Friday, June 30, 2006

Wine Society Wines - Update

As mentioned in 7 Effective Habits of Highly Successful Guzzler Locaters I mentioned I was a member of the Wine Society. As part of the deal I have a standing order of a case of red wines (guzzlers) every 6 months. One arrives in June and the other December, each year. I like it because there is an expectancy that builds as the date approaches and, because they select the wines, there is invariably a number of wines that I would never choose or have never heard of. Over the last 4 years or so I can count on one hand the number of "dud" wines I have received.

The case arrived just the other day and had 2 bottles of each of:

Saltram "Mamre Brook" Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 (Barossa)
Blue Pyrenees Shiraz 2003 (Avoca VIC)
Chapel Hill Shiraz 2002 (McLaren Vale)
4. Norman's 'Old Wine' Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 (McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Adelaide Plains)
Brown Brothers Tempranillo 2001 (Victoria)
Orlando 'Gramps' Grenache 2004 (Barossa)

We had the Mamre Brook last night with a Morrocan lamb shank dish. I started to get excited when I was pouring the wine. The light is not the best in our dining room but the wine was an very dark inky colour. It also passed the Robbie's Rule of Thumb Test.

There were strong hints of berries (mulberry?) and chocolate on the nose. There is a moderately complex palate of competing berry flavours, good tannins and huge (14.5%) alcohol (which may detract from it slightly). There is definitley another 5 years in this wine. Good intensity and reasonably good length. I enjoyed it! (I can see I really need to start objectively rating the wines - I think a 20 point system is for me - sorry GW and Murray! I just need to get things clear in my mind as to how I will approach it. Ed's recent post has helped a lot)

I hope to review the rest of the wines received, as we drink them.

(Many thanks to Jeremy Coyle from Saltram for the photo and the kind permission to use it)


Anonymous gw said...

You need to go 100. You know it is the right thing to do. Do it. DO IT.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Mal said...


Are you on some sort of a commission?

I can see the need to objectively rate the wine on a scale so that I can then objectively compare one wine to another horizontally and compare one vintage to another vertically.

I will make it the subject of an upcoming blog and seek serious feedback, although I am at this stage tending towards a 20 point scale. This is simply because I can't see that, in my own amateur way, that I could consistently differentiate between a 89 and a 90 point wine. Whereas, at least in my mind, I feel I would be more consistent in differentiating between a 16 and a 16.5 wine.

So get your arguments ready! I want to read a bit more myself before I put it up for discussion.

Thanks for the comment!

2:00 PM  

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