Tuesday, 31 July 2012

El Bombero DOC 2008

Tasted 31/07/2012, 15% ABV, cork closure. Sara described this wine as schitzophrenic and I think she is right. This was a real success for Laithwaites (ca. £8) and I have had various bottles, this one in stock since 2009. It's made from Grenache (Garnacha) from Carinena (Aragon) in northern Spain. It did well in many initial tastings for its upfront appeal and at 15% ABV it is well named 'The Fireman'. But, I think at 5 years old, it's lost its past its best. Deep purple colour, the nose is an attractive hit of damson and dark fruits, perhaps a little stewed. On the palate, there is an immediate attraction of damsons and prunes but then a real hole and then a sweetish, strawberry jam like finish. Drink up! However, went well with my strongly flavoured roasted cod. 15/20.

Next Chelsea and Fulham Wine Society tasting

Next tastings:

Languedoc-Roussillon, 8pm on Monday 15th October at Le Petit Canon, Parsons Green Lane, SW6. Tickets £5

Fortified Wine at 6.30pm on Thursday 8th November, Fulham Wine Rooms (www.greatwinesbytheglass.com) in SW6 : a presentation of Fortified wines by Ian McLaren. Tickets £30.
Please email info@cfwinesociety.org  for more info

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Chablis Chablis 1er Cru 2009 Union des Viticulteurs de

Tasted 26/07/12, 13% ABV, cork closure. About £14 UK retail. There are 4 levels of Chablis and at least the lowest two can be treacherous. There is petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru and Grand Cru, coming in at around £8 to £9, £10 to £12, £12 to £18 and £20+ respectively for each level at UK retail prices. Some regular Chablis can be very nice but it can often be disappointing as so much is produced of indifferent quality, that one of the world's iconic drinks is best enjoyed at Premier Cru level at least. Paying £2 or £3 more over the regular Chablis pays divdends.
This is a good quality Premier Cru - this wine is a blend from the best single vineyards from selected 1er Cru plots only, and the Union des Viticulteurs is highly regarded. 2009 was a solid year and this wine is ready now. No oak. Great zesty apples and lemon on the nose, with a fresh minerality on the palate. Refreshing, 'good value' Chablis. From 2012, 16.5/20

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Asda Extra Special Cotes du Rhone-Village 2011

Tasted 24/7/12, 14% ABV, synthetic cork closure. Another Asda 'special' and not a bad one at that at c. £6.99.
This is a co-operative wine and a blend of greanche, syrah and mourvedre. It's quite rich but with soft-ish tannins from the fine 2011 vintage. There's plenty of ripe berry fruits in the mouth, with a hint of white pepper and coffee on the finish. You could keep it longer, but frankly I'd drink it now. A good dinner party introduction or party wine. Great value for money. 15.5/20, from 2013

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Asda Extra Special Primitivo 2009

Tasted 14/07/12, 14% ABV, screwcap closure. On a personal note, with two month old Thomas Edward to share the looking after of with Sara, I seem to spend my time browsing the baby sections of supermarkets or buying online stocks of diaper and baby wipes rather than looking at fine wine lists! Hence, my recent exploration of Asda wines in the stratospheric £5 to £7 bracket!. Though Asda don't have such an extensive range or reputation as some other UK supermarkets, what they do have can be very good and they have won many blind tastings with some of their Italian wines. This wine is in the middle - about £7.99.
I have had some lovely Puglian primitivos over the last few years but this is one that really sits up and sings, especially at this price: nice dark cherry red colour with a hint of age and development showing. Damsons and dried fruits and vanilla on the nose, ripe blackberries on the palate. Softening tannins, with a good finish. Great little everyday wine, from 2012. 15.5/20
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Monday, 9 July 2012

Escarpment Pinot Noir 2009 (Martinborough)

Tasted 09.07.12, 14.5%, cork closure. Escarpment is a winery with a growing reknown and has won mutiple plaudits. Set up in 1998, this wine is just about their entry level at c. £16 UK retail. Whilst Central Otago region is the 'new kid on the block' where Pinot Noir is concerned, the North Island shows that it still produces some of NZ's finest pinot noirs. NZ pinor noir is not cheap but value for money-wide it excels.
This is very much a Southern Hemipshere pinot noir. It is medium cherry red in colour, with a great nose of red fruits, spice and ham. The palate has elegant tannins and soft berry fruits. There's a hint of liquorice and bitter cherries on the finish and the wine does not taste like 14+%. 2009 was a great year and it shows in this wine. Sophisticated. Will keep. From 2013 - 2020. 17/20

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Asda Extra Special Dao DOC, 2010

Tasted 01/07/12, 13% ABV, cork closure. Asda Extra Special £5. For those international readers who maybe don't know, Asda is one of the largest UK supermarkets and very much price-driven. Some of their wines, though, are surprisingly good and they do have a MW wine buyer.
£5 per bottle is pretty much as low as you can go these days (and most are awful, generic Aussie rubbish) but this otherwise un-named co-operative wine from Falua could be £10 and it would still be very good. One of my finds of 2012! 'Dao is the new Douro' in terms of innovation and quality improvement, moving away from its image of making unforgiving, massively tannic, dry, meat-marinating wines to ones of more international appeal using modern wine making techniques and foreign expertise.
This wine from the super 2010 vintage shows that.
It's a deep purple colour, beautiful black fruits on the nose with a whiff of Mediterranean spices. The mouth feel is quite elegant, very fruity and with some silky tannins. Great with grilled meat or a strongly flavoured salted cod dish. Ready to drink. This is my bargain of the year - but you worry at this price, is it sustainable - for anyone? From 2012, 16/20
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Château de Gaudou Cuvée Tradition 2010 Cahors

Tasted 04/07/12. 14%, cork closure. About £7 UK retail. Cahors was the orginal home of Malbec of course, though we now think of Argentina when we drink Malbec. This is a blend of mainly Malbec, with Merlot and Tannat and is an illustration of the resurgence of the varietal in Cahors, where they call their wines 'black wine' due to the dark colour derived from Malbec.The is dark red, with toasty oak on the nose and an explosion of ripe black fruits in the mouth, with soft tannins and a long finish. A lovely wine - a genuine, quality alternative to South America that is excellent value for money. 16.5 / 20 from 2012.