Preamble Tasting February 2004 
Allied Drinks
James Wilson, Cellar Door

1. Franciscan Oakville Estate Cuvee Sauvage Chardonnay, California, 2001
Toasted oak, but lightly done.  Almost rum and butter (for those old enough to remember). Not such a big mouth feel as the Reynella.  No finishing zing.  14%  The 'Sauvage' in the name implies wild yeast.

2. Leasingham Bin 7 Riesling 2003
Wouldn't have said Riesling; very apply. Quite spritzy.  Finish with a bit of pear drop ester - malolactic fermentation?  Long, limey, citrus finish.  Different, nice enough.  13%

3. Chateau Reynella Chardonnay, 2000
Vastly bigger than the nose would have you believe. pleanty of vanilla; rich, buttery, with good acid to give a fresh finish. 13.5%  From McLaren Vale, Padthaway and Tasmania.

4. Houghton's Verdelho, 2002
Great citrus nose, fruity.  First impression burstinf with fizz. Lovely candied fruit.  Good weight, tropical fruit, fresh acidity, minerally.  13.5%  Lovely.

5. Ravenswood Lodi County Zinfandel, 2001
A coolness in the mouth, then some alcohol burn, fruity, chery, spicy, slightly medicinal (what I don't like about most Zin, he said, putting his prejudices upfront). 14.5%

6. Ravenswood Amador County Zinfandel, 2001
Now for something completely different.  Fruitier nose, big tannic feel initially, good fruit behind.  Supple leather .  This can go on for many a year.  Cherry, much less medicinal.  Keeps changing.  Excellent.  These are both made with wild yeast, in French oak, hand plunged.

7. Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz, 1998
Very dark. Fruit pastilles.  Enough, quite crunchy tannins, warm and spicy. American and French oak.  Quite tannic at the end.

8. Chateau Reynella Shiraz, 2001
Lovely vanilla, caramel nose.  Much more restrained than the Leasingham.  Cocoa.  A very classy wine.  They have reverted to mainly French oak, with noticeable improvement.
19.50 McCabes

9. Franciscan Oakville Estate Merlot, Napa, 2001
Warm, great vanilla and fruitcake.  Lots of fruit but needs time to let the tannins ease out.  No great complexity.

10 Franciscan Oakville Estate Magnificat, Napa, 2000
Very young, restrained.  Great broody, puckering tannins. Black cherry and plum, toasty oak, leather, long finish   Superb, but at a priceIf I had the money ... 75% Merlot, 15% Cab Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot.

11 Eileen Hardy Shiraz, 1998
Wonderfully rich, sweet, tarry, cherry.  Huge extract, big tannic wine with a great future ahead of it. From McLaren Vale and elsewhere.

11 Thomas Hardy Cabernet, 1995
Ribena on the nose; perhaps a hint of mould, some eucalyptusMinty, lots of original fruit characteristics. Still developing, somem tomato juice.  Will it last?  Gorgeous - but not worth the money.

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