After the previous high-acidity fizz tasting, we decided on Big Reds as the theme to our last get-together of the year.
With a trainee MW in our ranks, our wines donned their Christmas jumpers and we guessed at origins, ages and grapes.
The wines were provided by G, J and CWB
RE Chardonnoir 2013 (J) orange coloured; fresh, elegant and substantial. We were utterly confused by this one. It turned out to be a Chilean blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Casablanca Valley. A lovely, intriguing wine - with quite the most pompous back label.
Henschke Mount Edelstone Keyneton Shiraz 1991 (G) porty-eucalyptussy, big red. This had me immediately thinking of Australia. Overly alcoholic for my palate.
Another stream of thinking had it down as a Barolo - big, tannic, red with aromas of cherries, tar and roses.
Viña Real Gran Reserva 2009 (CWB) the age of this Rioja was correctly guessed as "around 5 years". Fresh, adept and and complex, this was very well liked.
S.C. Pannell Tempranillo / Touriga 2013 (J) truffley aromas, black-cherry fruit and fresh acidity but purple in the glass, this was like Pinot Noir's darker brother. Totally confusing.
Latching on to whatever details I could, I made a stab at it being New World (very clean, technically very well-made), so New Zealand (pure fruit and fresh acidity). It turned out to be a blend from McLaren Vale and Barossa.
Plasius Plavac Mali 2008 (G) with rosehip fruit, this was past its peak, but the underpinnings were still sound. We concluded that it was not a mainstream wine and so could be from pretty much anywhere.
It turned out to be a Plavac Mali (meaning "small blue", a reference to the grapes) from Croatia's Konavosko Vinogorje - roughly, Konovo Wine Hills - with a Decanter Commended.
Chateau d'Yquem Lur Saluces 1990 (G) with fresh acidity and botrytis, this was confidently placed in Sauternes. However, the fruit was oxidised and it was nowhere near as impressive as it should have been.
Taylor's First Estate Reserve Port (CWB) I had not bothered to conceal this half-bottle of fresh, fruited ruby port, so we sipped it with warm mince pies and brandy butter to finish off.
I liked the English fizz and the Tempranillo a lot, but my wine of the night was the complex, fresh, aged Rioja.
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