Wine Tasting Video: Red wines from China, France, Argentina & South Africa + Madeira + Chocolate

So why’s there a Madeira in among all these reds? The answer is chocolate…

Changyu Cabernet Blend 2011, Ningxia, China (£9.90 currently not in the UK)
Has the gentle leathery character and slightly figgy dark fruit of mature but not especially great Bordeaux, plus a slightly smoky note. OK, but ultimately a bit thin and fey. C

Gilles Louvet Pech Matelles Merlot Pays d’Oc 2011, France (£7.99 Askewine, The Solent Cellar, New Forest Wines, Fowey Wines, Riverford Farm Foods, Alfred the Grape, Pallant of Arundel, Tivoli Wines, Reserve Wines, Halifax Wine Company, Gwinology, Hand Picked, Lockett Bros, Santangeli, Berits & Brown, Aitken Wines, Cornelius Beer & Wine, The Cave, The Longship)
Starts of quietly, then opens up to show plummy berry and blackcurrant flavours, with a leafy freshness to the finish. Not great, but very drinkable and refreshing. B(+)

Clos de los Siete 2009, Mendoza, Argentina (£13.99 Majestic, Waitrose)
Feels fresher and less lairy than some earlier vintages, with an earthy violet juiciness to the rounded plummy berry flavours. S

Linton Park Café Cabernet 2011, Paarl, South Africa (£8.89
Yes, there are notes of coffee and dark chocolate here, but the fruit behind, while still showing a little baked character, isn’t too ripe, with some leafy, tar-like notes alongside the berries and blackcurrants. B+
Watch the video to see how this and the following wine go with dark chocolate.

Blandy’s Alvada 5 Year Old Rich Madeira, Portugal (£13.33 per 50cl Waitrose, Booths, Harrods)
Rich and sweet, but well balanced, with the plump, figgy fruit and nut flavours balanced by a citrus peel tang, and something of the whiff of polished furniture in there too. S(-)

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