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Weekend drinking thread 11-13 January 2019



:+1: @JayKay. I’m also drinking the Ostoros PN this weekend - enjoy!


Opened this as a lunchtime treat… So far a perfect Cab Franc - lovely nose immediately on pouring, quite high acidity, but plenty of fruit and perhaps caramel aromas? Glad I’ve left it until now to open - previous reviews haven’t been too friendly; perhaps needed the extra year or two?

Will see how it develops!


Not worth starting another thread unless there is mucho interest but has anyone seen this…


Not seen it, so thanks for link.


Guigal’s 2010 Cote Rotie is wonderful this evening. It’s really much better than when we tried it a year ago.


Another 2010:

Faintly disappointing - not much complexity.


Sorry to hear. Nothing worse than a disappointing wine evening.


Tonight, a hare stew with this lovely little gem:

We really liked it at the October TWS Bordeaux tasting - and it hasn’t disappointed! We decanted it for a couple of hours, which really smoothed it out. It’s not the most complex of wines, but what it does give - it gives very generously. Lovely nose - a touch of sweet tobacco, jalapeno peppers, sloe/damson notes and something a touch menthol-y. On the palate it was a lovely balanced fare of red fruit (it was difficult to home-in specifically - but red plum and raspberry were the theme), a touch of red pepper, chalky tannins and a lovely acidity which gave it a pleasant (if not very long) finish. A thoroughly enjoyable, quaffable and moreish Bordeaux! We’ve got a couple more, which we’re going to leave for a couple more years, and see what we make of them then.

Happy Saturday! :clinking_glasses::grin:


Had the Valpolicella Valpantena 2017 last night with pasta and a tomato based sauce (lots of black olives) - worked great as a food match which softened the fruit and brought out more body and depth.

Trying to decide what to have with chicken pie tomorrow!


Left this too long. Very easy drinking but the fruit is a little flat.


So enjoyed this Samur-Champigny with a rack of lamb and bubble-and-squeak (utilising an excess of Brussel sprouts mainly) - all very lovely, especially cellar cool - good nose of pencil lead and HB’s. Asked my daughter whether she thought it smelt of a pencil box, to which she raised a quizzical eyebrow - “pencils?”… We need some new descriptors, methinks…


Another 2010:

Gorgeous. Bit more structured and serious than the cherry-pie hedonism of the Cros de la Mûre from the same village. I’d buy a few of the 2011 currently listed if I hadn’t just blown this quarter’s wine budget in the space of 48 hours.


Herb-crusted rack of lamb with pinot noir tonight.

The wine is Alsatian, and pinot noir from Alsace is definitely improving, and increasing in production - whether to do with global warming, a better understanding of how to grow it, or what, I’m not altogether sure. Not a great selection in the UK, though. Christian Barthel is a small producer in Albé, which is off the wine route, and the village is making a bit of speciality of pinot noir, with its slightly cooler mountain climate and schist sub-soil. This 2017 Vielles Vignes is typical of the grape - red fruit nose, a bit vegetal, raspberries and strawberries in the mouth, medium bodied, soft tannins, and very drinkable.


That 2010 was fabulous. I’ve got my eye on the 2011 too and am hoping it’s still available in a couple of months’ time.


To be honest Richard I used to drink Pieropan Soave regularly on my frequent visits to Italy but I never believed the hype about its ageing ability and it was always in restaurants a new or newish vintage served, the few older ones I had were like yours disappointing, the so called evolutionary process seemed to deaden this wine, yet the critics say otherwise ?

By coincidence this article in Drinks Business 2016 is about the rise in quality of Soave and its ageing potential…


The article makes a claim for ageing being a requisite of quality wine, but I would suggest that what is being proposed is more about making money by trying to elevate Soave to something very different to that for which it was conceived ie a fresh white wine for drinking in the sunshine.
The quality can be improved without changing the very nature of the wine.
If you want whites that age there are plenty out there.


Last bottle for a week, no, nothing to do with any “give up for a month and save the planet” fads, a series of blood tests re an “unprovoked event” as it is called in the medical profession when they haven’t got a clue what caused it.

Sweet cherries and some chocolate on the nose, clear ruby colour, cherries chocolate and new leather in the mouth some acidity and tannins still evident though smooth, nice to have a decent red at 13.5% alcohol, went well with shoulder of pork, the acidity was enough to come through, good bottle, the only bottle !


Having this over the weekend. I opened it on Thursday, and was really quite disappointing, uninteresting, dead… Was resigned to having to send it down the sink, but just chucked it in the fridge instead… Made myself check it while making roast chicken this lunchtime and my word it is a different wine, lively with acid to balance the sweetness and just perfect with roast chicken. The moral is that it needs time to come together and is better ever so slightly chilled than at room temperature (that is 19-20 degrees max in our house in the winter).

Now curious to try the 1997 stocked by TWS or the 1968 I just saw at The Sampler.

Just to give an idea of the colour…

We bought the table cloth yesterday, selected by my 4-year-old daughter.


A modest half bottle to go with a cassoulet tonight


Starting the year as I mean to go on - working my way through my long neglected Bordeaux shelf. Today GPL 1986. Originally this was my second favourite GPL of the 80’s after (inevitably) the ‘82.

Still a very deep red with only a hint of orange at the rim. Amazing nose of pencil shavings, vanilla and blackcurrant - with secondary traits of mushroom and beef. Wonderful rich palate with the very dry finish I associate with 86. Incredibly long”legs” and a perfect match with roast lamb.

No hurry to drink it this up - on this showing another decade of life at least.


Tonight we decided to open a white I bought in a winery in Israel, on my most recent visit. The winery is called Hans Sternbach, and it’s nestled in the Jerusalem Hills, in an area called The Valley of Ella. It’s a made of 75% Viognier and 25% Roussane - two varieties I love, especially together!

Sorry for rubbish photos!..

This is a delicate white (12% ABV) with a struck-match nose, hiding very restrained citrus and peach notes, as well as something a little honey-ish. It used only natural yeast, and no oak which makes this wine surprisingly light and fresh, with distinct tangerine and peach notes on the palate, a waxy mouthfeel and a chamomile freshness (even slight bitterness) on the medium to long finish. The texture is really lovely and all the flavours very well balanced.

Having it with chicken in cream and tarragon sauce, and I think the flavours should work nicely together.
Chin chin! :clinking_glasses: