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wines from Bibendum's 2008 sale

by Tom Cannavan, 02/08

Below you will find notes on four wines sampled from Bibendum's clearance sale, which begins February 5th and runs for 10 days only. Like the other wines in the sale, there are substantial reductions. You can download the full list of what's on offer from Bibendum

Bottle prices and reductions are given, though these wines are available only by the unmixed case. Bibendum offers delivery on all wines is free if you order £250 worth or more, with a charge of £15 for any order totalling less than £250.


Glenguin (Australia) Old Broke Block Semillon 2005
Glenguin's owner and winemaker is Robin Tedder MW, a Scot who gave up a career in politics to make wine. This is classic Hunter Valley Semillon, with only 12% alcohol. The low-yielding Old Broke Block was picked late, and this wine exhibits a wonderfully honeyed, even toasty character, with oatmeal and some little floral and spice notes, but also plenty of fat, generous lemon fruit. On the palate this wine has real intensity and concentration - remarkably so given its modest alcohol - with racy citrus and crunchy apple flavours, and a terrific zestiness that races across the tongue. The ripeness and slightly waxy weight and texture of the Semillon is all there, giving this a lovely limpid quality and plenty of mouth-filling character. Was £8.21, now £5.49


Bouchard (France) Beaune 1er Cru Les Marconnets 2005
Bouchard's Beaune Les Marconnets is from a Premier Cru vineyard whose vines are over 30 years old on average, and was aged 14 months in barrels, about 35% of which were new. 3,240 bottles were produced in the fine 2005 vintage. The colour is a medium garnet, and the nose is silky and very attractive, with very refined, tight, raspberry and cherry aromatics, tinged with floral notes and underpinned by tobacco and woodsmoke. On the palate this is an elegant and racy wine, with lithe, supple red fruits filling the mouth, but a lovely sense of life and vitality about it through crisp, finely-drawn tannins and good cherry acidity. The smoke and earthiness of oak and fruit begins to fill on the back palate, in a really nicely expressive Burgundy. Was £23.50, now £14.99

De Loach (California) Russian River Pinot Noir 2005
This has an attractively creamy and bright nose of silken black fruits, with black cherry and juicy damson plum, and plenty of smoky, spicy, briar and earthy sweetness. On the palate the sweetness and svelte, supple ripeness of both fruit and tannins is immediately seductive, but there's more to this wine than just flatteringly ripe fruit: it does not lose its Pinosity, with a swirling, smoky oak character and those earthy, lightly truffly notes present and correct. Spice and a nice edge of acidity add crispness to the finish, in a very attractive Pinot. Was £11.27, now £6.99

MadFish (Australia) Shiraz 2004
This Shiraz from Howard Park's 'Madfish' label is from a very good vintage, and after stainless steel fermentation, the wine matured for 12 months in new, 1, 2 and 3-year-old French oak. I really like the nose of this wine, combining a lush, dark, Morello cherry and red plum fruitiness with a refined, cedary quality and some white pepper nuances. I chilled this for a few minutes before tasting, and on the palate it was equally attractive, with a taut, quite racy fruit quality just hinting at a more chocolaty depth, and some charcoal and earthy notes adding interest. The oak is beautifully integrated, and much more along the cedar and smoke lines that anything overtly vanillin, finishing with crisp acidity in a very nice drinking style. Howard Park suggest cellaring potential of five years, but it's drinking really nicely now. Was £8.37, now £6.49