Weekday Drinking Thread (13th to 16th November 2023)

This white St Chinian is providing much-needed comfort this evening:

Calmel & Joseph, ‘Le Saint Festan’ Les Crus, St Chinian Blanc 2021

I am quite taken by both its depth and interesting array of aromas and flavours, but also by how easy it is to enjoy.

I can’t think of the last time I drank a white St Chinian – from memory, it was one stocked by ASDA eons ago, so I was really pleased to come across this one in a recent (or is it now weekly?) Waitrose sale.

A blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Rolle (Vermentino) and Viognier, the colour is medium gold, and the nose entices with aromas of ripe pears, grilled peaches, citrus blossom, honey and fiery ginger.

Even more delightful on the palate! There are notes of caramelised stone fruit (apricots, peaches), mixed with ripe orchard fruit and gentle honey; then there’s a sort of spiciness (ginger, we thought) but also a tangy coriander note. Quite intense, with layers of interest, a rounded mouthfeel and a lingering finish which leaves a citrus bitter pith note, lifting the whole ensemble. Wow!

A harmonious and flavoursome wine, which would appeal to white Rhone lovers, and which I reckon will do justice to cod cheeks in Goan curry dinner. Once I get over my Waiting for Godot mode and actually make it, that is.

Looking forward to reading what’s in your glass this week! :clinking_glasses: :grapes:


That’s a lovely wine that one n’est-ce pas, @Inbar - a bargain indeed in the Waitrose 25%ers

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I wasn’t going to admit to this tonight but after a compelling start to the thread by @Inbar, and low resistance after necking half of it, this here tonight.

A Kooyong ‘Massale’ Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2019. Having posted previously about it I’ll attempt to be brief although it’s worth mentioning that I have a singular soft spot for it.

A beautiful transparent crimson colour in the glass. A savoury nose with mossy sous bois aromas, Asian spices and ripe red berry, blood plum, and redcurrant fruit all of which translate onto the freshly flavoured but deliciously savoury palate. Unfortunately this is now the penultimate bottle of six but more happily there’s a box of the 2021 sitting in the stairwell awaiting future attention. :slightly_smiling_face:


First day back in my own bed after 2 and a half weeks away last night, and woke up as if I’d slept upside-down on my own neck. After a bit of a painful first day back at work, a little treat as follows…

Hand bought from the takeaway, with the wine picked up from a little shop I frequent in Melbourne (no connection: Muriel Gueth Alsace Terre Natale Les Roches Dorees 2018). A blend of 75% Pinot Gris and 25% Sylvaner: full, round and rich, but with a mineral note of freshness from the Sylvaner. It is fantastic and worked very well with the treat for dinner.

The winery (Muriel Gueth, just south of Colmar) offers an excellent tour of the vineyards and I was lucky on this occasion to be the non-driver…


Continuing a recent (and now regular!) theme, I dug deep in the cellar and found this @Graham74

Very, very youthful - much more so than the 2004 we had recently. Still a concentrated - slightly riper than 2004 - cherries with a touch of strawberries and cream (and more besides, but that’s the headline).

I have to say, in support of this bottle, the 904 and Ardanza have all showed 2000 to be an unfairly overlooked vintage, often in the shadow of 2001, but really not far from it’s equal. And a bonus of one bottle left for the next decade :grin:


Yes, some people do find the adrenaline cut and thrust of British politics quite hard to take!

This Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon Chante le Vent is a completely new wine experience for me, from a recent mystery case. Very pale lemon colour. Sort of slightly flowery mineral aroma. Really dry, as if all the sugar has been extracted and most of the water too. Bright acidity. Not sure I’m conveying this too well as it’s very easy to drink. As it came in a mystery case I don’t know what it cost but I’d happily drink more of it.

On a somewhat different note, what’s the trouble with microwaving fish? I do it a lot, but it’s never recommended as a means of cooking. It’s always 15-20 minutes in the oven, but I find 1-2 minutes in the microwave works fine. You do have to be careful not to overcook it, but as long as you don’t, the fish come out beautifully, and it takes so little time.


The Massale sounds right up my street. Can you remember how much it cost by any chance?

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The 2019 was £19 and the 2021, £19.50.

Edit - both were from TWS who have listed it, and other wines from Kooyong, for at least ten years now. Here’s hoping subsequent vintages will be listed too.


Good afternoon all.

Popped and poured last night.

Delas Crozes-Hermitage Les Launes 2015

The wine smells good on opening. Full bodied. Rich. Ripe black fruits. Dare say its elegant for a Syrah. Some minerality. Resolved. Smooth tannins. Peppery. Not a long finish. Easy drinker.

Probably Tesco’s 4-5 years ago.



Another cheeky half from TWS. Dark berry fruits and some oak on the nose on opening. After an hour in the glass, it arrives quite earthy on the palate, with less fruit, and noticeable acidity. A medium finish with violets and some greenness. It’s fairly well balanced after 2-3 hours in the glass with a pleasant inky finish. I’ll probably get a couple of full size bottles for the cellar.


After posting everday since Friday, please don’t judge me too harshly for what follows. To mitigate and in my defence, I’m also deviously good at finding excuses for my excessive behaviour, so…

  1. After a heavy workout.
  2. I haven’t been on holiday for an age.
  3. The food deserved it.
  4. Because I’m worth it. :laughing:

With a picanha steak, chestnut mushrooms fried in the pan juices + miso butter, oven chips,etc…

…a Ridge ‘East Bench’ Zinfandel 2014.

In a nutshell, ripe bramble berry and blueberry fruit, without any overtly jammy flavours, with integrated oak derived cedar and spice notes to boost it out of the ordinary. Fresh acidity and resolved tannins provde lovely structure and an easy drinkability ( note the bottle level after cooking ! ) to the dark berried fruit flavours. :yum:

As for the food, the dry aged steak was half price on its sell by date so the easy to cook plate came in for about £3.75 all in, which only added to the pleasure.




Stunning meal.

Even better for being a red dot special (as.a dedicated red dot special hunter).

The wine looks great too. Must have tasted good. Especially when cooking.


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Thanks Graham, whilst I haven’t got your skills in rooting out supermarket bargains wine-wise, I do try to make the most of the shelves of sadness when it comes to food. :wink:


Continuing with the Noblaie white Chinon, this time to go with a vegetable rice stir-fry, containing some fresh green chilli, actually probably rather a lot of green chilli. But it’s interesting how the chilli heat brings out a strong fruity lemon flavour from the wine. It doesn’t seem nearly as dry as it did yesterday, though it’s still pretty dry. The green chilli and the wine are proving a much better combination than I expected. Somehow doubt the wine will make a third outing.



I have always, until now referred to them as “red dot specials”.

I think I might just hijack your “shelf of sadness”.


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I wasn’t going to post, but this is so enjoyable:

Firriato, Le Sabbie dell’Etna Etna Rosso, 2020

We’ve had several bottles of this wine, but our first 2020 – and probably the loveliest vintage so far. It’s not the most complex, nor does it require hours of analysis, with regular checks on how things are developing. It’s delicious straight from the bottle (OK, we did decant for an hour), and it offers a good shorthand to what can make Etna Rosso so compelling.

In the glass, the usual pale garnet which could be a Nebbiolo or could be a Trousseau. On the nose, wild strawberries and pomegranate mixed with dusty gravel, liquorice, a whiff of incense and something not unlike dried pine needles (awakening memories of school trips to pine forests in the Judean Hills).

On the palate, a mix of tangy red fruit (not sure what black fruit the Waitrose website is alluding to, but maybe I’m missing something); there’s cranberries and wild strawberries and forest berries. Then comes a fresh lift of orange zest and a tingling minerality on the (medium) finish. Tannins are very much a background mellow affair, and acidity just right and wonderfully appetising.

Not that long ago it was £12.99, but even at the current price - I just love it. Venison liver and lentils for dinner, which should make for a good match, I hope :crossed_fingers:


Opened a bottle of Minervois La Livinière Cuvée Cantilène, Château Sainte Eulalie 2017

This is a new one for me, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting more. A deep dark red in the glass with a slightly funky nose of spice and tar. Very earthy. Tannins present but under control with a rich balance of dark slightly stewed fruit, a touch of oak and slightly subdued Syrah pepper. Maybe a touch hot on the finish. A very nice glass going well with my pasta. A cracker for the £14 I gave TWS.


Tonight with moules marinères (making revolving-door cellar space for the newly arrived Cauhapés)…

I was a little disappointed when we bought these - not for the wine you understand - but because the French press had been falling over themselves over Jean-Marc Grussaute’s 2016’s, it was the vintage that finally crowned his long-time-coming. And whilst I managed to secure the Jurançon, I missed out on the sec (and even more infuriatingly, I left one of the bottles that I’d purchased, only finding out when I got home :roll_eyes: ).

I can only imagine how good the 2016 must be, because this is excellent, amongst the very best Jurançon Sec I’ve had. We should have decanted - it took it’s time to get going - which makes me confident that it will easily exceed the 15 year predicted life-span. Impeccable balance, a fat mid-palate, the acidity despite being high is just perfect, it has a sort of fennel-celery-honey-lime taste, with a long, long, long fresh lime finish.

Confirms my prejudices that 100% Petit Manseng secs just aren’t the way forwards, as this is Petit/Gros, Petit Courbu and Camaralet. Truly a great wine, and the man of the moment :grinning:


Château Rochefort - Allaman GC Rouge Sans Fard Gamaret 2020.

Very interesting and solid Swiss byodinamic and natural Gamaret! Dark dark opaque purple. Slightly animal scent blows off fast revealing a deep concentration of dark fruit: plums, blackcurrant, with a good acid streak and chalky tannin. There’s noticeable spice from French oak here, making the nose somewhat reminiscent of Burgundy, but the palate is nothing of the like; fresh, deep and juicy. I have no proper comparison points for it.

Just compared with a glass of Bardos Romántica and tbh, the RdD is very muted while this Gamared has the most massive nose of fruit and dust.


Lidl Cap Classique!

I’ve never had a sparkling wine that smells so much as if you just spread butter on a warm croissant. It doesn’t translate to the mouth where it is more measured and tart. More pear than citrus.