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Weekend drinking thread [20th - 22nd November 2020]

Love BT! Was meant to see him at Turnmills but he didn’t make it for some undisclosed reason :slightly_frowning_face: All those stutter samples by hand before apps were around!


Really enjoyed this tonight with my first attempt at slow cooked beef brisket (success!)
Typical characteristics of red plum, blackcurrant and cedar that you might associate with a blend such as this but what really elevated it for me was just how fine and well managed those chalky tannins were on its decent length finish.
Bottle 2 of 3 and plenty of time on its side. Might try and drink my final bottle on its 10th birthday.


Yes, he was a very busy boy

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Had this last night with a spinach lasagna.
Lismore Pinot Noir 2017
Brick red. Crunchy red fruit, some thyme and a bit of forest floor. Sour cherries and plenty of acidity keeps the palate refreshed. I agree with Julia Harding MW that this tastes more mature than I would expect. That said it is drinking beautifully right now. Gorgeous stuff.
Quality: 4/4
Price: 2/3
X factor/ interest: 2/3
Total: 8/10


Unfortunately I had just bought the one bottle, I do have some of the 2013 as well.
I had a 2011 Unus a few weeks ago with 4 more in the cellar. Excellent wine.


Slumming it tonight. My Spanish father-in-law called it vino luchando or something. I’m fairly sure this is a vinicultural by-product just as marmite is a by-product of the beer industry. I apologise in advance for lowering the tone.


isn’t that infanticide?

Two very good South African wines this weekend. Both I’ve not tried before.
Friday night the Iona Sauvignon Blanc 2019. Really fresh and crisp. Excellent purity and very long finish.
Last night The Wolftrap. Excellent value for £7.95. Really spicy blend. Nice rich fruit. The Viognier freshens up the finish. I think it will be good for a couple of years yet. From the excellent Boekenhoutskloof winery.


Thanks @JamesE. I confess that, the poor vintage aside, my suspicion was very much along these lines.

Well, if things continue as they are, MW #100 will come from my house, so that Red Tail merlot I’ve been saving for a special occasion will come in handy :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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I’ve only got myself to blame. Opened this last night after seeing recommendations on this forum. Wow. It’s Muscadet on steroids. In a good way. Lots of fruit. A seam of minerality and salinity that makes it great for food. Definitely on my repurchase list.


Haven’t tried Bride Valley; But I have had some really good Nyetimber NV with some bottle age; and Wiston 2015, which have definitely been better than some of the lower end grandes marques champagnes. English sparkling is different / higher acidity than much champagne, or at least I perceive it as higher, but pound for pound I think it can offer value.

In terms of prizegiving, I’d guess it’s about like-for-like comparisons, and (as always, and something that is never really publicised), who else is entered for any given competition. Easier to get yours a gold medal if none of the best producers/regions are entered in the same race.

But there is also a like for like point. I haven’t tried the prestige cuvees from any English producer, but aren’t the Lassaigne and Selosse wines you mention something like £70 and £200+ per bottle, so not something you can fairly compare to an English NV at £25-30?


Price-wise, yes, there’s no comparison, but note that both french wines I mentioned are NVs.

The Lassagne “Colline Inspiree” is a grower-champagne bottling that starts at around £70, in the UK, with grapes coming from, literally, one plot.

Substance (which also doesn’t declare vintage, since it’s assembled from a Solera with wines going back to 1986) will cost you north of £300, if you can find it (£398 currently, at Hedonism). I remember paying a lot less than that, many years back at the notorious Caves Auge, near St Augustine, in Paris.

Meanwhile, Bride Valley 2017 sells for around £35 and Nyetimber Classic will cost you £37 to £42, depending if you want multi-vintage or single year.

I get your point though. See my comments regarding my conversation with the vineyard manager at Bride Valley. They recognize the challenges of producing wine in the UK, which reflects on the type of flavour profile we are able to obtain here.


Enjoying this weekend’s offerings.

The Guigal CdR is really showing the benefit of an extra year or so ageing. Fell away a bit on day 2 but that was not unexpected. Hardly needs me to say but it is just great value wine.

The Pouilly Fuissé was from a recent TWS mystery case and very happy that it was to! Rather elegant and would appear to be nicely in its drinking window.

Have lined up the Esprit de Tablas to drink whilst catching up on the recent Meet the Winemaker featuring this vineyard. A little worried that I should actually be keeping my grubby mits off it for a few years but oh well…


2018 Marc Bredif Vouvray Classic

Opened with haddock fish cakes and new potatoes, finished off last night with goats cheese stuffed chicken.

Demisec chenin blanc (although you knew that already!). Salty and sweet. Big salty attack followed by honey, a little citrus and a hint of lychee or something tropical.

Lovely stuff!


I’m fed-up with life DC* but there are some plusses. One is being able to attend tastings and master-classes presented by experts in other countries and continents that one otherwise wouldn’t otherwise hear. These past few days I listened to José Vouillamoz (grape vine geneticist and 1/3 of the team that wrote Wine Grapes) in Switzerland talking about Pinot and Chardonnay and explaining DNA comparisons and he was fascinating.

Then Kim Chalmers in Australia talking about Alternative Varieties in Oz. She specialises mainly in Italian varieties in her nursery and winery. Some have taken off, she says Nerello Macalese is very popular in Oz while others are so obscure that her nursery hasn’t had any orders for vines. She also is a founder of and manages Australia’s annual Alternative Varieties show.

Then we had tastings from Luis Canos winery in Rioja conducted by one of their winemakers and Henry of Pelham in Ontario by co-owner Paul Speck.

Friday Dinner 30 minutes earlier ready for the Luis Canos tasting. With our fish we had the white Rioja, one of two wines we got when we paid for the tasting from local independent Flagship Wines.

2019 Bodegas Luis Cañas Rioja Blanco Viñas Viejas (Spain,La Rioja Alavesa, Rioja)
We were told that Rioja wines labelled Viñas Vieja had to come from vineyards more that 35 years old. 90% Viura, 10% Malvasia Riojana (synonym for Alarije). Fermented in 225 & 550L French & Amercan oak barrel, then aged on lees for 5 months.)
This was oaky at first - not overpowering, but distinctly. We has a glass with dinner then settled down with the remainder during the tasting. With time the oaky edge faded and we were really enjoying this fruity dry wine by the end. We kept the red for Sunday.

Saturday With our usual chicken, home made beans and new pots we had a glass of

2019 Henry of Pelham Baco Noir Old Vines (Canada, Ontario VQA)
Paul Speck, speaking from his winery overlooking Lake Ontario and about 15 miles from Niagara Falls, told how his ancestor Henry Smith built the toll house and tavern on the Pelham road and signed his liquor licence application Henry of Pelham. Paul and his two brothers were summoned by their father to plant these Baco vines in the 1980s.

I like Baco Noir, and I think HoP make the very best examples I have tasted. This wine is in the middle of the three HoP Estate Bacos, and very good it is too. I had the top one, Speck Family Reserve 2015 on my birthday at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Toronto in 2017.

The tasting was organised by local independent CellarDoor Wines as a replacement for the tasting of HoP wines they were going to present to Verulam Wine Tasting Club, but that was nixed by Covid. But we wouldn’t have had Paul Speck presenting it. In the cost of the tasting we got, in addition to the Baco, Riesling, a 200ml bottle of HoP Vidal Ice Wine and snacks (goats cheese, charcuteries & crisps) which will be saved for another day. We were going to have our friends over to attend the tasting and help drink the wines, but …

Sunday we’ll have a roast, chicken’s turn to visit the oven this weekend. As aperitif, from TWS, another jolly good fizz
2017 Antech Blanquette de Limoux Réserve Brut (France, Languedoc, Blanquette de Limoux)
and with the roast, saved from Friday’s tasting

2016 Bodegas Luis Cañas Rioja Crianza (Spain, Rioja)
95% Tempranillo 5% Garnacha, from 30 year old vines, aged 12 months in 3 year old 60% French & 40% American oak barrels.

And so ends another weekend…

*During Covid


Can’t really face food yet after last night’s extravaganza. Found a vinous way to ease into the birthday, Saarburger Rausch Forstmeister Geltz Zilliken Spatlese 2004. Slight whiff of kerosene going into ripe tropics. Light as a feather on the tongue, just enough acid to moisten the back of the jaw. Could only be German, had to wear this tee-shirt from @Winingawaytheweekend

German Dog, German Wine


One of my favourite winemakers in Rioja. Very jealous about the zoom event, hope you enjoy the Crianza.


We had a bottle of Vina Zorzal Graciano with a chicken, chorizo and spinach pie last night, my attempt at redeeming myself in the kitchen following Friday’s toad in the hole disappointment (#toadintheholegate perhaps?). It’s a great value wine, we enjoyed it much more than the Garnacha from the same producer which just seemed to be a bit flat the last couple of times we tried it. Definitely one to go on the list of sub-tenner case fillers. Not the best pics, but the pie was a thankfully a success.


At some point not too distant I’m to seer some tuna steaks and make some B&S with the left over shallot and sweet potato mash from last night. There’s some home made Pesto to accompany it with too.
As we are about to re-enter dietary austerity land our treat is the penultimate bottle of Rias Baixas from Pazo Senorans, (2016) where TWS Exhibition wine comes from. This is my wife’s favourite Spainish wine and it really is beautiful just now. When we visited last in 2018, the son of the family encouraged us to keep our purchases for some years( largely failed) and note that their basic wine is TWS Exhibition one year on!
Can’t say if that’s still true but with a little air time it is a lovely mouthful of exotic fruit, floral on the nose and with a good deal of persistence.