Monday, 28 March 2011

Laithwaites Mystery Case - Part 2

Hello all!

Continuing with the Laithwaites Mystery Case this week we unfortunately had 3 reds that were corked! The odd bottle; fair enough but 3 in a case? Highly unusual. Anyway, true to their word, one swift email to customer services and I was offered a £25 refund; no quibbles. You can't really argue with that.

Anyway, what we did manage to drink were...

Croftwood Estate, Chardonnay, South Eastern Australia, 2009
Made by Andrew McPherson of the "McPherson Family Estate" brand that is also sold by Laithwaites. In fact, Laithwaites tend to do that; sell multiple different "Branded" wines that actually come from the same producer, McPherson is one, Sam Trimboli another, Opi Sadler another... to name but a few. Are they falsely inflating their range??? Anyway, this Chardonnay is lightly oaked and comes in at 13%.

The Look: Pale gold with very apparent green tinges.
The Smell: A burst of tropical fruit, lemon/lime citrus and a "nutty" oak character to it.
The Taste: Lovely smooth texture, plenty of citrussy fruit. Not massive acidity but enough to give it a firm freshness and balance. Some minerality showed in the form of a grapefruity-bitterness but not overly harsh. 
The Score: Lovely. A drinkable refreshing Chardonnay at a great price 7/10.
VFM: This is normally £5.99 so we were penalised a little by the £6.42 case-average. Even so, you can't fault the value for money at VFM =  At this price VFM is great at 1.09

The Forefather, Gran Reserva Malbec-Shiraz, Mendoza, 2008

Named after the Frenchman; Miguel Pouget who first brought Malbec to Argentina in 1853. Apologies again for the lack of proper photo, some over-zealous recycling took place again, so this was taken from the Laithwaites page here: 14%.

The Look: Very dark, opaque, plummy-purple, violet rim.

The Smell: A heady mix of smoky, leathery raspberry and blackberry. Something floral and something like a mix of deodorant and a hard day?
The Taste: Bright, hot and acidic. But, a nice fruit quality. It overcomes the hotness on the mid-palate but then returns and drowns out the fruit with burning alcohol. Not great. Maybe a slightly bad bottle or on the turn. The nose is clean but the taste...?
The Score: Assuming it is clean then its not very good. Unbalanced by hotness. 5.5/10. One to try again to confirm maybe?
VFM: This is normally £7.99 so the £6.42 case-average saved us a bob or two. Despite the taste, the VFM remains good at 0.86 (but only 0.69 at normal price), however, I would avoid this one, unless I can disprove on the next tasting...

So there we have it. A fairly limited selection this week due to faults. We have 3 whites left to finish off with next week...

As always...

Speak to you soon.



1 comment:

  1. I was impressed with the Chardonnay, too - one of the better wines I've had from Laithwaites and decent value. See here:

    Cheers, Tom