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Weekend drinking thread [1st -3rd Feb 2019]



The 2015. Lovely, delicate, sweet and balanced PN. Complex on the nose, very floral. Nothing like other NZ Pinot I have tried.


It’s very delicate and pretty, but slightly disappointing. Perhaps we didn’t give it enough air. All tannin and acid with the fruit very much in the background. It was rather restrained. We’ve now moved on to a bottle of 2016 Renato Ratti Langhe Nebbiolo Ochetti that we found in a shop in Holt. Same grape and just a bit further south - so much more fruit! I’d buy the Ratti again but probably not the Rizzi.


Quiet weekend so far ahead of SuperBowl night tomorrow and then the Community BYOB dinner Monday evening, but couldn’t totally resist, so had a glass or 2 of this with this evenings lasagna

Sweet raspberries meets sour cherries. Touch of spiciness. Long dry smoky dusty finish. A wine for food.


I’ve never noticed this Beaulieu case before, looks really interesting and undoubtedly, being just outside Bordeaux, very good vfm. Especially if the claimed comparison with st julien is sound. Might see if I can order a case for delivery in a couple of months when I get home.


38 cases left…


Order it to reserves and take delivery when back.


Seems a bit of a nebbiolo evening!
A bit of a cop-out on the cooking front as I found a tin of porcini mushroom soup which needed using (bbe June 2017). I tend to think soup and wine is a slightly strange combination but in this case the porcini flavour really worked well with the wine, smoothing and rounding out the tannins. Very good indeed.


Celebrating the rugby with a glass of red (after a couple of beers)

Opened last night, not bad with some air. I bought a few bottles after being really impressed with the first one but none have been quite as good as the first


Thanks for that. I’ll make sure to give it a good long decant then.
Looking forward to it after your positive words. :+1:


Our butcher has been stocking mallards, so I cooked one following this recipe:

And the results:

Had to think a bit about what wine to serve, but decided to go with white and treat ourselves, and went for Albert Boxler Pinot Gris Grand Cru Sommerberg “W” 2010. I always think that one characteristic of a good wine is that it gets better as you go down the bottle. So many wines start out with a bang, but then leave you getting bored, or run out of steam. This one delivered in spades. Quite a lot of sugar, but so well balanced with acidity. Nuts, honey, fruit, definitely some apricot-y botrytis notes, long and spicy on the finish. Appeared sweeter than I remembered (or that I noted, but it was 6 years ago and it may have changed), but actually that can work well with a savoury dish, and did.

Not wine related, but a great illustration of when algorithms go wrong on that recipe page. In what way is “Mexican fish tortillas” the only recipe related to " Wild duck with orange juice and savoy cabbage with smoked bacon"?*

* They both contain Seville oranges


Now I don’t wish to sound presumptuous if I write about this Riesling, but I do like to think it is the one area of wine I do know a bit about.
There has been a lot of hyping up of new world Rieslings in the last few years and I have had some decent ones from Australia and even Chile but all lacked that complexity and finesse you get in decent German Rieslings, the better ones are nearer to the Alsace interpretation.
So when I saw this much heralded McGuigan Shortlist Riesling on offer I was sucked in to give it a go.
My first sip and sniff simply confirmed what the rest of the bottle held in store, this was not Riesling, and if tasted blind I doubt anyone would get it right, it was SB, there was absolutely nothing about it that spoke of Riesling it was quite simply a glass of grapefruit.
With the sea of SB out there why would any winemaker go to the trouble of turning Riesling into SB, I actually checked the McGuigan site to see if they did a Shortlist SB as I thought perhaps the labelling on the bottling lines had got mixed up, but they don’t.
So there you have it a bottle of grapefruit, quite refreshing but no other merit whatsoever, what were they thinking and tasters have gone all ga ga over it ???
Also tasted by my good wife who just said grapefruit, and my friend over the road who is quite a decent judge of wine who also said grapefruit, so I think we nailed it.


And you didn’t even mention the Toon losing to Spurs, an even worse day :joy:


Even though I’m an Aussie, I’m actually not a massive fan of Aussie Riesling (or any Riesling for that matter) but do appreciate and will drink the occasional one.
My tastes are much more Chardonnay, SA Chenin & Rhone whites so take my opinion with a pinch of salt.
Having said all that, I did drink a hell of a lot of Aussie Riesling when home last year (when in Rome)
My 2 standouts were these:
Young - Pewsey Vale 1961 Block 2017
Old - Peter Lehmann Wigan 2004 often stocked by TWS
As for Aussie Riesling’s that you can pick up off a supermarket shelf, I wouldn’t bother with McGuigan. Think Tim Adams or Jim Barry would be a much better bet.
Just my 2c worth.


You are right, I purchased this for three reasons, to give the new world another twirl re Riesling, and the reviews regarding this wine, and the offer price, as you know I have had some good Australian Rieslings but generally they are not to my taste outside those exceptions.
What I think comes out from this bottle is as Richard so often says on his blog Talk the Cork, you often wonder whether you are drinking the same wine as those who give such glowing reviews or is the whole tasting system to a large degree a sham, it happens to often, and we are not talking about personal preferences.
I drank Pewsey Vale Riesling when I was in Australia, but cannot to be honest remember to much, and I think the one you drank is a new cuvee ?
Whilst you are there, I had a Viognier from your old winery last week that was very acceptable, Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier.


We had a very similar experience recently. Our wine group tasted various world rieslings, including Villa Maria. It tasted exactly like … Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc. I guess for a wine like that, it’s more to do with label recognition in the target market, and that’s actually commercially better than being distinctive.


My experience of new world riesling has generally not been that good. By far the worst I have had recently was a Washington state riesling from M&S, quite the worst non-faulty wine I have had for a while. I’ve enjoyed some Aussie examples, although they are often all lime (or lime and kerosene when a bit older). I had a couple of Tasmanian wines with a bit of residual sugar that did a reasonable impression of a Mosel Kabinett.

I do like to try out wines from new places as often as I can, but the best Riesling I have has outside Germany/Alsace/Austria was from Slovakia (Ch. Bela).


I do like some of the better Australian Rieslings, but I wouldn’t usually touch them till they have at least ten years under their belts. Less than that and they are rather simple beasts (which is OK if that’s what you want, but not I, usually).

Interesting comments!


Yeah it is and super impressive as well.

Totally agree. Nice wine and ticks a lot of boxes for a £10 white wine in my book. Your comment on reviews, ratings and awards rings true for this wine. Decanter gave the 2016 95 points with a best in show platinum award. I was very surprised to read this.


There is the potential for a whole thread on when or not Rieslings are ready to drink or not, much of it stems from the fact that so many Rieslings are long lived and by that it is assumed they cannot be broached for years, decades in some cases, that in my experience is simply not true, as I say I could do a piece on this but I think boredom would set in as Riesling is not universally liked so would garner few viewers.


Yes, maybe a separate thread would be the thing. I certainly wouldn’t want to say that they can’t be opened unless they have decades on them, but the classic Australian ones tend to push in the 10+ direction for my taste. Always exceptions of course.

To be honest, I’ve heard similar from Clare Valley vignerons, about a “Rule of Fives”. Immediately on bottling for a winsome youngness(?), 5 years for a balance point of youngness with a bit of maturity appearing, and 10 years for entry into maturity window.

Better leave it there, but I would be delighted to explore the idea further on a separate thread.