So, we were cheated out of a summer here in England. Not sure whether climate change or el nino
or just bad luck was to blame. But we didn't have a proper summer. This weekend, though, we were handed a freebie - a glorious summer's weekend that was more mid-August than late September in character.
Also, older son was down for the weekend from boarding school, and it was nice to see him, even if it meant I had to spend 7 hours driving on Friday evening and 7 hours this evening to pick him up and drop him off.
On Saturday we got together with good friends and went for a walk at Horsley in Surrey (pictured). It was a lovely time, and compensated in some way for all those lovely English summer days we missed out on this year.
Today older son spent the morning with some of his friends, and then we lunched outside with some of the English fizz from yesterday's blog post as accompaniment. Then it was time for the long drive to Devon. We listened to the radio commentary of Man City vs. Portsmouth on Radio Solent (City won 6-0). On the way back I was able to listen to music loud: I find music always sounds better at a decent volume and I hate it when you have people round for dinner and the music is used as a sort of aural wallpaper, at a just-audible volume.
Now I'm drinking two wines as I watch Match of the Day. They're what I would describe as digestible reds, with modest concentration, some savouriness, and good balance. They don't stand out, particularly, but they are ideal if you just want something simple to accompany food.
The Magnificent Wine Company Steak House Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Columbia Valley, Washington State, USA
I've reported on the previous vintage of this wine here
. It's an attractively packaged wine, with a roasted, savoury edge to the dark fruits on the nose. The palate shows sweet cherry and plum fruits backed up by earthy, spicy notes and with some grippy structure. Quite European in style, and a great food wine. Enjoyable. 86/100 (£7.99 Co-op)
Clos Saint-Martin Madiran 2005 Southwest France
A co-op Madiran, unsurprisingly this doesn't have all that much of the character that makes Madiran such a distinctive wine. But it's an agreeable enough drinking wine, though, with juicy blackcurranty fruit kept savoury with some grippy tannins. There's fresh acidity, too. 84/100 (£6.79 Nicolas)
Labels: Cabernet Sauvignon, Madiran, southwest France