. Would have been better still with a burger rather than charcuterie. (90 pts.)
2013 Ridge Geyserville - USA, California, Sonoma County
Double-decanted around 2-3 hours beforehand. Think this might have been the victim of raised expectations, as Geyser is one of my favourite wines but this bottle didn’t really do it for me. Lush, heady, toffee-infused nose. Still loads of tangy fruit on the palate - black cherry, strawberry - and deep, soft and chewy, but not exciting. Perhaps neither evolved enough for tertiary fun, nor youthfully grippy? Joint group #3 tonight. (89 pts.)
1999 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Cortina - USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Pretty developed on the nose, with VA, salami, game and earth… OK, but I think would have preferred this a few years ago. Very youthful and energetic on the palate, with lots of tangy fruit as well as herbs and spices… mmm. Warm finish slightly detracted; perhaps more of a winter wine? Joint group #3 tonight. (89 pts.)
2011 Arns Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Napa Valley - USA, California, Napa Valley
Spicy, cedary, pencil-lead and tobacco-leafy nose - yup, it’s Cabernet! Lots of dark fruit on the palate, very (and surprisingly) saline, soft and juicy. Deep, dark, creamy and slightly drying finish. I liked this quite a bit, but I also think 100% Cab wines are rarely as satisfying as Bordeaux blends. Group #2 tonight. (90 pts.)
2019 Quady Winery Orange Muscat Essensia - USA, California
Half bottle. Boom! SO aromatic! Peach iced tea, honey, apricot… in your face, but in a very good way. Richer on the palate, more fruitcakey. We had this as a digestif, and it was excellent. (92 pts.)
Some chat at the end about themes for the next session: South Africa/Italy/Sangiovese/Nebbiolo/Sparkling wine were suggested. Thoughts?
I am so sorry I was not able to be with yopu all but next time for sure. Italy sounds a good choice.
Thanks Nick - great notes, and a fun, if slightly excessive, evening!
It was indeed, as the following morning made quite clear!
Hi everyone, I’m a new member of the WS and live in NW3 so hoping to attend the next event. In case anyone is interested, a few of us in the Belsize Park area host a casual food and wine evening in our homes, every couple of months, to meet some locals. The next one is on the 6th August. Message me if you would like more information.
Interesting coincidence. I was wondering about suggesting an event around at my place (well, actually my Mum’s place - as I no longer live in North London!) sometime soon - just get a takeaway from one of the local Turkish charcoal grill places.
Here’s the poll for the next meeting:
- Sep 6
- Sep 7
- Sep 8
- Sep 13
- Sep 14
- Sep 15
- Sep 20
- Sep 21
- Sep 22
On 7th I may head to the Justerini’s 2021 Germany tasting, if anybody is interested…
Suits me thank you.
The North London group had a South African tasting last week. We managed to cover 16 wines in total. Tasting notes from various members are available on CellarTracker.
Please get in touch with a member for more info on the group, or if you want to join the chat group where we organize our tastings.