Weekend Drinking Thread ( 6-8 Jan 2023)

Presumably you’ve seen this @Rafa?

Pricier of course and not 2016 but not much pricier than L&W are asking for client sales of the standard '16 Barbaresco.

A different Barbaresco here over the last couple of nights:

Produttori del Barbaresco 2015.

I’ve had a few bottles of this over the last couple of years and it’s starting to drink very nicely indeed, with pronounced liquorice as well as floral aromas, bright red fruits and prominent tannins, but it’s put on weight and the acid is better balanced to my taste. Will plan to have another later in the year.


I have , thanks !

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Just checked, October 2020

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Mollydooker The Boxer Shiraz, 2019

Last night’s wine was an impulse purchase from Majestic sometime last year. Don’t drink a lot of “unashamedly bold” (producer’s words) style Aussie Shiraz, and being as objective as possible it’s a pretty decent wine, but the style is a bit too in your face for my taste. With apologies for the obvious pun, you feel the punch of its 16% ABV, albeit fairly smooth to drink. A lot of new American oak in this one.

Maybe it would have settled down with a bit more time, and still interesting to try something that’s a bit out of my comfort zone. Liked it enough that we will finish the bottle over the weekend, probably not enough to buy it again.


Opened a bottle of The Society’s Valpolicella Ripasso 2018 last night.

My first one of these and it’s a lovely, easy drinking wine. Full flavoured, round and fruity. No great complexity but excellent VFM.


You’re not wrong there. And they are not even in Barossa, rather than in McClaren Vale where you’d expect a bit more restraint and less intensity. They were by far the highest octane producer we visited in the Vale. Even their tasting room was unusual. It comprised walking around a table - no chairs - and just help yourself to the tasting bottles, and needed to walk into the corner like a naughty boy to use the spittoon !! I couldn’t complete the flight of reds as my palate was hammered into submission before the end. They are about 15 mins from the much more civilised d’Arenberg…

Post script
For my money, of what red McClaren Vale wines Majestic stocks, the Kangarilla Rd Shiraz (they have 2 cuvées) , or D’Arenberg Wild Pixie might be better examples of typicity


Hi all, hope everyone is having a good weekend.

I will have to get back into the books again in a week or two so I better enjoy some wine time between now and then. So tried these two over the last few days.

Koyle Costa Rapel Coastal Pinot Noir 2017

Opened this and immediately an overwhelming smell of struck match/rubber. Reductive wine-making???, no expert so cork back into bottle and returned on day two. And what a difference a day makes. Now all earthy and black fruits to the fore, making for a very pleasing wine. Pinot from Chile is always a gamble but this turned out to be a winner, just be patient.

Next was this absolute beauty from a winemaker who always seems to get it right.

d’Arenberg ‘The Olive Grove’ McLaren Vale Chardonnay 2020

At £11.50 this was a steal (albeit now OOS). Lovely nose of warm bread and honey but comes into its own on the palate. Silky smooth, wonderful flavour and a long inviting acidic finish.
It really comes across as a well made wine with the use of oak absolutely on point. Delicious, and means anything from d’Arenberg I can find goes into my next basket.


Some small tapas at home today with this.

More expressive and punchy than the other En Rama I got from Lustau. Super dry.


A white Rhône lookalike from one of the original Rhône Rangers yesterday:

Le Cigar Blanc, Bonny Doon Vineyards, Central Coast, California 2020

A blend of Grenache Blanc, Vermentino and Clairette – this was thoroughly enjoyed with crab and prawn tartlets. Well-made, well-judged, harmonious and interesting, but most of all so enjoyable to drink! :ok_hand:

The nose got better as it warmed up a bit, revealing ripe pears, pineapple and peach, with herbal notes (fennel fronds, perhaps), camomile, citrus zest and a whiff of sourdough.
Creamy and quite assertive on the palate, the fruit was a mix of pears and exotic fruit with a vibrant citrus pith and a lees-y savouriness. The citrus sourness and freshness saved it from being a bit too rounded and gave it real oomph.

Bought this in Tesco for £16 (I also bought the red version, which is £18) – what can I say? Well done Tesco for stocking a rather iconic wine at a very good price. This will be a repeat purchase without a doubt! :star_struck:

This evening, with shin of beef stew and mash, this warm hug of a wine:

Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon, Simonsberg, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2017

It certainly possesses the three S’s (perhaps 5, if you include Stellenbosch and South Africa) – it is a smooth, suave and svelte sort of wine. Majority of Cab Sauv (90%) with a seasoning of Petit Verdot this is plush and yet minty and lifted on the palate. No sign of age in the glass, the nose entices with vanilla, cassis, baking spices, cedar and incense smoke.

Broad and generous on the palate, there is good structure and poise here, nevertheless. Blackberry jam, cassis and dark cherries are wrapped in dark chocolate, clove and cinnamon, delicate vanilla and smoke and the whole ensemble finishes on a fresh minty note.

There’s definitely a few more years in this charming number yet, but here’s a nagging thought: this is what many oaked reds taste like. I could well imagine thinking this is a good oaked Rioja if I tasted it blind. The aroma sensations, the flavours, the texture… it feels a bit of a template. Not the wine’s fault, of course – more my own, but in any case - there is no doubt this is a pleasurable, comforting sort of winter wine.

Happy weekend one and all! :clinking_glasses:


Beaune Boucherottes 2016 Jadot

As is often the case when a wine is too expensive I have forgotten the price.

This needs more time, both in the bottle and decant time. Pretty dark for a Pinot, the nose is quite muted with a bit of bruised fruit and earthy stuff. The palate was sharp and disjointed initially but with an hour of opening a more reassuring smooth rootiness emerged. I will apply a bit of cheese to it before I go to bed.


Muga needs no intro here, this was very much alive , depth from the barrel time. Delicious.

Enjoyed with a beef stroganoff.


We had venison for Christmas itself, but tonight treated ourselves to a roast goose for Epiphany. Train strikes and my sister’s new puppy meant that there were only four of us including my mum, so I froze the legs and wings. With the goose we drank Marcel Deiss Gruenspiel 2011; with a small Christmas pudding (I’m the only one in the family who really likes it), Dirler-Cadé Bux Pinot Gris Vendanges Tardives, 2018.

Two botrytised wines - one dry and one sweet. The Gruenspiel was an incredible coppery old-gold colour, and followed through with great depth of spice and dried apricot fruit, with quite a tannic grip on the finish. Just what we were looking for with the goose, and quite full of cloves and cinnamon while being dry. The Dirler-Cadé is a lovely, classically styled pinot gris VT with smoke, honey and hazelnuts. But, as when we tasted it in October when it really shines is with 70% cocoa chocolate - quite the surprise for a white wine, but flavours of almonds, marzipan and dried fruit leap out.

Happy Saturday!


Oh, I did this last night with friends. I used 1740s-1760s recipes from manuscripts in Egg Pies, Moss Cakes and Pigeons like Puffins. I strongly recommend this cookery book to dispel notions of what British cuisine used to be like.

Started with pea soup with anchovy dumplings (mace, nutmeg and more anchovies in the peas), then lamb fricassee on toast and a trifle that had a pint and a half of fortified wines. Biscuit base, then custard layer topped up with sherry syllabub (2 parts cream to 1 part sherry, whisked with lemon and sugar).


“This smells like a Pornstar Martini…!”

I bought this because 2017 was considered a cool vintage - and therefore, as I understood it a ‘classic white vintage’.

This is literally the absolute opposite of what I was hoping I bought, it’s more like something you would expect - nay you’d probably pick it blind as such - from New Zealand, say, or certainly New World, but…

But, I really quite like it. I’ve no idea how a riper, newer-profiled wine (with passion fruit, and ripe more tropically fruited SB profile) emerged from a traditional vintage, but I’m going with the flow here. It’s good. Just not the good I was expecting. :grinning:


Bernard Fouquet Cœur de Silex Vouvray 2021

Loads of acidity, perhaps to be expected for a 2021, given the weather that year. It fell just the right side of too much, and did calm down a bit after a little time in the glass. Not overly fruity, but enough coming through along with chalky notes in the finish. Paired with a dish of gnocchi with four cheeses. Quite enjoyable after the bracing first sip.


I think I need a copy of that book!

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Some friends for supper last night so opened a few bottles…

Louis Martin NV champagne first, a gift left over from new year revels. Didn’t know anything about this, but very pleasant, good length. And good with home baked cheese straws.

Next up was Quinta da Fonte Souto Branco, 2019. Main course was some prawns cooked in tomatoes with Pernod. I thought this needed something with a bit of richness and acidity and this wine did a sterling job. Purchased a year ago from TWS this is third bottle I’ve had and has matured nicely. Classy but reasonably priced drinking.

Hadn’t planned a desert wine but we were all having fun and there was a plated of pineapple, mango and kiwi in front of us. So a rustle around in the cellar found Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese 2012.

Slightly worried before opening as there was a bit of mould on top of the cork, a musty smell, and the cork was wet through when removed. But inside the wine was just great. So pure and crisp. Fruity style made it work well with desert. Still felt a young wine, although with the cork clearly beginning to struggle I’m glad it got opened now.


My last Dolcetto was Australian which turned out to be a little disappointing so it’s back to the Dolcetto mothership of Italy for this:

Massolino Dolcetto 2017

Well TWS was positive and I quote the website verbatim, “origin in the famous vineyards of Serralunga. Held in bottle a little longer, this is now drinking perfectly

That was two years ago and I have to say the same holds true today, this is really nice. A mix of fruit and green/dried herbs but the judicious acidity makes this a mouth-watering wine, with every sip inviting another. The mellow tannic element adds a little more interest so all-in-all a :clap:

Have a good week all!


This is really good, great value!


Agreed. I love a good Dolchetto and bought some of these. I went back for more when I later saw them discounted.

Lovely stuff, but they didn’t last long here and I haven’t seen them since - I assume the discount meant they didn’t sell.