The group met for a Sock Party hosted by Yvonne on Friday July 31st. I know that was a long time ago, and late posting and brevity of comments is caused by my other commitments, not any lack of appreciation of the wines or the hospitality – which was, as usual, lovely.

Here are my notes:
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“The Rhona” Blanc de Blanc (G. Beck, S. Africa)     (Welcome Wine)
Pungent nose giving way to honey notes and a vegetal, “gluey” tone. Palate has a light sherbet mousse with creamy apple and honey elements – not quite dry but very quaffable.

Three Choirs “Midsummer Hill” 2013      (Kim)
Elderflower nose and other fruit-leaf hints going into a peach fragrance. Palate has soft fruit with a prickle of nettle acidity. A little short but pleasingly light and with some interest – a lovely summer afternoon wine – a blend of Madeleine Angevin, Reichensteiner, Seyval and Pheonix.

Rotgipfler 2011 (Hartl – Thermenregion, Austria)   (Ann)
Quite a heavy nose with oily and over-ripe fruit notes. Palate has a slightly bitter, warm – spicy even – acidity, offsetting a nutty and oily thick texture. A sort of Germanic Gewurztraminer!

Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Luis Filipe Edward – Chile)         (Yvonne)
Pungent gooseberry nose with hints of asparagus and redcurrant in a package reminiscent of NZ. The palate has more acidity than expected though, with a citric lift helping the balance of the wine.

Planalto Branco Seco Reserva 2013 (Ferreirinha – Douro)     (Sue T)
A nutty nose with hints of smoke revealing hints of herb later. Palate has a slightly bitter twist and a herby, pear quality. Another summer white – from Malvasia Gouvia, Codega and Viosinho grapes – pitched well for salad lunches…
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Grão Vasco 2010 (Alentejo)      (Mike)
Another Sogrape Portuguese wine is a blend of Alfrocheiro, Jaen, Touriga Nacional and Tinto Roriz. Nose has mounting damson fruit quality, with an earthy palate and sweet stewed red fruit – this example tainted by slight corking… unfortunately!

Cabalet 2011 (Tenute Fioribelli – Venezie)      (John)
Warm aromatic herby prunes at first giving way to a lighter sweet red fruit and finally a dried fruit note – not surprising as this is an appassimento wine from 70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella & 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The palate duly has cherry fruit with a herby warmth and an oily finish. Good.

Plavac 2013 (Skaramuča – C. & S. Dalmatia, Croatia)       (Laurie)
Plavac Mali is a grape produced by crossing 2 ancient Croatian varieties: Tribidrag (the original Primitivo/Zinfandel!) and Dobričiċ. The wine has a spirity aromatic nose with hints of sour cherry, and a floral, violets(?) note. Palate has a dried fruit note with toasty hints and a suggestion of bay leaf, but quite supple and satisfying with a very dry – food-friendly – finish.

Gigondas “Terrasses des Safres” 2005 (Perrin)             (Rob)
Vegetal nose at first resolving into garrigue and hints of plums. The palate recapitulates the nose, with good integration and a warm soft plum fruit and balanced tannins and warmth. A very good Southern Rhone, of near Chateauneuf depth and perfectly mature. Good.

Thanks Yvonne for a lovely evening.

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