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

That ‘83 Cheval Blanc have been great since mid 90s, for years ‘83 and ‘85 were running neck to neck, two of the best vintages of CB ever. Also underpriced relatively for years.
 
Barthod Bourgogne '10 - this is almost a lovely wine. Pure, elegant, racy, chiselled and beautifully proportioned all it lacks is some actual fruit. On paper this should be a really excellent year for this cuvee but it justs lacks generosity for me, at least at this point of evolution. I have plenty to go at so will return in a year or so.

Grand Puy Lacoste '04 - I made a mistake here, the wine was mute and ungiving for at least an hour before gradually unfurling to the mid weight, slightly aloof and austere, cool fruited Pauillac I was hoping for. In fact, after 2 hours in the decanter it fattened up with some sweet fruit and a deeper intensity. I think this needed a proper 4hr decant - I'm struggling to recall the last time I thought that - to unfurl and I think there is still plenty of upside perhaps.
 
It was our wedding anniversary on saturday (11th, nothing landmark) and having made absolutely no plans ahead of time, we woke up to a message from some friends offering to take our 9yo for a sleepover that day. Having taken a quick look at what might be feasible in the window available, by 3pm we had arrived at Rathfinny for dinner, bed and breakfast, while our friends recovered from having their hands bitten off. Obviously among other things we dragged ourselves through their range of wines, at the cellar door and before / with dinner. It feels like the kind of set-up that a 'nerdy' wine-pager type (myself included) might find off-putting - vast sums of money invested, large volumes (for England), highly ambitious. But the wines are good and I think improving - still I think the best so far was the 2016 Blanc de Noirs. The 2017 blanc de blanc this time around I found quite impressive - low dosage but good ripeness, quite vinous, slightly creamy but still fresh.

The food was a little mixed - we ate in the slightly more casual of the two restaurants. Starters were very good, mains were ok (slightly over-salted lamb neck, a little chewy - hadn't seen enough heat), puddings were really excellent (highlight some madeleines warm from the oven with a kind of dehydrated rhubarb dust scattered on them, served with blobs of stewed rhubard and custard).
 
Little late but couple of enjoyable bottles:

LDN Cru Bacchus 2020 - Pale with pear, apple, gooseberry, lemon & lime on the nose. Plenty of acidity and decent body. More lemon, lime, pear and apple on the palate and a decent finish too. Good balance and the strong acidity just gave it a bit of extra zip. Really nice example.

  • 2017 Domaine des Terregelesses (Françoise André) Chorey-les-Beaune Tue Boeuf - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chorey-les-Beaune (16/05/2022)
    Mid ruby with nose of morello cherry, raspberry, strawberry, blackcurrant & vanilla. Nice weight and mouthfeel with present tannin. Red cherry, raspberry, strawberry, moss, blackcurrant and vanilla on the palate. Lovely persistent finish. Great balance and mix of flavours & aromas. Plenty more to give i think over time.
Posted from CellarTracker
 
2011 Bodegas Olarra Rioja Los Autores El Brujo Reserva - Spain, La Rioja, Rioja (15/05/2022)
Less modern than previous bottles. Pretty classic and great value though not really the most compelling Rioja. Just very satisfying.

1997 Château Poujeaux - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Moulis en Médoc (16/04/2022)
First for many years. Not the best bottle. Perfectly pleasant but lacked the charm and give of previous. This one seemed less energetic and giving. Narrow. Slight spicy kick in the finish.

1997 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese #10 - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (14/05/2022)
Very lucky on this. Bottle on it's side for storage. The cork had been sliding out for some months, pushing the capsule up. I'd been meaning to drink it soon. Today I opened the wine fridge. It smelled a little winey and i suspected this might be a bit leaky. level was down a little. Pulled the bottle. The cork fell out when I touched it. The capsule had kept it in place. Levels about 25ml down but smelled fine. Then to sample! Actually delightful. Fruity nose with some diesel but pretty dry on the palate and super light. Long finish. Me and my fellow Riesling doubters all enjoyed this a lot.
 
Lyrarakis White blend of muscat and vidiano at Thalassino Ageri in Chania. Thanks to Ian for the restaurant recommendation, sea bream, cuttlefish and red mullet were all delicious. The wine was very grapey and aromatic on the nose but lean and minerally on the palate. Not bad but prefer their Assyrtiko.

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I envy you the chance to dine and drink as you like on this beautiful island (we’re near Heraklion and with two children under 3, “enjoying” all inclusive dining / drinking options at a place that can be be described as a posh water park. The kids are loving it though, that’s the main thing!
 
Talking of Cru Bourgeois sadly this Loudenne 2009 is a bit of a dud. The estate is situated close to the Gironde estuary north of St-Estephe and also north of Sociando Mallet. This wine is 55% Merlot, 40% Cab Sav, 4% Cab Franc, 1% Malbec and 14% alcohol. It is quite big framed and still a bit tannic, fruit shy, thick textured and lacking in focus. It’s most notable leitmotif is dark chocolate, more pronounced on day two. I bought this instantly forgettable wine in central Bordeaux. Life is too short…

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The estate has a goood marketing department - can’t remember what I paid for it but it wasn’t worth it.

 
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I envy you the chance to dine and drink as you like on this beautiful island (we’re near Heraklion and with two children under 3, “enjoying” all inclusive dining / drinking options at a place that can be be described as a posh water park. The kids are loving it though, that’s the main thing!
Feel very fortunate Steve, it is a beautiful island and the tips shared on WP means we are enjoying Cretan hospitality.

Hope you’re managing to enjoy yourself. I’m sure you have a few jeros of champagne stashed away to get you through the week!
 
Talking of Cru Bourgeois sadly this Loudenne 2009 is a bit of a dud. The estate is situated close to the Gironde estuary north of St-Estephe and also north of Sociando Mallet. This wine is 55% Merlot, 40% Cab Sav, 4% Cab Franc, 1% Malbec and 14% alcohol. It is quite big framed and still a bit tannic, fruit shy, thick textured and lacking in focus. It’s most notable leitmotif is dark chocolate, more pronounced on day two. I bought this instantly forgettable wine in central Bordeaux. Life is too short…

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The estate has a goood marketing department - can’t remember what I paid for it but it wasn’t worth it.


Is this the grand vin or a special bottling, Ian? Because a decluttered version of the 'traditional' label also seems to be in circulation for 2009:

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While a completely different (and to my eyes rather attractive) label was used the previous year:

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And I have no idea where this one fits (or fitted) into the chronology:

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All of which looks like a full-blown identity crisis, possibly caused by overindulgence with new oak...
 
Lunch on Monday is still the weekend?

2020 Gaia Wild Ferment Asyrtiko did the trick with wild scorpion fish and pink sea bream and the lovely Almyriki on the beach at Stavros, Crete near Chania (apparently where the finale from Zorba the Greek was filmed).

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Not quite the same as drinking Assyrtiko in the Greek islands, but I had the exact same wine on Wednesday last week at the Japanese Grill, Beaverbrook.

  • 2020 Gaia Assyrtiko Wild Ferment - Greece, Aegean, Cyclades, Santorini (5/11/2022)
    Light golden yellow with a sharp smokey minerally lemon zest and grapefruit nose. Quite a lot of dry extract on the midpalate where there is some density viscosity and power from this young Assyrtiko. Well balanced and very satisfying although lacking the focus of the very best examples. From 80 year old vines and from BTG at Japanese Grill, Beaverbrook, Surrey (UK) (91 pts.)

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The below was from family dinner on Friday...



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  • 2015 Joseph Drouhin Meursault En Luraule - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault (5/13/2022)
    Pale lemon in colour, nose shows whiff of spice no doubt from the oak and otherwise foursquare Meursault with almond oil, salted butter, lychee, and white peach. This seems to be rich quite unctuous buttery saline and white fruity but it is a shame that it is cloaked by conspicuous oak which upsets the overall harmony and enjoyment of the wine. Still, a decent effort, and was very fairly priced on the wine list at Botley Hill Farmhouse in Surrey. By the bottle from ordinary glassware! (91 pts.)
 
Great show at the weekend. In a normal year I think Spain would have won, but I did find myself singing the Ukrainian song afterwards.

The UK number come across well and and helped by being near the end. I would have voted for NL, Czech Republic and Poland, but 2 had no chance due to the draw and Poland seemed to get lost in the voting.

The split between the Pros and the Public makes for fantastic viewing. There was shock here in Aus when the public vote only gave 2 points after the 120+ from the professionals. Worse still for Switzerland. Great TV.
 
No Eurovision here but was a long weekend for us!

MAINLY BORDEAUX AT SSG - (16/5/2022)

The Las Cases was the clear WOTN, all the Las Cases training from a generous friend has clearly paid off as I don't think I have ever been surer in guessing a Bordeaux. Was also a farewell for a friend so brought one of my favourite vintages of Magdelaine, and the Daniel Landi as I have seen many positive reviews across various sources but I have yet to try any from my stash. The Magdelaine showed beautifully but unfortunately I was left quite confused by the showing of the Landi.
  • 2011 Roses de Jeanne / Cédric Bouchard Champagne Blanc de Blancs La Haute-Lemblé - France, Champagne
    Had the usual Bouchard signature of the interplay between ripe fruits and low dosage. Agree with the friend who brought this that this is his best cuvee but unfortunately this didn't transcend the vintage. Very good still but missing the tension and cut of better vintages. (91 pts.)
  • 1990 Château Rausan-Ségla - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    Very pleasant, it had the bright red and sweet fruit of 1990. Fully resolved tannins that melted in your mouth, probably on the gentle downslope. (91 pts.)
  • 1990 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Pristine cork, might have been a recent release. Fruit was a little overripe but yet still slightly vegetal, was also slightly fading and couldn't keep up compared to the massive frame of the wine. Alcohol was most obvious on the finish among all the wines. (88 pts.)
  • 1995 Château Pontet-Canet - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    Didn't feel like the cleanest wine, fruit was muddled and fading. Don't think that this was ever great in its lifetime. (88 pts.)
  • 1990 Château Léoville Las Cases - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    All the training on Las Cases paid off, once I smelled and tasted this I immediately knew what this was from the slightly green note on the nose, together with the wonderfully elegant and silky tannins / texture. Similar notes to the previous time I had this, a remarkably consistent wine given its age. Clearly the best wine of the night and lucky to have had this three times in the last year. (96 pts.)
  • 2000 Château Magdelaine - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Gave this a couple hours of air and it really blossomed compared to the previous time that I popped and poured. I don't care for Bordeaux aromatics most of the time but Magdelaine always has a wonderful dark-fruited nose that is both charming and haunting at the same time. Staunchly traditional without any excess, very good showing and the second favourite of the night. (94 pts.)
  • 2016 Daniel Gomez Jimenez Landi Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León Las Iruelas El Tiemblo - Spain, Castilla y León, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León
    This was actually slightly better on opening with more structure with less sickly sweet red fruit. Very distracting cough syrup note without much elegance, and seemed to lose its structure with air. Reminded me of a not very serious Bojo. Off-bottle or am I a luddite who doesn't understand these new-school producers (which includes some Burgundy makers)? (86 pts.)
  • 2015 Domaine Nowack Champagne Cuis - France, Champagne
    Big step-up over the entry level that I tried previously. Less lean and felt more balanced with ripe green apple notes, the Sans Annee felt like it had no fruit at all. Nice salinity on the finish.

  • 2019 Claude Riffault Sancerre Les Denisottes - France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre (14/5/2022)
    Much better than the 2017 I tried before, which alludes to my previous opinion that my preference for Loire whites lies on the younger side. More tension than the 2017, with a slight sweetness on entry. Good roundness and texture without any greenness for a SB but not overly ripe or tropical either. Very good, just not not as stunning as the best Sancerres. (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (14/5/2022)
    A little tired, the tannins were fully resolved and rather soft which made the wine a little flabby. Lots of plum and liquorice on the palate, this was verging on generic old wine territory. Based on previous notes this appears to be an off-bottle.
 
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