Monday, May 28, 2007

Spring Fever

Nothing like some good wine and sunshine to get you finally into the mood for summer being on it's way. In this case, it was some mighty fine wine! I think the best of the nights tasting was the Lindemans, Limestone Ridge, Coonawarra, Shiraz-Cabernet 1997. Always a dense, classy wine. Beautiful nose (that initially stank like mushrooms...), with layers on layers of thick rich vanillic tinged fruit on the palate. Wow - outstanding.
The Hardy's, Eileen Hardy, Shiraz 1998 was also much enjoyed - it was more restrained and perhaps more elegant than the Lindemans. I think perhaps we opened it a little too early, it felt a little like the Lindeman's "little brother" at this stage in it's development. A good wine that I predict will get better.
The Vina Pedrosa, Reserva, Ribero del Duero, 2001 kickstarted the red wine portion of the evening. This was a real smooth operator, warm and inviting but with ample mouth coating tannins - very balanced and ripe for drinking. Wow.
The surprise of the night was the Saintsbury, Carneros, Pinot Noir Reserve, 2001. Now, I'm not a big PN fan, but this could very well have been the best PN I've tasted (I admit I don't have a lot to compare it to as I usually shy away from this often badly made variety). This was full bodied, tannic and loooong, but still quite smooth. A "good" wine", but couldn't bump it to "wow" status (the competition was too strong tonight - thanks Joe and Joel!!).
Finally, I threw in an Argentinian dark horse in the quest for the perfect Malbec. This one won a gold medal in a Decanter tasting. Unfortunately, the Chakana, Malbec Reserva, Mendoza, 2004 paled in comparison to the blockbusters served on the same table. This is a good wine, fruit driven, medium bodied but lacks ooomph and complexity. It did OK the next day by itself with lunch after oxygenating a little. It is good value for the money at $18.


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