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donalde

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Everything posted by donalde

  1. donalde

    South African Wines

    Some good South African Cabernets - Vergelegen are always pretty hot their V Cabernet Sauvignon is cracking. The Meerlust Rubicon is pretty iconic though it's a Bordeaux blend (the name represents their being the first people to stray from straight varietals). Ernie Ells makes a Cab S that whilst good is rather optimistically priced. Cederwood estate is from memory quite tasty. Errm - this is late at night without my tasting note books hands and I've not sold a lot of SA wines for some time. Over all I've long felt that SA reds whilst pretty great havn't quite hit the top yet, there are still a lot of people looking to be the first to get the icon wine status, and that has led to a lot of (at the top end) extraction and some real loss of subtlety, maybe they've just not quite found the sites yet. After all however many years of KWV controlling the market didn't really lead to any experimentation or pursuit of absolute quality so I guess there's a bit of catch up to do.
  2. donalde

    British Wines

    The Nyetimber blanc de blancs 2001 was tasting extremely well last I tried it, and generally any of their wines will spank the pants of off your basic NVs e.g moet or veuve (in particular is awful at the moment). Ridgeview are harder to pin down as they make more wines, but the 05 cavendish is excellent, and some 01 bloomsbury from my cellar had matured really well. Camel Valley I've never really appreciated, Chapel down can be good but I was v dissapointed with their Bacchus' from 07, which is a varietal I normally really like. The new player on the block would be Hush Heath Sparkling Rose which has just picked up a IWSC gold, and is quite serious in a Billecarte Salmon style. So yep, sparkling wines are a genuine concern, both Roederer and Duval Leroy are looking at/buying land over here, as the climate/soil and chalk sub soil are pretty much identical to that found in champagne. Whites from Germanic varietals are less successful, and you can forget about reds, they're mostly a novelty.
  3. yep, if we were so minded we could really screw the kitchen over, though I prefer just putting the pressure on a bit, especially when some of the mouthier chefs are on the pass, you know just bring a couple of tables through from the cocktail bar in quick succession, then maybe a table or two order at the table..... instead of the nice orderly procession of checks, they get maybe 4 or 5 really quickly, nothing too serious, but it doesn't half wind up the chefs, especially afterwards when you wander is - what the big fuss only 40 cover service....
  4. What base alcohol do people use for their bitter? Only I'm planning to make my first batch of orange bitters soonish.
  5. Marvelous I've long maintained that a good hangover should be worn like a badge of pride announcing that you had more fun the previous night than the rest of the room. My own favorite hair of the dog, I discovered one day when I pitched up to a tasting of Austrian wines (somewhere suitably posh in Pall Mall) with a stinking hangover. Not feeling up to the bracing and mineral Gruners I slunk over to a table full of BAs and TBAs to find that they caressed my poor head beautifully back to health. Their lustrous combination of just enough alcohol, the right amount of sugar to correct the imbalance in the blood, and their divine taste. Sadly they tend to be a bit on the steep side. Though I can at least attack their younger less esteemed brethren should I still be suffering when I get to work.
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