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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!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Find-Wine/156597197691226

tobacco

Some Young Punks Battle Island 2009

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Vintage: 2009
Type: Shiraz Cabernet
Country: Australia – South Australia

Nice full bodied Shiraz Cabernet from Australia, displaying typical characteristics from an Aussie Shiraz – big bold fruit and high alcohol content. The tannins are still quite young and strong in the wine, which hints that it will stand up to a bit of ageing. Full flavours of cranberry and blackcurrant with hints of pepper and spice.

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.

Jacob’s Creek Shiraz – Cabernet 2006

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Vintage: 2006
Type: Shiraz Cabernet
Country: Australia

This bottle is typical of most mass-produced Australian reds, good flavour and easy to drink without being memorable.  Nice flavours of blackberries with a layer of oak.  I would certainly order this in a bar, as it’s easy and pleasurable to drink.

Domaine de la Madone Fleurie Cuvée Tradition 2009

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Vintage: 2009
Type: Beaujolais
Country: France – Beaujolais – Fleurie

This is a lovely Beaujolais with an excellent flavour full of fruit. Nice acidity and easy to drink. Tonnes of fruit on the palette – almost bursting with flavour.  Nice hints of minerality as well.

Domaine de la Madone Fleurie Grille Midi 2007

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Vintage: 2009
Type: Beaujolais
Country: France – Beaujolais – Fleurie

A more serious Fleurie, though it is still quick youthful and fruity with a hint of frivolity. Excellent bottle overall full of fruits and light tannins.

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.

Baron de Ley Rioja Club Privado 2006

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Vintage: 2006
Type: Tempranillo
Country: Spain – Rioja

Great notes of berries on the nose with a touch of caramel and vanilla. Refreshing flavours of oak and spice with lots of fruit on the palette. Very good value for money and worth a try.

Joseph Gruss & Fils Crémant d’Alsace Rosé 2009

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Vintage: 2009
Type: Rosé Crémant
Country: Alsace – Eguisheim

Yummy, yum, yum. All French sparkling wine that comes from outside of the Champagne region is classified Cremant but the flavours and bubbles you’ll find in this bottle may deceive your senses to think otherwise. I am biased towards this vineyard and its products because I secretly admire Andre. Regardless of the bias, the Cremant stands out splendidly in its own right.

Clos Payrol 2006

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Vintage: 2006
Type: Bordeaux
Country: France – Bordeaux – Pomerol

This is one of the best wines that I have ever had the pleasure to taste. Knowing that the wine would require some time to breathe, I decanted the bottle and let sit for several hours. To get a sense of what was in store, I had a tiny taste of the wine after it was decanted: pure pleasure. The tasting left my mouth watering for more, though I forced myself to wait.

The nose was dark and closed – even after being left to breathe. Classic Pomerol herb-tinged, caramel, and sweet black cherry notes intermixed with mocha and spice box. Tannic with a good level of acidity, many levels of complexity, full body flavours of cherries and plums.

Payrol is right next door to Petrus, a small vineyard – much like Petrus and is ideally placed in Pomerol. flavours of berry and terroir. Quite young, but drinking well. This wine can certainly be set down for another 10+ years. Very highly recommended!