Friday, January 08, 2010

Last Wines of 2009

The new vintage of Clos de los Siete available at the moment is the 2007. This Argentine wine is made from a sort of co-op (with seven [siete] rich partners!) supervised by Michel Rolland, so one expects a ripe, dense, heavily extracted wine. Opaque in the glass, it has a ripe crushed blackcurrant nose. Full bodied, moderately tannic, it has a savoury profile, a little dirty, with figs and some cassis hiding in the background. More subtle than previous vintages, it's not as big as I expected. Yummy though. Good wine. $24. Head to head, it is surpassed easily by the Pascual Toso, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007. Absolutely gorgeous, heady nose. Toffee, raspberry, oak, cassis, but with a nice herbacious edge. Full bodied. Rich and expressive. Wow. $20. Word of caution, though - a second bottle was good, but not as impressive, so there may be some bottle variation.

Arboleda translates as "grove", so I guess this Chilean winery has lots of trees. Their 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is classic - one sniff and you know you're dealing with a good Chilean cab. The nose is strong cassis mixed with gamey notes. Full bodied, fruit driven, the very essence of cassis, a little chewy, chocolate and spice notes keep it interesting. A sipping cab, good wine, worth the $19.
(Wine Spectator 88 pts).

The Argentine Chakana, Wiphala, Malbec-Syrah, 2008 is a dark purple, intense, bright fruit driven (plums) wine. Cherries on the nose. Medium bodied, a very drinkable but simple fruit bomb. Good value at $16.

It wasn't all South American wines - this one is from Australia. The Innocent Bystander, Shiraz-Viognier, Victoria, 2006 is dark in the glass, but not inky black. Nose of stewed plum compote. Soft, lush, jammy black black fruit. Hedonistic, it slides down like luxurious grape juice, but falls flat fast. Pleasant enough and a good sipper, but very generic. Koko factor: "nice wine, but nothing distinctive about it."
24 hours later a little beef stock showed up, but still too much like fancy grape-ade to be interesting. Definitively not worth the $24. Nice label though.

Cheers, and I hope everyone had a Happy New Year!!


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