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SuperBOWL 2004

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The pre-event dinner at The Cook's Room

reporter: Trudi Haagensen

Here are my TNs from pre-SuperBOWL off-line at The Cook's Room. They are somewhat sketchy in places - yeah, I know that's a big, fat excuse ;-) but in hindsight I would have preferred fewer wines and more time to enjoy and take note of each one. All were tasted blind, except the Amarone.

McLaren Vale Millenium Magnum, sparkling Shiraz
Dense ruby. Red fizz. Black currants and blackberries on the nose. Balanced acidity. Bone dry. Slight bitter finish (tasty and not unattractive). Nicely refreshing both with and without food.

WHITE WINES:

Four à Chaux 2000, Domaine la Combe Blanche, VdP des Côtes du Brian
Pale yellow. Chalk and melon on the nose. Fairly high (but nicely balanced) acidity. Medium bodied plus. Pronounced fruit intensity - citrus and melon, plus oak (caramel and vanilla). Slightly alcohol-warm finish. The oakiness demands food, and the refreshing acidity combines very nicely with food. Some of the off-liners found this too oaky. I think it would be rather nice with grilled fish - the wine certainly has good food-compatible acidity.

Domaine du Burignon St. Saphorin 2003, Chasselas, Switzerland
Very pale straw with a green tinge. Peers on the nose. Evelyn adds (spot on!): floral. Light bodied. Floral notes on the palate. In addition to honey, fennel and sugar/snow peas. Medium acidity level. Smidgeon of caramel on the finish (though dry). Cameron comments that this reminds him of an Alsace Pinot Blanc.

Curious Grape Bacchus, New Wave Wines, UK
Several of us picked up a Gewürztraminer rosy note on the nose. However, on the palate there were gooseberries and a high level of acidity. So, Gewürz was out of the question now. The fruit was very estery. Bone dry. Warren suggested Verdelho. I wasn't sure what it was. Palate suggested Sauvignon Blanc, but nose didn't fit into this picture.

Prickly Pear Cactus Gewurztraminer 2001, Pelee Island Winery, Canada
Closed nose. Low acidity level. Very fruity. Dry.

Zierfandler 2002, Johann Stadlmann, Thermenregion, Austria
Sauvignon Blanc like nose. On the palate: Yummy high acidity level. Lemon sherbet flavour. Bone dry. Evelyn suggested a Grüner Veltliner. I didn't find any white pepper which would have been evident in a Grüner, but I hadn't a clue what it could be instead. Turned out that Evelyn was spot on about the country though ;-)

Torbreck Viognier, Marsanne & Roussanne 2002, Barossa, Australia
Oaky vanilla on the nose. Balanced acidity - decent level. Melons. Slightly warm finish. Could it be a NW Chardonnay?

INTERMEZZO:

Cabernet Sauvignon Crianza, Rendé Masdéu, Spain
Balsamico on the nose. Pronounced fruit concentration on the palate. Nice high acidity. No sharp edges. Off-dry sweetness in the finish. Young and refreshing (to sip as well, not just pour over food).

RED WINES:

Cape Winemaker's Guild, Coastal Region, South Africa
Blackberries on the nose. Medium plus bodied. High acidity level - nicely balanced. Pronounced fruit concentration - blackberries. A slight (attractive) bitterness on the finish. A bit too (alcohol) warm.

Cabernet Sauvignon Methode Ancienne 1998, Springfield Estate, South Africa
A smidgeon of honey on the nose. Medium bodied. High acidity level - very nicely balanced. Cool climate black fruit: Blackberries. And a Norwegian black forest berry called 'krekling', which has nice acidity and an attractive bitterness, but not a lot of fruitiness (I often find it in red Bordeaux). And funnily enough, in the midst of this cool climate fruit there's a note of honey. Yet the wine is bone dry.

Cuvee Juveniles 2000, Torbreck Vintners, Barossa Valley, Australia
Nice leathery nose. Medium bodied. High acidity level - very nicely balanced. Raspberries, red currants and the taste of sunkissed skin.

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Campolongo di Torbe 1997, Masi Agricola
Dark ruby. Almonds and cherry kernels on the nose. Full plus bodied. High acidity level - nicely balanced. Cherries and lots of cherry kernels on the palate. Attractive bitterness on the finish. Dry. Needs accompaniment of 'full bodied' food. "Venison", comments Evelyn.

At the Limit 2002, Siyabonga, Wellington, South Africa
Dessert wine - pale yellow. Muscat on the nose. High acidity level - very nicely balanced. Citrus on the palate. Interesting how it starts off with slightly sweet citrus, then tapers off nearly dry.

'Ino', Masía Serra, Vino Dolce Natural, Cantallops, Spain
Rosé coloured. Shortbread on the nose. "Figgy", adds Evelyn. High acidity level - very nicely balanced. I would have liked to taste this with the right type of dessert, maybe crème brûlée or a light chocolate mousse...

Niepoort 30 Y.O. Tawny, Douro, Portugal
We finished off with a Tawny. Very nice acidity and concentration. Is it a 20 Y.O. or a 30 Y.O.?

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