Wine Tasting Video: Bordeaux-ish wines from France, Chile, California & South Africa

Vallée Blanche Malbec 2010, Pays d’Oc, France (£7.49 Majestic)
Reasonable violet-scented plummy fruit and soft spice, but the muddy vanilla character from use of oak destroys the delicate flavours – think of someone with too much foundation… C+

Carmen Reserva Carmenère 2010, Colchagua, Chile (£9.49 Majestic)
More of that clumsy vanilla character here, but the fruit is richer and copes better. Rounded, spicy berry (red & black), with a touch of coffee bean, and even something like honey. But again, why the need for the slap? B(-)

Hahn Estate Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, California, USA (£13.99 Wine Rack)
There’s a slightly overripe baked berry edge here, but the wine still has some freshness and juiciness. Not hugely complex, and with a touch of rawness one the finish, but basically sound. B(-)

Vergelegen Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Stellenbosch, South Africa (£13.99 Wine Rack)
The oldest of this quartet, but still very much alive, has tobacco and blackcurrant leaf complexity and rounded plummy flesh, and while there’s a touch of the smoky South African baked character, it’s not centre stage. Juicy, rounded and subtle, nice wine. S

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