Weekend drinking 9-11th December 2022

Another half. Years to go but plenty of fresh fruit and spice at this age. Delicious.


I couldn’t be happier with tonight’s food and wine pairing. Opened after 30 minutes in the fridge…

…a Morgon ‘Cote du Py’ 2015 from Jean-Marc Burgaud.

A deeply attractive purple red colour. Violets, bramble berries, potting soil and a stony mineral quality on the fragrant nose. Similar flavours plus black cherry on the savoury, ripe but tangy, deeply flavoured palate. Beautifully fresh acidity and powdery tannins, that seem to pop in the mouth, provide lovely balance and structure to the medium to full bodied fruit. Despite the fruit ripeness and 14% ABV there’s nothing remotely heavy or over the top about it either. Every bit as satisfying as a decent Northern Rhone or Burgundy, which stylistically it falls between, only this cost a fraction of the price (£14.50). Oh, and still good for a few years yet I’d imagine.

It was superb with my relatively simple to cook roast dinner too…

…a mini game roast, glazed fennel seed carrots, etc. Or as my late mum might have said, ooo lovely, meat and two veg, my favourite !


We’re both ailing a bit this weekend so it’s a meal from Cook, pork Dijon - and very tasty too. We’re enjoying this Guigal Saint Joseph 2014

which is immeasurably better with the food, and not too cold. A weighty marsanne, with a little bitterness of lemon pith, and a lingering finish.

BTW, is it ok to be drinking French wine tonight?


Yeah, I thought the same but eventually concluded that the dodgy metaphor of consuming something French might be karmically appropriate :wink:


Well that’s a bit of a bummer. Consoling myself (responsibly, you understand) with a jaunty bobal from Utiel-Requena, not an area I’ve bought from before, cherry notes, fruity, bright but not excessive acidity.

Not enormously complex but individual and fun. From Spanish Wines Direct.


Have you tried the other Bruno Murciano wines? Could do with a notch more plush than Cambio de Tercio

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We finished the hermitage 2013 remnants, which were improved second day. Better integration of flavours. Rhone nearly always improves with air!

Switched to a Saint Joseph (majestic mystery case) which is very enjoyable.

Shame for England. Always sad when it’s from missing a penalty. They were very much in that match. Commiserations for those impacted

Cheers All!



Yes, it is expensive, but we had celebration and chose this one to mark the occasion. Complex aromas and flavours of pineapple, melon and many stone fruits, you name it. Long finish, a very special wine. I think this will keep another decade, I wish I had a case of them and follow its development!


So glad I kept a couple of these for a cold winter night….


A small family gathering in Pewsey, convenient for the train for some (though one was cancelled - a regular event according to a chap on the platform) and not too far for us to drive. A cold day enlivened by a bottle of French pinot noir in The Royal Oak. Alas, their kitchen was closed so no lunch (lack of staff, a common story these days) but they helpfully recommended the baker’s shop across the road so we brought in Cornish pasties, sandwiches, etc., and with plates supplied by the pub we had a decent meal by the log fire and coffee to follow. A very hospitable pub indeed.


Vey unusual drinking for me yesterday. I had a super tuscan.

Ruffino Modus 2018. A blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the tuscan coast. Rather a lot of vanilla-y oak and a surprisingly red nose. Very full bodied with plum and tobacco notes and a round spicy length. Very polished and hid its 15% very well indeed, has decades ahead of it. Clearly an excellent wine and I did enjoy it and I am still thinking about it this morning. They’re still not really my thing, but I acknowledge that I should turn my nose up at them far less than I do.


Got a few 2018s of this and been wondering whether to broach them soon. This description makes me want to hold out a good couple of years yet.

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Definitely more sprightly than plush. Do you have a recommendation @Joni-B73F0 ?

No, I was looking for one :joy:

I think I’ll just have to buy another Bruno Murciano as we both had the same one! Bobal is a crazy grape, such a wide variety of wines out of it and Cambio de Tercio was the most austere. So different!

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Some exceptional wines last night whilst watching the football with friends.


Think you needed a few more bottles after last night. Harry did his best.

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Friday with plaice, new pots, peas and mixed salad and

2022 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Private Bin Early Release (New Zealand, Marlborough)
Zesty, aromatic lovely SB.

Saturday The Christmas tasting at Verulam Wine Tasting Club tonight. No carollers or barbershop quartets this year, but members wore their Christmassy clothes as usual, table cloths were red and napkins green in both a nod to Christmas and the colours of the Portuguese flags which decorated the tables. We tasted eight Portuguese wines each accompanied with matching Portuguese food.

It was the first time in decades that I’d tasted

N.V. Vinhos Sogrape Mateus Rosé (Portugal)
while it may get hearts racing amongst older readers, although it claims to be The Original but was a lot drier than the Mateus Rosé that was so popular when I started drinking wine.

The team of volunteer VWTC cooks excelled themselves with Pastéis de Nata (which readers of this forum - being well travelled and sophisticated like what I am - won’t need telling are individual custard tarts. I’ve eaten them at their home, café Pastéis de Belém, in Lisbon and these were just as good. They accompanied our last wine

N.V. Henriques & Henriques Madeira Malvasia 10 Years Old (Portugal, Madeira)
which smelled of Christmas pudding and sent us on our way into the cold of the night with a song in our hearts…

Sunday Our aperitif will be

N.V. Boschendal Brut Méthode Cap Classique (South Africa, Western Cape)
A traditional method fizz blend of Chardonnay Pinot Noir, reduced from £16.99 to £10.

And with roasted lamb, parsnip, potatoes, steamed brussels sprouts, cauliflower and tenderstem broccoli with (of course) mint sauce, we’ll have

2015 Delheim Grand Reserve (South Africa, Stellenbosch)

A flagship of their range, only released in the best years, this is a blend of 84% Cab Sauv, 11% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.

I almost bought this when I was at the winery in 2020 but saw that TWS had it at the same price so ordered some then. Isn’t the internet wonderful? Saved me having to carry the bottles home and allowed me to bring home other wines not available in the UK Bought from TWS while I was in the Cape in March, as TWS had it at the same price as it was being sold at the cellar door. But only recently collected after collections were resumed during lockdown. Idea was to see if I should buy more, but too late as it’s vanished from TWS list.

(Villa Maria from Majestic, Boschendal from Waitrose, Delheim from TWS)


FWIW, I’ll be doing the same with the two bottle here. For my tastes, wines from the Cote du Py benefit from aging as they still retain their primary fruit character but develop more complex, savoury, flavours too. I’d guess the 2018, at 13% ABV, might be in a more ‘classic’ style than the full throttle 2015 but its drinking window, until 2028, suggests it’s similarly age-worthy.


Really cold today. Opened a Perrin Peyre Blanche Cairanne 2019. Surprisingly fruited nose somewhere in the region of glacé cherries, plum and strawberry compote. Similar in the mouth but with the big Rhone ooompf. I think I picked it up in Morrisons a while ago, but very good value wherever it came from.



Early Christmas celebrations today. A rich smoked cheese mac & cheese (the kids’ favourite) with apple juice for some and a Kistler Chardonnay for others.