Victoria Wine Cellars tasting
by Tom Cannavan, 10/98
Lindauer (New Zealand) Rosé Brut NV, £7.49
Vividly pink. Yeasty nose with strawberry and raspberry fruit. Nice, soft, peachy flavours. The palate is dry, but the ripeness
of the fruit suggests sweetness. Good raspberry acidity and decent length. A very acceptable party fizz.
Hidden Rock (Bulgaria) Sauvignon Blanc 1996, £3.99
Stoneleigh (New Zealand) Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 1997, £5.99
Very pale, almost transparent. Piercing, pungent, lychee and grapefruit scents. Very thin on the palate and the fruit is rather
weak and watery. Lacks length too. Shame: nice nose.
Very pale, golden/green. Attractive pear and acid-drop nose with bright citrus notes and a little green, herbaceous edge.
Fresh on the palate with bags of mouth-watering citrus and ripe, pineapple flavours. Dry finish with vivid, lifted acidity. Good
of its style and decent value too.
Domaine des Lion (France) Vin de Pays d'Oc 1997, £4.99
Fairly deep, straw colour. Delicate nose. New Worldy, with super-ripe grapefruit and pear aromas. Palate has bright citrus
flavours, though it is very light-weight and finishes with tart acidity.
Sancerre AC, St-Louis (France) 1997, £6.99
Pale straw/gold. Restrained, grassy nose with hints of amonia. Herbaceous. Very savoury palate with lots of tart,
raspberry fruit, pear and citrus. Nice length, though finish dominated by acidity.
Concho y Toro (Chile) Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay 1996, £4.99
Viñas del Vero (Spain) Chardonnay 1996, £5.99
Light golden colour. Very oaky nose, deep and buttery with hints of baked apples and spice. Palate is dominated
by toasty oak, with only hints of melon fruit. Tart acidity brings the finish up short. I was a bit surprised by this usually
reliable, crowd-pleasing Chardonnay: I thought it was a bit over-oaked and disjointed.
Very pale, almost transparent green/gold. Subtle, new-oak and cinammon nose. Rather a raw, woody impression on the
palate initially, seeming a little hollow and lacking fruit. Re-tasted later in the evening from a different bottle
and there was more fruit, though still rather under-powered. Vivid acidity in the good, long finish.
Montagy AC (France) 1er Cru 1997, £6.99
Pale straw colour. Very restrained but interesting nose of hazelnuts and boiled-sweets, with an added depth of yeasty, oaky
aromas. A fresh mouthful of lemony fruit, with melon and white fruit flavours too. Well integrated lemon and green apple
acidity completes the picture of a harmonious wine. Long finish too. Rather good stuff.
Shiraz and Shiraz blends
Boland (South Africa) Shiraz/Merlot 1997, £4.99
Domaine de la Grande Bellane (France) Côtes du Rhône Villages 1996, £5.99
Medium density ruby colour. Seductive nose of plums, blackcurrants and vanilla. Slightly charred quality. Very open-knit
impression on the palate; creamy, with plenty of fruit and dark chocolate nuances. Easy-to-drink, uncomplicated and
An organic wine. Vibrant purple/red. Rather attractive, earthy and meaty nose. Dark, sun-baked aromas and raspberry fruit.
Doesn't quite carry the promise of the nose on to the palate, which is rather dry and lacking fruit. Pity.
Salisbury Estate (Australia) Shiraz 1996, £4.99
Medium ruby colour. Classic raspberry and cream nose with hints of black peper. A warming and creamy palate of straightforward,
ripe, juicy, fruit. Acid is rather angular and ungainly in an otherwise smooth finish.
Shirazamatazz (Australia) 1996, £5.99
Call me an old stick-in-the-mud, but I just don't like these marketing-department wine names! Anyway, this is a dark crimson colour. It has
minty, high-toned, typically Australian shiraz fruit with aromas of cream, raspberry and blackberry. Soft and mouth-filling, the palate
is mellow with blackcurrant and vanilla flavours. Totally commercial, easy drinking and quite enjoyable.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends
Rocky Valley (Bulgaria) Cabernet Sauvignon 1996, £3.75
Caliterra (Chile) Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 1996, £6.99
First bottle badly oxidised. Second bottle colour is light ruby red. Pleasantly fruity nose and more on the palate
with soft, red-fruits and medium body. Balanced, inoffensive, party wine.
Dark ruby/purple/back. Spice-box nose with black cherry and blackcurrant aromas. A lovely, dense black fruit and
liquorice palate with lemony acidity in the finish. Good length. A powerful, thick, positive wine that might just get a
little tiring after a glass or two.
Lindemans (Australia) Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon 1996, £5.99
Deep crimson colour. Attractive, open and fruity nose of blackcurrant, nutmeg and vanilla. Good, very ripe fruit that's
not at all jammy, with good depth, a creamy edge and a lingering, spicy finish. Good extraction but balanced. Nice stuff.
Domaine de Peyremorin (France) Haut Médoc 1993, £8.99
This claret has a pale red colour, turning orange. Classic cigar-box aromas pin-point Bordeaux. Soft on the palate,
with mellow, mature, slightly gamey fruit of cherries and plums. Quite light-weight, but elegant with a harmonious,
creamy-oak finish. Decent, mature wine. Would be nice with Christmas roast turkey.