Weekend drinking thread (30th September - 2nd October)

Despite trying to be brief, but fat chance as usual here, this may need merging (no rush, if so). This here tonight with a ribeye steak…

…a Tokara ‘Director’s Reserve’ 2010. From Stellenbosch vineyards and a 72:15;10:3 blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot and malbec matured in French oak for 22 months. The first of six pulled from reserves, received via a VCP, and made when Miles Mossop was winemaker.

A deep purple red colour with the merest hint of bricking at the rim. A sweetly ripe and complex nose of blackberries, cassis, tobacco and integrated oak spice. Similar notes on the plush and deeply flavoured palate. Discreetly resolved tannins and beautifully fresh acidity provide fine structure and balance with excellent length of flavour, to end, on the ripe dark berried finish. Despite weighing in at 15% ABV there’s no alcoholic heat whatsoever. Hedonistic stuff and a good for a few years yet, I’d imagine, too. The only minus is the pretentious labelling, Director’s Reserve, hmm, that certainly doesn’t apply here :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Very much looking forward to reading, and seeing, what you’ve all been enjoying wine and food-wise this weekend. Have a good one everyone.


On that note @Embee , and a very wet afternoon we opted for slow cooked beef cheeks in a Shiraz wine based gravy so pulled this off the rack to make friends….

Originally a gift from WA friends visiting, this was a big wine, lots of black fruit, hints of spice, and very wet forest floor.

Delicious despite being a big wine.


Lovely translucent burgundy, some lovely aromas of cherries and strawberries, herbs, some weight from the oak which balances nicely, touch gamey. Acidity is what comes first, which is very juicy, followed by some lovely red berry fruit - sweet and sour cherries, very light. Lush

But, not for the first time, I ruined this quite delicate wine with the strong flavoured food i enjoy … oops.


From last year’s Greek case (I think?!).

I’m afraid I could sum this up in one word ‘meh’. My continuing underwhelmed-ness with the genre continues. Vague smell of Cider (proper stuff like you’d find in Herefordshire, not White Lightning, natch), a sort of middle palate of weedy rosé, and back to a dry (proper) Cider on the finish.

Really not for me. (In mitigation, the rest of the wines were on the whole very good). :smiley:



First of the 2019 Antech Blanquette de Limoux this evening. First withdrawal from reserves where they have slumbered until temps at home fell. Recently back in stock as well. A firm favourite since the 2017 vintage was highlighted by JR. Lemon, green apple and a hint of unsweet melon. TOH less keen so tried with casis which proved a success…much to my relief.


Introducing the fabled

CdR Guigal, 2016

Smooth, fruity, a bit of grip, good but not extraordinary - though one can’t really expect more from a wine produced in such volumes.


Very wet but incredibly cheerful DHL driver just arrived with the Domaine Perdiguier vertical case - he has had an incredibly long day on the road. Will let it slumber for a few weeks - I am a believer in “bottle shock” - possibly just personal thing, but seems sensible given wine is so much about perception (and have plenty of alternatives available).

So pasta with chestnut and sausage tonight (from River Cafe “Green”), Brolio 2019 Chianti sitting in the decanter which I am hoping to enjoy (chianti generally being something I like conceptually, but often find disappointing in practice). Smells amazing- lots of dark fruit / cherry and brooding.

Serol Eclat de Granite 2018 as a wine to go in the pasta sauce / opening act. In part chosen as I have a couple of bottles in and have found it a bit unexceptional- decent enough but not wasted in the cooking. This bottle a bit better, but could be Friday evening after a long week…. strong smell of offal (in a good way), but the taste is a bit of a let down - sharp and lacking in ooomph, but with a long lasting aftertaste (offally/ woody)


Really lovely muscadet, with nice depth of flavour. It’s brilliant VFM as muscadet often is - I think the Wine Society asks £13.50 for this.



Winter drawing in and buckets of rain here today in our idyll; so what could be better than closing the curtains, switching on the lights - careful with that electricity Eugene - and indulging in a lovely rosé … where there’s a will, etc etc.

And this really is rather a lovely one - savoury & balanced, enough fruit to tease, just a wee bit of grip at the back. An invariable discrete lick of the lips followeth. And not overwhelmed by crispy chook with green beans cooked in XO sauce.

I’m gradually working my way through a case of their Les Ribes du Vallat clairette too, and these Juvenal folk certainly seem to know what they’re doing.

However, it’s early to bed this evening in prep for sonshine’s first away match tomorrow morning, in sunny Hertford; so there might - perhaps - be a splash of this left for tomorrow evening too. Perhaps.


Had I forgotten to run the dishwasher? Was I trying to emulate a gastropub of a decade ago? Who knows?

Clams and linguine. Nom.

The https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/fefinanes-albarino-rias-baixas-2020 served with it was perhaps shown in its worst possible light. Too fruity for the clams (and while TWS gives to 2023, I guess it was far better last year). That said we finished the bottle, just not with the food. Soft with apples and stone fruit (maybe lost the citrusy zing it would have had, sleeping under the stairs for a year), apples become slightly bruised in the mouth with a long round finish. Wish I’d drunk this last year. Perils of buying too much wine.


On the wettest evening we’ve had for a good while I find myself drinking the Exhibition NZ SB, possibly not the most suitable choice, though I do have a nice fire going.


On opening there’s a massive hit of gooseberry, nettles, and hay. Drinking it is almost like eating a slightly fizzy lemon. It does seem a bit calmer about half an hour later, or perhaps I’ve just adjusted slightly. Still a slight temptation to screw up my face with each mouthful but it’s more under control. I’m enjoying this in case it wasn’t obvious though I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who has any reservations about NZ SB. Still, the name is pretty clear!


Rioja and Pomerol to go with oriental duck legs, rice and veg.
The Murrieta was still a few years from its drinking window I think. Dark fruit and a lot of liquorice. Acidity was a little bit too high at this stage but still very delicious. Would like to try this next to Ardanza '10 and LRA 904 '10 one day.
Chene Liege didn’t have as much complexity but accessible when young. Silky and plummy. Good VFM for a Pomerol.


A glass of Donhoff dry Riesling to start very nice indeed. I think this is an EP rebuy for the future. Without fault and a lasting finish. I’m sure additional complexity will come with age.

Gratticciaia 2013 next up. It’s drinking window is 2023 and I’d agree with that. It’ll probably be ok for another 5 years but I don’t personally see improvement on the cards. I think it’s only OK for the money. Perhaps I have been ruined by the truly great wines of Quintarelli. An experience that raised my expectations on what joy wine can bring


Decent Loire cabernet franc.

La Chevallerie ‘Gueulebee’, Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil, 2020. Herbal, smoky, ferrous. Quite rich. Think I paid about 8 euros at Boursot in Ardres. A bargain.


A particularly enjoyable wine tonight, I thought:

So savoury - almost seasoned, as you would food - but with a tingle of acidity and some sweet autumn fruit, blackberries perhaps.

I wouldn’t have thought to buy this but for the Community, and it is wonderful. Thank you to those who recommended it. A cracking Syrah. Sadly only 2 more bottles to go.


Considering the week that we had, and the weather outside, this was spot on. Wore it’s 14.5% very well. Limited nose. But lots of fruit and a very smooth finish.


On Friday evening we enjoyed these wines with dinner and some friends. The dry white was lovely with a tuna bean salad whilst the PN was a perfect accompaniment to a wild mushroom risotto (sadly my last bottle). Cheeses plus claret worked really well as did the sweetie with rhubarb crumble and vanilla ice-cream.


Last night, we organised a tasting for our wine group of wines from Domaine Bohn, whom we visited in May.

A really interesting mix of the relatively straightforward (Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Riesling GC Muenchberg 2014, Pinot Noir), more natural but still fairly conventional (Riesling GC Muenchberg 2019, Pinot Gris Schieferberg, Pinot Noir), a lightly oaked Chardonnay, and some orange wines of varying degrees of tannin and colour. That style is new to many of the group, but reflects a growing trend among Alsace producers to experiment with different ways of making wine. I was pleased to find that the three wines that I thought were best value for money were still the ones of which I bought multiple bottles :slight_smile: . L’Indigene is a whole-bunch fermented and macerated sylvaner - lightly orange, bruised apples and orchard floor, and quite light tannins. Grown on blue schist, the pinot gris from the Schieferberg is bone dry and grippy, with a really long, smoky, nutty, peppery finish. And the 2014 riesling from the GC Muenchberg was just great - still very fresh, intensely saline, some petrol, and really long.

A fun evening, and despite being slightly worried that they’d never let us organise another event, everyone enjoyed it :slight_smile: .


The Etna was good but didn’t wow me. A solid ‘B’ but overpriced at £22.
Passopisciaro smashes this into another ballpark.

The St. Peray is a wow wine. Just love it. Picked it up for the sharp price of £20 via L&W. Have a case of 2020’s that I’m very much looking forward to.


Very pale but with lots of depth and detail.