The circle game

Just a short post because I’m struck by something interesting and I happen to be on a computer. I’m at home, where wine of the evening is a Bierzo, El Cayado, which I bought from Oddbins for £8.99 after I saw it recommended on Jamie Goode’s WineAnorak blog and by Tim Atkin in the Times, two experienced wine writers with good judgement who I trust. I don’t have much experience with Bierzo as a region, but remember one – which retails at an only slightly more expensive £11.75 – I had in a restaurant a couple of years ago which got me quite excited at the time. So excited, in fact, that not only did I buy a bottle of this when I went to my local Oddbins, but I’ve got another two coming as part of a mixed case which should arrive any time now.

So I open the wine. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be good. But then, it isn’t great. It has none of the wild funkiness of the Pittacum (though I’m reaching pretty far back in my wine-memory cellar for that); it’s decent but it certainly isn’t thrilling, there’s just no complexity of flavour. It doesn’t taste faulty, it’s just average. So I go back to WineAnorak to check what Jamie said about it, and at the top of the page, posted yesterday, is a new post, complaining that he too had bought a bottle from Oddbins and found it disappointing.

Turns out they’ve just changed vintages (though pretty quickly after sending their samples of last year’s vintage to the press pack, it has to be said). There are no villains in this story, though there are a couple of bottles of disappointing wine heading my way.


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