The group met for a Sock Party at Ralph and Gill’s on Friday March 27th. Brilliant hospitality and wonderful food from the hosts and an interesting selection of wines.

Here are my notes:

Fontana Candida “Luna Mater” Frascati Superiore 2008       (Welcome Wine)
Frascati! Who knew? Apparently this is 50% Malvasia Candia, 30% Malvasia del Lazio, 10% Bombino & 10% Greco – and 14.5% abv! Herbal and nutty notes on the nose,  with spirit tones that make one think of (lightly) fortified wines. Palate has warmth and some sweet tropical fruit but totally dry, and a nutty note returning at the finish… a real oddity and rather good start to the evening.

Maias Branco 2013 (Dao)       (Sue)
This is (another, different) Malvasia and Encruzado blend. The nose has hints of pears and an oily note at first followed by vegetal aromas. Strong acidity with a bitter hint – but recedes to give a soda-ish palate with a richer apple element. Needs food…

 Moosburgerin Single Vineyard Gruner Veltliner 2013 (Felsner) (Kathryn)
This is from Gederdorf in the Kremstal, with a rather recessed nose some warm grapefruit but no white pepper at first. Citrus element on the palate with a slightly frizzy feel, there is a sweet and warm limey finish – opens a bit with time to reveal more so maybe a bit young.

Pernand-Vergellesses 2006 (Rollin)        (Laurie)
Citrus and caramel nose opening to some over-ripe fruit tones. Palate chewy fudge hints and a peachy rich fruit with a grapefruit acidity backbone. Clearly very mature and with developed richness from a rather lean appellation….

Pernand-Vergellesses “Les Cloux” 2009 (Rollin)          (Paul)
What a lovely coincidence to have two wines like this side by side, a very interesting contrast. This has a more recessed nose, leaner and a little fresher (although this is a warmer year). The acidity on the palate is indeed warmer but the whole package is lighter, fresher and better balanced. Great with food, one wonders if another 3 years would develop more richness too…

Picot’N 2009 (Vid’auba)              (Anna)
This Mallorcan wine is made from Merlot, Syrah and the local Callet. Slightly spicy nose with a blackberry hint. Sweet first taste than a vaguely warm Syrah structure with a non-fruit (nuts, mocha?) finish. Good.

Cornas “Les Grandes Terraces” 2010 (Jaboulet)       (John)
Very dark colour, this has a big nose of blackberry fruit and (very much) later floral hints (violet more than lily) and liquorice. The palate is firm and drying with a strong fruit-acid line. Not quite integrated this has some depth and needs 3 (?) years or more or a few hours decanted.

Clos St Alphonse 2011 (Ksara)              (Mike)
This (“other”) Bekaa Valley, Lebanese wine is a blend of Syrah and both Cabernets. Nose is soft with a jelly-juice fruit (raspberry, plum?) and some spice. Palate is warm and fruity too – though a little more tart (redcurrant, maybe) and a typically Syrah, salty, finish.

Vigna Garrone 2000 (Odoardi)        (Ralph)
This Calabrian wine is 80% Gaglioppo, which is probably an offspring of Sangiovese. This nose is slightly porty, with an overall pungency under which is a cedar and blackberry hint. Palate has a combination of strong but quite warm acidity and not-quite-focused sweet fruit, with a slightly dusty finish. Good with food.

Patz & Hall Pinot Noir 2012 (Sanoma)       (Kim)
Slightly earthy first note, some herbal tones and then sweet red fruit – raspberry and cherry. Palate is strongly (typically Californian) sweet fruit with a bitter herb – bay – finish. Strong warm alcohol throughout – this is 15%! 15%? For Pinot Noir? Likeable with the food…

Viñátigo Baboso Negro 2012              (Ann)
This Tenerife wine has a strong blackberry and apple crumble nose – with a hint of liquorice. Palate has warm, spirit tang with a cocoa twist and a zippy acidity. Very lip-smacking with a mineral finish. Good.

Percheron Shiraz-Mourvèdre 2014 (Western Cape)    (Matt)
Nose is quite recessed at first but opens to give sweet fruit with a hint of banana, in a vaguely Bojo register. Palate is rather soft with fruit and some oak – hints of blackberry (a theme of the evening but in this case from the Shiraz), a slight alcohol burn and spice.

“La Viala” Minervois 1999 (Bertrand)        (Rob)
Floral (lilies or violets?) and medicinal (menthol) hints – maybe from Carbonic maceration – on the nose and a brackish note… Palate is firm but has a clean line of fruit acidity. Mature, structured, well balanced and a bit wasted at the end of the evening.

Thanks, Gill and Ralph, for a lovely evening.