It is already mid-summer but days with good summer weather have been few. Week 28 was no exception. Buying exciting new wines and walking in the Yorkshire Dales were the highlights of the week
The man from Enotria Wine Cellars popped in at the beginning of the week. He had driven all the way from Newcastle. I opened my last bottle of Thienot. It was from the batch I bought from Stanislas Thienot when I visited him in Reims two years ago. The bottle wasn’t properly chilled but we sipped it anyway and talked wine. I wanted to buy Quinta do Crasto Reserve White and the man from Enotria offered a generous discount. I had tasted the wine only once and that was at a seaside fish restaurant outside Porto in June. I bought the last four cases Enotria had and also a selection from their Parcel Projects List. The wine was delivered a few days later and in these days of flimsy cardboard wine boxes, Castro wines came in a sturdy and elegant flat box.
The second bottle uncorked in the week was a Grosset Springvale Watervale Riesling 2009. Geoff Grosset’s wines are highly regarded by many critics but I have never found them exceptional – even Polish Hill Riesling. The Watervale is crisp and pleasant but for me, nothing to shout about.
Then came a 2011 Malvasia, a gift from a little known producer in Mallorca. We had been trekking in the Tramuntana Mountains in northern Mallorca two years ago and visited this producer in Banyalbufar for a tasting and light lunch. He gave everyone in the group a bottle of his Malvasia to take home! Despite its age and 14.5% alcohol, it turned out to be a perfectly decent drink on a warm day and complemented spicy prawns admirably.
Then there was the La Rocca 2004 – the very wine with which I made a pretentious wine buff eat his words. “Show me a drinkable Soave and I will eat my hat” he once told me. I gave him Pieropan’s La Rocca Soave Classico DOC. To me, this beauty from 100% Garganega is the supreme expression of Soave. During a visit to Leonildo Pieropan many years ago, I asked his wife Tereseta how long the 2004 vintage would last. She put an arm round me and said: “Don’t worry. It will easily outlive you.” It was golden, perfectly poised and complex and absolutely glorious and was drunk with a roasted guinea fowl.
SUNDAY WALK AT SWINSTY
Swinsty Reservoir is only a short drive from our home. It has always been my favourite place for a Sunday walk. The reservoir is now surrounded by a well made and maintained 5 km walking path with wooden benches at regular intervals and viewpoints.
We left the car at the Forestry Commission car park and walked the circuit anti-clockwise. Foxgloves swayed in the cool breeze and the temperature was a comfortable 17 degrees. The odd Snow Goose mingled with the flocks of Canada Geese and Great Crested Grebes were diving in the middle of the reservoir. It was serene and warm enough for ice cream. How fortunate we are I thought, to have such a magical place so close to home.