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

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!


From Domaine Cauhape via TWS I have so far tried the Chant des Vignes, Geyser, and La Canopee (sorry no accents!) and found them all good value and thoroughly enjoyable. Seems a very classy winery.


Indeed it is, and well worth it to call in to the cellar door if you’re anywhere near Monein any time. But it becomes a riot there on the Portes-Ouvertes weekend in December and we aim to end up there on the Sunday when they crack open their bonkers Folie de Janvier bottles with very generous pours… It’s my second favourite go-to Jurancon producer after Clos Laplume. (@Tannatastic may beg to differ…)


Late lunch to report on today; shortly we will be poling round to the local Bar à Vins to watch Le Grand Rugby Match.

Saturday is always seafood day; and ToH always has 6 oysters from the local market, from Oléron; and usually 6 x Fin Claire no.3’s for about €3.60.

Personally I can take 'em or leave 'em and usually look for what the arrivage has brought and today there were some nice looking rougets (red mullets) which I gleefully bought, brought back, filleted and panéed.

The wine was another raid on the travel souvenir stash and a bitter-sweet bottle as it’s the last one of a 2017 Thrapsathiri from Lyriakis in Crete where we went in Sept 2018. This wine is gorgeous and matched our Jack Spratt different meal preferences equally.

Rich and floral nose; sage, hazelnut, mimosa - and mouthfilling but gently acidic en bouche with melon, lemon, angelica and a touch of secondary honey. This is one of the nicest whites I’ve had this year, (a welcome contrast to yesterday’s somewhat meh albeit interesting limnio ). It’s not far off an assyrtiko but less minerally and more fruity.

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Half of Antonelli Montefalco Rosso. Well, not wowing me much. Muted nose that says “red wine”. A mix of earthy and somewhat generic fruit in the mouth, bit of licorice root. Moderate grainy tannin and acidity. Not much length.


First up, I’m extremely grateful to @robertd for his thoughts on the 2015 Alsace vintage. Secondly, my apologies as I’m going to steal (lock, stock, and barrel) his notes for this as they’re equally applicable…

…an Alsace Riesling ‘Cuvee M’ 2015, Trimbach. The M alluding, to the fact, that the grapes in question came from the GC Mandelberg vineyard.

Otherwise, holds its considerable ABV (14%) easily but lacks the acidic structure for further aging. No complaints though as it’s going down rather easily and was a good match to my sockeye salmon dinner…

…the pretty pasta, needless to say, was not handmade here !

Thanks again for your thoughts Robert as they’re very much appreciated (your scallop dish looked fab BTW):+1:


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I really like red mullet - if very fresh (and sadly not something I see in Yorkshire). Got to admire a chap who prepares them properly!


Thanks for posting @Paul1 - I have a few put away and was thinking about an autumn 23 release from reserves. What do you think? Sounds like it still has legs.

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Drinking this tonight as we are going for a walk about down under next week…nothing like setting the tone.
This was delicious, blackcurrant, hints of eucalyptus…benchmark Coonawarra Cabernet, 2008. Worth the wait.


No need to drink them up, but equally no need to wait. If you bring them home before the next reserves invoice you can drink them at your leisure.

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Harvey Nicks sale? I tried to buy some of these, but didn’t get any. Sounds like I didn’t miss too much!

We had ours last night and thoroughly enjoyed. It was great with pizza, but I’m no expert on this grape / producer.

A couple of glasses of the really good stuff last night as a celebration: Huet Vouvray Constance 1989.

Celebrating as my frail, arthritic 81 year old mum got run over by a 40 ton truck on Friday… and miraculously not only survived, but managed to roll out from underneath. Whisked to the trauma unit of hospital and checked and scanned from head to toe. I got there a couple of hours later to find not a scrape, break or bruise to be seen.

So it felt like a celebration was due, and maybe a bit of recognition to enjoy the good stuff in life while we all can.

And Huet Constance certainly is the good stuff, especially 1989. This was dark amber in the glass. Soft sweet aroma with some apple and ginger. In the mouth, that apple flavour explodes, along with caramel and molasses. It could be too sweet, but it’s not: in spite all that caramel and sugar it’s beautifully balanced. Well evolved now, and while I’m sure it will last for decades I don’t know if it will get better. But I’m also not sure it could get better.

I love a sweet wine. I love Huet Moelleux in particular. And 1989 is about the best vintage for them of the past half century.

All in all, a good reason to celebrate, and a lovely wine to do it with.


Thank god for that! :pray::pray: I hope she is OK emotionally too. Must have been such a shock!

Couldn’t agree more. As we toast in Hebrew - To Life! :clinking_glasses:


It was a genuine ‘I’m about to die’ moment I think. Fortunately there was someone nearby who saw and shouted for the lorry to stop - driver didn’t realise she was underneath.

But she’s very resilient. She’s relieved she’s alive, but annoyed she didn’t make it to the shop she had been heading for. “Bother, now I’m going to have to go another day…”


Indeed. It didn’t have any flaws, it just didn’t have anything memorable about it either, which to me feels like a waste of units.

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I think I mainly get drawn to wines by their nose, so the Montefalco Rosso didn’t do anything for me. It was correct in every sense, so it was ok as something to help swallow pizza with and it wasn’t too heavy or sweet. I had a poor Mencía the other week that I’d rate higher as it had faults but also some memorable bitter chocolate notes that got my interest. I’d ignore both bottlings but more likely to explore Mencía than Montefalco.