Preamble Tasting May  2001 
An International Selection
Mark Downes


1. Gewurtztraminer, Trimbach, Alsace, France, 1998 
Always lovely, but this vintage a bit softer than usual; a bit sugar-watery.  Suggestion by apple of my eye that I am comparing against some recently glugged aged Grand Crus may have merit, however :)
Superquinn, 11.00

2. Bernkastler Badstube Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, Reichsgraf von Kasselstatt, 1997
The typical Riesling nose; a bit off the chill but still lots to say.  Too sweet for me, though with good acids and a hint of petrol coming through.  Slightly petillant..  Only 8%.
Searson 9.40

3. Wine Makers Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Babich, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2000
Very aromatic.  Beautifully rounded wine, well balanced, less grassiness than the '99.  A tremendous extract from gravelly soil.  13.5%
Gleesons, 8.99

4. Pepperwood Grove Zinfandel, Oakville, California, USA, 1998
Lovely orangey colour, almost a creamy nose.  A hint of cough medicine.  Beautifully rich and structured.  13.5%  I admit again to a general dislike of Zin (although I love Italian Primitivo) but have always liked this one.  It must be the way they make them;  Now I have this theory that it's maceration carbonique that creates the taste I dislike;  I wonder ... OK, OK, I can hear the yawns starting!
Magic Carpet, 8.99, widely available

5. Chateau Bonnet Reserve, Lurton, Bordeaux, 1997
Rich Bordeaux fruitcake nose. Good tannin, fruit and acid.  Could go another year or two, but '97 was a light vintage so don't keep it too long. Teeny bit sharp.  12.5%
Febvre, 10.00

6. La Cuesta, Vina Tarapaca, Maipo Valley, Chile, 1999
Lovely rich nose with hint of rubber.  Sense of warmth.  Quite stern but rich.  Odd finish - not unpleasant - something cool at the back of the palate.  Oaky vanilla; young but drinking well.  Will get better.  With a big juicy steak ...mmm! 14%.  Cab Sauv and Syrah
Gleesons, c. 9.50

7. Ciro Classico Riserva 'Duce San Felice', Librandia, Calabria, Italy, 1997
A lighter feel on nose and palate than previous vintages, a nice light colour.   Loads of fruit, soft tannins, cherries, warmth - lovely.  Gaglioppo grape, said to be originally from Greece.
Findlater, 9.00

8. Chateau Musar, Gaston Hochar, Beka Valley, Lebanon, 1994
Sediment clouded; acetone, quite sharp and hot on the palate.  Not showing at its best.  Cab Sauv and Cinsault.  May improve; always had good aging properties.
Superquinn, 15.99

9. Rust en Vrede Esatae, Cabernet Sauvignonm Stellenbosch, South Africa, 1997
Mid - dark red, not particulary noticeable nose.  Very blackcurrant, too young, hint of rubber, loads of fruit.  Silky.  Good grip.  Will go a long way.  It means "Rest in Peace".
O'Brien, 13.99

10. Arzuaga Crianza, Ribero del Duero, Spain, 1997
Burnt rubber and vanilla,  Palate of condensed milk and tannins doesn't live up to the nose.  Loads of fruit submerged behind; could be great.    Leaves a warm buzz in the mouth afterwards, with the milk taste.  100% Tempranillo,13.5%.
Searson, 19.49

11. Maglieri Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia, 1997
Big deep red-black.  Surprisingly restrained on the nose; hint of leather.  Big,  fruity, rounded.  I still find Italian nuances in here, as I did when first tasted (blind).Prunes, rich flavours, 14%, lovely.
Gleesons, c12.50

12. Urtiga v.c. Port, Ramon-Pinto, Portugal
Beautiful, smooth, a bit of burn.  Maybe needs a bit more backbone but lovely nonetheless.  19.5%
Searson, 16.81

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