Aloxe-Corton, Tollot-Beaut, 2006

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

I’ve been a W man for so long that people are starting to call me George Bush.  So, when will you believe my double dip recession prediction?  You might have to admit defeat at the end of Q1 2011, if GDP growth is negative for the second quarter.  But I must admit that even I thought that interest rates would have to start rising before we took the second dive.  If all it took was a VAT increase, then we are potentially  heading for more of a “plummet”, than a “dip”.  All of which leads me to continue looking for best value wine.

And that sometimes means belief in your future health by investing in en primeur wines.


Cycles Gladiator strikes again

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

In February I sampled the 2006 Pinot Noir from this brand and gave it a good account.  A 2008 appeared recently, I figured it was worth another go.  But Pinot Noir is notoriously fickle and as a result is often expensive.  Is it possible to make a decent one and then ship it half way across the world and then sell it for a pittance?


Julicher Pinot Noir, 2007

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Interest rates artificially low.  Share prices rising.  Inflation a constant news item.  Retailers gloomy.  The price of luxuries like clothing and food are under threat.  Irish banks bailed out yet again.

Could there be any clearer signals that the double dip is on the way?  When it comes to recession theory, I firmly believe in the BIG W.  The other big W in my life belongs to Bacchus.  But how much longer will I be able to subscribe to the President’s Cellar?  Pretty much the only wine I buy from the Sunday Times Wine Club these days, and the only circumstance in which I relinquish the responsibility of choice, delivers 6 secret bottles every 6 months at about £20 a head.


Mahi Pinot Noir Reflections

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

I wrote recently about Mahi Pinot Noir 2008 and provoked a bit of a reaction.  “Unfiltered” is obviously some kind of USP.  I rudely described it as “Cloudy” and not in the “Bay” sense.

Respondents pointed out that I may have treated the wine with less than the respect I would reserve for David Hohnen, at least in terms of preparation of my dining table and wine servature.

I have just spanked the last of three bottles, and this one has been slightly chilled and stood upright for four days.  But it still looks and, more importantly tastes, cloudy.

The flavours are fine, almost lovely.  But the mouthfeel is more Myrtle Beach than Mâcon Rouge.  Taste quite nice, texture not for me.  Sorry, not for £18.

Domaine de la Vougeraie Gevery Chambertin 2007

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

The big thing about buying wine in bond is that you are supposed to stash some aside for drinking later.  Especially if, like me, you are fortunate enough to own a Combine Harvester.

So how come, I’ve already drunk 7/12 of these bottles that arrived from the Sunday Times Wine Club in August 2009 with a recommended drinking date of up to 2014?

Lovely Gevrey!  In the garage, for some reason

Well, good is good, and brilliant is brilliant, but this wine is awesome.  I can’t stop pouring it down my neck as if I was a human decanter.  Smooth yet spicy and zingy, it is everything I could wish of a Pinot Noir.  Tar, tea, cranberry and redcurrant and worth every penny of the £21 per bottle it eventually cost me.

Finally, one in the eye for the Kiwi arrivistes.

Mount Difficulty Pinot Noir 2009

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

With a name sounding like a female porn star’s anal discomfort, this wine is also priced to make the eyes water.

From the Wine Society at £20, it tastes of cinnamon, stewed fruit and rotting veg.  Hits most Pinot Noir benchmarks but possibly a bit rich at that price.

Domaine Pichard, Madiran 2003

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

I’ve been trying a few reds from South West France like this one from the Wine Society.  Mostly my experience has been good.  No, astonishing!

This rich smoky bomb is no exception.  Like inhaling a beetroot and blackberry flavoured firework.  Not so much representative of its terroir as made from the very scorched earth the vines are grown in.  From the vintage that deep fried numerous Gauls, this is a red-blooded hot spicy mama.

Gunpowder and plot (maybe without the treason, but you never know in France).  Truly delicious and at £7.95, a bargain.

Felton Road Pinot Noir 2007

Monday, April 12th, 2010

I normally spend Easter breaks punishing my evil liver.  This time I’ve been sharpening the saw.  My third New Year resolution in a row, and most futile yet, to lose weight, has resulted in a lonely and shameless 2 pounds sneaking off disguised as female musicians.  So time for a bit less booze and a bit more exercise and, most incredibly, no chocolate at all.  I managed 492 sit-ups on Easter Monday amongst other exercise – ouch…

But all work and no play makes Wino a dull boy so to brighten my spirits I picked out an expensive bottle from the Combine Harvester to end the weekend.

Felt 'em, smelt 'em


Mahi Pinot Noir, 2008

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

You have to admire the Kiwis.  They took on the French at Sauvignon Blanc and won.  Then they turned their attention to the battle of the Pinot Noir.  This most fickle of grapes, like Brigitte Bardot, promises so much yet regularly delivers no more than a handkerchief full of jizz.

Realising that Burgundy Pinots have almost impenetrable reputations, New Zealand winemakers took a radical stance.  Screwcap closures combined with young drinkable zingy wines were palatable in both flavour and fashion.  This meant prices vied with Ugg Boots for the captain of the Fashion Victim Rest of the World XI, whilst production and maturation costs were relatively low.  Still innovation pays, or ought to.

The label on this wine explains that it was bottled “unfiltered”.  A better description might be “cloudy” and not in the “bay” sense.

Maybe this is just a faulty bottle.  It didn’t taste awful, but then again it fell way short of remarkable and certainly not worth the £18 The Wine Society sent a congratulatory letter of thanks to my bank manager for.

I have another bottle somewhere – I will try that and report back.

Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir 2006

Monday, February 8th, 2010

I was in New York City a couple of months ago and stumbled across a wine shop on the Upper West Side.  I posed the shop guy a challenge.  I wanted to take just one bottle back to the UK.  What would he recommend?  Something American, good value, underrated, and not available in the UK.

He suggested that I see through the marketing gimmicks of Cycles Gladiator and try the Cabernet Sauvignon at about 11 bucks.  I’ve not tasted it yet.

At a California Wines event in London last month, I stumbled across the same brand.  A number of thoughts raged.  It’s available in the UK!  And they do a Pinot Noir!  And it’s the same cheesy label!  And it tastes annoyingly good…

On yer bike, lass!