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Thursday Night Club - 16th July - curve balls and session wines

While the wife’s away… the husband decides to drink the wine she had chosen! Lidl Barolo DOCG, 2015, Piedmonte, Italy – and a first time to experience the world of Nebbiolo. I was waiting in anticipation because despite its pale colour Nebbiolo can be notoriously tough with very high, drying tannins and a very high acidity which often takes years if not decades to soften. This ageability often results in very high price tags. Thankfully there are a swathe of producers working really hard with their tannin management to make them softer and more approachable younger. And the verdict? Pretty positive! Earthy, oaky with a hint of berries, quite full bodied at 14% abv, and would buy it again. A great food wine. Lidl £12

Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV Champagne. Well I have manged 4 months without showcasing one of my own! And thanks to a work related virtual occasion I had reason to open it today, a great excuse to introduce it to my friends at Thursday Night Club. Louis Roederer is very unique in the world of Grande Marques champagne in that they own almost all their vineyards. This is important because it means that they have full control over the farming. All of Roederer’s vineyards are organically farmed and half are biodynamically farmed making them one of the smallest Grande Marques champagne houses, but the largest farmer of organics and biodynamics in the region. The Brut Premier NV is a blend of 8 different vintages blended together adding a lovely richness and maturity to the flavour but also allowing them to create a consistent house style year in, year out. Their style is elegance, subtle complexity and finesse. A truly beautiful NV champagne. This was from Ocado £46, but also available at Waitrose and Majestic

Dans l’air du temps Chardonnay by Jeff Carrel 2017 from the South of France. A last minute emergency dash to Oddbins for a TNC wine and a recommendation for something new resulted in this buttery, nutty, butterscotch Chardonnay with loads of fruit. Sadly it's lacking a bit of acidity and this big style of Chardonnay is not one she would go for again. Oddbins £14

Wakefield Promised Land Shiraz, 2018 South Australia. This was part of the Wine Society Champions Case, a case selected by a panel of wine society buyers. This boasts a cute sea horse on the label, but more than being an ‘aussie critter wine’ this signifies the very old marine soils the vines are grown on. This is a delicious vibrant, spicey style of shiraz, not too heavy despite the 14% abv, and a really great every day drinking red. Wine Society £7.95 (currently out of stock).

The Three Foxes The Gnarley White 2014, Swartland, South Africa. This is a project from Chris Mullineux from the eponymous winery and is an intriguing blend of Clairette and Semillon from old vines in the Swartland. With 6 years age is has turned a rich golden colour and has an extraordinary array of savoury flavours with basil, bay leaf and caramelised roasted butternut squash. A huge amount of flavour for a wine with only 11% abv. Sadly this wine is not available in the UK

Chateau Béthanie Arbois Savignin 2016, Jura, France. Talk about entering TNC with a bang! Her inaugural club tasting and she brings to the table a Jura Savignin having never tasted one before. This is extreme wine tasting at its best! This alpine region provides some absolutely incredible, racy whites (Chardonnay and Savignin) and perfumed, elegant, crunchy reds (Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir). If you are interested in trying out the region it is hugely rewarding, maybe start with the reds, or the Chardonnay as the Savingin is a very savoury style of wine. Our drinker was torn on the wine, rich, almost sweet on the nose but bone dry on the palate; floral, walnut, very long savoury palate and a very high acid. She is glad to have tried it but might not be rushing out to buy another. Nicolas £27

Stiftskellerei Klosterneuberg St Laurent 2018, Niederosterreich, Austria. Inspired to join the Wine Society thanks to a number of TNC recommendations and stocking up on last weeks Jean-Marc Burgaud Morgon she decided to go for something completely new. Her husband spent a few months living in Austria and now believes himself to be an authority on all things Austrian and is insistent that their wines are excellent, despite being a beer drinker. Thankfully he is absolutely spot on in his conviction! The St Laurent is an aromatic red grape indigenous to Austria and this wine fits comfortably into the smashable category! Finely scented wild berry and sour cherries, a great party wine that won’t break the bank. The Wine Society £7.45

Gorka Izagirre Txakoli 2019 DO Bizkaiko Txakolina, Spain. This is a brilliant style of Basque wine, often very light, young, incredibly fresh and with a slight petillance. This example has 50% of the wine aged on lees enriching the it and resulting in no fizz. Super citrusy, cape gooseberry, lovely minerality and great balance between fruit and freshness. They first discovered Txakoli in a little Basque country bar on a trip to Barcelona and it is a fantastic summer ‘session’ wine. Decantalo 10 euro delivered.

If you have any questions on any of the wines tasted don't hesitate to get in touch!

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