The Local Nose tasting
08 March 2013. Le Vigne, Singapore.
A wine tasting organised by The Local Nose group in Singapore. As far as I gathered on the night, they are group of wine enthusiast in Singapore who regularly organise tasting events, showcasing the wines of particular local, independent wine merchants that they support. This tasting featured wines stocked by Le Vigne, a small wine merchant focusing on good value, everyday drinking wines at around the $30-50 range mostly from the new world - though I did spot some rather smart Chataeuneufs lying around on the shelves.
The tasting notes below are in the order I tasted them. The prices indicated are retail in Singapore Dollars by the bottle at Le Vigne, though they do offer 10% discount on all cash and carry purchases.
Finca Flichman Extra Brut
$41.50 | B
An 80/20 blend of Chardonnay / Malbec made using the Charmat method, more commonly associated with the production of prosecco.
Golden, salmon tinge; strawberry and peach fruity nose, with slight bready / developed characters. Palate is fruit dominated, quite large but feels slightly thin and dilute; medium low acid, its passable as an aperitif. Lacks bit of brightness and zing for my liking.
2008 Bald Hills ‘Last Light’ Riesling. Central Otago, NZ.
$49.90 | B+
Lemon zest and blossoms on the nose, with a hint of petrol / kerosene; slightly waxy lemons too, with candied peel aromas, like air freshener. Gently off dry, perhaps in the 10-20 g/l range; fat lemony flavours with a grapefruit pithiness on the finish. High acidity makes it feel zingy and effectively dry on the finish, its got good fruit concentration to keep things interesting; a pretty, ageworthy wine.
2011 Mount Brown Sauvignon Blanc. Waipara Valley, NZ.
$41.70 | B+
Served blind. Citrus and green guava, with a touch of tropical fruit sweetness coming through, subtle leafy / grassy undertones. On the palate, the greenness becomes more obvious; flinty, minerally and quite textured in style; not your usual opulent fruit-driven NZSB, more of a mature, ripe Pouilly Fume.
2009 Mount Brown Pinot Noir. Waipara Valley, NZ.
$49.50 | A-
Dark cherry with sweet prunes, earthy and sweet spices, with star anise dominating; a lick of sweet oak and even cedar / incense woods completes a very polished nose. Fruit is bright, morello cherry and kirsch, with wild strawberries on the palate, nice ripeness of fruit with slight crunchy acidity; hint of blackpepper and sweet spice on the finish. A full bodied style with good flavour concentration and velvety texture. Its complete, very classy & poised.
Castello Albai Joven. Rioja, Spain.
$26.50 | B
Dark fruit compote, quite sweet and cooked; very apparent oak treatment shows through the prominent sweet vanilla and coconut notes, bit too brash, somewhat unappealing for me. Fruit is sweet and juicy, large on the entry but fades very quickly; feels thin on the mid palate, gritty and rough on the finish. Rather simple flavours on show, somewhat agricultural in approach, not pretty.
2011 Finca Flichman Reserva Malbec. Mendoza, Argentina.
$37.50 | B+
Sweet dark fruit, blackberry and blueberry compote dominates along with fragrant violets and cassis notes; lifted aromas. Fruit shows dark plums and blueberries, its ripe but feels quite heavy and alcoholic; bitter chocolate on the finish. Medium low in acid, theres a rather unpleasant gritty / coal dust note on the finish; over extracted in my opinion, lacks balance.
2010 Gran Bajoz Vinas Viejas. Toro, Spain.
$47.90 | B+(+)
Part of Pagos del Rey’s operation (same parent company as the Castillo Albai above), Gran Bajoz is their top Toro wine.
Dark fruit, blackberry, dark plums and bramble; dried herbs / garrigue, coffee and dark chocolate; with some hefty sweet oak notes, almost charred / BBQ notes; brooding, makes you expect a huge wine. Prunes and blackberry carry through on the palate; bags of fruit, nice concentration and staying power on the mid palate; obviously extracted, it is trying to be a big wine and just about pulls it off. Medium acid, ripe, sweet but chunky tannins, this will reward medium term cellaring; drink now – 2018+
2010 Vinaceous ‘Red Right Hand’. Multiregion blend, Australia.
$61.50 | B+
A blend of McLaren Vale Shiraz (79%), Grenache (15%) and Western Australia Tempranillo (5%), if not anything else, it is novel.
Sweet blackcurrant and blackberry jam, it is overtly (and intentionally?) sweet and confected in style; fragrant but a bit too brash for me. Fruit shows red plums and blackberry; its ripe, quite alcoholic and sweet; low acid, decent mid palate weight, finishes quickly. Drink young to capture the sweetness.
Overall: Interesting selection of wines, but this being my first review from Singapore, its clear that I must recalibrate my scale for value for money. Wines aren’t cheap here: at the moment, the Finca Flichman Reserva Malbec is being offered by Waitrose in the UK for £6.99 or approx. $14 (down from £8.99, approx. $18). Similarly, the Mount Browns retail in the UK for £10-15; its more than twice that here. That said, it was great getting to know some of the Local Nose crew - it was a fun, convivial occasion all around. I even managed to pick up some interesting bottles from Le Vigne ...
The Local Nose – tasting organisers
Le Vigne – tasting venue and stockists for all the wines above
72 Namly Place, Singapore 267220
T: (65) 64620053 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Open 7 days a week 12-18.30