Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Wine: Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Country: South Africa
  • Region: Western Cape
  • Year: 2020
  • Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Bottle top: screw cap
  • ABV: 14%
  • Price: £9.99
  • Purchased: delivered by Naked Wines
  • Rating:

Tasting Notes

This Cabernet Sauvignon is produced by the De Wet family, who have been involved in the wine industry in South Africa since 1697, and were the first wine makers to liaise with the Naked Wines company. Their extensive Arabella range encompasses many different styles of wine from several different grape varieties.

They describe this 2020 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon as ‘brimming with abundant blackcurrant aromas‘ and ‘juicy plum flavours‘. It should be a good accompaniment for red meats and cheeses.

I really liked this one, from the first impression to the lingering aftertaste. It was smooth, pleasant and very drinkable and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again. My wife liked it too, so it gets the seal of approval from our household.

Wairau Cove Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

  • Wine: Wairau Cove Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Region: Marlborough (South Island)
  • Year: 2020
  • Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Bottle top: screw cap
  • Price: £7.50
  • Purchased: Tesco
  • Rating: two out of five

Tasting Notes

This wasn’t a wine we had chosen ourselves. I think it turned up as a substitution in our Tesco order one week, when one of the Wine Route wines that are included in the ‘meal deal’ offer was unavailable. We were hopeful that it might be better then the usual offerings that get bundled into the deal.

However, I was ultimately disappointed with it. It wasn’t to my taste at all and I found it rather too sharp, so I wouldn’t be tempted to order it in the future. My wife was more partial to it and found it reasonably enjoyable, so it divided opinion somewhat, but it certainly didn’t find favour with me.

It hails from the Marlborough region of the South Island of New Zealand which, according to the Tesco website, is known for its ‘zingy, grassy and herbaceous Sauvignon Blancs‘. This one is described as ‘bursting with zesty gooseberry and passion fruit flavours‘ and is recommended as an accompaniment to ‘grilled fish, Asian cuisine or colourful salads’. For the record, we had it with a Chinese takeaway. I think it might have been the ‘zesty gooseberry’ that proved a bit overwhelming for my palate.

Rennes 4-1 Lyon

Lyon suffered a disastrous, humiliating and comprehensive defeat away to Rennes in round thirteen of the Ligue 1 season. Their performance was listless, shambolic and bordering on the disgraceful.

Rennes were everything that Lyon weren’t. The Breton side were the embodiment of a well-drilled, energetic and motivated team, playing with purpose as a cohesive unit. They dominated the game from start to finish.

Lyon had Anthony Lopes to thank for keeping the score respectable during a first half in which Rennes sliced through the Lyon lines with ease, encountering no semblance of resistance. They bombarded the Lyon goal and could, perhaps should, have scored several before Gaetan Laborde finally broke the deadlock just before half time with a header from a corner.

The Portuguese goalkeeper was the only Lyon player to emerge with his reputation in tact, but even he was helpless as the floodgates opened during the second half. Hamari Traore hammered home a fierce shot to double the advantage after a ludicrous mistake by Leo Dubios in the 51st minute.

The Lyon right-back had watched the ball bounce along the touchline a few times before deciding it had gone out of play and picking it up to take a throw-in. The linesman disagreed and signalled a handball and the resulting free-kick that led to the second goal. Replays were inconclusive, but Dubois should have known to play to the flag rather than take matters into his own hands.

Rennes substitute Adrien Truffert added two further goals in the last quarter of an hour to complete Lyon’s misery before Lucas Paqueta won and converted a late penalty. On a night when nothing went right for the visitors, even the penalty served to highlight the discord in the Lyon camp as there was an unseemly squabble between Paqueta, Slimani and Aouar over who should take the kick.

The whole Lyon performance was disjointed and incoherent. There didn’t seem to be any sort of game plan or, worse still, any reaction to rectify the situation after it became apparent that they were being overrun in all areas. There was no marking whatsoever, either in open play or defending set pieces, and Rennes players were given the freedom of the Lyon half. They proceeded to run rings around the static defenders, benefitting from amounts of time and space rarely afforded to an attacking team in the modern game.

There was no pressing in evidence from the Lyon team and little apparent appetite for the fight. It was as though the players had been sedated in the changing rooms before kick-off. The buck for all this has to stop with manager Peter Bosz. His teams have rarely been known for their defensive solidity, and that problem is already manifesting itself at his new club. He needs to find a way of tightening things up quickly or make way for somebody else who can.

In theory, this Lyon XI should have been a fairly solid line-up. A Portuguese international goalkeeper, French and Italian international fullbacks, Belgian and (former) German international centre-backs. Not many clubs in Europe can boast such a distinguished and experienced back line on paper, let alone clubs in Ligue 1.

The midfield contained a Brazilian international and a France under-21 international and comprised three predominantly defensive players, and the front three even contained two players who are primarily midfielders, so it should have been a tough unit to break down, but they were chasing shadows all evening.

Bosz clearly needs to sharpen up his tactics and seemingly his motivational skills too, as the team simply haven’t progressed under his tutelage. Encouraging results have been interspersed with disappointments and poor performances and many of the defensive frailties from previous regimes remain. Most galling of all however, was that this chastening defeat was overseen by one of his recent predecessors on the Lyon bench, Bruno Genesio, who looks to be building something special with this Rennes side.

Rennes v Lyon Preview

Lyon travel to the Roazhon Park to take on Rennes on Sunday evening in the final match of the thirteenth round of Ligue 1 fixtures.

It’s a clash between two of the teams chasing Champions League qualification and they are currently locked together on nineteen points in fifth and sixth places in the table, four points behind the top three.

Both teams played in the Europa League on Thursday evening, with Lyon enjoying a comfortable 3-0 home win against Sparta Prague whereas Rennes only managed a 1-0 victory against Slovenian outfit NS Mura.

Rennes are unbeaten in six matches in Ligue 1, a run that includes an eye-catching 2-0 home win against Paris-Saint Germain, and they have won their last four home matches (all competitions) without conceding a goal.

Lyon have also been on decent form of late, aside from an unfortunate late collapse in their most recent away trip, that saw them snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Nice.

The corresponding match last season was a 2-2 draw back in January, but Lyon did get the better of the Bretons in the return fixture at the Groupama Stadium in March with a 1-0 win.

The match referee will be Benoît Bastien. He has yet to take charge of a Lyon match this season, but Lyon enjoyed a 100% record when he was officiating during the last campaign, with three wins out of three including the 5-0 rout of Saint-Étienne and the 1-0 win in Paris. He has, however, overseen two Rennes victories over Lyon in previous seasons.

The main absentees for Lyon are strikers Moussa Dembélé, who is still injured and Tino Kadewere, who is suspended.

For Lyon, it’s probably more important not to lose this match than to win it, so I’d be happy with a draw, but a win would certainly deal a big blow to a direct rival for Champions League qualification and would give the club a huge boost going into the international break, so fingers crossed for the latter.

Lacaze Carménère

  • Wine: Lacaze Carménère
  • Country: Chile
  • Region: Valle Central
  • Year: 2019
  • Grapes: Carménère
  • Bottle top: screw cap
  • ABV: 14.0 %
  • Price: £12.99
  • Purchased: delivered by Naked Wines
  • Rating: four out of five

Tasting Notes

This Chilean red wine is made from the Carménère grapes that originated in the Bordeaux region of France but are now primarily grown in the South American country. The winemaker, Jean-Pascal Lacaze, recommends pairing the wine with herb crusted lamb, seared tuna or roasted Mediterranean vegetables and the bottle label describes it as ‘packed with exotic spices, floral notes, plums and blackberries’.

We both liked it, and would happily drink it again, although it wasn’t quite up there with our highest rated reds.

Peter Bosz

Dutchman Peter Bosz was appointed manager of Lyon in May 2021 to succeed Rudi Garcia, following the club’s disappointing fourth place finish in Ligue 1. His somewhat daunting mission is to revitalise the team and reintegrate the top three on a reduced budget due to the double whammy of the Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse of the Ligue 1 domestic TV deal.

Top of his to-do list is to figure out a way to replace his compatriot Memphis Depay, who has left on a free transfer at the end of his contract. The departure of the club’s star player and captain leaves a big hole in the Lyon front line and a similar quality replacement will be hard to find.

Bosz is generally viewed as an attacking manager who demands a high-energy game from his players. Lyon will be hoping that he can improve the team’s fluidity in attack and also their efficacy in front of goal without leaving them any more open at the back than they were under Garcia.

Peter Bosz’s playing career spanned most of the 1980s and ’90s. He was a midfielder by trade and spent his early years in his native Netherlands before a spell in France with Toulon. A move back home followed in 1991 when he joined Feyenoord for a six year spell that represents the pinnacle of his career. During his time in Rotterdam he won the league once and the Dutch Cup three times and earned all eight of his international caps.

He wound down his playing days with brief spells at Hansa Rostock in Germany, NAC Breda and finally JEF United Ichihara in Japan before taking over as head coach at amateur side AGOVV in his hometown of Apeldoorn. Success there earned him a move to De Graafschap but his first taste of top-flight management ended in failure as his team finished bottom of the Eredivisie.

After a season out, Bosz bounced back at Heracles Almelo and took them up into the top division before consolidating their place with a mid-table finish the following season. His stock was rising and he was tempted back to Feyenoord as a technical director, where he worked alongside managers such as Erwin Koeman, Leo Beenhakker, Bert van Marwijk and Gertjan Verbeek.

In 2010 Bosz moved back into management in his own right with Heracles Almelo and steered them to three more comfortable mid-table finishes before a couple of successful campaigns at the helm of Vitesse Arnhem. A brief spell in Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv followed before Ajax came calling for him to replace Frank de Boer as their manager.

Date of Birth: 21/11/1963
Place of Birth: Apeldoorn
Nationality: Dutch
Joined OL: 29/05/2021

Previous teams managed:
AGOVV Apeldoorn (2000-02)
De Graafschap (2002-03)
Heracles Almelo (2004-06 & 2010-13)
Vitesse (2013-16)
Maccabi Tel Aviv (2016)
Ajax (2016-17)
Borussia Dortmund (2017)
Bayer Leverkusen (2018-21)

Links
Wikipedia
Soccerway

It was a season of near missed for Bosz in Amsterdam, with his Ajax side finishing second in the Eredivisie, just one point behind champions Feyenoord, and also losing the UEFA Europa League final 2-0 to Manchester United at the Friends Arena in Sweden. However, his team won many plaudits and Bosz himself picked up the Manager of the Year award.

On the back of that 2016-17 season, Bosz was headhunted by Borussia Dortmund as a replacement for Thomas Tuchel, but things didn’t work out for the Dutchman at the Westfalenstadion and he was dismissed a few months into his first campaign in Germany with Dortmund having crashed out of the Champions League. His thus far largely upwards career trajectory came to an abrupt halt, but he was given a second chance in Germany a year later when Bayer Leverkusen opted to employ his services.

Bosz had a positive impact at Leverkusen and turned around their 2018-19 campaign, culminating in Champions League qualification. He followed that up with a fifth place finish in the 2019-20 season and a German Cup Final defeat to Bayern Munich. However, he was unable to maintain the standard in his third season at the club and was sacked in March 2021 after a poor run in the Bundesliga, a cup exit to Rot-Weiss Essen and a Europa League exit against Young Boys of Bern.

Overall, Bosz has a decent record as a manager. He can be said to have done well in seven of his nine managerial posts, with the only unmitigated failures coming at Dortmund and in his very early days at De Graafschap. However, he has precious few trophies to show for it and has a reputation as something of a nearly man with several runners-up finishes on his palmarès. Lyon would probably be quite happy with a second place finish next season, but both they and the new boss would like to get their hands on some silverware sooner rather than later.

Galodoro Rosé

  • Wine: Galodoro Rosé
  • Country: Portugal
  • Region: Lisbon
  • Year: 2020
  • Grapes: Castelão
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Bottle top: screw cap
  • Price: £8.99
  • Purchased: delivered by Naked Wines
  • Rating: five out of five

Tasting Notes

This is a light, crisp and refreshing rosé wine from the Lisbon region of Portugal. The label features a golden cockerel, which is roughly what the name ‘galodoro’ translates as, and the blurb on the back describes it as ‘a well-balanced, aromatic and fruity wine with an excellent acidity’. It is said to go well with salads, seafood, barbecues or tapas.

We really liked this wine and will look out for it in the future. It’s right up there with some of our favourite rosés.

Jen Pfeiffer The Rebel Merlot

  • Wine: Jen Pfeiffer The Rebel Merlot
  • Country: Australia
  • Region: Central Victoria
  • Year: 2019
  • Grapes: Merlot
  • Bottle top: screw cap
  • ABV: 14.5%
  • Price: £9.99
  • Purchased: delivered by Naked Wines
  • Rating: five out of five

Tasting Notes

This is yet another superb wine from the Naked Wines range. They really do manage to source some of the best wines (and winemakers) around, and this Merlot dubbed ‘The Rebel’ from Jen Pfeiffer in Australia is no exception. It’s extremely soft and smooth and leaves a lovely taste in the mouth.

The label describes it as smelling like red berries, cherries and mint, and tasting soft, plush and mellow, and we wouldn’t argue with any of that. It’s definitely one that we would buy again, although it’s out of stock now. Hopefully there will be a newer vintage available in the future.

Réserve de Pierre Viognier

  • Wine: Réserve de Pierre Viognier
  • Country: France
  • Region: Rhone
  • Year: 2020
  • Grapes: Viognier
  • ABV: 13%
  • Bottle top: cork
  • Price: £10.99
  • Purchased: delivered by Naked Wines
  • Rating: five out of five

Tasting Notes

This is a crisp white wine made from viognier grapes in the Rhone region of France by winemaker Pierre Latard and sold in the UK by Naked Wines. They were out of stock of the 2020 vintage at the time of writing, which is a shame because this is a fantastic wine.

The label describes it as having a ’round mouthfeel’ and ‘golden colour’ and going well with duck, chicken stew or fruity puddings, but it’s also very drinkable on its own. It was an instant hit with us and we’ll keep an eye out for subsequent vintages.

Casillero del Diablo Rosé

  • Wine: Casillero del Diablo Rosé
  • Country: Chile
  • Region: Central Valley
  • Year: not supplied
  • Grapes: Cinsault, Garnacha, Carmenere, Syrah/Shiraz
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Bottle top: screw cap
  • Price: £8.00
  • Purchased: Tesco
  • Rating: five out of five

Tasting Notes

This is a delicious rosé wine, and is undoubtedly one of our favourites. It’s described as ‘a medium-bodied dry rosé packed full of blackberry and raspberry flavors with a dash of spice and a crisp, fresh finish’. Dry, crisp and fresh is exactly how I like my rosé wine, and Casillero del Diablo have got this one just right.

I’ve toured their winery on the outskirts of Santiago in Chile and I was very impressed with everything I saw there, so it’s no surprise to me that they produce some excellent wines, and this rosé is a fine example of their work.