Monday, 5 May 2008

General, 4 May 2008

Two wines with dinner and a fortified wine afterwards.

Magpie Estate 'The Thief' Mourvedre Grenache Rose 2006, Barossa Valley, AU
NYW - £8 [B+]

A rather deep coloured rose, made from unusual varietals. This off-dry rose displays plenty of fruity characteristics, with notes of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. Its not completely devoid of body, which is why it will go with light dishes (maybe chicken caesar salad). Its got slightly too much body for me to drink on its own, not to mention 14% alcohol.

Was had with: Prawn and salmon in parsley sauce with cheesy crust. Went alright with the food, but shouldve chosen a different wine.
Independent adjudicator rating: 8.5/10

Dona Dominga 'Gran Reserva' Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Colchagua Valley, Chile
Oddbins - £10 [B+(+)]

A big, powerful new world wine. The nose reveals lots of attractive fruit, plenty of secondary flvours to savour. Palate is dominated by juicy blackcurrants and dark berries; there are touches of smokiness / toast, licorice and also of spices, specially cinnamon and perhaps nutmeg too. This wine really punches its way through your palate, and why not too at 14.5%. There is definitely some oak treatment, but I thought it was tastefully done; tannins should allow some maturing over 3-5 yrs, but its drinking beautifully now. I really liked it since there is so much flavours to savour, tasting this is like biting into a bunch of alcoholic berries. But it must be said that others might find it slightly too big, punchy and showy. Imagine having this for a barbecue, lovely.

Was had with: Roast beef, yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and horseradish sauce. Classic beef and Cab Sauv combination really cant go wrong.
Independent adjudicator rating: 7/10

Burge Family Winemakers 'Vintage' Shiraz Touriga Souzao 2003, Barossa Valley, AU
NYW - £10 (37.5cl) [A-]

A fortified red wine, made with 40% Shiraz, 40% Touriga, 20% Souzao; the latter two are varietals commonly found in Port. This wine displayed lots of fruit, ripe blackcurrants and dark berries; I always feel that fortifying Shiraz always gives a slightly Ribena-like quality where the end product sort of tastes like fruit pastilles and wine gums. The mouthfeel is sweet, rather dense but not as heavy as vintage port; the lack of tannins probably makes this ideal for early drinking, perhaps even slightly chilled. I can certainly see it with fruit based deserts. A drawback I thought was that the alcohol level of 19.5% was very evident on the nose, wasnt disguised at all. Otherwise, a well-balanced and well made fortified wine.

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