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Penfolds Koonunga Hill Seventy Six 2008

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Vintage: 2008
Type: Cabernet-Shiraz Blend
Country: Australia

This wine has a great dark colour – inky in nature. On the nose, there are scents full of berries and a hint of plum. On the palette are flavours of fruit, vanilla and a hint of chocolate; very nice indeed. There is a long finish with well integrated tannins. This wine will cellar well and is exceptional value at this price point.

The Opportunist (A competition)

Friday, March 4th, 2011

The Challenge

One of the companies that I have bought form in the past, Find Wine — they sell wine from Some Young Punks and the excellent Conan the Barbera to name a few —  is running a contest (details here) for the chance to be their wine critic for three months.  The contest involved reviewing a bottle of wine (which they sent to me free of charge) with 5 or more friends and posting the results.  A fee bottle of wine and the chance for even more wine from a supplier that I have been quite happy with in the past?  It was a no-brainer!

Of course getting 5 people together in London to try the wine proved quite the challenge.  Fortunately, the stars aligned on a Friday and here is the result.

The Opportunist

The bottle around the taster glasses ready to be drunk

The Opportunist group just before trying the wine

The group, just before consumption of the wine.

The Results

Like its name, this wine seeks to capitalise on the prevailing popularity of Shiraz among wine lovers.  Seeking a “crazy” description to this wine from a diverse group of professional 30-somethings was near impossible! Overall, the group felt the wine was a bit to light on the nose (“barely fragranced”), young, darkly coloured, lightly oaked, and typical for a Shiraz. Flavours of  cassis, chocolate and tabacco.   One of the group likened the wine to a White Chocolate Magnum!

Here is my review:

Vintage: 2008
Type: Shiraz
Country: Australia – Limestone Coast

The wine is a bit weak on the nose, but with a hint youth and alcohol that is typical from Australia.  A dark ruby colour with  rich cassis, chocolate and a hint of tabacco.   I would not be disappointed to be served this in a restaurant with a steak.

Remember to go to check out Find Wine’s Facebook page and Like the review!


Joseph Gruss & Fils Gewurztraminer Eichberg Grand Cru 2008

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Vintage: 2008
Type: Gewürztraminer
Country: France – Alsace – Eguisheim

None of Andre’s wines disappoint me but you can believe me when I say this is a lovely wine, full stop. The flavours of citrus fruit and lychees fill the mouth nicely. It is a sweet wine but not overpowering.  There is a distinctly thick and creamy texture on the tongue. Gorgeous.

I imagine myself holding a picnic in a field of wild flowers, absorbing the sun’s warmth, enjoying a variety of oriental dishes … this wine would be the main event of my picnic.

Campo Azafran Vino de la Tierra de Castilla 2008

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Vintage: 2008
Type: Rioja – Tempranillo/Shiraz Blend
Country: Spain

Overall this is a decent tempranillo that tastes OK once it has been given a bit of air.  Typical hints of oak and red berries, but overall nothing too special.  Not bad value-for-money.

Piccini Chianti 2008

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Vintage: 2008
Type: Chianti
Country: Italy – Tuscany

This wine was quite pleasant, though it lacked a bit of structure. Too acidic to start, it mellowed out after an hour or so. Afterwards, it was a easy pleasurable drink.

Los Pecadillos Campo de Borja Pereza – Sloth Old Vine Garnacha 2008

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Vintage: 2008
Type: Rose – Old Vine Garnacha
Country: Spain

This was an easy-drinking Rose that my husband picked up on a colleague’s recommendation.

The nose is full of aromas of strawberry and other berry fruits. I think I paired this with an oriental stir fried vegetables and seared salmon fillets. A good companion to a summer evening meal.

Baron De Ley Rioja 2008

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Vintage: 2008
Type: Rioja – White
Country: Spain

This wine was presented to us as a gift and we had high expectations of this Baron de Ley sibling. You might be fooled to think that the flavour might be washed out due to its severely pale colour. Think again! This wine is well-structured and has a fresh after-taste. This would go well with a summer salad or a mildly spiced oriental stir fry.

Cedar Creek Riesling 2008

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Vintage: 2008
Type: Riesling
Country: Canada – Okanagan Valley, BC

One of the few bottles we carried back from our wedding, we savoured this gorgeous Riesling a couple of weeks ago on a hot evening.

This is a zesty wine that is fresh and aromatic. It has flavours of pineapple and green apple. Just lovely. This would go very well with a sweet and spicy dish, for example, Thai chilli chicken cashew stir fry with egg noodles.

Concha Y Torro Winemaker’s Lot 2008

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Vintage: 2008
Type: Carmenere
Country: Chilie – Rapel Valley

I tried this wine in Edinburgh, mainly because I had enjoyed the Diablo Carmenere (also owned by Toro) that I had tried. This wine was great. A deep purple colour, chocolate on the nose and dark fruit and a hint of coffee on the palate. It was quite strong, so I would recommend it with food.

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay 2008

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Vintage: 2008
Type: Chardonnay
Country: Australia

This was an aromatic wine, mixing fresh with oakey notes. The colour was rather pale but not surprisingly so due to its youth. The wine was distinctively strong  and therefore should be paired with a dish on the mildly herbal side, i.e. creamy pasta. Probably would not go well with spicy, oriental foods.