A Cune Tomata, what a wonderful phrase

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

It’s difficult to make a case against buying wine from Majestic, especially when you can source wines like this 2004 Reserva from only £12.99.

Cune (a.k.a. CVNE) Rioja is a pretty good marque to look out for, should you decide to scour this historic wine region of northern Spain. But the food match I’m going to recommend might surprise you.

A Cune Tomata: Means no worries for the rest of your days...


Pazo de Monterrey, 2010

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Been to Hanging Ditch? If you live anywhere near Manchester, and you are any sort of wino, you will already know it is the funkiest wine shop/bar inside the M60, if not in England. I’ve been meaning to mention a couple of wines I bought there recently. I was slurping some nice sherry (a dry Oloroso if you must know) and bemoaning the lack of good value Albariño, the white grape from Galicia, in the UK. Much of it is interesting, even delicious, but at a price that puts it out of the reach of casual Saturday night winos. So, Mark suggested I try this Godello, an even more obscure grape that Galicia mothers.

Still £12.50, which is beyond cheap and cheerful. It’s a simple wine with simple flavours of pink grapefruit and stewed apples. Simple like a well cooked omelette aux fines herbes. Still delicious. Just a little obscure.

And the cult status maybe the point of drinking Godello right now. It’s a bit like listening to The Raincoats on Spotify. Whilst you are sure someone else out there is doing it, you are very unlikely to know them. And that makes you enjoy it all the more.

Vinsobres Domaine Chaume-Arnaud 2009

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Rhone wines can be easily overlooked, and yet many rival the finest Bordeaux, as anyone who has tried Hermitage La Chapelle will tell you.

This Vinsobres comes from the Southern Rhone, is inky in colour and robust, spicy, tannic and plummy in taste. It’s a George Galloway of a wine. Feisty, intelligent, slightly unbalanced and available for purchase. Which you can do at Berry Bros. and Rudd for £14.95. At this price it’s a steal, but, unless you like wines that go with a blue steak, or that make you feel like you are doing a Vito Corleone impression with wet tea bags in your cheeks, I would recommend holding on for a few more years or so before drinking.

Jean-Marc Burgaud, Régnié Vallières 2010

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Although it is rumoured that I can poach an egg, I am, in truth, impotent in the kitchen. If I was a porn star, I suspect that I would really struggle with the vinegar stroke, not least the timing thereof.

I’ve been experimenting with a pork chop recipe comprising various measures of mustard, thyme, garlic, skillets, pans and ovens. I’m certain that the ingredients are all going to work in balance one day, but it may take me another 30 years to get there.

Equal challenges must be faced by winemakers. How do you get that elusive balance? This Régnié has zingy plums, spice, bright acidity and just enough tannins to match up to a robust (even burnt) pork dish at a beautifully light 12.5% ABV. Unusual for the Gamay grape to display such agility. Softcore as ever, a rare bed partner of longevity.

Moulin à Vent, La Salomine, Joseph Burrier, 2009

Monday, November 21st, 2011

I hear that 2010 Beaujolais is even better than 2009, and I thought that was the best I have ever tasted. So I have to make a little room in my Combine Harvester by clearing out a predecessor.

This Moulin à Vent, or to give it full title, Joseph Burrier, La Salomine, Château de Beauregard, Moulin à Vent, 2009, cost £14.95 from The Wine Society and is worth every penny. Blackberries, tart blackberries and sweet blackberries. Potent, yet refined and combining the youth and vigour of the Gamay grape with the middle aged maturity of nearby Burgundy.

Despite the 2010 hype, if you can still get hold of 2009 Bojo, I would stock a few away. I think most will keep improving for a couple more years yet. Meanwhile I am going to cover both bases and stock a case of each.

Perrin et Fils, Rasteau, 2007

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Quite earthy and rich and tasting of beetroot and tomato purée with some plummy fruits and vanilla thrown in, this Côtes du Rhône Villages goes brilliantly with Heinz tomato soup, which if you are over 9, only really tastes acceptable when accompanied by a tipper truck load of ground black pepper and a toasted white pitta bread.

So, having set a British & Commonwealth record for the longest opening sentence on a Confessions post, my mind turned to where I may have procured this very decent tasting bottle, and its pecuniary value, given that I (unusually for me) kept no record, nor scrawled any details on the label, and whether I was also going to set a record for the second sentence, and penultimate paragraph before I ran out of breath and all remaining readers had passed out, so I wantonly speculated that this was probably a £7.50 wine and turned to Lord Google.

It is rather nice, so I shouldn’t have really been so surprised to find it at Berry Bros.  They only have it In Bond (for delivery when?) at £130 per case which is just under £11, but normally one must add shipping and VAT, so maybe my estimate is out by a factor of two?  Hmm I might stretch to that for a couple of bottles, but the price does appear to have been influenced by a Parker rating of 88-90.

Hochar, 2003

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The wines of Château Musar are often thought of as a tad barking mad. At #EWBC 2008 in La Rioja, delegates were presented with a blind tasting. Not one person out of 50 odd wine buffs got even close to identifying this Lebanese woofer. So is it really so weird?

Hoch aye the NOO!

I bagged a bottle of the second wine, “Hochar” 2003 from the Wine Society at a reasonable £10.50.

It tastes like a cross between a Bordeaux and a Burgundy. Very subtle and fine tannins, some barnyard, and loads of fruit. A Pinot Noir on speed? The Bordeaux is represented by cherries and cedar wood.

Trouble is, it is not even close to barking mad. Actually it is quite classic French. But, it is priced at French levels, and that makes it a direct competitor.

If I am wrong, I have a couple of bottles of the first wine in my cellar which I can’t wait to try. If I am right then maybe I shouldn’t drink it at all, instead focus on finding the right moment to sell at enormous mark-up to a Chinese speculator, who will probably end up enjoying it with Coke when the fine wine market finally implodes.

Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc, 2010

Monday, July 4th, 2011

It’s been a while since I slavered over a Dog Point and its Cats’ Piss flavours.  The main reason is that the Wine Society (who I slagged off royally in the same post)  hasn’t stocked it for a while and I have been way too lazy to look elsewhere.

One of the problems of writing about feline urolagnia is where to place the apostrophe.  I mean how many cats do you want to fill your pissoir?  Or is it more pure, and less disgusting, to think of a single cat’s pee as the sole occupant of your bottle?

Actually this is quite tart.  In addition to cats, there is evidence of gooseberry and grapefruit and just a little too much tongue tingling, lip squelching, palate stripping acidity.  Whilst I have since made up with the Society, personally I am a bit disappointed with the wine.  There are much better Kiwi SB’s around at a lower price than the £12.95 that my bank manager credited to the Wine Society.

Goodman, City, London

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Do you prefer penguins or skateboarders?  Personally I am a penguin man, although this caused a bit of controversy when I reviewed Hawksmoor.  I did, though, fall in love with the beef.  But, having revelled in Hawksmoor’s meat, I felt obliged to sample what most London foodies consider to be the competition in the steak stakes, Goodman.


Château du Cèdre Cahors, 2006

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Tall and tanned, and young and lovely was the girl from Ipanema.  But I’ve been getting more luck from the South of France recently.  Of sorts.  This young lady, for example, going by the seductive name of Château du Cèdre turned out to have a huge pair of bollocks.  More Manchester Pride than Brazilian carnival babe.

Rich, fruity, yet smooth and soapy.  It is a bit like drinking coffee from an earthenware pot whilst munching on a raspberry teabag.  But if you can stand the tannins, it is conclusive proof that you can build a wine sturdier than a tranny’s thong at only 13° ABV.  One in the eye for Mr Parker?

I would recommend following WART instructions and taking this down from room to cellar temperature, to avoid scalding your tongue.

Available from Costco at £11.73 – this feels like good value to me.