Preamble Tasting July 2002 
Magic Carpet Wines in the Garden
Kevin Crowley

Kevin's annual garden party presentation was held indoors due to the inclemency of the Irish weather.

1. Blue Ridge Chenin Blanc/Sauvignon Blanc, Villiera, Paarl, South Africa, 2001
Nice, light green-yellow.  Quite a Sauvigno Blanc nose but with some honey sweet aromas.  Fruity, floral, quite a lot of acid cutting the sweetness.  A good wine; not sure I'd drink too much of it on its own.

2. Chardonnay Gran Reserva Tarapaca, Maipo Valley, Chile, 1999
Light green-yellow.  Nose of acid drops with lots of oaky sweetness.  Well balanced, big, smooth feel; the sweetness of vanilla, butter, bitter sweet.  Long finish.  Maybe too scented, floral.  I'd prefer a bit of steel and flint.  Generally highly thought of by the group.  13.5%

3. Riesling Alsace, Hugel, 1999
This is the basic Hugel Riesling.  Even lighter, even more paraffin than the usual petrol.  Beautiful, rich, stern but incredibly fruity.  Good buzz.  Drinking well now and will improve.  12.5%

4. Rosada Ochoa, Navarra, Spain, 2001
Very pink-red; dark rose.  This is Grenache!  Very stern, slightly medicinal nose.  Rounded, fruity, bit of burn.  Nice long finish.  A nice wine.  12.5%  Highly commended with pork.

5. Ramitello (di Majo Norante), E259, Molise, Italy
Very dark red, almost black cherry with just a hint of orange.  Warm nose, lots of heavier alcohols.  Fruity, some astringency; big, warm mouth feel.  Aglianico and Montepulciano, from the Adriatic, east of Rome.  Very nice, tasty, a bit expensive for what it is?

6. Capello di Prete, Candido, Apulia, Italy, 1998
Again a dark cherry red with a hint of orange.  Quite dumb.  Smooth, hot country, fruity; a little soft tannin.  Good backbone.  Gorgeous.  Negro Amaro from the heel of Italy.  13.5%.  The name means "Priest's Hat"

7. Ch Tour de Mirail, Cru Bourgeois, Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, 1995 
 Not quite so dark red.  Unusually warm country nose.  Quite astringent, but fruity/fruitcake.  Probably mostly Cab Sauvignon with some Merlot and Cab Franc.  Very nice, but hard to appreciate after the preceding Italian. 12%

8. Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva Tarapaca, Maipo Valley, Chile, 1997
Black red with brown tinges.  Fruit gums.  Huge, lots of nice soft leathery tannin.  Bit too soft according to some.  Slightly burnt taste, gritty at the finish.  Big bottle differences.  13%

9. The Patriarch Cabernet Sauvignon, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, 1998
Black at a distance.  Lovely deep red.  "Pastilles and Ribena" on the nose. Quite sharp tannins and loads of fruit.  A beautifully put together wine with a long finish.  Joseph Babich.  13.5% Superb wine, shame about the price.  Is this a NZ "feature"?  This is a treat with maybe another 7-8 years to go.

10. Shiraz Bin 128 Penfolds, Coonawarra, S. Australia, 1998
Dark red, bit dumb.  Very fruity; fruit pastilles.  A big burn.   Has a problem following the Patriarch. Lovely but needs much more time.


11. Amarone della Valpolicella Costasera, Masi, Italy, 1998
Lovely, dark, heavy-looking.  Nose with a slight mushroom odour, somewhat concerning.  Not the usual flavours; result of youth?  It improves in the glass.  Way, way too young.  Plums, prunes, tar, very amaro but some unwelcome astringency.  15% This vintage (of one of my favourite wines) is definitely wait and see.


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