Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cuvee Balthazar Syrah 2007 Vin de Pay d'Oc

Tasted 28/05/2011 with Beata, Jean-Marc, et al. 13.5% ABV, about £10 UK retail (e.g. Waitrose). 
Winemaker Pierrick Harang’s take on the new style ‘Super Vin De Pay’, this is a world away from cheap, barely adequate D’Oc wines of yesterday. Well worth the money, this is a super-charged syrah, lovely dark fruits nose, spicy and fruity with a great finish. Well worth the money. From 2011, 17/20

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Barossa Shiraz Reserve 2007

Tasted 21/05/2011 with Alex, Jane and Sara. 14.5% ABV, about £9 UK retail from Waitrose.The '08 is available now - this was my last bottle of the '08. See:
Lovely, a point now... 18 / 20, great value for money

Friday, 20 May 2011

La Casita Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Coquimbo Valley, 2009

Tasted 18/05/2011. 13.5%. About £7 UK retail. A 'jobbing' Chilean varietal - some fresh acidity and minerality with a citrus fruits on the nose. A rather short finish, probably not worth more than £7. Drink now, 14/20

Cumot Nebbiolo d'Alba Bricco Maiolica DOC 2007

Tasted 19/05/2011 at the WHICH group. 14% ABV. Ca. £23 UK retail from Lea and Sandeman. A minor Barbaresco from Piedmont. Lovely wine, brick red with brown tinges, showing some age. Leathery notes, tar, liquorish and dark fruits on the nose. Great balance with lots of cherry and strawberry fruit and a long finish. A tad pricey but a really enjoyable wine. From 2011, 17.5 / 20

Errazuriz Estate Merlot, Aconagua Valley, 2009

Tasted 19/05/2011. Tasted previously in
Re-visiting this after a year, I feel an extra year has added to the wine. The tannins have softened a little, drink now. Quite spicy on the finish/ 15.5 / 20

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Douro DOC 2008

Tasted 10/05/11, 13.5% ABV. £6.99 (currently £4.99). Tesco Finest label is a Falua wine by Antonina Barbosa. A pleasant enough wine, if unremarkable. Light ruby colour, good toasty oak and blackcurrants on the nose. Soft tannins and red fruits on the palate. A rather short finish. Not bad - good value for money at the current price. Drink now, 14.5 / 20
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Monday, 9 May 2011

Post Scriptum de Chryseia DOC 2008 (Douro)

Tasted 04/05/11 at Central London Wine Society. 13.5% ABV, about £20 UK retail. The second level 'boutique wine' from the Prats and Symington collaboration, a fine table wine from port country. This is selected parcels of touriga nacional grapes. Deep purple colour, very youthful. Cedar wood, dark fruits and figs on the nose. Elegant with great tannins, needs a lot longer.From 2013, 17/20

Planalto Reserva 2009 (Douro)

Tasted 04/05/11 at Central London Wine Society. 12.5% ABV, about £8 UK retail (e.g. Majestic). An unremarkable from the Sogrape group. Light golden colour, off-dry, zesty nose and slightly smoky and resinous on the palate. Rather short finish. From 2011, 14/20

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Rayuela Merlot, 2010 Central Valley

Tasted 06/05/11 at home with Sara. 14% ABV, about £7.50 at Majestic (currently on offer at £5.99 if you buy two or more). A great little, fruit forward Chilean wine. Nice, every day drinking, pleasant varietal Merlot character. Youthful (2010!) deep violet colour with cherry and mixed spice on the nose, vanilla and chocolate notes in the mouth with nice plummy fruit. Soft tannins - drink young. Another demonstration of how excellent entry level Chilean wines can be - this is the entry level wine of the Viu Manent winery - new to me and exclusively imported by Majestic. (Rayuela means 'hopscotch' in Chilean Spanish vernacular, apparently). They do reserva wines under the Viu Manent label. From 2011, 15.5 / 20

Monday, 2 May 2011

Santa Rita Late Harvest Moscatel, 2008 (Limari)

Tasted 01.05.11 with Clem, Ian and Tom. 12% ABV, about £11 UK retail (50cl). Santa Rita is an off-shoot of the Concha Y Toro group. Though this is 'late harvest', it's certainly botrytised too. This is hand picked grapes. . A lovely wine, well balanced. Lovely nose of 'Oxford marmalade', a nice sweetness with refreshing acidity. The nose has rose petal and and lemon too, the palate quite rich. Great value for money. From 2011, 17 / 20.

Anakena Single Vineyard Late Harvest 2009, Rapel Valley

Tasted 01.05.11 with Clem, Ian and Tom. 13% ABV, £9 UK retail (50cl). A Viognier and Muscat blend. Intense yellow colour, pear and apricots on the nose, dry apricots on the palate. Not too sweet: balanced by good acidity. From 2011, 16 / 20

Zohar Torrontes 2009 (Mendoza)

Tasted 01.05.11 with Clem, Ian and Tom. 13.5% ABV, about £10.99 UK retail. A premium wine from Susana Balbo. The wine has a light golden colour and is youthful and accessible. Nice tropical fruits on the nose and elegant, complex notes of citrus and zesty fruit in the mouth. There's also peach and violets on the nose. A top-drawer Torrontes. From 2011, 16 / 20.

Vinalba Malbec Reserva, 2009 (Mendoza)

Tasted 01.05.11 with Clem, Ian and Tom. 15% ABV (!), £10.99 (Majestic). A middle level wine from the
Herve J Fabre stable, a notch up from their entry level Malbec. Deep purple colour, ripe black fruits and smoke on the nose, beautiful blackcurrants and plums on the palate. Nice integrated toasty oak flavours. Quite elegant and rounded for such a young wine. You could keep it - but I wouldn't: drink now. From 2011, 16.5 / 20

Novas Winemaker's Selection Syrah 2007 Casablanca Valley

Tasted 01.05.11 with Clem, Ian and Tom. 14.5% ABV, about £12.50 UK retail (e.g. Majestic). This is the third bottle I have tasted recently and am still convinced it is a bargain.I quote what I blogged previously:
'This is a wonderful cool climate syrah and a fine example of what Chile can do at its best. A winery with a stellar reputation has produced this gorgeous and incredibly drinkable wine (despite the 14.5% ABV). The nose is full of notes of chocolate and toffee, with some tar and caramelised sugar thrown in. Long and full on the palate, this is an elegant and very well made wine. Refined and fruity but not too dry'.
Definitely needs longer - there is more to come from this one....From 2012, 17.5  / 20

Maycas del Limari Chardonnay, 2007

Tasted 01.05.11 with Clem, Ian and Tom. 14% ABV, about £9 UK retail. Disappointing and not worth the money. I am a big fan of the red wines from Maycas but this chardonnay fails to deliver. Rather non-descript on the nose - a hint of vanilla - but thin and green in the mouth for a 4 year old+ wine. We suspect it's a bought-in blend of young vines with a possibly poorer vintage. Rather acid without balancing fruitiness. Drink now 14 / 20

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Casa Lapostelle Pinot Noir Cuvee Alexandre 2008, Atalayas Vineyard (Casablanca Valley)

Tasted 30.04.11 with Chris, Fran, Rosalind and some of the Wednesday Wine Group. 14.5%, about £20 UK retail. Casa Lapostelle at its best - youthful, bright purple colour. Powerful crushed fruits and strawberries on the nose, in the mouth it's full and powerful, with a hint of spice, lovely vanilla masking some of the fruit still. This is a limited production from selected blocks. This one will age - keep for another 3 to 5 years. Very good value for money. From 2015, 17.5/20