Red, White and Green - Back to Basics 
Conor McGuinness

1. Muscat 'Cuvee Marie', Valentin Zusslin, Alsace AOC, 2000
Floral, not very grapey, sweet, long finish of Seville oranges. 12.5%.
Vendemia, Kilkenny €10.85 (at the Farmer's Market, Leopardstown)

2. Jean Thevenet, Domaine Emilian Gillet, Mβcon Villages

Served blind.  Biscuit on the nose and biscuit plus oil in the mouth, with quince, marmalade.  I immediately went for Burgundy, to almost universal disbelief.  Most thought it excellent; some marked it down heavily saying that it wasn't like traditional Burgundy; effectively it couldn't be good no matter how well made it was, or how good it tasted, unless it had certain characteristics that were expected of the type.  This is totally contrary to my wine tasting principles.  I argue that it was bloody good and so worthy of a high score, and anyway it tasted like many good, modern white Burgundies I have tasted. Just a shame it wasn't a bit cheaper :)
Wines Direct €23.00

3. Domaine Cabanis, Costieres de Nimes, AC 2000
Herby nose.  Warm, ripe fruit; blackberry, rustic, peppery.  A hint of sourness and sweetness; milk just on the turn?  Some didn't like.  Grenache, old Carignan, Mourvedre, Syrah, Clarette.

4. Cueva, DO Utiel-Requena, Spain, 2000
Light red with violet tones.  Wild herbs.  Lovely, restrained but fruity, good grip, fruit gums, good finish. Drink now.  70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 10% Bobal (extensively grown in Spain; produces deeply coloured wine suitable for blending.)
Mary Pawle Wines €13.29

5. Albet I Noya, Lignum Negre, DO, Spain, 2001
Lovely red colour. A bit dumb.  Well-balanced sweet fruit with a good acid behind, some silky tannins.  Unfortunately there's a watery bit of a hole at the end, spoiling an otherwise very pleasant wine.  This was the first Spanish wine to go organic.  Garnacha, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon. 13.5%

Mary Pawle Wines €13.29

6. Musaragno. Lison DOC Pramaggiore, Cabernet Franc, 2001
Nice dark red.  Slightly medicinal nose - amaro, some sweetness.  Good acid, raspberry and well integrated wood.  unusual; nice but quite rustic - not the elegance you'd expect. 12%

McCabes €15.95

7. La Luna del Rospo, 'Solo per Laura', DOC Barbera d'Asti 2000
Clean, mid-red.  Boot polish and greeny.  Big, crunchy tannins, somewhat stalky but loads of fruit.  Long finish (thyme?), stern, hint of sour and chewy stalks.  Excellent, maybe pushing towards two stars even at this price.  13.5%

Vendemia Wines €20.95

8. Fasoli Gino, Merlot 'Calle', IGT Rosso Veronese, 2002
Dark red, unfiltered.  Recioto, maybe brandy on the nose.  Huge extract of sweet fruit and spices, with a medicinal and crunchy background.  Over-ripe?  Huge finish; spirituous.  Still young; what will happen to this?  With Merguez!   15%

Vendemia €32

9. Domaine Mas de Martin, 'Cuvee Ultreia', St Bauzille de Montmel, Coteaux de Languedoc AC, 2002
Mid to light red, looks unfiltered.  Good big spicy nose, good grip, crunchy tannins, big burn (14%), nice finish of fruit pastilles.  lovely It's near l'Hortus, and 55% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 10% Carignan

Cabot, On the Grapevine €19.99

10. Societe Huet, Le Haut Lieu, Moelleux, Vouvray AC 1997
Not a noticeably aweet nose.  Dark yellow/brassy; hint of blush.  Oily aroma?  Good structure, with a good backbone, spirituous, a little cream of tartar.  very interesting, intense.  Chenin Blanc, from a single vineyard.  12% alc.  I love it.  Keep it, it will develop.  It can last 60-100 years.  With blue cheese it's dreamy.

Cabot etc.  €37

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