wine-pages.com
Tom Cannavan's wine-pages.com   

International Wine Challenge - Part Two


See Part One for an explanation and introduction to this tasting event.

Flight Five - Reds


We were given no information on these mixed red wines.

Wine Number 32
Pale ruby colour. Lovely strawberry nose, quite deep. More creamy, strawberry fruit on the palate. Carbonic maceration. Beaujolais. Quite smoky and deep with a decent finish. Score=15.5
Paul Boutinot Juliénas Cru Beaujolais 1996. Score=15

Wine Number 33
Paler, pinkish colour. Fruit is not very fresh or vibrant on the nose. Slightly stale. Palate confirms this. Dull and lacking fruit. Past it. Score=10
Dorgan VdP de l'Aude. Score=10

Wine Number 34
Medium red colour. A little depth of oaky spice on the nose, but dull and flat. A little bit sherried on the palate. Astringent and out of balance. Score=10
Domaine Pierre Gauthier Bourgueil 1995. Score=15
I think maybe I misread the cabernet franc this wine is made from, being in a Beaujolais frame of mind?

Wine Number 35
Palish, bubble-gum colour. Quite bright cherry fruit on the nose, though slightly stalky. A little bit stalky and tannic on the palate with not enough fruit, but there is some berry roundness and a decent finish. Score=13
Ch. de Dracy 1995. Score=14

Wine Number 36
Unpromising tawny colour. Deeply flawed, oxidised nose. Undrinkable. Score=0
Chorey-lès-Beaune 1982. Score=0

Wine Number 37
Very youthful, vibrant purple. Dusty, berry fruit on the nose and a creamy note. Mouth coating tannins swamp the fruit on the palate, but good with fine acidity. Maybe needs some time. Score=14
La Baume Merlot VdP d'Oc 1995. Score=14

Wine Number 38
Vivid purple/crimson colour - very even and youthful. Soft as it strikes the palate with subdued strawberry fruit, soft tannins and some acidity dominating the finish. Quite chewy with good complexity. Score=17
La Palma Merlot 1996, Chile. Score=17

Wine Number 39
Pale, slightly washed-out colour. Faulty. Sulphurous. Hopefully this was produced in a laboratory! Score=0
Doctored wine. Score=0

Wine Number 40
Quite even, deep, crimson colour. Bright cherry fruit on the nose and a little cream and cedary spice. Rather woody on the palate with not enough fruit at present to balance. Rather sour finish and tannic too. Needs time. Score=15.5
??. Score=17

Wine Number 41
Deep crimson/black colour. Oaky nose with cherry and berry fruit if you dig deep. Quite pleasant, if a little oaky. Fruit is swamped by tannin and a little hot in the finish. Score=14
"L" de Louvière, Pessac-Léognan 1995. Score=16

Flight Six - Reds


We were told that this flight was mostly from the "spicy reds" category.

Wine Number 42
Quite a vivid purple. Fine nose with raspberry fruit and some warmth. Nicely fruity on the palate too, though quite firm with mouth-coating tannins and an earthy quality. Good finish. Minor Burgundy? Score=15
??. Score=15

Wine Number 43
Similar crimson/purple colour. Not giving a huge amount on the nose - a little bit of sweet berry fruit. Quite earthy palate with a decent balance of cherry fruit, soft tannins and acidity. Score=14
Gallo Turning Leaf Zinfandel (USA) 1995. Score=13

Wine Number 44
Quite intense strawberry and raspberry sweet fruit on the nose. A wee bit harsh as it strikes the palate, but good fruit, fine, tannic, drying backbone. A chewy mouthful of syrah/Rhône grapes. Good food wine. Will keep. Score=17
Domaine St-Lucie Gigondas 1996. Score=17

Wine Number 44A
Even, medium density purple/ruby colour. Clean, fruity nose, quite creamy and inviting. A wee bit thin and astringent on the palate, lacking body and shorth on the finish. Score=12
Crozes-Hermitage 1995. Score=13

Wine Number 45
Serious, deep, purple/black colour. Clarety nose with blackcurrant fruit and a minty, eucalyptus note. Oz cab/shiraz perhaps. Lacking body, with a reasonable amount of slightly vegetal fruit, but a touch flabby. Dull. Score=12
Baileys Shiraz, Australia, 1995. Score=??

Wine Number 46
Soft ruby red. Odd note on the nose. Vegetal, tinned tomato aromas. No fruit on the palate, flat and out of balance. Past it. Score=8
Bussela Valpolicella Classico 1996. Score=11.5

Wine Number 47
Pale, thin, ruby red. Soft violet scents. Quite subdued. A little bit of creamy oak. earthy strawberry fruit on the palate but not much complexity. Spicy oak asserts in decent finish. Score=14
??. Score=??

Wine Number 48
Browning ruby colour. Some age. Rather tired on the nose with slightly murky aromas. A bit sweet and confected and lacking finesse. Probably past its best. Score=12
Vallone Salice Salentino 1994. Score=15

Wine Number 49
Ruby red just tinging to brick at rim. Mature nose too. Maybe claret? Quite and interesting mouthful. Good curranty fruit, warm clove spice too and a decent length. Score=15
Chianti Classico Poggio Piano 1994. Score=14

Wine Number 50
A bit brown at edges. Slightly sherried nose with some fruit but a bit out of balance. Soft tannins, mellow fruit, but just a bit past it. Lacking some fruit and vibrancy. Score=12
Vallone Salice Salentino 1994. Score=15
This and wine number 48 turned out to be exactly the same! A dirty trick. Though I disagreed with the panel on its appeal, I'm really pleased that I awarded both wines identical scores.

Flight Seven - Reds


We were given the clue that this flight was mostly "Iberian". As it happened, this was one of the most enjoyable flights of the day for drinking quality.

Wine Number 51
Medium to light purple/cherry colour. Nice, bright, cherry-cola nose. Rather thin and harsh on the palate, slightly woody and not too pure. Finish a bit abrupt. Score=12
Vinho Estremadura, Alta Mesa 1994. Score=12

Wine Number 52
Deep purple/crimson. Caramel note on the nose - almost like mint humbugs. Very unusual. Quite a high, confectionary character on the palate too, but plenty of interest with fruit and a backbone showing fresh acidity. Score=16
Vinho Estremadura, Portada 1995. Score=14

Wine Number 53
Darker, even, ruby/purple colour. Oaky nose. Good sour cherry and plumskin fruit with quite a pleasant roughness on the palate. Good orange pith acidity and fine tannin. Very good and will keep 5 years. Score=17
Luis Pato, Velhas Bairrada 1995. Score=15.5

Wine Number 54
Deep and dark ruby red. Big stinky nose - almost Burgundian. Bags of toasty, charred oak and good fruit. Smooth and balanced on the palate, plenty of cherry fruit and a leathery, earthy quality. Good length. Score=17
Señor Atares Reserva Campo de Borja 1992. Score=13.5

Wine Number 55
Vivid purple colour. Subdued nose. Warm berry character. On the palate slightly lacks concentration and is a bit under-powered. Score=13.5
Quinta das Setencostas Alenquer 1996. Score=14.5

Wine Number 56
Red oxide colour, with wide, pale rim. Mature nose with some spicy oak and dark fruit. Quite restrained on the palate with well integrated oak and a decent finish. Nice, old-fashioned Rioja. Score=14
Faustino I, Rioja Gran Reserva 1998. Score=12.5

Wine Number 57
Deep, even colour. Slight coffee scent on the nose then dark, bramble fruit. Quite grippy, with mouth-coating tannin dominant. Fruit is overpowered and acidity swamps the finish. Potential?? Score=15
Torres, Gran Sangre de Toro Reserva 1994. Score=12.5

Flight 8 - Sweet


Some more nice wines in the last 3 flights of the day.

Wine Number 58
Pale yellow colour. Delicate nose - pear, apricot. Not terribly deep. rather light on the palate too and quite a simple sweetness. Not botrytised. Score=12
Premières Côtes de Bordeaux 1996. Score=10

Wine Number 59
Withdrawn.

Wine Number 60
Quite a deep yellow/honey colour. Some botrytis on the nose, honeyed with floral notes. Deeply honeyed flavours, warm and unctuous with peach kernels and figs. Will keep. Score=17
Van Loveren Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 1996. Score=14
Thought this definitely deserved better.

Wine Number 61
Very deep orange/amber colour. Walnutty on the nose, just slightly sherried. Rather crude with body and warmth, but not particularly classy. Score=13.5
Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos. Score=14.5

Flight 9 - Fortified (I)


A treat to taste some lovely sherries in this round.

Wine Number 62
Very pale, light, straw colour. Nice, nutty, fino sherry. Tangy, dry, needs food but a good wine. Score=15
González Byass Tio Pepe sherry. Score=??

Wine Number 63
Pale, almost clear. Nose is very closed. Another fino? Palate a bit lifeless and flaccid. Score=11
Montilla Fino. Score=11

Wine Number 64
Amber. Gorgeous toffee, nutty, coffee bean nose. Quite unctuous with more nutty, mellow flavours and some orange in the slightly tart finish. Good. Score=16.5
González Byass Alfonso. Score=17

Wine Number 65
Very deep, nutty, brown colour. Very mature nose. Almost unattractive because it's so oxidised, but deep, nutty, brown-sugar notes still there. Full, rich and quite sweet with a long, sweet finish. Lovely. Score=17.5
González Byass Matúsalem. Score=19

Wine Number 66
Medium brown colour. Quite a lean, classy nose. Pure and clean on the palate with sweet raisin fruit but maybe lacking a little complexity. Score=15
Harveys Bristol Cream sherry. Score=15

Wine Number 67
Extremely deep, syrupy brown. Super sweet nose of pure, liquidised sultanas. Pedro Ximénes. Gorgeous. Don't just drink it - pour it over some good vanilla ice-cream. Score=18.5
Gonzáles Byass Noe sherry. Score=18

Flight 10 - Fortified (II)

Wine Number 68
Medium tawny colour. Liqueur Muscat. Nose is sweet, rich, with apricot and amaretto notes. Very luscious and sweet on the palate, quite oily with burnt, caramel flavours and a long finish. An Aussie sticky. Score=17
Mick Morris Liqueur Muscat. Score=16

Wine Number 69
Very deep crimson. Quite closed, but some mocha notes and caramel along with red fruits. Rather light on the palate with an overall impression of finesse. Lots of acidity at this stage. Better with some time. LBV port? Score=16
Dow's 10 year old tawny port. Score=17

Wine Number 70
Quite a vivid red colour, but thin. A little bit grapey. Quite raw and alcoholic on the palate too, with some sweetness and soft tannins in the finish. Young Ruby port? Score=13
Ruby Port. Score=14

Wine Number 71
Very deep, strong, ruby/purple. dark chocolate and coffee notes on the nose, with fruit buried in there. On the palate good body and balance. Finesse. Crunchy fruit and promising structure. Needs 10 years. Score=18
Warre's Warrior Finest Reserve port. Score=16

Wine Number 72
Deep purple with lots of alcohol on the nose. Good sweet fruit, but rather orange-pith acidity dominating. Might need time, but a touch unbalanced at the moment. Score=16
Graham's LBV 1992 Port. Score=16

Wine Number 73
Dark ruby, just browning. Nice, mature, inviting, dark berry and chocolate nose. More mature Port I think. Developed sweetness and balance. No hurry to drink. Score=17.5
Warre's 1980 Vintage port. Score=17.5