Preamble Tasting October 1998
Wines of the Week of the Year
John selected from the "Wines of the Week" of our esteemed wine journalists. A fascinating night, not only in comparing our views with theirs but also in guessing the author from the reviews quoted.
1. Mitchelton 3, Victoria, Australia, 1995
Presented blind. Hard to say what it is; little enough nose. Some of the promised pineapple but hardly luscious! A bit woody to me. Marsanne, Viognier and Roussanne according to Mary Dowey; Marsanne, Mourvedre and Roussanne according to the winemaker.
2. Muscate Sec, Alasia, 1996
Beautiful nose, flowery but not overly so. Hint of sweetness on the palate, dry, beautifully grapey. Vina de Tavola from Piedmont, by Martin Shaw according to Tom Doorley; by Matt Thompson according to the back of the bottle.
3. Picajuan Peak Chardonnay, Mendoza, Argentina, NV
Light pleasant nose, slightly buttery. Good wood and a great zing on the palate, with fruit and a good burn. 12.5%. (See also their Sangiovese at £4.99; a bit over-raspberry but great value.)
4. Freie Weingartner Gruner Vertliner Smaragd 1995
Burnt rubber nose, slightly vegetal. Very refreshing, nice acid rushes to meet you. Green fruit. Absiolutely lovely. 13%
5. Cetamura Chianti, 1996
Made from bought-in grapes. High acidity. Very light. Nose definitley not saying Chianti to me; something too soft about it. On the palate much more as expected, a bit of burn, warmth, fruit and some background sterness. Good but not great.
6. Santa Inez, Chile, 1996
Warm, hint of sweetness, tannins smooth as silk. Good fruit, leafy. Carmenera (?) grape.
7. Palacio de la Vega, Merlot, 1995
The 1993 was wine of the week for two of the reviewers, but isn't available. This one had a beautifully deep colour, nose of plums, soft. Initial palate was less full, still quite tannic, loads of fruit, needs time. Very good.
8. Casa Cadaval, Ribateja, Jaoa Ramas, Portugal, 1995
Tasted blind. First guess was Italian. Grapes a bit like Malbec. Actually Pinot Noir. Fruity, jammy, Could be great; now still "not together". Unusually beefy.
9. Duas Quintas, 1995
Touriga Nacional and Tinto Roriz. Nose with a hint of Amarone. Some lovely tannins, fruit with a good burn. Not very port-like, despite the grapes; very clean and very classy.
10. Chevalier Grand Reserve, 1995
Merlit, Syrah and Cabernet in French oak. Beautiful Bordeaux style nose. Slightly thinner than expected, light tannic. Not my cup of tea, but may develop. By Michel la Roche, who makes Les Clos which got 99/100
11. Chatsfield Shiraz, Australia, 1995
Deep murky red. Warm nose. Very spicy on the palate. A bigger wine than my standard measure (Guigal Cotes du Rhone) but worth twice the price? Very nice, though.
12. Moscatel de Setubal, Alambre, 1991
Gorgeous copper colour. Nose hits you straight away; fresh and some of the promised marmalade. Prunes, good acid, hint of homey. Superb. Have it with blue cheese. Should last two decades, this is still probably too young
Mitchells, £9.40 (going up).