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The Great Grog Company - Part II

Note: click here to read Part I - White Wines - also linked at foot of page.

Red wines

Canteperdrix (Rhône) Vin de Pays de Vaucluse - £3.59
Nice warm ruby colour of medium density. Smoky bacon and earthy berry fruit on the nose with a little hint of pepper. Palate is well-balanced with a tannic bite to quite robust plum and blackcurrant fruit. Good.

Domaine Chaume-Arnaud (Rhône) Côtes du Rhône Massif 1998 - £5.49
has that slightly burnt rubber whiff of much southern Rhône, before juicy berry fruits and a smoky quality. Cool, more refined berry fruit on the palate, but still quite rustic with a herbal edge and plenty of body and spice. Decent length. Good.

Domaine Chaume-Arnaud (Rhône) Côtes du Rhône Vinsobres 1998 - £6.49
This has a lovely creaminess on the nose with plenty of sweet, juicy berry fruit that's quite jammy and rich. On the palate a fairly serious mouthful with firm tannins and good acidity, but very juicy, savoury fruit dusted with pepper and showing a bit of complexity. Very good.

Co-op d'Igé (Burgundy) Oak Aged Gamay 1998 - £6.49
Fresh, light strawberry Gamay fruit on the nose, but buttressed and rounded-out by creamy vanillin oak. On the palate bright cherry and again softer strawberry fruit are quite clean and crisp, but the oak mellows the finish which is sweet and ripe. Rather nice stuff in an unusual style that was served lightly chilled.

Co-op d'Igé (Burgundy) Bourgogne Pinot Noir 1998 - £6.29
Some smoky fruit but a little bit dumb. Seems a little clumsy on the palate with alcoholic heat, some jammy fruit and an edge of sweetness.

Willandra (Australia) Merlot 1999 - £5.99
A big cream and juicy berry nose. On the palate very soft and full of lush fruit with plum, chocolate and plenty of spice. Very creamy. Quite long too, though acidity in the finish is just a touch prominent. Good value.

Trentham (Australia) Shiraz 1997 - £8.29
Big, sweet, creamy and powerful Shiraz with bags of blackcurrant on nose and palate. Plenty of deep, layered fruit and spice with a nice bitter edge to the fruit and plenty of body. Ripe, sweet tannins give a velvety touch to the finish. Very good.

Barefoot (South Africa) Pinot Noir - £8.89
This is a very nice Pinot in that richer, chunkier style. Lots of deep, sweet fruit on the nose and some spicy, aromatic notes. Palate is all ripe berry fruit, but there's a core of tannin and a little herbal, vegetal edge that adds interest. Very good of its style.

Chateau Musar (Lebanon) 1994 - £10.99
A very good showing for this wine again after tasting a few weeks back. Gorgeous nose with a sweetness of cherry and blackcurrant fruit subdued by cofee, spice and a savoury grilled-meat quality. On the palate that rich seam of fruit is joined by firm but fine tannins, good acidity and plenty of spice, tobacco and woodsmoke. A very fine Musar for sure.

Campo de Borja (Spain) Crianza 1996 - £5.49
A really crunchy, pure summer berry red beneath a layering of sweet vanilla. This has lovely freshness on the palate with cherry and ripe red berry fruit leading into a long, pure and silky finish. Very good.

Enate (Spain) Cabernet/Merlot 1997 - £6.39
Loads of sweet and sour-edged ripe blackcurrant fruit. Medium-bodied, this is the epitome of clean, well made, creamily fruit-driven modern winemaking. Very easy to drink, this is top notch of its style.

Raimat (Spain) Merlot - £7.99
Brief tasting of this showed it to be very smooth and creamy with plenty of rich berry fruit and a nice herbal edge to add complexity.

Catena (Argentina) Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 - £8.99
Classy wine with a very ripe profile showing masses of crunchy cassis and cream fruit and plenty of sweet new oak. Very dense and chewy on the palate the black fruit flavours are backed-up by tobacco and spice into a long finish. Impressive stuff.

Los Vascos (Chile) Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 - £6.59
A property in which Lafite has an interest, this shows more restraint with a woody, cedary edge to ripe blackcurrant fruit. Medium-bodied, this is balanced and savoury. Though basically a straightforward style, it is nicely done.

click here to read Part I - White Wines