Yes, the La Pasada by Miguel Merino (bottle 559/650) was fun! Really didn’t know what direction it would take when decanting at home. The Calagraño is an old acidic white variety from Rioja that overproduces ans was used for blending. It’s not accepted in the DO but is tolerated in vineyards planted before the 70s (just can’t go on the label). It was definitely a Rioja that led more with fruit and structure and kept the wood pretty hidden. Evolved nicely too.
And the Exhibition was my first taster of Hermitage. It was surprisingly Bordeaux-like, with fairly big hedgerow / plum / blackcurrant in there but also lots of elegance. Felt pretty young. Bizarrely, the only other Syrah that has given me a similar impression was the Boekenhoutskloof Syrah (as in leaning towards Bordeaux). Very interesting varietal as the last Syrah I had had leant towards Burgundy big way (Ogier La Rosine).
Which (I think) featured at TWS press tasting which I was fortunate to attend. Absolutely outstanding and for me the star of the show: rammed full of gorse, apricots, spring blossom. Was a tad ‘hot’ at 14% so TWS kept it back for several months before release.
Both the red and white come from the negociant side of their business ( J-L Chave Selection ).
The Exhibition Red seems to be released when TWS consider it open for drinking ( 2012 being the last vintage offered ? ). As for it’s history, I have little idea beyond 2007 being the first tried here and that the subsequent vintages have also been listed too.
Had a satisfactory Georgian Saperavi from the M&S “Found” series, a little reigned in for mass appeal which M&S wines tend to be but it’s a good crowd pleaser to bring to a party that’s fairly priced.
Then my first post lockdown corked wine a 2009 Ch. Peyrabon Haut Medoc which is a shame because other bottles have been great value and delicious…
Just outside Pauillac and in that sort of firm mineral cassis style… not this flat cardboard flavour
Thinking of cracking open another 2009: The Zilliken Rauch Spatlese… I’m optimistic that there’s no wet cardboard flavours here…something to drink slowly over the coming weekend…
I purchased one last week, on a whim- as was curious about it, so good to read your notes. I can imagine it isn’t the most challenging expression of it, still - nice to see them putting this grape on people’s radar.
This was better last night. Still a little ‘hard’ - iron came to mind for some reason - at the outset, but it mellowed a bit. Still needed food, a rib eye steak in this case. Tannin a bit more evident, but some sweet dark fruit too.
I think that another year in bottle might do it no harm. I see that the WS drinking window extends until 2027, and we know it can be conservative too…
Exploring a bit of Beaujolais: Moulin a Vent, “Les Thorins” 2018. Vibrant in the palate but muted on the nose. Blue / red fruit, touch of licorice, hint of spice. More interesting to drink than sniff - this is no Burgundy. Quite velvety, nice medium acidity, quite a bit of tannin.
To me it feels like the stats I like from young Rioja from small winemakers, but Rioja benefits from Garnacha.
PS: this is actually really good with sirloin steak as the acidity cuts nicely through the fat yet it has enough tannin for the aftermath.
I wonder if your bottle is slightly oxidised? Your description sounds rather different to my impression of it (albeit I only had a taste of it at the SA growers tasting). It was floral, fresh, minerally and quite complex, with vibrant acidity. Worth invoking the promise, if it doesn’t improve…?