Friday, 29 April 2011

Kalk and Schiefer Nittnaus Blaufrankisch, Burgenland, 2007

Tasted 28/04/11 at Shampers with the WHICH group. 13% ABV, £15 bin-end from Lea and Sandeman. The winemakers Hans and Anita Nittnaus have a fine reputation and this is a surprisingly good wine from Austria. The Blaufrankisch grape is native to Hungary and is extensively grown in Austria's finest region, Burgenland. This example was young and would have probably benefited from more age. Bright purple in colour, this wine had raspberries and white pepper on the nose. It is said that the palate tastes of beetroot: certainly there was an earthiness the complemented the oak well. Quite zesty with a hint of blueberries on the finish. From 2012, 16/20

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Vina Mayu Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (Elqui Valley)

Tasted 19.04.11 with Jane, Alex and Sara. 13.5% ABV, about £9 UK retail. Another single-estate wine from the Mayu stable. The cool northerly Elqui Valley is producing some lovely wines and Mayu always seem to hit the spot, especially at the reserva level. This wine is pale straw coloured with damp grass, asparagus and mineral notes on the nose. The palate is pleasingly acid with green apples and a hint of mint. A nice wine: Chile yet again is able to do with Sauvignon Blanc what the Old World often struggles to do: produce an above average wine at a fair price. Drink now, 16/20

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Cono Sur Reserva Rielsing 2008, Bio Bio Valley

Tasted 17.04.11  with Sara, Howard and Astrid. 13.5%, about £9 UK retail. Demonstration again of the value of paying a £1 or two more to trade-up to 'reserva' level - this is more than a notch or two higher above the entry level Cono Sur. The reserva is made with selected bunches from a single vineyard. 3 months in stainless steel, no oak.
Bio Bio is the great news for cool climate varietals and is producing lovely wines. This wine is a pale straw colour, with the classic petrolly nose, hints of apricots and apples; crisp citrus notes and fresh acidity on the palate. A well made wine, very good value for money. Drink now, 16/20

Crios Malbec 2009 Mendoza

Tasted 16.04.11 with Beata, Jean-Marc and Sara. 13.5% ABV, about £9 UK retail (Majestic). A second wine of Pedro and Susana Balbo (Crios is a word for 'offspring' in Spanish). Excellent, every day Malbec. Lovely deep purple colour, ripe red fruits and coffee on the nose, fruit-forward and accessible but some elegance and depth too. Very good value for money. From 2011, 16/20.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Chateau La Fleur Morange 'Mathilde' 2008 AC Saint-Emilion

Tasted 10.04.11 with Jean-Marc, Beata, Sara, Tom, et al. 13.5%. This is a top-drawer 'garage wine' from a small producer that consistently attracts 92+ Parker Points. We drank this very young - it needs at least another five years from this great vintage. Jean-Francois Julien (overseen by Roussillon winemaker Claude Gros) has produced a fine Merlot / Cabernet Franc blend (70:30) with mainly new oak. Still closed on the nose, with some hidden raspberry fruit but great length and elegance. Re-visit in 5 years! From 2015, 18.5/20

Friday, 15 April 2011

Chateau Suduiraut, Sauternes AC 1er Cru Classe 2004

Tasted 12.04.11 with Sara, Hilary and Max. 14% ABV. 37.5cl, (£50 UK retail?). Unfortunately, this wine was not as it should have been. Though this 'super 2nd premier cru' was still quite young, and certainly would not have shown its best yet, there was a problem. There was a slight hint of corkiness, the nose was rather poor, with possible oxidation. The palate was rather thin and disappointing. What a shame. (From 2014). faulty bottle

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend, 2007 (San Antonio)

Tasted 14.04.11, 14.5%. About £16 UK retail (e.g. Majestic). A curious blend of Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir from the fine Matetic estate.This is a blend that more-or-less works. The wine is rich and elegant but with a strong smack of alcohol. Deep purple colour, bell peppers and damsons on the nose. Dense, tannic and full of dark fruits. Hints of spice and coffee. Good to drink now but you wonder if it will improve. Perhaps not: though it is a winemaker's blend, it may be very young vines. Not in the same league as their Syrah but a nice wine, nonetheless. From 2011, 16.5/20

Zeyssolff Reserve Particuliere Gewurztraminer AOC Alsace, 2009

Tasted 12.04.11, 13% ABV, n/a UK (private import only). Ca. €12. Medium golden colour, beautiful full, slightly honeyed nose with apricots. Long and complex. Excellent balance medium sweet, with citrusy notes with a dry finish. More spicy than the '07. Lovely to drink now. Not quite in the same league as the stellar '07's but a fine wine indeed. From 2011, 17.5 / 20

Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2008, Casablanca Valley

Tasted 12/04/11. 14% ABV, ca. £13 UK retail (e.g. Majestic). This is my fourth and final bottle I have enjoyed in the last 6 months. Toffee apple and toasty oak on the nose. Nice deep golden colour. Rich and buttery on the palate. Beautiful balance with nice acid attack. Fantastic vfm. 17 / 20. From 2011
Now I will move on the the '09's.....

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso DOC 2008

Tasted 2/4/2011, 14% ABV. £16.95 Lea and Sandeman. Lovely 'minor Supertuscan' from a well regarded producer of the 'new Tuscany'. Merlot-Cabernet Franc-Sangiovese-Syrah blend makes for an interesting 'winemakers lot' product. Oaky blacks fruits on the nose; dry, ripe cherries and plums on the palate, good sense of terroir. Very distinctive, good vintage, needs longer, from 2012. 17/20
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Trivento Amado Sur 2010 Torrontes (Mendoza)

Tasted 2/4/11, 13% ABV. ca. £8 UK retail. This is a blend of 75% Torrentes and Voignier and Chardonnay from the big Argentinian winery (owned by Chile's Concho Y Toro). The wine has a light golden colour and is youthful and accessible. Nice tropical fruits on the nose and a rather sweetish palate, this is a wine for early drinking for sure. 14/20, drink now.