Sunday, 15 February 2009

General, 9 October 2008

A general wine tasting, prices indicated are approximate retail prices.

Vinas Las Ninas Chardonnay 2006

£5 | B

Clean, pale, basic Chardonnay. White fruits, with fresh acidity but not too racy. A good palate cleanser, nothing remarkable.

Bestheim Gewurztraminer 2006, Alsace.

£7 | B+

Lifted floral nose (white lilies, elderflower and the like), perhaps a touch of honeysuckle; energetic aromas. Balanced wine, acidity is masked by the freshness. Hints of kerosene like that of an oily mackerel. Well made, to be drunk now.

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2007

£5 | B+

Standard, reliable drink. Nose is vibrant and lively. Lots of fruit jumping around on the palate; herbaceous, grassy, gooseberry notes are evident. Ticks all the right boxes for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. At this price point, its good value too. No technical faults, but common and unremarkable wine otherwise.

Cono Sur Reserve Pinot Noir 2007

£6 | B+

Soft, seductive notes of light red fruits (raspberry, light cherry). Palate is balanced and ready to please. Its like a well made, ready to drink Burgundy - less the complexity and class, but a lot less price too. Very drinkable.

Chateau Beaumont 2003. Haut Medoc Cru Bourgeois Superieur.

£12 | A-

Large property in Haut Medoc, making good reliable claret; 2003 generally regarded as a good to v. good year. Attractive nose of classic claret; damp earth / musty characters. Dark fruits still there and tannins have mostly fleshed out, though several more years won’t be amiss. Well made and ready to drink claret (3-5yrs max).

Bodegas Arrocal 2006. Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero.

£8 | B+(+)

Lots of dark fruits, typical of Tempranillo; blue/blackberry notes, with some sweetness and smokiness, Tannin is there but does not overwhelm the wine; very much a food wine. Well balanced and would keep for several more years (5+ years).

Clos Baudoin 1990. Vouvray.

£20 | A-(+)

Apparently owned by a Polish Prince that is not quite interested in making or even selling wines; actual vineyard now run by locals. Nose of honeyed white fruits (peach, apricot); fantastic uplifted floral notes. Residual sugar is relatively high, but still refreshing and not cloying. Wine is matured and v. classy, acids has softened out. This wine is delightful now; age could add more complexity (anything up to 10 yrs). Excellent stuff, though not quite in the same league as top Vouvrays.

Lindeman’s botrytis Riesling 1994.

£5 | B+

Thick, treacle-like caramel; hints of eucalyptus/menthol, cough syrup. Plenty of acid to go around, fresh and will go well with fruit-based desserts. Different character to a TBA.

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