Weekday drinking thread 12th-13th April 2023

To kick things off on what’s likely to be the briefest drinking thread ever, this here tonight with crab linguine…

…a Thorne & Daughters ‘Rocking Horse’ Cape White Blend 2019. In this instance, a 36:25:22:11:6 mix of roussanne, semillon, chenin blanc, chardonnay and clairette.

In some kind of order and dominance, brioche, honeysuckle, and various orchard fruits on the inviting nose. Similar flavours on the fresh and tangy, citrus flecked, softly supple palate. As you might expect from the ratio of grapes, nothing in particular dominates but the whole is still deliciously moreish to drink. Yum !

As an aside, TWS recently sold the 2013, which I seem to remember greatly disappointed @Brocklehurstj, if that was covered by ‘TWS Promise’ I hope you asked for your money back as, to my mind at least, it’s a wine best drunk within 5 years of the vintage when it’s still fresh and vital. Note to self, drink the remaining bottle of the 2018 here, some time soon.


Yeah, it was released before the recent ‘found down the back of the sofa’ lots that weren’t covered. Advice was to drink this year. I understood it was a bit of a punt, but was hoping for something interesting. Unfortunately wasn’t to be, but could well be some bottle variation at 10 years old. I invoked the promise and spent the credit within 24 hours :sweat_smile:


I don’t often get a chance to drink 25 year old wine, and as I opened this 1998 Ribera del Duero watching C4 News coverage of Joe Biden’s trip to Ireland, I realised that this could provide an unplanned toast to 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement. As someone who spent my childhood there in darker times, 25 years of hard-earned (relative) peace is well worth a reflective drink as far as I’m concerned.

As for the wine itself, it’s smashing. Full of the leathery character you’d expect but still with a few years in the tank I think.


Some Luis Oliván Garnacha from Campo de Borja. Fruity, rich, vivid red fruit impression. Light on the oak and tannin, with gentle extraction Fairly succulent but a tad hot. It’s good for Borja but overall I prefer Calatayud with its coolness and herbal / mineral notes.


With the return of winter decided on this….to lift the gloom….with venison. Feels like January again!!
First glass - blackcurrants, quite soft and I am sure delicious. Warming by the fire now.


Peter Wetzer Spern Steiner Kekfrankos 2018; opened this a couple of days ago and still going nicely, fruit-forward with plums and cherries; sort of reminds me of a Loire côt; after a couple of day some blueberry and a touch smoky as well. Nice fullness with chalky tannins. Fun.

To follow this evening is from one of those mystery cases, Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis 1er Cru Vaucoupin 2014. 9 year old Chablis- tastes pretty fresh, good amount of body. Apples, bit of citrus and touch of stone fruits. Nice, well made, if a little generic.

This should be for 11-13 April… wrong week


A short week indeed but my posting dates from Monday through today (Thursday) and dipping in and out of these three.

The Litmus is Denbeigh’s (Surrey) spin on amber wine, made from Bacchus. Whilst it’s drinkable and inoffensive it’s neither here nor there. Not enough amberishness (cooked fruits, tannins, pepperiness) but has dulled the crisp acidity and riesling - like citrousness of the variety to make it somewhat anodyne yet forgettable. One wonders what the point of it is.

The Don Guerino pinot (from Serra Gaucha, Brazil) was, as anticipated, pretty good and a fine example of the variety. In fact this was an error in despatch from my recent order from Go Brazil wines https://www.gobrazilwines.com as I already knew this wine from when we went there in 2020. But we came to some arrangement whereby I kept it… nice balance of richness, raspberry fruit and musty forest floor.

The third is the Kay Brothers (McLaren Vale) Block 6 Shiraz. If there was a thread on this forum asking members to post their favourite ten repeat order wines, this would be on my lineup. Certainly the best Oz Shiraz I’ve ever had, first tasted at their cellar door in 2018. And thankfully is available in the UK from time to time. Not a fruit bomb at all but a mesmerising swirling palette of savoury, bacon rindy, inky, beetrooty, smoky, black peppery witches’ cauldron. Kay Bros About us – Kay Brothers are long established in the Vale and still use a number of 19th century gear for their wines. I rate them higher than d’Arenberg.


Some Viña Oria Garnacha with menú del día in the foothills of the Pyrenees. They just leave the bottle and you help yourself (included in the 16e that has three courses and bread). I think this is a great value Garnacha from Cariñena, probably retails at 2-3e a bottle. It has real Garnacha varietal character: mid ruby on the glass, nose of raspberries and wild strawberries, perfectly balanced acidity and low tannin. I don’t think it would be conceivable to find better wine for the price. Clocks at 13%, and fully plays to the strengths of Garnacha: young, no oak, no attempt to extract too much colour or tannin. Cheap wines too often suffer from too much makeup but this is pretty transparent, and clearly a Garnacha, even with some altitude grapes in there.


We’re back after a week with the family in Israel, and it’s back to scarves, thick socks and heating on. Could be worse, I guess! :slight_smile:

Dinner is oriental duck pasta (an old Antony Worrall-Thompson recipe), and to accompany this English Pinot Noir:

Simpsons ‘Rabbit Hole’ Pinot Noir, Kent 2020

This was recommended by @Robin63 (who hasn’t posted for ages - but I think he currently lives in Saudi Arabia…?), and both myself and the other half agree that it’s the best English Pinot we tried to date. Not that we had that many, mind, but after several disappointments - this shines as a beacon of hope.

The colour is pretty pale cerise, and the nose has delicate notes of redcurrants, cherries and pomegranate as well as a cosy smell of the potting shed and leaf mulch and the sort of smell you get when you pour water on the ashes of a BBQ. So far so good.

The palate doesn’t disappoint either (we were poised for a full blown heart-ache) - yes, this is cool climate Pinot Noir alright! There’s a lovely mix of crunchy red fruit (raspberries, redcurrants) and sour cherries; an earthy beetroot note, a whiff of smokiness and gentle oriental spice. Acidity is medium plus - but very well balanced and tannins are well integrated and chalky in texture. The medium finish leaves a pleasant sour cherry note but with a soupçon of sweetness to it too.

A well made Pinot! perhaps not the best vfm -£16 to £18 (rather than £23) would have been closer to good value, but I’m not going to split hairs - it’s very enjoyable and I’m sure will work well with dinner.

Now, where did I put those gloves… :thinking: :gloves:



Really good for the price, sour cherries, cassis, bit of dark choc.


About as close as I’m going to get to a glass of wine tonight.

Hope to be back in training tomorrow!


This LRA reserva here tonight.

La Rioja Alta ‘Finca Martelo’ Rioja Reserva 2016

Still advertised as the 2015 online at Majestic, but our local store in Fleet only had a couple of the 2016s, so I took those off their hands.

Medium ruby in the glass, bright red fruits and vanilla on the lively nose.
Boiled sweets (cherry drops?) in the mouth and more red fruited loveliness. Plenty of pleasing acidity to keep it fresh and interesting, and quite a long finish.

Not sure whether this is a single vineyard reserva, but it is certainly site-specific, from high altitude vineyards (630m) around LRA’s Torre de Oña site near Laguardia in Rioja Alavesa.

According to the LRA website, this is 95% tempranillo and 5% mazuelo, garnacha and even viura.

Really enjoying this, dare I say it…more than the Ardanza (of which I have the 2012 and 2015). I know, heresy.

Cheers :wine_glass:


My previous complaint about Finca Martelo has been that it’s too rounded :rofl:


Faury Saint-Joseph Blanc 2019

Not a huge deal of experience with Rhone whites but this benefits from a degree lighter ABV than the Andre Perret sampled earlier this year. A lot more balanced and fresh with it anyway

This is really quite good. Honeyed, beeswax, tropical fruit notes on the nose. Apricot and pear on the palate. Oily, rich and full

Marsanne and Rousanne blend. I think I quite like white Rhone provided ABV is in check

Cheers all!


Trying the top of the range of Viñas del Vero (Somontano DO). Bit too much Cabernet Sauvignon for my liking - takes a while to get past the blackcurrant. With some time open the spiciness starts to show up. Not so keen on those foreign varieties; would be better with more Aragón native varieties and just a splash of the French stuff. Oak is just right, though, not obstructive.


Tried to get a head start on tomorrow. The Saint-Joseph seemed like it would only improve overnight in the fridge. So I opened tomorrow’s intended wine, a small taste on what I believed will be a full on wine.

Bodega Matsu, “El Viejo”. Toro. As big as it gets I think from Spain. First taste: all power, one for opening up overnight, but what fruit and complexity.15% ABV!


Another Spanish entry in the top ten


Hi @Inbar. Yes, sorry although there are some really nice restaurants here, there are no wine lists! It is a rapidly changing society though so who knows for the future. Still enjoy reading the reviews and really pleased you liked the Rabbit Hole. If you get the opportunity try the top Bacchus from Woodchester Valley near Cirencester - they also make a Pinot Noir but I have not tried that. Best wishes Robin


Opened a bottle of the 2015 (from Waitrose) last night. I don’t usually like ‘modern’ Rioja, but was interested in the LRA connection. Pretty good for what it was but give me Ardanza any day.


No need for apologies, @Robin63! :grin: It’s nice hearing from you and thanks again for your Rabbit Hole recommendation! :+1:
Hope all is going well for you over there.

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