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Weekday wines 1st to 4th August 2022

And welcome to August !

Tonight; a shufti through a recently arrived mystery case and a new grape to me: Mencia. Initial thoughts were - blimey that’s harsh and the cork went back in. Maybe tomorrow things will be better.


So another dive into the mystery case brings up this S.A. Bordeaux bend, with some age & oak. The exact opposite to the previous bottle - this is inky black, mature, rich & ripe. If it wasn’t o.o.s I’d buy some more. So much better.


As a side thought… Should we call a Cab Sauv / Merlot / etc blend a ‘Bordeaux Blend’ ? the divergence is significant both stylistically and a time frame of a century or so has created massive differences, with geographic terroirs which cannot be more diverse. One cannot (fairly) compare the wines of Stellenbosche (or California etc) & Bordeaux nowadays. Discuss?


Ouch! That’s not how it should taste like at all in my experience (mind you, am yet to try the 2021 vintage). It should be an easy drinking, quaffable medium bodied slightly savoury delight… Would be interested to know if it did improve.


My apologies @Inbar , my bottle is the 2020. Definitely savoury, I’m certainly getting that. Will have another taste tomorrow and update my comments - after with some decanter time.


Well I succumbed to the seductive looks of


which manages to combine a lingering fruitiness with a dry finish. Strawberry and savoury, as the label says “serious and seriously drinkable.”


With a bbq tonight tried one of these as we have a case in reserves.
It’s a 2017.

In summary delicious / well integrated and soft tannins but enough going on to be interesting but not sure of its longevity as sold.
Perhaps it’s in the plateau for a while. Will take these out if reserves next anniversary.


A no added sulphur, unfiltered version of the Vitatge Vielh (a Jurancon Sec, this is a Vin de France but the small print says ‘White Jurancon wine’ for reasons that escape me just now) classed as ‘natural’, and the suggestion is to drink young.

It’s…okay. It has that sort of vaguely cidery aftertaste that I get with lots of natural/orange wines. The basic problem is, the same grapes that make the Vitatge Vielh make a fundamentally better, richer, more interesting, much more long-lived wine. Which is strange, as I would expect the two to surely be closer in style? Certainly, Jean-Bernard Larrieu makes better wines across his entire range.

I remain, still, firmly on the fence as to what these types of wines are bringing to the table.


Opened my first ever (to my knowledge) Priorat last night: Lectores Vini Classic, Priorat 2019:

And was very taken with it. Rich and powerful with some similarity to Rioja and Ribero del Duero I thought. I didn’t really get the ‘peppery’ mentioned in the TWS notes but lots of fruit balanced with savoury tones. Just enough acidity and tannins to give structure whilst still giving a lovely smooth palate. It seemed a slightly short finish to me also a touch hot; it’s 14.5% was noticeable though not too overpowering.

Overall a very good wine and I can certainly see more Priorat in my my future! I was also a bit shocked when I saw how small an area it occupies!

I was also a bit surprised by the drinking dates. Yes it was definitely ready to drink at three years old but I thought it has the structure to go beyond 2024.


I’d say second, Mike! :grin:

You were really taken with this one, at a Quaff tasting in Hove a while back…


Ah I’d completely forgotten that one! Getting old… But at least I seem to be consistent!


If you, or anyone, gets the chance, do try and visit the region, it’s not that far from Barcelona really. For my money it’s easily THE most scenically dramatic wine region of Spain, plus as it’s in a national park, there’s no ugly residential sprawl and habitation is confined to the small towns and new build strictly regulated. The story of how it has been resurrected as a top DOQ in recent years from a backwater just producing rough local vino de mesa is worth getting to know.


Out of the fridge and into the decanter for later.
Very promising nose


Rather envious - a fine wine indeed.

Speaking very much from my position of ignorance; cooling (fridge) then warming (decanter) a fine (red) wine. I’ve only ever had Hermitage at room temperature - and intrigued how it was cooler? does it work the same was as one does with Cru Beaujolais?


Not had this since October. It has a slight cloudiness from the sediment; a lovely golden Sauternes-like colour. Nectarines, honey, linseed oil, walnuts, floral on the nose, and in the mouth quite spicy, saline, very dry but the citrus zest leaves a sweetness and a faint bitter grip. Good acidity to balance which holds through to the finish, which is a touch hollow. Last year I also wrote that it seemed earthy, dry and dusty reminding me of arid summer heat at its most intense. Very characterful!


As promised @Inbar a return to the Mencia 2020, 24 hours after opening. Very much another wine (or perhaps it’s me?) - still the initial slightly stalky savoury ‘grip’ which is very welcome then balanced by deeply rich & velvety mid palate - mulberries all over.

Somewhere between a Bobal and a Priorat? certainly a wine I would return to.

This evening with Spaghetti Puttanesca, a very good match. Would also go with chicken piri-piri maybe?


I popped into Asda earlier today to pick up some unwaxed lemons for tonight’s Spanish rice dish and some Turkish salads later this week. As their excellent Rueda was OOS I picked this up to go with the meal instead…

…a Rias Baixas Albarino 2021 from Bodegas Pazo Cilleiro ( presently on offer for £6.38 ).

Like their Rueda it totally over delivers for the price. Zesty citrus and fresh orchard fruit aromas, a floral note and a hint of lees on the invitingly clean nose. The same again on tasting, pure, fresh and zingy with good weight of flavour and some lees derived complexity to add further interest. A good example of its type and a thoroughly engaging wine. And if I’m correct, hats off. once again, to @winechief for delivering the goods at a silly price ! :+1:


As I don’t seem to have too much white wine in store, or at least not where I can easily find it, I’ve been trying out Lidl and Morrison for some of their lower budget whites. Today this Gavi.

Very pale colour, almost like water against a white porcelain sink. Too cold to smell. On first sip there is a sort of super dry hit which rapidly evolves into apple and pear flavours, mostly very fresh apple in fact, like a quite sweet cooking apple but not as sweet as a ripe eating apple. It’s very easy to drink and I think I will get some more, especially if the 25% offer continues. I think it was 8.50, or 8.95 minus 25%; only have to buy 3 bottles.

(It’s made by Araldica I meant to mention).


Curry night here - tried Mrs Balbir Singhs Old Delhi Butter Chicken recipe. Bit fiddly but worth it - scrumptious. So in keeping a break from a red and white conundrum and this…

Say no more …


2019 Berry Bros. & Rudd Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir by Au Bon Climat, California, USA

A pinot made for BBR by ABC. Very light in colour with a surprising brick rim which surprised me because it is only a '19. Bright fruit on the nose but more toned down on day two with a forest floor vibe.

At £26 its probably a bit steep but I guess with the BBR and ABC name on the bottle, they can justify it


It was probably slightly colder than usual to counteract the hot weather
I guess between 15 and 16c when poured and then over that fairly quick.
The wine itself is worthy of the reputation. In my opinion probably 5 years from drinking.
The nose is superb, blackberries, unripe English plum, glycerol. On the mouth is not so great or complex as it’s just too young. Tannins galore to the point it feels green.
I knew what to expect and prepared beef shor ribs in the oven. Slow roasted in Guinness, garlic, onions, peppercorns and olive oil for 3 hours. It did well in standing up to the wine


Thanks for reporting back! :+1::grin:
Your description is definitely more akin to my experience of this wine. Glad it revealed itself more with some air. We usually decant all our reds for a couple hours, so maybe that’s why I found it more approachable a little sooner.

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