Bordeaux Look-a-likes 
Jim McCabe, McCabe's Wines

1. Chateau Thieuley, Bordeaux AC, 2002
Light greeny yellow.  Lovely buzz, slightly oily consistency.  Hint of sweetness; crisp, herbaceous, not too acidic.  Semillon 55%,Sauvignon Blanc 40%+   Very good.  Doesn't need food.  12.5%. (Wiped out entirely by the next wine:  I'm so glad they were in this order.)

2. Heritage Semillon, Barossa Australia, 2002
Bit of oak; in fact, to the exclusion of almost anything else.  Not too noticeable in the mouth.  Good buzz. Quite crunchy.  Big and creamy but a little tart. 12.5%

3. Chateau du Taillan, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, 1999
Quite leggy; dark clean red. fairly dumb, quite stern, light, lots of green twigs; sappy.  Go well with food. not bad, a good balance of fruit and tannin. Not worth the price.  48% cab Suav, 37% Merlot, 15% Cab Franc.  12.5%

4. Brampton, Cab Sauvignon/Merlot, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2001
Cool when we got it; warmed to delicious fruit pastilles/wine gums odour.  In the mouth, a great wash of berry fruit over a fine, stern backbone; no way blowsy or soft.  Oak not apparent, although aged in American and French.  The preceding really bombed out when tasted after this! Cab 57%, Merlot 43% - all well blended.  Balanced, restrained.  14% alcohol.

5. Tupungato, Finca Flichman, Mendoza, Argentina, 2001
A beautiful dark-red colour.  Gorgeous dark fruit, not too fat, good structure, nice soft tannins (12 months in new wood).  Very nice, punchy wine.  Malbec, Cab Sauvignon, Merlot.  14 % alcohol.


6. Chateau Gloria, St Julien, Bordeaux, 1999
Garnet.  Looks unfiltered  Cigar box nose.  Crunchy tannins, smoky, cedar, good fruit, lovely finish.  Too young, and maybe lacking fruit, but very stylish, complex, chewy, gorgeous.  Cab Sauvignon and Merlot.  Alcohol 12.5%  Shame about the price.  Still worth having, though.


7. Eikendal Classique, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2000
Nice dark colour.   Slightly medicinal nose. Hugely fruity, with fine supple tannins; a hint of cedar.  Lovely, long finish.  Well balanced. Excellent. Cab Sauvignon 57%, Merlot 35%, Cab Franc 8%, less than six months in oak.


8. Nepenthe, the Fugue, Adelaide Hills, Australia, 1999
Quite dense, dark garnet.  Lovely nose of cedar and forest berries. Fruity, quite sweet, integrated tannins.  very nice but not so complex and well-structured as the preceding one.  Cab Sauvignon 59%, Merlot 35%, Cab Franc 6%


9. Esk Valley, Merlot/Cab Sauvignon/Malbec, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, 2002
Rich, dark red with a rich, earthy nose.  Fruity, some whippy green twiggy stuff from the Merlot but not interfering; rather helping.  A bit young yet but very well made.  Gorgeous.  Made by Gordon Russell, a traditionalist by all accounts, from Merlot 55%, Cab Sauvignon 35%, Malbec 10%.  Alcohol 14%.

10. Shafer Merlot, Napa Valley, California, 2000
Again deep, dark; bit closed. Beautifully fruity, tannins almost gone. Nicely made.  A big, super wine with loads of fruit; better balanced than the Esk Valley but more than twice the price.


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