Saturday, 26 February 2011

Steelwine Rendezvous in Wales

We are having a Steelwine meetup.
Good friends, good wines and good times.
Mumbles peninsular is the venue, we have come to visit Joe and Anna.
Today we walked along the cliff path to a surf beach and walked back via a bistro wine bar, The Park pub and Mumbles fine wines shop.

Sophie has gone to bed and we have started hitting the wines.

Urban uco,Cafayete
Torrontes 2009
Salta, Argentina
Mumbles Fine Wines. £7.99

Wow its unusual its kind of floral
Its kind of sweeet and yeah definitely flowers what is that like elderflowers or something?
Aromatic on the nose, fruity and ROses, pineapple and tropical fruit.
It has a flavour that doesnt diminish
Yeah its got a very long finish.

Our Argentinian wine guide (Christopher Fielden) states the following about this unusual drop.
"It gives wine with a distinctive flavour marrying Muscat flavours to dryness"

Love it.

Tenuta Pule
Amarone, Lidl
Toasted on the nose and smoky tinge. Black in colour and very full bodied.
Very concentrated flavour but not heavy on the tongue.
Amarone is a special wine made by drying Valpolicella grapes on straw mats!
This is an excellent wine and represents extremely good value for money.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Wine Gang Returns!

We're organising another wine presentation at a local bar in Barcelona.  Here's the flyer and below is the description.  I'll let you know how we get on!

A selection of five wines from Tarragona presented in English by David Simms (

The price is €10 in advance, or €12 on the door.

The wines will be available at wholesale prices during and after the session.

Reservations must be made in advance via

20 pax minimum.


1 - Las Colinas Del Ebro 100% Grenache - 2009 - Terra Alta
2 - Dardell blanca 70% Grenache 30% Viogner - 2010 - Terr Alta
3 - Sola Fred Tinto 90% Carinena 10% Grenache - 2009 - Montsant
4 - Primicia Tinto 80% Grenache 20% Syrah (aged) - 2007 - Terra Alta
5 - Castell de Pinyeres 40% Carinena 40% Grenache 20% various (aged) - 2007 - Montsant

Betty Ford's, Joaquin Costa 56 
1st March, 19-21H.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Faustino VII

Faustino VII
A great historical Rioja from a large brand and a bloke with a long beard!
This is classic Rioja, aged in French oak barrels for several years.
It has developed a lot of flavour from the wood and has a robust tarry flavour.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Coonawarra Expedition

An excellent post from Adrian the Australian Adventurer.

Dear Steelwine,

Your indefatigable investigators have been sampling Coonawara wines today.

Coonawara in South Australia had its first vintage in 1895. The cool climate and soil of limestone enriched with clays, provides an ideal location for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. However, Merlot, Shiraz and Chardonnay are also grown together with a small quantity of other grape varieties.

The vignerons of Coonawara have set themselves the task of producing the best red wine in the world! Hubris? Your investigators have been finding out.

Following the recommendations of James Halliday we visited Balnaves and Majella Wines. Both export wine to specialist stockists in UK.

At Majella we tasted their best selling Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz blend, The Musician 08. With an intensity of colour and overwhelming aroma of ripe fruits, the wine, although rich in fruit lacked complexity to the palate and did not linger. But, good drinking wine for 16AUD.

Next the Merlot 08, which failed to impress.

Then Shiraz 08, which lacked the nose of The Musician, hit with 15% alcohol and lingered nicely in the mouth. Good, but no cigar.

Cabernet Sauvignon 08 followed. Intensely coloured, with a fine nose and complexity on the palate, tannins distinctly present, but not too pronounced and lingering fruit flavours. A star turn.

Finally the prestige Malleea 08. Similar intensity of colour and fine nose with a hint of oak and caramel. The high tannin in this young wine tended to obscure its undoubted elegance. What will a few years in bottle reveal?

The 08 Cabernet Sauvignon from Balnaves (14.5%) similarly impressed with its intensity of colour, oaky nose, moderate tannins and complex fruit flavours. Supplied in corked bottles, I suspect it will improve with keeping.

From the field research team.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Night With English Radio, Swedish Cooking & Spanish Wine


Here's my first tasting notes for a while.

Last night we broadcast a live set on a friend's show, and were treated to a lovely dinner from our Swedish Scot host, who served up mussels as a starter, with a fish/cheese meatball-style main.  Mmmmmm.

To accompany, a couple of wines worthy of writing home about:

A traditional Spanish aperitif: crisps and cockles, with a quality white: Mantel Blanco, 2010 verdejo from Rueda.  Clean and pale to look at, it was really savoury to smell, more herbal (elderflower) than fruity.  The texture was creamy, contrasting with a nicely balanced acidity and citrus flavour.  Good one.

With the cheesy fishballs, then, this number from a D.O. I'd never heard of before, Manchuela.  This wine is 100% bobal, which would generate a few laughs in South Yorks but is, in fact, quite an interesting red variety native to Spain.  It had a caramel nose, quite thin in the mouth but nicely spiced, with a satisfying tannic shadow.

Finally, from the great-value Montsant region, Diaro 2008.  A mix of garnaxa, syrah and tempranillo, it was a curious customer alright.  Smelling of wet cardboard, it again had quite a light refreshing texture and tasted of boiled game and herbs.  Not sure what to make of that.

Bit hungover when the cats came to say good morning.

Until next time wine pals,

Mark D.

Friday, 4 February 2011