jamie goode's wine blog: Surrey Hills and some wine

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Surrey Hills and some wine

I'm slightly worried that with all these accounts of walks in the country en famille you are left with some picture of domestic idyll chez Goode. Let me correct this notion. When we announced to the boys this morning that we were intending to head off to the Surrey Hills for a family walk, there was severe rebellion in the ranks.

Not surprising, because the slightest parental request in our house is usually treated as fighting talk. For some reason, 'Would you like to come off playstation now, because you've been playing it for 2 hours and you need to eat lunch', is interpreted by elder boy as 'Step outside now'; it's not much better with younger son.

After some negotiation, we managed to set off for one of my favourite excursions, The Holmbury Hill Walk. The best bit about it is that half way round there's a decent pub where you can lunch. Fortified by a couple of pints of Ringwood, and encouraged by the half-decent weather, we had a lovely walk. Even though the kids had considered a long and painful death to be a better option than a family walk before we'd left, once we were there they enjoyed it too.

This evening, three wines sampled. Asda's Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2006 is just what you want from an inexpensive Italian red: it's pleasantly tart and light, with plum and damson flavours. Torres Gran Sangre de Toro 2003 is nicely dense, but has a little too much sweet vanilla-scented American oak for my liking: they should lose some of the oak, use a bit of French rather than American, and aim at fruit intensity. The best of the evening was Chateau Clauzet 2004 Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux. This is quite serious claret. The dark fruits nose has a bit of spice and earthiness. The palate is nicely dense with focused black fruits with good tannins and a minerally undercurrent. This is a substantial, savoury, spicy wine with fresh fruit and well judged oak. A really nice claret. 88/100

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At 3:51 PM, Blogger Marcus said...

I've noticed the oak in those Torres a lot lately, especially the Coronas.

Their Atrium Merlot is a beauty though.

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Paul Tudor said...

I must say I did a double take when I read the headline of this posting. "Surry Hills" (note spelling) and wine mean something quite different to me, being the venue of two of my three attempts at the Master of Wine exams in this inner city Sydney suburb. A pleasant memory, however, as the Surry Hills hotel brought me good luck, with a Practical pass first up and, two years later, the Theory.
Lots of interesting restaurants in Surry Hills, NSW. This used to be the site for MG Garage and other trendy establishments. Currently the best establishment there is a place called Tabou, which is my favourite place to eat in Sydney (and it seems a favourite hangout of the wine trade, as they allow BYOW). If we are in Sydney at the same time, I will shout you dinner there.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Apparently I got the oak wrong in the Torres - it's not American but 'European'.

Paul, there's also a Surrey Hills district in melbourne, isn't there? I guess the expats missed home and re-used the names. Thanks for the offer of dinner.


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