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Wednesday Round-up - the 2014 edition
Sue Courtney's tasting notes from the First Glass Fine Wine Wednesday $15 tastings

June 2014
[ Click here for index to other months ]

Sue Courtney's Fine Wine Wednesday tasting notes were recorded for First Glass Wines and Spirits in Takapuna for publication on their website. These notes are archival and may have been deleted from their site by now.
Some of the prices may be 'specials', but were correct at the date noted for the tasting. Check out www.firstglass.co.nz for current availability and pricing. New Zealand readers can purchase the wines online from there.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting – 25 Jun 2014
All Brand New
All of the wines were tasted blind

Highfield Marlborough Riesling 2012
Lemon gold in colour with a bright citrussy bouquet and lashings of tangy marmalade, bitter orange and lime-like citrus flavours in the fresh, juicy, just off dry palate with a touch of apricot, a tickle of ginger and a honeysuckle coating to the delightfully long finish. Champion Riesling at the 2013 Air NZ Wine Awards.
10% alc. Screwcap. $18.99 special.

Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2013
Light lemon gold with the first impression on the nose being buttered popcorn-like toasty oak with the smoky oak traits very much to the forefront in the fresh, bold palate. Smooth and creamy in the mouth with a citrus pop to the stonefruit flavours – the very ripe fruit giving an impression of sweetness but a welcoming savoury mealy touch to the long full finish. Don’t over chill at this youthful stage of its life.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $30.99 special.

Greywacke Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013
Straw gold with aromas of apple pie pastry, strudel spices and vanilla-flavoured pink icing come to mind. Lightly oily in texture with a flinty, lightly grainy undercurrent to the quince and poached pear flavours and savoury on the very long finish but an evocative sense of lusciousness too. Fermented in old oak barrels with wild yeast strains, this is one of the most thought-provoking PGs around.
14% alc. Screwcap. $30.99.

Lawson Dry Hills Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2012
Light yellow gold with an enchanting scent of musky florals, Moroccan spices and Turkish Delight. Vibrant and tingly in the palate with zingy ginger-like spices that dance around the mouth in harmony with the earthiness of cumin, the juiciness of orange and a suggestion of violets. Moderately dry with just a touch of sweetness to give the wonderfully long finish impeccable balance. International Trophy for Best Dry Aromatic under £15 at Decanter Wine Awards 2014.
14% alc. Screwcap. $22.99 special.

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Waipara Dry Riesling 2011
Light golden yellow. Enticingly aromatic citrus blossom and nectar-like scents then in the palate grapefruit and honey combine beautifully, the acidity and sweetness in impeccable harmony. Concentrated and mouthcoating with tingly spices, this is a full-bodied, weighty style and although it is labelled 'dry', many of us would consider this ‘off dry’. Another outstanding offering from one of the country’s best Riesling producers.
14% alc. Screwcap. $29.99 special.

Mud House Claim 431 Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Dark pinky red. Perfumed with earth, game, fragrant spices and black cherries, this enticingly scented wine tastes immediately appealing with its super smooth texture, juicy red fruits and hints of chocolate beautifully supported by a spicy, savoury undercurrent with thyme-like herbs infusing the long silky finish. Soft, rounded and velvety all the way through, it’s an irresistible style of Pinot and with four gold medals and two Trophies, wine judges think so too.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $24.99 special.

Olagosa Reserva Rioja 2006 - Spain
Dark red. Chocolate box, mellow cedar, bottled cherries, white pepper and a subtle suggestion of mint on the vanillin oak nose – the vanilla an upfront feature in the savoury palate where there is a very pleasing earthy, gamey and slight herbal note coming through. It's ripe and juicy with underlying grip to the velvety tannins and a touch of orange chocolate on the long mellow finish. Quite assertive palate impression and although the fruit is sweet, the finish is cigar box-like smoky and dry. Lovely old fashioned Rioja characters. Very nice wine.
13.5% alc. Cork. $27.99 special.

Masseria Altemura Sasseo Primitivo 2011 - Salento, Italy
Dark red coloured with a ripe-fruited, almost raisiny scent. A firm wine in the palate - it seems tight at first but the juicy fruit simply wells through giving the wine a lovely supple flow. Blue fruit – plums, blueberries that are starting to raisin – with some lovely floral notes, then red fruits that are bright on the finish. With sweet spices, liquorice, chocolate, an earthy savoury undercurrent and a very dry finish this substantial wine in its equally substantial bottle could accompany a rich hearty tomato-based Italian-inspired dish.
14.5% alc. Cork. $26.99 special.

Penfolds Bin 138 Shiraz Grenache Mataro 2012 - South Australia
Inky purple red with a fragrant bouquet that promises luscious fruit, liquorice and chocolate – the promise is delivered indeed. Full-bodied, cosy and enveloping with a spicy, savoury nature, a nice touch of grip to the fine-textured tannins, juicy blue and red fruits, creamy vanillin notes and a long dry finish, this exciting year’s blend is 66% Shiraz, 23% Grenache and 11 % Mataro.
14.5% alc. Cork. $32.99 special.

Crossroads Winemakers Selection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2012
Dark red with pepper accents on the earthy, savoury, slightly herbal nose that follow through to the palate. A savoury-tasting wine with green pepper notes, black olives and fruit that in my glass seems quite restrained. Tight and firm at this stage of its life yet there’s a succulence as it lingers, perhaps even a smidgen of bitter chocolate too. Would like to see it decanted, poured into a big glass and tasted alongside food. Double Trophy from IWC and listed in Cuisine’s 2014 Top 5 Syrahs with a 5 star rating.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $38.99 special.

Rockbare McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 - South Australia
Saturated purple red. Tantalising from the outset, it is smoky, cedary and, spicy on the nose with ripe jammy fruit and hints of mint that carry through to the ultra-smooth, silky, creamy palate. A magnificent blockbuster style with a smoky savoury undercurrent, lashings of chocolate, juicy dark berry fruit, just a touch of pepper heat to the spices, very desirable liquorice, mocha and tar notes coming through and menthol tobacco notes on the gloriously long, bright lifted finish. Exciting.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $26.99 special.

Beresford McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 - South Australia
Deep dark red with crimson edges with a subtle bouquet that is like smelling a chocolate box after the chocolates have gone. A rich, ripe wine with flavours reminiscent of chocolate biscuits, chocolate raisins and juicy berry fruit underpinned by smoky, savoury, tarry notes and firm grippy tannins. In comparison to the Rockbare, this seems more understated at first because it is so much tighter but the power of the wine asserts itself on the harmonious, flowing finish.
14.8% alc. Cork. $24.99 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting – 18 Jun 2014
Peter Lehmann Wines with Malcolm Stopp
Wines were not tasted blind

Nautilus Marlborough Chardonnay 2011
Light lemon gold with inviting nutty, mealy characters infusing the subtle French oak bouquet and rich, nutty and toasty in the palate with a powerful silky presence, nuances of peach jam and hints of grilled grapefruit in the background. Dry and long with a smoky savoury aura to the lingering flavours.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $28.99 special.

Peter Lehmann Margaret Barossa Semillon 2008
Radiant lime-tinged gold. Glorious aged Semillon nose with a delectable toasty nuance to the lemon butter and lime honey scents. Wonderful lemongrass and lime leaf lift to the juicy, fresh, smooth, silky flavours with honeysuckle coming through on the mouthfilling finish. Utterly glorious. A wine you have to taste to appreciate.
11% alc. Screwcap. $33.99 special.

Peter Lehmann Hill & Valley Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Deep plummy red. Concentrated cassis and plum on the nose with pencil box woody notes floating through. The cassis carries through to the fine textured concentrated palate with mint and leafy eucalypt notes, fine tannins, sweet ripe blackberry and blackcurrant fruit and subtle nuances of chocolate and aniseed on the savoury oak finish. Despite the cellar worthy acidity underpinning the wine it is open and accessible already.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $22.99 special.

Peter Lehmann VSV Ruediger Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Concentrated blackberry red. Eucalypt, cassis and woodsmoke on the nose. The eucalypt is almost a tsunami in the cedar-filled palate with bright cassis notes riding the wave, smoky bacon and cigarbox in behind. Tannins are firm and the wine finishes dry. Concentrated and powerful with still years to go.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $39.99 special.

Peter Lehmann The Mentor Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Blackberry red. Eucalypt plays a support role in this smoky, cedary smelling wine. Ripe, rich and tight in the mouth with tannins firm and puckery at this youthful (just released) stage of its life. Red fruits, mint, blood, meat, game with smoky cedar rippling through quite elegantly. Very concentrated and long with hints of jaffa on the lasting finish. Put it away for a while to fully realise the potential.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $49.99 special.

Peter Lehmann Mentor Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
In comparison to the 2011, this rich coloured wine seems more resolved with fruit a part of the whole. Cedar, tobacco, cigarbox, dark fruits on the nose. Blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, chocolate and nuggety oak in the palate with eucalypt and chicory rippling through. Bold, powerful and mouthfilling with assertive fine textured tannins, becoming quite creamy with coffee and chocolate on the full-bodied finish. Merlot and Malbec are components this vintage year.
14% alc. Screwcap. $49.99 special.

Peter Lehmann Hill & Valley Barossa Shiraz 2011
Dark red coloured. Opulent and fruity on the nose – ripe berry fruit – boysenberries, blueberries and plums come to mind with a subtle eucalypt leaf note coming through. Spicy and savoury with a fruit cake richness and, as on the nose, a leafy note to the finish. Whereas the Cabernets were fine in their texture, this wine is blackboy peach fleshy.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $22.99 special.

Peter Lehmann Futures Barossa Shiraz 2011
Fine textured and concentrated in appearance with a inky purple hue and a very appealing cherry and plum scent with woodsmoke in the distance. Continuing the fine tradition of the Futures, this is instantly appealing with its flavours of chocolate, cedar, ripe berry fruit, cake spices, a kick of spicy heat in behind and a eucalypt note that so far this evening has been a trait of all the red wines. There is something very accessible about this vintage of Futures and the woodsmoke character is very exciting.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $24.99 special.

Peter Lehmann VSV 1885 Barossa Shiraz 2009
Plum and blackberry on the nose with hints of mint, chocolate, aniseed and a subtle suggestion of truffle. In the mouth it is full-bodied, velvety, mouthcoating and comforting yet there is something very fine and profound about this wine. We have gone several rungs up the ladder and the flavours of eucalypt, red berries, smoky oak, hints of chocolate, spice and tar are exceptional right now. Quite an irresistible wine.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $39.99 special.

Peter Lehmann VSV Orrick Flinders Shiraz 2009
Woodsmoke and macerated mixed berries characterise the scent and on the first taste it seems like a very fruity wine (after the 1885) but it is actually very complex. Full-bodied with fine tannins, an earthy nuance, a touch of allspice with chocolate on the finish and peppery spices coming through as the flavours linger persistently. Woodsmoke is a very desirable feature - and jaffa too.
14.5 % alc. Screwcap. $39.99 special.

Peter Lehmann Eight Songs Barossa Shiraz 2010
Inky in hue and while initially quite restrained on the nose the hallmark eucalypt and ripe berry fruit soon come through with chocolate in the background that prepares for the waves of chocolate in the sumptuous palate. It seems like a bit of a blockbuster with its rich juicy fruit and deep vinosity but becomes quite silky and elegant as it traverses the palate. Behind the fruit is a profound savouriness with hints of liquorice, herbs, mocha and cedar and the tannins, while firm, have a seductive quality to them.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $49.99 special.

Peter Lehmann Stonewell Barossa Shiraz 2010
Inky black purple. Mocha and chicory and creamy oak infuse the perfumed bouquet where hints of briar roses add to the allure. In the mouth it is full-bodied and concentrated with an earthy, savoury undercurrent and fleshy tannins that have a firm silky edge. The fruit, laced with spice, is in the dark plum and blackberry spectrum and there are lashings of dark chocolate, nut chocolate and cedar with just a smidgen of mint as this profound wine lingers. From an outstanding vintage it has great cellaring potential but if you simply have to embrace it right now it should be decanted.
14% alc. Screwcap. $89.99 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting – 11 Jun 2014
All Brand New
All of the wines were tasted blind

Tohu Mugwi Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013
The bouquet of this 'white gold' coloured wine is reminiscent of wild yeast barrel ferment – that lemon bread freshness combining with a sweet nutty mealy savouriness. Then in the palate it has a tangy tropical fruit vibrancy with a fleshy stonefruit softness and the finish is steely dry with the mealy characters from the bouquet re-emerging in the juicy long lasting finish, all the while in behind an intriguing salty (herbaceous) citrussy tang. Made by Tohu, this is a very 'alternative' style – give it a try.
13% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Gerard Fiou Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – Loire Valley, France
While restrained on the nose with a delicate scent of just bitten greengage plum, this tastes more like a straight up and down tangy, capsicum and herb-infused style. It has a slightly smoky fumé character permeating through the stonefruit, green and yellow plum and grapefruit flavours, a flinty gravelly suggestion to the texture and a long dry finish. Certainly more pungent than many Sancerre we have tasted in the past and in comparison to the typical Kiwi versions it is extremely dry.
13% alc. Cork. $33.99.

Waimea Nelson Chardonnay 2013
Light yellow gold with an appealing toast and butter caramel bouquet, it is smooth, creamy, savoury and toasty to the taste with a spicy tingle, fleshy tropical fruit and stonefruit and a honey/caramel nutty richness to the long rounded finish. Very drinkable already and another winner from this ultra reliable Chardonnay producer. 'Retro' was the word that resonated around the room.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Sacred Hill HALO Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2013
This straw gold wine smells fragrant and fruity with butterscotch overtones to the stonefruit and melon bouquet. A little more restrained than the Waimea at this early stage with slightly estery (bubblegum) notes infusing the nutty oak, a fine silky texture and a delicate butterscotch coating. It is drinking well now but patience will reward, as it will fatten up in the bottle with a little more time. In fact as it sits in the glass you can see the malty richness almost accruing. All in all quite more-ish with a very fulfilling finish.
13% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Marsden Estate Bay of Islands Black Rocks Chardonnay 2013
This in comparison to the previous has more of everything so it is incredible to find it is a same vintage wine. Big, rich, golden and buttery with a delectable sizzled butter note to the smoky oak bouquet and toasted apricot-like fruit in the palate with a bright citrussy tang to the smooth, creamy finish with memories of salted caramel as the glorious flavours linger. A class act all the way through. If I was scoring this wine (as some people request) it would be 5 stars.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $29.99 special.

Schoffit Alsace Pinot Gris Tradition 2011
A concentrated and moderately luscious light golden coloured wine with a rich oily texture, delicate rose petal florals, white pepper spices, poached sugar pears with vanilla and star anise and a super long finish with hints of Turkish Delight and exotic spices coming through. Many in the room though it was Gewurztraminer but it lacks the heady perfume and powerful flavours. The similarities are in the mouthfeel with the soft acidity, the concentration and texture. Don’t write off Pinot Gris until you have tasted a stunning example like this. It's delicious.
14% alc. Cork. $32.99 special.

Julicher 99 Rows Martinborough Pinot Noir 2012
This has a vibrant ruby violet hue with an inviting sweet smoky scent encompassing aromas of bottled red cherries. Vibrantly fruity in the palate – again bottled red cherries come to mind – with a hint of vanilla, a lovely savoury inflection, a touch of salami and mushrooms braised in fragrant spices and thyme. The fruit is plump and juicy, almost luscious, but there is well balanced acidity while the tannins are silky with a firm edge and the wine finishes dry.
12.5% alc. Screwcap. $24.99 special.

Codice Tempranillo 2011 – Manchuela, Spain
Youthful and vibrant in appearance with a saturated blue red hue. Perfumed red fruits and spice and a scent slightly reminiscent of childhood mercurochrome. The initial taste has a slight metallic edge but quickly you know it is the fruit that this wine is all about. Juicy blueberries, blackberries and plums are underpinned by a dark savoury, slightly tarry undercurrent with a firm but supple tannin structure, some chocolate biscuits and strawberry notes together with waves of red pepper on the very pleasing finish.
14 % alc. Screwcap. $16.99.

Malnera Negroamaro Malavasia Nera 2011 – Salento, Italy
Inky red garnet. Fragrant red fruit, creamy oak and sweet spices – it smells very much like a juicy Australian quaffer and backs that up in the medium-bodied, velvety textured, juicy, creamy, spicy palate where there are lashings of juicy mulberries, a more European-like nuggety tarry earthy savoury undercurrent and a bright long finish. From the heel of Italy, this 80/20 blend of the two grape varieties is exceptionally tasty.
14% alc. Cork. $15.99 special.

Flores de Calejo Tempranillo 2012 – Ribero del Duero, Spain
Vibrant inky purple red. Quite a subtle nut chocolate aroma then firm and powerful in the palate with brambly red fruits, rose hips, hints of chocolate box and a smoky savoury back note. This is a young wine with serious tannins that seem a little unresolved but it is from a wine region where the wines are known to age very well. So while it seems a vinfanticide to drink right now, have it with the right food and the tannins will dissolve away.
14% alc. Cork. $22.99 special.

Kingston Estate Shiraz 2012 – South Australia v
This is another deep inky number and although a little tarry on the nose it tastes like South Australia with juicy berry fruit, hints of chocolate, a eucalypt tang and a tasty finish with very good length but it has a meaty undercurrent and earthy savoury tarry notes too. This could be from the marriage of fruit from the cooler coastal region of Mount Benson and the inland region of Clare. The type of wine to serve as a quaffer or match to snarlers cooked on the BBQ – and in Auckland in June the BBQ is still very much a cooking utility.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $13.99 special.

Mamre Brook Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
An inky monster in the glass, this is opulent smelling with its clean fruit infused with mint chocolate, sweet smoky oak and spices. It’s a blockbuster of a wine in the palate with firm but supple tannins, red and black fruit, chocolate, mocha and vanilla and a fantastically long finish. No need to say more except that it totally delivers in the way we expect Mamre Brook reds to do.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting – 4 Jun 2014
European Wines with Andrew Parkinson
Only the 'Stand-up options' wine was tasted blind

Louis Bouillot Perle De Vigne Grande Reserve Cremant de Bourgogne NV – Burgundy, France
Straw gold with a fine bead of bubbles making a lacy edge, this is fresh, dry and savoury with a nutty richness to the scent that recurs in the soft creamy palate, and a twist of citrus to the bright tingly finish where a gentle touch of sweetness is very pleasing indeed. A lovely drop that would stand up to many Champagnes and the packaging is very good too. Mainly Chardonnay with a touch of Pinot, Gamay and Aligote. Cremant is the name used in Burgundy and other regions for Champagne style wines.
12% alc. Cork. $22.99 special.

Faiveley Rully Les Villeranges Blanc 2011 –Burgundy, France
This 100% Chardonnay is light gold with a glossy, lustrous glow. Grilled pineapple and manuka woodsmoke on the nose – intriguing as this is a wine that has not seen oak. Dry and savoury to the taste with that woodsmoke character infusing sizzled butter and mealy / roasted nut flavours with juicy apricot on the flinty finish. Smooth textured in a medium to full-bodied package. Elegant style and would be a lovely food wine.
12.5% alc. Cork. $32.99 special.

Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2012 – Rhone Valley, France
Very pale gold. A fresh wine with no obvious indication of oak, the aroma is immediately reminiscent of pink bubble gum with subtle floral scents in behind. There's 70% Viognier in the blend and the apricot and lemongrass flavours associated with this grape shine through together with strudel spices and a flourish of bright orange peel-like acidity that is most obvious front to mid palate but falls away for a soft, savoury finish. The other varieties are Marsanne and Roussanne, which Andrew says 'adds structure rather than flavour'. A great alternative to Pinot Gris, I say.
13.5% alc. Cork. $19.99 special.

Marc Bredif Vouvray 1996 – Loire Valley, France
Moderate deep gold. First and foremost on the nose is a waxy, lanolin-like character and coming back to it later after tasting, apples are obviously there too. It tastes full-bodied, concentrated and mouthfilling with flavours reminiscent of baked apples stuffed with honey and dates and laced with mandarin-like citrus. My sample was remarkably fresh and vibrant for an 18-year-old wine, but it was noted there was bottle variation in the room.
12% alc. Cork. $69.99.

Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2010 – Rhone Valley, France
Youthful dark magenta red. There's an appealing contrast of fruitiness and savouriness to the scent with dark berries, rosehips and a tarry note coming to mind. Juicy and flavoursome in the medium-bodied palate with plum and black cherry fruit laced with a sprinkling of white pepper, anise-like herbs and spices, and a meaty richness to the savoury finish. Smooth and easy drinking with supple tannins, it's just over 50% Syrah with Grenache, Mourvedre and a selection of other grapes making up the blend. Great value for this tasty class act.
14% alc. Cork. $19.99 special.

Tormaresca Neprica 2011 – Puglia IGT, Italy
A gutsy, bold style of wine with a deep dark red hue and a milky, almost chocolatey overlay to the earthy, leathery, spiced fruit scent. Mocha, currants, cake spices, a touch of pepper, liquorice, bacon and tar are the flavours that fill the palate. A deep, rich, fruity wine with firm furry tannins, bright underlying acidity and a hint of chocolate on the punchy finish, it's made from a blend of Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet - hence the NePriCa name.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Ventisquero Queulat Gran Reserva Carmenere 2011 – Maipo Valley, Chile
Inky dark red. Dark toasty oak, herbs and milk chocolate on the nose. Full-bodied with smooth plush tannins, cassis and prune-like fruit, cocoa and toast, underlying acidity and a woody herb savouriness – this big thick, meaty wine is almost a meal in itself. A ring-in for the 'Stand-Up Options' interlude.
14% alc. Cork. $19.99 special.

Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico 2010 – Tuscany, Italy
There some bricking to the edges of the almost translucent maroon coloured hue. Highly perfumed with pink smoker lollies (musk) and pencil shavings the first impression to the scent, those characters carrying through to the fine textured palate where there's an intriguing red pepper tingle. Fruit is in the red spectrum with strawberries and cherries, a very pleasing and balanced savoury undercurrent and a long dry finish. It fills out beautifully in the mouth and exudes elegance, length and flow.
13.5% alc. Cork. $27.99 special.

Conde De Valdemar Reserva Rioja 2006 – Rioja, Spain
Dark red with seductive scents of coconut-infused vanillin oak, red fruits and a subtle suggestion of tar. Zesty in the medium to full-bodied palate with firm but fine tannins that are still not totally resolved thus adding character to the texture. Classical vanillin oak and spiced orange peel of old-school Rioja with red fruits (strawberries); a toasty, meaty savouriness in behind and a very long, lingering finish. Delicious if you like this style of wine. I do.
13.5% alc. Cork. $29.99 special.

Prunotto Barolo Classico 2008 – Piedmont, Italy
Translucent orange-tinged red. Smoky on the delicately floral nose, then immediately in the palate the massively tight tannin structure that is always associated with Barolo, yet it is fine in its flow … and as the wine lingers (it has incredible length) the tannins become seductive and silky. There's an earthy depth to the bottled cherry flavours and a dry slightly saline character that adds to the mantra that this is a wine for red meat. Low colour, high tannins, rose petal florals and tar are classic descriptors for Barolo wines and this wine fills the brief.
13.5% alc. Cork. $70.99 special.

Gonzalez Byass 1847 Olorosso Sherry – Jerez, Spain
Translucent orange amber. Macerated raisins and liquid honey on the nose then in the mouth there is spiritous heat and the sense of dry and sweet with the rancio of the solera aging, an intriguing savoury salty tang, orange peel, honey and caramel and a long, creamy finish. A blend of 75% Palomino and 25% Pedro Ximinez grapes aged for several years in barrel, the salty character lingers and stimulates the palate for food, which is why this can be an excellent aperitif wine as well as after dinner with blue cheese and figs.
18% alc. Cork. $19.99 special 375-ml bottle.

Note: The New Zealand wines listed on this page should have been cross-catalogued to my wine reviews by grape variety - check out my Wine Review Index.

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