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

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.


Half bottle of 2016 Guigal CDR this evening. This is another good bottle, lots of ripe sweet blackberries balanced with a touch of acidity. Three of the seven I have drunk have been really very good and far evolved from the first bottle I broached in Dec last year. Six more in stock thankfully. I have noticed a touch of sweetness creeping in to the last three bottles…no idea if significant but am starting to wonder when these will start declining. Even though is only a CDR is first time I have been able to follow the evolution of a wine…fortunately in fairly short time…fascinating stuff.


A wine that reaffirms one’s faith in TWS…

…the thought process started at ‘what wine goes well with lemon sole and asparagus’. After a Google, TWS website came up suggesting, well, this. But then the demon 'but surely a £7.50 wine isn’t really Saturday night fayre, no? Still…

Quite clearly - and for me indisputably - a worthy Wine Champion. Remarkable concentration for an everyday supermarket price. And still available!



CVNE Reserva Imperial 2017 from Co-op £20 (same price as TWS in July but now o.o.s).

With cauliflower cheese & butcher’s sausages, plus grilled greenhouse tomatoes.

Wine is brimming with primary flavours - yet the tannins are subdued so VERY enjoyable. Plenty of oak, plums, raspberry, roses maybe? quite full bodied. You have to like oak. In my humble opinion, this is how benchmark GOOD Rioja Reserva should be in it’s youth.

I suspect this will be another wine entirely in ten years time - much better certainly - but unlikely to survive on the wine rack.


Well tonight I tried the first of a case of 6 I bought after Taffy-on-Tour extolled the virtues of Clos du Caillou. It was had with what was left of shoulder of lamb that had not been turned into Merguez sausage. Cooked with carrots and lentils with an addition of hedgerow jelly (brambles, elderberry and raspberry).

Food was nice but wine was exquisite. Aromas of brambles, raspberries, cedar, star anise and vanilla. Lovely smooth tannins and good acidity with equivalent flavours and a long finish.

So glad of Taffys recommendation may he be sipping heavenly nectar now. The better half thought it was brilliant and was very pleased to hear we had more than one bottle even when she heard the price.



I was expecting a bit more acidity, a bit drier, to go with slow cooked belly of pork. But diasappointed? Absolutely not! Rounded, depth of flavour, long, peachy and delicious.


This half was opened yesterday (more later and likely tomorrow too) with Roquefort and crackers as a late-night snack …

…a Barsac Chateau Doisy Daene 2011.

The amber gold colour had me guessing whether it was age related or just heavily botrytised. I’m no expert but it’s likely due to a combination of both. Apricot jam, aged marmalade, vanilla and, yes, musky noble rot notes on the nose and lusciously sweet palate. Vibrant acidity provided the cut to balance the richly sweet flavours. A really good match to the powerful, salty, flavours in the cheese too.

On the go now, and with an overly salted duck breast fillet and Puy Lentils earlier…

an Alto Adige Pinot Nero ‘Riserva Mazon’ 2016 from Hofstatter, As you can see from the pic an attractive colour and probably the poorest quality cork I’ve encountered in my wine drinking life. Geez, it was a shocker, how it came out intact, but still in two pieces, I’ll never know. Thankfully, and much to my surprise, the wine within was in good shape.

Savoury red fruits, some damp soil complexity and a floral note on the fragrant nose. Very similar on the medium bodied palate, ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit, a hint of spice and a savoury undertow with light tannins and fresh acidity to balance and structure. Varietally correct and a very pleasant drink. That said, the shocking cork will forever remain in my memory and likely put me off buying anything further from the same producer !


Don’t let it do that, their wines are very good in my limited experience.