We Had 3 reds and a white this time.
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Lebanon may not be synonymous with wine to most of us (sadly, most of us probably are aware of it due to the war-torn political landscape), however, wine has been abundant here for over 6000 years and is even quoted in the Bible. From fertile plots, 1000m up in the Bekaa valley, the sons of the founder (Gaston Hochar) produce a unique blend every year, although heavily Cabernet dominated. 14% alcohol.
The Look: A deep, plummy purple with brick red edges and some brown hints, nicely showing its age..
The Smell: Powerful smell. Lots of aromas. Cabernet fruit, blackcurrant and some blackberry maybe some cherry with some tobacco and sweetness. Took on more blackberry aromas after a few hours.
The Taste: Decanted and hour before drinking: Initial taste is bright red fruit, suprisingly still very acidic but in a good way! Some blackcurrant, black cherry, some tannin and some spice. Good length. Plenty of life in this yet! After an hour or two, more blackberry fruit developed and jammy black fruit.
The Score: Still tannic and young but very good indeed. It should develop nicely over the next few years. 8/10. Highly Recommended.
VFM: At £17.99 a bottle this is was a treat and not really for "value drinking". The resulting VFM is naturally low at VFM = 0.44 but at the case average of just £8.39 it is well-worth-it! (VFM = 0.95)
Finca Las Moras, Viognier, Mendoza, 2009
From the San Juan province of Argentina, typically hotter and drier than Mendoza. A big one here at 14% alcohol.
The Look: A pale medium-yellow.
The Smell: Some peach and mellon immediately apparent with also some floral smells and maybe some grapefruit or even pineapple.
The Taste: The taste was lovely initially, smooth mouthfeel, peach, plenty of fruit and acidity. However, there was a slight bitterness on the finish, somethin akin to chewing on orange rind, which let it down.
The Score: A bit rough around the edges, but a decent introduction to Viognier. 6/10.
VFM: At £5.99 a bottle you can't really argue with a VFM = 1.0. A decent, drinkable bottle but for £2 or £3 more you could get something a bit more pleasing.
A Cabernet from the cool climate Yarra Valley in South Eastern Australia. Matured for 6 months in French Oak. 13%% alcohol.
The Look: A deep, blackish purple, opaque but lightening to a violet at the rim.
The Smell: Quite an array of aromas; blackberry jam, graphite or wet stone, currants, some toffee and violets.
The Taste: Blackcurrants, violets with some blackberries and spice. At first it seemed a bit harsh but did mellow. More complex than I first thought.
The Score: Not too bad at all. Open an hour before drinking. 6.5/10.
VFM: At £7.49 a bottle this is pretty good value, giving VFM = 0.93.
From Cariñena in Northwest Spain. Unusual to see a varietal Shiraz with Spain on the label., so this pricked my interest... Aged in American Oak 13.5% alcohol.
The Look: A very dark purple.
The Smell: Blackberries, raisins, coffee and graphite with a slight sweetness.
The Taste: Good taste, raisiny, blackberry, spice, good tannin and balanced acidity. Better after an hour with more intense blackberry and some spice developing.
The Score: Again, not too bad at all. 7/10. Recommended
VFM: At £7.49 a bottle this is again gives VFM = 0.93. Good value stuff!
So, not a bad start to the Majestic case. A lovely treat in the form of Musar 2002 and a good-value Shiraz from Spain. The other two were half decent. I look forward to supping on the rest of them. As always...
Speak to you soon.