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Weekend Drinking Thread [28 to 30 October 2022]

This strangely mild weather (Lewes bonfire night will not be the same at 12 degrees!) is disorientating to say the least, so a bottle fitting for a pleasant summer evening is perhaps not quite so dumb…?

Weingut Strehn, Shikimiki, Blaufränkisch Brut, Mittleburgenland 2020

Nothing complex or cerebral, but pure pleasure nonetheless. Eton Mess in bottle form, with a twist of spice and gentle herbs too. Creamy texture and nice fizz. It could almost be summer… :grinning:

Dinner is hake Galician style, and although I would usually automatically reach out for the Godello or Albariño - another Spanish bottle was vying for my attention…

Vides Singulares, Con Sentido Albillo Real, Cebreros 2019

I’ve been intrigued by what I’ve been reading about Albillo Real for some time now, and decided to take a punt on one to see what the fuss is all about. The couple who make this wine work with various old and abandoned vines in different parts of Spain. This is from the Gredos mountains region, not far from Madrid. Bottle is sealed with wax (@Drainhole look away now :wink:) which I actually don’t mind.

First glass is ticking the right boxes. I could sum up by saying this seems to be the love child of Muscadet and Viognier, thought this would be rather crude. But it’s a delicate composition (I don’t like the description ‘neutral’), married to a sort of rounded, honeyed viscosity with medium acidity.

The nose has lovely notes of orchard fruit, wet pebbles, a gentle whiff of blossom and - strangely! - a pleasant note of sea breeze. The delicacy of notes continues on the palate, but everything feels perfectly poised and alive. Tangy fresh apples, chamomile and citrus pith are underlined by fresh minerality and a long bitter almond finish. It’s understated but also very much present if that makes sense. I’m impressed! :star_struck:

Looking forward to reading what you’re drinking (and eating!) this weekend :clinking_glasses: :grinning:


Surprise to see a German fizz on International Champagne Day. :smile: :smile: :smile:

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Ha ha! Clearly I’m outside the bubble :grin::+1:


I am with you @Inbar on the weather , English wine has enjoyed a cracking vintage.
Anyway tonight tried this after Toby’s recent email. We didn’t get it down to 15 degrees in case we lost all the fruit flavours, but it’s an enjoyable glass of Chilean Pinot - not exceptional, well made, light finish, soft tannins . Enjoyable and well priced possible case filler on a future order…


Our last day in Alsace, and getting ready to go home. We’ve done a couple of tastings since Mittnacht Frères on Tuesday.

Wednesday, Dirler-Cadé

This was supposed to be a relatively quick visit - I wanted to stock up on classique Riesling and Schimberg Pinot Gris, and taste some of the GC Gewurztraminers. But, as ever when Jean-Pierre Dirler is in charge, it turned into a rather longer session, also involving all of their wonderful Grand Cru rieslings, some in multiple vintages, and some other pinot gris too. Hard to pick a highlight, but the biggest surprise was Pinot Gris, Bux, Vendanges Tardives, 2018. When tried with the 75% cocoa chocolate that Jean-Pierre supplied, it unleashed an amazing barrage of caramelised nuts, honey and marzipan on our unsuspecting palates. Good enough without the chocolate; astonishing with it. Chocolate is clearly not just for red wine.

Thursday, Marcel Deiss

Primarily a visit to collect our order of 2019 En Primeur, but we took advantage to sample some of the vintages in our cellar that we haven’t opened yet, and also try a couple of new wines that Mathieu Deiss is making, having taken over from dad Jean-Michel. A couple of the terroir wines - Rotenberg and Gruenspiel - are now being made as vins de macération, and I’ll admit to being a bit disappointed when I heard, especially for Gruenspiel, which was already unique. But not to worry, as Jean-Michel’s magic has clearly rubbed off on Mathieu. La Colline Rouge and Le Jeu Des Verts as they’re now known are both still excellent, if different. Jeu Des Verts (Gruenspiel), of which more later, has perhaps retained more of a link with its old incarnation, but La Colline Rouge is lovely too - in appearance a white wine, but with the sweetness that Rotenberg often had replaced by a smooth, tannic grip on the finish.

Today’s main meal was a treat of lunch at Auberge Frankenbourg, with matching wines, and a long walk afterwards. Five delicious courses - my highlights were a beef and oyster tartare, and lightly cooked Omble Chevalier with a leek and Vin Jaune sauce. Wines were nicely matched and varied, ranging from a macerated riesling and auxerrois blend, via a fragrant vermentino, an oaked Jura Chardonnay from Domaine Grand, through a 2021 Crozes-Hermitage from Laurent Combier that was all perfumed violets and cherries - I would have taken it for a Cru Beaujolais if tasted blind.

Beef and oyster tartare, or steak and chip?

Omble Chevalier :yum:

And so onto this evening’s meal. Rather more humble food after our lunchtime indulgence - a “steacky” from a butcher in St Hippolyte, with baguette and salad. But I couldn’t resist opening a bottle of the aforementioned Le Jeu Des Verts 2020 from Marcel Deiss.

It’s a field blend of riesling, pinot noir and gewurztraminer, but it’s pointless looking out for the individual varieties. Somewhere between orange and pink, and unfurling a palate of spice, fresh and dried fruit and light tannin, with a lovely acidic balance.

There’s a real changing of the guard going on in Alsace winemaking at the moment, and wines like this show it perfectly. Let’s hope that TWS Alsace list starts to show it soon, because my fear is that it’s getting less diverse rather than more, and that’s a real shame.


I’ve been moving between roles this week, which - as well all know - means in reality you end up doing both rather than half of each. So, on this slightest of slight excuses, a treat for making it to the end of the week…

On the left, bought from the vineyard (didn’t know at the time that we stock the the Pouilly-Fumé: Pouilly-Fumé, Domaine de Riaux 2021 - delicious by the by) a 100% old vine chasselas. Terrific, fresh and round and you’d tell it was a Pouilly as well from the slight smokiness and sweet sherbet mouth feel. The rest will do nicely for tomorrow.

Then on to the main event, the Ca’ la Bionda Amarone (Ca la Bionda. Amarone della Valpolicella Classico – Bat and Bottle), from the excellent 2016 vintage. This one is made in a slightly fresher style (although still bangs in at 16%! Not that it tastes it), with a streak of acidity running through it. Not jammy at all, with great developing fig and raisin notes, as well as a good strong scent of sweet pine varnish at the beginning, this is one for keeping for a long time. Perhaps shouldn’t have drunk my only bottle then… Back to the shop for me then.

Happy Friday everyone.


Jean-Louis Chave’s St Joseph ‘Offerus’ tonight.

Grown up Northern Rhône, lots of savoury tapenade flavours. Very good. Food wine really, though we’re drinking it without; would have gone brilliantly with the beef stroganoff we had three+ hours ago. The wine drinking parent’s dilemma: I don’t want to feed the kids at 9pm but then I am no longer built for two glasses of wine at half past five. :slight_smile:


Final day of a week in sunny Venice. Fantastic lunch with one of the wine highlights of the holiday - and a first on me - Lagrein Rose, Alois Lageder 2021.

A very savoury wine, herbal and blackcurrant(y). Lots of flavour for a rose, and a definite winner.


This made me chuckle :~}

We’ve got round this problem by feeding all three of us together at the same time, usually circa 19:30 or later sometimes. We kind of got into this habit ever since our boy first joined us - he eats what & when we’re eating, and it’s never changed. Seems to suit him - he’s a night-owl like me - and certainly works for us. It did used to sound strange though having a 3-year-old telling folk his favourite food is daddy’s crab linguini and “shell spaghetti” [clams] :rofl:


Another taker for Combier Crozes here, although it’s the Domaine Combier and not the Laurent Combier that @robertd mentioned.

Deep purple red in the glass, quite opaque. Not much on the nose for me, but then I am olfactorily challenged at the best of times. Palate a delight though, with intense red berries and pepper. Long finish.

JL-L has a drink-by date of 2020-2021 for the 2016, but for me there’s plenty of life left in this yet (and TWS suggests 2027).

Good weekend all!


Every word in this sentence is like music to my ears… Sounds wonderful! :clap::sparkling_heart:

Strange. I’m sure I got this from TWS but can’t find it anywhere in my wines.


I wasn’t sure about the longevity implications of a “vin bio” so I thought I should open it and pasta with a prawn and cream sauce seemed to offer a good moment. Very nice too. It’s a sort of detuned lemon and citrus flavour. Predominantly lemon but without any acidity or sharpness, so it’s got the flavour but without any sharp edges at all. Very soft and mellow; easy and pleasing to drink. Not sure how long it would last though I suspect not too long. Anyway I’m very happy with my decision.


“Vin bio” is just “organic wine”, so not necessarily natural winemaking, if that was worrying you. But sounds like it was a good decision to open it anyway - sounds lovely with the food.

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Looks like The Society did sell it. Like you, there are wines I know I purchased from TWS which don’t show in My Wines either. Strange!


Yes, I’ve now found it in a small wonders white case, though it didn’t seem to come up earlier.

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This (https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/gewurztraminer-leon-beyer-2019) was excellent with a curry box from Aktar at home last night.

Thanks to all those who have recommended Aktar. We still have enough to feed plenty - definitely a re-buy when the occasion arises.

Anyone going to the Alsace tasting on Monday?


Thank you for the tasting notes @robertd. I was particularly interested in your visit to Deiss. I always go for their off-dry wines such as Rotenberg and Huebuhl and was planning to order a mixed case from their website this Autumn, but news of this change in direction to a drier style for Rotenberg has given me food for thought!


I had a couple of orders that disappeared from My Wines when we switched to the new website. I spoke with MS and they said there were a few instances of this happening but they couldn’t do anything to fix it. It’s actually quite annoying when you come to drink them.

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Love Red from Broc Cellars, in Berkeley, CA is a North Coast blend that changes every year. The current release in the UK (2019) has a slight oxidative character which is observed by the presence of tiny bubbles against the wall of the glass and in the palate. The wine itself is attractive to the nose and the palate. It’s designed to be drunk young and at 12.5%, is an easy to drink red. There are notes of cherry and red fruits. It’s fruity yet has plenty of body. And it comes in a can.


Previous vintages of this have exceeded expectation here and this continues the trend…

…a Chinon Blanc ‘Chante le Vent’ 2019 from Domaine de la Noblaie.

Tree blossom, green apples, lemon and a whiff of fresh hay on the nose. Similar orchard fruit and citrus flavours on the crisply fresh. bone dry, lees textured palate. Lovely purity and depth of flavour, nothing coarse or bruised, with a lip-smacking mineral fresh finish to end.

One of those rare wines where the component parts are so harmoniously balanced that each elevates the others. Even similarly priced South African chenin (£13), my yardstick for the grape, would struggle to compete,