Preamble Tasting March 2004 
Wines Direct
Paddy Keogh

1. Pierre LTC, Margaret River, Western Australia, 2003
First impression, citrus.  Then greeny wood.  Round, good fruit, acidity. Lovely long finish of citrus and a hint of caramel.  Lovely wine; not cheap. Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay.  Mostly semillon.  Made by Michael Peterkin, also qualified as a wine maker and viticulturalist.  According to James Halliday  the wine has suggestions of barrel fermentation and the LTC stands for a 'little touch of Chardonnay'.  Pierro is renowned for its stylish white wines."

2. Chateau Thieuley - Cuvee Francis Courselle, Borseaux, 2001
Nose with a lot of wood.   Rich creamy, lemony with a good zing.  bit of tartar.   lots of wood, lovely too,  but a bit too pricey. 12.5% Grape are Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon 50:50  Chateau Thieuley is a run by Francis Courselle, a professor of oenology in Bordeaux.. The vineyard is situated on a clay and sand soil, and produces 60,000 bottles of this wine per year.

3. Coriole Redstone, McLaren Vale, Australia, 2001
Slightly murky, unfiltered?  Berries, subtle oak, spicy.  initial blast of alcohol, mocha and berries.  Quite restrained, though; elegant, silky tannins.  All that's good in France but with a full, dark richness.  Lovely.  established in 1967 by the Lloyd family, currently the winemakers are Grant Harrison and Mark Lloyd.  Grapes are Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

4. Cape Jaffa Shiraz, Limestone Coast, South Australia, 2001
Earthy, dark berries. Well balanced, soft tannins, fruit and chocolate. Not too jammy, but not as restrained as they Coriole. Very good but not for me at 17.  Some green sap wood..

5. Dromana Estate Cabernet Merlot, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Quite light-looking but not thin. Nose of fruit pastilles (some say earthyy).  Black wine gums, some sap, loads of fruit. Very little oak although a new and old used. Very good. Minty, cool, spicy. 12.5%

6. Craiglee Shiraz, Sunbury, Victoria, Australia, 2001
Lots of legs. Lovely deep good clean ruby colour. A bit dumb. Crunchy tannins, big mouth feel, some bitterness, lots of spice, lots of fruit. Bitter cherries: fairly restrained but not too stern. Elegant.  Still some years to go. Can't make up my mind about its star rating: expensive, different, very good.  Value: I don't know. 14%

7. Adelaide Hills, Lenswood Palatine, South Australia, 1999
Lovely dark colour, teeny bit opaque.  Liquorice/anise.  Amazingly fresh; figs, prunes:  Fig Rolls, in fact.  Silky tannins, some bitterness.  14% alcohol.  Grapes are Cabernet 15%, Merlot 66% and Malbec 19%.  Shame about the cost, but it's about the same price as Amarone and well worth buying for the unusual style.  In fact, the Cabernet is dried on straw mats, similar to the Amarone method. 

8. Domaine Gardies, Cotes du Roussillon Villages,  France, 2001
Deep, dark; bit dumb.  Good fruit, ripe tannins, good acidity.  Bitter chocolate.  Concentrated, dark fruit.  Syrah, mourvedre, Grenache.  Just the job with a steak.

9. Minervois AC, Luc Lapeyre Les Clots, 2000
Fairly dark, clear.  Spicy, fruit pastilles, farmyard.  At first impression less than the promise of the nose, but then lots of fruit, heat, crunchy tannins, a lot of astringency despite the winemaker favouring destalking the grapes precisely to prevent this.  Some sour milk.  Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre.  14%.  Very interesting, hard to figure; different.

10. Domaine de l'Hortus, Grand Cuvee, Coteaux du Languedoc, Pic Saint Loup, 2001
Tea on the nose. Otherwise fairly dumb.  Great fruit but not too full, good supple leather tannins, and a hint of orange! Years to go yet.  This is Syrah (on N facing slope) and Mourvedre ( in bassin).  Grenache for the Bergerie de l'Hortus grows on the south facing slope).    Very good.

11. Corbiere AC, Chateau la Baronne - Las Vals, Montagne d'Alaric, 2000
Nice colour.  Strange but attractive nose.  After a while you get a flash of Gamay.  Farmyard, some puckering tannins, smoky, acid, rubber, shoe polish - very complex.  Can't figure it.  And I like the basic Ch. la Baronne very much!  Others liked it a lot.  An organic wine.  13.5%

12. Domaine de la Grange des Peres, v de p de l'Heurault, 1999
Deep, dark, clean.  Huge burnt rubber, strong sherry/oxidised nose.  Very interesting; huge extract, intense, condensed milk, puckering, burnt rubber all over the place.  Cool!  This is Syrah and Mourvedre, with the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is not allowed and hence it is a vin de pays.  13.5%  Again, a most extraordinary mouthful but ... I wouldn't pay the money.  Same hill as Mas de Daumas Gassac.  Mondavi, apparently, wanted to plant here. 

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