Sunday, August 23, 2009


The fancy label siblings are from Chile - kind of ostentatious looking...the Terra Noble, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gran Reserva, 2005 is a softie - nice new world blackberry fruit, medium bodied, gentle with no hard tannins. Kinda cheap for a "Gran" Reserva too - only $17. Well, you get what you pay for, right? - it's an OK wine, no better. The twin is the Merlot, Gran Reserva, 2005. Much fruitier nose than the cab with brighter fruit - blueberries and cherries. Also medium bodied and soft. Both these wines are straight forward, the merlot is better at first but with time the cab takes over.
OK, now for the ugly siblings. These wines will be at the bottom of the price list in your wine store (unless you have a Trader Joe's where you can find 2-buck chuck). $7-8 gets you Farnese's Sangiovese or Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. The vintage I tasted was 2007, but it doesn't really matter - these guys seem to produce pretty much the same style of wine year in, year out. The Montepulciano is a dark wine (no cheapo see thru stuff here) with pepper, beef stock, plums and cherries. Medium-full bodied, it actually benefits from decanting and tastes better the next day. The sangiovese is also not bad. These are OK wines, you can use them as everyday drinkers, and much better value than the good looking siblings from Chile.
Slow-smoked turkey legs and pork loin...yum. The Joel Gott, Zinfandel, 2003 was overpowered by this lot. It was however a good aperetif wine - zippy, bright raspberry fruit, medium bodied, not a tannin in sight...good drinking zin from a value producer (less than $20). The Mas des Bressades, Cabernet-Syrah, 2004 was up to the challenge. This wine really needs food - it's a full bodied old world style with herb and animal flavours that mask any fruit. The tannins are smoothing out with a little age, but it still needs that fatty meat to shine. Good wine. Cheap too - only $16.



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