Tag Archives: Wine Society

The naked truth


An interesting name for a wine. Radford Dale Nudity 2014, from the Voor-Paardeberg region in South Africa. Why Nudity? Because it hasn’t any added sulphur and just the bare wine, I presume. The grape is Syrah and it has 12% ABV.

To look at it appeared right where it should be, i.e. no brown or purple rim – just red and an intense red at that. There was some viscosity. The aromas were pleasantly complex; fragrant, perfumed and very much cooked strawberries, suggesting some ageing. It had a thin mouth feel with both acidity and tannins. The dominant notes were strawberries (prompting my Grenache guess) and lighter cherries but there was bags of flavour. It had slightly sweet notes which tended to pall after a couple of mouthfuls. For me, it lacked a bit of bottom (nothing to do with its name, you understand) and gravity.

It wasn’t cheap and, although good, I question its VFM.

[Richard: yes, £18 (TWS) and not really worth it. A decent wine with some interesting nuances, which drunk very easily – amazing how much difference a reduction in alcohol from, say, 14% to 12% makes. However if you very looking forward to some typical syrah tastes and flavours, I’m afraid they’d been stripped away and the result was a bit Emperor’s new clothes.]


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Most tasted?

We’ve tried a lot of cabernet franc recently so when Geoff poured a glass of something very red – stain the glass red – with a rather green, sappy taste I was pretty sure what we were drinking. Yes, that grape again – but not from the Loire, I was sure, but New World. After that I was stumped. The wine had a rather tarry, smokey taste with some fruit, not unpleasant but not classic CF. in fact – from Chile and a combination never before tasted. And never again I think since we both preferred the way the grape is vinified in France.

[Geoff: Okay, no more CF for a while. Promise.The wine was okay but had transgressed the boundaries of a Loire CF and had lost some of particular style. It became another beefy, fruity, slightly tannic red wine.

It’s interesting that we become (or is it just me) fixated on a style of wine and see any variation on that style as an aberration. For me, the home of CF is the Loire and I like the wine it produces; though not all of it, by any means. I suppose this is what happens when Chardonnay lovers compare all wines to white Burgundies and make it difficult for new styles to establish themselves.]


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After the Gold Rush


Wine-making in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula grew with the excitement around gold prospecting in the 1800s, a population explosion and the wealth that came with it. The subsequent fashion for fortified wines meant a decline until the 1960s when wines made from cool climate Burgundy grapes, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, were re-discovered. And here we are, 50 years on, with what could be thought of as atypical Australian wine made an hour’s drive south of Melbourne.

Okay, Ocean Eight 2015. Let’s start with the ABV – 12.5%, that’s low for Oz. A colour of lemon-green and some viscosity hints at both acidity and sugars. At first, the nose was muted, slightly matchstick and lemon but this became more pronounced as it sat in the glass. The taste was layered – dry, long and full bodied with lemon and richer honey notes, quite rounded and deep. A complex wine, with almost too much going on which hinted that the wine might need more time. But it was still delicious – and very Burgundian.

[Richard: only 900 cases made and now sold out at TWS. A very good expression of cool climate chardonnay in the French style. Lots of flavour and complexity and very drinkable.]


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Very pale raspberry – could be a dark rosé in other parts of France – and transparent. Pure, delicate nose – feminine as some (male) wine critics would say, with a pretty rose petals aroma. The taste did not really say ‘pinot’ to me, despite it being obvious that it was such. Very drinkable and moreish.

We’ve both been members of TWS for some years but we rarely buy wines from their’ Exhibition’ (own label) series. Not sure why but this was a good advertisement. Unfortunately it’s no longer available and it seems that TWS no longer offer any red burgundy in the Exhibition range.

[Geoff: St Aubin is a village at the southern end of the Cote de Beaune; the area is more renowned for its white wines such as Meursault, Puligny and Chassagne. Such is the demand for Burgundy that these once less popular communes’ red wines have now become sources of reasonably priced wines. I use ‘reasonably’ with some irony. This wine was more ‘pretty’ than firm and earthy but nonetheless attractive to drink. I drank it later with chicken salad; its delicacy was an ideal accompaniment. The usual Pinot characteristics seemed to apply i.e. wonderful nose preceding a good taste.]

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Recommended, but…not by us.

This wine (Château de Montfaucon, 2012, Lirac, WS £13.50) was highly recommended but we were both unimpressed. An attractive, clear, bright red, young looking wine led into a cassis nose which I was sure was cabernet sauvignon – it wasn’t. Rather tannic, medium length, one-dimensional, lacking in generosity with a rather bitter finish. I couldn’t identify any of the constituent grapes – Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Carignan and Mourvèdre.

The writer of the above blog claims it would be good value at £20. It wouldn’t.

[Geoff: Not much more to add to Richard’s comments. It did not improve or even change over three days. It also gave me a headache – twice, in fact. Not impressed. Why would you need to use five grape varieties to make a blend? The grapes are not very different instyles, either.]

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Anaemic Bull’s Blood


The Wine Society have recently been promoting Hungarian wines some of which we have tried and blogged. Whilst not being poor wines I have found them a little underwhelming and certainly not living up to the hyperbole generated. This wine was another example.

The grape is Kadarka, eastern European in origin, and a constituent of the (in)famous Bull’s Blood wine. The wine is Gal Tibor (2016) and anything less like bull’s blood it is difficult to imagine. Very pale red with a watery rim, the wine had a really pronounced pure strawberry fruit smell so strong and sweet it could be mistaken for a fruit wine. The palate was dry with some tannins (it needed them) of medium length but very one-dimensional.  The ABV was 11.5%.

To do it justice it may be termed a summer wine but it would be very difficult to find a food match – cold meats possibly. It will be interesting to read the WS members’ opinions of this.

[Richard: I liked this rather more than Geoff did, deceptively savoury given the appearance but there isn’t a lot more to say as the wine is so simple. Lightly chilled on a hot day it would be very appealing, less so in chilly March. About £11, WS.]





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Process of deduction

Tonight’s wine (Pouilly Fuisse Vers Cras Chateau de Beauregard 2012) was deep lemon yellow in appearance with a seductive layered nose I was sure I had smelt before. Big, rich, mouth filling flavour, good length and an excellent sharp/sweet balance. Clearly well made and not at the bargain end of the market. Obviously old world which lead me to suggest chardonnay, France, Burgundy, southern end, Maconnais, all of which was gratifyingly correct. In fact I’d tasted this wine before, in the 2010 vintage, when it was around £20 from TWS. I can’t claim to have remembered the taste though this wine seemed to me much better.

[Geoff: Another good spot by R. Grape, region, sub-region all identified. I associate P Fuisse with wines broader than this sometimes almost to the point of a claggy quality. This, however, had some lovely lemon acidity to keep it fresh and focussed. Yes, it had the hallmark creaminess but it wasn’t overdone. Evidently, the Vers Cras is from limestone only vineyards which accounts for that acidity and elegance. Lovely wine, drinking well now, from the WS at about £17-20.]

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