Preamble Tasting May 2000
Gleeson Group Sales
Michael Maher & Kevin Guildea
1. Kingston Estate Serrentos Soft Press Chardonnay, South Africa,
Lovely label - a stone fish. The soft press is a pneumatic device, sort
of balloon inside that expands and presses without bruising. Lovely peachy
nose. Soft but not flabby. Tropical fruits, pineapple. Very pleasant.
2. Babich Wine Makers Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, 1999
Nose variously described as cat's pee, nettles, white currants; I got
gooseberry. Generally agreed to be typical NZ Sauvignon Blanc. Beautiful
mouthful of fruit, apples, acid and weight. Lovely aftertaste. Comes from
Wakefiled Downs vineyard, with severely pruned vines. 13.5%
3. Framingham Dry Riesling, Marlborough, NZ, 1998
About 1 km from Cloudy Bay. Very perfumed, with just a hint of petrol.
Mouth feel is fruity, quite dry and some very little fizz/petrol. Unusual.
I'd prefer Heggies. 13%
4. Tarapaca Gran Reserva Chardonnay, Chile, 1997
Butterscotch nose, and mouth. Ends with a decidedly toffee taste. Very
nice big, fruity, rich buttery wine but maybe too OTT (or something) for
me? . 13%
5. Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir, Sonoma, Ca. 1997
Looks quite pink.Fairly undistinguished nose, faint hint of strawberry.
Mouth quite peppery, burny. Good fruit but not my cup of tea. 12.5%
6. Simonassi Lyon Gran Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina, 1998
Deep clean velvet red. Hint of mint. Good soft tannins, plenty of fruit,
complex, together. Lovely. Amaro? Commented that dollar strength is pushing
the price up. 50% Malbec, 30% Barbera, 20% Cab Sauvignon. 12.5%. Shame
about the price.
7. Babich Wine Makers Reserve Pinot Noir, Marlborough, NZ, 1998
Not a big nose (but cold). Quite astringent. Fruit and lots of spice.
Very unusual, very nice. Good wine but I'd prefer a good Oz.. 13%
8. Dieu Donne Cabernet Sauvignon, Frankhoef, SA, 1997
Hugely deep. Condensed milk on nose - and mouth. Way too young. Tannins
quite sharp. Needs a few years. Restrained "Ribena power"; big,
lovely. Good Bordeaux style (this is where the Huguenots settled!). Hint
of mint in there too. Slightly worrying something in the aftertaste though.
9. Pepperwood Grove Zinfandel, Ca., 1997
Nice deep red. No big nose. Quite a Pinot taste. Very fruity. Touch of
"dynthetic" sweetness that I don't like, but very good. (Zin
getting a star from me; it must be good.) 12.5%
10. Maglieri Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia, 1997
Higely deep red, black fruit pastilles on the nose, and followed through
on the palate. Quite reserved though luscious. Gorgeous. Hard to find
a fault. 14%
11. Tarapaca Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile, 1996
Quite murky, dark. Big fruity nose, very Cab (but is there Malbec
in there?) Lots of grip (six months in French barriques). fruit pastilles
again, with the usual condensed milk. Needs time. Very, very good. 13%
12. Kingston Estate Reserve Shiraz, 1996
On first whiff I wouldn't have guessed - I expect chocolate from New
World Shiraz. Maybe Cab with some Malbec? Huge fruit, peppery, long lasting.
Too in your face? A fine wine but.... 13.5%