Walked around Bushy Park from Hampton Court to Kingston today. With lunch on the riverside in Kingston, had a glass of Craggy Range Appellation Series Sauvignon Blanc probably 2020. I was so impressed. Wonderful peachy nose and more SB-like palate, but restrained and no cat piss. Nice, mineral, lemony, grassy, elegant. Not normally an SB advocate, but this is definitely a good one. Happy midweek drinking!
Finally the weather for a lunch in the garden. Seems a good excuse to have some nice wines. 2003 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese JJ Prum, quite sweet, but delicious. 2017 Vouvray Sec Domaine Vincent Careme used in the cooking and then finished off by my sister. 2009 Vina Arana Reserva, lovely mature Rioja, still purple to the rim. Very good and ready. 2011 Guiraud just lovely. So pleased to see old friends and drink nice wines with them
Well, that’s more like it! Sunshine, warmth, social activities with real people and some DIY thrown in… nice to come out of the troglodyte and get a sense of normality again!
We’re both on leave this week, so started the evening with a glass of this very enjoyable Crémant de Bourgogne from Sainsbury’s:
Not sure I would pay the full £14 for it, but for £11 this is just the ticket on a truly hot evening. A pleasant nose of apples, red berries and lemon biscuit, and a similar palate with lively bubbles. Yum!
The main wine of the evening, to accompany a one-pot chicken dish with rice, chorizo and artichokes, is this stunning white Rhône from Domaine Saint-Amant:
This wine never seems to let you down. It’s such a complex and satisfying beast! A blend of 90% Viognier and 10% Roussanne, it’s pale golden in the glass with a floral nose of jasmine, pear, peach, cinnamon and something a touch herbal - maybe tarragon, wasn’t sure.
The palate is generous, rounded and honeyed, but is well balanced with citrus zest and chamomile-like bitterness. The fruit is ripe and lush - pears, apricots, peaches; the spice adds a nice kick too. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea - it’s quite rich, but for us this is a fabulous example of a white Côtes du Rhône villages.
Hope everyone is having a good Tuesday!
Sun’s out, corks out. In our case, a bottle of Muga Rosado / rose 2019. A very pale rose, slight hint of red berries, but quite one dimensional otherwise. Fine, in the sense of a non-offensive summer drinking rose that won’t scare anyone, but a bit bland. I’ve heard others rave about it, but I’m not convinced. It’s not bad, by any means, just not worth fussing over.
To put this in context, rose accounts for <1% of our household wine consumption, so it’s never going to get a fair hearing.
Another lunch in the garden with friends, not seen since last August. And to accompany the happy occasion, the best Yorkshire wine I’ve ever had.
I’m confident about this because it is in fact the only Yorkshire wine I’ve ever had. Quite dry but with sweet fruit making it very easy to drink. Lovely. A bit dear at £14, but hopefully a sign of great things to come, and it brings good weather with it!
Mrs C’s favourite budget rosé, £6.50 on offer in Waitrose. It used to be an even better bargain on Brittany Ferries at €20 for 6.
“The value of (white) Burgundy” E.P case arrived today - will post gloating pics tomorrow - contents look VERY appealing. I don’t imagine any will be left by Xmas. Have awarded self a gold star for canny purchasing.
Sigh indeed - we’ve been booked, and cancelled, twice in 2020, and once in 2021. Hanging all our hopes on 2022!
(To be fair to the company, they’ve been great through the whole process. They were always going to get our money - their ships are a cracking way to start/end a holiday - but I was even more determined to do so after they issued a full refund without quibble last time.)
We gave up on them around 2000: simply too expensive and time consuming - they had an awful way of gauging you - prices were never as in the brochure & many of the staff seemed to hate the British travellers with a Gallic passion. It was very French - which I rather liked - very authentic - start the holiday early.
Instead its became cheaper and MUCH quicker to fly Ryanair to Dinard & hire a car. They did the French thing by having a single trainee customs person on ‘search’ so we took 3 hrs for a 100 person plane. And then got hopelessly lost on the local roads - no signs between airfield and motorway.
Sigh… cant wait to go back.
Yesterday was the final 4day vertical Ch Trillol tastings. It has turned out to be the truest of vin de terroir, a most arrogant dare I say youthfully impudent number, with svelt tannins from a distinct high altitude, with an even higher attitude, Could best be described as a haughty quattro
Sorry to be a party pooper… but a blend of 4 hybrids ? no thanks. Give me a beer. Convince me @andy999 ! I for one really do not like rondo at all, and the other three don’t cause palpitations either. Don’t get me wrong - I am hugely enthusiastic about English wines.
Yorkshire wineries ? I’ve visited two of them - Yorkshire Heart do a red from pinot precocé, gamay and cabernet (cortis I think; yes a hybrid) https://yorkshireheart.com/product/eleanor-red-wine/ which is just about OK, and good ol’ Leventhorpe Welcome to Leventhorpe Vineyard whose flagship Mad Angie 7672, which is a genuine vinifera, is at least palatable.
But that’s just my bigotry against hybrids coming out I guess. The only hybrids which I think are really not too bad are Norton and Marquette.
Has that set a discussion going ?
I had the 2016 of this last night and it was glorious. Lots, but not too much going on, and a lovely freshness, a bit like a splash of cold water on your face after a hot day.
It appears I have put a hex on the Weekday/Weekend drinking threads, this is the first from Kumeu River winery that I have tasted and if typical the last.
The nose is all rotting wood and lanolin, hardly any fruit gets through, on the palette it is no different from a SB all grapefruit and a nasty sharp backdrop.
I gave a glass to the wife who because she rarely goes outside her comfort zone of manzanlla and fino sherries appears to keep her senses in better order than myself when sampling wines, this she said was sharp and unpleasant, no more no less, a different take but the same result.
The wine was drunk at various stages after opening and di improve with time, it could do little else, but not enough to change my view.
NZ has a problem, it relies on two grapes for its success SB of which there are lakes of the stuff, some good but never great and PN which the majority of the lower levels suffer from unripe fruit and are best avoided, if this is the best they can do with Chardonnay there is something wrong, several from the Adelaide Hills for example leave this in the gutter.
Still it is at least another wine I wont have to ponder over on the wine shelves.
I much prefer their Estate Chardonnay over the more expensive Rays Road or Mate’s vineyard cuvées. Try that before you give up because Kumeu River is my favourite NZ chardy.
Still off work, so had some of the Bandol Blanc Domaine Tempier 2017 with lunch. It is in a very good place now, might have had my first bottle too early. Rich with a mouth coating quality. One of my favourite wine labels, too.
Thanks for taking one for the team…
I have the ray’s road mixed case in reserves, and have similarly read not so enthusiastic reports on their ray’s road PN…
Will need to withdraw it before the reserves bill and find out whether I like it or not…
I did like their other Chardonnay cuvées last time I tried, although I prefer Felton road by a mile (not the same price, granted…)
Ray’s Road is a Hawke’s Bay vineyard that Kumeu River bought a couple of years ago from, I think, Trinity Hill. Kumeu River is actually based in Kumeu, West Auckland, and it is the Auckland wines that made them famous (Hawke’s Bay is a long way from Auckland - about 400km - about the same as London to Newcastle). So I don’t think you should write them off based on a bad experience of a 2019 Ray’s Road (which in any event seems to me to be very very young to be drinking). I’d recommend giving the Hunting Hill, Mate’s Vineyard or even the Estate a go first, preferably with a few years’ bottle age.
Roter Veltliner, from the excellent Ecker Eckhof this evening:
I always have a few bottles of this in the wine rack, whatever the vintage (this one is the 2019); it’s light enough to be a good aperitif but flavoursome enough to be a good match to food, especially mildly spiced one. This evening it will accompany a Keralan tofu curry - which should make for a nice combo, I think.
Pale straw in the glass, the nose has delicate notes of quince and pear, almond nuttiness and a certain ‘spicy’ note. There was a whiff of struck-match at first, but it dissipated pretty quickly with some air.
On the palate this is - in the husband’s word - delightful. Light as a feather, but with good flavours of orchard fruit, citrus, that almond note and a nutmeg-like spice with a good minerality throughout. Acidity is medium plus, and gives it a good structure. Finish is medium and leaves a pleasant honeyed note.
Austrian through and through - this is well made, fresh, unfussy and utterly quaffable!