Rio, Mercury Awards & Vega Sicilia

Fellow Wine Lovers,

What did we learn this week then?

We’ve learnt that at last some Republicans are waking up to the horror of Donald Trump, as several of them endorse Hilary Clinton as “the least bad option!”

We‘ve learnt that Lizzie Armistead is not quite up to speed with her administration, clearly we’re hoping that she’s up to speed come race day on Sunday.

We’ve learnt that wine vandalism is still active in France’s south as tens of thousands of litres of wine flooded the streets and underground car parks of Sete, following a break in at a bulk wine company. (Sete is near where Picpoul comes from!)

We’ve learnt that the opening ceremony for the Rio Olympics is less than the name suggests, given that the football has started already.

We’ve learnt that test cricket is different from one game to the next.

We’ve learnt what a joy the roads are in the month of August, clear and traffic free despite the large lorries continually ignoring local width restriction signs.

We’ve learnt the nominees for the Mercury Prize and certainly this correspondent was surprised to discover he’s heard of more than half of them. The other half will be investigated over the next few days, but would mention that if you haven’t heard Love & Hate by Michael Kiwanuka you should give the album a listen.

We also learnt that in the world of Park Vintners not a lot changes. This week last year Alex wrote about Wayne taking liberties and buying posh wines when he was distracted by Mackerel fishing and cream teas in Devon.

Guess who’s been Mackerel fishing this week?

On the assumption that broadband, email and the 21st century haven’t made it further west than Exeter I’ll let you into a secret.

Sitting on the shelf ready to surprise Alex on his return is Vega Sicilia’s Pintia 2011 (£38). Hailing from Spain’s Toro region and made Tinta da Toro (local name for Tempranillo) grapes from 40-60 year old vines it is a real treat. Dark Damson fruit character, a spot of oak spice and a nice savoury meatiness as it opens up in the glass. Luis Gutierrez writing in The Wine Advocate thought it was worthy of 94 points.

I also managed to secure a tiny parcel of Vega Sicilia’s Valbuena No.5 2011 (£104). “The 2011 Valbuena was fermented plot by plot, something they started after a deep soil study in the 2010 vintage. 2011 was a very warm and ripe vintage in the zone, and the challenge was to keep the freshness. There are more black fruit aromas, subtle spices and hints of complexity, as well as tertiary aromas that are quite classic and turn more balsamic with time in the glass. Again, this is very different form the 2012 Alión, rounder, riper, richer, more polished, mellow, soft, quite exuberant and hedonistic. 94 Points drink 2015-2025” Luis Gutierrez The Wine Advocate

Anyway, with me likely to be in a spot of bother next week we should have a chat about what we’ll taste this weekend, I think I’m going to need a drink.

On the white front we’ll be investigating the delights of Livermore Valley Chardonnay with Wente’s Morning Fog 2014 (£13,99).  Over on the red front, we’re visiting Marlborough in New Zealand, home of our Southern Dawn Pinot Noir (£13.99) a deliciously silky summery example.

So swing by, have a taste of the wines, we can discuss the Olympics (The men’s road race is Saturday), I might even try and see some of the opening ceremony; even if it is past my bedtime!

As we mentioned last week, we’ll close at 7pm on all August Saturdays.

Oh, and the final thing we have learned this week is that the punctuation really is rather better when Alex is around!

Have a lovely weekend all!

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