Archives for posts with tag: Sock Club

A long hiatus after the July ICC tasting as I was in France, so a double post: a belated note on that tasting with the Sock Club notes.

First: JULY ICC TASTING – “UNUSUAL LOIRE WINES”

On Thursday 20th July 2017 the ICC group met for the last time this season, to taste unusual wines sourced from the Loire. In fact all the wines come from the Coteaux du Loir or from the Eastern Touraine, and generally fall in the hand-crafted, old-vine, organic or even Biodynamic, artisan category. They were all sourced from the grower and paid for in Euros. Most are unavailable in the UK. If you want an idea of how much they might cost if they were, I’d suggest you multiply the Euro cost by 1.6 to get the UK £ sterling value… Soooo… over £150 worth of wine for the season sign-off….


Here are my notes:

VINEFERA SAUVIGNON 2015 (Marionnet – Domaine de la Charmoise)   –   13%   –   Grower €15
The nose is quite quiet for an SB, indeed there is only restrained floral and herbal notes rather than big grassy and gooseberry greenness. The fruit is more in the white peach direction and expands in the middle palate, the acidity is slightly cooler than most SB, more in the Sancerre style – clean and refreshing, longer and supporting a richer wine… Later grapefruit elements come out more. Good, and not obvious what grape it is, based on usual SB indicators.
Ratings:        Quality:  16/20   Value:  15/20

LA PURCELLE DE ROMORANTIN 2015 (Marionnet – Domaine de la Charmoise)   –   13½%   – Grower €17
From direct cuttings from a vineyard planted in the first half of the 19th Century. Nose is very restrained with a lightly floral nose. On the palate, it has a drying, slightly chalky strong citric acidity that is reminiscent of Chablis and gives the wine freshness, the fruit is more Chenin-like though – with soft fruit richness and a hint of passion-fruit, and a mineral edge. I liked this more than most, I think, and if I had to choose between this and the SB, I think this just shades it by a small fraction…
Ratings:        Quality:  16/20   Value:  15/20

“LA ROSÉE” 2015 (Mérieau)   –   12%   –   Grower €8
An encouraging onion-skin tone, with a slightly spicy nose, the palate has very strong acidity which has a herbal twist and a spicy finish. Food-friendly but a really a quaffing-with-summer-lunch Rosé.
Ratings:        Quality:  14/20   Value:  15/20

COTEAUX DU LOIR “ELIZARI” 2015 (Les Maisons Rouges)   –   13%   –   Grower €25
A translucent light colour, like an Alsace Pinot Noir. The nose has floral notes, pepper, growing herbal hints, and sweet red fruit, strawberry(?) element, the herbs have an aromatic quality in the fennel/menthol direction, but with less pungency… Chervil? The palate  is structured with warm acidity and that deep herbal quality, but sweet plum fruit waves through the structure. Very long and complex, different elements take the foreground on each approach over an hour or so. A star! A rarity that stands up as a fine wine on its own merits.
Ratings:        Quality:  18/20   Value:  16/20

“LES CEPAGES OUBLIES” 2015 (Marionnet – Domaine de la Charmoise)   –   12½%   –   Grower €14
Very dark indeed. A hint of carbonic maceration, growing with time but still only in the background. With sweet black fruits on both the nose and palate, it is like a black-fruit counterpoint to good (Morgon level) red-fruit, Cru Beaujolais. Without some of the structure of good Bojo – a very unusual wine that lacks a little acid structure
Ratings:        Quality:  15/20   Value:  15/20

“GUEULE DU BOA” 2011 (Mérieau)   –   12½%   –   Grower €18
A briar fruit nose, with a hint of warm citrus. The palate has sweet briar fruit and suppleness that is supported by a long line of fruit acidity. This gives balance and holds the wine, initially between Argentinian fruit and Cahors structure, at least as far as freshness and acidity go. In time, though still between the styles, it seems to drift a little towards the Argentinian style. Would be great with a dryish Lamb curry dish.
Ratings:        Quality:  16/20   Value:  15/20

Overall an interesting range of wines to put alongside the famous names of the Loire. The Loir wine from Les Maisons Rouges, was the stand-out for the majority present and it’s a fabulous wine. They produce a little brother – “Garance” from only (!?) 19 – 55 year old vines, while the Elizari vines are from 55 to 100+. They make a brilliant Jasnieres too… I will return there, and also to Domaine de la Charmoise, whose whites I enjoyed immensely.

The Loire is really a very diverse wine region… It makes you want to live there…

So – on to the JULY WING SOCK PARTY hosted by Yvonne on Friday July 28th: a lovely evening with good company, wine and food….

Here are my notes:


TE HUA BRUT CUVÉE (Gisbourne, NZ)         Welcome Wine
A NZ Bubbly from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc & Muscat. Floral hints, a slightly gluey note and some honey. The palate has a slightly pithy – especially at the finish – citrus quality, and a herby hint.

LEEUWIN ESTATE ART SERIES RIESLING 2010       Laurie
Very Riesling nose, lime juice and a hint of Diesel… Palate has a citrus acidity – warm but clean – but the soft fruit drops out a little in the middle before the acidity re-asserts itself. Not as good as the 2007 we tried in May 2016…

MADELEINE ANGEVINE 2013 (English Wine Project)       Sue Mc
Pungent nose, very grassy and even gooseberry reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc. Palate has a warm acidity and the fruit is pear with lemon hints.

CÔTES DE THAU “CUVÉE FLORENCE” 2016 (La Baume)        Mike
This is a Piquepoul / Sauvignon Blanc blend! Nose has a slightly smoky hint, then citrus and peachy fruit. Palate has some residual sugar but firm underlying acidity, which has the respective focused and warm lines of the component grapes not quite integrated…

CLAIRETTE DU LANGUEDOC 2015 (Paul Mas)       Ann
Fragrant nose of flowers, pear and sweet melon. The palate echoes the nose with a citrus and citrus peel sharpness. A warm-climate wine which hints at the exotic – maybe young?

TYRELL’S HUNTER VALLEY SEMILLON 2016         Anna
Pungent: floral and grapefruit with an exotic hint. Very strong acidity with a bitter twist supporting a mealy texture…. The wine has a depth that makes me think it has a long way to go…

FERRANDIÈRE PRESTIGE BLANC RESERVE 2015           Yvonne
This is another Paul Mas property from East of Carcassone, between Minervois and Corbieres. The grapes are oak-aged Viognier, Sauvignon and some Chardonnay. Hints of cinnamon on the nose then citrus, floral notes and a deeper fruit note – perhaps the separate elements of the blend, not quite integrated. The palate has over-ripe peach, ginger and apricots….

MOULIN-A-VENT “LES CHAMPS DU COUR” (Domaine du Moulin d’Eole) 2013         Kim
Sweet red fruit nose, some baking spice and soft citrus (orange?) – slight note of carbonic maceration. Palate is smooth with spicy elements, and a structured finish. Very good Beaujolais, at peak!

SAUMUR-CHAMPIGNY “LA CRIOIX DU CHAINTRE” (Fillatreau) 2013         Rob
Floral elements, spice and a herbal hint. Raspberry fruit and the tell-tale herbal acid line… very good example of S-C.

QUARTER ACRE HAWKES BAY SYRAH 2015        John
A resinous / Bay Leaf note over a black fruit aroma. Palate has spice, warm acidity with a black fruit with black olive tinge. A textbook New World Syrah, does the use of the name  Syrah rather than Shiraz tell of a target style nearer the Rhone than some big Aus Shiraz? I think so, and it’s probably over half way there…

CONDE D’ERVIDEIRA (Alentejo) 2013       Paul
A blend of Aragonez, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet and a little Cabernet Sauvingon. This shows a floral first nose, then a lighter cherry flavour. Cherry fruit follows on the palate with an earthy dimension and mouth-watering structure. Very successful and typical…

“VOX POPULI” BOBAL 2014       Sue T
From Utiel-Requena near Valencia, this dark wine has a slightly cheesy nose then dark fruit with smoke and floral overtones… Palate has high acidity, and a light fruit centre – but is a big wine with a drying sharp finish.

Thanks so much to Yvonne for a very lovely evening, hospitality and refreshments…

Until next time…

On Monday 10th July WING met to taste Beaujolais Cru. Led by Yvonne.

Yvonne presented a tasting giving a rare opportunity to sample 6 different Beaujolais Cru: all from the same vintage – all produced in roughly the same way, and to the same price point, by the same grower.

The vintage in question is 2015, a warm year (though for good growers without the stress of the 2003s) giving – in careful hands – ripe, full yet balanced wines. The grower is Frédéric Burrier, making wines at the family domaine: Château de Beauregard and for the négociant business Domaine Joseph Burrier. The first and last wines are labelled “Château de Beauregard” the others are Domaine Joseph Burrier wines.

All the wines are from old vines in single sites within the Cru they represent – mostly 40-60 years old. They are treated the same way: with careful extraction to avoid too much tannin, and with fermentation finished in barrel. They have 10-14 months in 228 litre oak barrels but (I think) not new… and showing no taste of it….

So the differences in these wines will surely be the terroir… we’ll see…


Here are my notes:

Château de Beauregard Fleurie “Poncié”
From a site with shallow granite soil. Has the slightly floral nose of the cru with plum and raspberry fruit, and only a hint of gummy notes. Palate has soft plum fruit a sharper plum skin twist – warm (it’s 14% abv) and a mineral drying finish… opens with time

Chiroubles “Saint Roch”
This is grown at over 500m altitude in entirely granite soils…It is slightly darker than the Fleurie, the same alcohol – but with a sweeter, lighter fruit nose – strawberry? – no gumminess and a floral (violet?) hint. Palate is lighter, rounder and sweeter with a long warm finish…

Saint-Amour “Côte de Besset”
This is the most northerly cru, where sedimentary soils mix with granite scree, and has only 13.5%abv. A quiet nose at first – with darker fruit that opens with time and becomes rather gummy…The palate is succulent  with a citric acidity and dark fruit combining to hint towards blackcurrant, and some herby notes too… The most stereotypical Bojo maybe?

Juliénas “Beauvernay”
This terroir has poor granite soil over Burgundian clay/limestone – the highest alcohol (14.5%). Very dark wine with a plum, almost plum-tomato Grenache, inflection. Palate is almost Italian – plum, prune, cherry with an almost “vinaigrette” acidity – very big, round and more Southern Rhone than Northern Beaujolais!

Morgon “Grand Cras”
This is from soil with much more clay – helping moisture retention and lessening stress – mixed with decomposed schist and granite. The first nose had an elegant hint of apricot, swiftly passing to redcurrant and then to sour cherry with a banana hint too… The palate is very succulent with a strong fruit acid line – red fruit in general with sour and sweet cherry hints, a twist of drying mineral and tannin. Very classy and definitely in the Burgundian direction. A lovely example of the cru with years left to go….

Château de Beauregard Moulin-à-Vent “Clos des Pérelles”
This is from dark clay soils with high manganese levels, the vineyards sustained by cuttings and not new planting… Very dark and 14.5%. The nose is less fruit, more herbs and mushrooms, higher perfumed notes and forest fruit emerge later. Palate has structure with a saline hint, well balanced power and length, suggesting sweet fruit with a plum and cherry character. Will last longest, in my opinion, and improve the most.

A lovely tasting showing how high above the reputed quality Beaujolais can (sometimes) reach. I liked all the wines in different ways but found the Morgon the star of the night. Always my favourite cru, in its own complex and succulent way it showed a lot of typicality. The wines did show the relative differences of terroir well, I thought, although at a level of richness and quality rather higher than typical from Beaujolais in general. I felt the most obviously Bojo was the Saint-Amour. All in all – lovely wines that might all be approached again in 2 or 3 (or 6?) years time…

Thank you so much Yvonne…

_ _ _ _ _ _

Before I take my leave this time I have a (half-) report on the Sock Club gathering hosted by Kathryn and Matt (while I was in France) 10 days earlier… “A lovely relaxed sociable night with lovely food and company”, according to reports.

Below is a photo and list of the wines. Now… I could look all the wines up and post the winery’s info –  but you can do that yourself if you are interested. If you’ve tasted the wine or are interested and want to discuss them you can do that via the comments section. If you do then I, and/or the person who brought the wine, will respond…

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Here’s the list (with a few comments from Ann and I):

THE RHONA, BRUT NV, GRAHAM BECK, SOUTH AFRICA     (Welcome)

BOSMAN FAMILY VINEYARDS CHARDONNAY PINOT NOIR PINOT MEUNIER 2015    (Sue)
A still wine produced in 2010s as a result of the grapes being bit riper than anticipated to make their usual sparkling. The alcohol content was a bit too high. It went down well so produced again deliberately in 2015.

HOWARD PARK, MOUNT MOUNT BARKER RIESLING, W AUSTRALIA 2015   (Kathryn)

COLLEFRISIO FALANGHINA AGT TERRE DI CHIETI- ABRUZZO 2015   (Ann).

JORDI MIRÓ, GARNACHA BLANCA, TERRA ALTA 2015     (Yvonne)

LA CÔTE DORAL (Switzerland) 2012    (Kim)

A wine I do know a little about: here’s a note on this wine from January 2014:
Doral is a Chasselas x Chardonnay, bred to be more aromatic than Chasselas and with more citrus and apricot than Chardonnay. There are only 27ha in Switzerland – 75% of it in Vaud.
This wine comes from various vine plots between Morges and Nyon. The wine is a bit darker than straight Chasselas, but the nose is quieter with hints of pear and citrus. The same things and sharp apricots on the palate, with hints of green herbs. Much more subtle, integrated and refreshing than Chasselas, good length with the flavours and acidity persisting – quite a satisfying wine…
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ZORZAL EGGO FILOSO  PINOT NOIR (Argentina) 2015    (John)

PALATAIA PINOT NOIR (Pfalz) 2015   (Matt)

SCOTTO FAMILY VINEYARDS LODI ZINFANDEL 2013    (Mike)

RIVE BARBERA D’ASTI IL CASCIONE 2012   (Rob)

 CHATEAU LA BIRONDIE MONBAZILLAC 2013   (Matt)

Until next time…

Anna and Paul hosted a WING Sock Party on Friday March 31st. I was pleased to see the group again after a sojourn in the Loire, and enjoyed the company, the wines and the food immensely…

Here are my notes:


TOKAJI DOUX SPARKLING WINE (Keurus)       Welcome Wine
Slightly appley, gluey nose. Quite sweet, slightly barley sugar elements on the palate with a little sherbet sharpness lifting the palate. An oddity that makes one think of Muscato a bit – but more depth and warmth. It would be good with a spicy dish or a dried fruit pudding.

CALEIDOSCOPIO 2014         Ann
This has a quiet nose, melon and a hint of peach. Palate has some soft fruit and a slightly citrus acidity holding up the finish. It turns out to be Pinot Grigio (60%) blended with Fiano and Alboriño! Apart from wondering “why these 3 grapes together?”, the last grape, especially, gives this light summer guzzler much more character than most PG.

“NOBLE DRAGON” CHINESE RIESLING 2015 (Changyu)           Sue
Slightly oily nose, with peach and confectionery pear, and later a slightly floral hint. Palate has tropical fruit, a slightly sweet hint and later back to oiliness again. If one had to think of a similar expression of Riesling from a more common source,  I would be looking at California I think….

POUILLY FUMÉ 2013 (Henri Bourgeois)       Anna
Grassy and nettley nose, with growing fruit leaf herbiness…. Clearly Sauvignon Blanc but no gooseberry or asparagus (thankfully?). Palate reflects the nose with warm acidity, more nettles and a smokey hint (that typifies the appellation name) and a long dry finish. Lovely and at perfect maturity…

“PATO FRIO” ANTÃO VAZ 2015             Kim
Nose is actually grapey with some dried fruit hints that lead to apricot. Palate has sweet peach, tending to the tropical, fruit followed by a finish that gains in warmth and bitter minerality, prolonging and varying  the enjoyment. Good!


RIBERA SACRA (Guímaro) 2015      Yvonne
This starts with a very – to me – Cabernet Franc: stalky, raspberry, nose – but turns out to be Mencía. Palate is drying at first but has a spicy twist and a supple finish. Good!

GAMAY NOIR (TE MATA) 2016        Mike 
Another light-ish wine with some similar notes to the previous wine. The palate has some sweetness with the herby extension lifting the finish, making the wine satisfying rather than fading out…

GRAND PRÉBOIS VACQUERAS (Famille Perrin) 2012             Laurie
Plummy nose with hints of spice. Palate has a sweet grainy-ness softening the tannins and spice warming the fruit – plums and prunes – as the wine lingers and opens…

BAROLO (Patrizi) 2012      John
The nose is lovely: sweetish plum fruit and a hint of floral – iris? Palate has blueberry and plum fruit, a grainy line that only reveals as tannin near the finish and some lifting acidity. A well balanced wine that is (very) surprisingly light for a Barolo of this age… I’d have to say untypical for that reason, but very enjoyable…

ODE D’AYDIE MADIRAN 2008        Paul 
An aromatic nose, with floral and herbal components. Palate has cedar, blackcurrant, spice, alcohol, richness and some rather firm tannins. The finish is long with warm spice, wood, and food-directing acidity. A lovely example at good maturity. Very enjoyable, and probably my favourite, although the choice of the last wine as favourite always allows for the suspicion of diminished objectivity… but who cares?

Thanks to Paul and Anna for a very lovely evening and in particular their two perfectly mature wines – which I thought were the twin peaks in a very high range…

This is in… Vacqueras!

Finally, the Vacqueras Grand Prébois 2012, would have been the prize for guessing the Appellation of the vineyard pictured above in the quiz from the 8th March Post. The grapes are clearly red (and in fact Grenache) if you look closely, bottom right of the picture. The vineyard is located just above, East, of the village of Vacqueras. No-one guessed correctly, so that wine came to the Sock Club instead…. There may be a similar quiz in the future?

Until next time…

Kathryn & Matt hosted a Sock Party for WING members on Friday February 24th. Our first visit to their new house. A small but select group attended, giving us time to savour the wines, which merited that attention…

Here are my notes:

FERRARI PERLÉ BLANC BRUT 2009 (TRENTO DOC)       Welcome Wine
This Chardonnay Sparkler has quite a Champagne-ish nose with just a hint of apple/gluey tones – to suggest another origin – among the bready citrus aromas. The palate had a dashing acidity across a firm mousse with citrus leading into a long fruit-skin bitter hint finish. Classy!

MAC FORBES “RS7” STRATHBOGIE RANGES RIESLING 2014         Laurie
RS7 here refers to the Residual Sugar. The wine is from a cool vineyard at over 600m elevation with deep decomposing granite soils. The range is set 100 km N of the winery in Yarra Valley, Victoria. The grower has an old world attitude having worked with Dirk Niepoort. The wine shows the beginning of restrained diesel on the nose with some nutty hints and a prickle of acidity. There is a hint of sweetness on the palate, but it just frames a long line of acidity and mineral dryness, a restrained peachy middle with a more dried fruit, warm long finish. Very good, and probably – in the spectrum between old and new world styles – nearer the old world!

KITTMEIR GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2015 (ALTO ADIGE DOC)           Matt
Another high altitude wine – grown at 300m-500m near Caldaro (Kaltern in German). First notes are grapey with a slightly bitter, grappa hint, a warmer floral hint emerges with time. The palate has freshness and a lightness over a deeper base of oily fruit which turns warm and slightly bitter at the end. A fresh, food-friendly Gewürz, rather supple!
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PASSIMENTO BIANCO 2015 (PASQUA – VENETO IGT)       Yvonne
Made from dried Gargenega grapes, this has a floral first note that soon broadens to show deeper pear/peach fruit that grows towards the tropical. The palate has a fine acidity, with a succulent sweet plum fruit with citrus peel and herby accents…

BOLNEY “LINTNER’S RED” 2013            Sue Mc
This Rondo red shows herby and cardamom leafy notes. Palate is very herby – green even – with a laurel leaf quality more imposing than the plum fruit elements – needs food!

TRAVAGLINI GATTINARA 2011       Kathryn
A dark wine with light floral elements and later hints of spice and tar. Very Nebbiolo, when you know what it is, and the palate has smoothness  and supple plum fruit inside its tannic frame. This is a northerly site for Nebbiolo and this shows elegance and evolution for a warmish year. Good!

CANTINA DI NEGRAR AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2011     Rob 
Rich prunes, leathery and grainy nose. Palate with sweet prune fruit, and oily feel and a bitter plum skin twist, building to alcoholic warmth at the finish – a very correct Amarone and great with the pasta salad….

Thanks to Kathryn and Matt – and of course Fintan – for a lovely evening in their new home.The wine selection turned out to be a dominated by Italy, all good – but my favourite was the Gattinara,

Until next time…

Ann and John welcomed the WING stalwarts to the first Sock Party of the Year on Friday 27th January. Having traveled from the Loire that day (6 hours in car, 6 on Ferry) I only arrived for the last quarter. However that was enough in time to sample the last red, guess the Uruguayan Wine in one attempt and sample some of Ann’s lovely food with the exquisite dessert wine – a refreshing and convivial welcome back to the land of ….

Anyway – in light of the above – I had no opportunity to make notes of my own – so what follows were compiled by Ann with – I think – the help of notes that some of the participants left with their empty bottles….

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Taittinger Brut Reserve Non Vintage Champagne    –    Welcome Wine
This slipped down very nicely,  satisfyingly crisp and dry with some brioche and citrus and good length

Pico Attila Chardonnay and Ribolla Gialla  2015 Venezie IGP     –    Kim
Creamy fresh apple and stoney lemon nose. Apple and stone fruit plate. Creamy Floral notes. High acidity. Ribolla Gialla is also found in Slovenia. Lovely and fresh.

Mas Gabriel, Clos de Papillons 2013, Languedoc / Roussillon    –    Yvonne
95% Carignan Blanc, 5% Viognier. Bone dry, not oaked. Fresh fruity, bright.

Brezo de Gregory Perez- 2013- Bierzo Godello y Dona Blanca    –     Ann
No oak used, meant to be fresh mineral and elegant, had a cooked apple flavour I though was maybe a little oxidised, kind visitors all said it wasn’t! Dona Blanca is used in production of white port and less frequently in dry wines

Royal Tokaji Dry Tokaji 2015- Hungary     –   Sue
Furmint with small amount of Harslevelu. Fine green fruit and herbs with touch of oak. Long finish with crisp acidity.

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Trilogia Trilogie Domaine Sol Payré 2013 Roussillon    –    John
1/3 Greanche, 1/3 Syrah, 1/3 Carignan (from Leon Stolarski): Cherry rich red fruit and touch of licquorice on nose
Very full flavour of cherries, violet, liquorice soft tannins, long.

Château Moulin à Vent- Moulis en Medoc, Bordeaux 2010    –    Mike
100% Cabernet Sauvignon? Rich dark plum cherry and liquorice. Some minerality and  velvety soft tannins. very very easy to drink. This was highly rated in Decanter. It was  described by Majestic as Cabernet Sauvignon though on a French retailer site it’s 75% merlot, 20% Cab Sav  and 5 % Cab Franc! In typical Bordeaux fashion, nothing on producer website  and no back label!

Gran Bodegón 2011 Familia Deicas, Uruguay    –     Matt
Tannat 40%, Cabernet Franc 29%, Merlot 19%, Cab Sav 7%, Petit Verdot 3 % Marselan 2%
Described as Bordeaux blend style and did take a while to guess the origin. Rich and savoury and satisfying… [and easy to guess  😉 – ed]

Podere 414, Morellino di Scansano 2012 Tuscany    –     Rob
85% Morellino a clone of Sangiovese with a bit of Colorino, Cillegiolo, Alicante and Syrah.
Cherry, white pepper and black cherry. Rich and fresh not too heavy.

Tamar Ridge Botrytis Riesling  Limited release 2011- Tasmania     –    John
Sweetie to Finish (us) off!- an old favourite of John’s- washed down with apple pie and custard- yum even if i say so myself! [me too – ed].

So another convivial evening… I’m sure all those there echo my appreciation to Ann and John for lovely hospitality, and subsequently for photos and notes.

Until Soon….

Kim hosted a Holiday Sock Party for WING members on Friday December 23rd. The evening began with a fizz and culminated with Heston Blumenthal’s Xmas pudding and a very appropriate wine…

Here are my notes:

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HARROW & HOPE BRUT ROSÉ 2013 (Marlow, Buckinghamshire)           Welcome Wine
This is 100% Pinot Noir and has a vinous nose with some red fruit in a very Pinot package… The palate has an acid backbone giving a sherbet moose to the red fruit, the finish is gripping. Good and the best English Rosé sparkler of the season!

“PORTRAIT” DRY RIESLING 2015 (Peter Lehman – Eden Valley)           Helen
Peach, citrus, mineral, elderflower and diesel notes. The palate has a warm acidity – on the mandarin-orange side of lime…with a slightly green fruit hint (greengage? Melon??) leading to a chalky finish.

MOUNT BARKER RIESLING 2014 (Howard Park – W. Australia)               Sue
Similar elements to the previous wine but in a bigger package, nose is more open and certainly more lime! The palate has a softer attack with the acid entering later, but with more suppleness, lightness and – despite the later start – duration! A rounder wine showing a little more evolution…

ALBILLO CENTENARIO 2013 (Ermita Del Conde)                              Yvonne
Citrus notes – both lemon and lime on the nose with a slightly dry, even chalky impression. Palate is dry – with strong but supple citric fruit and a medium weight… Long, food demanding and with a creamy finale… The next day (after vacuuming) the remaining glass was very suitable with a Turkey dinner!

VACQUERAS BLANC “LES CLEFS D’OR” 2006 (Clos des Cazaux)                 Carrie
This was bottled under an artificial closure and, taking my advice about the wine being reduced (see post of August 12th 2015), Carrie had decanted and aeriated the wine an hour before… The colour was dark and the nose had a sharp soda-ish hint over green fruit. Palate has a herby line (fennel?) and a sour tinged greengage fruit.

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CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY 2000 (H. Roumier)                              Laurie
Cherry inflected nose with farmyard hints. Palate has a slight earthy tinge but still some fruit. No herby notes of youthful Pinot, but a deeper vegetal tone and suppleness and lightness belying its age… Building to a woody / forest fruit finish. Altogether showing how long a wine like this can age and develop complexity….

RIBERA DEL DUERO CRIANZA 2012 (Condado de Haza)                        Mike
Nose has oak, herbs, spice. Palate is very structured with a sharp red fruit, and unwinds to a darker fruit, chocolate and woody finish. Very Tempranillo and very good!

BANDOL 2006 (Pradeaux)                                Rob
Slightly smokey, leathery and pruney nose. Drying palate with dominant – although supple – tannins, warm liquorice mounts and very long… still a little young?!

ANDERSEN TAWNY PORT 1991 (Bottled in 2016!)                    Kim
Candied peel and baking spice on the nose…Palate has a lifting light but continuous acidity – notes of fig and date emerge. So light long and fresh for a 25 year old wine. Deep, satisfying and a wonderful conclusion with Heston’s pud. Fab!

Thanks to everyone present for a lovely evening…

Over the weekend – as is the custom chez Corkmaster – we had the festive meal [Duck Paté / Rack of Lamb / Xmas Pud] accompanied by plunder from the cellars of those present…

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The Paté was  accompanied by:
RÜDESHEIMER BISCHOFSBERG RIESLING AUSLESE 2004 (Leitz)
Amazing nose with pungent diesel and elegant florality, peachy fruit and stony hints. The palate had sweetness but a backbone of citric acidity with a warm zesty twist. Long and wonderful…

The rack of lamb by:
CHÂTEAU GRAND PONTET SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU CLASSÉ 1988
Nose of mushroom, forest floor, light wood and hints of plum… The palate echoes the nose and is very smooth, chocolate and dried and fresh prune and incredibly long… an understated tannic line framing the food… but for a wine with nearly 30 years on the clock it was still vibrant and enjoyable…. A great pleasure with its earthy notes counterpointing the sweetness of the lamb.

Until next time… Which will be in 2017… So – a peaceful and improving new year to one and all….

Carrie and Laurie hosted a Sock Party for WING members on Friday October 28th. A very convivial evening with a consistently high standard of wines…

Here are my notes:

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CRÉMANT DU LOIRE BRUT ROSÉ NV (Domaine de la Cune)              Welcome Wine
Red fruit – more raspberry than strawberry – with a peachy twist later on the nose. The palate has a herby, slightly green, hint – then raspberries again, quite long mousse and a slightly bitter acid lift at the warm finish. A good aperitif!

ALSACE GRAND CRU RIESLING “HENGST” 1999 (Barmes Buecher)          Laurie
This is quite golden, partly due to age but – unfortunately – partly oxidation, which increasingly masks the nose and the early palate with apple notes. Nevertheless: pungent diesel and smoky hints – with some tropical fruit (mango?), underneath. Fundamentally the palate has sweet peach, oily texture and a pithy grapefruit acid line emerging through to a powerful finish. A big Riesling attenuated by slight oxidation.

DIEMERSDAL GRÜNER VELTLINER 2015 (Durbanville, S. A.)           Kathryn
Fresh nose, with pear and peach notes – and a herby sharp tinge and an earthy (South African?) note. Palate is full of sprightly acidity with a green olive notes and lime finish. A surprising combination, that works well – although some of the archetypal Austrian GV character (white pepper, grapefruit…) are not present.

CARIGNAN BLANC VIEILLES VIGNES 2014 (Lavail)         Helen
White Carignan(!?) is in fact a white mutation of the familiar red grape, with under 500 hectares left in the world – mostly in Languedoc-Roussillon. This version, from Côtes Catalanes, has a quiet nose with hints of citrus and salt, showing some herbs as it opens. The palate is warm with hints of stone fruit, and a citric depth…

MORGENHOF ESTATE CHENIN BLANC 2015           Yvonne
Citric notes with some woody notes and a hint of honey. The palate is warm with some typical Chenin acidity showing orchard fruit in the middle and a slightly creamy oaky finish…

“CROSSING” SEMILLON / SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 (Juniper)        Sue
Fresh nose with nettles and herbs, and a slightly oily note. The palate has a balance of herby acidity and a soft fruit richness. A wine that expresses some typical element of each grape, within an integrated package – very good Margaret River wine!
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“ONE-TO-ONE” OLD VINES PAIS 2015  (Morandé)     Brenda  
This turns out to be from the Maule Valley in Chile. This grape that originates in Castille where it has now disappeared, is now nearly all (95% of the world plantings) in Chile. Lately carbonic maceration has been used there to best control a tendency to astringent tannins. Indeed this wines has some Beaujolais character, showing light fresh fruit with a slightly “gummy” palate. The preceding nose has herbs, fresh red fruit and a hint of sweetness. Very interesting…

GIVRY 1er CRU “LA GRANDE BERGE” 2009 (Ragot)         Carrie  
It’s a couple of years since I tasted this last, and the firm acidity and under-evolved nose have both moved on. I found plummy fruit and hints of spice and farmyard on the nose and the acidity and graininess now softened on the palate to support a lovely food wine, a little on the rustic side of great Burgundy but very supple and pleasurable, ready now!

CHINON “LES TEMPS DES CERISES” 2014 (Domaine de la Noblaie)         Mike  
A very dark wine, which has earthy notes and bramble fruit. Palate has a lot of tannin and some raspberry notes, and after finding out that it’s Cabernet Franc I thought I could get a sappy wood hint. Much bigger than most Chinon, indeed than most Cabernet Franc, but a good food wine…

NUITS SAINT GEORGES 2010 (Chauvenet)         John
Also very dark, and dark – plum and prune – fruit nose with a spirity hint. The palate is quite firm with a woody element and a hint of fruit that is, at the moment, recessed. Suggesting some coiled-up class This wine seems more closed than when younger, we are told, so perhaps a dumb phase? On this showing I’d wait another 3 years…

TWO HANDS “ANGELS’ SHARE” McCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2015           Matt
Big woody first note with mint hints, blueberry and spice, and a – relatively restrained – pinch of salt! Palate is very big – black fruit with some supporting acidity and quite a grip of tannin. The palate shows little salt and this is a good example of a big, intense wine with a linearity that some (I confess I am one) might find too much…

“LA GROLA” VERONESE IGT 2012 (Allegrini)        Kim
Plum and prune in a very obviously Italianate nose with a slightly oily and smoky hint. Palate is dense with prunes and a delightful acid lift, which cries for food. This is IGT as the Corvina is supplemented by 10% Syrah… but very good!

ANGOSTO TINTO 2012  (Cambra)     Rob 
This Valencian wine has a sort of dark-Merlot nose: slightly sweet dark fruit and a hint of chocolate. The palate is similar with black cherry and dark plum flavours and a long but quite restrained acidity and tannins supporting… another food wine!

CH PUY SERVAIN TERREMENT MOELLEUX 2006      Farewell Wine
Nose has honey and a floral hint. Palate has warm sweetness with a hint of butterscotch and a long mounting orange marmalade later palate, with the acidity and hint of bitterness associated with that. Balanced and delightful with, a lip-smacking slightly tart, apple crumble… A lovely coda to the evening.

Thanks to everyone present for a lovely evening…

Until next time…

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