Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pre Holiday Buzz

Gearing up for the holidays we've been trying a wide range of wines. First up is the Penfolds, St. Henri Shiraz, 2002. It's been a couple of years since I tasted this vintage. It still has that always deep stained cork that is seen with top Penfold's wines. It's getting a little bricky in colour as it ages. Blackcurrant nose. Full bodied with mouth coating, still-a-little-bit-rough tannins, but not chewy and overblown like a lot of aussie shiraz. This is all balanced by the tart cassis fruit. Long finish. Not cheap at $55 but still a wow!
The Argentine Fabre Montmayou, Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 has a thin vegetal nose. It is old world style, medium bodied with a vegetal flavour profile - mainly green peppers. This could pass for a Bordeaux. Well made, but not what you would call a pleasant sipper. Try it with meat. Overpriced at $22.

Much more interesting is the Gerard Bertrand, Merlot, Vin de Pays D'Oc, 2004. What a wine from such a generic appelation. Nose is pure rotting meat with raisins and violets. Full bodied, backward, earthy, mushrooms, meat, pencil get the idea. Long finish. Good wine and an absolute bargain at $15 if you appreciate the style.

At a dinner party we sampled a lot of generic wine from Spain, Australia and Chile that rated from OK to good, nothing really to tell you about except for the cheapest wine of the night - the Cono Sur, Merlot, 2007 is a generic, bottom-of-the-line $10 wine. But boy does it deliver for that price. On the nose it's 50:50 fresh meat (?hamburger) and raisins. Very balanced palate with preserved fruits as the predominant flavour supported by leather and tobacco. Not tannic but still surprisingly chewy body. This could be from Europe.... Good wine, what have you got to lose by trying it?


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