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Live Update

LIVE UPDATE: Castillo de San Lorenzo Rioja Reserva 2007

Hello all,

Today I bring you a delicious red wine from the Rioja wine region in Spain. Purchased from Tesco for £6 down from £12.

Described by Tesco as:

“Richly flavoured and spicy, this classic Rioja combines ripe plum and dried fruit characters with cinnamon and vanilla.”

Wine: Castillo de San Lorenzo Rioja Reserva, 2007

Grape: Graciano and Tempranillo

Vineyard: Criadores, Spain


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Impressions: This is a very smooth deep red wine. Lightly dry, with little to no tannin. Soft fruit notes hit your mouth right away, with a sweeter raisin in the foreground followed by a deep grape. Notes of vanilla and caramel hide in the background. Cinnamon finish. Medium body.

ABV: 12.5%

Score: 8.75 / 10 (Very Excellent to Ambrosia)

Verdict: I really enjoyed this wine. Again, falls into the easy drinking category. I’m partial to wines that fall in the dry zone with a hint of sweetness (found in the caramel and vanilla notes). The initial flavour in the mouth is excellent, and the finishing notes are excellent. Smooth, medium bodied, and well worth a try at either price. Bargain. Buy one.

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LIVE UPDATE: Old Pulteney Single Malt 12 Year Old Whisky

Today I bring you a recent Tesco purchase (£24, down from £31), Old Pulteney Single Malt 12 Year Old Whisky.

A quick Wikipedia synopsis: ”

The Old Pulteney Distillery is a malt whisky production and aging facility in the Pulteneytown area of WickCaithness, in the Highland area of Scotland. The distillery produces the Old Pulteney single-malt whisky at a number of ages and has a visitor centre in Huddart Street.

The distillery was established in 1826 AD in the name of Sir William Pulteney (who died in 1805), and for whom Pulteneytown is named. The distillery is the most northerly on the Scottish mainland and was quite inaccessible, except by sea, when established. Barley was brought in by sea, and the whisky was shipped out the same way. Many of the distillery workers were also employed as fishermen. The herring fishing industry is no longer part of daily life in Wick but the distillery continues to operate, producing a Highland single-malt with a reputation as one of the finest available. Characteristics of the whisky are attributed to exposure to sea air during maturation.”

Whisky: Single Malt, 12 Year Old

Distillery: Old Pulteney, Wick, Scotland


Impressions: Without water: Quite a strong, smooth charred bitterness. Light caramel and wood, followed by a strong saltiness. With water: Strong caramel nose. Sweet caramel start with a strong, smooth, and very salty finish with a fair amount of finishing burn.

ABV: 40%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good to Very Good)

Verdict: This is a nice smooth whisky, with light caramel notes. For me, there is a nice, but almost too strong salty flavour. My tastes are much more geared toward sweeter / smokier whiskies, and this one misses the ‘great’ mark for me. Nice, but probably not a repeat buy for me, though if you enjoy a saltier ‘taste of the sea side’ drink, this might be a great buy for you!

LIVE UPDATE: Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2011

Hey all, today I bring you another reduced price Tesco offer (£5, down from £8), Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2011. A vineyard I’ve been familiar with for many years which (from my experience) produce excellent wines. “The beautiful vineyards of Casillero del Diablo are home to some of the finest wines in the world. But few outsiders know the dark secret that lies beneath them. For the locals say that in the depths of the cellar lives the Devil himself. A tale so infamous, they named the wine Casillero del Diablo, the Devil’s Cellar.”

Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2011

Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vineyard: Casillero Del Diablo, Concha Y Toro, Chile

B - Castillera del diablo cab sauv 2011 reserva very smooth dry tannin puckering sharp at front with a buttery smooth finish med body 13o5 abv 8o5 () 10
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Impressions: This was a very smooth dry, red wine. The first thing that hits your mouth is a light-to-medium tannin, drying your tongue, followed by smooth, dark fruits (grape). A buttery smooth finish to the medium bodied wine.

ABV: 13.5%

Score: 8.5 / 10 (Very Excellent)

Verdict: Another easy drinking red wine. Quite a bit more tannin than other reds I’ve reviewed, but well within the acceptable limits of ‘easy drinking’. Medium bodied with the usual ‘dark fruits’ (ie. grape), but with minimal bitterness or strong after taste that often follows dry wines. At only £5, definitely good value and worth a try.

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LIVE UPDATE – El Pinsapo Gran Seleccion Rioja 2010

RIGHT NOW I am enjoying a bottle of El Pinsapo Gran Seleccion Rioja from 2010, served at a perfect 17*C. Currently available at Tesco for £4.99 (Half Price, they say).

Wine: El Pinsapo Gran Seleccion, Rioja, 2010

Vineyard: Garcia Carrion, Spain


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Impressions:  This is a velvety smooth wine, with and equally soft flavour. Very dry but with little tannin puckering mouthfeel. Very light notes of grape are followed by a light alcohol after taste. Update: After having the bottle open for 1 hour+, the smoothness of the wine has decreased. A much more potent alcohol feel is prevalent, with a sharper, drier, more pungent taste. Not as nice.

ABV: 13.5%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good  to Very Good8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: Addendum: As per the tasting notes above, this wine has seemingly lost some of it’s smooth qualities after being opened for around 2 hours (uncorked/lidded) and thus, the score has suffered. Still an enjoyable wine however. This wine is definitely an easy drinking wine. It’s so soft that it could definitely be marked down on its subtle fruit notes, but the value for money here at this (half) price point more than make up for that. For someone who isn’t a connoisseur, I’m sure this will be highly enjoyable.

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LIVE UPDATE: LIDL Chianti D.O.C.G. 2011

Today I bring you a Chianti from LIDL’s own wine range. We were using it to cook a Vegetarian Chilli for Mother’s Day and thankfully we live by the well accepted old adage ‘You must drink the wine you cook with, or the food will taste spoilt’. I’m sure Confucius or someone said that… It’s a well accepted concept. From the picture below, you can see this was consumed at the recommended 18*C. Purchased for ~£5 (can’t recall exact price).

This Chianti D.O.C.G. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantitafrom 2011 won a Bronze award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) and is made of Sangiovese grapes.

Wine: Chianti D.O.C.G. 2011

Vineyard: Unknown (LIDL), Italy

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Impressions: This is a very smooth dark red wine. Very dry (not as dry as the Baturrica Gran Reserva) with a sharp, pungent, tannin body, that does leave your tongue dry. Medium to low body on this wine, with little in the way of berry or fruit notes. An alcohol ‘wisp’ after taste sometimes resides on the tongue.

ABV: 13%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good to Very Good)

Verdict: This was a nice, easy drinking wine. Little in the way of memorable notes, or stand-out features, but as a cheap easy drinking wine I can’t complain. Not as nice as the Baturrica Gran Reserva, which I will probably buy again, but I wouldn’t shy away from this wine. Worth a punt at this price.
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LIVE UPDATE – St Peter’s Golden Ale

Hey all.. a live update about the newest beer.

Beer:  St Peter’s Golden Ale

Brewery: St Peter’s Brewery, Suffolk, England


Impressions: A neat pint served in an old school oval bottle. The beer itself is fairly average, a smooth light ale. Semi sharp rose notes merry with light bitter hops and cereal notes. Medium carbonation lends an uplifting character to the ale.

ABV: 4.7%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: A nice ale, enjoyable enough. Light and refreshing, but nothing unique. An interesting bottle however.

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