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Christmas Wine

Discussion in 'off topic' started by eternumviti, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    Madness not to ! Ridiculously good price. I only have 9 of them...
     
  2. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    Blimey yes, I see what you mean. I hadn’t realized (a) it costs £11.99 minimum at Majestic and (b) sterling is enjoying a bit of a will-they-won’t-they bump up. I’ve paid at today’s exchange rate (bank rate, commission-free, I love you Nationwide) which may or may not prove to be a good thing. So whatever happens in the next fortnight they’ve cost me £6.10 each.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  3. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    Nice to see those on this thread have got their priorities right. Nobody worried about food after B-Day. Stockpiling wine is far more important.
     
  4. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    It gets worse. Planning my meandering journey across northern France from Auchan to Auchan (intending to mop up any stray bottles of Bouza that may be lurking within) I realized I’ll be passing by a merchant that sells this, which is very good indeed. I thought I’d stock up with a few more for old times’ sake as the last bottles I drank were bought from Luc himself in 2007 on a memorable visit. He’s a somewhat imposing-looking chap, but friendly (points scored), passionate about his wines without being pretentious or precious (more points) and he gave me lunch of bread and saucisson (maximum!) I won’t say what the saucisson was made from so as not to offend more sensitive souls. I still have a photo somewhere of him sitting on the rear wing of my old Scimitar convertible with its back seat piled high with boxes of his wine.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  5. eternumviti

    eternumviti pfm Member

    Well, spotted, we used to bring his wine over about 20 or 25 years ago! I didn't even realise he was still about, a bit of a madman. He used to hate Carignan, and clamed to use a bazooka to blow the vines out of the ground. He then became a convert, and a specialist in old vine Carignan. They used to be wonderful, authentic and original wines.
     
  6. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    I can just imagine Marchbanks in his Scimitar cutting a debonair swath through the continent with ladies throwing err their thingys into his car :cool:
     
  7. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    You’re too kind. I did get an “Elle est si belle!” once from a balcony when I had pulled in to reseat the speedo cable, pull out the fan relay or sort some other minor irritation that Scimitar owners get used to. When I look back now I see an elegant woman in her mid-thirties in a stylish silk nightdress holding a Martini, but I don’t think that’s how it was at the time. Anyway, I gave her a smile, a wave and a little bow before heading off down the road, probably leaving her coughing in a cloud of oily smoke.

    Here he is, with Scimitar. You wouldn’t want to tangle with him, with or without bazooka. He’s posing with a bottle of Kingston Black that I had taken him as a gift. I recall he was quite impressed that Brits made single variety cider.

    [​IMG]

    I never got that bloody door to close properly the whole time I owned it.
     
    eternumviti likes this.
  8. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    ^^ how do you find these characters ? Adds another dimension to enjoying the wines I'm sure.
    I should make more effort to buy direct from vineyards, but then I am the type that would have bought the hardtop Scimitar...
    Last year visited a small vineyard in Italy that was run by a charming (and rather chic) lady and her ex-husband. We got on famously and I was just about to get details of her time in London as a 17 year old keeping house for a couple of priests when I felt my ear being pulled in the direction of our car...
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
    eternumviti likes this.
  9. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    I know that sherry is good value because it is unfashionable. I've tried a few over the years (latest Del Duque 30 year) but I just don't like it; although I'm slightly better on the dark, thick ones. Any sherry fans and recommendations out there ?
     
  10. BTC3

    BTC3 pfm Member

    I usually have a bottle of PX on the go as an after dinner sticky, the older the better, as it’ll have so much sugar that it can be easily stored after the bottle is opened. Toro Albalá makes some good ones, though technically it’s not Jerez as they’re next door in Montilla Moriles...
    Beyond that, Fino or Manzanilla (La Ina, La Guita, that sort of thing), served chilled while the sun’s up and it’s over 30degrees, with tapas, lots of other people, and plenty of noise, in a Feria.
    I guess there’s plenty to choose from in between those two extremes, but I don’t really like it!
     
  11. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    Yes I think you've nailed it for me: either Fino or PX at the two extremes but nothing in-between.
     
  12. BTC3

    BTC3 pfm Member

    I’ve never understood cream sherry and things like that.
     
  13. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    I’ve been thinking about that this morning. Of my favourite encounters, I think I originally found out about Gaston Huet, Bruno Sorg and Laurent Berger (Montlouis) from a little book I was given in the 80s about winemakers one could visit in lesser-known areas (ie not Bordeaux or Burgundy.) I think I may have been given a letter of introduction to Joguet from Adnams, from whom I bought at the time. Burn I got perhaps from Tom Stevenson’s book on Alsace wine. With the internet (ie 1994 for me) things got easier - certainly that’s how I discovered Mader. As for Luc Lapeyre...

    ...I didn’t put two and two together until just now. I read about him somewhere on the internet in the late 90s and recognized a kindred (ie slightly unhinged) spirit. I found a UK merchant selling his wine, bought a bottle when I was next in the area, loved it and wrote a letter asking if I could visit.

    Today, after staring at Google maps for a while I remembered where that merchant was. A simple step to find his name, which rang a bell. A quick look at eternumviti’s biog on his website - there’s his name again, mentioned as a mentor! That’s the ‘we’ in the quote above... so in a way my path crossed with eternumviti’s some twenty years ago - possibly even in person - and he is part of the reason the photo above exists. Small world, innit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  14. eternumviti

    eternumviti pfm Member

    It is indeed!

    The connection endures. We work closely, and often travel together, most recently to the Langhe in November last.

    Adnams were fabulous back then, really cut a path. Simon Loftus must have eventually been forced into conformity by the accountants, great shame.
     
  15. eternumviti

    eternumviti pfm Member

    Doing a tasting tonight, sub £20 bottle, what do I do, what do I do. Thinking.

    I quite like winging tastings, seeing what inspires on the day.
     
  16. eternumviti

    eternumviti pfm Member

    I found Lapeyre's wines unexpectedly elegant, that was the draw. I must look him up again when I am down there. And that, Mr Marchbanks, will be down to you!

    It wasn't him who claimed to bazooka the vines, my memory playing tricks, it was a chap called Daniel Domergue, who was even barmier!

    http://www.closcenteilles.com/clos-centeilles-en.html
     
  17. eternumviti

    eternumviti pfm Member

    The marketing people did, though. It is a peculiarly British thing, very little to do with Jerez. It brings to mind barmy maiden aunts, and Christmasses of yore. Cream sherry is one of those sweet-toothed English inventions that will fortunately fade away, tastes having thankfully evolved. Amontillado sherry, the real deal, is dry and nutty. Proper sweet sherry, made with the Pedro Ximenez grape, can be astonishingly good.
     
    BTC3 likes this.
  18. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    I was very taken with them, as was a French chum from Aix who then discovered they were sold by the merchant across the road from his mum’s house near Lille. That’s where I’ll be going to buy some more. The string of coincidences lengthens... I also like his lack of pretence, as I mentioned before. He has no problem with selling his wine in BIBs, so he does. He looks somewhat older and greyer on his website pics nowadays - don’t we all.

    Sounds like my kind of winemaker. He would have leapt straight to the top of the ‘to visit’ list but it seems Madame now runs the estate. I can’t find any report of what became of Daniel - I hope there wasn’t a bizarre bazooka accident.
     
  19. eternumviti

    eternumviti pfm Member

    Yes, it all looks rather refined now, it was a very hairy set up back then. Domergue himself was frightening and somewhat erratic, and I think he scared off a lot of potential clients. If you had a grasp of French he had a tendency to drop into an old and incomprehensible Catalan dialect, when in fact I believe he could speak perfectly good English, and he was rather fiery. The wines could be great. I don't know what happened to him. Patricia was/is his wife. I suspect there's a story in there somewhere.
     
  20. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    My best visit to a bonkers winemaker was in the Loire Valley, again found in the little book I mentioned above. Very good inexpensive Touraine reds. The tasting took place in his living room, which contained a snooker table completely covered in bills and invoices. There was also an open fire, the top of whose grate was just visible peeping above a huge pile of fag-ends. He flicked another onto it at approximately three minute intervals. There seemed to be cats and dogs everywhere I looked.

    I returned to the area a couple of years later and heard rumours that he had stopped making wine and had become something of a recluse, but was still sitting on a huge stock. I rang him to ask if I could buy some wine. ‘Absolument pas!’ he shouted and slammed the phone down.
     
    eternumviti likes this.

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