An Italian blend which is promising. Restrained oak, sensible wine making. Lacks the classic acid backbone and tannin of an Italian wine. Perhaps the alcohol overshadows things a bit much. But it lacks the green flavours often present in South African wines.
A very dependable South African Shiraz. Young but with soft slightly milky texture and some syrupy fruit. Good flavour lifted by alcohol.
I wonder if these wines age? I suspect they peak at 6 years old (2014 for this wine) or earlier.
Made as a serious Chardonnay but comes across as a good but commercial wine. A bit too much flavour without enough backbone.
A fresh fruit driven Bordeaux blend. Attractive luncheon claret. Green but sweetish, nothing forced about it.
Given that this wine is readily available in good restaurants and wine stores the cellar can’t be too private!
A rich flavoursome Pinotage, still young but enjoyable. A bit syrupy. Classic touch of banana aroma.
This is a variety almost unique to South Africa and they often do it very well. It can out-perform more prestigious varieties.
Easily the best wine I had on this trip to South Africa. 12 years of age help it tremendously.
Reminds me of the last Henschke Mount Edelstone I had, 1994 I think because of the strong green vegetal seam on a rich soft old Shiraz.
Well made but lacks character. Perhaps this needs more time to show itself.
This is the 2nd wine of Domaine de Chevalier in a vintage hit by rain at harvest time. Yet it is lovely gentle even graceful wine. Just a touch of sawdusty oak. Very much the house style just lighter.
Which reminds me that I’ve hardly ever had a poor 1999 Bordeaux. Surely an under-rated vintage.
Drink now but should hold for a few more years.
I mainly drink right-bank Bordeaux but I do love a good right-bank merlot and cab franc blend. I enjoy the ripe fruitcake characters though also the fresher fine styles. I’ve had this wine before when it was younger and enjoyed it, was impressed by the richness. This is all a roundabout way of saying I’m not prejudiced against this wine but I didn’t enjoy the style. It’s too big and dumb. I wouldn’t go near the more recent riper vintages which have seen the price rise for the chateau.
Fresh rich. A wine to watch. A chateau to watch.
Fresh with a touch of coconut new oak. Lovely wine, delicious Semillon flavour. Really very good when you consider this is Carbonnieux second wine and only 6 euro for a half bottle.
Burnished sort of nose, not quite apricot like (thankfully). Palate is different, quite creamy, very concentrated. This is serious, and delicious.
Well I’ve been here for almost two months now, from late Jun to late August, and this has been a beautiful warm and mild Summer. Certainly much better than 2007. Could it be another vintage of the decade, or century? We seem to be having a lot of them lately.
An early report from Decanter reported that June was the hottest for 35 years, and the first two weeks of July were the hottest since 1921, raising fears of another 2003. I think that is crazy talk, this Summer has had plenty of sunny days but none of the extreme heat of 2003, and there has been periodic rain.
Jancis Robinson gave a more upbeat assessment a month ago, and didn’t speak of any worries about heat.
From everything that I can see, (warning, I know little about viticulture) the weather bodes well for another very good vintage.
Dark. Somewhat muted nose, slightly lactic. Dense strong flavour, a bit green. Almost medicinal. Concentrated. The most extracted Rauzan-Segla I’ve tried – unusual. It’s difficult to know whether or not to be critical, or whether this wine has a long beautiful career ahead of it. This is a difficult time to be tasting the top 2002s. Given its reasonable price compared to other vintages I’d think this would be a good cellaring gamble.
Tasted alongside the 2005 and this is better. It’s fresher, more modern but in a good sense. Plenty of acidity, clear oak and fruit. It’s always going to be a wine that is slightly on the green side but I suspect it will be a lean long distance runner.
Tasting from barrel is always a very hit and miss affair, but this time I think Robert Parker captured the wine very very well:
Quality at this property has been rising dramatically over the last several vintages. Cantemerle will never be a blockbuster claret, but rather one built on finesse and elegance. Hints of menthol, black cherries, cranberries, and blueberries emerge from the 2006’s perfumed bouquet. Medium body, impressive purity, good underlying texture, and sweet tannin suggest this elegantly-styled wine will drink well between 2009-2020+. It possesses intense flavors yet requires some introspection. Robert Parker 90-92
Soft and quite rich and seductive. But savoury because of quite a green vegetal seam.
It shows breed, and quality, but at the same time the deficiencies of the vintage. Other less expensive wines rose above some of these deficiencies.
Quite an advanced golden colour. Semillon aromas dominate, on the palate too although it is only 35% of the blend. Sauvignon Blanc in Bordeaux isn’t so pungent as it is in NZ. Honey and lanolin feature. Really nice weight crisp but with mid-palate weight. Drink now and over the next few years.
2nd wine of La Mission Haut-Brion.
Pristine wine with lovely balance, rather stylish. Interesting deft use of oak. So it advertises the quality of winemaking at La Mission very well but does it tell me much about the grand vin? Not really. The fruit here is either closed or not super exciting. So I’m none the wiser to the La Mission style or to where this wine is going. I’m going to guess that this will be very nice stylish drinking from 2012.
Northern Rhone. 13.5%
Opens quite fresh with obvious (for its age) nice new oak. After some time breathing it reminds me of an old Australian Shiraz – nice leathery, even perhaps a touch of greasepaint?
But not on the palate with is far more tart. It’s a nice complex wine but needs a bit more mid palate density and less tart acidity. Food friendly, as it should be. Drink now and over the next 5 years.
Nice mature Burgundy but that’s all. Unexciting and over-priced.
Perhaps not the best bottle?
Surprisingly tannic but the tannins aren’t green nor are they ripe and soft like 2005. Yet this wine, with food is remarkably attractive. Considerably easier to drink than Te Mata Coleraine 2007 which (alongside it) had less tannin but was much more closed, riper and impenetrable.
Another creamy attractive 2005 Sauternes. They aren’t typical with less acid, bortrytis etc. But nice clear ripe fruit.
Another good quality well priced classed growth from Graves. Dark colour. Muted nose, but vibrant dense fruit with lively acid. Needs a couple more years to settle down.
Second wine of Chateau Rauzan-Segla and a very different style. It’s more Merlot oriented at around 50% which is still less than it tastes. It’s an open knit, higher alcohol, lower acid style than the Grand Vin. Still very attractive and ready for drinking much earlier.
Delicious charming claret. Not very concentrated but charm and pedigree. Not too far behind Domaine de Chevalier. Good value. Nice label. Easy to remember name. What more could you ask for.
I would really like to try other vintages.
Fresh shiny sort of claret. Not surprising perhaps for a Chateau more famous for its white wine.
An improving chateau. Well worth buying in 2005. The 2006 is good too but not such good value.
This chateau is producing some top notch wines now. This is very typical of classed growth Margaux in 2004. A nose of sawdust oak, like the floor of a carpentry, leads to a fresh concentrated palate. Dense fruit counter-balanced by acidity. The tannin is very fine, not big and ripe like 2005.
Best from 2015. Long life I would suspect. It should turn into a graceful claret.
Anne thought this one of the best grower Champagnes we tried in France. Grand Cru vineyards in Avize. Flavoursome, quality NV.
Solid simple old-fashioned claret. A bit muddy and minerally with a touch of shell-fish.
The structure is good, they just need to clean things up in the vineyard and/or winery and let the fruit sing more clearly. I’m sure this will happen, it may have already happened. Will I miss these old-fashioned minor wines when they disappear? No, so long as they aren’t replaced by souped up wines.
A complex creamy tarte aux pommes sort of Sauternes. Delicious now. I had thought that 2002 was a fine tight acidic vintage but this has soft acidity.
I’m sure it will last 10+ years but it is surprisingly approachable now. Enjoy.
PS from a full bottle purchased in Bordeaux (no travel).