Well at the end of a busy day preceded by 0 hours sleep we are pairing Waitrose pizza with a glass of Vacqueyras, Les Templiers, Clos des Cazaux, 2011. Ridiculous but good. The rest will be enjoyed with something a little more sophisticated tomorrow
Realising I had an unused aubergine, and finding red mullet at the fishmonger’s this morning, which I love, I went all unseasonal in an attempt to forget the news elsewhere (I know others may feel differently…) . Red mullet, grilled aubergines and courgettes, and tomato sauce and basil and chilli oils.
Paired with Ernest Burn “Les Tulipes” Muscat 2016. It’s a lovely, light wine from young vines on the GC Goldert. Rose petals, violets, lavender and camomile on the nose, off-dry but very balanced, ripe grapes and passion fruit, mouth filling and long. A textbook example of how to get the equilibrium between fruit, sugar and acidity just right. It somehow manages to combine a very satisfying body with a really airy overall impression.
I hosted a tasting session for some colleagues this evening. Considering how glum I felt most of the day, my mood really perked up - and it was fun to see people appreciating different wines, and enjoying the more mindful approach to wine drinking.
I had a fairly tight budget - and people asked that I featured wines they could easily find, so the three absolute favourites were:
A rather gorgeous Albarino - Waitrose’s own label. It surprised me that quite a few of my colleagues never tried an Albarino before - most people really enjoyed its peachy, zesty and saline notes. It was the favourite white of the evening.
…it’s the 2015 vintage currently listed by TWS. It’s been awhile since a drank a Gunderloch wine but for £29 I had high expectations. I’m pleased to say it didn’t disappoint.
Bruised fruits, kerosene, spice and smoky minerals initially on the nose. It became even more complex and nuanced with air. It’s difficult to describe the aromas really but it certainly grabs one’s attention and repays repeated sniffing.
Similarly complex on tasting. Rich but tangy flavours, lime zest, mixed peel, honey, spice, it put me in mind of mince pie filling at one point. Fresh acidity cuts through those rich flavours beautifully. An oily texture and a chewy, slightly tannic, quality add further interest before the tangy fruit and fresh acidity kick back in again on a long lip smacking finish.
I’m not usually the greatest fan of kerosene aromas but in this instance they didn’t detract from my enjoyment at all, they just felt right !
The Pataille Clos du Roy was just as lovely on the second day. It had thrown a lot more sediment than I was expecting, so the final glass was a little more nutritious than usual, but hakuna matata and all that.
Now that the initial fury has subsided, I’ve decided that there’s no point spending the next five years full of rage and despair, so I’m going to check out of current affairs for the foreseeable future. For a politics junkie like me, following the daily dramas like a soap opera, it won’t be easy - but it’ll be a lot healthier for my brain and therefore for my family too. I’ll find something useful to do with the spare time it’ll free up.
Anyway, I then opened one of these last night:
It’s been 11 months since my first bottle and this, now, is ace. I was in two minds about this back in January, but the nose seems much more fragrant now, with the red fruits and the oak elements melting together into something very inviting. Still a bit hot on the palate but that’s what a winter wine is for, right?
Maybe I opened that first bottle a little too soon for my taste, I don’t know, but this one is delicious and I’ve still got the rest of the case to look forward to
Just poured another glass for an afternoon trashy Christmas film with the clan
Bit of funk at first, but then showing very nicely I don’t tend to decant burgundy, although after this and a few similar experiences I am wondering whether there might be some benefit to a short decant of older bottles…Would certainly be interested to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this!
Tonight - just opened and decanted on of these:
Nose is already fantastic, so hoping for good things!
The 2006 Musar is unlike any other Musar that I have ever had. Could easily be mistaken for a Left Bank Bordeaux and none the worse for it. That’s the beauty of Musar, with each vintage being unique. Look forward to hearing your views but the 2006, along with the 1998 (port like), is one of my favourite vintages from the past thirty years.
Yeah it’s a great wine. Fantastic value for a South African Bordeaux blend. Great integration of the oak and this will be better in a couple of years. Nice smokiness to it. As usual the last glass seems to be the best.
I have tasted so many vintages of Musar going back to the early 1970’s, The style has definitely changed over the years and appears to be more approachable (although by other wines’ standards hardly so) since the mid 90’s. I don’t know why. The appearance of the wine and the bouquet remain unmistakeable and this 2006 was no exception with the burnt rubber and bacon fat, rancid nose producing several strange looks from my visitors before they got to taste the wine. It is similar to an unready Bordeaux or a good vintage but had the appearance of a decent Burgundy too. Enigmatic at its best! A one-off.
The first bottle of 12 with griddled Tuna steaks and some steamed broccoli. No signs of the farmyard on the nose, lovely colour, rich mid palate and perfect finish. Plenty of years to come, I hope I shall be spared to enjoy the rest.