The group met for a Halloween Themed Sock Party hosted by Kim on Friday October 30th.  A lovely evening punctuated by pumpkin soup and some very good wines…

Here are my notes:

Cremant de Bourgogne 2012 (Caves de Lugny)     (Welcome Wine)
Some bready notes with hints of grapefruit on the nose. Palate has a citrus twist, a warm, creamy centre and a structured mineral dry finish. A good Cremant with only a slight suggestion of the softness that usually separates Bourgogne Cremant from Champagne.

“Pato Frio” Alentejo 2014 (Ribafreixo)    (Sue T)
Made from the Antão Vaz grape, native to the Alentejo. Flaxy, pithy nose with a fruity – peach? – undertone. Very sharp acidity which corrals the peachy fruit and leads to a fresh warm finish.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Rondalino” 2014 (Teruzzi & Puthod)   (Yvonne)
Pear notes on the nose with oily nutty notes later. Palate has a pithy bitter hint with a sharp hay-tinged citrus, mineral and an oily, but not too oily, finish. Well balanced without falling over into burning mineral or blowsyness. Good

Domaine Sainte Claire Chablis 2012 (J M Brocard)         (Helen)
Quite a pungent nose at first, then toffee with nutty hints. Rich and open wine with a supporting citric line and a minerality underlying the buttery texture. A lovely Burgundy but on the rich side for a typical Chablis. Very good and a star were it not for >>>

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos St Jean 2000 (Colin)     (Carrie)
Similar components in this wine but with more complexity and subtlety. Citrus, peel and buttery notes and later hazelnut and melon. Palate shows all this too but the richness is shaped by firm and fresh acidity, fruit – showing sweetness and green notes in the apricot direction: greengage(?), and a mineral drying texture. I’ve known this wine for ten years and previous essays with it have stalled from the structure being too hard. Now it proves worth the wait: wonderfully poised, layered with complexity and with a couple of years left… Outstandingly good!

Montalupa Viognier 2006 (Ascheri)      (John)
Aromatic cognac-tinged spirty lifted nose. Palate has nuts, dried fruits (although not really dried apricots), with powerful warm aromatics again recalling dilute brandy. Weird but interesting.

Vinha Grande Douro 2011 (Casa Ferreirinha)           (Mike)
Cedar wood, germolene, laurel and – later – a floral note on the nose. Palate has plums and and well shaped acidity then a softer middle palate and then a warming, dried fruit finish. Good!

Bonarda Mendoza 2013 (Nieto Senetiner)             (Ann)
Brackish black fruit nose then a sweet/spice (cinnamon?) note on the nose. Palate is rich, spicy and with a black pastille fruit in the middle, lasting into the more plumy and fresher finish.

Hahn Estate Monterey Pinot Noir 2011     (Laurie)
Black berry and strawberry fruit on the nose.  Darker, but still sweet, fruit on the palate, some grainy tannins and a warm spice hint. Quite big but still recognisably Pinot.

“Bat’s Blood” Transylvanian Merlot 2013 (Cramele Recas)             (Sue Mc)
Very Haloween! Sweet nose with vanilla and cherry hints. Palate is, actually, very Merlot – plums and a digestif drying finish…

Cairanne “L’Authentique” 2009 (Delubac)     (Brenda)
Very spicy nose with later more plum fruit and some garrigue… Rich and peppery palate with a rather syrah-inflected profile (although the wine is 50:50 with Grenache). Warm (spice and alcohol) with acid and a tannic backbone, long.

“Pasion de Bobal” Utiel-Requena 2012 (Sierra Norte)       (Rob)
Plums and prunes, slightly spirity fruit nose. Palate is warm with grainy coffee/chocolate tannins, prunes again, some oak and a firm acid balanced finish.

Seifried Estate Sweet Agnes Riesling 2012     (Kim – Dessert)
Citrus, marmalade, butterscotch  with some tropicality on the nose. Very sweet but with enough lemon/lime acidity to be fresh. A lovely finish in every sense.

Thank you so much Kim – you’re even forgiven the chocolate eye-balls….