Hawkes Bay, NZ. 13%
Has charm and sophistication but lacks concentration and flavour. A bit disappointing for Coleraine.
Hunter Valley, New South Wales. 13.6%
Medium bodied, gentle, fruit oriented, natural fresh Shiraz. Needs time to build complexity which I’m sure it will.
A style that the Hunter does so well. I hope the commentators are right and this style is coming back into fashion.
Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux. 13.5%
Well I loved this. Georgeous Graves flavours in a loose knit accessible style. Very fine but drink now, or over the next 5+ years.
Quite a surprise, a very pleasant surprise.
Chinon, Loire. 13.5%
This 100% Cabernet Franc is the sort of high quality red wine associated with the Loire until recently when aided by global warming some producers turned up the ripeness and intensity. This is more luncheon claret. Not green but soft and charming.
Silly heavy bottle. Drink now.
Moulis-en-Medoc, Bordeaux. 13.5%
Just what you’d expect from this reliable producer in a good ripe vintage. Modern wine making with careful seductive oak tames the somewhat rustic tannins of Moulis.
Savennieres, Loire. 13.5%
Demi sec and all the better for it. For a start it lowers the alcohol. Most other Savennieres are 14.5% on the label. I even saw, but would not buy, one listed as 15.5%!
Good flavor and some charm. Drinking well now or over next 5+ years.
Fiefs Vendeens, Loire. 13%
85% Pinot Noir and 15% Cabernet Franc. It’s a fairly simple cherry Pinot upfront but backed by quite a lot of tannin and a savory finish.
Biodynamic, which is very popular in the Loire, as are stupid wasteful heavy glass bottles.
Anjou-Villages Brissac, Loire. 13.5%
Big vinous wine, ripe fruit but encased in tonnes of acidity and tannin though these are ripe tannins. Some lurking unripeness too and bret. This is wild stuff.
Saumur Champigny, Loire. 13%
Dark young wine. Fine oak nose. Very pure fine. Bordeaux like but with Loire freshness. Great potential. Exciting but rather mouth puckering at the moment with tannin and some youthful acid too.
Savennieres, Loire. 14.5%
Surprisingly advanced, oxidized even, for 5 years old. Nice honied blossom character though. Finish is hot with alcohol.
Savennieres, Loire. 14.5%
Whoa. Intense ripe concentrated wine. Good but the hot slightly sweet finish gives it away and eventually the alcohol palls. I prefer my Chenin Blanc a little more gentle and charming. This is too like a Rhone white.
Anjou Villages Brissac, Loire. 14%
For a difficult vintage here is another Loire red with dense dark colour and 14% alcohol. Quite a hard savoury wine, not green but without ripe flavours and tannins. If given this blond I’d more guess it were Malbec (from the Sud Ouest not Argentina) than Cabernet.
Leave for 3-5 years.
Bretagne, France. 12%
Pleasant savory in a dilute style. Some charm. Very low price 3 euro.
One of the most under-rated classed growths from Pauillac. Indeed one of the most under-rated of all of Bordeaux classed growths. And in 2005 they have made an excellent wine.
Classic, rich, lively claret. With good expensive oak, nice acid tannin balance.
Still needs time and will benefit greatly from 5-10 years more cellaring at least.
Anjou, Loire. 13.5%
I’m very unaccustomed to drinking wines this young but after being open for a day it was sufficiently approachable. Lovely dark crunchy fruit like something fresh off a tree (not vine).
I didn’t realise it was 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, only 10% Cabernet Franc. Quite a surprise given the impressive ripeness.
Ripe, fresh vinous acidity and tannin, clean and vibrant. Bordeaux look out, I don’t see many wines like this at this price. I need more Loire reds in my cellar.
Update: WineDoctor has a profile on this estate.
Bordeaux, France. 14%
Young sweet glucose hints. Simple and undeveloped. Needs time but less impressive than expected.
Rather special. Fine intense weighty even Sercial. Serious wine showing age but with decades ahead of it.
Northern Rhone. 13%
Smart modern but classic Cote Rotie. Complex smokey, geranium, minerally aromas mingle together.
Medium weight should fatten a little over the next few years but needs longer to lose the distracting florality of youth.
Margaux, Bordeaux. 12.5%
Dark, reasonably concentrated but green claret. Hard still after 13 years.
I find it difficult to recommend buying this. If you own it leave for another 5 years.