Saturday, 22 February 2014

Domaine De Fontseque - Corbieres 2011

Domaine De Fontseque

Corbieres 2011

From the heat of the South of France, from Corbieres, this was a big wine. A deep and rich colour, with smooth but powerful flavours. This was an intense and robust wine that accompanied a gentle pasta dish, but would have been better with a bigger flavoured dish. This was not a gentle wine to savour, rather this had power and aftertaste, leaving a tough dryness on the palate.

From the label:
Corbieres is one of the best-known wine regions of Southern France famous for its robust, intensely flavoured reds. Crafted by winemaker Gerard Bertrand using a fine blend of Carignan, Grenache Noir, Syrah and Mourvedre and aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. The wine is rich and aromatic with generous blackcurrant flavours and spicy, smokey hints on a lingering finish.
At its best...serve this wine with peppered steak, lamb or beef, casseroles, or full-flavoured cheeses.
Bottled at Saint Andre de Roquelongue.
Marks & Spencer - £9.99 (- 25% offer for multiple buy)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Chinon - Les Granges 2010

Chinon - Les Granges 2010

Bernard Baudry

I was given this fine Chinon to try by our French Food & Beverage manager, who is passionate about wine and is always keen to encourage my love of French wine. The wine had already been sampled but I was more than happy to enjoy the rest of the bottle at my leisure. I have always enjoyed the red wines produced in the Loire Valley, but they are not always easy to get here in the UK. As a family, we would regularly bring back bottles of Chinon from trips to France.

This was a lovely wine to enjoy on a leisurely Friday evening. It had great colour and a complexity of aromas that was surprising. Mixed with the soft fruit there was an almost contrasting aroma, a counterpoint, something with strong backbone (my beloved described as almost a rubber tyre smell). A real puzzle of a wine - but lovely to savour. It also has a large amount of sediment in the bottle, not something that is allowed in any supermarket specification. An original French wine; and a wine like this is a real pleasure to be puzzled by.

Mis en bouteille a la propriete.
EARL Bernard Baudry.
Cabernet Franc
Graviers Argilo Siliceux
Sols travailles sans utilisation des desherbants et d'engrais chimiques.
Vendange manuelle.

Pouilly-Fume 2012

Pouilly-Fume 2012

Domaine Thibault

We enjoyed this fresh bottle of Pouilly Fume when we ate out on our final night in Amsterdam. We chose to visit the Restaurant Vlaming on Prisengracht, which was outstanding. I ate a trio of fish to start, followed by sea bass in a Noilly Prat sauce. My beloved did not choose the sea bass and I think she regretted it (she chose a vegetarian tart) - the sea bass was wonderfully cooked. The food and the service at Restaurant Vlaming was excellent and the Pouilly Fume was very pleasant. A lovely evening.

Feiler-Artinger - Blaufrankisch 2011


Blaufrankisch 2011
Rust am see, Burgenland

We enjoyed this wonderfully welcoming and familiar wine (from our previous visit to Austria) on the first night of our recent city break, staying at the Die Port Van Cleve in Amsterdam. The quality and freshness of these Austrian wines are recognised across Europe but unfortunately not here in the UK. For those fortunate enough to drink them, they are just so refreshingly easy to drink, yet have good fruit and freshness.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Wine Club - wine tasting evening (12-02-2014)

Wine Club

Wine Tasting Evening

Here are the wines from our last "Wine Club Tasting Evening";

It was a good evening with a nice journey through first four wine wines and then four red wines, finishing with a powerful Californian old vine Zinfandel. Here are the wines in the order of the journey, with the tasting notes that were provided;

Lenz Moser

Gruner Veltliner 2012 (Austria)

A dry white wine. The grape is believed to date back to Roman times. Bright yellow-green; racy with spicy-peppery notes combined with spicy fruits and youthful acidity. Full-bodied and living wine for many opportunities!

Dona Dominga

Sauvignon Blanc Viognier 2011 (Chile)

Floral, citric and gooseberry notes with a long refreshing finish. The climatic conditions in the vineyard are exceptional with hot days but cold nights... perfect for the concentration of fresh fruit aromas.

Furmint 2011

Royal Tokaji (Hungary)

A dry white wine from an intriguing grape. The word furmint derives from the Hungarian word for the wheaten colour of its wines. This dry white produces a fresh aromatic wine with honey and stone fruit noses with a crispness and bite of grape flowers and lime aromas. Ideal with creamy cheeses or rich poultry dishes.


Viognier 2012 (Australia)

This thoroughly alluring wine from Australia's oldest family owned winery situated in the Barossa Valley is full-bodied. It has a rich perfumed floral scent with ripe peach and apricot fruit and a silky palate. Enjoy with pasta or fish.


Carmenere 2012 (Chile)

A bright violet colour with fresh red fruits and plums and a hint of spice. The Carmenere grape is the iconic variety of Chile. This particular wine comes from the central valley area.

Louis Latour Bourgogne 2011

Gamay (France)

Approx. 15% pinot noir is added to the Gamay grape and vinified with oak contact. Gamay grapes in this wine are from Beaujolais Cru villages of Fleurie, Chenas and Regnie. Raspberry, redcurrant and red cherry characters form the backbone of this wine, while hints of pepper and graphite add a touch of savoury complexity. Ideal with robust slow cooked meats.

Castillo La Paz

Tempranillo Syrah 2011 (Spain)

A bronze medal winner at the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2012. These old vines are grown in the clean and dry atmosphere of Don Quixote's homeland. It has deep colour with concentrated berry flavours.


Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi 2010

This old vine wine has bountiful big, bold aromas of spice and mocha, while intense flavours of plum and chocolate, rich tannins and vanilla mocha notes rock your palate. Packing enough flavour to blow the unsuspecting tasters head off, this really isn't a wine for the faint hearted!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Campo Viejo Rioja

Campo Viejo Rioja

Reserva 2008

A lovely rioja, brought back by a friend from Spain. Something that is a gently but fulfilling pleasure, either summer or winter.

From the label:

Embotellado por bodegas Campo Viejo
Varidades: Tempranillo, Graciano y Mazuelo

Sangiovese Puglia

Sangiovese Puglia 2012

Indicazione Geografica Tipica

A leisurely and easy drinking wine from Puglia. This would have gone well with a wide variety of meals but it was very pleasant with our pasta.

From the label:

This example comes from the south-eastern region of Puglia, often known as "the heel" of Italy. Here winemaker Egidio Finazzer has made this delicious moreish wine, which he has left un-oaked to allow the fresh fruity flavours to shine.

At its best ... Perfect as an aperitif, party wine or drink to accompany salami, soft cheese or grilled lamb chops. Can be served at room temperature or lightly chilled.

Expertly blended by Marks & Spencer.
Bottled for Marks & Spencer by Cantina del Coppiere Ora, Italy

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Vin D'Alsace Gewurtztraminer

Vin D'Alsace Gewurtztraminer

Cuvee Prestige 2012

From the Alsace in France. We enjoyed this smooth but very fruity Gewurtztraminer. It had a delicate flowery noise, yet its palate was very full - powerful notes that could be described as 'lychee'.

From the label:

This wine has a distinctive rich, floral nose followed by a palate that has lovely lychee, rose and slightly spicy characters. Fresh and well balanced acidity mean this concentrated and bold Gewurtztraminer remains fresh and really elegant.

Bottled: Viticulteurs reunis de Hunawihr, France

Saturday, 8 February 2014

La Patrie Cahors

La Patrie Cahors 2012

Appelation d'Origine Protegee

This beautifully deep wine is such a pleasant, smooth and easy drinking pleasure that it is so easy to understand the new popularity of the Malbec grape, especially those from Argentina. This is French, and proudly so, from that sun baked land of Cahors. Drinking this on a dark February night it really lifts the spirits and was the perfect accompaniment for some reassuring cheeses.

From the label:

La Patrie is sourced from the famous medieval, sun drenched region of Cahors - famous for its inky, deep coloured wines made predominantly from Malbec grapes which have historically been grown throughout this stunningly scenic appellation located in the south west of France.

This is a structure, full bodied yet elegant red made using super-ripe Malbec grapes which have been enriched with a hint of oak. This wine is bursting with blackberry and blackcurrant fruit and would make a perfect partner to all types of roasted meats including beef or lamb.

Produced and bottled by Vinalie - Cotes d'Olt Parnac, France.

Saint-Emilion 2011

Saint-Emilion 2011

Appellation Saint-Emilion Controlee

Purchased from Sainsbury's at £9.99, this was a 'sensibly priced' wine. A wine that was enjoyed leisurely over a few evenings with food (plus the lingering afterwards). The wines of Saint Emillion are becoming a new area of interest for me, not wines that I have drunk that much in the past, but they seem to offer a better entry into Bordeaux.

From the label:
Rich and concentrated, this classic St-Emilion has delicious complex aromas of red berries and cedar notes with ripe, silky tannins.

Award-winning producers Dourthe have created this rich wine from some of the finest grapes grown in the famous region of St Emilion on the right bank of the River Dordogne in Bordeaux. The wine is partly ages in oak barrels to produce a truly elegant, fine wine.
A lovely, full-bodied wine that pairs well with red meat and cheese.

Grape: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Bottled for Sainsbury's by Dourthe at Parempuyre, Gironde, France.