Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Saint-Joseph 2006

89+ points

Saint-Joseph, Northern Rhone. 13.5%

Benchmark wine for all Saint-Josephs. Perfect modern winemaking, fresh ripe fruit, restrained oak makes the young wine more approachable than expected. This is no 2003, by a long shot thankfully. Nor is it as ripe as 2005 but not far off.

Drink 2013 onwards.

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Chateau De Varennes Savennieres 2006 sec

91 points

Savennieres, Loire. 13.5%

A very enjoyable Savennieres. Clear somewhat forward Chenin Blanc fruit, yet enough natural vibrant acidity and oddles of minerality. Not marred by noticeable alcohol like some Savennieres.

Drink over the next decade.

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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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