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Midweek drinking thread ( 21 to 24 October 2019 )


I’ll get the ball rolling this week. Lazily, I had some, rather tasty, shop bought filled pasta with this fabulous wine…

…a single varietal ciliegiolo from organic producer Sassotondo. It had an intriguingly complex nose with notes of black cherry, purple plums, herbs, spice and smoky minerals. Similar flavours and complexity on tasting with wonderful depth, nuance, balance and integration of fruit and oak. An expansive finish with very good length to end. It could only have come from Italy.

It put me in mind of the wines from South African producer Alheit with its effortless unforced brilliance. I think this is maybe their top wine ( £22 ) but I would feel compelled to try anything they produced, if offered !!!


A new grape for us this evening – Albana, which – according to my new Italian Grapes bible- is the first white wine to be awarded a DOCG in Italy as DOCG Romagna.

Apparently it is a descendant of Garganega, and quite tannic for a white. This is a purchase on a whim from Majestic, as I love trying new varietals. The guy in Majestic described it as a cross between Alsatian PG and Viognier – which is a love child I am happy to adopt.

Nice pale gold in the glass, the nose is a mix of mild honey, peach, orange zest and white blossom. On the palate it is actually more acidic than expected, but with a fullness that is lovely. There’s apricot, but also orange, ripe red apple and lemon verbena. Finish is not very long, but the texture and flavours are really pleasant! A happy find for £8.99

Happy Tuesday! :grinning: :clinking_glasses:


Where did you get this? Was in the (delightfully unplagued by Brits) southern reaches of Tuscany where it comes from last year, but failed to try a ciliegiolo :frowning:

Albana common for sweet wines in the region. Never saw a dry one before.


Humberto Canale old vineyard Semillon tonight , very nice , softer than a Hunter valley but with good depth and concentration of flavour, higher alcohol which really isn’t noticeable and a great sipping wine :wink:.


Indeed, my Italian Grapes bible claims that Albana late harvest wines are superb! Mind you, the Secco got our vote too! :+1:


After a text from a friend I couldn’t resist investigating the 25% off 6 at Tesco. Ended up with 2 Yalumba chardonnay, 2 St Mont, 2 Torrontes (made by Catena) for £30. Not drinking today, but even if these all end up in cooking it’ll still be good value. Nothing outstanding but all eminently drinkable.


Nice slippers Leah!


We’re in Alsace with friends who are new to Alsace and wine appreciation. Yesterday, we took them to Eguisheim, and a visit to Bruno Sorg.

Utterly reliable as ever across the range. We stuck to trying two wines from each variety at different quality levels - classique , and vieille vigne or Grand Cru - to try to show them the differences that appear by only changing one variable at a time. We both walked away with half a case of the Pinot Gris Vielle Vigne 2017 at 10€/bottle, which made us very happy :slight_smile:

Our friends are very keen cyclists, but one of them is recovering from a cracked hip, so today with better weather we planned a leisurely cycle ride down the route du vin. Post-lunch, the husband suggested riding up Haut Koenigsbourg (so much for recovery from injury), which made the whole thing more strenuous than expected. Clearly a need for proper food and wine in the evening, to recover.

I cooked a chicken in riesling and cream, with bacon and mushrooms, spaetzle and braised chicory. We drank the Sancerre and a good amount of the sylvaner before the meal. The Sancerre was pretty classic - blackcurrant leaves, grass and gooseberries, and a nice flinty backbone. Friends bought it from Super U - it’s available from Waitrose. The sylvaner from Ernest Burn is a great combination of freshness and roundness, with green apples mingling with bitter almonds and a balance to the residual sugar making it very easy to drink. The Mittnacht Frères Muehlforst Riesling 2013 was a rather serious wine - while it was notably mineral, the overwhelming impression is still of youthful lemon and lime zestiness, despite its age. It’s got a long way to run, but is very enjoyable now.


Yikes! I had a monkfish tagine this evening, hardly peasant food - but drooling just thinking about your meal…! :drooling_face:


Well, you did have poulet au riesling at the weekend…


That’s true! :smile:
I’m just greedy… !


My partner Katie finally reached her target weight, losing nearly 4 stone! celebrated with a really good Taurasi (paid £20 not £26 in Averys wine cellar). You can see why Taurasi is seen as the Barolo of the South.

Katie mistook it for a Naoussa Xinomavro, and there is a distinct resemblance here. Plenty of tannin, acidity, and minerality. Decanted for 2 hours and continued to open up during the evening, revealing red berries, sloes, spices and leather. Good complexity and value. May have to pop back and buy a couple to keep a few years.


From TWS in June. It sold through very quickly IIRC. I now know why !


That made me laugh out loud when I read it yesterday.

Must say, your obscure Italian varietal trumps mine by a long way !


That sounds like a heavenly day, Haut Koenigsbourg excepted !

And the food looks fantastic, as always.

I’m not envious, really, I’m not.


Congratulations to your partner! What an amazing achievement!! :tada: :+1::+1:


A lot of cycling up big hills is in the head - that, and having enough gears! I actually find the coming back down more stressful, though I’m getting better. Living in Cambridge doesn’t give much chance to practice descending skills!


If the gradient goes above 10% I run out of gears very quickly. And then in rapid succession, will, talent and breath.

Losing 10kg might do me a favour though !


Can TWS start selling these?


This is brilliant :rofl: