Welcome to 2016!

I saw in the turn of year with a wine party (what else) with the Sock Club stalwarts, who each contributed food too.  A lovely evening with – as usual – wines served blind. But the increased consumption and a longer evening meant my objective attention to the wine, and my note-taking, were diminished. Nevertheless here are some remarks about the wines:
Quetzal 2014 (Kim) is a Chardonnay, Chenin blend from Valle de Guadalupe. Soft fruit nose with a soda-ish hint. Palate is dry and mineral with a honey tinged middle palate.

Laudun Cotes du Rhone Villages 2013 (Boulas) (Carrie), is mainly Grenache Blanc. The nose has a lot of herbs and a peachy fruit, while the palate is very dry, clean with a warm acid line complementing cream cheese and smoked salmon blinis well.

Givry Blanc “Champ Pourot” 2010 (Ragot) (Laurie). Typical Burgundy nose with a sharp citric hint. Firm palate but opening nicely with its former strongly lime acidity integrating with a peachy, melon fruit. Lovely with a lemon-zest tinged aubergine bake – (from a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe)

Waimea Pinot Gris 2015 (Nelson NZ) (Sue T) – a 2015 vintage to see out the year! Pear drops and honey on the nose, with a similar palate – far from dry with a slight petillante quality and tell-tale smoky hints.
Marcillac ‘Lo Sang del Pais’ (Domaine du Cros) 2009 (Rob) Marcillac is a small red Appellation, about 60 miles east of Cahors, making wine from Fer Servadou. The nose is pungent clearing to a slightly cedar-wood tinged raspberry fruit. Palate has secondary claret-ish flavours, herbs, even slightly bay leaf hints and a woody bitter chocolate finish. A wine that might cope with chilling…

Saumur-Champigny Vieilles Vignes 2005 (Langlois-Chateau) (John) Has clean raspberry and an earthy note. Palate is velvety and clean suggesting Pinot, but the depth and substance are aged but supple Cabernet Franc. A lovely wine

Frontos Tinto (Calidad de Las Islas Canarias) (Ann). A Tenerife – volcanic soil wine, with Syrah and Merlot. The nose is floral with hints of violet (?) and chocolate. Palate is dryish with blackberry fruit and a supple firm finish working with the Sausage Casserole…

St Chinian 2014 “Terrasses De Mayline” (Cave de Roquebrun) (Mike) a GSM blend has a slightly dilute blueberry nose with a warm supple palate with lots of herbs and even a minty hint.

“The Ned” Noble Sauvignnon Blanc 2014 (Waihopai River, Marlborough) (Helen). Getting late when this was broached but the butterscotch sweetness was powerfully supported by a line of warm acidity. Great with Xmas cake…

And at midnight Champagne Billiot Millesime 1996 – as the wine “became” 20 years old. The moose was weakened but the dashing grapefruit acidity and a yeasty finish hadn’t – Cheers!

So onto

Wine of the Month

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

Exquisite Collection Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2014 (Aldi £7.50)

Very typical PN colour – bright and translucent. The word “typical” occurs regularly when evaluating this wine – nose is herbs, raspberry, hints of farmyard and a dusty sweet baking spice note. Palate is light (despite 14% abv), with a sour-cherry but slightly dilute attack. A warm peppery middle then sweet fruit finish.

Later violet and redcurrant tones appear, and the palate’s spicy-ness has a metallic hint. With food (a spicy Shepherd’s Pie) the acidity plays well and the pepper note interplays with the spice in the food.

Quite a simple and four-square Pinot but everything is in place and what a price!

Ratings:   Quality: 14/20          Value: 17/20       

This is the first post of the New Year – so
A Happy Healthy and Peaceful 2016 to all readers!