Monday, January 29, 2007

Summertown Wine Cafe

I ventured back to the Summertown Wine Cafe last night, with friends and it was the first time I'd been back in a long while to one of my favourite haunts, and had a very nice time indeed without spending a penny - certainly one of the best ways to spend a Sunday evening - and so onto the wines :-

Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Giustino B. 2003
Almost colourless with youthful green apple flavours - delicious and easy drinking a little perhaps like a dry alcoholic appletise! (82)

Bimbadgen Pinot Grigio 2005
Pears, almonds and perhaps a touch of apple, a little elderflower make this decent, drinkable PG though for my money overpriced at over £10. (81)

Domaine des Chezelles Sauvignon Blanc 2005
A Sauvignon de Tourraine with masses of gooseberry and astringent herbaceous character, no great finesses and perhaps lacking a little too much in ripeness. (80)

Glenwood Chardonnay 2005 Franshoek
Golden, oaked buttery Chardonnay, everything you might expect. Some nice smokey character that won't appeal to everyone, but I liked it and added into the mix were some lovely tropical flavours. (83)

Westbrook Pinot Noir (Marlborough) 2005
Lovely silky red, with wonderful texture and aromas of cherry garcia ice cream - however sadly the intensity of flavour is lacking - there is plenty of acidity, but not enough flavour or grip to make this really work for me. (80)

Mitchelton Preece Merlot 2005 (Victoria)
A very youthful Merlot - too youthful and there were too many herbaceous green characters in the wine to make it pleasant. Not sure what they've done here but I think it could be that the grapes never achieved phenolic ripeness, either that or they put too many stalks into the mix to generate a bit of extra tannin. (74)

Blasson D'Issan 2002 (Margaux)
2nd wine of Chateau D'Issan, and very drinkable, if not awe inspiring and also about £5 too much a bottle (£19). Tannins were still a little rough, but there is quality wine making underneath and this will be lovely in 2-5 years, it's just for £5 more you can pick up a bottle of Pavillon Rouge, or indeed a bottle of Reserve de la Comtesse for the same price from a better vintage. Still that doesn't make it a bad wine and it's one that it definately worth drinking. (86)

Le Clos de Caillou Cotes du Rhone 2004
Very decent peppery grenache based wine, everything you'd expect from a really decent basic level Cotes Du Rhone - quite why it's the price of much better wine is beyond me H&H Bancroft sell it at £7.75 a bottle. Bit of a rip off but decent wine again. (81)

Quinta de Lagoalva 2004
I loved this wine, it's the second time I've had a Portuguese wine in the SWC and it's the second time I've fallen in love with it, the last time it was the Esporao from Aletenjo this time it's from the Ribatejo. A blend of Cabernet, Syrah and an indigenous grape (I forget which but not one I'd heard of before) wild herbs, blackcurrants, raspberries, a huge wine, full bodied with those same flavours as Port without the depth, sweetness and alcohol. I loved it! (87)

Greenstone Vineyard Shiraz 2005
Well made Shiraz, but a little unexciting - tasted like a young Aussie shiraz - may well develop into something great and would still be around in 10-15 years if you wanted it to be! Tannins were struggling to integrate and the texture was more sandpaper than velvet. (81)

Henriques and Henriques Vintage 1995
A sweet Madeira, I never found out which grapes but I'd lay my odds on Malvasia (Malmsey) it did all the right things in the right places, a bit of a liquid Dundee cake (a fruit cake with almonds on top). Very good indeed. (88)

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