Preamble Tasting May 2002 
Good Value for Money
Mark Downes

1. Ch. de la Ragotiere Vielles Vignes, Muscadet sur lie Les Freres Couillaud, 1999
Great crack of dryness on the nose before yhou even go near it.  Very pale, very dry.  This is Melon de Bourgogne and it actually tastes of melon at the end.  Lovely aftertaste but leaves no particular memlory except that it's dry. 12%
Terroirs 11.50

2. Ch. Pique-Segue, Montravel Bergerac, 2000
Quite pale, lovely nose.  Wonderful, slightly oaked, nicely stern.  Sauvignon-Semillon blend, Semillon giving nice full, slightly sweet finish.
8.95 

3. Babich 'Irongate' Chardonnay, Hawkes Bay, NZ, 1996
Deep golden yellow.  Wonderfully rich, sweet nose.  Gorgeous, full, rich but not flabby; you can taste the pebbles!  Some smoke.  Beautifully balanced.  Will last another while too.
Magic Carpet
14-15

4. Valpolicella Classico Supierore, Zenato, Veneto, Italy, 1998
Lovely light red.  Cherries and prunes.  Beautiful, light, summery wine with a bit of backbone. 
Searson 10.99

5. Vino Tarapaca 'El Ciruelo', Merlot/Mourvedre, Maipo Valley,  Chile, 2000
Rich red.  Heavy stink of sulphites. Not sure it comes together, not happy with the mouth feel.  Lot of tannin, lot of fruit, sharp.  Not together.  Not for me, I'm afraid.

Superquinn Sale 9.58

6. La Cassenove Dominis M, Vin de Pays de Catalan, 2000  
 Deep clear dark red.  Nose of a hot country but a 'synthetic' jammy taste reminiscent of some Gamays.  Much better in the mouth; fruity, pleasant, good burn, some tannin, maybe a bit sharp.  A pleasant wine.  50% Grenache, 50% Carignan.  13.8% alc.
Widely available 9.00

7. Castell dei Remei Gotim Bru, Costers del Segre, Spain, 1999 
Dark and clean. . Quite a fruitcake mix.  Something odd on the nose.  Rich, good burn, fresh, sooth.  Will take a few years. Doesn't know what it is!  Tempranillo, Merlot, Cab Sauvignon in American oak.  12.5%
Searson 12.75

8. Pepperwood Grove Caberet Franc, Oakville, Napoa Valley, California, 1998
Mid-dark red.  Some sulphur.  Lots of fruit and some crunchy tannin.  Good burn.  Leaves a coolness at the base of the palate/.  Some grassiness.  Quite a pleasant wine. 
9-10, cheaper on Kelly's sale at present

9. Babich 'Irongate' Cabernet Merlot, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, 1996
Doesn't look too attractive. Very nice fruity nose.  Fruit-burn-fruit-burn!  Bit of a hole at the back. Could come together beautifully but it ain't near there yet.  Lots of fruit but not full, complete (nor complex).
Magic Carpet 14

10. Gran Araucano Cabernet Sauvignon, Lurton, Rapel Valley, Chile, 2000
Deep clear red.  Restrained power on the nose.  Prunes on nose, plums on palate.  Mint, burn.  Not together yet but this one knows where it's going.  Huge extract.  Very rich and elegant.  14%

13.95

11. Springfield Estate Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon, Robertson, South Africa, 1999
Very murky (end of bottle). Not a big nose.  Incredibly fruity, much less mint.  Very elegant, very concentrated berry flavour.  High acidity.  Natural yeasts, whole berry fermentation using gravity. One year i French oak.  Completely different from the previous. Very, very nice.

Vaughan Johnson 13.95

12. Rymill Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia, 1994
Really deep red, looks great.  Big fruitcake mix.  Nose is huge - somewhat overdone?  Quite stern, great burn, but gone over the top?  Still nice but be quick about it.

Magic Carpet 11.49

13. Pipers Brook Vineyard Pellion Pinot Noir, Tasmania, 1998
Typical Pinot colour.  Farmyard nose., a bit raw.  Has it closed up?  Still strawberries.  Lovely but not fully together; in fact, quite gangly.  They say 2002-2006; no way.  Needs time yet and should last.  Too expensive.

McCabes 22.85

14. Ciro Classico Riserva 'Duca San Felice', Libranda, Calabria, Italy, 1997
Lovely clear mid-red.  Burn on the nose.  Quite a lot lighter than I remember but lovely cherries and an elegant backbone.

Findlater 11.60 
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