Friday, 17 December 2010

12 Days of Christmas Tasting

12 wines, all tasted on Thursday, 15 December 2010.
Prices are retail, excluding any offers. At the moment Oddbins are running 25% off every 6 bottle purchase, making some of the wines below good value.

Cave de Lugny Cremant de Bourgogne NV
Oddbins £10.99 B+

Fresh clean, citrus fruits, lemon, maybe a touch of lime zest too. Not completely bone dry, makes it easier to drink really, forward fruit. Good expression of the style.

Cave de Lugny Macon-Villages 09
Oddbins £7.99 B+ (value)

Plenty of lime, citrus again on the nose, also showing hints of minerality, smells classy and complex. Palate is straightforward, clean citrus fruits. Wine is precise and great value for money too.

Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch 'Wild Ferment' Chardonnay 09, Australia.
Oddbins £16.99 A-

First time I tried this vintage is recorded here, when the wine has just landed in UK, must say this wine tasted completely different. Nice aromatics showing through, tertiary developed characters too, yeasty, even brioche notes that you normally associate with Champagne (must've spent some time on lees and in wood), definitely funky stuff. On the palate its full, juicy, lemons and lush acidity and with good texture, really incorporates the wood well, mouthfeel is excellent. Dont know how this wine manages to taste so different from the first time I tried it.

Dona Paula 'Naked Pulp' Viognier 09, Aregntina.
Oddbins £12.99 A-

Completely unhinged wine. Nose doesnt smell of Viognier at all - so much aromatics, honey, acacia, white flowers, lychee and ginger - if I had tasted this blind, I probably would have guessed Gewurz or Muscat. Smells sweet on the notes, really inviting. Palate is full of white fruits, plenty of acidity, still a touch of sugar too; texture is rather thick (in a good way). This is a full, take-no-prisoners wine and hides its 14.5% alcohol exceptionally well. Completely crazy, truly something else.

Forrest Estate 'The Doctors' Gruner Veltliner 10, New Zealand.
Noel Young £14.99 A

Allegedly first plantings to gruner in NZ, first proper vintage of this wine, hence very young vines. Smells quite green, mineral, slate undertones; fruit notes is tropical, apricot, lychee and pineapples, green unripe mangoes. So lifted, expresses itself so well tonight, really singing at the top of its voice. Palate is textured, still a touch of sugar too, roundabout the 10g/l mark, gives it a bit more body. The tropical fruits still there on the palate, lively; this is Gruner on steroids, much like what Marlborough did to Sauvignon Blanc.

Matahiwi 'Holly' Pinot Noir, New Zealand.
Oddbins £16.99 B+

Cherries, raspberries, violets, damsons too, touch of cinnamon, spices and some earthy / rustic notes too. Textbook nose for new world Pinot Noir. Palate is of sweet morello cherries, ripe red fruits, crunchy but quite fat acidity, everything is together. Well made wine.

Cline Cashmere, California.
Oddbins £17.49 B+

A rhone blend. Dark berries on the nose, touch of white pepper, quite lifted actually. Palate is large and full, but still smooth, really deserves to be called cashmere. Dark berries still. makes me wonder what happened to all the tannins.

Cien Y Pico 'Doble Pasta' Tintorera, Spain.
Noel Young £11.49 B+

Won gold at IWC 2010 - although I am hard pressed to see why. Really dark, properly extracted stuff; nose is of dark berries again, more heat and spice coming through. Palate is dense and full, oak shows too; some meaty character, in a way that shouts for red meat, I guess. Still quite tannic, should have probably decanted this a while. Nice structure though, acidity and all, will improve with bottle age.

Terra Andina Altos Carmenere Carignan, Chile.
Oddbins £10.99 B

Nose is quite woody and green (like smelling plants), touches of tar and sulphur (probably the Carmenere), green pepper and capsicum. Weird nose. Palate is rather disappointingly green and lean, tannins grips at the back too. Unimpressed with this wine, my guess is probably that it was struggling for ripeness / picked too early. Just not balanced.

Calem Quinta da Foz 1984, Vintage Port.
Tanners £20.95 A-

A delightful expression of mature vintage port. Fruits is soft and rounded, developed nose, chocolates, coffee, touch of licorice too. Palate is still lively with red fruits, but its subdued, doesnt jump at your face. Smooth and mature, this is drinking absolutely wonderfully now, at its peak. Great value too.

Borges Reserve Sweet Madeira
Oddbins £11.99 B+

Nice sweet madeira, good presence, with the characteristic burnt, oxidised tones. Still touch of acidity and tartness there, so its still balanced and in check. Will go wonderfully with mince pies so long as they're not too sweet. Good value.

De Bortoli 'Old Boys' 21yo Tawny
Oddbins £19.99 A-

An old friend, showing really well. Plenty of sweet fruits, raisins, sultanas, theres some spice there too, like candied ginger. Lovely texture in the mouth, just sits there and gives and gives. I've had this for several times across several years and its reliably wonderful. Again, will go well with mince pies.

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