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

Lancashire hot pot for dinner, so opened this that I bought a BBR last week as celebration for a promotion at work.

This was a very very good wine. I decanted it for about 3 hours. When it was first open the tannins were a little harsh but by the time it came to eating the wine had opened right up, the aromas were full of blackcurrant and cassis. There were hints of pencil shavings and spices.
The palate was an explosion of black fruits and the finish was long and smooth. It has the typical characteristics that I love from Saint Julien. A delight of a wine which I may have to buy more of.

I finished a great night off by making this Apple tart tatin.

No wine with this but it was great and tucking into a slice now which is delicious albeit cold!


On the back of a traumatic trip to Twickenham (I am now word perfect in the Marseillais) my son treated me to two very old OZ wines which although (like me) feeling their age were tremendously enjoyable and remarkably fresh 20+ years on!
Also a first dip into Ch Belgrave 2015, an enjoyable work in progress!


One of our wine group walked the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain last year, and was inspired to run a tasting of wines from across the area, with corresponding food.

Nothing duff, apart from number 10, Fuentes del Silencio, which was badly corked (TCA).

Pick of the whites for me was probably number 1, the Txomin Etxaniz, which was, I think, everyone’s first experience of the Hondarribi grape. Zesty and light in body, and a slight prickle in the mouth, it seems to fill very much the same space as muscadet, and would do a similarly great job with shellfish. Number 5, Pazo de Villarei is a wine I’m familiar with, and was reliable as ever, delivering the dry fruity albariño hit that you’d want.

Number 6, Pardevalles Prieto Picudo, was in many ways the standout of the night. Dark rosé, and a mixture of wild strawberries, rose petals and tannic grip. Impossible to pin down, great with food, and best having slightly warmed up. Number 7 was also very good - dark in colour, no bricking at all to bely its 9 years, and all smooth damsons and plums - there’s oak too, but well integrated and put together. And I very much enjoyed number 11, Camino de los Arrieros, with tar, thyme, cherries backing up quite a light body - very easy to drink.

A great evening among friends.


That Txomin Etxaniz is one of my perennial favourites - wonderful stuff, and more enjoyable to my tastes than the similar Txakoli the WS were offering a while back [the Astobiza]. Both made from Hondarrabi but the Txomin is in a different league for me, I must say.

Lovely theme for a wine tasting btw!


Love the theme of the tasting! Ta on the tip re: Pardevalles. I like the grape as it gives decent acidity and lightness even in hot areas. I also tend to favour red to dark fruits so it’s on my radar. There’s one in Spanish Wines that retails under a tenner and does the job (Pincerna).


The attraction of Getarian Txakoli is so strong for us down near Pau, that it’s an occasional treat to drive round to San Sebastien - or Getaria itself - for the day to pick up some as you’re right it’s excellent with seafood, particularly the Basque method of cooking white fish (ie with lots of butter !)

However the “variety” of Hondaribbi Zuri" isn’t straightforward. The word essentially refers to “the grapes that we use to make the (white) Txakoli” and could be any of three varieties. The main one is actually Courbu which is quite widely grown in Gascony over the border, and surpsingly another of the varieties included is Noah, actually a hybrid with riparia and labrusca DNA. The other is Crouchen which I’ve never seen in a Gascoigne blend let alone as a varietal wine.


Pleased to say we are enjoying an apero in the sun here just now in the environs of Montanchez, Spain. However this Portuguese Rose’ , bought while we were in the Herdade de Mata area, suits the moment , sunny, light,

soft red fruits , not complex but it will do nicely sur soir. I am stuffing some large mushrooms tonight with a fridge bottom melange of some white truffle sauce, Creme Frais, Stilton cheese, breadcrumbs , some crushes chickpeas seasoned with parmigiano, shaved black truffle and crushed sage. We’ll jump to the ‘Signature’ red from the same winery for that I think and bid you an enjoyable evening.


Not often I pour wine down the sink but both I and my Sunday night fellow taster agreed on this one. Very poor, thin, no length or development, unpleasant hard finish. Even worse than the ordinary red equivalent tried recently.


Wow! I’m really surprised this was so bad it had to go down the sink :open_mouth:

I drank a bottle (of the 2020) only a couple months ago, and though by no means a wine to write poetry about - it was very enjoyable with some nice notes of camomile, exotic fruit leesy savouriness and citrus pith on the finish.

I wonder if it’s a matter of differing tastes, or whether there is some bottle variation? Or perhaps bad storage at the supermarket, even (I assume yours was from Tesco too?).

I’m really curious to try another bottle and see for myself… my experience was completely different!


On our penultimate dinner where we had springbok came this.


Yes, from Tesco. Geoff, tasting blind, thought it was New World, not Rhone, which suggests they hadn’t met their aim. For me, just a poor wine with a hard finish that I found unpleasant.


Third weekend of practice with the new Kamado grill. Cote de Veau turned out well, getting to grips with the reverse sear and heat control. Duck fat roast potatoes worked as well!.

Elvio Cogno 2010 Barolo for our Sunday lunch. Had 90 mins in the decanter but wanted twice that. Today this bottle was all about the black tea. There was wild strawberry as well, and maybe some tar on the finish, but seriously it was more tea than wine! Such an interesting drop. Oh, and super dry on the finish!


@MattHo - OMG, pleased to hear your mum’s OK after her horrifying accident. Her attitude to life and what it brings is so typical of her generation too, as tough as nails despite the frailties of age.

More mundanely, a rare venture into the world of Chateauneuf-du-Pape here tonight. Bought off the back of a micro sample from one of the showroom’s enomatics a few years back…

a Piedlong 2012. 90% grenache from the eponymous vineyard, 10% mourvedre from Pignan.

Fully mature colour-wise if the browning rim is an indicator. Spicy plum, fig and berry fruits with a savoury undertow on the complex nose is reminiscent of a booze soaked fruitcake. Similar notes on the medium to full bodied palate with good acidity to lift the softly ripe dark fruit, tobacco and cedar flavours. Fine tannins provide grip and structure to the mature fruit and there’s good length of flavour on the complex finish to end. For my money ( £30 ), a complete and satisfying vinous experience !

It was also a very good match to my fillet steak and pickled pepper salad dinner. Creative cookery isn’t my strongest suit so apologies for the obvious, comfort zone, pic !

All the best everyone and I hope the coming week treats you well.


I don’t remember buying this, and I can’t find it in My Wines, but I’m pretty sure it must have come from TWS, who have stocked it on occasion. Link to 2016 vintage


A lovely deep purple, quite muted on the nose at first, and lots of ‘legs’ in the glass. Although the fruit seems to have faded, it remains juicy - cranberry or redcurrant, I think - with plenty of acidity, leading to a very dry finish with some length. I’m sure it will be better with the lasagne that’s just coming out of the oven.


I’ve started on a bit of a treat this evening - a 2011 Hatzidakis Mavrotragano. Enjoyed with some chicken thighs slow-cooked in yoghurt & garlic & Greek goodies, with some flatbreads & humous.

Very very good, with the Ts very much there - tannins, tar, tobacco & thyme; a lot of minerality too, quite leathery, lovely texture, and a nice amount of actually quite sweet red & darker pruney fruit too. Really good. It didn’t take too long to get going either.

Slightly to my surprise, the food worked well with it actually - I thought it may be overwhelmed. Would obviously stand up to much heartier fare too!


A recent purchase from TWS here tonight - J Grivot Bourgogne 2017 (£39 I think) and my first from the producer.

Slightly reductive on the nose which I find quite appealing alongside the pinot fruit. Palate is soft and supple, with dark and savory fruit, light but with nice acidity and a good length finish. Grown up burgundy. One to pair with something simple as not to mask it.

Would be interesting in trying more from them but unfortunately the bank account won’t allow it.


A bit of clearing stuff out of the freezer this evening, as we’ve accumulated a number of bags of chicken wings from recipes requiring jointed chickens. I decided to marinate some of them in buttermilk, then pre-cook in the oven and fry with a spicy coating. I served with polenta potatoes, miso mayonnaise and chilli ketchup.

As for wine - I’m glad you found my comments on 2015 useful, @Embee. And in that vein I did a bit of cellar clearing as well as freezer clearing, and served Bruno Sorg, Pinot Gris, Grand Cru Pfersigberg, 2015.

Less residual sugar than I was expecting, and loads of smoky, peppery spice on the finish. Yes, it’s a grander wine than I normally would serve with the food, but it was really excellent, and drinking beautifully :yum:

Hope everyone has a good week.


Weinert Tonel Único 247 Finca Bizzotto Malbec Luján de Cuyo 2006. Around £23 a couple of years ago?

From the garage… 2006 so needed drinking - a touch of brett (or corked/ TCA?) on the nose. VERY full bodied almost too much so, rich & rounded, dark garnet with a slight fading to the rim, obviously Malbec fruit yet the tannins are long gone. A small glass is enough and I’m hoping the taint will have cleared by tomorrow.


It’s still cold and wet - so still Rhone (and Languedoc) season for me.

Anyone who buys French supermarket cheapies may be familiar with the fairly ubiquitous Mas Olivier Faugères. This ‘Expression’ (bought in an intermarche very close to the village) is a superior cuvée to the standard one, and is very nice actually. It’s got good black fruit and liquorice flavours and has matured nicely since I bought it in 2018.

The St Jo is also decent. It’s a more reserved bottle than the Faugères but has definite character behind its fairly straight-laced initial impressions.


Nasty cold this week, so haven’t really been drinking. Palate and (especially) nose definitely not back to normal yet, but dipped a toe back into wine yesterday with this

Villa Maria Private Bin Riesling 2022, Marlborough

Very consistent young NZ Riesling. Lime, floral and apple aromas with a lick of kerosene. Some mandarin joining the lime on the palate.

Château Tronquoy-Lalande 2013, Saint-Estèphe

An “off” vintage had this discounted by Majestic a few years ago, so picked up a few bottles back then. It’s not going to live for decades, but still in pretty good shape (with the caveat of my still slightly underperforming senses). Cassis and leather aromas with a hint of smoke and graphite. Nice dark fruit in the mouth, tannins and acidity there and in balance. Went down very smoothly.