Saturday, December 31, 2005
This is currently on offer in Tesco at just £4.99 a bottle - and it's a real bargain at that price - decent quality New Zealand Sauvignon can be pretty pricey and I bought this 10 minutes after buying a Cloudy Bay Sauvignon from the local wine merchants who had a few bottles left - straw coloured with a hint of green in in, it displays youthful aromas of tropical fruits (passion fruit) and gooseberries and has flavours of sweet gooseberries (still dry though) with a hint towards grapefruit, this is high in acidity making it crisp and clean and is surprisingly full bodied. Made by Julia O'Connell from Montana this is a masterpiece at this price - a wine which in 1990 won the Marquee de Goulaine Trophy for best Sauvignon Blanc in the world. Comparison with the Cloudy Bay will come when I get around to tasting it!
Friday, December 30, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Bordeaux insiders are reporting that 3rd Class Growth Chateau Cantenac Brown has been sold by AXA to an undisclosed individual for an "agreeable" price. The Chateau has been one of the less well performing Cru Classe' and it's terroir has at times been passed off as "not the best in Margaux". We await further news.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
WOW! This is fantastic - come December and it's one of the best wines I've bought a bottle of all year! (I've tasted finer, but haven't bought many better bottles) at £12.49 a bottle this is thick and juicy and stood perfectly alongside pan fried duck breast in a cranberry and port jus with dauphinois potatoes. Edging towards garnet in colour with thick luxuriant legs. This is powerful stuff - though thicker and juicier than many, using French oak for 24 months (though only 35% of this is new) has given it roundness and allowed it to truly develop, whilst Joel Peterson has exercised his expertise and used oak as it should be, with care and discretion - not for him too long in new American oak. As Ravenswood claim this is a "No Wimpy Wines" zone, it is deep and dark and needs food that will stand up to it.(http://www.ravenswood-wine.com/home.htm)
This has flavours of cinnamon, cloves, raspberries and blackberries - it's enough to get you in the Christmas spirit - but I'd strongly advise against anyone wanting to try this with turkey - don't save it for beef or game (or even lamb) then you'll see it at it's best!
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
At one minutes past midnight on the third Thursday in November, all in Beaujolais are awake sending over a million cases of Nouveau off to Paris before it is shipped all the way around the world. This is a strange ritual only seen in this part of France, and by the time it is over, more than 65 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau will have been drunk globally. Locally there are races to see who can be the first to serve this newly made wine, and this sees cars, motorbikes and aircraft employed to get it to it's final destination. Just a few weeks prior to this, grapes were still hanging on their vines and the local vignerons were preparing for harvest.
Georges Duboeuf is the largest producer in Beaujolais and he alone will produce 4 million bottles and works tirelessly to promote it around the world - and it is down to him that this one time local custom has developped into a world wide phenomenon.
Georges Duboeuf says of the 2005 harvest :-
"To give you an impression of this year’s wine, I must first remark on its color. It is without a doubt the finest palette of colors I have seen in a glass of Beaujolais. There is sumptuous beauty within the glass made up of dazzling red with violet highlights, a deep ruby red with hints of garnet. In the Crus there are deep purple reds that are somber, like the blue of night. This is an impressive livery that is sure to enrobe and embellish 2005’s wine. Beyond its impeccable appearance, the 2005 vintage also contains some of the most remarkable aromas. They breathe a refreshing complexity of black currant, blueberry, blackberry, black cherry and kirsch, intermingled with violet, cocoa, coffee, pepper, licorice and warm spices."
"The taste of the 2005 Beaujolais Nouveau lives up to the standards set by its color and aroma. The palate gives the impression of intense concentration. This is a warm wine, bold and fleshy. It is harmonious, voluptuous and seductive. It is the sort of wine to help you rediscover the aromatic palate. The succulent fruits are held together by supple tannins that create the lavish expression of a high class wine. This is the mark of a formidable vintage that will be discussed for years to come. "
Having never tasted any Nouveau I decided that the time had come to take the plunge and managed to pick up a bottle for £4.99 from Waitrose (they had about 3 bottles left) In appearance the wine was a great deal deeper than I expected, definitely red and pink colours rather than purples but with a slight mauve tinge. The nose was clean and youthful as you would expect with the pear drop aroma you would expect from a product of carbonic masceration and some banana and strawberry aromas - so quite where Georges gets his fruit garden of aromas from I'm not sure. On the palate the wine is dry with little or no tannin but plenty of acidity giving it some structure. Very light bodied you could almost mistake this for a white wine if blindfolded - and certainly a Rose' as delicate strawberry comes through. All in all - what's the fuss about - to be honest I'm not really sure - the wine is certainly drinkable but beyond that, it's a little bit dull and ,for me, lacks the WOW factor. Would I buy it again - probably but only to be part of Nouveau phenomenon, if it weren't for that I'd leave it well alone.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
At Co-OP Peter Lehmann Wildcard Reserve Shiraz 2004£7.99 - £3.99, Spain: Muriel Rioja Gran Reserva 1996£9.99 - £5.99. Oddbins have 20% off one bottle of many wines, 25% off 3 and 30% off 6. Morrisons : Gran Eneldo Rioja Reserva 1998£7.99 - £4.99, Hardy's Stamp Shiraz-Cabernet 2003£5.79 - £3.99, Jacobs Creek Reserve Shiraz 2003*£7.99 – £5.99, Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz 2002£6.99 - £4.89. Sainsburys : Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz 2003*£6.99 - £4.99, Era Costana Rioja Reserva 1999£8.99 - £4.99Faustino I, Rioja Gran Reserva 1995*£13.99 - £11.99, Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz 2004*£6.49 - £3.99, Wolf Blass President's Selection Shiraz 2000£11.99 - £8.99, Tesco : Offers this week are all a little dull, they don't cut prices by more than than their competitors and they seem only to have the big brands on offer or their own brand wines. Waitrose : Côte de Beaune-Villages 2000 Louis Jadot £9.99 - £7.99, Barolo 2000/01 Terre da Vino£12.99 - £9.99, Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2003 Marlborough£14.99 - £11.99
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
1975 was declared a vintage and although not one of the very best it is still very good indeed. And Graham's made probably the best port in this particular vintage. I was fortunate enough to have 6 bottles bought for me before I could walk (or certainly soon after!) and have bottles now remaining. Age has given it an amazing tawny colour with a great deal of sediment - the flavours are intense sweet flavours of dried fruits, particularly sultanas and dried figs. It has a bouquet like liquid Christmas cake. There is definately nothing harsh in this and it is absolutely ready to drink now, in fact if you have any bottles of this anywhere (and I still do!) then this Christmas and thereabouts is probably the time to go about drinking this before it really starts to go downhill. It may last a few more years, but let's be honest - I'm not sure I'm willing to take the chance having waited 30 years to see what it ends up like!