Weekday Drinking Thread (11-15 November 2019)

As I am currently 13 hours ahead of most I thought I would generate this one. Visited Askerne Winery in Hawkes Bay yesterday and enjoyed a cross section of the aromatic white for which they are justifiably known.

Locally they are particularly known for their Gewürztraminer, which was dry, spicy and delicious. However, for me the stars of the show were their late harvest Gewürztraminer and their Noble Noir.

The Noble is produced in very small quantities using what appeared to be a version of the solera system used for sherry. They are moving wines between barrels and refreshing with the latest vintage - hence the NV tag.

My notes were:

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Late Harvest Gewürztraminer 2017. Clean and bright. Deep gold. Clean nose. Honey and spice. Citrus. Clean palate. Sweet. Good acidity. Rich. Intense flavour. Candid orange, honey, spice, citrus. Long finish. Needs two or three more years in bottle.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Noble Noir NV. Clean and bright. Deep red/tawny with clear age at rim. Clean nose. Intense. Oloroso style. Nutty, figs, honey. Clean palate, Sweet. Medium acidity. Rich. Mature. Figs, honey. Long finish. Delicious wine. Perfect with Christmas cake or blue cheese.


Some of this little lot will get consumed this week…


Lovely, what are they all?

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Rather than give a list I will post a note for each over the next week or so (other than the Barolo Cascina Francia 2007 delivered along with those I had requested from my stash, that can wait for a suitable occasion).

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First off of the delivery mentioned above. Jean Boillot Volnay Fremiets 2001. Tricky vintage apparently (lots of hail) but judging by this quite a strict selection made here. Spicy and quite weighty with plenty of stuffing, dark fruits and a hint of something slightly beetrooty (maybe due to the hail issues). Not over the hill which given there a quite a few more is a relief.


Averys Wine Cellars in Bristol always have a few wines marked down from their list price, I paid £11 rather £15. Always worth a check out if you are in town…

Fresh and lively, with melony fruit, such a bargain at 11 pounds. Closer to Alto Adige pinot blanc than Alsace. Good length and nice saline finish.


A lovely drop of Gigondas but, sadly, my last bottle went beautifully with a lamb tagine ce soir.


Digging about in the depths and retrieved a 2000 Rosemount Show Reseserve Conawarra Cabernet. Not actually digging of course, just had to push aside a few bones, skulls, old swords, etc.

Amazingly the wine shows little signs of age, still retaining a dark purplish red colour with an almost imaginary hint of fading. Dark berry, leathery, syrupy, tarry aromas. Rich fruity flavours with a surprising fresh acidity which I didn’t expect at all. I find I am holding each mouthful for a long time before it slides slowly and pleasingly down with a very long finish. Lovely.


Second Dirler-Cade wine and have to say I am very impressed. The Muscat GC Saering 2017, TWS blurb is spot on, includin the classification on the dryness scale… bone dry. I could drink this any day, so satisfying.



Just want to share a possibly useful experience:
Oven timers are great aren’t they? Not so great if you forget to set them!


I find the same is true for the temperature dial…


Yesterday, we came across two excellent wines. The first was Element - a 2017 Syrah produced by Dominic and Rachael Smith on their 12 ha small holding and sold almost exclusively to fine dining restaurants in Hawkes Bay and Auckland (their total production including a Bordeaux Blend wine as well is only 300 cases a year). I thought this the best Syrah I had tasted in New Zealand.

My notes were: Medium Red. Clean nose. Medium intensity. Pure fruit aromas. Black fruits, white pepper. Clean palate. Dry. Good fruit/acidity balance. Silky blackberry fruit. Freshness of raspberry. Hints of gun smoke and leather. Great Syrah in northern Rhône style. Perfect with lamb or beef.

The second wine was from the better know Black Barn Winery - an unoaked Chardonnay 2016 - and accompanied delicious Seaford Chowder produced by Mangapapa Hotel Chilean Head Chef Norka Mella Munoz. The match was perfect.

The wine - Clean and bright. Lemon with hints of gold. Clean nose. Intense. Citrus and butter. Clean palate. Dry. Good acidity. Refreshing lemon fruit. Rounded, buttery, flint. Medium finish. On opening I would have thought this wine had seen oak but as it breathed it became more Chablis like.


Ha ! After roasting some chicken on Saturday I thought I’d make use of the hot oven to bake some sausage rolls I’d prepared whilst the chicken was cooking. I felt quite pleased with myself for being so energy efficient.

90 minutes later, I’m thinking where’s that burning smell coming from ?


This was really up my street. Enjoyed with a chicken and black bean sauce stir fry…

…light bodied, almost tannin free but totally satisfying all the same. Its savoury wild strawberry fruit tasted like it had been filtered through some kind of delicious edible moss.

I only wish I’d tried it sooner whilst still in stock.


Same goes for those timer plugs if you forget to switch from permanently on to timer mode. Our Christmas pud in the slow cooker got about 24 hours instead of 12😳 Certainly won’t need much reheating me thinks.


Revisiting the Alsace Chardonnay from the TWS online tasting last week. It was kept in the eto and it is for the better. It has much more to give than at the tasting. Still a bit poor on the VFM scale, but a delightful little drink. With more pear drop and bruised apple than at that time.


Surprised to find a glass of this left in the fridge and even more surprised to find I’m enjoying it just as much, if not more than at the weekend. A bit more complexity, a bit more fruit, very chardonnay-like but now a bit toasty as well as creamy.



Nose of cut grass, classroom chalk and lime. Palate is lime, kerosene, almost tannic with acidity. But very fresh, very long. Probably not at its best yet but still very nice. Eto’d to see what happens over the next couple of days.


YUM! I’m too tired to say anything articulate :see_no_evil::wink:!


Our last bottle of this tonight

More please, TWS :crossed_fingers: This is such a smooth, mature yet fruity wine. A beauty.