Preamble Tasting February 1999 
Mitchell and Son
Peter Rycroft
1. Dry Furmint, Tokaji, Hungary, 1997
Not very positive response

2.Fransola Sauvignon Blanc, Torres, Penedes, 1997
This was lovely, albeit a bit expensive

3. Riesling Rosacker, Dom. Sipp Mack, Alsace Grand Cru, 1997
Restrained nose, beautifully zingy. Good fruit and acid, well balanced, slightly smokey. A hint of wood. Crisp
£12.95, on sale at £10

4. Chatsfield Chardonnay, Mount Barker, Western Australia, 1997
Lovely straw colour. Restrained nose. Particularly steely, rather French but with plenty of fruit. Citrus tones. Hint of wood. Very nice, but at this price it would want to be. By Ken Lynch. A chat, by the way, is a useful bird that eats insects in the vineyard.

5. Vina Vermeta Reserva, Alicante, Spain, 1990
Light, orange tint. Quite leathery, woody. Would go nicely with the barbie. This is Monastrell (said to be Mourvedre although I can find no reference in the literature), but from a much hotter place than Bandol. Monastrell is Spain's second most widely planted red variety, used to add body and guts to many Catalonian Tempranillo blends: makes dark, tasty, alcoholic wines, sometimes sweet.

6.Spatburgunder Spatlese Trocken, Herxheimer Honigsack, Pfalz, Weingut Schumacker, 1992
Darker than expected. Nose present but nondescript. Warm taste. Quite bitter/sharp ending Spatburgunder is Pinot Noir, but it didn't taste like Pinot to me; OK at £5. Tasted again after the Waipara (below); seemed very hard by comparison.

7. Waipara Pinot Noir, Mark Rattray Vineyards, NZ, 1995
Very cold, which didn't help. Looks older. Very nice nose. Initial feeling of sharp tannins. Fizzy, fruity, ends very nicely. Long aftertaste, maybe a bit watery. Lowish acidity nade it a bit flat.

8. Vintner's Blend, Zinfandel, Ravenswood, California, 1996
Dark, deep browny colour. Loads of fruit with a tannic edge. Good balance, albeit a bit jammy. I like this, which, for a confirmed Zinfandel hater is quite an admission. An amaro finish. From Joel Peterson.

9. Domaine Muller Cabernet Sauvignon, Styria, Austria, 1995
Lovely deep red. Nose doesn't scream Cab Sauv. Maybe a bit of mint behind the berries. Incredibly tannic. Very young. Noticeable fruit and lots of promise. Would I buy and wait five years?

10. Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia, 1995
Big red liquorice colour and slightly minty, not very pronounced nose. Very concentrated fruit. Quite a good tannin grip, with fine acid. Puckering at front of mouth. Quite elegant. 20 months in oak not visible. Bit expensive.

11. Alion, Bodegas y Vinedos, Ribera del Duero, 1994
Really dark, but crystal clear. Interesting nose: 100% Tempranillo, but some minty smell. I suspect some Cabernet is added. Very intense. Good acid. Cool taste on back of palate. Some tannins. Lovely. This is vinified in a completely different way to Rioja.

12. Brown Brothers Late Harvested Noble Riesling, Milawa
This was an unexpected extra treat. Amazing nose. Pure honey on the palate, cool acidity at the end. Lasts for ages in the mouth.


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