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Weekday drinking thread [3 to 6 January 2022]

After all the festive excesses and emphasis on the more expensive stuff it’s nice to return to a nice uncomplicated easy drinker: The Society's Sicilian Reserve Red 2015. It’s a lovely smooth glass of fruity red which, whilst not particularly complex, has some nice smoky depth to it.


Sweet potato tagine and couscous for dinner tonight, accompanied by this 2019 Old Vine Zierfandler from Heinrich Hartl:

A wine that might not appeal to the multitudes – in fact, the other half is not that moved (he prefers Rotgipfler when it comes to Thermenregion grapes), whereas I just love it. I also think it offers very good value for money for £12.99 in terms of complexity and enjoyement.

The nose unfolds slowly – it really takes its time - but then reveals notes of baked apples, quince, banana skin, lemon verbena and very delicate honey. On the palate it is rounded and honeyed, with lively acidity (though only medium to my palate), and similar notes of baked apple, buttered toast, a touch of banana again and citrus zest.

Well done to Waitrose for stocking this (as well as the same producer’s Rotgipfler, which is also very good). I really hope one day TWS will stock some too… :grinning: :crossed_fingers:


One of these. I have been rather dilatory with the 2003s. Mainly because they have depressed me when I tried them, but after a not entirely loathsome Batailley I got out one of these. I have always had fondness for Gruaud Larose, on account of Mr Parker ignoring it which meant that you could afford it.

This is really actually, sort of okay. It hasn’t been open that long so it may go into a spasm in a bit, but it is dark in colour, not brown at the rim but fading. The nose isn’t giving much away a bit of soy and undergrowth. Nice palate though, not the longest but correct and very coherent. Probably needs to be drunk on the cool side, but then, what claret doesn’t? I am glad I hung onto these as I now can’t remember what they were en primeur so they feel free. Now all I have to do is face the Grand Puy Lacoste 2003…


@Prufrock am also quite found of GL, I think it still represents value and immense pleasure

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The famed 2001 tonight plus the others from the past few days.
Musar is lovely and needs no comments as there are plenty of this vintage.
Moving to the Langhe which is the 2nd bottle of a case. From memory it was showing better than the 1st bottle. Very well judged with good fruit and acidity with some notes of spices and earthy tones.
Finally the single malt from a small distillery that I really enjoy and have visited. This is basically maple syrup in a bottle mixed with spirit. The 21yo is not my favourite of their range but it’s a beautiful malt and very appealing on the nose and palate.


Great post @Inbar , thanks - I’ve been trying to track down a 100% Zierfandler for Donkeys’ and never realised that Waitrose have it. Never tried it, really want to. Another one for my to-try list once Purgatory January has been left behind. Is buying-but-not-drinking in January allowed ?

For the record, JRWG says that Zierfandler is a Roter Veltliner x Savagnin (close relative anyway) cross. Any TNs which might be derived from its parents ?

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Waitrose has been selling it for some time (only online though, as far as I can tell) - and the Rotgipler is very good too , as is Hartl’s St. Laurent - albeit not the most complex example. You can also buy Zierfandler from Alpine Wines - not cheap, though.

I can just about see the Roter Veltliner similarity, not quite the Savagnin. The mix of something quite exotic with citrus freshness and the dash of spice you can get (not too obvious in this particular wine) is reminiscent of a Roter, methinks.

Incidentally, just ordered some fine Roter Veltliner from Noel Young wines… :heart_eyes:

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A fantastic wine last night

The nose on this was incredible. I got seriously lost in it.
Fresh earth, forest floor, Chinese five spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, liquorice, star anise and then a hint of mint all wrapped up in a dark brambly berried concoction.
Easily my wine of the year (so far) :wink:
Let’s see if I can find one to top it.


Back to normality after Christmas excesses. Mrs M decided we should ease off on meat so

Monday I made Penne Puttanesca with a mixed salad . As usual with pasta we drank no-brainer™

2019 Casa Vinicola Roxan The Wine Society’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Italy, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo)
It’s good to have a wine that doesn’t need thinking about and which offers such reliable drinking pleasure.

Tuesday I made Chilli sin Carne which we ate with warm pita bread and drank

2020 Riebeek Cellars Cinsault Morrisons The Best Bush Vine (South Africa, Swartland)

Surprisingly tasty, brightly coloured and sprightly tasting, really good especially when reduced to £6.

Wednesday I made ratatouille which I left on a low heat in the oven for 2.5 hours for flavours to meld. With it we had a warm French stick and

2017 Domaine La Traversee La Traversee (FranceTerrasses du Larzac)

Not cheap, and what a disappointment. Mrs M smelled her glass and asked ‘is this how it’s supposed to taste’. I didn’t find any fault with it, but it wasn’t pleasant. The merchant says it’s a Syrah blend, but the uninformative winery website has no information about individual wines.

Thursday I quartered then halved large tasty Jack Hawkins tomatoes, added ample garlic cloves, herbs & EVOO and roasted them while I grilled Cumberland sausages and toasted a slice of home made granary bread. With them we had

2019 Debajo Carignan Dry Farmed (Chile, Central Valley)
We’d had this before and really enjoyed it which is why I bought more. But there was something disjointed about this one.

and so ends the first week of our shiny new year…

(Montepulciano and Debajo from TWS, Riebeek Cinsaut from Morrisons, Domaine La Traversee from Virgin Wines.)


Thank you for this note. I had a very good wine from this appellation in a restaurant a while ago, and there is one on the TWS list now. It’s on my wish list but now I’m hesitating!

I’ve had great ones from this appellation, but not this wine.

I cannot find any wines from the Terrasses du Larzac appellation in TWS.

There are wines with Terrasses in their name but from different appellations. Terrasses du Larzac is in Languedoc.

I could have sworn it was there until very recently. Must have dreamt it😯

Edit: not going completely mad just yet…


3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Weekend drinking thread (7th to 9th January 2022)

Probabilities that have been so far fetched that he has frightened a large part of the population into believing them whilst disregarding his own advice as he obviously doesn’t think they are important
‘His models have actually been really sound’ I think you jest…
If you want me to list all his probabilities and what actually transpired I am quite happy to they are freely available.

It’s disappointing to hear your experience with the La Traversee as it’s something I’ve been keen to try but have only seen it at Virgin Wines. The maker, Gavin Crisfield used to run La Sauvageonne before it was sold and I thought very highly of the whole range.
There have been a few Terrasses du Larzac sold by TWS over the years but recently the range has been more dominated by Montpeyroux, which more of sub-region than a neighbour. In addition to the Jasse Castel, I did enjoy a half case of this (despite the unfavourable review)


While not labelled a Terrasses de Larzac, presumably because it doesn’t meet some element of the appellation rules, Laval do produce one and the vineyard is most definitely within the area.

I would add that the Terrasses de Larzac region is quite large, with considerable differences in vineyard altitude as well as soils and proximity to the sea etc. Dropping down from the famous Millau bridge through some of the vineyards of the area towards Montpellier I’ve seen the temperature change by over 20 degrees Celsius in just a few miles so these differences can be significant which can obviously affect the wine making.

If you ever visit the area, try having lunch at the Terrace du Mimosa and work your way through the lengthy wine list or just ask for a recommendation from the staff - you will certainly find something you will enjoy.


It’s a a beautiful, wild and completely unspoilt part of France. We had a family holiday nearby one October, and the weather/temperature varied so much that we were able to swim in local rivers one day and two days later the A75 was closed due to heavy snow.

The local wines are really good (and really good value) but definitely have something of the wildness and unpredictability of the region itself.


‘His models have actually been really sound.’ I think you jest…

Not only that he obviously didn’t take any of his ‘probabilities’ seriously hence his extra curricular activities, his probabilities are and were so far from reality as to be worthless other than to the nudge unit who would be pleased half the nation were scared witless by them.

I appreciate you doing this research - on the off-chance you find one worth drinking, I’d certainly like to know about it! But my expectations are not high I’m afraid.

I can recommend this ‘gin’ - Atopia (Atopia Low Alcohol Spirit Spiced… https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VDSWKHN?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share) - which I was put onto by Fiona Beckett in the Guardian I think, a couple of years ago. While described as ‘low alcohol’ I believe that is just because legally they can’t guarantee it’s got no alcohol remaining at all - in effect it’s alcohol free, just like all those ‘0.5%’ beers.

With tonic and a slice of orange it’s a very pleasant aperitif. I don’t drink it with a meal though.



The Times today has an article about no alcohol ‘spirits’. I’d post a link but it would be behind a paywall.

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I had that very wine in August last year, and would gladly have it again.

It may be the bottle I had above was a duff 'un. It’s the only one I had so I won’t know as I am deterred from buying more of that particular winery