Although I only took
notes on a few wines from the first part of the release, most of what I
tasted was decent. However, there are plenty of great wines to be let
loose on the 26th, especially some stellar stuff from South America, so
stay tuned for more to come.
OSOYOOS LAROSE 'LE GRAND VIN' 2002, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia,
Holy cow, at this stage, this dark inky garnet coloured wine is one
tough mean little buggar. At first, it secretes aromas of balsa, currant
and dark fruits then notes of spice, clove, lead pipe and tobacco take
over. It is actually nasty on the palate due to the degree of astringent
and bitter tannins from these four-year-old vines. 2002 produced some
dynamic wines in this part of the world. Only time will tell if this
will be one of them.
942581 RENWOOD ZINFANDEL 2002, 'Sierra Series', $19.95
A zesty Zinnish Zin, that has notes of cola, sweet cinnamon, red fruit
and candy. It is fleshy and low in acid. The finish, redolent of stewed
rhubarb shows better balance.
FINCA EL RETIRO MALBEC 2003, Mendoza, Argentina, $11.95
I must confess I was pleasantly surprised once I found out the price of
this wine, as it offers a lot for under $12.00. There is some sweet
stewed plum aromas followed by mushroom, mineral and iron. The palate is
clean, with nice flavours of plum and dark fruit. Herbs de Provence and
lavender make a cameo appearance on the finish.
658427 MALENCHINI 'BRUZZICO' 2001, Tuscany, Italy $29.95
A dark wine, full of aromas of balsa, mocha, black fruit, blackberry and
plum. It is rich, full of toast and creamy on the palate without being
over the top. The finish is a little low on acid, but otherwise this is
super good stuff.
ALLEGRINI 'LA GROLA' 2000, Veneto, $29.95
Possibly my favourite wine, at least from the premier part of November's
release. It has an alluring nose of pond water, sweaty fur, cured meat,
dried morel and black fruit. What more can one want? The palate is not
too shabby, showing super ripe fruit, a creamy toffee texture and a long
356220 TOMMASI AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2001, Veneto,
I find a degree of funky underbrush coupled with stewed fruit, sweet
kirsch like cherry and milk chocolate. The palate is sweet and candy
like without having much complexity. It is nice, but the level of
quality does not match the level of its price.
MONTELVINI 'EL ZUITER' ROSSO 2000, Veneto, $19.95
A dark ruby garnet wine that has plenty of plumy fruit, a trace of
mineral, a high degree of oak, a whack of chocolate and layers of
extracted black fruit. A trifle overdone for my personal taste, but
nonetheless it is interesting.
357962 J.M FONSECA QUINTA DE CAMARATE 2001, PORTUGAL, $13.95
Here is wine with a light ruby cloak with an amber rim that has a nose
of chocolate, red berry jam, black cherry and balsa. The balance is fine
and the dusty chocolate tannins are by no means offensive. Overall, I
would say this falls into the rank of quality quaffers.
657445 'CASTELL DE FALSET' TINTO 2000, Spain , $29.95
A funky and complex nose, full of stewed fruit, star anise, chanterelle
mushrooms, tea, wet soil and sweet red cherry. There is plenty of fruit
to please the palate, a nice bite from the acids and maybe after a year
or so to soften, this will be great.
658450 CONDESA DE LEGANZA RESERVA 1995, 'Finca Los Trenzones', Spain
If you want to buy a ten-year-old wine, but the price has often been a
deterrent, well here you go, try this. It hosts a garnet colour that is
starting to show traces of amber at the rim. There is red cherry, thyme
and red currant jelly on the nose that carries through to the mature,
but still lively palate. The finish shows good fruit and a little bite
of residual dusty tannin.
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