Chateau Coufran 2003

87 points

Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France. 13%

I didn’t like this as much as the 1999 I had recently. In part the 1999 has an edge because it is four years older, but the 2003 vintage conditions are also part of it. This wine has some of that dry baked 2003 aroma but it isn’t porty, syrupy or even plummy, however it does lack vibrancy. It isn’t just the low acid, it’s that the fruit lacks depth.

But I shouldn’t be too harsh, as usual Coufran is a pretty good reasonably priced claret. The Wine Doctor web site has a useful profile of the chateau.

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Delas ‘Marquise de la Tourette’ Hermitage 1999

92 points

Hermitage, Northern Rhône, France. 13%

A really beautiful wine. Warm consistent palate, leather and oak, with a touch of green that adds complexity. Few Australian wine drinkers could image that a touch of green could be good in shiraz. There is a bit of VA on the finish, and some indications of age, yet it’s a firm dark colour and easy to imagine it could live for a long while. Personally I’d recomend drinking now and over the next 5 years.

In weight and style it reminded me a bit of some better Hunter shiraz, which in turn reminded me what bargains these can be. This wine was not expensive for Hermitage, I wish I had room in my luggage to take some bottles back to Australia.

Ollieux Romanis ‘Atal Sia’ Corbières Boutenac 2005

89+ points

Corbières Boutenac, France. 14%

Astonishingly approachable, and yet this is a powerful young wine with capacity to age for 5-10 years. I believe this is 100% Carignan an overlooked and unjustly maligned grape variety. This is modern boutique Australian winemaking style. With lashings of black stone fruit and lovely dusty dry chocolate tannins.

Run by a Pierre Borie (any relation to Xavier Borie – of Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste ?).