This was part one of the tasting: please also see mid-priced Clarets.
This tasting was not conducted blind, and I have quoted retail prices in pounds sterling. I have also marked those wines we chose to purchase with an asterisk.
Château Potensac (Bordeaux) Médoc, Cru Bourgeois 1996 - £17.99|
Fine, quite subtle cherry and cassis nose. Quite deep and plummy notes emerging, but refined. The palate has a little espresso bean note, black fruits and medium body. Good, correct claret with quite a sophisticated appeal. Very good, but question over value for money? Henri Prudhon (Burgundy) St Aubin 1er Cru les Frionnes 1999 - £12.50
This has lovely minerality about the nose, with woodsmoke and vanilla underpinning red fruit. There's a lovely, inviting, strawberry-pulp character. On the palate that soft, juicy strawberry persists, with smoky supporting oak and a modern, fruity, quite light style. Stylish and quite long, if a little one-dimensional. Very good at the price for red Burgundy. Valli Estate (New Zealand) Central Otego Pinot Noir "Colleen's Vineyard" 2000 - £18.99 *
Big, complex, mushroomy Burgundian nose with lots of ripeness, sweet cherry and moderate toasty oak. Very sweet fruit on the palate; lots of deep, chewy, violet-edged strawberry, raspberry and undertones of vanilla and cedar. Medium- to full-bodied, with ripe tannins and good balance, with a pleasantly earthy finish. Very good indeed. Torbreck Cellars (Australia) "Juveniles" Barossa 2001 - £16.99
Zingy, vibrant crimson colour. Terrifically aromatic nose, with kirsch, flowers, cherries and lots of strawberry and parma-violet sweetness. The palate adds a chocolate and plum depth and silky texture, though there is freshening acidity and a pleasantly rough, plumskin tannin into the finish. Impressive and very good in a big style that might not suit the banqueting needs of this purchase? Tardieu-Laurent (France) Cuvée No. 3 Castelmaure Corbières 1998 - 12.99 *
Very deep, inky crimson. Hugely toasty, coffee bean and vanilla pod character, with an ethereal, floral edge to a solid underpinning of cassis and cherry fruit. The palate is medium- to full-bodied, and has a superb, mouth-filling weight of spicy cherry and blackcurrant fruit, more coffee and a full, glycerine-rich base of plummy fruit. Good tannins, and spicy length. Very good indeed. Domaine Tempier (France) Bandol 1999 - £14.95 *
Deep colour and lovely southern Rhône nose with schisty qualities, pepper, and very creamy mulberry and cassis fruit. The palate is cool and classy, with a great purity of red and black berries, rounded tannins, and a long, elegant finish with good balance. Very good indeed.
Bodegas Artadi (Spain) Rioja Crianza "Gain" 1998 - £11.99 *
Vecchie Terre di Montefile (Italy) Chianti Classico 1997 - £13.99 *
Ashton Hills (Australia) "Obliqua" Adelaide Hills 1998 - £11.50 *
Bodegas Briego (Spain) Ribera del Duero Reserva 1996 - £19.95 *
Podere Colla (Italy) Bricco del Drago Langhe 1995 - £13.99
Niepoort (Portugal) "Redoma" Douro 1995 - £14.95 *