Preamble Tasting September 1997 
"Wine Buff's Bluff" 
Mark Downes 
 This was another blind tasting from the Chairman, showing yet again the humbling properties of the brown paper bag and the truth in Michael Broadbent's comment. The notes are brief because most of the time was spent arguing.  

1. Riesling Freie Weingartner, Wachau, Austria, 1995  
This came across immediately with typical petrol on the nose.  Quite oaky, dry. A really good example which I wrongly thought to be Alsatian. 
£14.60, Searson's 

 2. Macon Vire, Domaine Andre Vonhomme Cuvee Speciale, 1995 
A most unusual Chardonnay, which a number of us thought might be Muscat.  Too light to be a Chilean we rightly guessed it to be French. 
£10.75, Searson's 

 3. Chardonnay Sonoma-Cutrer les Pierres, California, 1992 
This was decidedly Chardonnay in character, and of a fullness that might have been Australian or South African.  A nice wine but difficult to justify the price. 
£18.90 . 

 4. Les Hauts de Montauriol, Cotes de Frontonnais, 1995 
A cinnamon nose, said to be typical of the Negrette grape, which, along with the Mauzac, is typical of Frontonnais in the South West of France.  I thought it a bit like Amarone, with that bitterness in the background.  A bit thin but well balanced.
£7.45, Brangan's 

 5. Duca Sanfelice Ciro Riserva, Antonio Librandi, 1991
"A rich, powerful, fruit driven wine" from Southern Italy. 75% Tempranillo, 25% Cab Sauvignon. 14% Alcohol. Made from the Gaglioppo grape. Very good. 
£7.65, Findlater's

 6. Duca d'Aragona, Rosso de Salento, Francesco Candido, 1991
Big, lovely wine with an interesting back-end of prune and liquorice.  Some of the austerity of the better Argentinian Malbecs.  Negro Amaro and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.  This is a very good price for the "big brother" of Salice Salentino! 
£10.50, Findlater's 

 7. Cleveland Minus Five, Brien & family, Cleveland, Va., Australia, 1995 
The name comes from the fact that the grapes (70% Cab Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc, others) are harvested at -5 degrees C.  Raspberry rather than blackcurrant flavour.
£14.99, Verlings 

 8. Long Gully Pinot Noir Reserve, Yarra Valley, Australia, 1995
I for one wouldn't believe it was Pinot.  A big and fairly complex wine, like all the Long Gully range. 
£13.99, Verlings 

 9. Clos d'Iere Cuvee No. 1, Domain Rabiega, Cotes de Provence, 1992 
A burnt rubber nose, and prunes.  Lovely.
£10.35, Brangan's 

 10. Muriettas Well, Zinfandel, Livermore Valley, California, 1994 
Very big blackcurrant flavour.  Most unlike Zinfandel.  I'm beginning to believe that Zinfandel can be OK, but I'm still not converted.
£14.90, Terroirs 

 11. Bandol Chateau de Pibarnon, 1992 
Pure Mourvedre, would have sworn it was Malbec.  Lovely. 
£16.90, Terroirs 

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