Preamble Tasting September 2000 
Tom & David Whelehan

1. Tatachilla Adelaide Chardonnay 1998
Fruity delicate nose. Quite a burn; rounded, warm, enough acid and tannin for structure. Melon and tropical fruit notes, but quite lean. Should last 3-5 years. Excellent.

2. Villard Chardonnay Reserve, Chile, 1998
Beautiful heavy nose. Very Australian style buttery taste; ripe fruit. Lots of alcohol (13.5%) and enough cut to stop it being too buttery. Melon and grapefruit. Long aftertaste. Nice.

3. Mas de Daumas Gassac, 1999
.Huge nsoe evokes memories of hair-oil. Apricot on the palate. Big, fruity, warm. Long aftertaste. Chardonnay and lots of local grapes. Very pleasant but at this price...

4. Villard Pinot Noir, Casablanca, Chile, 1998
Very intense burnt rubber nose. Huge burn and big fruit in the mouth. Loads of strawberries, almost strawberrries in Kirsch. Should develop nicely over 3-5 years.

5. Beaune Clos des Feves, Domaine Clauson, 1996
Much more complex nose, not so rubbery and with fruit coming through, although a bit closed. A bit less together on the palate; needs lots of time to come together, but has all the structure to do it. Quite elegant but way in its shell. 10-15 years needed. Price better than expected. 13%

6. Tatachilla Clarendon Merlot, 1998
really deep red. Deep and dusky nose with a hint of hairoil at the end (second time tonight!) behind the fruit pastilles. Very fruity on the palate. A bit burnt at the end, but not at all unpleasantly. Spicy and burny - not at all Merlot like. Some said Mulberry. Very concentrated. Some nice oak coming through (12 months in French oak). Smooth. This one will go a few years, but David said 1-3 years only. Put it down and try it!

7. Bethany Cabernet Merlot, Barossa, 1997
Berry nose. Toasty. Beautiful fruit on palate. Very intense. Good green wood ending. Way too young. 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc. 1998 purported to be even better.

8. Hoopenburg Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch, 1998
Slightly murky light red. Really big Ribena nose, hint of Parma violets (or something else not associated with Cab Sauv). Hugely fruity but without the punch of some: not jammy though. Quite refined for such a muthful of fruit. Bit of vanilla, good grip. 20-25,000 cases in a boutique winery. 60% their own grapes. Somewhat overpowered by the previous but still a nice wine.

9. Rust en Vrede Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch, 1997.
Deep rich murky wine with very small total production. Nose of restrained fruit. Quite green tannins showing, courtesy of new French oak. Lots of fruit, silky, well balanced withgood acid and grip. Quite lovely. Residual sugar?

10. Rust en Vrede Estate Wine, Stellenbosch, 1997
Nose of huge fruit; deep and sultry. Greta fruit, good tannins, a hint of chocolate. Leaves a pleasant burn and tannicshrivel, but very nicely.Green pastilles. Quite New World whereas the Cab Sauv had Old WOrld characteristics. Not very spicy to me; only the chocolate shows the Shiraz. 75% Cab Sauv, 25% Shiraz. Too up front; very nice but not

11. Ch. Fourcas Hosten, Cru Bourgeois, Listrac, 1996
Relatively closed. Fruit and unassimilated tannins on the palate. Despite this it is quite unaggressive, even soft. Lacking acid? Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot.

12. Ch. Kirwan, 3eme Cru, Margaux, 1995
Cassis and currant leaves. Some vanilla. Disappointing first sip. Follows through with fruit and big blast of tannins. Quite warmon second taste. Has potential. Way too young; estimate a 20 year wait..
75.00 per magnum, say £35 per bottle.

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