Saturday, October 10, 2009

Moving Up

When you move up from $15 to $25 a bottle, you expect a lot more out of your wine. I like it when it makes me say "wow"...
Robert Parker gave the Chateau Saint-Roch, Chimeres, 2006 an outstanding score for a wine from the southeast area of France - 92 points. So when I saw it for $25, I picked a bottle up to take for dinner at my sister in law's, she loves French wines and hates new world stuff. This is a black wine, full bodied and austere in style. Graphite, tobacco, not much fruit showing, it's a Bordeaux mimic. Needs time. I'd call it "good", maybe in 5 years or so it'll open up, so don't buy it unless you can lay it down for a while.
On to the new world. The Jackson Triggs, Okanagan Estate, Proprieters Grand Reserve, Shiraz, 2006 apparently was awarded Silver, best in class, at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London and Double Gold, Best of Nation, at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. So for $28 I thought this may be a "wow". Let this one decant for a while - initially it has a candy like nose that thankfully blows off to red berries. It's vibrant, spicy, medium bodied with cherries and redcurrants and a bit of white pepper. A bit light for a shiraz in my opinion. There is a short blast of tannins that quickly fade off. Out of it's league compared with good Aussie and Argentine shiraz. Good, but not worth the $28 (would be an interesting buy at maybe $18).
I had high hopes for the McLaren Vale Australian Gemtree, Uncut Shiraz, 2007. The 2006 was phenomenal for the money - $25. The 2007 is simply not as good, although I still like it and think it's worth considering for the price. Warm, toasty, toffee nose. Soft and caressing mouthfeel, not complex, not a palate wacker, lots of deep red fruit, it's a smooth sipper. It's definitley more my style than the Triggs.
OK, I digress from the $25 wines to talk about yet another $15 winner. This one's from Chile - the Undurraga, Sibaris, Carmenere, Reserva Especial, 2007. Opaque black, this is concentrated stuff. Full bodied, rich style. Very spicy, black olives (the canned pitted kind, not kalamata), boiled beetroot - it could easily pass for merlot (which the Chileans thought this grape type was for years...). No oak evident. New world in-your-face-style..."good" wine for those who like the style, overbearing for those who don't.


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