Go hard on Chard

Ketton Wine League, otherwise known as #KWL or Ketton massive, had a little reunion on Thursday. I’ve only just got round to writing about it because sometimes, writing something interesting about six bottles becomes a little overwhelming.

KWL was the result of a couple of us becoming Naked Wine members and needing help finishing off drinking an entire box while sort of learning I suppose. We’re hardened drinkers, and KWL hasn’t been a happy experience for everyone with some only lasting a few hours…

Thursday saw a reunion of some of the finest, with the addition of Janna, our ‘Go Hard on Chard’ expert. Ask Janna what wine tastes like and you’ll get “wine?” Ask Janna what wine smells like and you’ll get, “wine.” She doesn’t mess about.  Janna came to us from Los Angeles to visit Tay and Ben, it was a real treat that they all came back to Ketton, the LA of Rutland.

You know when you go to University and occasionally treat yo self to more than Echo Falls for pre drinks, perhaps a cheeky Oyster Bay or Mark’s and Spencer’s finest Prosecco? Well, the Californian version of this is Toasted Head, a Chardonnay.

Toasted Head, Chardonnay, California 2015, 14%

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“Toasted Head is named for the old-age practise of toasting barrels heads with fire, which is what helps to create the distinct toasted flavour in all our wines.”

We all agreed that this wine tastes like Werther’s Originals, it’s that buttery and creamy but with peachy undertones too, it’s also deliciously refreshing. Sucks you can’t buy it in England…

Next on the list was a well decorated wine from The Old Bridge at Huntingdon brought to us from my sister Harry, who can’t get enough of The Old Bridge.

2013 SHIRAZ, Saronsberg. Tulbagh, South Africa, 14.5% and £24 from The Old Bridge

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“Gold Medal in International Wine Challenge 2015; Decanter Wine Awards 2015 Regional Trophy; Gold Medal in ‘Syrah du Monde 2015’; 94/100 in Tim Atkin MW’s SA Report 2015; Gold in ‘Michelangelo Awards 2015’; Gold in ‘Veritas 2015”

“A bigger, plusher Cape Syrah, with 90% new oak. The palate is certainly ripe, but the wine has plenty of varietal character, with notes of crushed rock, blackberry and iodine, subtle oak and a fresh, stony finish.” – Tim Atkin

It’s so smooth it’s almost lacking in specific flavours, we really struggled to pick out something distinctive, it just tastes of a good red wine. The rewards kind of make you feel like you should really like it, which you do, but it’s not outstanding to the point that I’d buy it again. Fantastic aftertaste though.

Next up was a random one from my cellar, label slightly wrinkled from the damp down there. The wine likes it though. I think these last two were gifts from my lovely work colleagues when I left Zazzle media.

Le Sentiers de Belene, Gevrey-Chambertin, 2014 France, 13%

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This is a wine from Tesco although for the life of me I can’t find a link for it. It’s usually around £14 by the looks of Vivino ratings, but perhaps they haven’t stocked it recently.

This red is chewy, complex and quite rich throughout. Great for a roast but you’d need a lie down afterwards.

Altaland Tinto Historico, Mendoza, mostly Malbec, 13% and £9 from Tesco 

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I LOVE the label on this wine, it’s all mythical and extra and really makes the wine pop out on the shelf. As for the flavours, it’s really not bad at all. Quite fruity but lacking in depth and character slightly.

***

And finally, I must add that I didn’t share this bottle on the night, but I did share it with someone.

Tatty Bogler, Pinot Noir, 2014 New Zealand 13.5%, £18.99 from Adnams

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I was in the lovely Adnams with my Mother around my birthday when we spotted this wine. Adnams is a fabulous shop, they’re online too but it’s worth visiting just to make the most of their amazing knowledge. They’ve always got wines out to try too which is fun.

Fun fact for you: My nickname is Bog, Boglet, Bogliana, any variation around Bog really. It always has been, something to do with me being a little froglet when I was little, who knows. So we bought Tatty Bogler on its name, there you have it, wine knowledge at its finest.

Thankfully it was a beautiful wine, really soft and extremely drinkable.

An interesting story behind the producers:

“Leaving behind careers in medicine and molecular biology, Doctors John and Brigid Forrest established Forrest Estate in Marlborough’s stony Wairau River Valley in 1989. This cheery pair won a coup at their first vintage, scooping a trophy for their Sauvignon at NZ’s national wine awards. Branching out from their home territory they bought vineyards in the cool southern area of Otago with the intention of making fine Pinot Noir. The results are impressive, Contains Sulphites.”

And that’s it, an awful lot of recycling for me this month.

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We probably should have taken a photo before we drank all the wine…

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