Tasted a whole lot of red wine from Noel Young Wines during their annual Christmas tasting. The following wines stood out among the rest, all getting an A- or were somehow remarkable or memorable. These are in no particular order. Notes are necessarily brief, had lots of wine to go through in a relatively short amount of time. Prices indicated are retail to Noel Young. Includes sweet wine too.
Pulenta 'La Flor' Malbec 09, Argentina. £9.49
Quite lifted for a Malbec, not heavy and dense. Blueberry, plums, maybe even touch of spice. Almost like a diet Malbec / Malbec-lite, very drinkable.
Pulenta 'Gran Corte' VII 07, Argentina. £21.49
Blend of malbec and Bordeaux varietals. Big presence, but not punchy. Palate is generous and wide, lingering and classy. Full of dark fruits, spice. Its sophisticated stuff, real good, a new world Cru Classe if you will. Excellent potential for aging.
Langmeil Hangin' Snakes Shiraz Viognier 07, Barossa. £12.99
Ticks all the right boxes for Shiraz, and goes that little bit more. Plenty of dark fruits, the Viognier realy lifts this, wine doesnt feel bogged down. Good stuff.
Langmeil 'Freedom' Shiraz 05, Barossa. £54.95
Made from vines as old as 1843, claims as the oldest in Australia. Concentration of fruit, classic shiraz expression. Good extraction, vibrant acidity. Mouthfeel is lingering, offering good depth and presence. Superb. Rare.
Allegrini 'La Grola' 07, Veneto. £18.29
Very juicy, lush dark fruits; cherries, touch of spice. Big warming wine, bags of quality and presence. Full-bodied but very approachable, even in its youth.
John Duval 'Plexus' Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 07, Barossa. £18.99
Another big wine, which carries everything together well, isnt clumsy at all. So much dark fruits going on, chocolate. Good depth, settled palate. Again approachable now, or will cellar with no problems.
Seghesio Zinfandel 08, Sonoma. £19.95
Big, expressive Zinfandel. Fruit is very ripe, succulent, jammy and maybe even slightly burnt (in a good way, like compote). Warming, I'm guessing this is upwards of 15% alcohol - doesnt detract from its quality.
Saint Clair 'Doctors Creek' Block 14 Pinot Noir 09, Marlborough. £15.49
Light, fresh, vibrant. Ripe red fruits, raspberry mainly, maybe some sour cherry; all balanced with a rather tart and crunchy acidity (like cranberry juice really), lip smackingly good. Such a lively, joyous little wine. Love this style.
SWEET WINES - the first is notable and certainly worth buying, an A- in my books. The next two are there for novelty value, both were B+.
Saint Clair Noble Riesling 'Doctors Creek Reserve' 09, Marlborough. £13.29 (375ml)
Touches of kerosene / petrol on the nose, honey, acacia and citrus fruits; really lifted nose, inviting. Palate is balanced, plenty of sugar balanced with fresh acidity. Very together, isnt cloying, enjoy with light fruit deserts. Excellent now, but will keep.
Andrew Quady 'Elysium' 09, California. £9.45 (375ml)
Black muscat, hence the wine looks like a deep rose. Plenty of acid, theres a tartness that feels like tannins, sweetness feels somewhat confected. Its alright, but somehow a a 'tannic' sweet wine just doesnt sit with me.
Greywacke Late harvest Gewurztraminer 09, Marlborough. £22.99 (375ml)
From much-hyped producer Greywacke. Nose is lifted, floral, beautiful sweet Gewurz, peaches, apricots. On the palate - dont think they got this one right to be honest - plenty of sweetness but lacks acidity, just sorts of sit in your mouth, making you wonder where the acid has gone? just lacking that extra dimension. Not cheap either.