Weekend drinking thread [8th-10th April 2022]

Undurraga TH Maule Garnacha-Cariñena-Monastrell 2015 for us:

No idea when this arrived or how much was paid. Think about £15 from TWS.

Anyway, this is a BIG flavoured wine, in a good rather than overpowering or ostentatious way. Does not look or taste 7 years old. Rich and thick. A really dark purple colour. Rather acidic kick keeping everything in check, but lots of blackberries and raspberries (from the garnacha?) plus a healthy dose of liquorice as the air gets to the wine. Very nice indeed. Not much tertiary stuff going on, should probably have kept this for a few more years, or given it a bit more of a decant.

Anyway, I’m a big fan of grenache/garnacha, which can produce a wide variety of wine types. Under-rated grape.


Another BYOB restaurant last night :grinning: This time a small sushi place. Oh, and there’s a full-on sake shop on the bus route. :smiley::smiley:

However I believe that for some strange reason I actively avoid filing away in my brain anything I briefly learn about sake, even though I love the stuff. I asked the very helpful man in the store to recommend two contrasting bottles.

On the right, the fruity little number. Very soft, extremely easy to drink. And actually fruity, like mango and maybe peach. With a very floral nose, the white flower end of things. It reminded me a bit of an Alsace Muscat.

On the left, very dry and full bodied, unfiltered. And it was dry. Harder for me to describe but there was a texture to it and it did not take much imagination to pin it as a rice product.

I’m not sure any of us had a preference. We had both open at the table and they were so different in style we all sort of went back and forth between them. Kept slightly chilled, small pours in small wine glasses.

Unfortunately I have no more detail as to area or type of sake, but maybe I’ll be able to identify the position in the shop next time. :joy:


Update from your Peru correspondent - unforgettable day visiting M-P; we have had 2 nights at the Belmond Lodge adjacent to the entrance. We were also told how the weather fairy must have waved her wand as the weather was unusually good for April.

Now for the important item - dinner at the Belmond…
snifter, of course a Pisco Sour

Starter - tastes and textures of the Andes

at some stage this was opened for the fish course which was Paiche - a freshwater Amazon fish (worth Wikipeading it). We were assured that Peruvian take is sustainable and eco-sensitive.

Main was simple beef fillet, nicely cooked and went with…

A dessert was a pumpkin mousse and we had some Moscato to go with it

If any of you plan to try and get to M-Piccu one day, I would thoroughly recommend the Belmond - a boutique up-market place - expensive, yes, but not stratospheric. The deal was full board and free bar, hence the slightly indulgent dinner. But, hey it’s a once in a lifetime experience.

Back to Cusco today and tomorrow a long drive back to Lima over 5 days, roadblocks permitting


Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc, 2020

Simple supper last night - leek and potato soup, plus some cheese. And sometimes when the simple things click there is real joy to be found.

I wanted a wine to pair with the cheese in particular. This was La Tur (came in a mixed mystery box) and is made from a mix of cow, milk and goat milk. Beautiful cheese, most like a goats cheese, but thicker texture and more pungent.

This was my first try of the Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc. Really superb - very clear, complex nose, rich and round in the mouth. The freshness and slight acidity paired beautifully with the cheese.

My only bottle of this. Drinking very well now, no need to wait. Will definitely keep an eye out for more.


What was the restaurant and sake shop pls? Asking most definitely for myself!

1 Like

Should the society sell sake ….


More of a midweek bottle here this evening – but only on the price front. Pleasure and enjoyment are undeniable!

Matetic Estela Lunar Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley, Chile 2019

I bought this in M&S after glowing reviews from Decanter and Olly Smith; I enjoyed Matetic’s ‘EQ Quarz Chardonnay’ bottling in the past (one of the few Chilean wines that have left an indelible mark), so had a hunch this basic Pinot Noir would be a good ‘un. And so it is! :grinning:

A very Pinot pale cerise hue in the glass, the nose is on the earthier, spicier side of the grape. There is fruit, but first you’re hit with damp leaves, beetroot sort of earthiness and then lovely notes of cherries, pomegranate, wild strawberries and baking spice. Maybe a bit of violets, too?

Lithe on the palate – but not in any way thin or insubstantial - this has lovely notes of ripe cherries, raspberries and red plums, coupled with this lovely savoury, almost umami note. Tingling acidity and supple tannins give it a good structure. Earthy, autumnal and soulful… I will go back for more! :ok_hand:

Happy weekend, all! :clinking_glasses: :slightly_smiling_face:


Spectacular pics in every sense @PHarvey, wow !

This here tonight with a picanha steak and my usual Berni Inn, c.1976, sides…

…a Ridge ‘East Bench’ Zinfandel 2013. From a mixed case of six ( 2x3 ) Ridge Zin based wines bought some years ago. This, unlike the Lytton Springs and Geyserville, is a varietal wine from young vines planted in 2000. I’ve lazily cut and pasted the notes previously posted in Oct 2021 as it hasn’t budged an inch since.

Ripe red berry and cherry fruit, a strong floral quality, peppery spice and something akin to polished wood / leather on the nose. All of which carryover on tasting, sweetly ripe fruit with a subtle savoury depth, beautifully judged acidity to cut the fruit and discreetly ripe tannins to structure, Intense but harmonious, nothing remotely hot or OTT, with good length of spiced berried flavour to finish. Super stuff !

No doubt the creature below would have approved too if the portions were suitably upsized :wink:

…must say, I’m really looking forward to now trying the other wines from the case.


Juicy, tasty, modern Rioja. Very good and great VFM. From Tanner’s EP.


Just back from a week that started with a big party for my sister-in-laws 40th in the Cotswolds which was followed by 4 days in Tenby with some very good friends. It’s been an indulgent week, but it’s our anniversary (11th, nothing major!) so had to open something decent:

Lots of fresh red fruit (raspberry, red cherry) on the nose initially, but it’s developing some more depth and complexity after 20mins in a glass. Might need a decant. Only had a small sip so far but lots of promise here!


Tonight continuing my Pinot Noir exploration.

Midweek was the Domaine Bruno Clair, Marsannay Les Grasses Têtes 2017. Surprisingly new world in terms of perfumed, smooth, sweetish, full bodied: Parker would have been happy, it’s a modern style P.N. and wasn’t ‘Burgundy’. Have to say that I wouldn’t buy again at the price £36,

Tonight Spätburgunder, Marienglas Unterturkheimer Gips 2018 pretty much the opposite of the Marsannay: sharp attack, dark colour yet medium bodied, very classic nose yet hard to love the acidity. Perhaps it’s early days for this wine?. Again I wouldn’t repeat buy at £35 - but I’m enjoying it !

With my version of Beef Carpaccio. A kilo of ribeye in the round, sealed then into a hot oven for 20 mins max. Take out and cool to room temp, slice a serving very thinly - its very rare. Serve on a cold plate with boiled new potato, lemon, very finely diced celery. You can almost feel it doing you good.

The rest of the beef goes into the fridge for rare beef sarnies etc.

Next up - possibly Monday (and now out of stock) Half bottle of Assmannshausen Höllenberg Pinot Noir Grosses Gewächs, Künstler 2018 with octopus! ready cooked tentacles in the freezer section of the local wholesale fishmonger. Not sure how I will prepare these… maybe teriyaki ?


In a similar vein we had a bottle of Izardi 2017 Rioja with dinner last night - wasn’t expecting much, average year, too young etc but it was very enjoyable - restrained oak, nice balance of fruit and tannin and enough complexity to make it interesting. Good vfm.


We have had this over the last couple of days. Another really good white burgundy with a bit of age, bottled with diam.

Toasty and nutty but with plenty of fruit still, peach and pear. I love this style of wine, satisfying and interesting without being over-demanding and requiring me to think too much.

Off to Valencia on Monday, if all goes well. My teenage boys need bribing to temporarily suspend sulking so we need to make sure there is good Wi-Fi and we are going to the valencia v osasuna match.

I doubt there will be any prospect of vineyard visits but there should be plenty of time for sampling. Any recommendations gladly accepted….!

Happy weekend


What a wine. Had this with vegetable Japanese curry. Sweetness perfectly married with just the right amount of acidity. I really don’t know how they manage to make a wine so harmonious. Sheer talent. 8.5%


We treated ourselves to lunch at Auberge Frankenbourg yesterday. Superb food at €50 for 4 courses, which we accompanied with a bottle of Domaine Loew Grand Cru Engelberg Pinot Gris, 2018. Spicy, smoky, peaches and plums, rich and yet in no way overblown. No picture of the bottle, but here’s the main course of veal with lentils and a kind of bacon-y creamy sauce.

Today, we had a very focussed tasting at Louis Sipp in Ribeauvillé, aiming to pick up new vintages of old favourites, and restock on some wines of which we’ve run out. Successful on all counts - dry and concentrated 2019 Hagel riesling; great concentration and structure in the 2013s of GC Osterberg gewurz and GC Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé pinot gris; fruit, acidity, flowers and tannic grip in the Haguenau complantation; and VT levels of sugar and finesse in Gruenspiel gewurz (not surprising, as the plot is usually used for their VT, but it wasn’t made in 2017)

Then, this evening, I cooked garlic-roasted cauliflower cheese, and we drank the following vintage of @Embee’s wine last night - Dirler-Cadé Sylvaner Vieilles Vignes, 2018.

Very good it was too. Mouth-watering acidity, crisp green apples, bitter almonds, and minerality on the finish. Absolutely typical of the house style of elegant and lifted wines, with good tension complementing the ripe fruit of the vintage. It would, indeed, be great to see these wines back on the list.


I’ve just pulled a mixed case containing a couple of bottles of this out of reserves. Now I’m doubly looking forward to it!


I am feeling pretty grotty today.

I also really fancied a glass of wine. A bottle of The Society's White Rioja 2019 to the rescue. It’s one I regularly buy six of because I really like it. It’s light, crisp and floral with a slightly spicy finish. There’s not much I more I can really say about it, but it’s a delightful wine that did exactly what I needed it to. If I could get it plumbed in on tap, I probably would (hopefully the 2020 comes in as soon as they run out of 2019, although I do have another 5 to tide me over). Half a glass and I am ready for bed, but that’s OK to.


The underground train system is outstanding - incredibly modern - bankrupted the city apparently. The local ‘Boris-bikes’ are the way to get around.

As always, the central market is fantastic.

Best thing is to get a local train and visit the small regional towns - suddenly you are plunged into super authentic, Moorish castles & bull-fighting restaurants, rather than tourist fare Paella. I went to Requena, and had a fantastic lunch at this place: https://www.mesondelvino.es/ - drink the Bobal grape vinefied as a Rose…


Is Strawpig’s “vinified as a rose” bot finally active?


Many thanks for the link to the auberge, now bookmarked, it looks like an ideal base, both for food and accommodation, for further exploration of the immediate area,

I’ve been to Selestat before, albeit only briefly, and thoroughly enjoyed the visit. The Humanist Museum / Library was closed for renovation at the time but I see that’s now reopened. There was an an amazing patisserie in town which provided some recompense though. Bergheim, Kaysersberg, St-Hippolyte and Ribeauville are easily reachable by bike too :+1: