Wednesday, 26 September 2012

A Winter Warmer

As the weather begins to change and we reluctantly welcome the autumn leaves; this wine a great winter warmer in which you can console yourself. This is a big, warming wine. It's like a dark cherry and plum crumble in a glass. The palate is heavy and tannic - this could do with some more age to soften up a bit but in the meantime it still drinks well and delivers that warming effect. This is a good bottle and I will buy some more to carry me through the winter - there will be some warm nights ahead!

14.5% abv

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Murray Fishing Club

I've had my eye on this wine for a while but every time I have tried to buy it, it's always been out of stock. Well, I finally managed to get my hands on a bottle and it was worth the wait! It's like a tropical island exploded in the glass. Loads of fresh stone and tropical fruit with some honey and plenty of structure and crisp acidity.  I am already thinking of how to drink this wine when I get some the garden, a BBQ....just because - the list is endless. This what I call a bittersweet wine - its great that you have opened it because it's a great wine - but is also sucks that you have opened it because it is your only bottle! The only way to remedy this is to get some more!

13% abv

Friday, 17 August 2012

Tesla Napa Wine Tours and Transportation

I have just come back from an impromptu Nyetimber tasting at my local Majestic in Sonning. I haven't tasted much English wine, so when I heard about the tasting and the fact that Nyetimber is a premier English producer....and did I mention the tasting was free - I knew this was an offer I could not turn down. The wines were amazing. We tasted through the Classic Cuvee, the Rose and the Blanc de Blanc (2003). The Blanc de Blanc (£35) was lovely and toasty but my favourite was the Classic Cuvee (£25). It is unlike me to prefer the cheaper wine - but I am not ashamed to admit it, the Classic Cuvee was awesome and more affordable (so my wallet is happy too). It was light and refreshing - like a summer celebration in glass. I would strongly recommend all the Nyetimber range and I will aim to pick some up myself on my next spending spree at Majestic. 

All this sparkling wine tasting got me in the mood for more fizz, so when I arrived home I popped a bottle of Langlois, Cremant de Loire in the fridge door to enjoy later! 

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

I love Riesling

From the outset I had high expectations for this wine - simply because I love Riesling! I love that one variety can span the whole spectrum from super minerally and dry to ultra sweet. This wine was lovely.   Typically Riesling, this wine has good structure and bundles of citrus acidity all swirled around in the glass with a honeyed swizzle stick! This confirms my love of Riesling - chilled down, summer's day in the garden - perfection! This is a definite re-buy.

10.5% abv

Thursday, 9 August 2012

La Famille Perrin

I wasn't really sure what to expect with this wine as my knowledge of French wines is not what it should be! This isn't like a lot of what I refer to as 'typically French' wines; you know the musty, oaky, old and dusty wines. This is a mouth filling, fruity extravaganza! The nice thing about this grenache, syrah, mouvedre blend is that one doesn't stand out more than the other - the syrah is not trying to elbow in on the grenache and fight for his share of the lime light. The after taste is a bit smokey. Whether this is a regional thing or something that is part of the wine making technique, I don't know....and i'm not concerned! I like this wine - it has some structure, some fruit and is easy to drink.

13.5% abv

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A New Phase of Blogging!

I recently came across Tom Parnell's wine blog - Old Parn ( and I was inspired! It is  not the stiff and starchy wine blog that I am used to. It is written in normal language, almost like you would talk to your friend. It was so refreshing. I would highly recommend that you visit Tom's blog and check it out.

It made me realise that I have been blogging like everyone else and trying to fit my expression of wine tasting into everyone else's style. I haven't been blogging as me, I have been blogging as someone else. In my defence, I blogged according to what I had seen and read on other blogs - as though that was the way to do it.

Hopefully this new style of blogging will be easier and more fun - for both of us!, here's to a new phase of blogging! 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Church Block

Wirra Wirra, Church Block, Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot, 2009, McLaren Vale, Australia

This is another wine that I tried at the Wine Gang's Christmas Wine Fair 2011. I loved it at the tasting and really wanted to get my hands on a bottle. This wine is made from 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Shiraz and 20% Merlot. The wine is aged for 18 months in 70% French oak and 30% American oak barriques. This is a lovely rich, perfumed wine. There is loads of dark but sweet fruit. The nose is full of blackcurrants and blackberries with plenty of plummy strawberry aromas. There is also a hint of vanilla oak. The palate is dark and rich with loads of oaky complexity. There is a bit of cracked black pepper accompanying the fruit. This is a lovely wine with great length and complexity. It's a great wine to relax in the evening with. Highly recommended. 4.3/5 (14.5% abv) £12.99 Waitrose Wine. 

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Interesting Kiwi Blend

TeAwa, Left Field, Merlot Malbec, 2009, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

This is the last of three wines I got from Spirited Wines in Guildford. This wine really caught my eye - not only is it a blend you do not normally see - Merlot and Malbec but it is from New Zeland....and I have never seen a Malbec from New Zealand before. So, I was excited to try this wine on a number of levels. 

This is a really fruit forward wine - there is loads of plum and raspberry from the Merlot - but the Malbec gives everything a darker edge. There are also some cinnamon and cedar notes on the nose.The palate is similar to the nose - there are lovely rounded tannins with good structure and complexity. There's also a nice smokey length. This is an interesting wine. 4.2/5 (14% abv) Spirited Wines Guildford. 

Monday, 28 May 2012

Yering Station - Pinot Noir

Over the weekend 'Pinot Guy' came over - so opening a bottle of Pinot Noir was the obvious choice! This is another bottle of wine I bought from Spirited Wine in Guildford - this is the bottle that first bought my eye. I love the wines of Yering Station. They are probably one of my favourite wineries. You don't see them around too often so when I see them I grab a bottle.

Yering Station, Pinot Noir, 2008, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

This is an amazing wine. The colour is your 'in an ideal world' colour for Pinot. The noses full of dark brooding cherry and complex plum. There is a structured, spicy, oaky aroma - like an old smoking room. You could smell this wine for ages - it's intoxicating. The palate is super, super soft with well rounded, developed, supple tannin structure. The palate has plenty of spice and dark cherry. The length on this wine just keeps on going. This wine is balanced and complex - a dream. It was such a good buy - I will definitely buy this again whenever I see it.  4.7/5 (13.5% abv) Spirited Wine - Guildford 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Glorious Gruner

Domane Wachau, Gruner Veltliner, 'Terraces', 2010, Wachau, Austria

This is a beautiful and delicately aromatic wine. The nose is full of honey and apples with some minerally, tropical aromas, apricots and peaches. Everything is wrapped up in citrus. The palate is dry with crisp, balanced acidity. The honey and apples come across on the palate. This wine has a lovely length and would be a great summer staple! 4/5 (12% abv) Waitrose 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Snapper Cove Shiraz

This was an ad hoc purchase from the other day. So, tonight I decided to open it and see what it was all about. 

Snapper Cove, Shiraz, 2011, South Eastern Australia 

This is a nice wine - a standard South Australian Shiraz but still a nice wine. This has a nice, light, fruity nose - full of light sweet blackcurrant, raspberry and plum with a light peppery edge. The palate is also soft and smooth with really soft and rounded tannins. The fruit is slightly darker on the palate. There is still some lovely blackcurrant and plum with more of the pepper from the nose. This is a lighter style Aussie Shiraz - not a big and in your face wine. This is a very drinkable wine and would be great with a BBQ.  3.8/5 (13% abv) Marks & Spencers £8.25

Monday, 14 May 2012

Jean Luc Colombo - Syrah

On recent trip to Guildford I stumbled into Spirited Wines. Despite the shockingly bad customer service (where I felt like being the only customer in the shop was an inconvenience), the wines they had on offer were very good. I ended up buying three wines - two I had been after for a while, one just sounded very interesting- more will follow! 

Tonight's wine is one of the ones I bought from Spirited Wines.

Jean Luc Colombo, Les Collines de Laure, Syrah, 2010, Rhone, France.

I love the wines of Jean Luc Colombo. I have tasted quite a few of his range (both red and white). So, when I saw this wine, I knew I had to have it - there was no way I was leaving the shop without this bottle! 

There is an amazing nose to this wine, fresh, vibrant and overflowing with juicy fruits. This has a rich, opulent nose full of blackcurrant, raspberry, blueberry, red cherry and plum with hints of vanilla oak. The palate is bright and smooth with rounded tannins. There is plenty of red juicy fruit on the palate. There is a great complexity to this wine coming from perfectly integrated subtle oak. There is a slightly peppery spiciness to this wine - which plays a supportive role rather than taking centre stage. This is a beautiful wine - loads of fruit, fine oak complexity, spicy edges and rounded tannins. 4.2/5 (13% abv) Spirited Wines

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Massivo! Nero d'Avola, 2009, Sicily, Italy

This is a beautifully big luscious wine. It's full of ripe, dark cherry and plum, blackcurrant with hints of vanilla and cedar. The palate is smooth and rounded with nice supple tannins. The palate also has blackcurrant and some nice cedar complexity. This is a great wine and would be a great wine with a BBQ. This is a definite re-buy. I used to buy this wine from Oddbins years ago - so I am very pleased that Laithwaites are now stocking this wine...and for the same price (or slightly cheaper than the price) I used to pay all those years ago. It is just as good as I remember it being - relief! Awesome wine. 4/5 (15% abv) Laithwaites. 

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Pinot the World Over

At the moment I am going through a bit of a Pinot Noir phase - so, tonight I decided to open another one! This bottle was given to me as a gift from a friend who is currently staying with us. 

Monowai, Pinot Noir, 2009, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

The colour on this wine is a bit darker that on most Pinots. The nose is also darker. The nose is full of ripe dark cherries, plum and darker red fruits. There is also a hint of spicy leather on the nose as well. The palate is dark but not quite as dark as the nose. There is plenty of juicy fruits including strawberry, raspberry, red cherry with some cedar flavours too, accompanied with a bit more spice. The tannins are beautifully smooth. There's a great balance and structure to this wine and it has more to say for itself that most New World Pinots. This is a great example of how good New World Pinot Noir can be. This is an awesome wine - another boutique great from Naked Wines. 4.5/5 (12.5% abv) Naked Wines.  

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Anakena Pinot Noir

Anakena, Single Vineyard, Pinot Noir, 2010, Leyda Valley, Chile.

This wine is the perfect 'Pinot colour'. The nose is full of ripe, red cherry and raspberry. However, there is also a lovely herby, peppery edge to this wine. After some time in the glass, there is also a faint hint of blackcurrant. The palate is soft and smooth with darker fruit than on the nose, with a green herbal character. There is actually a darker side to this wine with coffee'ish, mocha'esque characters as well - not your typical Pinot but interesting none the less. Another great and fascinating wine from Anakena. 4/5 (13.5% abv) Majestic Wines. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Split Rock Riesling

I haven't had a white wine for a while - so I decided to crack open a bottle. This is another wine I picked up from my last visit to Laithwaites. 

Split Rock, Riesling, 2009, Nelson Bay, New Zealand

The nose on this wine is crisp, clean and fresh. It's full juicy lime and citrus but also has a lovely hint of sharp granny smith's apples. The nose also has some floral characteristics and some peach/stone fruits. the palate has great acidity and is beautifully dry but also has a sweetness to it too. The palate has plenty of ripe white fruit flavours polished off with a refreshing edge of freshly squeezed lemon. This is a lovely example of New World Riesling - another belter from Laithwaites and something else to add to my re-buy list....this will be near the top of the list! 4/5 (12.5% abv) Laithwaites.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Triumph of Thelema

Last night we headed over to Pinot Guy's house. It was a great evening - so good to just hang out and chill with awesome friends. I took over a bottle of Thelema Shiraz. I have already tasted a few of the wines from the Thelema range and they have been very good. This is one of the higher end wines produced from Thelema - so I had hight hopes for this wine....and it didn't disappoint! 

Thelema, Shiraz, 2005, Stellenbosch, South Africa

This is a beautifully dark wine, overflowing with sharp blackcurrants and sweet blackberries, accompanied with some spicy black cherry and freshly cracked black pepper. The fruit on the nose is awesome and intoxicating. It's so rich and bursting with ripe berry aromas. The palate is dry with lots of super dark bramble fruit and heaps of black pepper. The tannins are still tight. This wine could possibly do with some more time but I didn't want to risk it. It is however still drinking well now. The length just keeps on going. This si such a good wine. I will definitely buy this again......and again!  4.6/5 (15% abv) Majestic Wines. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Chateau La Tonnelle

Yesterday I read Tim Atkin's 2011 Bordeaux scores. As a result I felt a bit inspired by Bordeaux, so I decided to open a bottle when I got home. Although I was inspired, I was not inspired enough to open my bottle of Chateau Pontet Canet 2004.....this wine still needs more time - but I am itching to try it! So, instead I opted for a bottle that was given to me as a gift.

Chateau La Tonnelle, Haut-Medoc, 2005, Bordeaux, France

This wine is made principally from Cabernet Sauvignon, with some Merlot and Petit Verdot added in for good measure. The nose is full of ripe, dark fruit with plenty of ripe plum, blackberry and hints of black cherry. The nose also has a faint edge of spice. The palate is soft with well developed tannins. The palate is quite drying with more of the dark fruit from the nose - the fruit on the palate however is more like bramble fruit. There is also some well integrated oak which provides some structure. 3.5/5 (13% abv)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Bouchard Burgundy

I decided it was time to open a bottle from 'the cabinet'. 'The Cabinet' is where I tend to keep my better wines, wines that need some age and wines that I intend to keep for a while. This was a great wine and a lovely example of affordable Burgundy.

Bouchard Pere & Fils, Savigny les Beaune, 2006, Burgundy, France

This is a lovely expression of Burgundy. There is beautiful, juicy red cherry and hints of ripe plum and raspberry on the nose. There is a sweetness to the nose too but time in the glass also brings out a slight earthy almost hedgerow characteristic to this wine.The palate is light and graceful. It's super smooth with a great purity of fruit. The fruit is still red but is slightly darker and heavier than on the nose. There is a lovely complexity to this wine. The tannins are beautifully soft. There is a nice length to this wine. This is a beautiful wine - one to keep my eye out for in the future. 4.5/5 (13% abv) Waitrose Wine.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

The day started out quite sunny and spring like - however, the day soon changed to dark clouds, rain and eventually thunder. So, I decided I needed a bit of cheering up. Thankfully, I remembered that on my last trip to Laithwaites I picked up a nice sparking Syrah. It was a great choice and added a bit of 'sparkle' to the evening (see what I did there?!)

Petillant de Syrah, 2010, France

This is a lovely semi sparkling wine. There is a stunning colour on this wine; slightly deeper than most rose wines (one to remember for valentines day!). The nose is light and sweet, full of summer berries, blueberries and loads of strawberry and cream. The palate is light sparkling with more of the summer berries. However, the acidity in the wine makes the berries a bit more tart than the nose (almost hints of red currants) - this works really well. This is a nice wine and would be great on a hot sunny afternoon in the garden. 4.1/5 (11.5% abv) Laithwaites