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Thursday Night Club - 11th Feb

The Unfiltered Dog Shiraz 2019, South Australia. She promised us an Auzzie wine this week and she delivered! Although apparently it was harder than you would imagine to source one in the wilds of Walthamstow. Three shops later and she finally found one. Made by Patrick Sullivan who is a cool, natural wine producer, it is very well made for a value wine, although spending just £5 more definitely gives a massive leap up in complexity. However, complexity is not always what you are looking for, sometimes it is a good, simple, fruit driven, comforting wine and this certainly ticks those boxes ‘one to drink not over-think’. Clapton Craft £12

Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone 2017, France. Everything on the label is in French so he can only assume he picked it up en route back from holiday one year. Chapoutier is a well-known and well respected producer in the Rhone making wine from entry level to super premium and is a good bet for consistent quality. Really enjoying how it is drinking now as he does enjoy the more tertiary elements of a wine with a few years age, but he doesn’t think it will last all that much longer. The Belleruche Cotes du Rhone is in Majestic for £11.99

Our next member works in the trade but had challenged himself to drink something not imported by him… sadly this back fired a touch today. First of all he opened the Porcupine Ridge 2019 Syrah from South Africa a supermarket label made by well-respected producer Boekenhoutskloof. Sadly it encapsulated everything he doesn’t like in a wine and is reminiscent of ‘old school’ South African wines with burnt rubber notes. Even discounted to £6 he felt he had wasted his money

Next he opened the Botham 76 Series Chardonnay 2018, Margaret River, Australia. This was so close to being good, but just missing the mark. It had a good fruit profile, nice cool climate aromatics, a hint of creaminess giving it a nice texture, but the acidity is disjointed throwing the balance of the wine out of kilter. Better luck next week! Waitrose £9.99

Domaine Pelle Menetou-Salon 2010, Loire, France. Another bottle found hidden away in his cellar and long forgotten is this Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire. Certainly not a grape commonly associated with benefitting from considerable bottle age so we were all really interested to hear his verdict. On opening it he thought it had died as there was some fruit on the entry but it vanished quickly, Thankfully he returned to it an hour later and it had really come into its own, lovely rich fruit with hints of dried apricots, a great length and freshness. It just goes to show you, Sauvignon is a far more versatile grape than many of us assume, especially from a very good producer on these beautiful chalk rich soils. Current vintage 2018, Virgin Wines £18

Keller Scheurebe Kabinett, 2018, Rheinhessen, Germany. Such a fabulous and under-rated grape. It can often be uncomplicated but as with so many of those ‘work horse’ varieties, given the right amount of love and attention can really blossom into something special. Off dry but with such a super acidity the residual sugar is almost academic. Grapefruit, nettles, blossom, nutmeg, a hint of petillance; it is fun, interesting and would be great with food. It is often made as a fully dry wine (trocken). Marlo Wines £28

Evidently having a ‘thirsty day’ he also cracked open the Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2018, Central Otago, New Zealand. This is a biodynamic wine that he has been familiar with for a while and every vintage they knock it out of the park, a really beautiful, elegant, aromatic example of Pinot to rival Burgundy, especially at the price point. Could leave this for another 5-8 years. Vinum £29.95

Frederic Berne Beaujolais-Latignie 2019, France. Having got bored of her local wine shop she moved on to pastures new and was introduced to this Bojo, from a region in Beaujolais that none of us had heard of but she was assured by the knowledgeable and enthusiastic assistant that it was a really up and coming area. And was he right? It seems he was! Having been put off Beaujolais after a few too many thin, characterless examples this has loads of red berries and raspberry, juicy and fresh with light elegant tannins and well-rounded fruit. Really pleased with this new find and would certainly buy it again. Golborne Wine Shop £18

Vina Zorzal Eggo Franco Cabernet Franc 2018, Tupungato, Argentina. The first people to use concrete eggs in Argentina they are producing some really excellent wines from these high altitude vineyards. The tannins are soft and elegant allowing a lovely chalky minerality to underpin the wine, lots of berry fruit and a hint of earthy mushrooms. Absolutely delicious with a really long finish. Hic Wine Merchants £18.95

Domaine de Bargylus 2010, Syria. Boom! Another first for the group, none of us have ever tried a Syrian wine. Israeli, yes, Lebanese, yes but Syria… not yet, but after this rave review I am pretty sure we all will! This was a gift from a friend (who definitely needs to be invited back). 60% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, it is inky dark in colour. On first opening it, it had a slightly dusty aroma making them worry it was too old, but 10 minutes later it was absolutely singing, and is bang in its drinking window now. Stylistically there were similarities to Rioja Reserva with notes of leather, concentrated dark fruit and dark chocolate, a lovely blend of primary and tertiary flavours. The alcohol is a whopping 15 degrees but the wine is so balanced you don’t notice it at all, well not until you stand up at any rate! Definitely one to have with food. What an amazing surprise and definitely not one they would have naturally reached for in a wine shop. Current vintage 2013 and available from Hedonism Wines £38.80

Meerlust Red 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa. A really lovely classic Bordeaux blend with blackcurrant and Christmas pudding on the nose, hints of green pepper, vanilla, plum and chocolate on the palate. It needed to warm up a touch but once it did, it was a really lovely surprise. Philglass and Swigott £14

Antoine Jobard Bourgogne Blanc 2017, Burgundy. At the last minute I upgraded my wine choice to something a little special, what can I say, I deserved it! I am a great fan of this producer and have had the pleasure of a barrel tasting at the cellar with Antoine. A Meursault specialist with a wonderful, pure, laser-like, mineral driven style. Sadly even village level Meursault is a touch out of my price range at the moment but I was excited to find his Bourgogne Blanc from this really good vintage. Unfortunately I was a little too impatient! Coiled and taut with fantastic texture but very little aromatic expression. 24 hours later it was absolutely singing with pure green apple, hints of almond, acacia and a touch of brown spice. Super fresh and poised with that still taut minerality driving through to the finish. I would have definitely have been better advised leaving it for a few more years! The Wine Society £27

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