jamie goode's wine blog: The last snowy pictures, and some Southern French supermarket reds

Monday, February 23, 2009

The last snowy pictures, and some Southern French supermarket reds

We're back from Norway. I can't speak highly enough of the SAS Radisson in Trysil (well, except for the somewhat limited wine options). When we checked out we were issued with a bill just shy of double what we expected (22 000 Kr as opposed to 12 000 Kr; 1 = almost exactly 10 Kr), caused by the hotel charging us rack rates rather than the internet prices we booked for. But, after showing them our booking, and watching ever-more-senior members of staff being summoned, they corrected it and then knocked a tiny bit more off. For a half-board package at such a beautiful hotel, we were very pleased with the final bill. I've added some pictures (dodgy quality, I'm afraid, from phone camera) just to taunt those who haven't made it to the slopes this season!

We then caught the Trysil Express bus to the airport (3 h journey time, 65 for the family), before catching our Norweigan flight (painless budget airline that actually allocates seats on check-in - useful when travelling with the family) to Stansted.
However good a holiday, there's something comforting about returning home. As I type, I've opened a couple of supermarket southern French reds.

Cave de Roquebrun Roches Noires 2006 Saint Chinian
Varietal breakdown: 60% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre. This has a nose of ripe red fruits with a pronounced roast coffee and cured meat character. The palate shows good concentration and a bit of spiciness, with some grippy tannic structure under the plum and cherry fruit. A solid effort. 85/100 (7.95 Tesco; 13% alcohol)

Asda Extra Special Vacqueyras 2006 Southern Rhone, France
Surprisingly muted nose doesn't give much away, except for some faint liqueur-like red fruits and a hint of spice. The palate is more expressive with an attractive peppery character under the pure, smooth cherry fruit. This isn't a totally obvious wine: you need to look under the surface, and there you find some attractive Grenache fruit. Finishes a little earthy with some grippy tannin, which makes me think this wine might evolve a little more. Not mind-blowing, but authentic - decant for an hour to get the best from this now? 86/100 (6.98 Asda; 14% alcohol)

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At 9:37 AM, Blogger billn said...

So did you take the short, very steep, black run off the top of the hill that turns into an easy red after about 200 metres?

At 8:58 PM, Blogger New World said...

great pics from the ski trip!

in your review of the two french reds, you use the term "grippy" to describe the tannins. could you tell us more about that specific characteristic?

At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Vino Vangelist said...

That slope looks quite stunning. Would everso love to try skiing in Norway one day. What with the Euro exchange rate it is probably not that expensive either. Oh, the wines sound good too ;-)


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