Weekend Drinking Thread (10th to 12th March 2023)

I made a bit of virtue out of necessity this evening. I accidentally split some yoghurt that I was making, and ate the curds as fromage blanc, but what to do with the whey? I used it in the sauce for some scallops, which I served with shiitake mushrooms and wakame seaweed, samphire, and a whey butter sauce flavoured with the corals. We drank Rieffel, Riesling Grand Cru Zotzenberg, 2015.

Already really quite mature, with quite a lot of confit notes to the lemon and lime, and a good edge of petrol, without it overpowering. Balanced and long, with the acidity to cut the richness of the sauce, and the guts to match the earthy mushrooms.

This was another wine to confirm my view that 2015 is an Alsace vintage to drink now. I just received TWS’s vintage chart, which rates 2015 as 9, and 2014 as 6. My feeling is that 2015 was so ripe that it was great for the classique wines, but at the higher end it’s ready early, and maybe wants a bit more structure for ageing. 2014, on the other hand, suffered badly from fruit flies, but the better producers coped well, and their wines have more potential in the long run. All my opinion, of course :slight_smile:

Have a good weekend!


This evening ToH made slow-cooked selle d’agneau (rolled saddle of lamb, local Pyrenean producer) which she does simply laying it on a bed of mandolin-sliced potatoes - have to be the Agata variety apparently - and pot roasted in the oven at about 120 for 2 hours. The fat is rendered from the joint and cooks the potatoes. I did stir-fried sprouts, thawed chestnuts from the October forage, and finely diced saucisson, plus a medlar jelly sauce.

Anyway what to have with it dilemma led me to ponder the accumulated travel stash and came up with this Limnio PDO Côtes de Meliton 2017 which is up in the NE of Greece, the “middle finger” peninsula of Thessaly.

We went there in 2019 and Porto Carras is, as far as I know, the only producer which does a 100% Limnio. The variety is said to come from the nearby Isle of Limnos and is also said to be Greece’s most ancient variety.

We never got to taste it at the cellar door, so I wasn’t sure what to expect and thus I decanted and aired it just in case. Note the weird garish metallic sheen to the label.

It was OK with the lamb, medium-bodied bright and lively wine, some tannic background, quite acidic, peppery, raspberry. It reminded me mostly of Blaufrankisch actually.

Oh and the first French-grown strawberries of the season which were surprisingly tasty; no doubt carrying a too-large carbon footprint all the same; surely grown in a heated and artificially-lit greenhouse ?


One of these for me this evening, and - perhaps - for tomorrow evening too; it is very very nice however, and I do rather fear for its survival, I must confess.

A 2015 Bernhard Ott ‘Der Ott’ Grüner Veltliner.

Quite pristine and mineral on first dibs, but it quickly takes off into a delightful floral, aromatic and spicy journey, with a slight hint of kerosene, and a curiously mild but delicious caramelly popcorn backdrop. Lots of green fruit, and plenty of fresh lush tickling acidity to leave a beautiful balanced taste and much licking of chops. Sunnysensational.

I’m certainly very glad I have two more of these beauties to go.


agreed, that is indeed a fantastic wine.

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Château Potensac 2010.

Medium + colour, clear mid red.

Not much nose at first, red cherry with just a touch of cedar.
Soft taste with gentle tannin and acidity, mostly cherry flavour, became finer after 2 hours. ****-


Nit de Nin 2007 Priorat

Absolutely magical, a previous younger (2013) vintage had been my WOTY previously. This a decent purchase for £65 vs the elevated new prices since it has scored 100 points £130+

Aldo Conterno & this share WOTY so far.

Enough about the full price/metric side of things.

On the nose it’s fantastic. I have a bias towards wines that have a good nose. I often rate it higher than the palate. There’s coffee, balsamic, aged but prominent fruit.

On the palate, impeccable fruit, fully integrated, still burgeoning but non primary fruit. The finish is fabulous. The balance magical. Nothing showing an arc of tiredness. All wonderful.

Loving the Spiegelau on it.

I really like priorat, some great discovery off the back of @ricard’s post

This was one of my trigger wines too

It’s only a middling vintage too

Required both the Ah so and filter in the end. Wine in impeccable status



This is really hitting its stride. Absolutely ready to drink now but will evolve over the next 5 years. I have a dozen of the 2016 in reserves - I now have really high expectation of those!


Something new this evening - Voskevaz Karasi Collection Voskehat Vieille Vignes 2017.

I don’t really know anything about this grape - Voskehat - but my goodness, this bottle is one of the best whites I’ve drunk, I think. Certainly in memory. It’s light yet with plenty of delectable fresh fruit, there’s sumptuous interest without any cloying or heaviness, it’s got zip and refreshing acidity alongside, it’s delicious and brilliant. It isn’t really ‘light’ at all (and weighs in at 13.5% according to the bottle, though certainly doesn’t taste like it), with all that going on, but somehow it really floats and delivers. Brilliant.

Wine Origins has it at £50.95/bt, yet WinesofArmenia.store have it in the EU at €28. I had the good fortune to pick this up i Armenia late last year, and I’m sure it was much less than that. At local Armenian pricing, a total bargain. At WOA, worth it; and I’d even pick a few up at fifty quid if I had to.


This post above strikes me as a disguised advert …forgive me if I’m wrong

In case anyone’s interested - we visited Vosekvaz in July 2019, and happy to post some pictures to get a feel of the place. It’s located west of Yerevan and is being lovingly and painstakingly restored by the original pre soviet family owners. Relegated to making bulk wine to turn into brandy during Soviet times, they are now rehabilitating and propagating “lost” varieties like Voskehat and producing a range of excellent wines many fermented in the traditional Karasis (= Qveveri)




A tale of two chardonnays tonight, both much appreciated on the forum I think.

First off TWS Exhibition NZ Chardonnay 2019. Last bottle. I’ve really enjoyed this. Slightly reductive, well integrated oak, appley. Maybe slightly better six months ago, or maybe didn’t pair quite so well with a Chinese takeaway.

Then Leflaive Oncle Vincent 2020 which is a huge step up. Lovely round mouthfeel, stony (dare I say mineral), very long lemon & lime finish. Thought this might be too young but no, drinking beautifully. Bought EP from Berry’s. Look forward to seeing how this develops.

I haven’t been keeping up with the drinking threads but a few other recent highlights:

César Márquez Parajes Mencia, 2019 - not TWS, very good, like a cru beaujolais

Château Sénéjac, Haut-Médoc 2014 - absolute cracker for £12.95 a couple of years back. In fact I can’t believe I paid that for this. Lovely wine.

Domaine Jones Hairy Grenache - enjoyed. Sweet but not flabby like Grenache can sometimes be

Leon Boesch Les Jardins PN 2017 - another cracker. Not from TWS. Like good village burgundy

Exhibition Sauternes 2019. Ooh this is nice now. Seems to have lost a bit of weight since our last bottle a year ago. Not as good as the Ulysse Sauternes which I also have a bottle or two of somewhere (but is based on 2015 vintage IIRC). But very good. Tarte tatin in a bottle

Sorry for downloading three weeks drinking at once!


Yea I jumped on that Senejac offer after having a 2015 and now it’s £19 I think … ridiculous


If you mean mine, no, not at all. It deserves advertising; but you can’t really get it at a sensible price so I’m not sure there’s any retailer advantage here. I have written a note to Freddie Bulmer in case Armenia comes under his remit to encourage TWS to consider something along these lines; TWS has nothing from the country or this grape variety as far as I can see.

I’m not sure how I can prove I just thoroughly enjoyed this (with beetroot risotto and salmon, since you ask) this evening; but I did!


I have to say, the wine sounds amazing and intriguing, @AVI6! :ok_hand:

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Thanks Peter - looks great. I was in Yerevan working with the State Symphony Orchestra, so no time to go visiting, but hope to be there again and will try to get out. Your photographed price list at 13,000AMD would place this at around £28 at current exchange rates - probably double what I thought I paid (but I was dealing in an unfamiliar currency with jet lag, so just waving a card at the machine…) but for the quality about right and well-priced.

I enjoyed the ‘lesser’ wines from the same vineyard in restaurants, but they didn’t leave a a strong impression, either white or red; certainly not as firmly positive this one did.
Annoyingly on reading the small-print for the winesofarmenia store, they will ship to the UK but only ex-tax, so the buyer becomes liable for VAT, import duties, etc… which feels like a liability. I shall take a large suitcase next time I go to Yerevan…

@Inbar - it is (well, was) - it made a great first impression, much like your Rotgipfler did a few years back. Delicious; I hope some enterprising firm starts to import it - and there must be others, the Armenians have been producing wine for some 4,000 years so there are some serious vineyards around…


Apologies … very cynical these days


Yesterday evening this:


Couldn’t resist getting a single bottle to sample. Cork in excellent condition, a bit of funk blew off after 20mins or so. Got better as the evening went on. Delicious with Saint Agur and crackers. Not quite as good (but still good) with Tart Tatin. Best on its own for me, but a very good match to the cheese.

Seriously considering going back for a case given it’s my year, but off to Australia next weekend for a month so trying to save pennies for that expensive country!

Happy weekend all.


Overall I found the variety Areni Noir the most intriguing and enjoyable, but particularly from the mountainous region of Vayots Dzor where it is indigenous. In fact for a while the Armenians claimed that this region had the earliest archeological evidence of winemaking until the Georgians trumped them. But now I understand there’s even more recent evidence placing viticulture even earlier in the Palestine / Israel region.

Anyway for a good example of Areni Noir from this region, in the UK you can get Zorah’s offering via Wine Direct and currently on offer Zorah Karasi Areni Noir 2020 | Armenia | Winedirect.co.uk

I also see that Wine Origins has Voskevat’s entry level Areni Noir for £19… Voskevaz Vintage Areni Noir 2019 | Wine Origins They also stock the very best Areni Noir we tasted when there - Old Bridge’s Grand Reserve, but at an eye-watering price !!


Bernard Gripa St Peray Les Figuiers 2019
Gorgeous light gold; and shows a bit of viscosity on swirling. Very rich nose of stone fruits, also nuts, honey; maybe a touch of oak coming through as well. It has a really lush creamy (rather than oily) texture, strong sense of sweetness without it actually being sweet. Lovely characteristic marsanne bitterness on a lovely finish.


We went to our local wine tasting group last night with the theme being the wines of South West France.

First up admire that pristine sheet of paper. In a rooky error I forgot to take a pen :scream: So here are my morning after thoughts.

  1. disappointing as I had read good things about this fizz on these pages but it left me pining for thenTWS Cava, especially at this price.

  2. Delicious! Dry, lively acidity, citrus fruits aplenty yet still generous in both nose and taste. The alcohol content was not obvious, yet it is incredibly high for a still white. I realise tastes are subjective but it was a complete and lovely surprise. One for my basket.

  3. Slower to impress than number 2, a bit of a sleeping giant. Nose much more subdued and initially not as exciting as the Jurancon. A beautiful golden colour, it developed in the glass, yet my heart had already been stolen. Sorry Pacherenc!

  4. I have tasted this before and enjoyed it with a goats cheese and beetroot salad. On its own in a tasting situation it was ok but nothing special. Light with rather dull flavours.

  5. Intriguing! I had never knowingly tasted a negrette-based wine. Slightly smoky nose within an underlying sweet fruitiness, both of which followed through on tasting. A decent wine and good value.

  6. The best red of the night by a country mile and so it should have been given its price. Hardly fair competition. Approached it with slight trepidation given the tannic nature of youthful Malbec. Nothing to worry about on that score. Fruits and spice and all things nice. Fresh as a daisy and smooth on the finish.

  7. Poor Pichard following on from number 6. Dusty, earthy, muted. Not at all exciting.

  8. Lovely light sweetie to end the evening. Barley sugar flavours but wrapped up in a fresh cooling ice pack.

Have a great weekend all!