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

I’ve had a couple of younger bottles of this - I’m not sure it ever had much fruit in the first place. Dry finish sounds about right, a pretty gnarly wine in my experience!

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Very nice fruit. Perfumed bouquet. I still haven’t understood the allure of red Burgundy when NZ pinot noirs are such great value.


The TWS drinking window for that wine starts in 2024…!

I suspect the window for my bottle finished a couple of years ago ! unless one likes brett. The problem is it seems far too rich, without enough balancing acidity or tannin. But I’ll get back to it this evening and see how things are developing.

Last night we opened this delight from a mystery case purchased last month

It was absolutely lovely and neither of us could believe it was 10 years old. Fresh, sherbet lemon flavours that had the depth of age but were still youthful at the same time. Not sure I have described that very well. It didn’t have the whiff of petroleum either, or if so just the merest hint.

We drank it with salmon from Waitrose sealed in one of those sealed oven bags you can ask them to put your fish in. The squeeze of lime wedge that we used as a finishing touch just seemed to make the wine sing even more enthusiastically.


I know it’s only March but this is already a contender for my WOTY.


All kerosene and lime on the nose but the palate bursts with green apple and peach, piercing acidity balanced with gentle sweetness and a full body. Very long. A stunning wine and amazing value for money.

I am very much a beginner when it comes to Riesling but this knocked my socks off!


I have enjoyed several over the years. It was mistaken for Riesling in South Africa and when the mistake was uncovered the system allowed it to be labelled as Cape Riesling, the real Riesling was labelled as Rhine Riesling. The laws were changed so now real Riesling is labelled just Riesling, and Crouchen Blanc (an ugly name) I thought was going to have to be used, but I see the winery are still using Cape Riesling. There’s not much in the Cape, and only one winery - Theuniskraal - is famous for it. See Cape Riesling | Theuniskraal

Some years ago, at a restaurant in Simonstown there were a German couple next to us drinking Theuniskraal’s Cape Riesling I asked the what they thought of the ‘Riesling’. They thought it good.

Also Australia’s Brown Brothers make (or made) a Crouchen - under that name.


Friday went for lunch at Delheim Winery.

2019 Delheim Pinotage (South Africa, Stellenbosch)
We were only going to have a glass each, standard Pinotage for me and Grand Reserve for Mrs M, but not only were we gifted a glass each of Riesling but co-owner Victor Sperling brought over a bottle of Vera Cruz Pinotage which we finished in the evening with a chicken roll.

Report with pix in the South Africa thread here South African Saviour - #841 by peterm

2022 Delheim Riesling Delheim & Hammel Staying Alive (South Africa, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch)

2019 Delheim Pinotage Vera Cruz Estate (South Africa, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch)

Saturday dinner was take-away fish’n’chips which we had with

2021 Delheim Chenin Blanc Wild Ferment (South Africa, Stellenbosch)

I bought a bottle of the 2018 from TWS in 2020, was knocked out by it and most disappointed when I tried to order more that it had sold out. So I made sure to buy it from Delheim while I’m here. But this wasn’t the same - at least it didn’t make the same impression on me. Nice enough, but without that extra something.

Sunday The R44 from Gordons Bay to Hangklip winds around the cliffs sometimes going down to sea level. It’s a lovely drive - for the passenger. But it’s closed for road works Mon-Sat, so Sunday we took the opportunity to drive it and have a coffee at Pringle Bay before driving back. It was a warm sunny day, so we walked along Pringle Bay’s beach.

In the evening we had an aperitif on the balcony while waiting for dinner to cook.

N.V. L’Ormarins Brut Classique (South Africa, Western Cape)
and with Lamb Coconut Curry, new pots and mixed vegetables enjoyed

2019 Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve (South Africa, Stellenbosch)

(l’Ormarins from Checkers, others from their respective wineries)


Yep JR concurs. Good knowledge :clap:

This is from the entry on Crouchen, I’m sure she won’t mind this tiny breach of copyright.

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It was sold as part of a mixed Italian case in Autumn 2020 (ish, ISTR). I think there were a couple of Planeta Etna Rosso and a Vajra Dolcetto d’Alba in there too (?).

That makes sense, thank you - but none of these appear in my past purchases for some reason.

Edit: I’ve now found the mixed case, and can click through to the individual wines.

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Yeah same. It’s a pity, I like a complete record, but I’m guessing the system just isn’t sophisticated enough to record the details of premixed cases as individual wines.


I ploughed through my pictures of our visit to Brown Brothers in 2018 and - lo and behold - as predicted by @peterm and completely forgotten by me… Bottom right of main picture…



Monday lunch before our overnight flight home after 4 enjoyable weeks in the W. Cape provided some great fish dishes at The Codfather in Camps Bay helped down with some Glenwood Chardonnay and this bottle bought at the property earlier in our stay.


Spanish spelling! Cool! I’m definitely in team Newton Johnson now!


Is that Camperstop Alegria @Luccasman? Was going to stop there last year but drifted in a different direction in the MH.

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Apologies, I’m rather late to the party here (a 12 hour flight over the weekend has left me a little shell shocked, now sitting on a sunlounger with a Pina Colada has gifted me a little time :grinning:), but I’d describe my relationship with Cauhapé wines as ‘complicated’, not least because whilst I still buy them (pretty much exclusively EP or mail order these days, the last time I visited was ISTR 2014) I think over the last decade quality has become a bit ‘patchy’, to say the least…

Admittedly any discussion of Jurançon can’t credibly take place - much like Alain Brumont in Madiran - without a large chunk of the discussion being dominated by Henri Ramonteu (his Domaine is an absolute leviathan compared to every other property in the area), I think stylistically he pushed the Appellation through what could be (euphemistically) described as ‘The Parker Years’, and he’s come out the other side - for me - as a producer who achieves concentration, indeed in some of his cuvée I’d say hedonistic levels, but in my opinion this has come at the expense of sophistication (perhaps finesse, or balance, would be a better descriptor?).

To be fair to Msr Ramonteu, I’d say it’s a criticism I could level at a few in Monein, particularly in ‘solar’ vintages. Equally, I suppose, you could level the criticism at those from the east for seeming a bit ‘mean and lean’ in cooler years, but nevertheless, I just don’t think he deserves his position (on merit) on an elevated pedestal any more. He’s good, but others are doing as well or better - and plenty of them. I think the key is those who haven’t given in to the dominance of Petit Manseng, but retained a much better balance in the plantings of other varieties, notably the Courbu family, which add that ‘finesse’ counterpoint to the powerhouse Petit Manseng.

As I say, notwithstanding all these criticism I still have cases and cases of his wine knocking around - so take the criticisms I suppose as intended, in that he’s good, but not perhaps of a standard he used to be - and that whilst he’s a really good introduction to the appellation, it would be nice if, say, TWS stocked some of his competitors (they’re selling a Lapeyre, and his Vitatge Vielh for me is a really good example of a more ‘balanced’ Jurançon Sec). I can but drop hints!

(And I’d add a further footnote that they’re probably overly generous with the Folie de Janvier, as they can’t shift the bloody stuff! It’s a very niche product, ISTR the 2010 first made an appearance on their website in about 2012, and was still there late last year when I placed my last order. I suspect the 2014 may be last of it’s kind, whilst the mother cuvée the Quintessence du Petit Manseng will soldier on for a while…it appears to be a dying style, and is economically unviable).


Can thoroughly recommend it. Walking great, historic castle, even the local wine is ok. Owners are very nice and helpful , pitches we’ll set out and facilities clean and new. Everything you need all in all.

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Thanks @Tannatastic, delighted that you have risen to the occasion. Indeed who would actually purchase a bottle of F-d-J for €150… but I still say bravo to them for making the effort to produce it. Agree they are the main presence in the region, hence my greater preference for the tiny Clos Laplume.

And in mitigation a number of their sec cuvées include Camaralet, Lauzet & Courbu, as well as the mansengs.

Utterly coincidentally I have this very morning taken delivery of a mixed 6, mainly as I wanted to try their new PM amber wine “Mystère Jaune”, and I do like their rosé, and I think the Noblesse cuvée hits the QPR sweet spot, as it were, for me… oh and delivery is free above a certain modest threshold…