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Weekday drinking thread [14-17 September 2020]

A lovely memory for us of our holidays in Provence after buying this wine in Carrefour.
Essence of the Mediterranean. Lovely with grills.

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I’ve been taking my 90 year-old Mum on the North Coast 500 in my motorhome for the last few days (it goes by my house and has pretty much doubled the summer traffic so figured I might as well assuage my annoyance with it by doing it myself!):


Dunnet Head

Carn Liath Broch

We had a great time and on our last night yesterday opened this:


I bought it two years ago but haven’t got around to it until now. It’s approaching the end of the TWS window but, not knowing what it was like a year or two ago, I can certainly say it’s in a marvellous place now. I’ve not had it before but will certainly be buying it again (shame I only got one as a try out :frowning: ). A gorgeously well integrated glass of wine. A hint of pepper (Grenache mourvedre blend), very earthy and the smoothest velvety integrated tannins you could possibly hope for and good length to boot. A very well spent £20. :+1:
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Quite tempted by this. Thanks for the write up.

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I embarked on a survey of rosé this summer, the Miraval 2019 was my least favourite, your description is unfortunately accurate. Nice bottle though.

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I believe this was Bin Series #2. New to us and very pleasing. Strawberry and raspberry on the nose. And then a lovely hit of spice and smoke (like paprika) plus sour cherry on the palate. Partner said “a bit like chorizo”. Very smooth and great price.

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This is tonight’s experiment.

Yes it really is blue and claims to be natural… all the way from one of England’s most southerly vineyards on the Isle of Wight - Adgestone Vineyard. It is called “Something Blue” but photo seems to have lost the text.

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Intriguing…

The 2008, not one to melt many hearts, especially when you consider the £35ish price tag, but oh it has so melted mine. I am sure this covid thing has bought my emotions to the fore but wine like this proves beyond cavil that the world is an amazing place.

Dark in the glass, the wine has remade itself over a few hours. Airy but complicated on the nose, the hint of something secondary in there. The tannins are firm but not obtrusive, lovely dry leaves in there, cherry, a bit of lavatory, a strengthening and lovable mash up.

But all this is by the by, life and death in my hand, loves it!

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Celebrating a Peloton milestone by swiftly imbibing the same amount of calories expended on the bike today. That’s the whole point, right?

Disclaimer - I thought I wasn’t mad on Zinfandel. Historically, I’d drink it, but I wouldn’t seek it out. Well, Crikey this is good. I can’t stop sniffing it. Just beautiful ripe blueberry fruit with sweet baking spice and herbs. The quality of the oak is sensual and exotic.

I’ve ordered the Bedrock mixed case off the back of this. Has anyone tried the “Whole Shebang!” field blend by the same producer? Jancis really rates it for value.

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Is that the one made by Joel Peterson’s son?

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Yes, Morgan Twain-Peterson MW I believe. Absolute knockout. Takes me right back to driving around the valley in a Camaro.

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No complaints about the midweek drinking here. Enjoyed whilst watching skinny men in Lycra cycling up and down mountains in Eastern France. Two from Austrian producer Birgit Braunstein ( mostly because I associate Austria with mountains ! )…

…the Pinot Blanc 2018 ( £12.95 ) was paired with battered cod, buttered Ratte potatoes and green beans. The delicious 2017 really reminded me of Chablis. This showed more distinct varietal character, in a firm and fresh style, and went down just as easily. Green and gold orchard fruits and a notably mineral quality on the nose. Same again on tasting, it wasn’t especially complex but it’s tingling minerality, along with its fresh acidity, provided a tension I’ve rarely found with Pinot Blanc previously (apart from cooler areas in Germany). The 2019 is now on the wish list.

The ‘Leithaberg’ Blaufrankisch 2015 ( £19 ) is even more satisfying. Just enjoyed with a duck breast, green beans and filled pasta. Fresh but savoury red fruits. violets, spice and damp soil on the nose. Medium bodied succulently juicy red and black cherry / berry fruit, minerals. a pleasant vegetal note and a subtle savoury undertow on tasting. Fresh acidity and light grippy tannins provide balance and structure and there’s good length of flavour on the ripe but tangy red fruited finish.

Another eye opening red from Austria. Blaufrankish, along with Zweigelt and Saint Laurent, are rapidly becoming must try wines here.

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Rather alarmed today to realise that it’s already September and my new year resolution to drink more champagne has fallen badly behind schedule, due largely to lack of occasions to celebrate. So I decided I should open a bottle, in particular a non-vintage Taittinger, which I am enjoying as usual.

Whilst fetching it I discovered a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Vintage Reserve 1998 which I had forgotten about, and which obviously needs drinking soon. I now feel more hopeful of getting back on track to reach my target after all.

Damn auto-correct! Why should non-vintage change to on-board? Crazy!

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I really enjoyed the Pinot Blanc as well. Would definitely buy again!

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Tomorrow is the evening of the Jewish new year, but as the daughter will be away we decided to defy the master of the universe and celebrate this evening instead. It’s a bit of a poignant one for me, as my family and friends back in Israel are all going back into lockdown as of tomorrow, and let’s not even mention internal politics… So in an attempt to feel less worried and more positive we started in the traditional way of apple sliced dipped in honey…

This symbolises the hope that the new year will be a sweet one. We toasted the new year with Codorníu Brut Cava, keeping the apple (and a touch of honey) theme going.

A spicy butternut squash soup followed - but no wine, as I find wine and soup slightly odd together. The main was pan fried Sea bass, served with Persian rice - fish being very traditional new year main in my family. It made sense to open wine from home to go with it, so I opted for what is probably my favourite Israeli white - Sphera ‘White Concepts’ Chardonnay:

This could easily be mistaken for a Chablis; the nose had notes of green apple, pears, cirtus blossom and just a touch of honey. On the palate - the initial impression was of orchard fruit, but it then developed zesty citrus notes (orange, lemon), followed by smokiness and tingling minerality with a very delicate touch of oak. The mouthfeel was just lovely, but acidity was still a little overpowering. This could really do with a couple more years to settle - though worked incredibly well with the fish and rice! :ok_hand:

For dessert I made a spiced toffee apple cake, finishing - as we started - with an apple theme. We had a glass of 2015 Montbazillac from Domaine Grange Neuve with it - all honey, citrus, stem ginger and marmalade, which worked well with the cake, though a Madeira would have probably been even better…

I hope this year is good to you all, despite obvious challenges ahead… :pray: :clinking_glasses: :smile:

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Excellent itinerary ! I want to take my car around the NC 500 when I have a chance.

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Beautiful!

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Happy New Year

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Shana Tova. Have a great 5781

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Thank you! Same to you, @NickFoster :grinning: Things can only get better, right? :crossed_fingers:

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