Weekday wine 13th to 16th February 2023

A bit extravagant for a Monday afternoon but today is eldest daughter’s 18th birthday. So, a birth year champagne from Alfred Gratien…

It is still wonderfully fresh, a refined mousse with delightful honeyed lemon flavour.

The thought of adult children is enough to drive a man to drink!


Congrats! My eldest turned 18 just last week. A birthday bottle also opened! Where did the years go…



Quite, though conversely there is a benefit when they can more literally drive you to and from the places where you drink…


Congratulations to your daughter, @Alchemist! :clinking_glasses: :tada:

A ‘quiet wine’ here this evening (to quote Andrew Jefford), to accompany Black Cod:

Château Mercian, Yamanashi Koshu 2020

Our first Koshu, and what a pleasant surprise! I was fearing lack of substance - and this isn’t the case here. Calling it ‘neutral’ won’t be fair, but it does its thing a la a Muscadet or a Chasselas - whispers softly softly in one’s ear. Japanese whispers! (Well, I was a Cure fan… :grin:)

Very pale lemon in the glass - almost watery, the nose brings to mind lime and yuzu (or maybe just the association?), pea shoots and cucumber (or maybe I’m going mad), with just a whiff of apple blossom.

Very fresh and yet a little lees-y and rounded on the palate, with delicate citrus notes, wet pebbles, a touch of green herbs and a nice slight bitterness on the finish. Acidity is not assertive in the slightest, and there’s a pleasant mouthfeel, I guess from the lees. It’s a wispy little number - a delicate composition for sure.

I’m going to look for another example to compare and contrast. I like this game! :slightly_smiling_face:


Wine Direct have their Grace Winery koshu on offer at the moment. It’s quite nice. Agree it’s like a chasselas from Savoie.

Despite some claims of indigenousness koshu is a European vinifera, but its DNA hasn’t been linked to any known variety, apparently.


Still showing available in the Harvey Nichols sale at an even lower price (£14)



If only H.N had a filter for in/ out of stock. Almost everything I was interested in was o.o.s. so what’s the point? (not having a go at you SW17) - they really need to sort themselves out.

Out of curiosity I entered “out-of-stock” into their search bar… and every item it found was IN stock.

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yeah and that’s where I got my current bottle from. I just assumed the HN sale had run its course…

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Recipe courtesy of @NW3Andre which was delicious but let down by the wine unfortunately. I was a huge fan of 2019 and 2020 Society White Burgundy vintages but this one seemed very thin to me…


Chaos white by Elgin Ridge 2017

A wee diddy 500ml bottle for a taste of something tonight and tomorrow. The better half is away with work so full on start to the week.

Fairly low expectations with this HN bottle that have been way surpassed. Adding to my suspicion that their inventory is actually really well curated just overpriced at full price.

Semillion/Sauvignon blend. Honey to Amber colour.

Somewhat nutty nose. Roasted pineapple, multilayered finish, oily and balanced but fair acidic zip. Some tangerine, all in a dry style.

Quite unique. Excellent and characterful wine

Have a good week all!


Whilst in Paris a good reminder that northern Rhône Syrah ticks my boxes. I haven’t seen this in the UK but I don’t think Stephane Ogier makes a bad bottle, this is utterly delicious and all you’d want from a Syrah at this price point.


This was fun. Thought it might be ruined by terrible storage. Cork broke coming and inital smell was rather unpleasant.

5 minutes later and that had dissipated. It tasted pretty good too, as youd expect, lemon pith and salt. Good length. As it warmed up it it took on a more fruity profile, like nectarine which i dont think is typical? Could that be the poor storage? It was pretty rich going by the second glass, oily texture. Very nice but not what i was expecting.

You can see from the colour that it looked old. Other than the first 5 minutes though it smelled fine.
All in all a lovely surprise. Would like to try a well stored version with age to compare but see the current vintage seems to cost £50. Ouch.


Totally agree, his ‘Heritage’ was the red for the eldest daughter’s wedding. The ensemble loved it, much relief!!


Usually an alcohol free day but in a nod to romanticism a half bottle of Sainsbury’s TtD Blanc de Noirs Champagne and it is very tasty indeed. Nice yeasty nose, in the mouth very full and rich with highish acidity. Would definitely buy this again.


So this is what I opened on Saturday after my restorative Negroni.

Bit disappointed- it tasted pretty flat with no fruit definition or acidity.

Big mistake, I was going through a dumb phase and my cold masked all the positive qualities that are so evident this evening. Quite rich, honeysuckle finish and lovely ripe fruit.

Shame I wasted a couple of glasses when unable to enjoy it, no more wine drinking with a cold, must stick to Negronis.


Last night we shared a bottle of Castelnau reserve NV Champagne. I had seen this recommended a while back so bought a case in the pre-Christmas offer in December 2021. I opened the first bottle last February and found the acidity rather too much for my taste. However, another year in bottle has softened it and it is now drinking very well. Good value.


A couple of very different wines, but both showed blackcurrants big time!
The 2000 Vergelegen is in a good place. Mature, but still with a youthful energy and clear fruit and peppermint.
The Saransot-Dupre was a cracking example of a thrilling young white Bordeaux, with the blackcurrant leaf from the SB and, especially with air, the oily undertones of Semillon (very old vines, apparently). It did remind me a little of the fantastic Fieuzal 1988 from last week’s little drinks session.


Last night, for a wee Valentine’s dinner, I decided to open the first of six En Primeur burgundies, that have been maturing in the cabinet. It’s a Volnay 2016 from Domaine de Bellene. I looked up the EP notes, but they’re quite sparse: Volnay Grands Poisots 2016 £135
Ripe, smooth and unusually rich for Volnay. 2020–2026.

This was delicious. I followed the Burgundy advice of @Toby.Morrhall which was not to decant, serving around 16-18 degrees in a Pinot Noir glass. The aroma was one to be savoured. I was rather sad when it was finished. Thankfully, five more bottles to enjoy at future feasts!

I hope everyone is having a grand week.


I had my last bottle of the Alheit Exhibition Chenin Blanc 2020 in October - it’s a great wine for the price.


Whoops. I needed cooking wine - and fast - so ran across the road and found something that, somehow, costs £3.75 in 2023.

It is, of course, Vineyards Fruity Red by Felix Solis, produce of Spain, and hitting the dizzy heights of 10.5% abv:

I didn’t need a whole bottle, so I thought I’d broaden my horizons and try a glass.

The NV offers a slightly reticent nose of cola bottles, wiper fluid and otitis externa. The palate, by contrast, gives the impression of a cherry throat lozenge dissolved in tap water, both in terms of flavour and overall structure. It has a regrettably long finish.

Hmmm. Maybe I’ll open that Crozes next…