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Weekday drinking 31 Oct to 3 Nov

Château Lynch Bages 2003

Not long opened, more anon, very nice even now, sort of bumbling cheery thing. Very blackcurranty nose on opening. By a long way the best 2003 Bordeaux I’ve tried.


There’s a grand start to the week!

I admire your style for starting the week

I needed to open something to put in the gravy.


This here tonight with a beef, bean and tomato sauce, pappardelle, torn basil and parmesan…

…a Trentino Lagrein ‘Castel Firmian’ Riserva 2018, Mezzacorona.

A deep purple red colour. Violets, bramble berries and a spicy cinnamon note on the fragrant nose. Similar, sweetly spicy, berried flavours on the lithe and supple palate. Fresh acidity and ripe tannins provide an easy drinking structure to the medium to full bodied fruit. An engaging and agreeable, good value, wine that was an excellent match to dinner and which slipped down the throat all too easily without it. All in all, £10 very well spent :grinning:


Ogier La Rosine Syrah 2018. Young, but drinking really well tonight. Relatively pronounced creamy oak (which I like), but enough fruit to make it seem balanced. Still quite primary fruit flavours - not much northern Rhone pepperiness. But at £72/6 in bond if memory serves, excellent vfm. Cuts through Rick Stein’s celeriac dauphinois well too.


We enjoyed a couple of their other wines at the Italy tasting a while ago - one to watch, perhaps.

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Another TWS wine which I can’t currently find in my wines but must have bought a year or two ago, maybe 3 or 4 even. It’s a blend over several years so there’s no year marked to help trace it -

Marietta Old Vine Red.

Soft is a word I seem to be using a lot recently and this is softer than a silk pillow. Soft black fruit, soft and subtle tannins, soft mouthfeel, soft and soothing aftertaste. Mostly zin, and extremely easy to drink. I can see this softly disappearing without much problem and sending me softly to sleep. Much better than I expected, in a very undemanding way.


In my limited experience, their ‘Castel Firmian’ range seems to provide excellent VFM. Economy of scale likely plays a part in that as Mezzacorona produce around 48 million bottles per vintage !


Not a usual Monday - we were entertaining some friends. We enjoyed a prawn cocktail followed by a chicken and wild mushroom risotto then cheeses and ended with a (wine-less) apple crumble. These were the wines.


In the spirit of thinking it’s good to report the failures as well as the successes too.

Once again a majestic Decoy Merlot 2016 cellar defender. Part of the mystery fine wine case at 12 for £125. The attraction being I’ve not had any majestic wines in a while, making me draw on old familiar labels (pre TWS) more than I expect to check in on them.

Possibly a slight corkage that is muting the flavours somewhat. Definitely a trace on the cork. If this was in a restaurant I’d suck it up as it’s borderline. So too for majestic.

Haven’t seen much merlot that ages really well. At 2016, this seems muted and valued about right at its paid for price point. There is concentration and fruit but it’s as if my toddler has poked out a few tweeters on the speaker that delivers the detail on the hifi :roll_eyes:. Forget about nose.

All in all par for the course, the mystery case to be fair has exceeded expectations. Some outlier gems to make up for the others


I found a bottle of Ch Cissac 2003 while tidying the cellar. The cork seemed alright but the wine was clearly over the hill lacking any grip and low on fruit. It seemed rather inadequate so it went down the sluice. It was only a Cru Bourgeois so keeping it for 20 years was not a good move! Oh well. Off to a tasting of Italian wines tomorrow.


A couple of jolly bottles so far, in a not-so-jolly week.

On Monday we skipped the light fandango with this delicate but very much alive Swiss Pinot Noir, courtesy of Aldi:

Aldi Specially Selected Pinot Noir, Valais, Switzerland 2020

Well done Aldi for sourcing some strangely affordable Swiss wine (£9.99).

Although you certainly couldn’t write a PhD thesis on it - it was quaffable, with Pinot Noir typicity and charm. The nose was brimming with cranberries, red cherries, pomegranate and a whiff of rose petals. Lively on the palate, it had similar crunchy red fruit notes (cranberry, wild strawberries et al), a hint of blood orange citrus and floral undertone. Acidity was positively appetising and the (medium) finish ended on a bitter pith/cherry pips note. It was a scrumptious accompaniment to our beetroot, goat’s cheese and hazelnut tart :ok_hand:

This evening, with Wagyu burgers and sweet potato wedges, we opened this terrific CdR:

Côtes-du-Rhône, Saint Cosme 2017

This wine never seems to disappoint - whatever the vintage. There is always so much joy and oomph in each glass. This one is as autumnal as they come - with a sort of liquid Christmas Pudding intensity. On the nose there’s black treacle and spices (cinnamon, clove), with a whiff of menthol. The fruit was less obvious - but we thought prunes and blackcurrants.

Lovely on the palate too, with notes of dried berries, black cherries and prunes, incense and spices and a minty lift. There’s a sort of stoney coolness to the palate too. Nothing heavy, over extracted or out of place. Chalky tannins with a good ‘bite’ on the finish which is spicy and delicious… in a word - yum!

The wind can do what the hell it likes now… :tornado: :wine_glass:


Back to basics with The Society’s Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Trumpeted at the time as the best vintage yet for this offering, it does give very good value for money. Full of flavour, cedar and damsons (more blackcurrant when younger), with a dry finish of medium length.


Exhibition St Aubin 2019

Coravined a glass to go with cheese pie and various veggie dishes for supper. Drinking very well. It’s pretty crisp, there’s an edge to this that balances out the buttery weight. Quite strong floral nose. Admittedly it feels a summery wine rather than autumnal, but hey ho, that’s what I’ve got. And it’s going down a treat… no complaints


A simple midweek dram (or two) after a particularly challenging day, but with some positive outcomes.
This is excellent, cheers.


I appreciate it’s Texas not Scotland - but how does it compare ?

The reason I ask, is I yesterday opened a bottle of ‘Nikka from the barrel’ which is (sort of) Japanese. With plenty of bourbon notes, and apparently some Ben Nevis. And it is actually very good indeed.

So I’m wondering how these ‘Not Scotch Malts’ measure up?

Yesterday - it rained - a lot.

I fancied a glass of port & the garage only had a couple of decent bottles. So a trip to Morrisons / M&S seemed in order - after all they ALWAYS have port on offer?

Morrisons had no bottles I could find (perhaps they were doing that thing where they re-arrange the shelves very few months?) . M&S the best they had was a 2016 LBV (Fladgates) for £17 which I bought. WHAT a mistake - its awful: dark, thin, watery, lacking in anything tangible or fruit - little aroma although tannic yet light weight.

Be warned.

Moral of this story is: Buy & keep in stock one or two TWS ‘average’ fortified wines.


Leffe Blond 0.0% to start the evening. I realise I am treading on thin ice here because non-alcoholic drinks are definitely a very subjective matter. However we think this is an excellent AF alternative. Very tasty indeed.


Sits somewhere between a Bourbon and a Scotch, it’s reasonably rich and not too sweet. But packed full of flavour. Highly recommended.

Nikka from the barrel is also very good. But the Balcones is on a different level in my opinion.

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