Monday, June 26, 2006

Wine Course Reds #2

Craggy Range Merlot 2004 (Hawkes Bay NZ)
This wine comes from the Gimblet Gravels area, which has apparently established quite a reputation for producing quality wines.

I checked on their website and whilst the 2003 was at 13% alcohol, the 2004 we tasted was 14%. (At least my notes say we tasted the 2004 and it was 14% but I only saw the 2003 on the website)

This wine was deeply purple and had a big plush(?) nose. Again, if something can smell 'velvety' this does. (I am sorry that I can't describe it better). There was also chocolate on the nose and the palate. Tannins were BIG and there was great intensity of flavour and great length.

I am not a fan of Merlot but this was something to keep me coming back.

(My thanks to Clare McSporran from Craggy Range for the photograph and the permission to use it)

Provenance Shiraz 2005 (Geelong VIC)
This is the most difficult and interesting wine I think I have ever tasted. I still don't know whether I loved it or hated it. After you taste it I think it has to be either one or the other - love or hate!

It's BIG BIG nose was very 'pongy' - a little like sour milk! It was deep red bordering on purple. There were really strong green herbacious flavours and almost some aniseed? Maybe this is more licorice!

It is a very complex and intense wine and has a lot going on but not necessarily in different directions. Most of those attending the wine course hated it. Tony Harper (wine judge and critic) loved it and raved about it. I still can't make up my mind.

A song came to mind when I was tasting it, and I meant to tell Tony (but forgot). So Tony, if you are reading this - remember Rocky Horror Picture Show? Eddy (played by Meatloaf) did a song "A Wild and an Untamed Thing" - this is the song that came to mind as I tasted this wine. It was a wild, untamed ride but not necessarily an unstructured or bad one. Have any of you tried this one??

Please do not get me wrong - I am not bagging this wine at all! In fact I will buy some more just to try it again to see if I can make up my mind. But I am just an amateur, so I will leave the last word to the expert. James Halliday is quoted as having rated this wine 94/100.

(My thanks to Jen from Provenance Wines for the photograph and the permission to use it)


Blogger Edward said...


The Craggy Range Merlot is a terrific wine. I have tried the 02 and when I can source some of the 04 will buy a few bottles. Lots of structure, granular, firm, chewy tannins.
Sounds like a great intro course you are attending.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Mal said...

Thanks for the comment Ed! It was my first Craggy Range but it certainly will not be my last.

The course was terrific. The better-half and I really enjoyed it. It also has been fun putting the little knowledge we have to the test whenever we open a bottle of wine.

The best part is that it opened my eyes to different wines and wine-making styles that I hadn't considered or even known wbout before.

8:38 AM  

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