Sunday, July 31, 2005

Isole e Olena Vin Santo 1997

The colour is a deep, burnt orange gold with hints of copper. It looks like a serious dessert wine.

Aromas of marzipan, amaretto, flambé orange leap out. Soft, exotic spicy notes rise from the glass in a more dignified manner. There is a candied nuttiness throughout.

The palate is extraordinary. Thick, unctuous and mouth-filling, all that is hinted at on the nose comes through with bells on. Massive flavours, but kept in check by structured acidity: Every note of the palate seems to fit perfectly: citrus, honey, almonds, hazelnuts and a slight hint of woodspice. The texture is phenomenal and the finish, thanks to the acidity, long but clean. Wonderful.


I'm not telling you where to find it, because I want it all. I'll give you a hint though... not Oddbins or in supermarkets.


I work for a wine shop. My views are not their views, as it is a shop and its views are of the University of St Andrews Buchanan Lecture Theatre & School of Modern Languages. Mine are many, varied and often disparaging of New World wine.

A lot of the wines I will taste on this blog will be from this shop. That is due to convenience, not some canny marketing ploy. Just wanted you to know. To be honest, I'm not even sure if I'm going to tell my bosses that I'm doing this. We'll see.

Oh, and if you happen to be a customer and I recommend a wine to you in the shop that I've slammed here - it means I don't like you.


I should have mentioned this before. I don't do a 100 point scale, mostly because it reminds me of being at school. Instead I use stars. Well, asterisks, really, like this *. It's a five-star scale. It will tend to be relative. The Burra Burra Shiraz scored **** because, when compared to other good Australian Shiraz, it ranks highly up there. If I'd scored a 1989 Leoville Barton at **** that doesn't mean they're as good as eachother. It means that they achieved that score relative to their playing field. And they are not on the same playing field. At least not on this blog.

Burra Burra Lone Star Shiraz 2001

The colour is deep purple at the rim and almost black at the core. Big legs, unsurprising as it weighs in at 14.5%!

The nose a bit understated, sweet cassis and pepper with earthy, almost charcoal tones. Floral notes on the edge combined with a slight herbiness give it a bit more dimension than most of the rubbish Aussie powerhouse jam that's kicking about and commanding high prices...

The palate is big and tannic - Nice integration between wood and fruit. The cassis doesn't follow through from the nose though, instead there's black forest fruit with great earthy secondary flavours. This is pretty bloody good actually. And at £14.99 not bad value. The finish isn't quite as lingering as I'd hoped, but there's none of the jammy sweetness that many of these winemakers seem to think they need in order to sell wine.


Available from Luvians

Hello and welcome...

This is going to be a selection of tasting notes and thoughts on the world of wine. These are my own, personal views and I make no apologies for the comments made here. I call them as I taste them and have no time for poorly made, sloppy wine.

I also have a personal blog. I try not to talk about wine on that one.