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Thursday Night Club - 4th Feb

Koyle ‘Don Cande’ Cinsault 2019, Itala, Chile . Following a long and somewhat stressful day I needed something that would both comfort me and lift my spirits. What better than an old vine Cinsault from Chile’s ultra-trendy Itata region. As expected the nose was energetic and crunchy with bright purple fruits and graphite notes. The entry to the palate was dominated by alcoholic warmth and the fruit was verging on over ripe with dried figs and prunes. It showing every inch of its 14% abv. Thankfully the midpalate tightened up with a lovey taut, smoky reduction and a focused core of graphite minerality and a lovely long saline finish. Slightly chilling the wine helped with the alcoholic heat. I am a fan of this producer and the wine showed lots of potential, but I feel the hot conditions of 2019 slightly got the better of them. Looking forward to tasting this in a cooler vintage. The Wine Society £8.50

Momo 2016 Ribera del Duero, Spain. Confidently reaching into his rack for a bottle of Zinfandel which he was particularly looking forward to drinking, he did think the flavour profile was not quite what he was expecting... That is what happens when you grab the wrong bottle! Luckily he is also a big fan of Ribera so all was not lost! This is a delicious, classic example of Ribera, with a lovely deep colour, intense, polished fruit and it certainly has good aging potential. It is already improving and opening in the glass. A really lovely wine and excellent value. The Wine Society £13.50

Kaos 5.0, Etnella 2017, Sicily, Italy. Time for a real curve ball here as we venture back into the world of orange wines. Ordinarily in white wine production the grapes are crushed and the juice pressed out, the skins are discarded and the juice is fermented. Skin contact whites or 'orange wines' are left with the juice and the skins in contact as you would during red wine production, in this case for 5 days to allow a pick up of intense flavour and phenolic grip. This is a blend of Inzolia, Catterato, Carricante and Grecanico. The nose smells almost like sherry thanks to time in oak and the oxidative winemaking process. The palate is superbly fresh with a complex array of aromas and flavours including floral, apple, apricot, tangerine, cinnamon and smoke. Swig £35. This is a beautifully made wine but it does have a powerful savoury character which doesn’t appeal to everyone – in this case his wife, so he also opened the….

Scorpo Aubaine Chardonnay 2018, Mornington Peninsular, Australia. This is completely the opposite the the Kaos, showing tension, freshness, purity and precision. It is certainly inspired by the great Chardonnays in Burgundy. Haynes Hanson and Clark £20

Gaia Agiorgitiko 2018, Nemea, Greece. Well it wouldn’t be Thursday night club without a Greek wine would it?! This is such a beautiful wine, ‘grown up but smashable’ which I think is indeed high praise. Lots of berry fruit, a hint of well-integrated oak, silky, rounded tannins and a subtle floral top note, and much to their delight, a hint of Toblerone! Vinum £14.70

Journey’s End Merlot 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa. Just 90 barrels of this lovely wine made. It definitely has the weight and concentration to continue to age in the bottle but it is equally incredibly drinkable right now. Big and rich with a soft berry fruit palate, a dry finish which lingers beautifully, excellent value. Sainsbury £11

Lyrarakis Liatiko 2017, Crete. A highly unusual indigenous red Cretan variety presented to us tonight in the form of Liatiko. When she poured it, it looked quite thin and uninspiring but looks can be deceiving! Delicious and aromatic with floral and wild herb notes and a lovely moreish mineral, saline finish. Unusual, exciting and would definitely buy it again. Philglas & Swiggot £19

Lourens Family Wines, Lindi Carien 2019, Hemel en Aarde Valley, South Africa. An unusual blend (as we would expect from South Africa’s adventurous new wave producers) of Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc and Verdelho. Franco is the assistant winemaker for Chris Alheit and has launched his own label. He couldn’t afford an engagement ring so his maiden vintage raised the money to buy it (we all love a little romance!). The wine is crisp, pure and fresh yet rounded and textural. Hints of pear, peach and dried herbs. Elegant and long. Swig £24

Not content with one bottle, she also had a stunning bottle of Vina Gravonia Blanco 2010 from Bodegas R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia, Rioja, Spain on the go. 100% Viura and spending 4 years in American oak it has an incredible array of oxidative characters making for a rich, layered, honeyed and nutty palate, but also showing beautiful texture and a lovely fresh acidity. These white wines can seemingly live forever. The Whisky Exchange £23.95

Domaine Dirler-Cade Pinot Gris Grand Cru Kessler 2010, Alsace. This wine was selected thanks to the brilliant cookbook ‘Perfect Pairings’ by Evan Goldsmith inspiring the Pinot Gris to go with butternut and sage risotto with gorgonzola. This was part of a sequence of wines bought from the cellar door, and this is one of the sweetest from that range (10.5% abv and 110g p/l sugar). An unctuous wine showing apricot and toffee but sadly lacking in the acidity that would have made it a great pairing with the food. It is great just with cheeses. None the less it is a delicious wine. When purchased it was about 20-25 euro

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