Thursday, 24 April 2008

General - 16-23 April 2008

Various wines that were tasted during this week, all with food.

Cliff Edge Shiraz 2001, Mount Langi Ghiran Vineyards, Australia
CWM - £14 [B+]

Its quite rare to be able to taste a big aussie shiraz thats been aged abit, I must admit, this was why I bought it. This wine was no pushover, I think the alcohol level was upwards of 14%, but somehow you didnt feel the burn as much as usual. There is a fantastic fruitiness to it, the nose reminds me of blackcurrant cordial / ribena / berry pastilles, there is a mintiness perhaps eucalyptus nose as well. It really was a big wine, voluptuous even, but it didnt have the same kind of kick compared to a young aussie shiraz; its lost the punchiness to it and gained a smoother texture too. I actually like it very much (not for everyday drinking, mind) and it went really well with spaghetti and italian sausages.

Jean-Claude Boisset Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2006, France
NYW - £11 [B+]

This is the entry level red bourgogne by JC Boisset; a full tasting note from a Boisset tasting will be uploaded shortly, I bought this wine on its own for dinner. This wine displayed much forward fruit, ripe cherries and raspberries dominate; there is some tartness as well, like drinking cranberry juice. The tannins are enough to support the body. I was impressed by the purity of expression; its not some Grand Cru stuff, but you feel that this wine was well made, they didnt muck about with too much oak etc. Its a vibrant, happy wine really; and great value for what is a decent Bourgogne to drink now. I had it with a roast belly of pork in a white wine and garlic reduction sauce and it was lovely; the fattiness of the pork didnt overcome the wine at all. Drink early though, this entry level wine is not for keeping.

Finca Antigua Merlot 2004, Martinez Bujanda, La Mancha, Spain
Restaurant price £16, Retail unknown [B]

Ordered this wine for a curry dinner at the famed Shish Mahal Restaurant in Glasgow's West End; they recommneded it, and apparently this wine won a medal at the IWC 2005? The wine itself is everything one would expect of a pure Merlot; large, round and juicy fruit; the nose is deep with cassis and red fruits. There is a woodiness and smokiness to it, I would imagine this had some new oak treatment, but cant be sure. Often one finds such pure Merlot (esp New World) to be quite dilute where the flavours are not concentrated, this wine didnt suffer from this problem; the soft tannins are ripe and if you try hard enough, there is even some secondary chracteristics with spices etc. Overall, this wine complemented the curry dinner nicely, if sometimes slightly overwhelmed. Cant complain.

Magpie Estate 'The Salvation' Gewurztraminer 2007, Barossa/Eden Valley, Australia
NYW - £9 [A-]

Made by the good people at Noel Young Wines, this is only the second white wine they have made in 10 years and I feel they got it spot on. The floral, slightly perfumed nose is enticing; the palate is full of white fruits, citrus, pineapple, some candied ginger and even the elusive lychee. There is still some sweetness (to an Auslese level?), but this is balanced by the fruity acidity that runs through, leaving a clean, lip-smacking finish. I think its wonderfully balanced and shows good expression of a Gewurztraminer. I dont know whether this will evolve in bottle, it might just gain a bit more weight and lose some of the freshnes of youth, but its wonderful now, honestly. I had it wine some simple sweet and sour pork; the spiciness/sweetness of the dish was complemented very well by the wine. Very impressed and will definitely consider buying again.

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