El Principal (Valette Fontaine) 1999

80 points

Maipo Valley, Chile. 13.5%

I’ve long wanted to try a decent South American wine that was older than a couple of years. This unfortunately disappointed.

Very sweet. With enough lifted VA to give quite a tomato sauce (ketchup) impression. The finish has the spicy tannin of Southern France.

Flavorsome but coarse.

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Turkey Flat Shiraz 1998

91 points

Barossa Valley, South Australia. 14.2%

Consumed in Bordeaux, over 4 nights. As a deliberate contrast, and what a contrast!!

On the first night it just reeked of added tartaric acid and American oak. Bordeaux in comparison tastes so natural, whereas this is a concoction.

On the second night it had mellowed a tad, to be a semi-port. Mint toffee flavours.

By the final night it was much more enjoyable as a ripe hot climate wine. Quite luscious.

I feel that Turkey Flat have improved their winemaking in more recent vintages, the wines still have tremendous fruit but are less forced, with less obvious added acid.

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Domaine du Clos Naudin 2007 sec

91+ points

Vouvray, Loire. 13%

I really did not expect this wine to be drinking as well as it should. I love Vouvray but not when it is young tight and acidic. This is just starting to reveal its charms.

Good ripe fruit but still in a mineral rather than fruit driven style. Alcohol is in check. It’s really positioned well to become a superb Vouvray and soonish too. Try again in 2013.

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Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste 2005

91+ points

Pauillac. 13%

Definitely has the bold warm ripeness of 2005 but retains freshness and verve. Fine wine. Though I’m unsure I could really justify paying the price premium over 2001, 2002 or 2004 vintages. If you have well enjoy your investment. I was surprised how enjoyable it is at this young age, but would still recommend waiting another decade.

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La Briffaude 2000

90+ points

Vin De Pay. 14%

This modestly priced Vin De Pay clearly has pretensions with its heavy bottle, a numbered bottle at that, and still some new oak flavour at 11 years old. Yes this is serious wine, just starting to be mature.

Should provide excellent rich drinking over the next decade. Bravo.

Buy it if you can.

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