Jim McCabe, McCabe's Wines
1. Chateau Thieuley, Bordeaux
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
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,
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
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%.
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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