01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

Weekend drinks thread 29th - 31st October 2021

Longish opening required so thought I would kick this off on wettish and definitely cooler day.
Later with steak frites

Last one of 6 🥲


Sausage casserole in the oven and cork pulled on this suitable accompaniment.

This is from the TWS Languedoc case purchased earlier this month.




Lots and lots of intense red fruit. Hint of smoke as well as concentrated red berries. Certainly worth the price, another less well known wine that I’d recommend as a food friendly, big, but balanced red.


I used pizza as an excuse to open this, the majority of which will be sipped slowly in the bath with a film once the little guy is asleep.

This is really singing now. The tannins have eased back, the fruit is sweet and full of cherry loveliness, it’s big and long but the nose is the highlight, triggering memories of Tuscany - big, square churches; olive trees; dust; it just screams of the place. Such a strong urge to head back but I’ll make do with this and my imagination, for now.


And people had a problem with minerality! :joy:


Birthday weekend coming up so champagne to get us started.

Apple, sherbet and pear on the nose. Very crisp. Not much in the way of toasty notes but perfectly delightful.


Happy birthday to you or other family member celebrant. Have a great weekend.:partying_face:


My thanks to whoever it was who recommended this. Combines a little sweetness with some savoury bite, very refreshing.


Opened my second https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/chateau-batailley-pauillac-2003 and it’s every bit as good as the first one was.

I sort of wish I’d bought more but it was already 3 years outside the TWS window so at £44 it was a bit too much of a risk. However it really is gorgeus. Still remarkably fresh on opening with a surprising amount of fruit still present but that did fade quite rapidly leaving lush, smooth tertiary flavours. I might have to drink it a bit quicker than my usual 6 days though; I’m not sure it’s still got the legs to last quite that long! (What a hardship! :rofl: :sunglasses: )

But my oh my the risk was well worth it this is exactly the sort of Bordeaux I adore!

[Sorry about the photo background but it’s all a bit cosy inside my caravan!]


Weekend already ? Yes I think so too. We’ve braved the onslaught of traffic aiming for their weekend break around the shores of Lake Constance on our route from Salzburg to Lyon, breaking here at Stockach. Final camper van cuisine and my turn so it’s left overs time, as we are staying with friends tomorrow in Lyon.

With this rustled-up supper of Polish (hitherto frozen) pannéd lemon sole, parsley potatoes and stock pot sauce, goes this Gemischtersatz from Aldi in Salzburg; @ €4.99 - an impressive array of Austrian wines to tempt me…

Actually Not too bad (which is my standard reaction to Aldi’s wines). But not really the hedonistic barrage of flavours you get from someone like Fritz Wiener…

Tomorrow has the tantalising prospect of driving via Schaffenhausen’s vinoteka to stock up on Swiss pinots…


Bobal bin 001, nice enough without being spectacular. Certainly not intense as TWS describe. Cheers.


We’ve had an excellent week in Alsace, with beautiful autumn weather, cycling, walking, eating, and of course wine tasting.

  • On Monday morning, we visited Paul Ginglinger in Eguisheim. The number of wines for tasting was limited - it seems that they have been stung by people turning up, tasting, and not buying, which is a shame for them. It’s the second time that we’ve been, and they’re all very well made wines. We were most taken by the rieslings, which were dry, long and mineral, and they were what we ended up buying. The GC Pfersigberg “Hertacker” is sometimes stocked by TWS and was great.

  • On Monday afternoon, we drove down to Gueberswihr to visit Ernest Burn. We love the wines there. Nothing is completely dry, but everything is perfectly balanced, and the layers of complexity and flavour just keep coming. Hard to pick a stand out, but the 2018 vintage of pinot gris from the Clos St Imer was wonderful, and typical of the ripeness of the vintage. The 2015 Clos St Imer Vendanges Tardives Pinot Gris was even more so, and one of those wines that completely loses you in the moment. I recall that you said something similar recently, @PHarvey. We never tire of these wines, nor these wine tastings.

  • On Tuesday afternoon, we made our second-ever visit to Domaine Weinbach at Kaysersberg, where Catherine Faller took us through their range in a rather nice panelled parlour (the last time we visited, it was Colette Faller in the kitchen). Again, a bit limited in what could be tasted, but that was because many 2020 wines are waiting to be bottled, and the 2019s are sold out, There were no restrictions on what could be tasted, however, though a charge would have applied if we didn’t spend €100 (never going to be a problem…) What to say about these wines, other than it was another magical tasting where everything was in perfect balance? We started with a new co-fermented blend (Les Vignes du Prêcheur) which is fresh, floral and long - majority riesling, but the 5% muscat really makes its presence felt in the aroma and the finish. It got even better from there, finishing with a VT gewurztraminer from the Mambourg Grand Cru which would easily have passed muster as an SGN. We ended up happily spending far too much money.

  • Yesterday afternoon, we visited Mittnacht-Frères in Hunawihr. A regular for us, and a bit of a re-stocking exercise. Very relaxed and friendly as ever, and the wines as good as ever, too, in the dry and refined house style. They are making an orange wine from gewurztraminer this year.

Everyone seemed to think that after a really difficult summer, the harvest was saved by a dry and sunny end to August, and September. Harvesting didn’t start until the end of September, in contrast to recent years when it’s generally been finished by then, but this just represents a return to what used to be normal. This year, harvesting is only now finishing. I would imagine, though, that it will pay to stick to good growers, as people also stressed that very strict selection has been required all year.

2020s are coming on line, and are very ripe, in the image of 2018 and 2015. 2019s, on the other hand, tend to be lighter and more floral. We rather prefer that style to the exuberance of the fruitier vintages, but obviously that’s just our personal likes. It seems likely that the 2018s and 2020s will drink younger and not have quite the same structure for ageing.

A few pictures:

The view from the Goldert Grand Cru, just below the Clos St Imer

Some botrytis in the Goldert

Weinbach’s Clos des Capucins

For dinner tonight, simple food and lovely wine. The butcher had some maitre d’hôtel faux-filets, which I served with garlic mash, grilled tomato and mushrooms, and romesco cabbage. We drank a bottle of Bruno Sorg Pinot Noir Élevé en Barrique, 2013.

Sadly, this is the last of the two bottles of this that we bought. We drank the other one in early 2018, and it was good then, but not what it’s turned into now, which is a lovely combination of red fruit, savoury forest floor, herbs and smooth tannin. It’s not Burgundy, it’s its own thing. Medium bodied, fragrant, and finished too soon.

Heading home tomorrow, but we plan to be back for Christmas. @Inbar - I hope the weather stays like this for you, and if you have half as good a time as we have when you get here, you’ll be very happy.


Lovely rich cru Beaujolais I will not tempt to describe it in detail save for its ripeness and coating round the mouth


Going for a Pecorino, this evening, to accompany a creamy mushroom and chive Risotto. I’m decanting this to see how this affects it. Happy Friday, everyone!


Happy Birthday, @Andrew20 !


Best wishes and many happy returns @Andrew20 !

This here tonight and whilst my raving scribblings still make some kind of sense…

…f rom vines planted in 2000, a varietal Zinfandel from Ridge. Paired with a sirloin steak, polenta chips, roasted shallots, baby plum tomatoes and mushrooms.

Ripe red berry and cherry fruit, a strong floral quality, peppery spice and something like freshly polished wood / leather on the nose. All of which carryover on tasting, sweetly ripe fruit with a subtle savoury edge, beautifully judged acidity to balance and discreetly ripe tannins to structure. Intense but harmonious, nothing remotely hot or OTT, especially considering it weighs in at 14.9% ABV, with really good length of spicy berried flavour to finish. I couldn’t have wished for a better match with the well seasoned steak as it elevated those flavours even further. Wow !

Time to stick on some music now and contemplate what’s left in the bottle. Have a great weekend everyone.

Edit - @robertd, great to hear you had a thoroughly enjoyable time and many thanks for your thoughts on the recent vintage and your evocative notes and photos :+1:


Happy Birthday…what’s next…

1 Like

A 2016 Langhe Nebbiolo from La Spinetta. Unmistakably Nebbiol. A bit more rustic than Barolos I tried from the same vintage, but cheaper, too. It needs a lot of airtime for a Langhe Nebbiolo, but does reward the wait. Should really pull the trigger on an order from the One Litre Club…


Wonderful posting! I still have some E. Burn 1989 and 1990 Pinots Gris and Gewurtz Clos St. Imer “La Chapelle” from visits more years ago than I care to count


Wonderful! The 1989s should be especially good.

Friday dinner was cottage pie with a lovely if modest wine - but a modest dish. The star was the aperitif.