A driver don't pick the cars. Cars pick the driver.
- Bobby Bolivia, Transformers (2007)
The more wines I try, the more I find myself drawn to the more restrained styles of northern Europe.
At their best, the cool-climate wines of Champagne, Chablis and the Loire have a piercing intensity, a compelling freshness and assertive subtlety.
By contrast, the New World styles of Australia and California all too often seem rather too big and brash; pimped-up and surgically-enhanced with too much of everything - except subtlety.
This The Philosophy from McGuigan underwhelmed me on our first encounter; re-sampled, it is complex and full of ... stuff. But not my thing.
Lots of ripe dark fruit - it reeks of cassis, blueberry and elderberry - slightly stewed; cool mint, pencil shavings, liquorice, roasted spices and fine tannins. Long and savoury.
But I still prefer more restraint.
Its blowsiness matches well with some poshed-up New World-style food - deconstructed cheese burgers with roasted peppers, stuffed with tomatoes, rosemary, garlic and chili.
The 2010 turns out to be its launch year and its aim is be a limited edition premium wine in a "claret style", selling for triple figures; oak, extraction and alcohol have been tamed, apparently. Rather like Sylvester Stallone in Cop Land, it is accomplished in its own, big, muscular way. But it is no John Gielgud.
Provided by the IWSC.
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