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Casual tasting in Oddbins Fine Wine

by Tom Cannavan, 05/97

Collected thoughts on 5 wines tasted on Saturday in Glasgow's fine wine store. The Forman cabernet (my first experience of this producer) is really classy stuff in a style mid-way between Médoc elegance and Californian up-front fruit and oak. The 4 cheaper wines on show also represent good wines, and good value across the board. Wines not tasted blind. Prices in pounds sterling.

Moët & Chandon Green Point (Australia), Sparkling wine 1995 (£11.49)
An almost 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this is very much a food wine. Quite a deep colour and a big, yeasty nose with some pinot earthiness and plenty of peachy fruit. Full in mouth, quite chewy and flavouful in a fruit driven style.

Rothbury (Australia), Verdelho 1997 (£6.99)
This was served blind, but since I'd tasted it a month or so back, and it's such a distinctive style, it wasn't too hard to spot. This wine is quite pungently aromatic, with lots of musky fruit and a flowery note on the nose. Medium-full bodied and fairly viscous, broad and generously fruity in the mouth, but finishing bone-dry with zipping acidity. Unusual, interesting and nice stuff.

Michel Lynch, White Bordeaux 1995 (£5.99)
This is made and styled for Oddbins and is a modern, attractive wine that I'd guess was mostly sauvignon blanc, with a nice rounding-out from semillon. Very fresh, pear-drop and gooseberry sauvignon nose. Quite light and delicate. The palate is rather more reserved than the nose suggests, with a dry, understated character than would make for a nice food wine.

Ptomaine des Blagueurs, Grenache 1996 (£4.49)
Randall Grahm (of the Bonny Doon winery in California) makes this in the South of France for Oddbins. It's a very nice £4.49's worth. A dense, dark-ruby red colour, then a nicely meaty and spicy nose. On the palate the wine is full of typical, deep, crunchy berry flavours and is very warm and approachable. Grahm's "wild" influence isn't too obvious, but it's a well-made, solid and extremely enjoyable wine at the price.

Forman (California), Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 (£24.99)
Explosive aromas of blackberry and classic cassis sing out from the glass. There is a background of toasted oak too. On the palate the wine is medium bodied and very cleanly made, with succulent blackcurrant and blueberry fruit, good levels of ripe tannin, fine, underpinning acidity and considerable length. The wine stays very pure in the finish. Rather good stuff that is still very youthful. If it gains a little weight and complexity with bottle age it could be outstanding.