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Marble Brewery Organic Chocolate Stout

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Big fan of Marble’s beers and this dandy was no exception. A dense and long lasting mocha/root beer float head, nose that was deep nutty dark choc nibs whiffs of wet dog and aged oak. Palate was mocha rich & mouth coating but not overwhelmingly so. Hints of wet wool choc ganache and a long bitter choc finish. Cracking Stuff! 8/10

Available direct from Marble Beers

Casa Silva “Cool Coast” Sauvignon Blanc 2011

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I am a fan of Casa Silva wines and this offering from their Paredones Estate in Colchagua Valley centra Chile is a winner.

The nose is bracing fresh sea air, with shards of green pepper green gage plum & spicy minerals.

Palate is super green, leafy, more green pepper tinged with fresh citrus. There was a hint of vegetal character but didn’t find it unpleasant. Nice taught acidity and a smoky green asparagus finish.

If you are tired of NZ Sauv Blanc or want a classy alternative to Sancerre then do seek this out.

£15.49 a bottle or £14.27 per case from The Oxford Wine Company or £15.99 or Wine Rack has the 2010 for £15.99 a bottle 10% off when you buy 6

Chateau de Rully “La Pucelle” 2009

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They have moved onto the 2010 now but this is a solid Rully 1er Cru which in located in the Cotes Chalonnaise in central Burgundy.

On the eye it’s pale straw in colour. The nose is immense and complex that includes brown butter, marigold, wet wool, sweet white melon, toasted brioche, preserved lemon & calvados.

Flavours of golden syrup & apple, smoky bacon, with a squeeze of lime zest. Long finish where you feel the acidity but then comes melted butter with a hint of dish soap.

Available from M&S in cases of 6 for around £96 plus delivery

Lustau Dry Amontillado 12 y/o Sherry-Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference

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Lustau Dry Amontillado 12 y/o Sherry

I am an avowed sherry fan and honestly this is a stunner.

Eye- Pale leather brown

Nose- Super savoury umami, toasted almonds, brown miso,
sea salt & demerara sugar

Mouth- Salted caramel, tiny whiffs of coffee, ultra dry, beef jus, fresh sea salt and super long complex finish.

Wonderful alone on it’s own but really sings with nibbles of hard nutty cheeses, almonds & black olives as well as fishy bites, chicken livers, pates, sweetbreads, simple skirt steak I could go on but you get the idea.

A must have for your holiday sideboard.
£7.99/50cl/19% abv

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/groceries/index.jsp

Melonix Vin de France NV

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This Melonix NV white possesses all the best qualities that I associate with natural wine.

Firstly you are stuck on the nose by fresh fennel & lemon cough drops. The palate is rich(but not overly) golden orchard fruit that woven through with honeycomb, fine minerals and subtle wild herbs.

What I like most about this wine made by Jo Landron with natural yeasts but without sulphur, fining or filtration is that it tastes alive. A quality lacking in so many wines on the shelves these days. 8/10
Available through Caves de Pyrene.

“Bobby on the Wheat” Pale Wheat Ale

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By the Horns Brewing based in Wandsworth is relatively new addition to London’s ever mushrooming craft beer scene. I recently tried their “Bobby on the Wheat” pale wheat ale.

Now wheat beer is a bit like marmite and Morris dancing in that it can starkly divide public opinion. I eat marmite from time to time & am a big fan of wheat beer when it’s well made. Morris dancing however not offensive, doesn’t excite me regardless of how skilfully it’s performed. This “Bobby…” is a good attempt though.

Nose of malty, yeast honey & confected lemon. Palate hits 1st w/ lemon peel then richer lemon meringue cuts in finishing on a lovely savoury coriander seed note.

Though you may disagree with their London kitch naming By the Horns have produced a very acceptable wheat beer here.
7/10
http://www.bythehorns.co.uk/

Casa Silva Reserva Viognier 2010

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Casa Silva Reserva Viognier 2010- Viognier for Grown Ups
From the Colchagua Valley in Chile, I had this bottle a few months back and only just found the tasting note in a pair of my jeans that had been washed. Thankfully I had written them on a Moose themed notecard of very sturdy fabrication. They read the following:Opaque
Ns-Unripe Mango & Almond blossom
Pal- Ultra lean dry mineral lime, white nectarine, almond. Quite fine. Green. Taught lime leaves. White.I imagine the “white” wasn’t simply stating the obvious and that I had simply become distracted by something at dinner.For me this is more serious Viognier, not just a peach and flower blossom punch in the mouth. It’s classy and well made as most Casa Silva wines are.  £10-12
Stockists Incl: www.caviste.co.uk/www.lockettbros.co.uk/

Storm Beer Bali & Mee Goreng

Last September I had the pleasure of attending a friend’s wedding on the beautiful Indonesian island of Bali. Before that though I was hanging out in Seminyak and came across Storm Beer. I was very impressed with their Golden Ale and it went a treat with the Mee Goreng.
I shot this on my iPhone and the quality wasn’t too bad at all.

Marananga Dam-Old Vine GMS 2008

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Barossa Valley, Australia, Marks & Spencer

M&S deserve big kudos for getting David Powell of Torbreck fame top make this Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah blend for them.
This is as good a red wine as I have tried this year and spent ages just smelling it.
It’s true Auzzie big bold but is perfectly weighted & so nuanced.

Verdict: A class act from first sip to the last drop. 9/10

Notes:

Eye-Dark Forest Purple

Nose- Black liquorice, raspberry gummies, melted milk choc, cayenne pepper, gingerbread, turkish delight 7 purple basil

Mouth- Tart fruit, venison jus, savoury rosemary, rabid balckberries, white spice, smoky blackcurrant & great acidity

Food:Cajun steak, game pie or all on it’s own

Price: £12-14

http://www.marksandspencer.com/Marananga-Grenache-Shiraz-Mourv%C3%A9dre-2009/dp/B005CX3YZI

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