Monday, 4 April 2011

Laithwaites Mystery Case - Final Part

Hello All!

Welcome to the final part of the Laithwaites Mystery Case (see here: to refresh your memories). After a slightly dismal middle last week, we had 3 very pleasant whites this week to finish the case off. They were:

Long Terrace, Chardonnay, South Eastern Australia, 2009

One from Sam Trimboli (who makes a multitude of wines under different labels for Laithwaites) and the generic "South Eastern Oz" appellation. 13%

The Look: A very greeny-yellow at its deepest with bright lemon coloured highlights.
The Smell: Honey, citrus and peach. Some minerality.
The Taste: Lovely and drinkable. Very similar to the nose, lots of peach and a bit of honeyed citrus. Unassuming. Not overly harsh at all. A good balance.
The Score: A nice enough Chardonnay here 7/10.
VFM: This is only £4.99 normally! Absolute bargain and leading to a superb VFM of 1.40, but we paid a little over the odds at the £6.42 case average.

Don Cayetano, Reserva, Chardonnay-Sauvignon Blanc-Viognier, Central Valley, 2009

The Don Cayetano brand is also a popular one at Laithwaites. Unusual to see this trio together, but the Chardonnay should give structure, the Sauv Blanc some acidity and freshness and the Viognier some aromatics. 13%.

The Look: A pale but bright lemon yellow leading to a water white rim.
The Smell: Very aromatic; peachy, grapey and full.
The Taste: The taste was again grapey and peachy, full and voluptuous. The Sauv Blanc acidity and fruit reined-in by the body of the Chardonnay and the smoothness of the Viognier. Plenty of fruit in the background but restrained and a slight minerality. 
The Score: Couldn't fault it but it didn't "Wow". 7/10.
VFM: This is £6.99 normally, giving a bang-on VFM of 1.0! Nice.

Palacio de Menade, Rueda, 2009

An unspecified white blend from the Rueda D.O. area Northwest of Madrid, although likely a blend of Verdejo and Viura (the white Rioja and Cava grape) as these are the most common grapes. 12.5%

The Look: A bright gold with greeny hints.
The Smell: Probably a bit cold to start off, but a nutty, creamy smell developed into more fruit with a zesty, lemon/lime or (maybe orange peel?) with a more delicate peachy/melon aroma.
The Taste: Very restrained and minerally to start. There is a lemon/lime citrus burst but with a restrained acidity; it gives freshness but does not overpower. This then fades quickly to a creamy, oaky, mineral finish. 
The Score: Very nice. A bit more than just fruit, with character and balance. Interesting and well made IMHO. 7.5/10. Recommended!
VFM: This is £7.99 normally! Absolute bargain and leading to a very respectable VFM of 0.88.

So, not a bad end to the case with some very respectable scores and some refreshing whites with some character. All good value. But, was the case worth it and did I get my value? Well, I guess so. I worked out that the case would have cost about £8.11 per-bottle delivered. Did I enjoy them? Mostly. Did I get reimbursed for faulty ones? Yes. Would I buy them again? Hmmm, probably yes, but I still can't explain why...?

As always,

Speak to you soon.



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