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Thursday Night Club - 18th June - what we drank

Plans for a global wine tasting tour on a yacht, sourdough starters, the search for cream of tartar, wine snap and a BBQ that nearly bought the house down, all in all it was a highly entertaining TNC. But, as we did last night, I digress! The wines we shared are below.

Cipressi Barbera Nizza DOCG 2017, Piedmonte. This is from Italy’s newest DOCG created in 2014, the formation of which was pioneered by winemaker Michele Chiarlo who was determined to gain recognition for the unique sandy, lime rich soils of Nizza within the Asti area. This example of Barbera is a juicy, easy drinking wine with lashings of bright red fruits. We have it on good authority that is was pretty perfect with a massive bowl of spag bol. Vinum £19.15

Cos Frappato 2018, Vittoria, Sicily. It was a chance encounter with this wine at the Real Wine Fair that proved a seminal moment in her wine life and opened her eyes to the beauty of natural wine. 10 years on it has ‘still got it’! It is an incredible wine with freshness, liveliness and perfume as well as being incredibly versatile with food. Historically it was made using oak, but the winemaker felt this was masking the purity of the wine, and therefore the potential of the Frappato grape. Now it is made using a combination of stainless steel and amphorae and the wine absolutely sings. Les Caves de Pyrene £18.66

Vina Lareira Albarino 2019, Rias Baixas, Spain. A lovely example of our members inspiring each other to try new things. This couple hadn’t tried Albarino before, but a handful of excellent reviews from other members encouraged them to branch out and try one. They were really pleasantly surprised, enjoying it for its lovely clean, crisp character. It spends 6 months on the lees for extra body and mouthfeel and received a unanimous thumbs up. This is a new wine to Waitrose and is on an introductory promotion at £10 in store.

The Society’s Exhibition Alsace Gewurztraminer 2013. His wife hates Alsatian wine, so he gave her a glass of 'white wine' blind to taste and she thankfully she thoroughly enjoyed it (the true importance of blind tasting revealed right there!). The family were trying to find the best descriptors to fit the wine; honey and melon were mooted, but it was the tasting note on the bottle stating lychee that resonated the most. This is a dry Gewurtz made by Hugel, and it is a lovely fresh, energetic wine that went down a treat with prawn curry. In fact it went down so well he had to grab another bottle just in case there wasn’t enough left to share with us! And the greatest victory is that his wife has conceded that there are in fact, a few decent wines made in Alsace! The Wine Society, current vintage 2015, £16

Bibi Graetz Casamata Bianco 2018, Tuscany. Thursday Night Club made this couple feel they were in a bit of a wine drinking rut, sticking mainly to Rioja and Rias Baixas, so they dived in head first with an eclectic mixed case from Philglas & Swiggot. It is another win with this white wine. Delicious, fresh, clean and mineral driven which softened in the glass and developed a lovely citrusy fruitiness. It is a blend of 60% Vermentino, 30% Trebbiano and 10% Moscato. Philglas & Swiggot £14.95

Koyle Cerro Basalto Garnatxa 2018, Colchagua Valley, Chile. I am a massive fan of Chilean wines which, despite their reputation for cheap Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc have a new wave of the most extraordinary talent making vibrant wines bursting with character, charm and drinkability. 20 years in the trade and I have never tasted a Garnatxa (Grenache) from Chile, so I thought I would take a chance and give it a try. This is a biodynamic producer who is all about the soil, in this case volcanic basalt which gives the wine the most incredible, almost effervescent minerality and energy. It has gorgeous fine tannins, and a palate showing wild strawberry compote, black pepper, rich earth and rose petals, and always this underlying fresh, almost salty tang of minerality. Be warned it is incredibly moreish. This is an absolute find, and in my humble opinion incredibly good value for money. The Wine Society £14.95

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