A miscellany of wines, all tasted in one afternoon. An eclectic mix, I think you will agree.
First off, the new vintage of Ladies who Shoot Their Lunch - was a big fan of these last year, specially the funky Chardonnay.
Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Chardonnay 2009
Oddbins, £16.99. B+(+)
Lemony citrus all over here, some yeasty notes too; a friend I tasted this with vehemently insists he can pick up notes of sweet popcorn. Go figure.
Good amount of oak there, well integrated, the wine certainly has enough body to cope. Feels old world, quite burgundy like, class, clean and rinsing.
Preferred the previous vintage, which was more funky and slightly less serious. Still a very good wine, though.
Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Shiraz 2008
Oddbins, £16.99. A-(+)
Deep purple, violet, tinged with menthol and eucalyptus. Plenty of red fruits, cherry, wild berries. Good stuff, plenty of fat acidity and tannin to keep it going for a while. Good weight and mouthfeel, filling but not overpowering. Nice, punches above its weight in terms of price and quality. Will keep well, but can be enjoyed now.
Short notes also for two affordable and decent Chardonnays stocked by Oddbins:
Carta Vieja Chardonnay. Chile. £4.99. B+(value)
An excellent crowd pleaser this, nicely balanced between fruit and acidity; very consistent too, I've tasted the past three vintages and none of them disappoint. Highly quaffable and very affordable.
Baile Out Chardonnay. Hawkes Bay, NZ. £9.99. A-
Plenty of white fruits, some citrus but also more peachy, melony notes too. Slightly sweeter than your average Chardonnay, gives it that little bit more body; acidity is nice and fat, not too piercing. Overall, its clean and precise with a more than decent, filling mouthfeel, certainly a well-made wine and should go nicely with food (though I would be quite happy drinking it on its own).
And a bottle bought as part of a mixed half case from Naked Wines.
Domaine O'Vineyards Trah Lah Lah 2005
Naked Wines, £17.99. B+.
This was quite a bizarre one, a mix of 65% Merlot and 35% Cab Sauv. Its big, bold and quite chewy; plenty of dark fruits here, along with some savoury notes of bacon, ham, that kind of thing. Despite the significant bottle age (and presumably some oak treatment), there was an edginess in the wine, the tannins felt somewhat out of place, quite chunky in places. It did open up more in the glass, revealing a more perfumed depth, but it still doesnt convince me to part with £17.99 (Okay, I got this case on advance order so I paid something like £10 per bottle). I'm afraid the winemakers havent got this one right yet.