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Humberto Canale

text and photographs © 2008 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Argentina.

white wines

Humberto Canale Intimo Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2007
Very nicely pitched wine, with a touch of oak on the Semillon component adding a creamy, oatmeally note to otherwise very fresh, passionfruit that bursts through on the palate with succulent orange acidity. Delicious. 87/100. £5.99

Humberto Canale Black River Torrontes 2007
Little floral and medicinal notes, with some zesty tangerine and lemon fruit coming through. Very nice mouth-feel, with some roundness and powerful, punchy fruit with a hint of spice. 85/100. £4.99

Humberto Canale Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Very nice, juicy, passionfruit nose, with nice downy peach skin fruit. Good aromatics leading on to a fresh, nicely luscious and tropical fruited palate. Very good weight and texture and lots of vibrant tang. Well pitched. 85/100. £5.49

Humberto Canale Black River Organic Semillon 2007
Nicely zesty and lemony fruit, with a hint of Sauvignon-like herbal notes. The palate is very fresh, with just a rounding if creamy, custard apple flavour and texture, and a lovely cut of lemon acidity. 85/100. £5.49

Humberto Canale Viognier 2007
Very nice crisp, peachy, lemony nose, with a small note of exotic lychee and a palate that is fresh and tangy, if slightly dilute. 84/100. £5.49

red wines

Humberto Canale Intimo Cabernet Merlot Malbec 2007
45% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, 10% Malbec. Very nice smoky and damson fruited nose, with some bright blackcurrant fruit. On the palate there is a very nice chocolate-tinged, very nice black fruit with soft, silky tannins and nice spice and freshness from the acidity. 87/100.

Humberto Canale Intimo Malbec 2007
10% American oak. Quite a charry, toasty oak nose, with copious black fruit coming through, and a tiny floral lift. Very generous, deliciously opulent black fruit, with a lovely silkiness to the tannins and balanced acidity. 87/100.

Humberto Canale Pinot Noir 2007
Pale ruby colour, with very fresh, summery berry fruit, and a hint of spice. Fairly straightforward, with a juicy palate that lacks a little flesh perhaps, but has delicious, spicy, bright red berries and very good varietal character. 87/100. £6.49

Humberto Canale Black River Merlot Pinot Noir 2007
Lovely custardy, smoky oak, with plenty of oaky oomph, but a big, spicy background that is coffeeish and rich. The palate has grip and spice, and though it perhaps lacks a touch of elegance, it has presence and plenty of fruit. 86/100. £4.99

Humberto Canale Black River Malbec 2007
A touch of earth to spicy black fruit. Good fruit quality though, that comes through on the palate, with a touch of damson and silky raspberry. Lots of spice and quite good concentration. 86/100. £4.99

Humberto Canale Black River Organic merlot 2007
Creamy and spicy, with ripe and creamy red fruits, like plums and cherries. Palate has very soft tannins, though there is a touch of dryness about them, and the refined red fruit turns a little sweet and jammy. 85/100. £5.49

Humberto Canale Estate Merlot 2007
Barrel sample. Dark red cherry and liquorice fruit, with a charry oak quality from American oak barrel ageing. Quite charry, with a lot of coffee oak showing on the palate at this stage, but there's a firm juiciness to the fruit that is very appealing and the tannins and acidity are good. 87/100. £6.99

Humberto Canale Malbec 2007
Barrel sample. Nice, smooth floral and svelte, creamy black fruit nose. The oak here seems more integrated, adding a black coffee depth. The palate has a sweet plum depth of fruit, with silky mouth-feel and very refined, spicy tannins and oak as well as fresh acidity. 88/100. £6.99

Humberto Canale Black River Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2007
100% oak, a mix of 80% French and Romanian. 25_year-old Pinot vines. Lovely silky, sumptuous depth of exotic spices and earthy, coffee-touched strawberry fruit. The fruit persists on the palate, with a background of spicy, smoky oak, but the freshness is all there again, with herbal and spicy fruit and lovely fresh acidity. Very good indeed. 90/100. £10.99, in Gaucho Grill.

Humberto Canale Estate Reserve Merlot 2006
Very ripe, almost minty and chocolaty nose, with a tiny hint of gamy Brett. The palate has lovely juicy red fruit, with a very gentle smokiness and that minty ripeness continuing. 88/100. M&S, £9.99.

Humberto Canale Black River Gran Reserva Malbec 2006
Big, highly toasted, charry burnt toast nose, with spices and juicy, vanillin and blue-black berry fruit. Palate has some vibrancy and tang, and a punchy, powerful yet savoury black fruit character before a spicy, oak-dominated finish. 88/100. £10.99

Humberto Canale Black River Gran Reserva Cabernet Franc 2006
Nicely spicy and earthy, with plenty of cedar and a refined, leafy black fruit character. The palate has lovely fruit, with a really silky, lithe black fruit and plenty of smooth, refined tannins and bright, but silky and background acidity. Deliciously drinkable, and a modest 13.5% ABV. 90/100. £10.99.

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