Sunday, 21 March 2010

Queens wine

Not really.
Buckingham Estate
Reserve Shiraz 2006 14%
Western Australia

There is a cool climate for wine in Western Australia. The main area is Margaret river sitting on a peninsular down from Perth.
The result of the cool climate is that this Shiraz is fresh and lean more like a french wine than a typical juicy Australian Shiraz.

Dark purple black in the glass. A nose of lovely perfumed ripe fruit with touch of spicy oak and licuorice. On the palatte fresh fruit, medium bodied with a light fresh texture.
Morrisons £6.00

Monday, 15 March 2010

Wines with the family

A selection of wines recently enjoyed with family and friends.

To start the evening we had some biscuity champagne which was delicious. Never turn down a glass or two of pop!
We discussed the bisuity versus toasty topic. Anna said she likes the really buttery toasty champagne. I think this is the style of Laurent Perrier which is a favourite of ours. I can also highly recommend Tesco Finest champagne which is top notch class as well as Waitrose own Cava which is always brilliant!

In the restaurant I tasted the wines for our table. A fresh and fruity Merlot from Italy and a complex oaked Chardonnay, big in style- also Italian. I had quite a few glasses of both the wines during the meal and why not! To go with dessert there was a delicious muscat sweet dessert wine.

Monday, 8 March 2010


Im digging the label of this Spanish bottle reviewed by Ambrose and friends.
Check it out from Oddbins!

Rafael cambra- 'dos' valencia collita 2007

A blend of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc.

Tom: full, robust, tannin-rich, gives you a sore throat just to smell it. Adult flavour, oaky, burnt coffee ground. Almost scalded.
Megan: lovely
Ambrose: taste- like a baileys! Creamy, chocolatey, caramel. Faint burnt tinge. Nose- reminiscent...but of what?

Oddbins, reduced to 10 pound, or thereabouts.


Thursday, 4 March 2010

Respect At Last

Zerotes are like opinions, everyone's got one.  Which I suppose makes me and my wine gang qualified enough to judge in the 2nd Annual Vinya Cellar Masia Catalan Wine Contest.  And the fact that we were willing to part with €60 for the privilege.

The structure of the contest is thus: the products of 50 wine producers are judged by 100 anonymous and probably totally amateur judges via the internet.  The first round sees each judge consider six wines and cavas, my selection is pictured above.  The ones with the best scores are then sent out again to the judges, so each judge evaluates three of the wines that scored best in the previous round.

I decided that it would be fun to agree on the marks with a few friends, which we often didn't, so we ended up taking the average opinion from the six participants.

The wines had to be graded from 'insufficient' to 'excellent' on a number of points, namely:
  • appearance (cleanliness)
  • appearance (attractiveness)
  • nose (impact)
  • nose (intensity)
  • nose (quality)
  • taste (impact)
  • taste (intensity)
  • taste (persistence)
  • harmony
  • presentation
After each wine, our opinions were entered into the world wide web, through a screen like this:

followed by a screen like this:
whose design resembles that of a sixth-form website project.

Of the two cavas, one rosé, one white and two reds that we were dealt, only the first red, a 2007 Costers del Segre coupage of Ull de Llebre, Garnatxa Negra, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot named 'Saó Abrivat' recieved unamimous praise from the panel.

It was a good experience to value wines in this new way, and to feel a part of the official opinion formers, albeit a tiny one; and we look forward to rating the finalists and passing on these hot tips on to you, dear reader.

Mark D.