1997 Crozes Hermitage 'Domiane de Thalabert' Paul Jaboulet Aine
The Wine Society | B+
Rounded red fruits on the nose, with some some rustic, earthy almost bloody / rusty nose to this; a bit too much volatile acidity for my liking. Palate is subdued, fruit is sour red cherries; unfortunately it wasnt exactly lively, though there was still decent acidity.
I had to open a second bottle as the first one had excessive VA and on the palate showed signs of premature aging, which is somewhat worrying since its been kept in perfect condition since en primeur purchase.
2004 d'Arenberg 'Laughing Magpie' Shiraz Viognier
Plenty of black currants, cordial; pastilles and wine gums; high notes also there, almost floral. On the palate it shows very ripe fruits, but its tempered, lowered almost; still lush, sweet and fleshy, but not punchy. Great balance, freshness in acidity; very together, with a gentle tannic tug at the end. Having tasted a bottle of this pretty much every year since purchase, I'm delighted with how its developed; drink now - 2015+. Another great bottle from d'Arenberg, one wonders do they ever disappoint?
1976 Chateau Pichon Lalande, 2er Cru Pauillac.
On the nose, bell pepper and capsicum; cedar and cigar box; and hidden behind is dark morello cherries; theres the mustiness and slight damp wood notes you get from age, but in all, almost textbook aged Pauillac on the nose. On the palate its still fresh; rounded red fruit, red cherries; the bell peppery spice comes through, rounded acidity; hardly noticeable tannins. Nice presence, surprisingly generous mid palate and lengthy but understated, finessed finish. I was surprised by the liveliness given it was from a good but not great vintage.
NV Fernando de Castilla Antique Oloroso
Waitrose Wine £21.84 (50cl) | A-
Developed nose: nutty, roasted hazelnuts, oxidative characters, but also notes of candied / dried citrus fruits, touch of lacquer and polish too; I think theres a bit of raisins hiding behind all that too. Very complex on the palate, its nutty but also showing nice citrus like acidity, fresh and incisive, yet beautifully rounded and filling at the same time. Long finish, slightly drying savouriness towards the end, beckoning you for another sip. Excellent stuff.
2009 Kayena Vineyards Tamar Ridge Limited Release Botrytis Riesling
Waitrose Wine £13 (37.5cl) | A-
A slight whiff of petrol; lots of sweet and dried citrus fruits, sweet tropicals of mango and pineapple; honey there too; an appealing and genuinely sweet nose. Palate is full on; sweet tropical fruits, vibrant acidity; great concentration, like a mini explosion of flavour in the mid palate. If not for the short finish, would have merited a higher rating; still highly recommended though.