Wine blog

My tasting notes of fine wines I have enjoyed.

Three bottles of Tempranillo wine from Ribera del Duero, Spain

We’ve been enjoying three bottles of Tempranillo wine from north Spain over this stormy Easter weekend: Ribera del Duero of Marques de Almeida 2014 (Sainsburys £7.99), Allende la Vega 2013 (Waitrose £9.99) and Reserva 2011 (Tesco £6.99). They’re not quite cheap enough for “everyday” drinking neither are they in the “special occasion only” price range. All three have surprised with their complex flavours from a single grape wine. Here are our notes and conclusions.

Read more: Ribera del Duero

2014 Kuyen Carménère from Colquoa Valley, Chile

Carménère grape used to be a staple of the Bordeaux clarets but has been largely replaced in France by varieties of the Merlot grape for reasons of yield in the climate of the Bordeaux area, which attracts storms from the Atlantic. Carménère has been successfully transferred to the resurgent Chilean vineyards in the rebuilding since the boom and consequent bust following the liberalisation of Chile (including wine production) after the 1974 reforms under the Pinochet regime. European producers arrived in strength, including producers from Bordeaux including the Rothschilds. So although Chilean wine is mostly known in Europe for its exports of single grape wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, there is production of other grape types which are not exported in large volumes; for example there's a fine Blanc de Noir, a sparking white wine from Pinot Noir grapes.

Read more: Carménère, Valle de Colchagua, Chile

Clos de Sainte Catherine 1994

A fine Clos de Sainte Catherine from 1994. The label states this was bottle 0844 of 2980.
One of the finest sweet white wines of the Coeaux de Layon in the Bordeaux region.
More gooseberry than vanilla or honey and with a delightful after taste, no sign of sourness or bitterness.
My Father's cellar held a 1999 bottle as well. On the basis of last night's tasting this remaining bottle (0554 from 6633 in 1999) should wait another five years before drinking.

Clos de Clocher 1982, Pomerol

One of the oldest bottles in my own cellar, we enjoyed this fine bottle of Pomerol, Clos de Clocher1982 with some juicy thick cut lamb chops.

The cork pulled notably cleanly, some of these old bottles are quite tricky to extract the cork from without it splitting or shredding.

The wine poured very clear, a luscious fine red colour, fine red not tawny. Very clear with a clean almost velvety taste and a lasting after-taste.

My companion discerned a mustiness which he compared to dark chocolate or even coffee.

Cockburns Vintage Port 1983 and cheeseboard, November 2014 

The 1983 vintage port was very good; our cheeseboard was enjoyed by us and our guests...