Day Twenty-One – Here we go, here we go, here we go…


Am I older and wiser at the end of my three weeks on Big Brands? I think I’ll save the summing up for tomorrow, but I have a final pair of wines, both from Constellation and both with – in best-selling brand terms at least – sizeable price tags.

Kumala Zenith Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2006, Western Cape
Not bad at all, and a big improvement on the 2006 Cab/Shiraz (although not on the 2007). It’s a bit simple, but there’s none of that charred/bonfire edge, and the fruit is fresh rather than overripe. Berries and blackcurrants, but the finish is slightly hard – will be interested to see what the new brooms at Kumala achieve with this wine is subsequent vintages. £8.40 though… I expect slightly better for that.

Banrock Station The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Reserve 2006, South Eastern Australia
I’m pleased I’m finishing my Big Brand Diet with this wine, as it’s among the best there have been. There’s punchy red and black fruit flavours, but there’s also a hint of earthy restraint plus a smidgeon of eucalyptus. And despite its 14% alcohol, it’s still refreshing. A reasonable buy at £9.40, but apparently it will be available at half-price from time to time – if you see it on offer, fill yer boots.


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