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video review: wine of the week

3rd March 2013

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Linton Park, Café Cabernet 2011, South Africa
Blandy's, Alvada 5-Year-Old Madeira, Portugal
Coincidentally, samples of both of these wines arrived on the same day, each along with a small bar of 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate and a suggestion that they were a perfect chocolate match. Both did indeed work very well with chocolate, but other than that the wines could not be more different: the Café Caberenet is part of a new genre of 'coffee wines' that has appeared over the past few years, not actually containing coffee, but aged in oak specifically chosen for its coffee-ish aroma and flavour. This benefits from not being as overdone as some, the bitter espresso and cocoa note matched by distinct blackcurrant. On the palate the espresso is there, but the 13.5% alcohol helps give some life and refinement too. £8.99, the drinkshop.com. The Blandy's Alvada is a beautiful Madeira, a blend of Malmsey and Bual grapes, aged five years in American oak barrels. It is crammed with marmalade orange, walnut and tea aromas, and a delightful palate where real raisin and chocolate sweetness is swept up in a flourish of cirtus acidity to finish dry. £13.33 (RRP), Waitrose, Booths, Harrods.

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