It was yesterday afternoon whilst discussing with some friends that that I remembered two points. Firstly I have yet to follow up on some appropriate locations where one can purchase some quaff able wine on the continent for al altogether decent price. You can be assured I am working on this!
The second point is again my lack of wine tasting critique in recent weeks. This said I have found a solution to my vintners block (and it’s a cracker). One a recent trip to one of our favourite Morrocan restaurants, Kasbah in Clapham we discovered a bottle of what can only be classed as Moroccan genius.
The Zniber family vineyard was the producer of the hallowed bottle. Produced in the Middle Atlas (in mountain foothills) at an elevation ranging from 580 to 700 meters, the moderate rainfall and generous sunshine all provide these vineyards with an exceptional site unrivaled in Morocco (apparently).
So how does it rate….?
Taste: 7/10 – When we initially had the first sips the taste was fairly dry and bland, however this grew on us. The fruitiness and acidity came out as the bottle went down which makes this bottle an excellent companion to see food as the sharpness cuts through. The one criticism here is the time is takes to appreciate the wine, it is not an instant classic and reminded me of a bottle of Swiss Chablis before we got into it.
Value: 9/10 – This isn’t to be laughed at. Around £10 (in a restaurant) is excellent value and is likely to be substantially cheaper elsewhere. Have a look at local Morrocan supermarkets to see
Overall: 8/10 – Ok so it won’t really give many of the French whites a run for their money but after a few glasses this was an overall decent bottle. So with a good taste and excellent value then why aren’t we all rushing out to buy a slice of Moroccan heaven? I’d think the availability is the main issue here with only specialist stores being the places where you can pick
So yes a real gem, comes highly recommended. Keep posted for more posts to come!
Having been confined to my bed for the last couple of days it got me thinking, I haven’t blogged about specific a wine for a period of time. Admittedly I actually haven’t been in the mood to sample any wine recently due to a pesky virus however now fully recovered a nice glass of Chianti last night didn’t go amiss. This bottle was the ‘coverted’ orange label of the Piccini family (full details here) and it certainly went down fine. So what do the producing Piccini family say about this wine?
“Chianti Orange is the flagship of Piccini wines. The orange label marks an unique moment not only in the history of Piccini family, but also in the history of Chianti in the world: it marks the first modern image of Chianti for the 21st century. For the first time, in 2000 the Chianti label was simple to the point of minimalism. But the real CHANGE was brought up by the colour: ORANGE is a family legacy as it symbolizes all the energy, youth and passion that characterize our family.” (Piccini, 2012)
Admittedly everytime I drink Chianti I can’t help but make the usual Hannibal jokes, however I shan’t dwell on this and instead will get down to reviewing.
Taste: 6/10. So the bottle was rich and fruity but it was lacking some pizazz. Ripe and fruity (the label agrees) whilst incredibly smooth but i’ll be honest it wasn’t anything more special than this.
Value: 8/10. This was part of a multi-buy deal in Sainsburys back in January. It was great value since it should have been around £7-£9 but we got it for far less. A recommended buy if part of a deal, if not its probably not worth it unless you want lost of satisfactory quality booze.
Overall: 6.5/10. An generally all round OK bottle which was great value. Defintely a recommended buy but if you’re looking for some high quality wine to drink with some friends, etc then chose your poison carefully. OK so you could get a few bottles of quaffable wine if you went for this deal, but the old saying comes to mind that sometimes a little is better of an superior product. Indeed there are plenty of other alternatives out there.
Lets hope I don’t get ill again so I can keep on blogging….
It is through longing eyes that I write this post as I never really got to try this bottle as I had a long drive after dinner. I nearly forgot to snap the bottle so this rushed picture was all could manage as I headed out the door,bags in tow.
As I didn’t really get time to fully sample this bottle I can only really talk generally about it and give an overall score, but Rosemount estate wines are usually found in the bargain area of your local Sainsburys next to Jacob’s Creek and the like. This bottle is what you might call the Rosemount ‘elite’. So what do I mean by this? I’ll put it into a different context. This is the black label of Rosemount wines in the same way that Stella Artois now has a black lable and Mercedes have their AMG brand. Now i’ve cleared it up how do I rate this bottle…..
Overall 9/10: This was a rich and fruity drink however I am basing my judgement on a rushed sip but I wouldn’t be writing about this bottle unless it stuck in my mind. It packed a punch and made me think completely differently about the Rosemount Estate. I can’t fully comment on taste nor value as I didn’t have time to research either of these, but needless to say websites that I have checked on since price it at around the £10 range which if true is a bargain. Check out Rosemount’s website here if your interested in their broader range of wines
Keep posted this week, comments on wine in the news to follow. In the meantime I am going to try and find out some wine related news. Feel free to join in the discussion that follows, in the meantime is this a taste of things to come? I hope not…..
For those of you who read my post over the weekend you will recall that I was singing the praises of Slayer and their plan to branch out into full blown winemaking. As I was in Scotland at the time I felt more imaginative than ususal and thought it was time to liven things up! My next post is a far cry from the image of some beefy Californian home-grown rockers trampling grapes underfoot but instead transports you to the leafy villages of Bordeaux and the tranquil wineries. If you suffered nausea after reading the clichéd last line of the above I suggest you empty your bucket into the toilet and let’s get on with the show. This particular bottle was a gift to some friends of ours prior to a special day but they kindly agreed to let us try it at dinner. So what’s the verdict:
“Bordeaux and balance aren’t just the two things you remember trying to do when leaving a tasting session”
Taste: 8/10. A well balanced Merlot blend with a hint of a herb finish. So what exactly does this mean in a ‘nononsense response’ (as they shall now become known)? Well from what I can gather this can cover a plethora of things but can refer to the earthiness of the wine combined with the flavours taken in by the vines during maturation.
Value: 9/10 Now that would be telling. Seeing as I got this bottle as a present it would not right in any way shape or form for me to tell. I can however say that the bottle was excellent value. If anybody is interested in where this bottle was obtained from and what the exact price was drop me a line and I will divulge all behind closed doors.
Overall: 8/10. A good well balanced drink that can’t be knocked. A pleasant drink that goes well with meat or infact any meal that is rich in flavour
So I suppose the latter of these two points are really the long term aims of this blog, but I thought what better time to let people know where I plan to go as I enter month four of the site. Thanks to all followers to date, until later, Sante!
I write this article as I take the train to Scotland (having handily snapped theatre picture of the bottle leaving). There’s something about train travel that is enhanced by
enjoying a nice glass of red whilst whizzing through the rolling hills of this fine nation. I feel I must stress that this is not the case today given the time of our departure this morning! So with my romanticised rhetoric over let’s get on with reviewing the wine.
“Rail travel is enhanced by a decent glass of red (or two)”
This bottle was the centrepiece at our recent cheese and wine evening a week ago however due to various work and family commitments it is only now that I have got round to reviewing it (as per my previous post). It was an excellent drink.
Taste:9/10 This was an excellent bottle which was smooth and fruity. If I had Dads tasting notes to hand I’m sure they would talk about the richness and I eases of the bottle. Good legs also. I hear that 2000 was an excellent year for this wine and it certainly showed
Value: 8/10 various sources have given various prices for this bottle ranging from £45 – £80. I’ll be perfectly honest it was an excellent drink that as worth the money but there are bottles out there that are as good and not far off £10 off the price. This said, for a wine of this calibre price is not an issue.
Overall: 9/10. Can’t really fault it, a highly recommend buy however it is difficult to come by. Try specialist dealers but you’ll need to spend a bit of money. This said for a wine like this it will be worth it.
More reviews and comment to come soon, keep your eyes peeled! I’m beginning to wish I had a glass of Chateau Ripeau, it would complete this rail journey….. Sante!
OK so this time not a bottle from Belgium but instead a bottle from our very our very own corporate institution (yes I know you got it) Sainsburys! Incidentally I did have a Chardonnay from Belgium to review but I thought that perhaps I had slightly overdone the ‘bottle from Belgium’ wit. Anyhow as they say on with the show!
So we found this bottle on offer during our weekly shop at our favourite supermarket. Please note that this is only our favourite supermarket for two reasons. One it is close and two we prefer to top Tesco, simples [insert generic meerkat sound]. So how does it rate. Ignore the wine snobs harping on about the fact that you can’t get a good bottle in a supermarche, this is for want of a better word a load of old tripe as you will hopefully see from this review..
“Ignore the snob’s tripe you can always get a good bottle from the supermarche”
Taste: 8/10 So we all know that wine from the TTD range by J Sains has hardly been pressed through the bosom of some unsuspecting virgin but the taste was smooth and rich, excellent with red meat. A thumbs up Sainsburys (on this occasion)! As it’s a reserva it has been left to mature for at for at least three years (one of which has to be in oak) and it’s mid range as rojas go. For what it is, couldn’t fault it really
Value: 8/10 Reduced to £6.50 from the [probably artificially inflated] £8.50 showed excellent value for money. If it was full priced though I’m not sure I would be writing the same happy review.
Overall: 8/10 I can’t fault it, it was a good shout and good value for a mid range rioja. OK so it’s probably dressed up as a bit more than it actually is but hey it won’t be the first nor the last. Highly recommended as a good drink. Less highly recommended when full price as you could get a better bottle for the higher price
Watch this space, more comment, more triva, more wine.
OK so the exact translation of this wine is “plough-king” which is presumably some kind of homage to this wine’s French Burgundy origins. Alternatively this could be some kind of distraction to make us think it is more original that the actual wine inside. Maybe they hope that this will create some kind of side story where you can be drawn towards the romanticism surrounding a notion of a group of rosy cheeked French farmers treading grapes whilst playing a game of boules. Maybe I am becoming too cynical in my old age…..
“You’re only drinking over the government guidelines when you can’t read them. An easy drinking wine such as this may help you on your way …..”
This bottle came from another one of Lizzie’s swift day trips to Belgium….maybe that will make it taste better! Anyway how did it rate….
Taste: 7/10: Very crisp and refreshing. Fruity also, very much like an American Chardonnay. Really easy drinking but a little on the acidic side. This said you could easily get involved too much and then have too much (which has inspired my quote)
Value: 6/10. Again (like the Trocken Reisling) this bottle was bought in a supermarket in Belgium but was in the more expensive section. Although an excellent and easy drinking bottle, you could get a similar wine for less than the 10 EUR (£8) that was paid. Thanks though Lizzie!
Overall: 6/10: A fruity wine that gives an American or New world white a run for it’s money but other than the vineyard being steeped in history. The link below tells you about how the vineyard was founded in 1772 and basically how it is a licence to print money but it is interesting nonetheless (corporate yarn aside). Anyway back to the rating, it’s a crisp and fresh wine but is let down by the price when there are some pretty decent wines out there for less. Still this gets a thumbs up from me.
Newsflash: Watch out for some live posts in the weeks to come as I utilise the i-phone app to it’s full extent. I will try and get more than one post a week with at least one in the tasting category. Sante!
Firstly I have taken the step so that all bottles are photographed using Hipstamatic so that the romance of a by-gone era of photography can be recaptured. Also I will begin giving a summary quote for each bottle (unless it is a bottle from Dad in which case I will use his quotes in anticipation of another ‘beefy’ arising
This bottle was another one picked up by Lizzie on her day trip to Belgium with a group of her students. We love a Reisling but how does it rate:
“Tasty but lacks a kick other than seeing the great value at the till”
Taste: 5/10 It was not as sweet as a Reisling could have been however the bottle we had was only a 2008 ‘Trocken’ which is one of the lower sweetness ones with the grapes not left on the vine for long enough to create an uber sweet wine. It was easy drinking but if you’re looking for a reisling it makes sense to go the whole hog or else you could have a Chardonnay/S Blanc which is equally as quaffable.
Value: 9/10. OK so it was bought in a supermarket in Belgium but at 5 Euro (around £4) it’s bargain!
Overall: 6/10. Unfortunately from my research avaliabilty in the UK appears to only be online which affects the rating. This said it is good value and an OK bottle if you’re on the continent keep a look out for it! This said the chances are that you’ll be on holiday so won’t mind spending a bit more but maybe still don’t overlook this one for an acceptable drink that will spawn conversation of your travels at any table.
Firstly welcome to all who are visiting the blog for the first time. Feel free to look around, make yourself at home and make a comment.
So the background on this particular wine. This was in my Birthday parcel from parents which I lovingly drove 100+ miles home to London. The weight of the bottles in the back of the car severely impeded the 75 horses raring to race out of the engine and consequently performance suffered markedly. The question is has this got the muscle that David Haye failed to show in his recent Munich escapades. Dad’s tasting notes that he kindly provided with the wines stated (and I quote)
“[…] from the Pomerol area of Bordeaux. B/s nose. Rich and earthy. 2hr decant. Beefy!”
The above has however raised more questions than answers:
1. I have no idea what B/S means but I will endeavour to find out.
2. We had a decanter but it broke/went missing/ I’m not sure where it is
2. Beefy? Sounds like something out of a Bovril advert
I still don’t know what B/S means but we had the perfect anser for the second quandary, we decided to use a jug instead under advice from my slightly bemused parent. We then ‘single’ decanted the wine back into the bottle, presumably so that we could sample the ‘beefyness’
So after this extended interlude, what was the verdict:
Taste: 7/10 – I’ll be honest with you I wasn’t that impressed. It was a rich wine and had an earthy taste but i’ll be honest, the jury’s still out on whether it was much more that a nice and easy drinking red.
Price: 4/10 – At £25.00 a bottle it’s on the pricey side but I suppose that’s what you’d expect for a 2000 Bordeaux
Overall 7/10 – OK so it’s on the pricey side when wine is concerned and this came highly recommended. I mean I won’t knock it, it was a good bottle enjoyed with friends but it lacked the ‘pizazz’ I was expecting, and that would provide the muscle with the meal (again another David Haye reference)
Watch out for wine reviews, comment and news article which will follow but in the meantime, for those of you who didn’t get the David Haye references then check out the link below or click here
A real gem, found this one in Coop. OK so it bangs on about lime and gooseberry flavours but what’s it really like?
Fresh and easy drinking, goes well on its own after a long day of slogging at work. Not acidic in any way just fresh and fruity. Also sweet (if that’s allowed in wine lingo) with a smooth finish.
So the verdict:
Taste: 8/10 – what a beauty, crisp and hits the mark. Not sure about the gooseberry though
Price: 6/10 – at around six quid a bottle it’s good value
Overall 7/10 – A good buy that won’t break the bank. Other than rugby one of the best things to come out of NZ. Sante!