I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we got a mixed "Off the Beaten Track" case from the Wine Society recently, and a few more of these have now been drunk, so I need to report back on them using the blog as my external memory drive and then I can forget about them and take the bottles to the bottle bank.
Starting with the white, here we have an Alella from Marques de Alella, 2010. This is Spanish and the WS described it as "a delicate and refreshing wine, full of charm and appeal". We opened it on Wednesday night as I needed anaesthetic to get me through episode 1 of the 8 disc box set of Jason King which G asked me to get for him. Warning to G: I'm going to need something stronger in future to cope with the purple dressing gowns, medallions, moustaches and turquoise cravats - some Felettig marc might do the trick.... Back to the white wine. My verdict: bland and completely uninteresting. Half the bottle went down the sink last night as I was too bored to drink it. It would normally cost £7.50 a bottle but they have inexplicably sold out, probably to saps like me who bought it as part of the mixed case. Perhaps I'm being harsh - it wasn't actively unpleasant.
The rest have all been reds. The label on this one is hard to read - it's a Cote Roannaise 2011 from Domaine Robert Serol, made from gamay. At just 12% alcohol, this was light and I hardly noticed it slipping down. It was perfectly pleasant and cost £7.95 but I wouldn't dash back for more.
This Chateau Ksara Reserve du Couvent 2009 was more like it. This is a syrah-based blend from the Lebanon. I've been a big fan of Chateau Musar in the past, but this didn't have that tarry, baked quality that Musar does. It was impressive and would be a great barbecue wine. Good value at £7.95. I'd have it again.
This was a red from Hilltop Estate in Hungary. I think G liked it more than I did - for me it had "bottle that is going to be hard work to finish" written all over it, although we did manage to force it down somehow. It has a high proportion of cabernet sauvignon and was perfectly accomplished but somehow rather boring and "international", for me. It's only £7.25 though, which makes it good value. I'd have guessed it would cost more than that.
Finally, the star of this particular batch, for me - as the Inverse Law of Labels would predict. This is Kalecik Karasi 2009 from Vinkara in Turkey. As a bona fide wine snob I would assume that Turkish red would be rough and undrinkable except possibly in a Turkish restaurant along with well-charred offerings of some sort. In fact this was juicy and vibrant. The WS notes refer to cherries and redcurrants and for once they are accurate. It was appealing and the kind of thing I think my family would like or would be good for a party at work. I'll almost certainly get some more in due course, although at £8.50 a bottle it was relatively expensive compared to some of the others here.