01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

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


The first topic I started after joining the community earlier this year was about whether or not Kumeu River wines were over-rated. I had just drunk a bottle of the 2015 Coddington and I wasn’t impressed. Perhaps I hadn’t left it to age enough as most people were very positive about the wines.

I’ve got a bottle of the 2012 Hunting Hill which I might drink early next year, but I’m always interested to hear what others think about the Kumeu wines.


We bought one a few years ago. It was so disappointing we haven’t bought one since.


same here.
tried a few across the range, and was not impressed.


Now this is more like it:

Boozy cherries, floral goodies and a little bit of the trademark nebbiolo tar. The jagged edges soften and sweeten with air, although the sharpness of the alcohol just knocks it out of balance a little.

Very nice, although I do feel that £23 is a lot to pay, when I think that Vajra’s 2016 was £17.50 and equally (if not more) lovely.


I like it. I think Verdelho is about the right level of sweetness for me. This is a good 10yo, very soothing and more-ish. I think Waitrose do, or perhaps did, a 15yo Henriques and Henriques Verdelho which was a go to Madeira for a long while.


Interesting. Both the Tas & NZ Chards are regular favourites and offer great value for money. Shame they didn’t float your boat :frowning:


Old Madeira, especially that old, can be quite difficult to drink. The rule of thumb is leave it open a week and then try again, up to a week for each decade in bottle. I could not recommend pouring it away. Have you seen the price wines that old fetch?


Travelling in New Zealand at moment and having got off the inter Island ferry at Picton could not resist the temptation to call in at Saint Clair in Marlborough, about 30 minutes drive from the port. Had a great beetroot and feta a risotto with their Gruner Veltliner

but star of the show was the Barrique 2016 Sauvignon Blanc.

My notes were: Clear and bright. Green, hints of lemon. Clean nose. Medium intensity. Lemons, lemon grass, herbs, flinty. Hints of cream. Clean palate. High acidity. Rich. Creamy, Complex. Herbaceous, lemon, grass, slate. Hints of apricot and grapefruit. Long finish. Delicious wine. Perfect with goats cheese and fish dishes.


Really interesting to hear that feedback on Kumeu River from @JayKay, @ruifilipe & @Drblues.
I’ve only heard positive things before about their wines. I bought a 2011 ‘Estate’ level (£19) which we drank in 2016 and absolutely loved it.
On reflection of Friday night’s showing I certainly don’t think the Hunting Hill is good value for £25.
The acidity just didn’t quite sit right with me (adjusted?) and the abv too high and unbalanced.
I think I’m intrigued enough to buy a bottle of the Maté vineyard to compare though.


Last night we drank this with Spaghetti Bolognese

Rich, full bodied, velvety, luxurious, decadent.
Just right for the weather. Wife approved of this one!


I opened this one, which I had two glasses of yesterday and will finish it today:

I thought is was ok, a bit too much oak / vanilla to my taste but I think the 2009 from the same winery is much better value for money, certainly worth the extra fiver:

This is a stunning wine, exactly how I like it.


It was a total surprise. I was expecting only good things from these bottles. I’d be ready to give them both another go, especially with food. But on the night very very tart indeed.


This was lovely with a veal steak, potato dauphinoise and green beans…

…a 2016 Alto Adige Lagrein from Hofstatter ( a £12.50 showroom bin-end ).

The nose of bramble berries, dark plums and spice wasn’t complex but it had a lovely fragrance and invited tasting. Blackberry and black cherry fruit with a pastille quality on doing so. Lovely balance between ripe fruit, discreet tannins and fresh acidity made it all too drinkable. A touch of astringency on the finish also helped in that respect.

For all I know the grapes for this wine may be grown on the valley floor but its freshness and purity seemed to scream ‘I come from a hillside vineyard’ !


@Herbster I think you need to get your mother a WS membership for Christmas…

…and award yourself a medal - For the selfless (and reckless) sacrifice of ones taste buds in the face of overwhelming odds - La Croix de Herbster. What a hero!


Well, autumn has certainly arrived here, and last night’s dinner reflected it. We had some friends around for a bit of blow-out, for no good reason other than that we found a really nice looking black chicken in Colmar market the other week, and wanted to share it with someone. We cooked pumpkin soup, chicken with morels, and a Black Forest roulade.

The wine line up:

None of these are bone dry, but that rather matched the autumnal theme and food. All were as good as we hoped for. Wine of the night was the Weinbach Altenbourg pinot gris - a beautiful balance and honeyed, nutty, smoky, peppery complexity and length. Rotenberg 2014 from Marcel Deiss was lifted, citrussy and rieslingly with a twist from the pinot gris that’s part of the blend. Rolly Gassmann Cuvée Yves riesling VT 2010 was super-intense lime, grapefruit and lemon. It does what great sweet riesling can do, which is to have such a piercing acidity (and 2010s in general very much tend that way) that it completely overcomes any sugariness to become very drinkable even with savoury dishes. Once past a dodgy cork, the Sylvie Spielmann GC Kanzlerberg gewurztraminer 2006 was not super sweet, and the overt tropical fruits of youth have become transformed into something much more subtle and floral, and intensely peppery.

A really good evening - one of those where you just drink some of your best wines for the hell of it.


You can do way better than that in rias baixas, Mark :slight_smile:

Enjoying Morgan Cuvee Corcelette 2011, Jean Foillard. Oh god this is almost heartbreakingly good in the way that seemingly only M Foillard can do. Elegant, ethereal, complex and incredibly delicious. At peak, and the best bottle of Foillard I’ve had in years.


Lovely St Emilion last night, quite fresh tasting and well balanced. You wouldn’t think it was 9yrs old. 2020 drinking by date is rather conservative of TWS.


A Nals Margreid 2017 Chardonnay ‘Magrè’ this evening, to go with scallops, chorizo and butter beans dish:

Nals Margreid is one of my favourite cooperatives, their site-specific Pinot Bianco ‘Sirmian’ and Pinot Grigio ‘Punggl’ were what sparked my interest in wines from Alto Adige. This Chardonnay is going to become another favourite, I reckon!

Medium gold in the glass, the nose combines notes of pineapple, nectarine, hazelnuts, honey, and a very light whiff of vanilla. Similar notes continue on the palate, with fruit that tastes both pure and well-defined (tangerine, pineapple, peach); the mouthfeel is creamy, the oak very mellow and more of a background note, and there is a really satisfying and slightly saline finish. It could easily last a few more years and develop further.

This should work very nicely with the scallops, I think. Or at least, I hope! :crossed_fingers:


I’ve just understood the origin of Herbster Syndrome. When there isn’t a convenient bottle of Yellow Tail to hand, the choice of what to drink becomes almost overwhelming!


Certainly the 2011s tread a very fine line between “razor like acidity” and being just being tart. I like the style but looking forward to 2012 and 2017 (a good while later). I do like Dog Point which are definitely more generous in style