Archives for category: Sock Club

While the UK Government could not decide if the whole nation was to shoot itself in the head – or merely the stomach, Corkmaster and Kimberley Kabinett took themselves off to a civilised country for the duration – although of course it might not be the duration.. or it might… or not…. FFS!

A group of 9 of the people remaining (no pun intended) attended a Sock Party graciously held by Ann and John. This was rather “off piste” with the white wines following the reds and by all accounts an enjoyable and rather rowdy party. Ann reports: “I for one found it refreshing to move on to whites after food including a palate cleansing lemon sorbet, though it wasn’t a great test as we only had 2 whites and then a bonus dessert wine. Can’t say the hangover was any less, though hopefully the reds got more thoughtful consideration than they usually do?!”

Ann also generously supplied the following notes, and photos from John:

50% Chardonnay, 25% e@ Pinot.  There is some reserve wine blended in for extra richness. Found to be punching above its current price. A good mousse, light lemon flavour with  some butteriness and pleasing length which was satisfyingly dry.

Bramble fruit and violets on the nose, powerful but smooth.

Blend of indigenous Turkish grape 40% Kalecik Karasi with 40% Shiraz and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Honey on the nose, dark cherry coffee low tannin unoaked.

From wine society en primeur.  Plum and earthiness on the palate with a lovely complexity and length  Merlot 85% Cabernet Franc 15%

Not a typical pinot, had some of the cherry and strawberry but complexity with leather and tobacco. 20 best barrels from the harvest bottled on their own.

95%+ Mourvedre from old vines. Lovely dense  flavour of macerated plums and blackcurrants, ripe tannins.

Grenache as majority, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Syrah Purchased from cellar door on a weekend in Catalunya, Thanks Yuan. Montsant surrounds Priorat “like a bangle on a wrist” Delicious fruitiness with length.
Per Decanter A blend of Garnatxa with Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot, organically grown on decomposed granites near Falset.  The appeal is less primary and less fleshy than for many of its Montsant peers: calm, fine-drawn plant and stony earth scents with an elegant, layered style, though open-textured and accessible.   91


100% Piedirosso from Campania, on the slopes of Vesuvius the “tears of Christ on Vesuvius” Jesus’ tears dropping at the foot of Vesuvius  ultimately sparked the miraculous growth of the vines. Piedirosso is the second most planted red after Aglianico. Floral spicy and powerful.

2016 vintage given 90 points and Highly Recommended by Decanter  as festive buy.

This was purchased following a tasting at this estate owned by Cliff Richard which happened  to be very near our villa. This was surprisingly rich with a taste of peach but sufficiently dry to not be cloying,

This was a medium sweet wine not cloying and went quite well with our lemon tart.
Fun story to this one- we were at Carcassonne airport and a slightly panicked man approached us with two bottles of this. He’d been gifted these by his landlady but only had luggage booked for his flight home. We offered to take them off his hands and managed to squash them into our case with 4 other bottles already packed in! We did look for him at East Midlands airport but couldn’t see him as we would have offered to return one!

Ann thanks everyone for coming along, “it was a great night” – and I thank her for providing these notes!

À Bientôt


A small but very discerning group made their way to darkest Burton Joyce to partake of Yvonne’s hospitality and sample wines, as is our custom.

Here are my notes:

Nicolas Feuillatte is actually a co-op at Chouilly in the Côte des Blancs vineyards. This has a slightly oxidised note and slightly darkened hue, but underneath the sherry hints are some signs of ripe peach. The oxidation seems to have, more than anything else, taken out the acidity which is limited and warm feeling, but leaves a very sweet soft fruit and a short but creamy mousse.

“WHITE ON GREY” MOSHOFILERO 2017 (Mitravelas)          Yvonne   
Slightly peach-tinged citric nose, quite creamy too but with a brackish element. Palate is similar, with a creamy texture, a saline mineral prickle and a vaguely Alsacienne profile: richness and a slightly spicy, smokey hint… Good

The wine has 12 months in old oak with fruit from a named parcel just above (north) of Le Haut Village in Santenay (see June 14th 2015 post for an earlier note). Quite an aromatic nose – richer than earlier with a ripe white peach note and some citrus. The palate has a warm minerality and long acidic – grapefruit? – backbone, but a substantial, rich, soft stone-fruit succulence that makes a satisfying, well balanced, and probably at-peak wine. Rather good!

VAU JAUMIER 2015, ST. NICOLAS DE BOURGUEIL (Domaine de la Cotelleraie)           Kim  
I’ve followed this wine for 3 or 4 vintages now, and it’s my favourite SNdB. Quite sharp when young, this now has a herby nose with a bay leaf element, and red fruit with an earthy under-note… very Cabernet Franc. Palate is rich with a lovely supple red-fruit acid, raspberry or redcurrant and a hint of spice at the finish. Still young but much more developed than a year ago and already deeper and more complex than the (pretty good) 2014. Excellent!

“ORFEO” 2010 (Prieure La Chaume – Vix, Vendée)          John  
This is from the Vendée, where the AOC/AOP is Fiefs Vendéens. The department is part of the Loire although the wine areas are 70 miles South or South-West of Muscadet and Anjou respectively. This is 60% Merlot (+35% Cab. Sauvignon & 5% Negrette) which I think is the reason it is an IGP. Nose has very ripe dark fruit – slightly pruney dried fruit character with a cherry spirit hint, all rather Italian-ish! The palate too is rich and earthy with a fruit acid line echoing the nose and some non-fruit leathery hints… I’d guess at Ripasso, certainly not a Loire Merlot!? … but a luscious wine nevertheless!

HERDADE DOS GROUS 2016           Ann
This wine, from Alentejo, is (apparently): Aragonez (35%); Alicante Bouschet (30%); Touriga Nacional (20%) and Syrah (15%) – fermented in lagares and aged in new French oak barriques. One can detect the oak on the nose as both a woody and a creamy hint underneath red and plum fruit. The palate has firmer oak frame and some spicy  tinges under a slightly earthy plum, prune tannic shape.

“MARQUES CASA CONCHA” SYRAH 2016 (Concha y Toro)         Rob
Quite classic Syrah notes: blackberry, salt and a hint of wood. The palate has a sweet fruit line – more blueberry than blackberry and the slightly spicy tannins close with the oak to form a drying, food-needing finish… which is exactly what we gave it!

A very enjoyable (and wonderfully well-paced with a smaller number) evening of company, wine and food. Thanks for your hospitality Yvonne.

Finally, although she’s much to modest to tell you herself, Kathryn, long time stalwart and now co-leader of the WING group, is featured in the latest Wine Merchant magazine – on the front page and on pp 20-21. If you’re Nottingham-based worth trying the shop / bar “Brigitte Bordeaux”.

À Bientôt

The group met and Kim’s on Friday 26th October  for an evening of blind Tasting…

Here are my notes:

This is from very near Nottingham, and made from Madeleine Angevine with Seyval Blanc and a little of the trio of Champagne Grapes. Nutty nose with savoury undertones and some gradually developing citrus. Slightly gluey with a bitter sweet pithy palate and a citrus lift also growing, quite light with a sherbet fizz….

ALSACE RIESLING “LES PIERRETS” 2004 (Josmeyer)          Laurie  
Quite a dark, evolved colour, showing just a hint of apply oxidation on the nose – but pale in comparison to the nutty and diesel aromas with hints of elderflower and peach. Oily palate with a round dashing acidity – quince and lime, underlying a sweet evolved stone fruit peak – long and quite warm. Lots of secondary flavours but still some youthful dash – rather nice!

“LÁGRIMAS DE MARIA”  2016 (Rioja)         Sue Mc   
This is 90% Viura with Tempranillo Blanco (a mutation of the red). Very light nose with hints of pear and a herby/woody note. The palate follows the same line as the nose – with a citrus hint and little more stone fruit.

“LES IV PIERRE” 2016 (Domaine d’Archimbaud)           Ann
This is from Saint-Saturnin, a little inland from Montpellier. The nose is peach (from 70% Viognier) with pithy and green herb hints, richness and some warmth show too (it is 20% Grenache Blanc and 10% Muscat!). The palate is quite oily and viscous with spicy warmth and good acidity cutting through, rather a good Viognier+!

ROERO ARNEIS 2017 (Marco Porello)          Mike
Slightly sweet fruit nose with an apple sharpness a little reminiscent of some Chenin. Palate has orchard fruit, warmth but quite stringent acidity. I rather liked this and thought it would match a smoked salmon starter very well…

GRANAT ST. LAURENT 2017 (Pfaffl)           Yvonne
This wine, from Niderösterreich, has a big red-fruit nose with Germolene hints and some herbs. The palate has more herbs with damson, sour cherry and raspberry fruit. Good acidity and green notes lift the big fruit making a vibrant and fresh red in the Cabernet Franc / Mencia spectrum. I rather liked this, refreshing and food-friendly…

This is a Tenerife wine made from the Baboso Negro grape (the Spanish synonym of the Portuguese grape Alfrocheiro Preto, better known in the Dão and Alentejo). This has a big red fruit nose showing damsons, spice and a greener herbal element. Palate has an acid-fruit line with a slightly sour plum impression. Decidedly in the slightly saline Syrah-ish spectrum a surprisingly fresh, good example.

PETITE PETIT 2015 (Michael David – Lodi)     Sue T  
Made from 85% Petite Sirah (which might be Durif) and 15% Petit Verdot. This is about as “petite” as the elephants on the label. Soft fruit-driven nose, with some oak hints, leads to a (very!) sweet fruit palate – supple, even soft – warm, concentrated and only slightly counter-pointed by some tannins.  Rather too typically sweet, “Californian” for my taste.

RINGBOLT CABERNET SAUVIGNON  2017 (Margaret River)       Rob
Very Cab. Sauv. nose: pencil lead; blackcurrant; cedar; forest floor…. Palate has sharp dark fruit (suggesting but not really resembling blackcurrant) and round tannins – quite supple for its youth though I think a year or two would improve it!

CHARDONNAY DULCE ALB 2013 (Chateau Vartely – Moldova)       Kim
Nose has apricot, honey and passion fruit with some citric lift. The palate is very sweet – with a butterscotch tinge and a freshening lemon acidity, served with a choice of patisserie – for me it worked best with the tarte au citron…. Yum!

A great evening of wine, it’ll be no surprise to anyone that I preferred the wines that suggest food!! There was (though I say so myself) quite nice food, and it was very good to see people again after 7 weeks in France. Thanks for your hospitality Kim.

À Bientôt

On Friday 27th July 2018 a – pretty full – W1NG group met to enjoy the prodigious hospitality of Ann and John and taste rather a lot of wine… blind of course….

Here are my notes:

CRÉMANT DE BORDEAUX BRUT (Aldi)         Welcome Wine
This has a sweet peach fruit nose offset by some apple acidity and a little yeastiness. The palate has warm acidity and a quite short but soft moose, palate has a grapefruit tinge. Made from mostly Semillon and some Cabernet Franc (!) this is medium bodied, quite warm fizz with soft peach hints. Definitely an aperitif style.

 VINHO VERDE TAPADA DE VILLAR  2017 (Quinta das Arcas)          Kim  
This is made with 50% Loureiro, 40% Arinto, 10% Trajadura . Nose is fresh, light apple fruit, a hint of spritz and an elderflower hint. Palate is also light, apple skin and citrus pith sharpness, very nice with summer salad.

This is from Madeleine Angevine and has a pungent vegetal nose with savoury – mushroom or even meaty – hints, fruit appears later. Palate has a grapefruit acidity with a slight bitter orange, even Physalis (Cape Gooseberry) fruit notes. Very evolved and warm wine, not the usual sub-Sauvignon-Blanc package one tastes from English renditions of the grape. Very interesting!

MONTILLA-MORILES “FRESQUITO2017 (Vino Nuevo De Tinaja)           Yvonne
This is made from Pedro Ximénez (PX), and although a white table wine still has pronounced sherry hints, some soda-ish woody qualities and lots of nuts! Similar notes on the palate: nuts and salty flavours with some sweet suppleness underneath. Very unusual and very good.

Lovely fresh Riesling nose, elderflower, peach and a warm sharpness. Palate has a wonderful lively persistent acidity balancing a lip-smacking sweetness. Perfect for a hot weather tasting, more-ish and refreshing, with great depth of flavour in a light package.

“FIDES” GRENACHE BLANC 2015 (Bosman)           Sue T
Pungent nose with green plum skin notes. Very sharp acidity with bitter, slightly green and saline mineral hints. This is skin-macerated for 20 days, a process qualifying it to be “orange wine”,  but the startling acidity, especially for Grenache Blanc, makes me think the hand-harvested grapes must have had high acidity in the first place.

PASSERINA 2017 (Citra)         Ann
This is made (in Abruzzo) from the Passerina  grape, which is more widely planted in Marche. Quite a recessed nose, with some peach and citrus emerging. Palate has warm acidity, medium body and a peach infused, quite long, finish.

So… on to the reds:

This is very Bordeaux-ish. Nose has some dark fruit and cedar hints. Palate is similarly restrained, dark fruit but quite firm and a slightly grainy tannic structure.  None of the gummy or woody notes Barossa sometimes serves up – a balanced, subtle Aus. Cabernet (yes, really!)

VOLNAY 2011 (Monnier)     John
This has a perfumed, almost floral nose with subtle red fruit hints emerging. Palate has supple acidity, a warm tannic hint and soft red fruit, but the velvet-glove of the fruit hides a harder structure. Very good village Volnay.

 BAROLO RISERVA 2004 (Monsparone)       Laurie
I haven’t drunk this for 2 or 3 years and it has definitely rounded out its rather hard, lean shape in that time. Very typical earthy and floral nose (tar and roses?!). Palate is medium weight, firm and quite rich but livened by a dark fruit freshness and long acid line. Combines savoury power and some elegance, would be great with food, I rather fancy rack of lamb!

SAUMUR CHAMPIGNY “HOSPICE DE SAUMUR”  2011 (Clos Cristal)     Paul
Pungent nose – almost damp dishcloth / sweaty socks… but some other flavours – earth, red fruit – appear. Palate has dark bery fruit, maybe loganberry, and an earthy tannic backbone – long and rich for SC, but very pleasurable.

BANDOL 2011 (La Bastide Blanche)       Rob
This is a classic Bandol with 70% Mourvedre; 20% Grenache and 10% Cinsault. It shows a big, pruney and slightly oily nose, with some spice. Palate shows the same things, with herbal hints and a slightly bitter twist too. Full long and enjoyable.

This comes from the Languedoc, near Pezenas, and shows a variety usual encountered in small – almost “seasoning” – quantities in the Medoc. This has a plum and sharper fruit (redcurrant?) nose with some herbal undertones. Palate is round, alcohol-warm, with a big Southern-Rhone profile, but a touch of non-fruit flavours and some length and suppleness….

At this point – “head preservation programme Σ2” kicked in and I took myself home – leaving the hard core to sample:

courtesy of our hosts. Whilst a shame to miss such a wine – and be unable to offer a note – I’m sure the company enjoyed it (maybe they will contribute such a note?) but I was able to achieve some things the next day…

A great evening of wine and lovely food and … well ,,, more wine!! Thanks to Ann and John for their wonderful hospitality…

À Bientôt

On Friday 27th April 2018 we were generously entertained for a Sock Party at Ralph and Jill’s home. A wonderful evening with a dazzling supply of great food and wine…

Here are my notes:

JASNIÈRES “L’ECLOS” 2015 (Les Maisons Rouge)         Laurie
Jasnières is an enclave in the general Coteaux du Loir area, about 30 miles North of Vouvray. Pure Chenin, the wine showed some citrus and later peach and apple fruit on the nose. The palate has a hint of honey, and a fresh fruit peak in the centre but a long, strong but warm acidity and a mineral finish. Very clean, refreshing and precise and balanced between searing acidity and richness. Made by biodynamic viticulture on clay, sand and flint topsoil above the tuffeau base in West Jasnières.

This Romorantin wine from the Solonge has a slightly powdery nose with a warm note and a citrus peel prickle. Palate has a fruit start and then a kick-in of acidity, a slightly malic tinge and a ginger hints spicy element. Rounder and a little fuzzier than the previous wine, it’s Loire (50 mile away!) nieghbour.

PECORINO ABRUZZO “BIANCHI GRILLI” (Torre Dei Beati) 2014         Ralph   
Dark colour, nose is quite closed with a slightly spicy, woody, aged quality. Later some balsamic sweet sour elements emerge. Palate smooth, opening to show some rich woody flavours and a clear acidity with some mineral accents. Aged on lees in barrique for 9 months, deliberately to by-pass the vibrant-youth stage and go straight to the evolved complexity. Needs quite a lot of time in the glass still, despite decanting…

MEURSAULT 2013 (Caves de l’Orangerie)           Kathryn
Caves de l’Orangerie is the label of Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune’s own vineyards. This Mersault is almost text-book: slightly oily nose with hints of tropical fruit. Buttery palate with oak notes and a richness based on a hazelnut-oil kick – underpinned by a mineral, citrus backbone. Very satisfying and at good maturity now.

This is strawberry fruit straight on the nose with fresh-herb acidity and a hint of pinot character. The palate echoes the pinot line – lovely base acidity with lip smacking red-berry fruit. Well balance, fresh cool and under 12% alcohol. Would be lovely with spicy food!

This comes from 2 ha of vines on ancient Roman terraces on the steep banks of the Rio Sil. Merenzao is the local name for Trousseau, found in the Jura. This has a light colour. Nose is slightly herby with a pinot-ish soft red fruit and vegetal touch. Palate is more raspberry sweetness with a herby twist and a clean acidity. Easier to guess the location than the grape I think…

This is dark and dense with a fruity – damson and fresh plums with an undergrowth hint. Slight graininess is appearing on the palate, which will soon be chocolate hints… structured, long with palate echoing the nose with darker fruit and warm hints appearing. Long and supple, this has opened a lot since I last tried it –  but, IMO, it will keep improving for a year or two and last another 6. It’s 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc.

MUDGEE CHAMBOURCIN 2012 (Savannah Estate, Aus.)      Rob
This had a slightly gummy, minty (tell-tale Australian!?) nose with some plum fruit. The palate has the same sweet fruit, some oak and an earthy hint… but a tannic line that somehow is both rich and hard. Not quite together…  yet?

“ES LO QUE HAY” GARNACHA 2013               Yuan
An old-vines high-altitude Garnacha from Aragon, NE Spain. The name is a Spanish expression meaning something like “that’s how it goes” – the International translation of a shrug! The wine is pretty big – closed nose at first with dark berry fruit emerging and hints of herbs and some perfume. Palate is fruity with a mineral line and prune, tannin and some suppleness. The altitude airs and lifts the potential Granacha thickness…

BAROLO “CERRETA DI PERNO” 2007 (Sordo)     Kim
This Castiglione Barolo has a nose of soft fruit and a fragrant perfume – possibly even the renowned rose, later hints of cherry appear. Palate has a higher-than-expected acidity with lower-than-expected tannins and tar, although they are present. Rather lip-snacking long and non-fruit flavours. Maybe still a year or two young but getting there!

20 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT (OHSOMM)       Farewell Wine
Ohsomm is a trading name of the parent company that own Offley’s and Sandeman. This Tawny has a big fruit-and-nut complex nose. Palate has some sweetness but in balance with a long line of fruit acidity. Lovely!

Thanks to Ralph and, especially, to Jill for providing such wonderful food, great company and hospitality.
Thanks too to Yuan for the wine photographs.

À Bientôt

On Friday 23rd March the WING Sock Club company visited Yuan for her first hosting of the event. An enjoyable evening with many interesting wines.

Here are my notes:

JACQUES BRUÉRE CAP CLASSIQUE BRUT RESERVE 2008 (Robertson, S.A.)          Welcome Wine
This wine is 60% Pinot Noir, with 40% Chardonnay – with 10% of the Chardonnay barrel fermented. It has a pungent fruit nose, with some nutty and bready notes. The palate has nut-oil creaminess, grapefruit acidity and and a sherbet mousse – then darker fruit (Pinot?)… A quite complex and mouthwatering package, a good New World champagne copy!

A bush-vine version of this S. Rhone grape. Nose is recessed with hints of quite dark soft fruit emerging and a nutty element. The palate has some spicy bitterness and a slightly sherry-ish drying salinity. The wine seems to balance more with time, into quite a warm resolution. Maybe (2 or 3 years?) too young?

SOAVE CLASSICO “MOROGNE” (Zeni)  2013          Kim   
The “Morogne” label is a step up from their basic Soave Classico, using hand selected bunches from the hillier sites in the Classico. Garganega (95%) & Trebbiano (5%) is aged in barriques. Nose is quiet at first but opens to show some herby and nutty elements along with a caramelised pear hint. Palate is rich and creamy with stony fruit hints and a long pear fruit finish. A lovely Soave at the rich end of the spectrum….  If Pieropan Calvarino (see post of 22 Oct 2017) is the “Chablis” of the Soave world – this is more the “Mersault”. Very good, my favourite!

QUETZAL MALBEC 2015 (Tijuana, Mexico)           Mike
This is leavened with 10% Petit Verdot, giving it a lighter style showing a Germolene note at first then plum fruit. The palate is warm with spice and some sweet plum fruit, a dryish grainy tannin and a prune finish. Not a monster Malbec, but a little soft.

CAIRANNE ANTIQUE 2001         Laurie
This is 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah, from when Cairanne had only Côtes du Rhône Villages status (it’s a Cru since 2016), and this wine justifies the upgrade. Dark but shiny with a slightly brown aged rim, the nose is all black fruit with a slight vanilla / cardamom tinge and a floral (Mourvedre?) element later. The palate is powerful but supple and still fresh with a black fruit acidity and evolved non-fruit hints. Very satisfying with some complexity.

“AYNI” MALBEC 2014 (Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza)            Yuan
Bigger than the previous Malbec with lots of black fruit on the nose and a baking spice aromatic notes. This uses oak and enables the depth of fruit to be complimented by a slightly drying structure with a soft citric acidity which adds freshness and elegance. For me, a more refreshing package, with more going on, than the first Malbec; and a top drawer example… 

JUMILLA MONASTRELL 2014 (Juan Gil)     John
This is very dark with a rich prune, slightly port nose. Palate has slightly bitter young tannins with very long pastille plum fruit and a warm spice and alcohol lift. Plenty here but perhaps a little fragmented as yet, needs another year?

Similar depth of colour and pungency to the previous wine but more sweet, and redder, fruit, and a cherry and aromatic “fruit cake” hint. Palate has plum fruit with a slightly woody or herby lift, rich and quite soft. A text book Ripasso hinting at the depths of an Amarone at a much lighter level…

Thanks to everyone for a lovely evening, and especially to Yuan for extending generous hospitality from such a raucous bunch….

À Bientôt

The WING group met for a Sock Party at Yvonne’s on Friday 23rd February 2018. A small but select group with a small but select raft of wines…

Here are my notes:

Nutty and bitter citrus-pith nose with a pungent Chardonnay overlay. Palate echoes the pithy grapefruit in its acidity, to support richness, a soft frothy mousse and a warm more Pinot Noir finish.

TERRAVIN SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011 (Marlborough)           Yuan
Pungent, tropical fruit, red currant and a slightly smoky nutty nose. Palate has a warm, slightly smoky, more obvious Sauvignon acidity with a lip smacking, slightly cut-off finish. Green-ness is absent in most respects, and the wine is more Fumé style than NZ. Interesting, due to its age?

GUERILA PINELA 2015 (Vipava Valley, Slovenia)          Ann
This is a new one on me. There are only 50 ha of this grape in Slovenia (and about 70 of what may-or-may-not be the same grape in Friuli). A rather Grüner Veltliner nose: Grapefruit and herbs… Palate has a warm salty, chalky feel with a herby tang and a richer creamy finish. Very unusual – the nose suggest a cooler acidity wine than the palate delivers.

LA PURCELLE DE ROMORANTIN 2015 (Marionnet)          Laurie
From direct cuttings from a vineyard planted in the first half of the 19th Century, from an interesting Domaine in the Solonge [see post of 20 September 2016]. Nose is very restrained with a lightly floral aroma. On the palate, it has a drying, slightly chalky strong citric acidity with soft fruit richness and a hint of passion-fruit, and a mineral edge. This puts the wine in balance and it becomes more interesting with time in the glass. I like this a lot and it probably will improve for another couple of years

Recessed nose with some floral and citrus notes and later (when warmer) an orchard fruit hint. Palate shows a honeyed warmth with peach fruit and a warm lasting acidity. A classy SA Chenin.

HUNKY DORY “THE TANGLE” 2016 (Marlborough)          Kathryn
An “Alsacien” blend of Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, with about 10% Riesling. Hints of peach, and a grape – Muscat-ish – note, some soda, followed by floral notes. The palate is not bone dry and has warmth, some smokey hints with peach, and more tropical fruit notes. The Gewurz. Seems a little less obvious than previous vintages of this, but still quite a big NZ take on Alsace field blends…

CÔTE RÔTIE 2011 (Burgaud)          John
A dark broody nose, with dark fruit and a fresh note with some woody herbs. The palate is noticeably creamy without too obvious oak, a big mulberry fruit, a slightly green herb element and a tannic backbone. Well balanced (for a Syrah!?) now and very food-friendly, I imagine it might improve for a year or two but very, very good.

AMNESIA 2013 (Alentejo)          Kim
This is Aragonez, Cabernet and Syrah and shows a pungent, oily nose with a sweet note. Palate is rich with a slightly dried fruit quality – long with an earthy finish.

PENFOLDS BIN 28 KALIMNA SHIRAZ 2014 (not pictured)          Rob
For many years the “reference” Aussie Shiraz, this is a little less in-your-face than many, maybe due to age? It’s still very big though with smoky, spicy blackberry fruit. Tannic, peppery and a slightly chocolate grainy-ness, and – as always – that rather drying saltiness of Barossa Shiraz.

Thanks to everyone for a lovely evening, and to Yvonne for the hospitality.

À Bientôt

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