Daily Newsletter of the Harrogate Medical Wine Society. Logo



                  “To enhance your understanding & appreciation of fine wine”


  • Summer Lunch: Sunday 6 August 2017 at the Pannal Golf Club. Tickets £60 pp. A £20, non-refundable deposit is payable at time of reservation(12 places left)
  • Wines of BrazilThursday 7 September 2017 at Harrogate Masonic Hall, presented by Nicholas Corfe of Go Brazil. Tickets on sale at £35 per HMWS member and £40 per guest. Reservations accepted with a deposit of £15. (8 places left) Tasting only £20 pp (2 places only)
  • Wines of Mac Forbes: 7pmThursday 12 October 2017 at Harrogate Masonic Hall. Tickets £30. Reservations accepted with a deposit of £15 pp. 30 places. (11 places left) Tasting only £15 (2 places only)
  • Autumn Lunch: Sunday 5 November 2017 at Pannal Golf Club (9 places left)
  • Champagne Dinner Dance: Friday 29 December 2017 at Pannal Golf Club. (22 interested)
  • High-Grade GreeksThursday 4 January 2018 at Harrogate Masonic Hall. Tickets £32.50 (18places left)
  • Greywacke: Thursday 1 February 2018. Tickets £30. (22 places left)


Current Wine Offers

See Wine Offers 2017 – Seifried, PellegrinoTorres Chile

Surplus Stock For Sale

Graham’s Six Grapes River Quintas Edition – £14.65 (2 bottles) – The name ‘River Quintas’ refers to the long held belief in the Douro that the best vineyards lie close to the river, benefiting from the cooling effect of the water at night that counteracts the extreme daytime temperatures recorded during harvest time. This special release uses grapes that have been taken from 2 of Graham’s classic riverside vineyards – Tua and Malvedos. At Tua the grapes are sourced from the nineteenth century stone terraces which lie very close to the river; at Malvedos they come from the ‘Vinha dos Barcos’ parcel which is known for producing extraordinarily concentrated Touriga Franca grapes. Ready to drink.



(A Flower Day)


I went to an Islington street party yesterday. First, I ate excellent Turkish Gözleme at Nags Head Market. Despite intermittent showers, the street party was great fun. The Crémant de Jura a Frenchman from Beaune brought in was rather ordinary but Brewdog Punk IPA was excellent. It was late in the night when I left the party and picked up a 20-inch Pizza for a midnight snack. It was the worst pizza I have ever had!



Meerlust Order: Payment was made today for the 16 cases of Meerlust wines ordered on Thursday. Delivery is expected next week.


The drive to London on the M1 yesterday was eventful. A truck had flattened a Mini in the middle lane, another had spread a load across all three lanes and a new car was on fire on the hard shoulder! Bottles of 2010 Dona Maria unfiltered Syrah from the Limari Valley and Torres Purgatori 2013 from Costers del Segre (£19.99 Cambridge Wine Merchants, £14.06 HMWS) were enjoyable with supper. The former drew approval from   via Twitter and the Purgotiri will be served with venison at the Society’s Autumn Lunch in November.


Le weekend begins and it’s a Flower Day – cue for opening a good bottle of wine!


Collection Day: Today is ‘Collection Day’ and wine can be collected in the morning as usual but not in the afternoon. This applies to today only.

Paying For Wine: New wine trade regulations have come into effect and to comply, members have to make their cheques for wine purchases from the Society payable to ‘Serendib Promotions’ (the wine purchasing arm of the HMWS) and not the HMWS. Those who make BACS payments will be provided with new bank account details with their invoices. Payment from the HMWS Credit Account is not affected.


HMWS Wine Events: “I hope that you have our names down for the Brazil, the Mac Forbes, the Champagne dinner in December, the Greek and the Greywacke events as I don’t want to miss any!” – Gwynneth Owen, Leeds


Jamie Goode writes about visiting Champagne Bruno Paillard who is no stranger to the Society:



Greywacke for February: Kevin Judd‘s celebrated Greywacke wines will be the subject of the Society’s tasting in February 2018. The wines were ordered yesterday (cost £293) for delivery on Thursday 27 July. Tickets are on sale now at £30 each and includes a two course supper with a glass of wine. 28 places are available. (Click here to see the tasting list).

Mac Forbes Tasting: A wine for tasting blind is added to the tasting list. Blind Spot Yarra Valley Barbera 2015 will be poured with supper. Both wines were ordered yesterday (cost £92.25) for delivery on Thursday 27 July. Ticket price remains unchanged.

Allegrini’s La Grola IGT 2012: Members who bought this Veneto classic when it was offered by the Society would be pleased to know that the wine is showing very well now and is a real pleasure to drink. The 2014 is available from Liberty Wines at £19.73 per 75cl bottle. (Winesearcher: From £20.99)


Whitby Day Trip:What a shame that the Whitby trip didn’t attract folk  —  I’ve never done it so I’ll have to organise a private tour for myself !!”- Gwynneth Owen, Leeds 

Bodegas Aalto: Gorgeous 2015s – “The Bodegas Aalto release is routinely up there in our “great value” offers of the year. Every twelve months, with cap in hand, we return to Aalto asking for more. This estate is immensely popular and it’s not hard to see why, given its pedigree. Leading the project with Javier Zaccagnini, former head of Ribera del Duero’s Consejo Regulador, is Mariano Garcia, ex-winemaking director at Vega Sicilia for thirty years and all-round Ribera del Duero authority. Since the inaugural 1999 vintage, Javier and Mariano’s expertise has come together to produce top-flight Tempranillo at a snip of the price of Vega, Pingus and the like.
Blended from seven villages across the Ribera region, followers will know that the straight Bodegas Aalto is a first-rate, intense Ribera which, given the right storage conditions, will cellar comfortably for a decade or more. The average vine age ranges from 40-80 years old and it is matured in 50% new French and American oak for 16 months. Pagos Seleccionados (PS) is produced in more limited quantities, and not every year. A “selection within a selection”, only the best parcels and oldest vines make their way into PS and the result is a layered, age-worthy wine at the apex of power and finesse.
One can broadly characterise 2015 as a warmer-styled vintage, in part thanks to a sunny spell in May that brought about early budbreak. Flowering too was a little ahead of time, but the vineyards were gifted ample rain in June, meaning that the vines had enough water reserves in the soil to weather an intense heat wave in July. August returned to normality, with warm days and cool nights, beneficial for the change of colour and the general ripening cycle. The two resulting wines combine gorgeous, inky purple colours, black fruit, liquorice, coffee bean and sweet spices. Both will be approachable over the next two years but carry enough freshness and structure to develop handsomely over the long term. Stock is currently abroad and will be shipped in autumn 2017.” – Justerini & Brooks

  • Aalto Pagos Seleccionados 2015, 6x75cl – £300
  • Aalto 2015, 6x75cl – £120

Aalto is probably the top winery in Ribera del Duero next to Vega Sicilia. I bought the 2014 vintage and will buy the 2015 without hesitation. In May 2013, the Society visited Aalto for a tasting and met Javier Zaccagnini and Mariano Garcia. Here are two images from that visit:


Jamie Goode writes below about meeting the brilliant champagne producer Anselme Selosse in Avize. Here’s the HMWS meeting him for a tasting and lunch also in Avize, a few years ago:



Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick Estate, Stellenbosch, has become a friend of the HMWS on Facebook.



HMWS Greek Tasting: “There really isn’t anything like Santorini Assyrtiko” says Joanna Simon MW and describes the Hatzidakis, Assyrtiko de Mylos Vieilles Vignes, 2015, on the list for the Society’s January tasting: “99-100-year-old organic vines. Pungent, smoky, almost funky intensity to the nose. Rich texture, concentrated apple and citrus fruit, intense…” She gives it a score of 95/100. Her full article is essential reading, especially for those attending the ‘High-Grade Greeks’ tasting. The link to it is posted on the blog page (click here).

Letters & Comments

Whitby Day Trip: “I’m sorry the Whitby trip didn’t garner sufficient numbers. I would love to have gone.  Do we need 20 for the transport, or for the other activities that were planned.  Is a taxi out of the question for 6 people? I’m guessing it’s probably too expensive….May be something later in the year? It was a super idea.” – Jane Trewhella, Otley

Armit Wines Annual Portfolio Tasting 2017: “We are extremely proud to represent many exceptional producers exclusively in the UK, including some of the world’s outstanding performers along with the stars of tomorrow. Join us at our portfolio tasting to take advantage of a unique opportunity to taste over 150 of these wines. (8 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BY, 5th September 2017, 6:30pm-8:30pm). £40 per ticket. Ticket fee will be refunded if you purchase wine shown at the tasting of the value of £250 or more, before Tuesday 12th September.” – Armit Wines

Noble Rot

Symingtons 2015 Vintage Ports: Tanners already have an en primeur offer but any member thinking of buying these wines should wait. Symingtons/Fells are sure to offer them to the Society at trade prices in due course.



  • Monday Wine OfferThis week’s offer from Fells consists of three wines from the Seifried Estate (NZ) Aotea range. Click here to see the offer.
  • ‘Reduced To Clear’The Torricella Chardonnay offered yesterday was sold by mid-afternoon. Peter Murphy wrote: “I would like to buy your surplus Chardonnay. I will buy it at cost, not at a discount as I feel the HMWS should not have to offer wines at below cost.”
  • Whitby Day TourNo further progress has been made and as such, the trip is cancelled. Apologies to members who are keen to go.


I have not been to Bradford for many years but yesterday had lunch at Mumtaz – the famous Kashmiri restaurant on Great Horton Road. The place looked quite upmarket with matching prices but the celebrated Masala Fish was disappointing. I will give the place a miss next time.



10 thoughts on “Hedonist

  1. I would drive 500 miles: I have travelled the western Inverness to Durness section (some parts many times) and the stunning scenery keeps calling me back again and again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Superb And well organised tour.Some excellent wine tastings and returning with increased knowledge and love of good quality wines and champagne.Thank you Bernard and HMWS.


  3. The Alsace and Champagne tour was as good as ever, again with superb organisation, good quality tastings and welcoming hosts. Riquewihr in glorious autumn colours is beautiful. HMWS is also about fine dining and the evening at Auberge de L’Ill at Illhaeusern was a memorable highlight. Thank you for excellent planning, agreeable company and the two well-chosen hotels. Alisdair and Elma


  4. Sending you both our love and seasonal greetings, a happy Christmas and a wonderfull new year from Yorkshire. (Ey up hava gudun an si thee next yer). Mandy and Les
    Si thi. Les


  5. Bernard the tour to the Englis Vineyards sounds very appealing. We recently visited the Three Choirs Vineyard and we were very impressed. The vineyard was well kept with vine rows widely spaced (the vineyard had previously been a fruit farm.). The vineyard had recently been extended to include a few acres of Chardonnay. We had a glass of the Classic Cuvee as an aperitif it was light and delicate and very enjoyable. For lunch we tried Oak Aged Red 2014 ” a soft rounded red wine with berry fruits and a hint of oak” it complemented our lamb beautifully. We were also offered a taster of an alternative wine which the staff thought would also go well with our meal. The food and presentation were excellent. The staff were attentive and knowledgeable, one of the owners also came out to chat with us. We were sorry we didn’t have time to explore more vineyards but we had birthday party celebrations to attend. Best Regards Peter and Carol. P.S. We bought a guide to The wines of England and Wales.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just like to say how much I enjoyed the tasting by Ian on Thursday night. A really interestingly conceived tasting which certainly demonstrated the 2014 vintage to be one of great quality and potential. I thought that the Sylvaner and the Kuentz-Bas muscat were probably the best examples of those two grapes that I have ever tasted. like Ian, I am not normally a fan of dry muscat, but the Kuentz-Bas was so intense and relatively complex that I really enjoyed it. I also felt that the Pinot Gris was certainly among the best that I have encountered and for me was among the best 3 wines at the tasting, along with the Gewürztraminer. The wine I found the most impressive was however the Ginglinger Riesling. Must go back after about 30 years – he also makes great Gewürztraminer.
    Finally I would like to thank Ian for his clear and informative talk. I was particularly impressed by his calm forbearance as the acoustics were not ideal and perhaps it would have been kinder had some of us been better able to control our excitement to pass comment on the wines to our neighbours rather than listening to what Ian had to say. A very enjoyable evening capped with a good meal. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

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