Weekend Drinks: EUROVISION WEEKEND!! Friday 13th... to Sunday 15th

I've not actually started yet, but after 2 brutally, totally unnecessarily aggresive meetings with some "lets-go-all-alpha-male-and-bang-the-desk-but-in-reality-just-compensating-for-stupidity-and-ignorance" types (think Alan Partridge meets David Brent) thoughts have turned to this evening's pleasures.

First up: BallotMillot 2019 Meursault.

Then I have a cheeky bottle of Chandon des Brailles Corton-Bressandes 2001 that has been lurking for a while.

And of course the awesomely bad eurovison - we will as usual be having our annual Eurovision party fuelled by cheesy music and too much booze and lots of european friends (at least, the ones that have not yet left)
 
Eurovision is shown over 3 consecutive nights here in Aus so we are only an hour into the 1st semi final. I posted a number of threads in the past, but the forum members don’t seem to be big fans - for me it’s the best program on TV

Ukraine are bound to win the viewers vote by a big margin so it’s hard to see past them. The Dutch entry this year of the best ever, besting the winner of 3 years ago and the Common Linnits. Hope it does well.

I have a 2018 Penley Estate Project Shiraz in the glass. My favourite Coonawarra Producer, they have been trialing something different in a region where global warming is likely to have some bad effects. Not as good as the Cabernets I have tried from them (Franc and Sauv), it has nice fruit, but it’s a bit dry in the mouth.
 
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This is a magnificent Echezeaux that is living up to the promise it showed en primeur. Powerful, opulent, lavish even but it manages to remain this side of overripe. The tannins are simply sensational and provide the necessary ballast to all that supercharged 2005 fruit. The stems are nowhere to be seen. Today this is a beautifully balanced wine that is already delivering in spades. Eccentric burgundy perhaps but don’t you just love it.
 
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it manages to remain this side of overripe.
I have started to wonder if overripeness is quite a serious problem in 05.
I wish I had become aware of Confuron-Coteditot earlier. So much of my vinous education took place on extraordinarily frequent visits to Lea and Sandeman on Kensington Church Street in the nineties. I think C-C and Courcel already shared a winemaker but I found Courcel much easier to get to grips with in those days.
 
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I would open something Ukrainian but, not unsurprisingly, the cellar seems devoid of any bottles.

Instead 1998 château Beaucastel. I had a couple of cases of this and this bottle, finally, appears to be hitting the straps. Starting to pale to an attractive translucent mahogany. Inviting nose with something farmyard, roses, bret and a touch of VA. Tastes rounded with the balance between old leather book and red fruits just right. Alcohol in balance- 13.5%!


1998 CNDP had high hopes on release but my experiences have been mixed. This one is delivering. Not sure how many I have left, but on past form when the bottle is this good it will be my last one.
 

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'Tis my birthday weekend, so I got to eat & drink exactly what I wanted tonight - which my mood dictated was pink fizz followed by these whites and fresh fish:

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The Bolly was ideal as an aperitif - quite mature with minimal fizz left but lovely soft red fruit.

Skrei Cod Ceviche paired with the beautifully honeyed and petrolly Riesling, followed by a crisp fillet of Sea Bass with Jersey Royals, English Asparagus and Sauce Bisque with an absolutely superb Hunting Hill - butter, lemon, flint and toast.

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We have a piece of Roquefort and Creme Brulees (it's a shit business) still to come with the Sauternes...
 
I wish I had become aware of Confuron-Coteditot earlier. So much of my vinous education took place on extraordinarily frequent visits to Lea and Sandeman on Kensinton Church Street in the nineties. I think C-C and Courcel already shared winemaker but I found Courcel much easier to get to grips with in those days.

I remember tasting this Echezeaux at the Lea & Sandeman 2005 en primeur tasting in 2007 at the Hyde Park Hotel (as it was known then) in Knightsbridge. I was particularly taken by both the C-C Echezeaux and the de Courcel Pommard Rugiens 2005 both made by Yves Confuron I believe and both of which I bought in quantity. They are in truth both borderline overripe but both are exciting wines in their own way if you are so inclined. I haven’t tried enough 2005s to know yet whether overripeness is a serious problem. A Drouhin Corton Bressandes 2005 enjoyed the other day showed no trace of overripeness. Indeed it was surprisingly fastidious but ready to go.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
A particularly nice Cremant de Bourgogne tonight, the Vitteaut Alberti, Blanc de Blancs Brut. £16 from Justerini's, an an estate in Rully:

Vitteaut Alberti, Cremant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs Brut

Burgundy, France, Sparkling White, Cork, 12.0% abv
91/100.
From a 22-hectare family domaine in Rully, this is 80% Chardonnay and 20% Aligoté, aged for 16 to 18 months sur lie and it has 8g/l residual sugar. Lots of biscuit and brioche, but fresh and zippy too, a crunchy ripe apple and lemon fruitiness. There is minerality and some quite delicate fruit on the palate, lemony, but with lemon rind rather than juice, waxiness and gentleness. Persistent acidity balancing very nicely into a long clean and juicy finish.
£16.42
 
A Drouhin Corton Bressandes 2005 enjoyed the other day showed no trace of overripeness. Indeed it was surprisingly fastidious but ready to go.
Perhaps the most underestimated of all the Drouhin domaine GCs. I was about to remark that Drouhin didn't deal in overripe wine but I gather that there were problems in 2018. Has anyone drunk an 03? I don't remember one.
 
Entre Vinyes Oníric Pet Nat 2019 (Spain) tonight as the Meinklang pet nat was sold out. This is really good too. But it is a couple € more expensive. Hazy, more "natural" feel than in the Meinklang, some slight damp earth scent that is really attractive, but clean peachy/floral fruit. Fruity but seems dry (I checked and yes, no RS according to Alko's specs) but joyous as good pet nats are. Maybe a couple € more than my norm pet nat isn't a bad thing for a variation on the genre. Unserious pure fun with a very slight funky twist. Buy again? Oh yeah! Now I have two fun pet nats available and both under 20€ / bottle!
 

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This is a magnificent Echezeaux that is living up to the promise it showed en primeur. Powerful, opulent, lavish even but it manages to remain this side of overripe. The tannins are simply sensational and provide the necessary ballast to all that supercharged 2005 fruit. The stems are nowhere to be seen. Today this is a beautifully balanced wine that is already delivering in spades. Eccentric burgundy perhaps but don’t you just love it.
You’re currently on a fine run of Confuron-Cotetidot wines there Nigel…..
 
I remember tasting this Echezeaux at the Lea & Sandeman 2005 en primeur tasting in 2007 at the Hyde Park Hotel (as it was known then) in Knightsbridge. I was particularly taken by both the C-C Echezeaux and the de Courcel Pommard Rugiens 2005 both made by Yves Confuron I believe and both of which I bought in quantity. They are in truth both borderline overripe but both are exciting wines in their own way if you are so inclined. I haven’t tried enough 2005s to know yet whether overripeness is a serious problem. A Drouhin Corton Bressandes 2005 enjoyed the other day showed no trace of overripeness. Indeed it was surprisingly fastidious but ready to go.
Overripeness would surely always a risk as they were (and I assume still are) notoriously late pickers. I assume that they would do surprisingly well in vintages where this was to an estate’s advantage. Maybe 2008, 2013, 2016 perhaps?
 
A little Tio Pepe fino en Rama from this years release got the taste buds into working order, followed by a 2018 Alliet Chinon which is a little reductive on the nose, ripe dark berry fruit, leafy, nice acidity, soft tannins with a long clean finish, time ahead but a pleasure to drink now
Alliet Chinon really are "grown up" wines. Wines to be appreciated over the course of an evening. Drinking them make me feel like a more worthy man....even though I know it to be false.
 
A few nice bottles.
2001 Galvo Garage from d’Arenberg was nicely mature. Still holding onto a core of ripe fruit, but was beautifully evolved.
2010 Cuvee Gaby Crozes Hermitage was superb. Decent structure still. I imagine will improve further over the next 5 years.
2005 Gigondas from Moulin de Gardette was another bottle at a great point in its development. Gorgeous sweet earthy notes.
Lismore Syrah 2018 - pure and lifted. Plenty of freshness and just a real pleasure filled bottle.
Skyaasen Monthelie 2018 - a newish producer who I’ve been impressed with before. This bottle was like full fat Coca Cola. Just huge sweetness to it and not particularly pleasant. Just bad winemaking? Not sure. Will try another cuvee soon
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Graacher Domprobst, Spätlese 10, 2016 Willi Schaefer was elegant over the past two evenings, white fruit, slightly hindered by a note of bitterness, with a promise of more to come on the long mineraly aftertaste. Sometimes the promise offers more than the event itself so not a bad time to start drinking these.
 
Potel Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets '07 - pretty red nose, balanced, red fruits, nice sense of layers in the middle, well proportioned but all quite dialled down. Nice wine but not really a top class Caillerets on this showing.

La Chenade '06 - lovely colour showing some bricking, quite a strict and austere opening, time in the decanter sees the generally juicy nature of this wine emerge which is actually a pleasing interplay with the tannins and vintage style. I think still some upside on this even though it is probably ready to go.

St Cosme Gigondas '03 - showing some age and a fair whack of sediment. This is really well proportioned, big hit of black fruit and spice, but no sur maturite or sense of excess heaviness. One of those wines that hit the spot on the particular night, just what I fancied for some reason.
 
Location
London
Quite behind with my notes, here's a mini dump of interesting things drunk over the past week or two.

Went to Otto's for the third time, and felt the food (goat's cheese souffle, pigeon special with foie gras, nougat glace) was just as good as I'd hoped. The wines were pretty expensive and somewhat underwhelming, though, alas:

2018 Philippe Bouzereau Meursault Vieux Clos du Château de Citeaux - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault (28/04/2022)
Stereotypically 2018 and 'old school Meursault' in style: rich, thick, quite yellowed, pretty oaky. Good match for my heavy starter (cheese souffle), and the sort of wine I generally enjoy, but would have been awful as an aperitif, or with white fish, etc. (91 pts.)

1989 Château Philippe-le-Hardi Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (28/04/2022)
Quite a bit of sediment, but not decanted given its age. Definitely still alive, and not oxidised, though I'm sure would have been better five years ago. Some tomato on the nose, quite weighty, good acidity, and the best feature being an intense, juicy midpalate - mouthwatering, and excellent with some rich food. Still, a slight disappointment given the stature - and the price! (91 pts.)

Some decent bottles at home or with friends:

2019 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (13/05/2022)
Bottle 1/9. Not getting the high praise for this wine; perhaps it's already starting to close down? Very crisp and linear, racy verging on austere, and more like Falkenstein, say, than other Haag wines I've tried. A touch of cream on the finish at first, but oddly that disappeared with air and was replaced by preserved lemon and apple juice. (90 pts.)

2016 Alpha Box & Dice Nero d'Avola Siren - Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale (08/05/2022)
Hand harvested in the cool of morning, 100% whole bunch fermented with natural yeast, 18 mos in old oak incl 16 on its lees. Very nice wine, if a tad unexciting. Good-to-high acidity and acceptable ABV (12.7%) suggested early-picking, as did the pale colour. Lots of cherry fruit, dusky Parma violet perfume, mixed dried herbs, a touch of leather, good lift and definition and a slightly saline finish. The tannins had melted away by age six, but the wine was better with food given the acidity. (90 pts.)

2018 Guy Breton Morgon Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon (07/05/2022)
Really lovely - expressive, lifted, mineral, perfectly-judged ripeness. So easy to drink, without being at all facile. Superb with some cold roast beef and horseradish mayo. (92 pts.)

2002 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Clos Windsbuhl - France, Alsace (29/04/2022)
Certainly still seemed in good shape, although I think perhaps better a few years ago given the wine didn't have a huge amount of energy. Very oily and opulent, with honey and lanolin, although not obviously sweet. Perhaps more of a vin de meditation than one to drink with food, despite Pinot Gris's reputation as being the Swiss army knife of the food matching world. (91 pts.)

2019 Boris Champy Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Altitude - France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune (29/04/2022)
Seemed well made, nice depth of red fruit, clean and crisp - solid Pinot. Would perhaps have benefitted from better glassware. Will keep buying, but this wine doesn't belie its status IMO, despite the positive reviews and cultish reputation. (89 pts.)

At 67PM with a couple of other forumites on Thursday evening - really fortunate with the wines:

2013 Pol Roger Champagne Vintage Brut - France, Champagne (12/05/2022)
I thought this was delicious, and in a good place for drinking; 2013 still feels like a recent vintage in the context of Champagne, but I didn't detect any need for more time to further soften or integrate any aspect of this wine. What seemed to stand out the most was precisely that none of the wine's attributes stood out: it was straight down the middle and full of appeal, without being at all dull. Perhaps more of an aperitif style for current drinking, with its finesse, healthy acidity and slightly saline quality, but I detect plenty of scope for the wine to mature - should be good for at least 10 years. (93 pts.)

2015 Michel Bouzereau et Fils Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru (12/05/2022)
First bottle from my stash of Bouzereau Genevrieres, vindicating the decision to become a buyer of this wine (thanks for the tip, Neal and Jasper...). Gorgeous on the nose, with just a smidgen of sexy struck match, a hint of oak and an obvious weight of fruit. Lots of mass on the palate too, full and round yet with a strong core of mineral fruit to keep things in balance and make the wine extremely refreshing. Great with a crab eclair, and I'm thirsty thinking about it as I write this note... (94 pts.)

2016 Renato Molino Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (12/05/2022)
Pop n' pour. First time trying this producer, and pretty impressed - and another excellent, surprisingly approachable and unsurprisingly balanced 2016. On the sturdy side compared to the La Morra stereotype, although the tannins were fine-grained so I suspect the level of concentration reflects winemaking choices (picking date, extraction) rather than the terroir itself. Slightly candied fruit without the wine being at all sweet, clean and supple, quite grown-up yet easy to enjoy. (93 pts.)

2019 Domaine Dujac Morey St. Denis - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Morey St. Denis (12/05/2022)
First high-level 2019 since the wines were bottled, and extremely promising. Obviously made with amply ripe fruit, yet without any warmth to the wine, just brightness and generosity. Whole bunch used very tastefully (this is not always my thing, especially in young wine), silky and sophisticated, perhaps even somewhat hedonistic. Lots here, will age well. (92 pts.)

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