Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Zinfandel fit for marinating or sangria

Zunio Old Vines Zinfandel 2002
$13.99 for 750 ml

The bottle boasts “intensity of flavor and great character” and “abundant cherry, blackberry and plum fruit that is offset by notes of black pepper and spice,” but all I have to say is either they are very creative or my nose has failed me and my taste buds have finally died. I didn’t like it.

I found it super oaky with a sour taste. It was sharp, yet flat. It needed to mellow a lot, though that wouldn’t help much since there was little fruit. Basically, it was blah and of four of us doing a blind tasting it came in last out of four wines. Pass on this, because there are so many delicious, full-flavoured Cali Zins out there. Life is much to short to waste it drinking plonk. To be fair, I will try another year...someday. I'll let you know if my opinion changes. Every vintage has its differences. Maybe other years are better.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Cheap White Aussie

Hardys Stamp of Australia Chardonnay Semillon 2005
Thomas Hardy & Sons
South Eastern Australia
$10/750 ml
Serve chilled (but not too cold!)

Crisp and dry, this citrusy white blend is an enjoyable sipper. It has a citrus and tropical fruit nose that foreshadows the flavours to come. This medium-bodied, pale yellow wine is aromatic and flavourful (citrus, melon, pear, peach), with a nice warm spice. Also, it has a hint of oak. Though clean and crisp from being aged in stainless steel tanks, the “light oak influence” (probably oak chips) adds to the overall flavour.

I found this wine best served on the warmer side, though still chilled. If it’s too cold the flavours are masked. As it warms in the glass, it mellows and gets smoother, as the acidity is a bit sharp when it’s too cold.

Look for the replica 1937 Australian postage stamp on the bottle and try it for yourself. Tasty and cheap—you can’t go wrong for ten bucks.