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Weekend drinking thread 6th - 8th May

An interesting wine last night as I work through my recent Chilean purchases.

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/undurraga-th-maule-rarities-garnacha-carinena-monastrell-2018

Feels like a good wine here but still needing a little more age to settle down. The garnacha is a trifle hot to my taste but I would expect this to soften and for the flavours to integrate over time. Not necessarily blaming the wine but I was left with a thumping headache by the end of the evening.

Lazy afternoon today and fancied something a little lighter in alcohol and as uplifting as the weather so naturally reached for a JJ Prüm Spätlese.

Absolutely delightful. Wonderful balance with fresh lime acidity cutting across the natural sweetness. Simply love this wine and now sadly down to a sole bottle.

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  1. Little freebie :grinning:
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Oh how I love JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich wines :heart::heart: Very envious.

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By rights this wine should be dead and buried.

So imagine our surprise to find plenty of acidity and a little black fruit to accompany the leather and cigars. This is by no means a fine wine but it gave us a lot of pleasure.

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Chateau Passedieu 2018 (Cotes de Bourg/Bordeaux) - This is becoming an old favourite for the price. Savoury blueberry and perhaps a touch of cedar? It’s not a fruity Bordeaux, nor is it highly structured - but with a good decant and food it’s very enjoyable (but it does need both!). I’m now on the 3rd evening out of this bottle and it even stands up surprisingly well with tonight’s tomato pasta.

I first had the 2014 at the Hotel du Vin in central Bordeaux. Glad to see the society stock it!

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/chateau-passedieu-cotes-de-bourg-2018

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Last night’s dinner was cod wrapped in bacon, roast asparagus and a brilliant lentil/giant couscous salad with lots of herbs, sumac and lemon - a dish from Persiana where instead of couscous it comes with quinoa, which we didn’t have, and I can’t say I’m sorry, as this was the first good use I’ve found for giant couscous. Food photography not my strong point but you get the idea.

With it we drank the Exhibition Santorini 2020 which was delicious, as I suspect everyone here knows by now.

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We opened a bottle of this earlier today - another 2013 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir; a replacement bottle kindly given us by the WS following the suspect bottle last month. Had with griddled lamb chops, Jersey Royals, chargrilled Fennel & mushrooms.

Certainly much better than the first one, with solid structure & body and some nice blue fruit & sweeter red fruit once it had sat in the decanter for a while, with some nice tannins still there too. Not much [that I could detect at any rate] in the way of mossy autumnal leaves etc that I personally like in a Pinot, and until quite late in the day a kind of slightly sour almost slightly medicinal backdrop was over-dominant [hence the strong advice to decant, I’m sure].

Our first try of a USA Pinot, so we weren’t sure what to expect and have nothing to benchmark it against. And in truth we’re not much versed with decent Pinot of any kind really due to the prices involved. So my judgement is simply glad to have tried it, certainly quite enjoyed it [eventually], but probably not a habit we shall be acquiring.

I have one time some years ago hugely enjoyed a Volnay, blown away and then some by its balanced earthy-mossy-fruity light-but-fulsome perfection - Goodness Gracious Me it was amazing - so I do know I potentially love Pinot; but my more recent experiences with it have generally left me somewhat unmoved. I find I tend to get more of what I’m looking for from an aged Fleurie or Moulin at a relative fraction of the price. I’ve got some 2013 Domaine Henri Boillot Cru Les Caillerets Volnays resting long-term in our wine fridge, bought for a good price at auction last year, and shall settle on them for now. We had the first of them a few months back, and it was certainly very good [though not the best vintage it seems]. Bought as a birth-year anniversary wine, so an annual treat to come.

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Friday night - some massive tuna steaks and stir fried veg and

2018 version.
Bought for £20.
I’m a big fan of Cordier wines. I like the way they straddle the line between richness and concentration while maintaining enough acidity to keep things fresh.

Saturday with a Waitrose curry
https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/costieres-de-nimes-cuvee-excellence-rouge-mas-de-bressades-2019
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Loved this. It needs a bit of air to showcase it’s full potential so think it will reward cellaring.
Super concentrated. A real palate-stainer was this. My tongue was almost black towards the end. Made in a modern style (no Bret here) but not in that juicy voluptuous Aussie style. Still quite serious.
Liquorice and black olive tapenade came to mind. I think there are loads of people on here that would be a fan so if you’ve not tried it, I would recommend a bottle in your next basket.

Sunday Roast Pork
Started with this
https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/domaine-andre-bonhomme-vire-clesse-cuvee-speciale-2017
£100 / 12 IB via EP
Excellent stuff as always. Really in the zone atm.

Then a couple of reds
https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/cotes-du-rhone-les-deux-albions-chateau-de-saint-cosme-2017
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Brilliant wine. Powerful but thought the abv well balanced. Great length. A bargain at the £12.95 price paid.

Very nice too but in that more forward, ripe Aussie style. £20 more than fair for this quality. Think it’s from the Ebenezer sub-zone which is top class.

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I absolutely love venison liver. In fact now I think about it, calves liver perhaps even better (and veal kidneys) … in France as highly regarded as fillet steak. So that’s my midweek supper sorted if I can find an online supplier.

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Another St. Cosme bottle opened here this weekend:

My penultimate bottle (of 9 I think) :sob:

Opened this on Fri evening for a couple of glasses, and then finished off on Saturday. This one had very little of the bretty/barnyard thing that I’ve consistently experienced with this stuff previously (which I don’t mind at all), but still plenty of smooth dark fruit and evolved complexity.

By Saturday, much to my suprise, it had actually got even better. It seemed to have gained further weight and rounded out, the same notes of tar, liquorice and tertiary development, but all somehow more integrated and harmonius. Just delicious.

Such a great wine, and as I’ve said before, my wine bargain of '21. I’ll be sad when the last one has gone, although as per @winechief, I also have a few of the '17 Le Deux Albion’s to go at, so not too disasterous.

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Friday for dinner we had lightly dusted plaice fillet, new potatoes, peas and mixed salad accompanied by Mrs M’s favourite

2020 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Cellar Selection (New Zealand, Marlborough)
But a step up from the usual Private Bin. Wonderful gooseberry, new mown grass and crisp acidity.

Saturday we had our usual chicken, new pots and home made spicy baked beans. I had problems opening

2007 Fort Ross Pinotage Fort Ross Vineyard ( California, Sonoma Coast)
as the cork split. A Butlers’ Friend didn’t help, some of the cork had fixed its self to the glass; the rest of the cork fell into the wine. I poured it through a small mesh strainer which collected most of the cork so only tiny grains were on the wine in a decanter.

I’d bought the wine from the winery in 2012; the owners said they didn’t release their wine until it was aged and was ready to drink, but on tasting I thought it closed and decided to keep it for a couple more years. Then I forgot about it. So was I too late?

No doubt it would have been good drinking a few year ago, but - boy - this was enjoyable. It had the tremendous sweetness of Pinotage berries and a smooth seriousness of aged wine. We drained the decanter.

(Since we were there, the small Fort Ross-Seaview AVA has been created which Fort Ross winery is now in.)

Sunday Our aperitif was

N.V. Gratien & Meyer The Society’s Saumur Brut (France, Saumur)
Lovely soft fizz; I do think Chenin make excellent sparkling wines.

Dinner was roast pork, roast parsnip & potatoes, steamed carrots, broccoli and cauliflower with home-made Bramley apple sauce and

2017 Chateau Musar Hochar Père & Fils (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)
Super, very enjoyable. A blend of Cinsaut, Grenache & Cabernet Sauvignon, this had none of the ‘funkiness’ of Ch Musar, instead it was clean and fruity.

an excellent weekend for wine.

(Villa Maria from Majestic, Fort Ross from the winery, other two from TWS)

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If there’s a branch near to where you live, Waitrose sometimes have pre-packaged venison liver and M&S calves.

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Had this a couple of months back, and I wasn’t that impressed with it. It’s certainly good for the price, given its age, but I couldn’t escape the feeling it was quite rustic and definitely not a top producer.

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Weekday drinking thread 9th - 12th May