Thursday, April 12, 2007

2006 Bordeaux

The first 2006 Bordeaux tastings have happened, and we’ve got our first idea of what we might expect from the vintage. Following a wonderful 2005 vintage, the industry has been on tenterhooks wondering what would be found, with predictions ranging from pretty good to pretty bad – the one thing everyone was sure of was the this was no repeat of 2005.

Berry Brothers ( have struggled to compare it with other vintages, saying that it has elements of several good but not great vintages with 1996, 1988 and 1986 mentioned, but they do go on to say that they thing 2006 will turn out to be a better vintage than 2004 and point to St Julian as the potential pick of the left bank, but talk of sumptuous St Emilion and perhaps lean towards a right bank vintage.

Steven Spurrier over on the Decanter website (, talks of it being a real First Growth vintage, where the tops wines which have had all expenses lavished at them come to the fore, including Mouton which has been criticised recently for underperforming. He even goes onto proclaim Le Petit Mouton (2nd wine of Mouton) as “ the best second wine of the entire vintage” He agrees with Berry’s team that St Julian is the pick of the Medoc, although also picks out Margaux for some praise.

As for prices? Well Spurrier says that the people he’s spoken to are happy with his idea of releasing the wines at the current 2004 prices (which he calls the Spurrier Theory) but I wonder whether the owners are just paying him lip service – certainly in a comment on the site Gil Lempert-Schwarz thinks he’s off the mark “I have to respectfully completely disagree with Spurrier's contention that 'The chateaux will come out at the current price of the 04s...' I'll therefore be the first to disgree with the 'Spurrier Theory', which is nice in principle, but has no foundation in the actual thoughts of the majority of the Chateaux I have surveyed (and they are numerous). Certainly at the top, there is no worry about virtually any price at this point in time. Jean-Guillaume Prats of Chateau Cos D'Estournel, who has made a splendid wine in 2006 is 'looking carefully at the present price of his 2004 in connection with the price of 2005 and will be somewhere in between' he says”.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Berberana Etiqueta Negra Reserva 2003 Rioja

Now "on offer" at Tesco in one of their infamous half price deals (if you've ever noticed there are some wines that go on half price deals quite often - this is a launch deal - but they are rarely worth their full price) and at £4.49 it's a good value wine - at it's "Full" price of £9 I wouldn't bother but for this price it's worth a stab.

Garnet with a pink rim, a lovely developing bouquet of cinnamon ,redcurrants and vanilla. As you'd expect from a young reserva there are plenty of unresolved tannins and the 2003 fleshiness is certainly there although the wine manages to be a little sour too. It's not one I'm going to be rushing out to buy again - it's ok but no more than that. (80/100)

Burgundy Competition

Click the bottle on the right at for a competition to win a fantastic break in Burgundy!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

A-Mano Primitivo 2003 - Puglia

A big rustic red from Puglia (the heel of the boot) in Italy, bought to compliment and cook Chianti baked meatballs (ok so I know it's not Chianti - but getting something drinkable that's Chianti is going to me very hit and miss and you're going to need spend more that this cost!)
Cooking with it, it was wonderful, making a fantastic sauce, but drinking it...

Deep ruby red with a slight pink tinge to the rim, intense plums, spice, vanilla and morello cherries on the nose. Firm tannins, and a robust, bitter cherry flavour moving to a long finish. This is definitely a food wine, and after an hour or so of decanting opened up a little - for £6 it was quite nice, but the acidity was a little harsh for me, rather than brining freshness! (81)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

La Baume Terroirs Chardonnay 2001

La Baume make wines in the Languedoc pretty much exclusively for the British market (they were for a time owned by BRL Hardy), and the Terroirs range are the superior wines to the standard wines found in many supermarkets.

We bought this bottle as a bin end at the Domaine, having tasted the fresh wine which we thought pretty good we plumped for this based on the quality of the 2001 vintage. The current vintage being drunk is the 2003/4.

A medium golden colour with aromas of honeyed tropical fruits and vanilla with fairly simple, delicate flavours of pineapple and pawpaw. This has lost it's freshness and is probably well past it's best having been created for drinking young, and fades rather than finishes fairly quickly. (76)