A Personal Selection
Michael Meagher & Ray Dowdall, Gleeson Wines

A good night was had by all, even if I did have to miss out on a Rhone master-class to be there.    I'm tempted to publish some of Ray's better jokes but ...

1. Cycles Gladiator, Pinot Grigio, Central Coast, California, 2005
Great label. Belonged to a French bicycle manufacturer. Lychees, pears, melons on the nose, with citrus and apple flavours and a mineral core. Quite noticeable alcohol (13.5%) giving some sweetness. Gentle length. Very nice.

2. Deep woods, Margaret River, Australia, 2005
Pale green (hard to see with typically lousy lighting).  Trop;ical fruits, explodes with citrus and passion fruit in the mouth, hint of sweetness but good balancing acid: Crisp, honeyed; nice, lingering finish. Alc13%. Semillon 40%, Sauvignon Blanc 30%, Chardonnay 30%.

3. La Baume Selection, VDP Languedoc Rousillon Blanc, 2003
Rich yellow; nose butterscotch and fruit, feels a little bit dilute at entry but opens to a good burn and big mouth feel. Good fruit. Nice without being exceptional at a very fair price. 13.5%

4. Villa Bizzarri ‘Girone dei Folli’, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, 2003
Rich ruby with a big dark fruitcake nose. very fresh and light, some burn, nicely rounded and well-balanced with soft tannins and good acid; will last 3-5 years.  13.5%.

5. Agostina Pieri, Rosso di Montalcino DOC, 2002
Lovely gentle but pronounced nose; Quite young, very fruity, quite a burn and not a lot of tannin.  Quite earthy with a hint of green sapwood about it; A wash of strawberries and a hint of bitterness.  Lovely but pricey.

6. Tenuta Dei Portale Riserva, Aglianico del Vulture DOC, 1999
Light, vibrant red with a touch of lighter edge. Big, vbery Italian nose; very amaro, dry, sharp, balanced, holds the level at which it entered, well-rounded tannins give a good grip, warmth, mineral - someone said burnt ash - and it is grown on the side of a volcano!
Made in the traditional style in large oak barrels; has good aging potential although drinking well already.

7. Arco de Guia, Reserva, Toro, Duero, Spain, 2000
Ruby, doesn't look its age. Beautiful light fruitcake nose opening to a beautiful, slightly spicy, red fruit and cedar. Slightly powdery, good fruit and acid, some burn,nice grip, lovely fruity finish.

8. La Baume Selection, VDP Languedoc Roussillon Rouge, France 2002
Deep colour, a bit vegeatl on the nose.Really fruit pastille, bit of burn from 14.5% alc, some bitterness at the end, decent grip; years to go.

9. Vergelegen Merlot, South Africa, 1999
Ruby with a slight fade at the edges. Quite vegetal, lots of fruit still there.  Initially very bright and fruity, surprisingly fresh - hint of sweetness, creamy, rich, rounded. Tannins nearly gone, a little sourness at the end and a burn in the finish.  Very nice, big for a Merlot.  Get the roast beef! 14% alc.

10. Craneford Old Vine Grenache, Australia, 2004
Tea!  Beautiful fruit, sweetness, wonderfully smooth, raspberry.  Bit of burn at the front.  Maybe just a bit jammy? 15% alc.

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