Saturday, 11 April 2009

My Center Parcs Wines

On Monday we're off to Stalag Luft Whinfell Forest for five days with the Murphs. Four adults and three kids; but in truth we really have three adults and three kids because Mrs T is somewhat pre-occupied with the impending delivery.  I know that every day the eternal battle between parents and children will be fought in the Cumbrian woodland: who will tire first?  I have no intention of giving in easy and intend to fight dirty through the use of performance enhancing suppliments.  Want to know what I've packed instead of my Speedos?
  • Azienda San Martino Barolo 2000
  • Clos de L'Oratoire Des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2001
  • Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie 2000
  • Mas Belles Eaux Sainte Helene 2005
  • Mas de Daumas Gassac 2002
I'll let you have the tastings when we get back.


I have been diligently keeping tasting notes for about three months now and I am finding it a most enjoyable distraction.  I cannot pretend that there aren't times when I want to crack a bottle and just get stuck in but I have committed to using this blog as a learning experience so I'm soldiering on.  This tasting note was taken just after I started and it was interesting to read what I wrote at that time.  I would describe my note as somewhat cautious , unlike the wine which knows exactly what it is doing.

The Wine Society £7.95 (tasted 23.i-'09)

13.5% with a synthetic closer. 100% chardonnay white burgundy.
This wine is clear, almost colourless, with a pale lemon yellow tint.  Its has a promising clean medium nose full of citrus fruit, especially grapefruit.  This is a dry wine with easy acidity levels and  no tannin which is not surprising as its never seen any oak.  Typical crisp and refreshing white burgundy body which brings through apple and pear flavours.  A well structured wine with  a  nice, if short, length.  Jolly good.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Choo choo!!

This is my first live on-line wine tasting so I suppose I should be twittering.  (Note to self to become more web 2.0 at the first opportunity...)
Back in the day I used to commute from Yorkshire to London twice a week courtesy of GNER.  Now time has moved on:  National Express (NE) drun the trains and I work in Leeds.  Since then plus the addition of kids means I'm in London about once a fortnight tops.  So what does this mean?
  1. No more half bottle of scotch in the bottom of my 'overnight' bag to see me through the week away from my family;
  2. I've stopped smoking like a laboratory beagle (actually I've stopped full-stop);
  3. Less exposure to different wines.
Point (3) has nothing to do with the Yorkshire wine desert in comparison to the elysian fields of London; its all to do with GNER.  Its hard to comprehend but dinner on the GNER from London was a real pleasure .  Forget your soggy sandwich and suspect pork-pie GNER had train dining sorted.  And they had the wines to match.

Back then I didn't keep notes and at times I barely knew what I was drinking thanks to the other GNER staple being STELLA, but I remember quarter bottles of prosecco at c.£5.00 and third (!) bottle of Tavel for less than £8.00.  I would argue that GNER had the best mobile wine list in the country, so much so that Tavel is still on my must-have cellar list.

Soooooo, tonight on the 2003 London Leeds train we're trying again...

National Express £.....(tonight darling)
Screw cap, 13.0% vin de pays by the half bottle.

Looking at the label Playford Ros are providing NE with their wines so that is encouraging.  This 100% merlot from the Longuedoc Roussillon isn't burnt one would expect from a single varietal from this region.

Clear, deep purple red and full bodied in the plastic cup the nose is packed full of dark black fruit.  All the usual suspects but with distant nutmeg structure.  Dry, little acid with some good tannins it has the body of a vin de pay: think carafe in a roadside cafe before Toulouse play Nantes at home on a wet Sunday in March.  Black cherries are overlaid with something smokey (cheese!?) and mint or thyme.  Just what you want.  I'd have some again.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

"A gallon of goat's milk equals two pairs of knickers Margo"

Surbiton £priceless (enjoyed most evenings on UKTV Gold)

Created with passion by the master vintner Tom Good this particular vintage has more attitude than the Geraldine the goat.  On the nose we get masses of legumes underscored with petrol (one is instantly reminded of some of the best 2002 Margaret Valley Rieslings). With the full body of Margo Ledbetter yet tighter than Felicity Kendall's bum, it's obvious sharpness will continue to mature and delight with age.

Highly recommended after crawling over London Bridge in Jerry Ledbetter's Volvo.  We live wine, we live The Good Life.