Drinking Outside The Box

With Simon Woods – wine for people who have a life

Wine Tasting Video: Spicy reds from France, California & Australia October 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Published by 2 Comments

Alain Grignon Cuvée Chasseur 2010, Vin de France (£4.29 Waitrose)
Smells decent, like a slightly leafy Bordeaux propped up with a draught of the warm south, but while the blackcurrant and blackberry flavours are reasonable, it would be far better without that touch of sweetness. C+

Parducci Zinfandel 2009, Mendocino County, California (£11-12 Hallgarten Druitt)
Proper Zin that would go with food rather than try to wrestle it to the floor, this has classic sweet briar and bramble, just on the right side of jamminess, and with some stalky spice and tannin to give freshness and structure. B+

Parducci Deep Roots Red 2009, Mendocino County, California (£11-12 Hallgarten Druitt)
Hmm… I like the brambly Zin edge, and the plummy berry bite of Syrah, but the strong peach kernel character of Viognier overwhelms the wine at the moment, making it just too rounded and soft. B-

First Drop Half & Half Shiraz/Monastrell 2009, Barossa, Australia (£14.99 Secret Cellar, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Hanging Ditch, Harvey Nichols, The Sampler)
Smells deep, dark and inky with a note of iron and just a hint of mint. Decent hearty bramble flesh, but it veers towards the jammy and even after it’s been open for several hours, the finish is just a touch sweet and cola-like for real class. B+

First Drop Mother’s Milk Shiraz 2009, Barossa, Australia (£14.99 Secret Cellar, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Hanging Ditch, Harvey Nichols, The Sampler)
A deeper, darker, more savoury style with lush ripe plum and blackberry fruit, a savoury cooked tomato edge, just the right amount of toasty oak and refreshing earthy minerality on the finish. Brawny, but brainy too, and all the better for being open 3-4 hours. S(+)

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Categorised in: Barossa, Languedoc, Mendocino, Mourvedre, Syrah/Shiraz, Video, Viognier, Wine Education, Zinfandel/Primitivo


  • David Kelly says:

    Big fan of Parducci for many years.
    Great tastings, but I think a little harsh on the Deep Roots :-)

  • Simon says:

    I just wish they hadn’t slopped the Viognier in as it felt as if the wine was rich and soft enough without it – it’s what I call the cream and custard treatment…

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