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Weekend drinking thread [24-26th July 2020]

Nightcap with some cheese and it’s still raining…

This bottle might be coming to the end of the drinking plateau…still an impressive finish.


Yes, could have been Majestic. The last Valpolicello Ripasso I had was from TWS, back in March, and that’s what was confusing me. In fact very similar flavours according to my notes.

(Gallipoli Picasso is what my auto-correct prefers this time!)


With a lovely rump steak and girolles (sadly shop-bought, not foraged :smiley:) tonight we had this…

Where to start? If I’m being positive, it is clearly a well made wine, quite polished, highly concentrated, dark colour in the glass, with sweet, dense blackcurrant fruit and a liquorice twist finish. You Parker fans would be in your element.

But therein lies the problem. It owes as much to the Libourne as to the Langhe. It’s good wine, but all the same, I prefer Barolo.

So to expunge the thought that over £600 of my money went on a wine that frankly leaves me cold, we’ve opened a bottle of this…

Which is possibly one of the best values in my cellar (ISTR after the 2010 vintage, Great Western Wine practically giving this away on offer and I commensurately filled my boots.)

A taste of autumn, and red fruits, and garrigue, plenty of acid and tannin. That’s more like it :smiley:


How did you find the Hudelot Noellat? Had their village Chambolle which was amazing before but not the bourgogne.


Château La Tour-Martillac Blanc 2014

Oak still present but integrated in the form of a creamy richness and whiff of toasted coconut. SB & Sem are balanced nicely, all hangs together. Clearly a serious wine, concentrated and long. First of two bottles as part of a mixed case, will wait a couple years for the other. Glad I’ve put in for a case of the 2019s in the main offer.

We enjoyed homemade pea tortelloni (first attempt!) with our wine.

This was all preceded by a negroni of pure beauty and sliced meat selection for aperitivo.


Just decanted a bottle of the 2008 Batailley for drinking later today, judging by the bottle I drank in April it benefits from quite a few hours after decanting.


One of the happy accidents that came out of studying WSET was finding out that I really like Pessac Leognan Blanc. I suppose it shouldn’t have been much of a stretch, given that I really like Loire SB’s, but I suppose I just assumed the Bordelaise would have added a tenner to a product I could happily get elsewhere for less.

I’d committed to giving '19 a miss on EP, but now you have me wavering :smiley:


I too love Pessac-Leognan blanc so definitely requested in the main offer. I think they are so well priced for what they are and generally prefer a heavier Semillion to SB blend . Don’t worry, I’ll have your share of you’re not keen :wink::wink:


Last night is a bit of a haze, after being hosted by good friends we haven’t seen for what seems like eons. Us ladies started with some Gin - this one to be exact:

… which was without a doubt one of the best Gins I’ve had recently. Clean, pure flavours with faint citrus notes and a somewhat alluring touch of cardamom - it was a fantastic aperitif! :+1:

The lady of the house then opened a bottle of Slovakian Furmint, made the ‘natural’ way, which she apparently bought especially for me:

I’m not a great fan of natural wines, and this one started with an overpowering whiff of windfall apples and grass, and there were signs of CO2 in the bottle. With time, though, it actually evolved into something rather special and complex. The sour whiff dissipated to reveal zesty citrus oil, orchard fruit, dill and a really pleasant smokiness. There was a fantastic tingling minerality to it, which is just my thing.

It went a treat with their starter of apple and potato Röstis, and salad with a dill and caraway dressing. For the main, a goat’s cheese and watercress tart, we had the reliably quaffable Thymiopoulos ‘Atma’ Assyrtiko:


The boys were working through quite a lot of home-brew; our friend had just been offered a contract to brew for a local pub, so they were ‘sampling’ some of his latest as well as the husband’s Saison and monstrous ‘Nosferato’s Nighcap’ 10% Porter-like brew from 2 years ago… We left them to it. It’s best this way.


Started on the Northern Italian treats last night while on Facetime to some friends.

The Burlotto Dolcetto d’Alba 2018.

Excellent cherry tunes menthol fun. Less menthol more black pepper and even a touch of christmas spice on the pallet with loads of red fruit to back it all up. Wish I’d grabbed the full 3 bottles.

We had fennel salami left, were still socialising and fancied another glass of something so on autopilot I grabbed the next thing on the rack, a Nerofino Rosso Vigneti delle Dolomiti, Castel Firmian 2016… mistake! Blackberries, blueberries, cedar and smoke (Other half was very much reminded of her grandfathers pipe). This wine is delicious, punches well above its weight but is not for drinking on a warm summers evening! We re-corked it and I’ll try and find a piece of red meat to have it with this evening instead.

Finished the evening with a glass from a Le Grappin Bagnum Rouge instead. I’ve said this plenty of times before. Fruit forward (dangerously!) smashable CdR. We managed to stop at a glass rather than going through the lot (as has been known!).


Hi CBiscuit.
H-N Bourgogne very good indeed. Quite rich but elegant. Does evolve in the glass and opens up after 30 mins or so. One of the best value Bourgognes around. Lots of ripe fruit.


I’ll shortly be making scones for lunch - I had no idea there were so many recipes. Mine is based on the one in Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery with self raising flour and no eggs, my son uses Mary Berry’s which adds baking powder to self raising flour and eggs, my friend uses Paul Hollywood’s recipe which uses strong bread flour and baking powder and eggs and I have also tried a non-knead recipe which uses yoghurt as the fat.

Until recently I thought the only contentious points were how to pronounce the name and whether to include eggs - I’m scon and no.

Dinner tonight will be an uncontentious doddle.

First an aperitif - after English, South African, Saumur and Limoux it’s time to return to Champagne and our favourite

N.V. Lanson Champagne Brut Black Label (France, Champagne)

With roast lamb, roast potatoes and parsnip, steamed cauliflower, carrots and the first French beans from the garden will be

2016 Jim Barry Shiraz The Forger ( South Australia, Clare Valley

Mrs M’s choice, a wine she bought with her lottery winnings (3 numbers, not a fortune)


I’m a scon with eggs person.

Another portion of lamb and broad bean ragu here yesterday. This time with a Langhe Nebbiolo 2016 from Burlotto…

…as you know, that paradoxically pale colour doesn’t really prepare you for what’s to come on the nose or palate. Powerful and fragrant nose, ripe black fruits, mostly berries and currants, dried flowers / pot-pourri, and with a little air, the desired tarry savoury quality that defines the grape.

On tasting, the initial impression is one of ripeness as the intense, medium to full bodied, blackberry and cherry fruit hits the taste buds. Notably fresh acidity and plenty of tannic grip then kick in to balance and structure that ripe sweetness, They also provided some necessary astringency on the medium length spicy cherry finish.

A lovely wine that met all my expectations.


Opened this on Friday:

As part of my continuing decision process for Bordeaux EP. Sadly even more of a case of vinous infanticide than the 2009 Langoa Barton! But it was all I have!

Very nice claret indeed, though obviously still very young so a little unbalanced. Blackcurrant, pencil shavings and oak, in fact it seemed rather more oak to me than the TWS “light oak flavour” note. Tannins still very dry but it was much smoother last night after 24 hours in the eto. As with the Langoa Barton the high price (though in the sense of my budget rather than value for money) and far distant drinking window still counting against it for EP. Last one I plan to try is Ch Ferriere which is closer to my budget and Margaux which seems to be one of my favourite communes! (Though still the same distant drinking window!)


Onto the 2005 version of the Furmint this weekend. Wonderful aroma and a light golden colour. Will need to warm a bit, but first sip is fantastic. No sign of tiredness on first sip. Some nutty salinity, great backbone of acidity. This will be fun to explore over the next 2-3 days.

Also opened a Hungarian Pinot Noir, which is delicate with strawberry fruit and the typical PN tertiary notes developing. Had the 2013 of the same midweek, which was less delicate, but not to its detriment. Slightly on the higher side price-wise for what you can get for your money here (in Hungary).


A Chilean Syrah for lunch with “Beef in beer”

Very pleasant. It felt more refined than a “shouty” Oz Shiraz. Black fruits and spice with a delicate hint of tasty oak. Well balanced smooth tannins and acid. But not such a long aftertaste as anticipated.


A very Socially Distanced supper with very good friends. Almost normal!


We’re having fish tacos this evening, so I had a bottle of 2017 Vouvray ‘Cuvée Silex’ by Bernard Fouquet at the ready… Alas! vetoed by the other half, who really wanted some light red instead. Light red with mildly spiced fish tacos… :thinking: Lightly-chilled South African Cinsault to the rescue! :+1:

‘Seriously Cool’ Cinsault by Waterkloof is one of our house favourites. Both the 2016 and the 2017 were a joy to drink, and this 2018 continues the theme. Lovely pale but bright and vivid ruby in the glass, the nose is wonderfully perfumed and reveals notes of damp soil, cranberries and pomegranate, and an almost autumnal woodsmoke note. On the palate it first hits with redcurrant jelly and cranberry, then evolves into a potting shed sort of earthiness rounded by smokiness. Acidity is bright and tannins are quite chalky and well-balanced. The finish is all mineral-y, savoury and earthy delight. The semi-carbonic, whole bunch maceration certainly highlights the purity of the (red) fruit, and the old vines seem to deliver this fabulous concentration.

How it managed all of this nuance and deliciousness with 11.5% is a mystery. Excellent value for money for £12.99… :heart:

Santé! :clinking_glasses:


I went to a Phelan Segur wine dinner at Claridges sometime around 2010 (we can’t remember exactly when) and had a vertical tasting with matched menu. There were only about 14 guests so they were generous. It was one of those defining ‘wine moments’ that you never forget - although I’ve lost the list of wines we drank - I seem to remember a 1998. :heart: :heart: :heart: