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Farewell to Ken in Oddbins

by Tom Cannavan, 08/99

Notes on 5 wines tasted in Glasgow's Oddbins Fine Wine store on the last day in charge for manager Ken. The middle 3 wines were served blind and notes are as written. Prices in pounds sterling.

Wirra Wirra (Australia) Scrubby Vale Semillon 1994 - £14.99
Wonderful wine that I've raved about before, and only 190 cases made. Lush, deep, sinuous, serious nose of toast, figs, butter and quince. Stunning aromatic complexity. The palate is luscious and full of burnished marmalade orange and vanilla flavours. Very long and honeyed finish with good balance. A must-try.

Jayer-Gilles (Burgundy) Hautes-Côtes de Beaune 1996 - £13.49
Intensely charry nose of high-toast French oak. Deep core of sweet raspberry fruit and dank, vegetal nuances beneath. On the palate the oak dominates, but sweet, ripe tannins and very pure fruit are there. This has length and concentration and is a young wine. Once the oak integrates it should be very good indeed. A village Burgundy from '96? Nuits-St. George?
I've really enjoyed (and bought for my own cellar) the last few vintages of this wine. Very good and modestly priced Burgundy from a top domaine.

Torraccio (Italy, Umbria) Sangiovese 1996 - £14.99 (to be confirmed)
Very, very sweet, jammy fruit on the nose. A touch over-ripe? Mulberries and damsons with a dank edge. That same sweetness of fruit on the palate with vanilla and spice from new oak and quite firm tannins giving it backbone. Good. Old worldy but an odd style - Portuguese maybe?

Gagliardo (Italy, Piedmont) Barolo 1995 - £17.99
Medium, bright ruby. Nose is dominated by charry oak over sweet cherry and mulberry fruit. Palate is full of very firm-edged bitter cherry fruit. Italian I think. There's a pleasant, rough earthiness and good acidity. Young, but very nice indeed.

Lustau (Spain) Moscatel "Las Cruces" Sherry - £19.99
Lovely tawny brown/tea colour. Gorgeously aromatic with sumptuous aromas of raisins and sultanas, butter, orange, muscovado sugar and toffee. Silky in the mouth. Absolutely smooth as cream with walnutty notes and little sparks of tart citrus skins amongst all the sweet, dark fruit. Very very long and balanced. Absolutely sensational stuff.