Oddbins Fine Wine
by Tom Cannavan, 08/00
Collected thoughts on 5 wines tasted on in Glasgow's Oddbins Fine Wine store. The Fine Wine store has recently
moved to the "Ultimate Wine Store" in the city's West End, and this was a get-together for customers to taste a few
things from the range. The Champagne was the outstanding wine for me: very nice quality indeed. The Hugel Jubilee
Riesling confirms the promise of an earlier tasting and this should mature very nicely. The stand-out red was the unusual
Barbera/Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Piedmont which exhibited lovely fruit and real structure. Prices in pounds sterling..
The tasting was not blind.
Pierre Gimmonet Champagne Blanc de Blancs "Cuvée Fleuron" 1993 - £19.49
What a lovely Champagne. Fairly deep lemony colour with a steady stream of small bubbles. Yeasty and nutty overtones to plenty
of nettles and lemon fruit. Quite a creamy, dense mousse with racy flavours of apple, pear and citrus. Not at all lean
though, with full-body and a rich mouthfeel, balanced by fine acidity. Excellent, with good length and finesse. My first experience of this
producer and I'm very impressed.
Katnook Estate (Australia, Coonawarra) Sauvignon Blanc 1999 - £9.49
Pale lemon/green. Citrus and nettle herbaceous nose with little asparagus and green bean nuances. There's a riper, sweet
tropical edge too in the background. The ripe fruit is much more pronounced on the palate with lots of peach and sweet pear
fruit, notes of lychee and melon. Acidity is quite punishing, a great push of pithy grapefruit acid in the finish that some might
find too astringent.
Hugel (Alsace) Riesling "Jubilée" 1997 - £11.99
At time of writing this is reduced in Oddbins summer sale. I tasted this when just released in June last year and noted:
"from the top quality Schoenenbourg (Grand Cru) vineyard. There is terrific ripeness evident on the nose, a great purity of fruit. Very, very
intense on the palate with lime and apple fruit and terrific length. Balanced and very fine. A wine that needs 8 years or so to
show its best". Just in the year since it has developed lovely petrolly overtones and more waxiness, but the focus and quality of
fruit is precisely the same. An easy candidate for long-term cellaring and at the current price, a bargain for sure.
Katnook Estate (Australia, Coonawarra) Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 - £11.99
I tasted this in a blind tasting last month and said "Rich, powerful, impressive but tiring to drink" and this experience didn't substantially
alter that opinion. The colour is deep and plummy. There's a tinned-tomato note on the nose that for me is often present in
over-ripe Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and is not entirely pleasant. It also has typical mulberry and chocolate aromas. On the
palate there's a slightly leafy, bracken-like quality as well as ripe fruit, some tannins and high acidity. A ripe, quite flashy wine
that other people liked more than I did.
Icardi (Italy) "Bricco del Sole" Barbera/Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 - £15.99
Dark ruby/purple colour. Attractive aromas of charcoal, gravel and woodsmoke add interest to lush berry fruit. A very smoky edge
to this wine on the nose. On the palate plenty of firm cherry and darker berry fruits with really chocolaty depth. The fruit
is framed by firm, ripe tannins and moderate acidity and there is very good length. Very good, from the Monferrato sub-region