My holiday takeaway

Trioamaronepetit&corbieresWent away for the weekend with family and friends, ended up with around 20 of us going to Elveden Forest Centre Parcs in Suffolk staying in 4 different self catering chalets/villas.

Now I’m not a particularly sporty person and being an activity type holiday it maybe wasn’t the ideal choice but while the others were swimming, playing football, riding bikes and all manner of sporting things I went armed with a good book and wine. Although it sounds like I was missing out, I assure you I wasn’t, the Parc itself is really nice set in woodland and surrounded by a lake with all manner of wildlife roaming around which added up to a relaxing holiday if you wanted it to be.

The wines I brought were a Single variety Petit Verdot from the Stobi winery in Macedonia, An Italian Amarone Valpolicelli, a French Corbieres and a Medoc Bordeaux 2000 also brought along a couple of bottles of Chilean Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. Ended up drinking mostly in the chalet as I wouldn’t pay nearly £6 for a glass of wine in the bars that you could get in the local supermarket for £6 a bottle.

What were they like? well, starting with…..

Stobi Petit Verdot 2011 (8.5/10 Corks)

From Macedonia this was a big rich brute of a wine featuring the single variety Petit Verdot, dark purple in colour with bags of dark berry fruits and dense mouth drying tannins. Lovely smooth texture, slightly on the sweet side, 14% alcohol and I loved it but not for the fainthearted.

Amarone Della Valpolicelli 2010 (7.5/10 Corks)

Deep garnet colour with typically dark Raisiny flavours, rich dark cherries with dark chocolate and a slight smokiness. This will keep and mature for a few years. Alcohol 14.5 % but didn’t taste like it. lovely to drink on its own or with rich pasta meals.

Les Hauts Castelmaure Corbieres 2009 (8/10 Corks)

Very herby and rustic blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah. Heady nose of country wild flowers and dried herbs. tastes a little creamy with sweetish dark berries, caramel and spice. Another winner !

Grand Vin De Bordeaux Medoc 2000Medoc 2000          (8/10 Corks)

Lightish Purple colour with a rusty tinge around the rim, aromas of wood and prunes along with cinnamon. Taste wise, lost its fruit flavour although there is a little blackcurrant/Cassis with liquorice and cloves. Surprisingly this was enjoyed by all who tasted it.

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (8.5/10 Corks)

Lovely pale straw colour with intense tropical fruit aromas not exactly leaping out of the glass like New Zealand SB’s but the smell is kind of thick, not a proper wine tasting term I know but that is my first reaction when sticking my nose in the glass, there was also a little whiff of herbs and lime.

Complex flavours, mild acidity, lush & rich mouth feel but not cloying, slightly sweet, tropical fruits again, passion fruit, lychees, limes, even sweet peppers. This was a beauty, also my daughters favourite.

Out of all the wines I still thought the Stobi Petit Verdot was the stand out drink over the weekend and at price of around £12.99 at the Wine Rack chain, not particularly cheap but worth it.

Great time, great company and lovely wines,  Salud !

Stobi Vranec 2011

stobi vranec(450 x 600)Macedonia 14.5%

Steak and chips for dinner, so you pop down to the local wine shop to pick up a nice bottle to complement the meal. Hands up how many of you would come back with a wine from Macedonia made with the indigenous grape Vranec (pronounced Vranesh).

The wine in question is the ‘Stobi Vranec 2011’ from the Tikves region of Macedonia. Not for the fainthearted, this is a rich, medium full bodied wine that packs a powerful punch and at 14.5%, so after a couple of glasses be careful as you leave the dinner table.

I actually gave this about an hour or so of air before drinking and I think it needed it. This was Inky black in the glass and after a quick swirl the wine coated the glass producing intense legs. Aromas of fleshy ripe blackberries and plums with an earthy spiciness lurking in the background. On first sip it was bursting with that fleshy plum and blackberry fruit with a pronounced liqourice, rich coffee and dark chocolate flavour. Still had an earthy qaulity verging on the tart side with a little sweetness counteracting it and a pretty good lengthy finish.

I first tasted this about a year ago at a ‘Wine Gang’ tasting and it was one of my favourites on the day. As I mentioned earlier this is a powerhouse of a wine, really good with food, it would be great with casseroles, Barbecues and as I did, a nice steak.

For me this was really enjoyable but I do stress go easy, sit back (definitely a sitting down wine) and savour this Eastern European beauty.

Looking forward to trying more Stobi wines !

8corksMy Rating 8/10 Corks

The Wine Rack £9.99

Tikves 2012, Vranec & Merlot – Macedonia

TIKVES(450 x 600)Macedonian wine, not everyone’s first choice when browsing the shelves looking for a red wine to go with dinner but do yourself a favour and grab a bottle that mentions the Vranec grape.

I first tasted Vranec a few months ago and thought it was excellent , I’ve now revisited the grape and my thoughts are still that it’s a very decent drink. Vranec is the native red grape of Macedonia and it produces very dark rich full bodied wines.

This particular wine from M&S is called Tikves (most well known wine region in Macedonia). This is a blend of Vranec and Merlot and for £8.99 is well worth a try.
When poured the wine is strikingly deep purple in colour with aromas of ripe plums, blackcurrants, prunes and rich dark chocolate.

Taste – Not for the faint hearted, rich, velvety, bitter sweet jam and fairly tannic (for me pretty much what I like in a wine). It also boasts 14% alcohol but doesn’t feel like it (which can be a good or bad thing) because a lot of the bottle can disappear quickly without realising.

For me, Vranec will definitely feature a lot in my wine rack, so treat yourself and try this Balkan beauty, you may be pleasantly surprised.

8corksMy Rating 8/10 Corks

M&S £8.99