South of France
Notes from a blind tasting:
2006 Cloudy Bay Chardonnay – medium oak, some good floral stuff
happening in the nose, nice concentration, drinks well now.
1998 Lopes Heredia Vina Tondonia Rioja Rosado – a very interesting
wine with a colour more in the orange/amber than the pink, not much
fruit left, an odd oily sort of nose, and long finish. I liked this a
lot. 20% Tempranillo, 60% Garnacha, 20% Viura
2001 Vieux Donjon – while this was a theme tasting, there was a
communication problem. The state theme was ‘south of France’, but some
took this to be ‘the south of France’. Medium red with a touch of
ripeness in the nose, mellow tannins, very tasty, toasty and with good
length. No rush.
1995 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet – dark wine with a
straightforward sweet nose of cassis fruit and vanilla, sweet entry,
cocoa on palate, medium length, medium tannins. nice.
2001 Ceuso – a Sicilian wine made from cabernet, merlot and nero
d’avola.. Dark colour, sweet ripe dark fruit nose, some cocoa and
thyme at the end, with dry tannins. Has time.
2002 Boekenhoutskloof Syrah – dark wine with a very nice nose of
cocoa, fruit and black pepper, but also some floral notes. An
impressive syrah more in the French idiom than anything else and a
perfect ringer for any Northern Rhone blind tastings!
2002 Cheval des Andes – Argentinian wine made as a joint venture with
Cheval Blanc, blending 60% cab sauv, 40% Malbec grown in Mendoza.
Slightly ripe nose, excellent concentration on palate with lots of
fruit, the nose a little warm and a tad closed right now.
1998 Cape Mentelle Zinfandel – always a tough one to guess as one
doesn’t think of this varietal from down under, and at the age of this
example all the easy indicators you’d detect in a younger wine have
toned down. Rhonish slightly funky fruit nose, a ton of acidity in
the mouth reasonable fruit levels, good length and a bit of pitch in
the nose after awhile. This one should be drunk up.
1977 Warres Port - good colour, paling a little at the edges, nice
nose of plum and spice, not too hot, smooth on palate, with a fair bit
of soft tannin. This one seems to be coming into prime drinking
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