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Weekend drinking thread 9th-11th Sept 2022

From one of my earliest forays into the world of EP and only recently pulled from reserves…

…a Faugeres ‘Les Bastides’ 2011 from Alquier, a 75:25 blend of syrah and grenache.

A deep ruby fading to brick red at the rim. Violets, ripe bramble berry and cherry fruit and sweet baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) with a slight savoury undertow on the fragrant nose. The same again on tasting. as per TWS notes it isn’t that dissimilar to a good Cote-Rotie in style with its ripe but savoury flavours and fresh acid balance. Resolved tannins provide a lovely easy drinking structure and there’s good length of flavour on the candied fruit finish. Hopefully other EP purchases, still in reserves, will be as satisfying as this is !

It was a very good match to my steakhouse dinner too …

…no prizes for presentation or portion control but the British Wagyu beef, from Asda, was deliciously tender and only £6. I doubt the cow had its rump massaged and was given beer to drink before slaughter though.

All the best for the weekend ahead everyone


An EP draw down for me as well this weekend but with nothing like the bottle age.

A 2019 Alain Voge CDR described as a mini Cornas. Full bodied with quite a subdued nose of black fruit. Savoury, herbs and blackcurrent with tannins that are still evident but not overly intrusive. This should only get better and will I hope prove great value.


Alvarinho and South Africa is not an immediate pairing you might think of, but Nederburg have given it a go.

Vasco and The Explorers Alvarinho, Coastal 2021

:disappointed: The first time alvarinho has let me down, albeit all other samples have been Iberian.

A lot of crushed stone, salinity but very little fruit. Loads of acidity and body to taste but then it falls over. It’s like a ‘close but no cigar wine’. At £9.95 maybe I’m being over critical and should just turn my brain off and enjoy.


Not a grape I much like but I thought this one sounded interesting. More subtle and less full on than some but not enough to make me want more then one glass, so the remainder was passed onto my mate and fellow blogger down the road.


This evening, I steamed some turbot fillets with ginger and spring onion, and served with pak choi, shiitake, dried scallops and shrimps, lap cheong (a Chinese sausage), sticky rice, and a chicken broth flavoured with ginger, star anise and tangerine peel (Gosh, that sounds like a lot of ingredients. A lot of them store-cupboard, though…). We drank a wine that we bought in the Iphofen Vinothek on our recent trip - Hans Wirsching Blanc de Blancs Alte Reben, 2021.

Arguably a bit of a misleading name, given that it’s not sparkling, nor from France, nor made from chardonnay. It is, though, an absolutely lovely wine, created for drinking in the First Class cabin of Lufthansa, and a blend of silvaner, riesling and weissburgunder. Bright apple and asian pear fruit are there, together with lemon and lime zest, but it’s all backed up with balanced acidity and a flinty, stony backbone that grips the finish and makes it an excellent, gastronomic wine. Really very nice.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.


@Embee I love this wine and think it’s great value.
I always think of it as northern Rhone Syrah with the spice and garrigue of the south.
First experience was with the ‘04 & ‘06 I picked up some years ago from the showroom. Bought the ‘10, ‘11 & ‘15 EP, after which it seemed to disappear from inclusion. I did pick up some ‘18 from the main list last year though (now under the new domain name of bardi d’alquier)

Only one of the ‘11s remain sadly, but most of the others still await :blush:


Thought this was a TWS wine but apparently not, so probably from Waitrose. Drinking nicely with a milder than expected green curry. I rarely use a recipe which can be rewarding, but recently I have struggled to get the right heat levels in my curries; not sure why. But I digress.

The wine is good. A very faint petrolic hint on the nose and when you first take a mouthful. This quickly vanishes leaving lovely fresh, crisp and firm lemon and lime flavours. Just off dry in a very pleasing way which seems to leave you alarmingly ready for the next mouthful. Long finish. Wish my curry had been a bit hotter.


Although it’s the first time I’ve tried it I can only agree, it’s seriously good value for what’s in the bottle. When looking back, the EP brochure advised it would be ready before the 2010. Reading between the lines I’m guessing you still have some. If so, I’d love to read your thoughts on it ( and the others in due course too ) !


Piemonte travel bulletin.

This morning to Verduno on the northern limit of Barolo region and the small but intriguing Pelaverga Verduno DOC. Verduno is a classic Italian village; resident population about 570 atop a promontory overlooking mainly south facing plots; and the winemaking scene dominated by two distantly-interrelated families; Burlotto and Alessandria. We called in at GC Burlotto aka Massara (the name of the family farmstead), but the other producers who share the same family name are Castello di Verduno, GB Burlotto and Fratelli Alessandria.

Whilst Pelaverga doesn’t actually come from Verduno; its origins are further west in Colline Saluzzesi, where it’s known as Pelaverga grosso, time has evolved the Pelaverga in Verduno to a distinct clone, Pelaverga piccolo; said to be more intense and fuller - bodied. (JRWG does have it that they are different varieties though this was energetically disputed by those we visited)

TWS has recently stocked wines from both of the Burlottos, who also produce Langhe nebbiolo and Barolo; remember Verduno is located within Barolo DOCG limits albeit at its northern extreme.

The 2021 is currently on offer; and I understand will be shown to TWS buyer(s) in a few weeks. All I can say is that it’s fantastic ! A light-medium bodied red with buckets of floral rose petal and strawberry aromas, then that punch of cherry and raspberry and above all, at the finish spicy white pepper. I do hope TWS buys it - oh and along with their monopole vineyard 2018 Massara Barolo (which I preferred to the 2 x more expensive Monvigliero)

Pics of…

Group photo with Burlotto family
posing by the winery
Their Pelaverga vines; due for harvest in about 10 days
Verduno village

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2015 Chablis Sechet VV, Domaine Samuel Billaud. Lovely wine but now quite mellow and the acidity one normally expects with Chablis has diminished. Very good nonetheless. I think drink up


Fantastic photos
This is on my list of wine travels

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Eventually made it on my Wales via Yorkshire trip. Mum roast some pork and we drank a bottle of 2011 Donnhoff Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett picked up from Penistone Cellars.

Beautiful golden colour. Slightly petrol on the nose with peaches and cream. Slightly sweet and very apple juice flavours with the peaches and cream. I need to drink more Riesling!

Tonight will involve the best the Welsh coastline has to offer, champagne and white rhone.


Nice one.

Is that Cardiganshire?

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Much further north. Ynys Môn/Anglesey.



Big fan of the Welsh coastline am I - personally, I’d say every bit as good as anywhere in the UK, but mostly, Pembrokeshire & The Mumbles aside, generally less well-known and therefore beautifully quieter :~}



I grew up on Anglesey, so slightly biased towards that (especially the North Coast where you have interesting industrial archeology as well as the lovely natural scenery!) but there’s some lovely bits all the way round. The bits you mention are pretty special and I love the Gower too.


A Friday night “en famille” provided this group of wines. The Muscadet (a trial bottle for us of this version) went very well with a prawn cocktail whilst the Ribeiro was superb with a fish pie. We had enjoyed this wine on our recent trip to Galicia and it was nice to find it available here too. The claret was a good match with the cheeses. The chocolate dessert was unaccompanied.


Ah now you’re talking! One of the best rock climbs I have ever led is up there; A Dream of White Horses at Gogarth in the north west of Anglesea. A stunning route that traverses as much as it ascends and in a situation that seems utterly improbable for it’s only moderately hard grade:

Note: this picture is pinched from the web as my piccies are pre digital!

Slightly more on topic I’ve just been enjoying a couple of glasses of Château Bel Air Perponcher Réserve, Bordeaux Rosé 2021 in my garden on an unusually lovely September afternoon:

To be honest I wasn’t being too intellectual about it, however it was just wonderful to relax with a lovely glass of refreshing wine in the late autumn sunshine; making me think about how lucky I am to have a lovely garden in such a fantastic part of the country.


Fantastic garden - I’m envious. How do you possibly manage to grow hosta, bearded iris and meconopsis together? the slugs would have killed mine long ago.

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I make a garlic spray that seems to dissuade them. That photo is actually fairly early season and by now the hostas are all looking pretty ragged. But the garlic spray does seem to keep the slugs off:

Though I’ve never had problems with the slugs on the meconopsis or iris. Now the Delphiniums…they really go for them!

I have a LOT of hostas in my garden!