A double posting as the last Friday of January is so close to the start of February.

Let’s start with January SOCK CLUB
We met for a Sock Party at Yvonne’s (thanks for the hospitality) on Friday January 30th.  Here is the Wine List with some comments from me…

Saumur Brut (Bouvet)      (Welcome Wine)
Biscuity nose with apple tinges. Lovely warm limey acidity  with sherbet mouth feel and, although slightly short, with lovely satisfying flavours.

“Ciconia” Antão Vaz / Viognier / Verdelho 2012 (Alentejo, Portugal)       (Sue T)
Nutty and floral notes with a hint of pear fruit on the nose. Palate has citrus acidity, and rich peachy fruit and a slightly spicy finish. There are Viognier and Verdelho hints (I’m not sure I know what Antão Vaz tastes like) but not – yet – quite integrated.

Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett 1996 (Christoffell-Berres)              (Yvonne)
Nose has Linden blossom, honey, warm citrus and an oily (rather than Diesel) hint. Palate has a long line of crystalline acidity with a shock of rich, sweet greengage fruit entering and widening the flow to a lovely complex finish with mineral, lime and floral notes reappearing. Just lovely!

Tim Adams Clare Valley Semillon 2003         (Laurie)
Nose has pungent nutty elements at first, then some fruit appears with hints of warm herbs… Dryish palate with rhubarb acidity and an oily texture and a herby, almost vermouth, finish. Quite balanced for its age and would work well for fish in a herby sauce….

Hunky Dory “The Tangle” 2013 (Marlborough, NZ)                  (Ann)
An “Alsacien” blend of Pinot Gris and Gewurz, with about 10% Riesling. Hints of vanilla, and soda, followed by ginger and floral notes. The palate is not dry and has warming alcohol and smokey hints and some Turkish delight notes. Rather big and rich with tropical hints. Quite a big NZ take on Alsace field blends…

Strawberry Hill “Montpelier Red” 2009 (Gloucester, UK)              (John)
This is made from Regent and Rondo grapes. Light colour and rubber hints that make one think of Beaujolais, then sweet – almost confectionery – red fruit. The palate is rather medicinal and a touch green, though there is some supple fruit.

Bolney Estate “Lychgate Red” 2005 (Sussex, UK)        (Mike)
This is made from Dornfelder and Rondo grapes, and is darker, with a first nose of lillies and meaty hints then plum and then more gamey hints…. The palate is bigger and more resolved than the previous wine and focuses into a wine of about Merlot balance and depth, with balancing dashing acidity.

Savigny-lès-Beaune 2004 (Carrillon)      (Rob)
Translucent colour and a slightly porty fruit nose which slackens to give a more refreshing cherry hint. Palate has slightly bitter tannins and a rather spirity fruit – kirsch? Slightly over-aged harshness passes to give a long and supple finish.

Comtesse St Hilaire 2012 (Montagne St Emilion)      (Sue Mc)
Truffle and mushroom, forest floor nose, that opens to a strong fruit – blueberry impression. Palate open later too showing strong, but supple, sharp dark fruit. This is a little young and at the moment needs food to offset its lip-smacking acidity.

Gigondas 2010 (Paillère et Pied Gû)            (Kim)
Black fruit nose, with an earthy element. The palate is tightly framed with big plum and blackberry fruit in the centre – quite supple – a little young with plenty of grip and needs food… Good.

“Le Pech Abusé” (Buzet)   2005                   (Andrew)
Magali Tissot & Ludovic Bonnelle make this wine at Domaine du Pech using  “Vendanges Manuelles et Biodynamic” of 40% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is Abusé because it isn’t allowed to put Buzet on the label despite being from the area due to length of aging and alcohol levels. It has a dark plum and slightly brackish nose. The palate has black fruit pastille quality cut by a slightly green acidity and is rather big boned. I can certainly see it going with a beef dish….

Finally Yvonne served a waiting-for-taxi Chaume 2007 (Domaine des Forges) which I have no note of, but remember the passion fruit nose, the apple and honey acidity and the hint of butterscoth – fab!

Thanks so much Yvonne.


So – on to Wine Of The Month.

A monthly review of an easily obtainable wine that’s had a recommendation somewhere in a National newspaper. Always posted just before the usual monthly theme, this may be the latest post for only a few days…


“Finest” Grechetto 2013 (Umbria IGT, Italy) – 12½ % – Tesco £7

Another all red Tasting is scheduled for this month so a light white as a contrast.

I’ve had a soft spot for Grechetto, since I discovered a traditional form of Orvieto: Amabile, an off-dry variant with an acidity / sweetness balance a bit like good Riesling Spätlese. There isn’t much of the grape grown, about 1,000 ha. in Central Italy – mainly Umbria, but its combination of citrus and nutty notes is useful with food – especially the Amabile with spicy dishes.

Good Orvieto is marked by a reasonable proportion of Grechetto in the blend – up to about 25%, and less of its main partner the (rather bland) Trebbiano and other grapes. So I was interested in trying a (very) cheap varietal wine…

This wine is pale with straw hints, with first nose of powdery, cosmetic, flowers, then a bright citrus note and a hint of quite rich peach. .

The palate has greengage fruit then a centre of clean citrus before a soft sweet, slightly warming hint at the – admittedly early – finish. The acidity is quite lip-smacking, and the texture has a stony, drying quality – a combination which asks for food.

With food (a green vegetable risotto with lemon zest) the wine shows its acidity in a rather warmer light, which works rather well.

Overall the wine, despite a range of flavours, is quite linear – a bit like several instruments all playing the same note…. However this variety (rather than complexity) makes for refreshment and an ability to accompany, if not augment, food.

And… well… it’s £7 – so it has to be fantastic value,

Ratings: Quality: 13/20     Value: 17/20