Tag: wine

Wines – Chalk Hill The Procrastinator

Now, this wine is not even one of my favourites. I wrote about the Cabernet Sauvignon from Chalk Hill a while back and it was more to my liking. The Procrastinator – Wikipedia defines it as: a behavior which is characterized by the deferment of actions or tasks to a later time. Does that mean you drink this wine and get the big bang after you had the bottle 🙂 Oddbins sells it for around £8 and the bottle reads “We made The Procrastinator to celebrate the art of putting off to another day what could have been achieved today” – don’t do today what you can do tomorrow. Now I understand. The wine can be cellared until 2011, with good cellaring even 2015, so there was no need for me to hurry and finish it 😉 It is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Red Berry fruits, e.g. strawberries and raspberries, finishing with soft silky tannis. Whilst I tasted a lot of tannis, the berries did not come out as strong as suggested. I cannot say it was the worst wine I ever had, but it wasn’t as interesting as the label suggested it might be. I

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New Challenge – no wine for a month

Ok, this might seem odd at first, but I have decided to not drink any wine for a month. Although the sign says ‘no meat’, this is untrue in my case 🙂 This is not because I think I drink too much, as I won’t stop drinking. However, I find that I spoiled myself with good wines lately and don’t find as much pleasure drinking the cheaper wines. Now, you could argue I am doing this to save money. Again, this is not the real reason. I believe the real reason is that I want to see how my taste buds change over a period of a month and whether the cheap wine is still very much a “no go” or if I am happy to touch that wine again. Also, will I still be in favour of the lovely high priced wines? We shall see. My weekly wine column has been written until early October, so don’t worry, they have all been tasted already. Cheers 😉

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Wine for under £10 – Robert Mondavi Shiraz

I was confident I had written about the Robert Mondavi, Woodbridge, Zinfandel before, which my wife and I stocked up on for a while when Tesco reduced its price to less than £5. However, I could not find it, but what we did find at Tesco the other day was the Woodbridge Shiraz. I don’t believe for anyone interested in wine, Robert Mondavi and his vinery are well known. It was mostly down to him that California and Nappa Valley got a good reputation for nice wines. This Shiraz, a 2006, is lovely. Rich, fruity and spicy as it should be for a Californian Shiraz. Waitrose describes it as “A rich and spicy Shiraz with wonderful flavours of black fruits, black pepper and sweet spices. It is full-bodied and has a round, soft texture, an inky colour and a lingering finish. Enjoy with marinated spare-ribs and roasted tomatoes.” My wife and I like it with meat dishes but also by its own. A bit too light for my liking to just drink it by itself but in the hot and humid weather we had in London, it is a light heavy wine if that makes sense. It is not too

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Wine for under £10 – Ravenswood Zinfandel

You might have noticed that I have been reviewing a lot of wines from Waitrose lately. This is because the Tesco selection seems to lack depth and high quality wines for good prices. Waitrose still offers you some nice gems. The one today is a Ravenswood Zinfandel for £8.54. I thought I had written more about Zinfandel wines before but could only discover this article about the London Borough Market. I will write more about this fantastic grape as I love Zinfandel wines and have ordered wines directly from sunny California to be shipped here. And the effort and money was more than well worth it! The Boisdale got me hooked on it! The Ravenswood Zinfandel is not the best of the best Zinfandel I have tried but for this price gives you a very decent, nice tasting, refreshing Zinfandel. Rich, sweet, ripe fruit dominates the palate which is perfectly matched to the soft oaky flavours imparted by French and American wood. Great with steaks or burgers. – this description from the winery is typical for Zinfandel and yes, the Americans like wine with steak and burgers. And I don’t blame them! Maybe something we need to adopt to more

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Wine for under £10 – Bonarda Sangiovese

After last week’s special wine, this wine hardly made it into my recommendation list. I am a big fan of South American, particular Argentinian wines, but Bonarda Sangiovese disappointed me a bit. The first taste was slightly cheap, sour tasting. After about half an hour the wine seemed to have breathed enough and it tasted very nicely, almost fruity. Waitrose sells this wine for £6.64 and possibly that is why I put the wine in my weekly column. For a wine that costs less than £7 on a regular base and has a decent taste, it surely is worthwhile mentioning. Maybe not a wine you should have with nice food, nibbles whilst relaxing and reading a good book. But surely a wine you can have with friends, a good meal or with a BBQ. Nothing to impress though. Waitrose recommends this wine with pizza or tomato-based pasta dishes. It is a well-made organic red made from equal amounts of the traditional Italian grape varieties Bonarda and Sangiovese. This might be the reason why I am not that keen on it. I haven’t yet found an Italian wine that strikes me as being irresistible. Either I have not tried enough or

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Yalumba Octavius 2000

Now, this is a special wine! The Octavius Barossa Old Vine Shiraz 2000. Robert Parker, in the Wine Advocate #155 (Oct 2004) describes it as: “The 2000 Shiraz Octavius possesses earthy, peppery aromatics revealing notions of smoke, melted asphalt/creosote, plums, currants, figs, and loamy soil. While medium to full-bodied, with moderate tannin as well as an excellent finish, it is not as outstanding as the brilliant 1998 and 1999 Octavius, or even the 2001.” My wife bought it for a special occasion and we had it a few weeks ago. It is an amazing wine, well worth the money. We spent around £40 for it, one of the most expensive wines I have had so far. Yalumba do a few very good wines. I wrote about the Katnook Estate Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon not too long ago. The Octavius is made from grapes from old vineyards in the Barossa and Eden Valley, matured in American Oak with only 90 liters capacity. This is very uncommonly small for American Oak barrels. And these barrels are seasoned for 8 years at Yalumba before they are used for this special wine so that the oak won’t take over the wine’s taste. Yalumba’s leaflet describes

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Wine from a friend – Bodegas Santo Cristo

Continuing my series about wine, I want to draw your attention to a wine from Spain. I am normally not the biggest fan of Spanish wines but this one is special: my good friend and multilingual search marketing specialist Oscar gave it to me. It is wine from his home region in Spain, close to Zaragoza. View Larger Map The website for this wine can be found here: Bodegas Santo Cristo. The Reserva, a blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo, has been aged for 14 months in American oak barrel followed by 12 months bottle refining to complete the aromas and taste. It is a great wine and I enjoyed drinking a wine that is not available in this country 🙂 It makes it somehow special. It has tasting notes of cherry with violet and brownish tones. That is how it is described. For me it was a taste “up” from Rioja, e.g. red fruits with a heavy toasty note but complex fruity flavours. The tannis wasn’t very strong and the palate was very balanced. Garnacha is a the typical Aragonese variety. This kind of grape, well cared and elaborated gives you an excellent quality wine with intense aromas of mature

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Wine for under £10 – Pizzorno

Following the series about wines for under ten pounds, here is another wine review of a lovely wine. A Merlot Tannat, 2006, from Uruguay, called Pizzorno. I wrote about the Tannat grape before and how impressed I am with it. For under seven pounds this wine gives a different hint of the Tannat grape as it is mixed with Merlot. It almost makes the wine a bit sweet tasting. Tannat is allegedly Uruguay’s flagship grape. Bright crimson red with a purple hue. The aromas you get from the Pizzorno are raspberry compote and elder flower, marry with hints of plum and rosemary. The palate is rich in its flavours of plum, chocolate and new tobacco, complemented by smooth tannis and good acidity, which lead into a lingering finish. I have to admit, this combination of grapes really brings out a boost of flavours. Whilst I tried it on its own, I am convinced it would go well with strong flavoured food, such as game, red meat even and strong cheese. The latter I believe will always be on my list for wine. You find further information about the vineyard on the Pizzorno Family Estate site.

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Wines for under £10 – Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

I know, the prices are getting higher, as I bought the wine for £20 at Oddbins but realised they ripped me off as you can get this wine for under £10. For my “normal” wine consumption, I usually buy around £7-£10 at Waitrose and Tesco. However, for more special occasions, I buy wines for around £20, sometimes more. But this time Oddbins really managed to charge me double the amount other shops do. The Chalk Hill, McLaren Vale, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003 was just about £18 at Oddbins. Our Oddbins in Beckenham has a selection that is getting worse every time I go but still manage to pick up a few nice bottles like this one. If you are looking closer you can pick this wine up for less than £10 at Playford Ross. It just shows how expensive Oddbins has become. As you would expect from a Cabernet Sauvignon this wine is very fruity: blackcurrant, cassis and mulberry. It matured for 14 months in French oak but does not taste strong of oak. However, its complexity and tight tannin structure makes it a good wine to drink. Hints of spice, anise and cedar can be found. It is very good

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Wine for under £10 – Take Seven

With me consuming, buying, testing, trying and enjoying it, I thought I focus a little bit on a wine column here in my blog and recommend some nice wines. Of course I focus on affordable wines and those that you can buy on the high street. At Waitrose I got “Wente Take Seven – small lot red wine” the other day. It has 7 different grape varieties, hence the name 😉 The wine is a mixture of Cabernet Sauvignon (16%), Barbera (20%), Petite Sirah (17%), Syrah (14%), Counoise (10%), Tempranillo (13%), Petit Verdot (10%). Look at this post of Petit Verdot Hence it is called a small lot and is made from grapes at the Central Coast of California, a city called Livermore, the Wente Vineyards. View Larger Map I really like the wine. It has a warming taste to it and you can tell the grapes got plenty of sun. For less than £10 this is a bargain. The winemaker describes it as “delicious robust red, […] showing ample, ripe black fruit flavors with subtle spice notes”. Almost like a Cabernet Sauvignon with some spicy character, no oak but very fruity. Still a heavy wine with 13.5% alcohol. I

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