Thursday, 30 June 2011

IWC Taste of Gold - Reds & Fortified

IWC Taste of Gold event, Lord's Cricket Ground Nursery Pavillion, 29 June 2011.

All wines shown in this event were gold medal and/or trophy winners from the 2011 International Wine Challenge. I tasted through 57 wines on the day and understandably, the quality of the wine on show were seriously high. Below are necessarily short notes on red and fortified wines which were particularly notable. Many thanks to Naked Wines for the free event invite.

2009 Bird in Hand Shiraz
Tanners £15
Australian Red, Adelaide Hills Red & Australian Shiraz Trophies

Ripe dark cherries, dark berries, jammy compote; some dark chocolate too, lovely nose. Palate has plenty of good extracted fruit, some dustings of chocolate, nice depth to it; acidity all in check as well. Nice mouthfeel, generous, decent length. Impressive effort.

2009 Bird in Hand 'Nest Egg' Cabernet Sauvignon

Dark berries, some green touches of mint and leafiness. Palate is big, lots of extracted fruit, chunkier tannic structure means it probably will keep well.

2009 Vina Carmen Gran Reserva Carmenere

Plummy dark fruits here; subtle touch of burnt tarmac as well, even rubbery; good ripe aromatics. Big wine, decent structure; fruits forward, full extraction means this will keep for a while yet. Good, classic varietal expression.

2007 Vina Ventisquero 'Vertice'
Slurp £20

Another Chilean Carmenere but a more restrained style; plenty of fruit, big but doesnt whack
you out. Some new french oak treatment which is carried well.

2007 Wolf Blass Platinum Label Shiraz
Barossa Shiraz Trophy

Jammy nose, blackcurrants, dark berries and cherries, a bit hot like cooked / stewed fruits; doesnt feel heavy though. Palate is large, again dominated by ripe dark fruits but retaining some complexity; nice acid and tannic structure, this wine will age gracefully.

2008 Saltram Mamre Brook Shiraz

Good expression, plenty of fruits again, all very correct but not very exciting; feels slightly overdone, the alcohol at 15.5% does show.

2006 Saltram No 1 Shiraz

Good fruit expression, feels very extracted on the palate much more so than the other Saltram; big wine, no holds barred kind of style. Again, I have some issues with the 15%, though this carries it better.

2006 Wolf Blass Black Label

Blend of 51% Cabernet, 40% Shiraz and 9% Malbec.
Full on dark fruits, expressive on the nose, noticeably darker than the previous wines. Palate is expansive, extracted dark fruits, big and serious; its drinkable now but will keep at least another decade.

2008 Kurt Angerer 'Granit' Zweigelt
Noel Young £20
Zweigelt, Niederosterreich and Austrian Red Trophies

Straightforward red fruits, cherries mostly, nice floral notes too. Palate is fresh, nice acidity running through this; sour cherries and raspberry almost, feels quite soft, not heavy at all. Slight touch of sweet oak. Serious wine, class, not bad value either.

2008 Panta Rhei Blaufrankisch
No representation in the UK
Blaufrankisch Trophy

Very savoury nose; theres a gamey, meaty cured meats nose, then comes the violets and dark fruits, really rather interesting. Palate is balanced, settled fruit, acidity and rustic charm all held together. Not your usual fruit forward wine, but is interesting.

2001 Coto de Imaz Rioja Gran Reserva

Meaty, rather feral notes, damp earth and rustic charms, then the fruit pops out at you with a touch of sweet oak - classic Rioja nose. Palate is very silky and smooth, fresh acidity with settled fruits, has a nice raspberry crunchiness to it too. Classy, showing well now.

2008 Finca Egomei

80% Tempranillo, 15% Graciano
Meaty rather furry nose, red berries too, looks extracted; some sweet oak. Palate has lots of ripe red fruits, raspberry and cherry, fresh acidity; tannins grip towards the end. Nicely balanced stuff, will keep.

2009 Crozes Hermitage 'La Petite Rouche' M Chapoutier
Noel Young £13
International Syrah, Crozes Hermitage & French Syrah Trophies

Peppery on the nose, white and green; some meaty tones, nice fruits too. Palate has decent extraction, lots of lush fleshy fruits, cherries and raspberries; bright, not heavy; not much tannins, very approachable now, drinking so easily.

2008 Domaine Gayda Chemin de Moscou
Malepere Trophy

Dark cherry and blackberry compote, with some green tinges; a bit hot and alcoholic too. Palate is wide, fruit dominated, with some grip at the back.

2009 Man O' War Vineyards Dreadnought
New Zealand Syrah and Waiheke Island Trophies.

Gamey, some cured meats; lots of smoked bacon, plenty of savoury notes. Palate is big, so much fruit, extracted all the way, but doesnt knock you out; theres still a balance to be had. Complex, serious length; classy stuff.

2009 Tinto Figuero 4 Roble

2005 Tinto Figuero Vendimia Seleccionada
Ribera del Duero Trophy

Both display nice fruit expression, jammy red fruits, the '05 shows a bit more sweet oak. Both show nice balance, a more mature style, not just fruit bombs.

1978 Barbeito Sercial Frasqueira
Madeira and Sercial Madeira Trophies

Lots of nutty and dried figs, dried prunes and dates, marmalade along with a touch of saltiness; fully oxidized. Mature, cleansing acidity just runs through. Impressive freshness and intensity for its age. Brilliant.

IWC Taste of Gold - Whites & Sweet

IWC Taste of Gold event, Lord's Cricket Ground Nursery Pavillion, 29 June 2011.

All wines shown in this event were gold medal and/or trophy winners from the 2011 International Wine Challenge. I tasted through 57 wines on the day and understandably, the quality of the wine on show were seriously high. Below are short notes on white and sweet wines which were particularly notable.

Wines are in no particular order; any price given is the guide retail price provided by the suppliers during the tasting. Many thanks to Naked Wines for the free event ticket.

2010 Stanley Estates Sauvignon Blanc
International Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand White, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Marlborough Trophies.

Very green on the nose, tomato leaves, green capsicum and asparagus, some citrus and gooseberry also peeking out - very correct and varietal on the nose. Palate is awash with ripe fruits, a slight hint of residual sugar; filling, almost savoury mouthfeel. Acidity is fresh, finishing with a streak of minerality. I normally dont like NZ Sauvignon Blanc but this is a wonderful expression. Great stuff.

2010 Zohar Torrontes, Dominio del Plata
Torrontes, Argentinian White and Cafayete Trophies.

Vineyards are ~2000m high, hand harvest, 20 years avg vine age.
Green apples and pears on the nose, some white fruits too, blossoms; very lifted and exuberant. Palate is restrained, plenty of fruit and acidity keeps it fresh; notable texture and minerality. Great example of restrained yet very classy Torrontes.

2009 Madbay Unwooded Chardonnay
Tesco Wine. £9.49

Plenty of white fruits, some floral tones, cool and restrained, not jumping at you. Palate is fresh, decent texture, some slightly bitter pith at the end (like grapefruits). Well put together.

2004 McGuigan Shortlist Riesling
International Dry Riesling, Australian Riesling and Eden Valley Trophies

Plenty of lime and citrus on the nose, with touches of kerosene / petrol. Palate is awash with fat acidity, really fresh zippy stuff, lime cordial; nice texture to it too, probably from the aging. Mouthwatering finish.

2008 Grasevina Principovac, Ilocki Podrumi. Croatia.

Grape variety is Grasevina.
Nose is very sweet, honeyed, treacle, botrytis, like a good TBA, which is alright but then the palate can only be described as off dry, maybe 20ish g/l residual sugar, so there is a weird disjoint there - smells much sweeter than it tastes. Decent texture and acidity, with an incredibly drying, almost sappy finish. Weird, but then again I've never had Croatian wines before.

2003 Tempus Two Zenith Semillon
International Dry Semillon and Hunter Valley Trophies

Waxy lanolin, wet wool, and some peach / white fruits too - unmistably semillon. Fat acidity on the palate, really generous; fruit is ripe on the middle palate; towards the end theres a savoury and minerally character showing. Wonderfully integrated, settled. Drinking beautifully.

2009 Penfolds Reserve Bin 09A Chardonnay
International Chardonnay, Australian Chardonnay, Australian White and Adelaide Hills White Trophies.

Developed nose - toast, creamy, sweet vanilla and slight nuttiness points to barrel fermentation and plenty of lees and oak contact. Palate is complex and textured; plenty of ripe fruit backs this up, acidity is firm, nice mineral edge too. Its a big wine, but isnt flabby, restrained power all held in tension. Excellent stuff, not so sure about the price.

2009 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Domaine du Pavillon, Maison Albert Bichot
Corton-Charlemagne, White Burgundy and French White Trophies

Buttery, creamy, savoury stuff; cheesy mushrom brioche. Palate is textured, lots of oak treatment and toast, carried by the acidity and so much fruit. Its a big big wine, fantastic structure, tightly knit, great fun.

2009 Man O'War Vineyards 'Valhalla'

Creamy, buttery on the nose, sweet vanilla too, some toast. This is a fully tricked out Chardonnay, with barrel fermentation, lees contact and further oak aging. Plenty of ripe fruit behind all this treatment though, carries it well; mouthfeel is generous and wide, rather savoury. Acidity could be slightly higher, but thats just nit picking. Very together, a composed wine; long finish. Reminds me of the Pegasus Bay Chardonnay I had recently, very similar style.


2009 Riesling Ausbruch, Weingut Turk
£28 (37.5cl)
Ausbruch and Sweet Riesling Trophies

Light gold in colour. Acacia honey, floral, lifted nose, candied and dried fruit, some caramel showing too. On the palate has plenty of dried apricots, sweet nectarines, tinned fruits; acidity keeps everything fresh and together, doesnt cloy, despite what I suspect is in excess 100g/l residual sugar. So much ripe fruits, finishes with a tinge of marmaladey bitterness. Beautiful.

1982 Don PX Gran Reserva, Bodegas Toro Albala

Treacle and burnt caramel on the nose, with coffee and dark chocolate undertones, definitely oxidized. This is very thick, gloopy and practically black; in fact, it looks like, smells and has the consistency of cough syrup. On the palate, its unsurprisingly heavy, coats the mouth thoroughly; so much sugar, like drinking golden syrup; lingers forever, with notes of coffee. This should be tasted by the spoonful. Astonishing length.

1998 Arele Vino Santo, DOC Trentino, Cavit.
£36 (50cl)
Vin Santo Trophy

Rather viscous, copper / amber colour. Lifted acacia honey, dried apricots, white flowers; rich and full, toffee and fudge; honeyed almonds, nutty edge. Very exciting and complex on the nose, alot of things going on. Palate is very sweet but still some acidity to keep it going, very rich, coats the palate in its entirety, doesnt feel clumsy at all. Oozing class, lingers forever.

2007 Verduzzo Friulano 'Cratis', Azienda Agricola Scubla Roberto
£20 (37.5cl)

Golden syrup and honey, dried fruits too, some muttiness. Palate is full, a lot of sugar, in excess of 200g/l would be my guess. Feels rather heavy and cloying, but does linger a long while.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

CUWS E11 - Garden Party

1999 Pol Roger Blanc de Blanc

Biscuity, bready and yeasty tones on the nose, enticing. Palate is full; fat and persistent acidity, generous and long. Seriously classy.

2009 Volpi Moscato d'Asti, Piemonte
Cambridge Wine £9.50. B+

Low alcohol 5.5% abv. Green apples and some pears on the nose, grapes too. Palate carries through the apples and grapes, really rather sweet (maybe 30g/l ish), not enough acidity. Drink cold, its simple cheerful stuff, not cheap for what it is.

2004 Riesling Spatlese Wiltinger Schlangengraben, Weingut Johann Peter Reinert
Cambridge Wine £12.90. A-

Intense citrus and lime on the nose, with whiffs of kerosene. So much piercing acidity on the palate, balancing out the residual sugar (probably in the 10-20 g/l region). Generous and yet precise; nice balance. Attractive, whats not to like?

2007 Riesling 'Rorschwihr', Dom Rolly-Gassman. Alsace.
Cambridge Wine £15.99. B+(+)

Mostly citrus on the nose, rather restrained. Palate is dominated with lemons and maybe grapefruit, plenty of width too; awash with cleansing acidity, quite fat, with some edges. Nice tension in the wine, will probably age well, serious drink.

2009 Brundlmayer Gruner Veltliner

Nose is flinty like wet stones. Palate is structured, though perhaps lacking in primary fruit flavours; minerality showing through alot, great precision and focus.

2008 Chablis Premier Cru 'Vaillons', William Fevre
Waitrose Wine Direct £14.99. B+

Rather closed nose. Palate is structured, austere acidity with a decent amount of fruit (surprising for Chablis) but somehow just lacking in vibrancy. Decently priced for a Premier Cru but on this tasting, not particulalrly interesting.

2009 Pouilly-Fusse, Bouchard Aine & Fils
Waitrose Wine Direct £11.99. A-

Some developed notes on the nose, wood, slight mustyness, vanilla even smoke. Palate is textured, quite rich; the fruit is ripe and expressive, carrying the treatment very well. Good value too.

2010 Eidosela Albarina, Rias Biaxas
Cambridge Wine £10.99. B+

Seriously fresh on the nose, buckets of citrus and limes; so forward, almost leaping out of the glass. The palate carries through this vibrancy, zippy fresh, cleansing acidity with mouthwatering fruit. Sunshine in a bottle. Have with fresh shellfish.

2008 Hartenberg Sauvignon Blanc

Very green on the nose; capsicum, freshly cut grass, asparagus, with gooseberry at the edges - classic varietal nose actually. Decent fruit, but palate is a bit short.

2008 Pegasus Bay Chardonnay, Waipara Valley
Cambridge Wine £17.99. A-(+)

Creamy, buttery, lees, woody, even bready notes on the nose; this would have definitely seen some oak, barrel fermentation and lees contact - all the Burgundian tricks thrown in. Still plenty of fruit behind all that, with decent acid structure; carries the treatment remarkably well. Its a big wine, make no mistakes, perhaps even too showy. Would be interesting to see how it ages.

2004 Saumur Vielle Vignes, Domaine Langlois Chateau. Loire.
Cambridge Wine £17.99. B+

Recently reviewed here. One thing to add: this is delicious with smoked salmon canapes, somehow the smokiness really makes it work.

1998 Chateau Larrivet-Haut-Brion Blanc, Pessac-Leognan
From Vineyards Direct £19.95. B+

Theres some waxy notes, telling you its Semillon, but beyond that the nose is a bit closed; slightly ashen and smoky even (like somethign recently burnt and still smoldering). Palate is mature and settled, can't say it was vibrant but it certainly isn't dead. What its lost in fruit (mostly gone), it has gained in texture. Interesting wine. Jancis Robinson's take on this wine can be found here.

Sunday, 19 June 2011


Ardbeg Alligator

No on general sale yet, this was sampled at Cambridge Wine Merchants, Bridge St (an official Ardbeg Embassy) from a mightily impressive 4.5L bottle - the picture shows it alongside a normal Ardbeg 10yo 70cl bottle.

Nose: salty seaside, brine, iodine, sea kelp, plenty sweet vanilla on they nose. Palate: Incredible sweetness, the vanilla really speaks - not the typical sherried sweetness found in scotch, this is more bourbon territory. Some sweet spice at the back, decent kick; surprisingly the peat doesn't take a front seat. Great length, aftertaste mainly of vanilla. Interesting take, not completely convinved its 'together' yet.


2008 Riesling Kabinett Feinherb, Weingut Johann Peter Reinert
Cambridge Wine £11.30. B+

On the nose, green apples and pears, some citrus and lime cordial; its fresh and lifted. Palate carries through the citrus, really light and nimble. Acidity rather muted. 9.5%abv - its light and summery, perfect picnic quaffer.

2002 Riesling Spatlese Brauneberger Juffer, Weingut Gunther Fehres
Cambridge Wine £12. A-

More pronounced lime on the nose, plenty of citrus, some developed petrol touches. Palate has more acidity, fatter and wider on the mouthfeel; sweeter as well, maybe 20 g/l. This is focused and precise, and will keep a long long time, serious stuff.

Saturday, 18 June 2011


Friday, 17 June 2011

2006 Camillo de Lellis Rosso Reserva, DOC Biferno
Cambridge Wine £8 / The Wine Society £7.25. B+

Blend of 70% Montepulciano, 15% Aglianico, 15% Trebbiano Toscana (which is a white grape).
Nose is not immediately of fruit - meaty, feral, like smoked / cured meats, some sweet spice, even touches of vanilla. Fruit comes a bit later, some dark cherry, quite hot. Palate carries through with the ripe cherries, fat but rounded acidity; fresh, decent vibrancy, still some rustic, meaty flavours, woody; not a fruit bomb, its settled, not showy. Needs food. An interesting wine; great complexity for the (frankly rather ridiculous) price, bottle age hasn't hurt it either.
Was Jancis Robinson's wine of the week, her take on the wine can be found here.

Monday, 13 June 2011


Sunday, 12 June 2011.

2009 Sumarocca Reserva Brut Cava
The Wine Society £7.50. B+

On the nose some citrus and attractive fruits. Palate has good balance between fruit and acidity; its fresh and cleansing without being too light; gentle yet persistent mousse. Went well as an apperitif and also as an acocmpaniment to a light salad. Versatile, well made stuff.

2006 Jorge Ordonez No. 1 Seleccion Especial, Malaga.
Noel Young. A-

Plenty of sweet white fruits on the nose, candied even; tinned peaches, sweet marmalade, raisins. Really quite lifted, blossoms and white flowers too; very attractive. Palate has plenty of sugar, but theres also a nice acid streak running through it, livening up the mouthfeel. Very balanced.

2008 Berry's Own Pauillac
Berry Bros £18.75. A-(+)

Lovely dark berries and blackrurrants, sweet cedar; pencil shavings, some tobacco, mahogany. Sight dusty tones, all correct and textbook for Pauillac. Palate is fresh, great vibrancy about this, so much ripe fruit balanced by very nice acid structure. Very together, surprising length. Well made, drinking beautifully now (which is rather astonishing), will keep another 5yrs no problems.

2006 Chateau La Croix des Moines, Lalande de Pomerol
Tanners. B+(+)

From magnum. On the nose very ripe fruits, quiet hot actually, some high notes. Palate has decent width; currants, nice tart acidity, there's still some grip towards the back. The fruit isnt as vibrant on the palate, slight dusty edge. Still a little bit tight as well, hasn't quite opened up yet; maybe would be more interesting in a few years' time.


Saturday, 11 June 2011

2008 Ferngrove Riesling, Frankland River, Western Australia.
Oddbins. B+

Plenty of lime on the nose, rosewater, some lychee and mango, very tropical and lifted, slight touch of kerosene. palate carries through the citrus fruit, there's a mineral edge to this as well; quite subdued mid palate, a light wine. Acidity fresh and lingering, almost bone dry. Lip smackingly clean; nose better than palate.

2007 One Chain 'The Opportunist' Shiraz, Mclaren Vale.
Cambridge Wine £8.50. B+ good value

So much red fruit on the nose, dark berries; with touch of mint and eucalyptus; pastilles and wine gums. Palate is fresh, fruit driven, dark cherry and berries; tannins are quite soft, rounded mouthfeel, not overbearing; slight alcoholic edge at the end, the 14.5% abv shows just a bit too much. Drinking well now, easy to drink and approachable.
2004 Carta Roja Monastrell Gran Reserva, DOP Jumilla.

A rather pale hue. Nose is of sweet red fruits, more on the currants and cherries; definitely sweet oak and vanilla, but integrated. Palate is dominated by crunchy red fruits; some heat and cooked notes too, also woody tones. Mid palate a bit weak, not particularly interesting but perfectly drinkable.

Saturday, 11 June 2011


Thursday, 09 June 2011.

2005 Esk Valley Reserve Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon, Hawkes Bay

Perfumed, dark fruit nose, cool green touches of capsicum, ripe dark berries, smells quite thick, certainly inviting. Palate is settled, mostly blackberries, touch of spice. Texture was slightly disappointing, felt rather hollow in the middle; overall it was just a bit thin, lacks acidity and vibrancy. I dont think this showed its full potential.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Noel Young - John Forrest Collection

Monday, 06 June 2011.

Led by Dr John Forrest himself - an assured, opinionated and expressive character and by golly does it shows in his wines. I cannot remember the last tasting where there were more wines which scored A- than not; seriosuly good quality. 'The White', Chardonnay and Noble Riesling were particular highlights. Prices are retail to Noel Young.

2010 'The Doctors' Sauvignon Blanc
£13.50. A-

A deliberately low alcohol Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough; 9.5% abv with 23g/l residual sugar.
Incredibly pale, almost crystal clear, slight tinges of colour. Nose is green, plenty of capsicum, gooseberry, some lime too; fresh, theres almost some minerality and spice peeking through. Palate is fresh, you can feel the residual sugar but theres plenty of acidity, doesn't feel flabby (which is the danger); plenty of fruit, sweet lemons. Overall, theres a nice vibrancy about it, interesting take; ideal to go with light spicy asian dishes.

2006 The John Forrest Collection 'The White'
£17.69. A

Blend of many grapes from best possible sites, all components fermented separately and blended at the end.
Smells thick, oily almost; some oak going through, sweet vanilla, even barrel ferment notes, tertiary character; lots of white fruits, some floral touch, still lemon - seriously fun nose. Palate is textured, filling mouthfeel; really interesting, lots of things going on, from the ripe white fruits, fat acidity, there's even some prickly spice - everything is together, integrated, the bottle age certainly hasnt hurt. Structure is good, will probably age gracefully. A food wine, demands your attention.

2006 The John Forrest Collection Riesling
£15.99. A-

A blend of Riesling sourced from two sites within Marlborough.
Fresh lemons on the nose; very light touch of kerosene, waxy; bit of floral too, touch of spice, white pepper. Lifted and expressive. Decent width on the palate, fat acid, citrus fruits still stays through; nice presence and linger. Has 10g/l residual sugar but doesn't show, just adds that bit of fatness.

2009 The John Forrest Collection Sauvignon Blanc
£16.99. A-

From a single site in Wairau River, Marlborough; from oldest vines, very low yield and deliberately shaded to prevent the green phenolics from being overpowering.
Again very pale, nose is very restrained, some gooseberry and limes / citrus, herby, even flinty minerality. Clean fat acidity, decent width on the palate but the acidity makes it feel quite austere, nervy minerality. Interesting take. This is not typical of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, lacks the green capsicum etc, closer to a Sancerre in style and execution.

2004 The John Forrest Collection Chardonnay
£16.99. A-

From Wairau River, Marlborough; has all the Burgundian tricks thrown in.
Golden colour. Developed nose; yeasty, barrel ferment definitely, creamy oak, lots of lees, brioche. A full textured palate, make no mistake, this is a big wine; still lots of fruit, the oak is contained within the bags of acid and fruit. Lots of tertiary, bready, yeasty, savoury complexity. Everything dialled up without being flabby, if anything the criticism would be that its too showy - but I like the style. Will probably keep.

2007 The John Forrest Collection Pinot Noir
£17.99. B+

From Bannockburn, Central Otago.
Classic nose, sweet cherry, raspberry, lots of currants; some damp earth, aromatic herbal like thyme, also floral; in all, bright and pretty. Palate is fruit dominated, juicy like crushed berries; mouthfeel rounded and gentle; unfortunately slightly thin, mid palate short. Still fresh and light, just not quite there for me.

A tip from the man himself: The 2009 Waiteke Valley Pinot Noir due to arrive soon in the UK is apparently the best Pinot Noir John Forrest has made.

2006 The John Forrest Collection Syrah
£17.99. B+(+)

From Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay. All the Rhone Valley treatment thrown in, solid matter during fermentation, some unsulphured, malolactic.
Very juicy, so much crushed dark berries, really like ribena; also white pepper; some jammy, cooked, hot, touch of sweet spice. Palate filed with fruits, crushed currants; decent depth, not heavy; plenty of acid to keep it vibrant, lots of freshness, does linger. Its a high acid fresh Syrah as opposed to the bold, bloody and heavy Shiraz; is expressive of what its trying to achieve, drinking beautifully but should age well too.

2005 The John Forrest Collection Cabernet Sauvignon
£17.99. B(+)

Plenty of dark fruits, some mint coming through, quite hot and jammy. palate continues with dark fruits; bit closed and tight, muscular; this just needs time, this hasn't opened up. Some alcohol at the back. Acid decent. Not showing together, nervy adolescence I think. The only tonight which didnt show particularly well.

2006 The John Forrest Collection Noble Riesling
£19.99 (375ml). A-

From Marlborough; 200 g/l residual sugar with pH of 2.96.
Deep golden, dark honey. Smells like a beerenauslese or TBA; lots of raisins and sultana, treacle and honey, sweet marmalade, plenty of acacia; floral, tangerine and ripe valencia - very vibrant and full on the nose. palate is noticeably full and heavy; so much sugar, but there's fantastic acidity which is really rather piercing; end result is that it didn't cloy. Such depth of concentration, like sucking on candied lemons and raisins. No holds barred, but not without finesse.

Saturday, 4 June 2011


2006 Schwarz Wine Company 'Thiele Road' Grenache, Barossa Valley
Noel Young. A-

A bit alcoholic and hot on the nose, cooked; plenty of red fruits, mostly currants and cranberry; lifted, some floral. Palate is mainly red fruits; fat acid but still quite piercing, refreshing; rounded, decent mid palate mouthfeel and sustained too. At the end, theres a bit of grainy texture.

2009 The Waxed Bat Shiraz Petit Verdot Malbec, Mendoza
Laithwaites £7.99. B+

Deeper nose, violets; mostly darker fruits, some mint. Palate is pronounced at the fore, quite extracted; no middle palate, just runs off after first fruit hit. Big, bold style, cant be accused of not having enough fruit, decent acid, some tannin at the back. Tastes hot.