My notes were: Clear and bright. Yellow, green. Clean nose. Medium, full intensity. Green apples, cats pee, gooseberry. Hints of gun smoke and flint. Clean palate. High acidity. Fresh, flinty green fruit. Refreshing and zesty. Medium finish. Great with seafood.
It’s quite literally been one of those days……. Have you ever booked a flight for someone and they ring you up to tell you that the lines on their online boarding pass doesn’t look right, and what if Ryanair don’t allow them to board… and what if Ryanair don’t know they have priority plus bag…… and can I please put all that info on their boarding passes for them!!!
GIVE ME STRENGTH…… or a stiff drink…
Salmon for dinner tonight so thought I would try the first of my Pazo Senorans Selección de Añada, which I’d had in reserves until a few days ago (Christmas has finally created some space in the cellar!).
In short, it was worth waiting for. My note on CellarTracker:
Really interesting wine that shows a lot of development and complexity. Structurally, it’s very fine, taut but not at all abrasive, and with a moreish line of acidity. Slightly saline and tropical on the nose, but the flavours make more impact on the palate - initially quite bitter, with a clear note of dill towards the finish; then moving into a tropical phase, with passion fruit and mango, reminiscent of GG Riesling; then by the final glass again emphasising the bitterness - but with a creaminess to the mid-palate throughout.
This feels mature but certainly doesn’t need to be drunk up in a hurry - reckon it’s got at least five years to go.
The bitterness isn’t completely to my taste, but the complexity and structure would otherwise merit a higher score.
Must say that Loire reds are improving all the time (ignore the 1 star review) Less overtly fruity than pure Cab Franc wines. Lovely mellow soft dark fruits and only 12% alcohol. Understated and tasty.
Tonight its this:
Lovely fine boned Pinot, without the obvious oak that the Stodden “JS” has. Young and linear with pretty good length. You can find equally good Spatburgunder from other German regions for slightly less but this is charming and you can’t expect cheap wine from the Ahr.
Also have some Blandy’s 10 y/o Sercial to go with some Cabrales cheese for later…
This is a 2015 Ribera del Duero, from a new bodega called Cepa 21. This is a side-project of bodega Emilio Moro; we visited the beautiful winery in August with our Spanish friends, and really enjoyed this one, so it was nice to re-acquaint ourselves with it this evening.
An incredibly deep ruby in the glass, almost inky - and no real sign of ageing yet on the rim. In fact, it’s quite violet-like. The nose is a melange of dark fruit (cherries, blackcurrant, plums), cedar, menthol, baking spice and a touch of sweet tobacco. No heady vanilla or coconut here. On the palate it is still quite tannic - could definitely do with a couple more years in bottle - so I’m glad we decanted it. The tannins are quite chalky in texture, and the fruit itself is ripe, but not OTT. There’s blackcurrant jam, blueberries and bramble too. Acidity is medium, and finish is medium too. This is well-made wine, with well-judged oak, and a lovely earthy feel to it. Not a super complex Ribera, but is oh so enjoyable!
We had our wine group’s first tasting of the new decade last night. The theme was South American Red - turned out to be basically Chile, with one from Argentina, and one from Uruguay. All sourced from TWS by our hosts.
TWS blurb is pretty spot on. Juicy pinot noir in a sweet style, with a touch of vanilla and spiciness. Pretty good value for money.
Higher acidity than I was expecting, and I don’t think I’d have picked the grape blind. Quite stalky and leafy on the nose, red fruit and light tannin. Easy drinking.
Quite a step up in heft, and you do get value for your £5 extra over the straight TWS Merlot. Rounder, softer and more refined, with darker fruit, plums and toast coming through. This was a hit with the group.
Darker colour, and noticeable vanilla to go with the berry nose. What I imagine a mulberry should smell like, somehow. Mid-weight, with a plummy palate. Pretty typical of other Carmenère that I’ve had.
Nose was almost identical to the Candelabro. The fruit was brighter, and there was more acidity but less tannin, making it a rather more interesting and refreshing wine to drink.
Given that it was made by the same people in the same region, I did wonder whether this was just the same wine as the last one, in a different bottling. Far from it, in fact. Much darker fruit and some vanilla on the nose; rich and spicy to taste, and quite cedary too. This was another hit all round.
Argentina finally shows up, and this was properly classy, especially at the price. Developed brick colour; cassis and cedar on the nose; lots of blackcurrant, toast and spice in the mouth. Good depth and length, and it developed a lovely cinder toffee nose after half and hour or so. Best value for money of the evening.
It would be very interesting to see what this Bordeaux blend is like when it’s as old as the Weinert, and I may just have to do the experiment, all in the name of science, you understand. Also excellent VFM, but still young. The blackcurrants on the nose are leafier, but the palate has quite intense fruit, cloves and pepper. Still coming across as quite firm, but definitely seems to have the character to improve over several years.
This was absolute Marmite - the room was split down the middle into those who loved it, and those who hated it (even without knowing the price). I was surprised we tasted it at this point, and I’m sure it would have fared better if served straight after the first pinot, as it’s much lighter bodied and finer boned than the previous wine. I fell firmly into the “love it” camp, especially after some cheese later. Really bright fruit, classic pinot cabbage nose, great acidity, intense, fine and long.
The second time I’ve tasted this quite recently, and I really like it. Good acidity, good fruit, good length, and tannins well knitted in.
Overall, a most enjoyable selection. TWS Exhibition wines faired very well, marking a definite step up in each case. And the Weinert was a real star.
Almost finished the case of this. Seems to me that dry Riesling is the one sure bet in white wine that isn’t going to age quickly. This is eleven years old and it still has all that primary fruit with only a little ageing character showing - and that mostly on the aroma not the palate. I suspect another ten years wouldn’t hurt!
The Riesling is very delicious - no petrol notes and lots of complexity, while the Chianti could be one of the best I’ve had for ages and excellent VFM. Tested the sealing of the Cork by holding the bottle upside down afterwards - no dribbles at all.
I haven’t tried this one, so can’t comment, but I would say their ambition is to make a slighltly ‘fresher’ expression of a Ribera del Duero. For my palate, this means less heaviness of oak (though they do use it, of course) and perhaps a slightly more vibrant acidity. There’s nothing heavy about this wine, despite its 14.5% ABV.
Here’s a link to their site - the winery and its restaurant are highly reccommended!
I would also add that their 2015 ‘Malabrigo’ was even better - but pricier:
Pear and almond nose, quite rounded and fat for a sylvaner, but the characteristic high acidity and bitter finish of the grape, and a little peppery spritz. Excellent with the fish. I do like these Bas-Rhin wines.
…with guinea fowl and lentils a bottle of Natte Valleij Darling Cinsault 2017. I was hoping it would stand comparison with the wonderful Simonsberg-Paarl Cinsault 2016 from the same producer broached in December. I wasn’t disappointed.
Pale to medium colour. Fab nose of violets and ironstone to begin. With air, black cherry and wild strawberry fruit appeared with underlying soil and spice notes adding further interest. It certainly repaid repeated swirling and sniffing.
Equally complex and nuanced on tasting. Layered cherry and red / black berry fruit with plenty of peppery spice and a fine mineral undertow. Ripe tannins provided grip and fresh acidity balance. An expansive red fruited finish underlined its intrinsic quality. More serious and structured than the savoury and seductive 2016 wine previously tried it provided a thoroughly enjoyable, and thought provoking, experience. £18 very well spent.
Natte Valliej make four different regional Cinsaults in very limited quantities ( 800 bottles of each ) on the evidence of the two tried so far they are not to be missed !
Sometimes enough isn’t enough so a couple of glasses of this delicious Hungarian white were enjoyed too…
…I have little experience of dry(ish) Furmint previously but it’s a lovely wine. Really spicy with fresh acidity cutting through its deliciously rich flavours it was difficult not to drink more. Full of character and personality both this and the 2018 are presently stocked by TWS.
I think some of these old vine swartland cinsaults will be getting a lot more attention in the wine world. From my own experience and the reports of others on here, there are clearly a number of wines which are stunning on qpr and brilliantly made. I see this is a non TWS wine but I am tempted to try and find it locally as it sounds right up my street.
My friend came round for dinner, yesterday evening, bringing with him a 1995 Château de Beaucastel. We had both been on the Society Rhône wine tour, last summer, and had been introduced to the wonderful wines of the Perrins. I decided to cook loin of lamb with pea puree and haloumi fries.
You can imagine my horror when, on opening the bottle, the cork crumbled! This resulted in all manner of attempts at decanting and filtration to get rid of the smallest fragments of cork that I’d ever seen. Thankfully, I managed to get most of it out and it didn’t affect the enjoyment of the wine.
The colour of this twenty-five year old wine was almost auburn. The nose was non-existent on opening, but after decanting, it had a power almost port-like aroma. The flavour was deep, with earthiness, fruits of the forest, and smooth tannins. Phenomenal!
We also had the Society’s Gavi to go with a simple Caprese salad as a starter. Always a reliable bottle!
Historically I always bought wines from Haut-Rhin producers. I now realise that was a mistake. My only foray into the Bas-Rhin so far have been wines from Boeckel, all of which over delivered and exceeded my expectations. It’s a part of the world I need to explore further ( both in bottle and in person ).
Oh, crab and fennel potatoes, I need to give them a go too !