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Christmas Wine

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

  1. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    Agree, I was mostly trying to add SA Syrah to your list.

    My impression, rightly or wrongly, is that SA producers have avoided (or perhaps moved on from) the pitfalls the Oz producers fell into with Shiraz and other powerful grape varieties. Or perhaps due to exchange rates the SA wines at similar prices are of a quality you pay more for in Oz labels. I dunno, I just generally rate SA Syrah above Oz Shiraz on a pound for pound basis.
  2. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    ^^ You do it for love. Remember ?
    Must be tricky as sometimes you are forced to stock wine you don't want to get wine you do want... and then you have to sell it to someone. And then other wines just don't turn out as well as expected... and you have to sell them to someone.
    And I would prefer the whole en primeur thing to die out: it is mainly an English gamble financing Bordeaux.
    It is the vineyard owners that are worth millions...or tens of millions
  3. eternumviti

    eternumviti pfm Member

    Indeed, for love not money.

    I don't get caught up in that allocation of the trophy wine dependent upon taking the vin ordinaire thing. I find the whole trophy wine thing a complete turnoff, but it can bring dividends to the wine drinker. The fact that you might be allocated 6 bottles of Guigal La Turque if you contract to buy 200 cases of their Cotes du Rhone is the reason why the (very good) CdR is sometimes available at keen prices.

    Vineyard owners in the blue chip areas might be worth a stack on paper, but the demands of the market can place huge financial burdens on the undercapitalised small ones. One of my top Barolo producers has mortgaged his best Montforte 'cru' for a million Euros in order to build the smart new underground winemaking facility that the market expects these people to have. He spends a lot of time lying awake at night, because he know the million won't be enough to finish it in one hit, and acknowledges that if he pulls it off it will take another generation to pay it all off. If he doesn't, the bank takes his best vineyard, and that's the end of the story for him and his children.

    The massive value of vineyards in Bordeaux and now Burgundy, as well as the other famous size-limited vineyard sites is progressively pushing the families out. The Napoleonic code ensures that there are multiple family shareholders, and when uninvolved distant cousins see the value of their shares balloon, they want the cash. Too often there is no solution other than to sell, and another ancient family holding ends up in the hands of the banks, investment funds, insurance houses, some or another supermarket or fashion billionaire, or the Chinese.

    Owning and managing vineyards is a rich man's game. And then you've got to get out there and sell the wine. I think I may have mentioned before that amongst my wine aquaintances is Xavier Rolet, the ex-boss of the LSE, who once confided that the only reason that he and his colourful American wife are able to lavish what is necessary to restore and run their very lovely 'Chene Bleu' estate in the southern Rhone is that he happens to be a leading international financier!
  4. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    And even with that Chene Bleu is expensive and I'm not sure it is worth it.
    I expect most vineyard owners claim poverty like most farmers.... but if they are in/near blue chip areas they are rich. A top Barolo must be worth much more than a million Euro a hectare. Edit: top Barolo vineyard values are €2.5m to even above €3m a hectare.
  5. Marchbanks

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

    I can resist anything except temptation, rude not to at the price etc, etc. Six bought, anticipated discount applied. The checkout lady seemed shocked that I was going to keep them for a year or two. I think she had imagined I was going to neck them all tonight - something I am used to from acquaintances but not someone I have never met before.

    Someone called Jeb Dunnuck (I suspect he is an anagram) apparently thinks it is worth 92, if that sort of thing is important to you (I hope it isn’t.) I’ll ask Jancis about him tomorrow night when we are in the pub prior to our Easter trip to the Essoldo. There could be an argument, especially after four or five pints - I fancy Red Joan but I’ve got a feeling her heart will be set on Hellboy.
  6. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    ^^ perhaps she fancied helping you drink them... but you could try to keep them 3/4 years o_O
    Very good price. Dunnuck could be like James Suckling: knock off a point or two. Edit: he is ex-Parker Wine Advocate.
  7. andrew d

    andrew d pfm Member

    ^^^^ Oh dear, my wife has a senior job at a company owned by Sainsburys and such has a 15% discount card. Looks like I'll have to stock up on some Perrin Châteauneuf les Sinards for just about nothing tomorrow!
  8. gassor

    gassor There may be more posts after this.

    Keeping it nice and simple, the Coonawarra Cab Sav 2017 at £6 from LIDL is one of the best I have come across in the sub £8 range. Take the top off 3-4 hours before drinking and it gives real mouthfeel to the blackcurrant and chocolate flavours.

    To the wine connoisseurs, most wines improve a good deal when they are opened a few hours before drinking, but I seldom see this mentioned. I don't mean decanting just removing the stopper/cork from young wines and gently turning it over. Why isn't more made of this?
  9. eternumviti

    eternumviti pfm Member

    Any air you can get to young wines like that helps, sometimes draw the cork, have a taste to make a bit of air space in the top of the bottle, loosely put it back and leave for a day or two. Essential with young syrah.

    I'm a bit too suspicious of Jeb Dunnuck"s 'look and me aren't I handsome with my designer stubble' mugshot to to have any urge to subscribe. Give me Clive Coates with his full set any day.
  10. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    ^^ an old friend showed me a good trick years ago if you want to air the wine but also use the bottle:
    swirl the last bit in the bottle to collect any sediment and pour that in a separate glass,
    pour decanted wine back in the bottle.
    Let the 'separate glass' settle and drink it carefully yourself leaving any sediment in the glass.

    Simply taking the cork out and leaving the bottle 'to air' does not work: the neck of the bottle is too narrow. If you don't want to decant (and it is a faff) keep the bottle upright (unlike storage) for an hour to let the sediment fall to the bottom and then just pour carefully and swirl the wine in your glass for a while. Those aerator gadgets also work quite well on young, tannic wines.
    This is for red wines. For white wine the most important thing is temperature: about 9 C so not straight from fridge.
    Having said all this I hardly followed any of it last night when opening a Le Volte dell'Ornellaia ! Just left it too late to faff around. Still tasted great. Still have half the bottle so it's airing now :)
    Weekender likes this.
  11. Weekender

    Weekender pfm Member

    I usually open the wine at 6pmish and pour one glass...and let that sit for as long as possible before drinking. Sometimes even 15 minutes.
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr and wacko like this.
  12. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    ^^ some people are self-conscious about swirling the glass. Don't be. Short of a proper decant it is the best way to 'open up' your red wine.
    People are very particular how their Guinness is poured: it is the same thing.
  13. Marchbanks

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

    If you do, and if like me you should really wear your specs when you buy things, take care. I now find I have bought four bottles of 2016 and two of 2017. I’m not bothered enough to drive back to Sainsbury’s and exchange them, but you might not feel the same!
    Weekender likes this.
  14. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    ^^ the 2016 is probably better anyway isn't it ?
  15. Marchbanks

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

    The taste-by-numbers bods seem to give the 2017 the edge by a couple of points in their ratings. But since the Marchbanks Scale of Appreciation has only seven levels (eg 1=Jesus wept!, 4=S’alright I suppose, 7=Oh wow, man!) I think I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between a 92 and a 94, even after much contemplative stroking of my Coatesian full set.
    Weekender likes this.
  16. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    Wine Spectator chart gives South Rhone 99 points for 2016. 2017 not scored yet but it won't be that high.
    Of course these are vintage scores not the individual wine so it is possible Les Sinards had a better 17 than 16 for some reason.
    These scoring systems are fascinating: nearly everything crunched in between 88 and 94. 86/87 will be your 'Jesus wept'. 95 'Oh wow, man!' A lower score, particularly on Bordeaux, could just be the better buy if you want to drink earlier.
  17. Marchbanks

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

    Yes, it appears wines score at least 50 points if the winemaker has managed to put some form of stopper in the bottle and another 20 if he has remembered to stick a label on.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  18. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    I wonder if there are the same pressures as on hifi reviewers: give us a good review or we won't ask you to review in future. Or because a bottle of wine is relatively cheap reviewers just buy one ? But often they are actually at the vineyard: how can that be objective ? Or "Here are a few cases of our wine (every year) in appreciation of your super review."
    There was that scandal about Wither Hills a few years ago when they sent specially prepared wine for review that was different, and of course better, than the product sold ! I doubt that was the only case.
    And then there is the whole subjectivity : not every reviewer likes every type of wine equally surely ? Even 2 bottles of the same wine can affect you differently depending on the food or the mood...
  19. Marchbanks

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

    The 100-pointers weren’t always so truncated - I’ve looked in my 1988 Parker book (sorry, but it was a novelty in those days and it’s the only one I ever bought, honest) and while wines still get 50 points just for showing up, 75pts seems to equate to Marchbanks Level 4 (s’alright I suppose.) One Rhône negociant had wines scored at 52, 56 and 60. I can only imagine he had given Mr Parker a tasting glass with ‘Yankee Go Home’ etched on it. Robert managed to refrain from noting ‘Jesus wept!’ though, limiting himself instead to ‘downright nasty.’
    Looking in the opposite direction I have often wondered what caused those bad ratings. If it was a fit of pique by Parker and he was trying to damage the negociant’s reputation, it worked with me. I have often seen his wines on sale but have never been tempted to buy one, while at the same time being aware I have fallen hook, line and sinker for something that could have been printed as a spiteful outburst.
  20. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    Hard to find any wine rated below 85 these days: Grade creep just like exams I guess. Although afaik there has been a general quality lift over the last 25 years.
    Does anyone give credence to Vivino ratings ? I guess if there are over, say, 50 ratings on a particular wine they must mean something. But is it any better than Tripadvisor ?
    Every time something terrible happens out there in the real world this thread seems the best place to be... I know people on holiday in Sri Lanka only last week.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019

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