Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recently Tasted

PECH MATELLES MARSELAN 2008, Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhone (France); #148684; Price: $12.95; 14.0% ABV
Marselan is a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon & Grenache Noir. The colour (bright purple) and the aroma says carbonic maceration. Surprisingly complex aromas of black cherry, cassis and raspberry, fresh and dried herbs, clove, hazelnut, smoky, and earthy. Right down the middle in acidity and tannins (at first) with black cherry and dried herbs coming through in the flavours. Medium/full-bodied, the medium-long finish is black fruit and tannins that linger. Organic.

LAMMERSHOEK CHENIN BLANC 2008, WO Swartland (South Africa); #58206; Price: $18.95; 14.5% ABV
Aromas of golden apple, pear, honeysuckle, dried herbs, and a touch of caramel. Love the great acidity that counter-balances the full round body. Flavours of golden apple and honey that continue to the finish with that wonderful acidity. Fantastic with pork tenderloin in an apple and rum cream sauce.

FIELDING ESTATE PINOT NOIR 2007, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore (Ontario); #36186; Price: $24.95; 13.0% ABV
Aromas of strawberry jam right off the bat, then cranberry and violet. Earthy, forest floor aromas come around after a bit. Red, sour cherry and cranberry flavours with tart acidity and just enough tannic structure. Medium-bodied, the tart cherry and cranberry continue on the finish with a bit of bitterness at the end. Well-matched with smoked chicken.

CATHEDRAL CELLAR PINOTAGE 2007, WO Coastal Region (South Africa); #99267; Price: $16.95; 13.9% ABV
Whew, here’s a Pinotage that explains why South Africans still pursue this difficult grape. Black fruit (raspberry, cherry, plum) with smoky bacon, resin-y and earthy aromas. Flavours of the black fruits, both savoury and sweet spice, mocha, and some mint, supported on the palate by medium acidity and tamed tannins. It’s medium-full bodied, with a smooth mouthfeel. Good length, the black fruits and spices continue through to the finish. Well-balanced, it was a good match with fried chorizo and beef jerky.

MONTES ALPHA CARMENÈRE 2007, DO Colchagua Valley (Chile); #143230; Price: $19.95; 14.5% ABV
Lots on the nose: black cherry, cassis, blackberry, dried herbs, sweet spice, dark chocolate, and liquorice. The dark fruits are there in the flavours along with the sweet spices and liquorice. Typically light tannins but medium acidity. Full-bodied, it’s smooth and supple. The finish is medium length with black cherry and sweet spice all the way to the end. Matched to bruschetta.

THE BLACK CHOOK SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2008, South Australia; #66738; Price: $16.95; 15.0% ABV
A northern Rhone-style blend of Shiraz (94%) and Viognier (6%). Dark dark ruby. Blackberry, blueberry, dark cherry, clove, cinnamon, mocha, and smoke. The Viognier brings a lot to the party: rhubarb, apricot, and orange peel. Light in tannins with medium acidity, the blackberry, mocha, apricot, and rhubarb come through on the palate. It’s full-bodied and a bit hot with the alcohol at 15%. Soft and supple, the blackberry and orange linger on a medium finish. Matched with charcuterie.

CAFÉ CULTURE PINOTAGE 2009, South Africa; #72710; Price: $13.95; 14.5% ABV
Is it wine or is it coffee? The winemaker’s goal is to emphasize coffee aromas and flavours through barrel-aging of Pinotage. And it works. Aroma and flavour of mocha, with muted undertones of red cherry, fresh herbs, black pepper, and gaminess. Fairly high in acidity with medium tannins. Full-bodied. Matched perfectly to a dessert of dark chocolate, cherry, and nut…might be the only food match that works!

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