Thursday, April 24, 2008

2004 Borghese Barrel Fermented Pinot Noir

Region: Long Island
Country: U.S.A.
Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: €22.00
Closure: Cork

I recently spent some time visiting a friend in New York. The wine freak in me meant that a visit to Long Island was always going to be on the cards. The Long Island wine region is around 90 kilometers from New York city and at around 25 years a relatively young wine region. The region has warm, humid summers and cold winters with moderating influences in the form of the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island Sound and Peconic Bay.

Castello di Borghese Vineyard & Winery (formerly known as Hargrave Vineyard) is located on the north fork of Long Island. The vineyard, established in 1973 by the Hargrave family, has 84 acres under vine and produces around 10,000 cases per year. With the selection of Pinot Noir as their flagship wine the owners, Ann Marie & Marco Borghese, have gone away from the trend of using Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes as primary red varieties.

This wine is the Barrel Fermented Pinot Noir, a wine that I was most impressed with when tasting at the winery. Here is what I thought of it:

Light cherry red in turning to orange at the glass rim. Lovely nose of red berry fruits; primarily cherry along with hints of strawberry and toasty oak. On the palate it is quite earthy revealing the lovely crisp, fresh cherry and strawberry fruit along with some hints of tobacco. Fine, almost powdery tannins give the wine some backbone. Decent length completes a really interesting, well balanced wine that I thoroughly enjoyed drinking.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

WSET - Week 2

This weeks topics:

Wine Labels.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2004 Penfolds Bin 128

Region: Coonawarra
Country: Australia
Alcohol: 14%
Price: €13,00
Closure: Cork

Penfolds has been around since 1844 and over the subsequent 160-odd years has done much to put Australian wines on the world map. Their most famous wine is undoubtedly their flagship bin 95 (otherwise known as Grange), creation of the brilliant (and stubborn) Max Schubert. The naming of wines after bin numbers stems from the days when the wines were still stored in numbered underground storage bins at Penfolds Magill winery.

Penfolds has continued the tradition of labelling wines with bin numbers, among them the Bin 128. Formerly known as Bin 128 Claret, Bin 128 could be described as an oddity among the Penfolds range as it is one of the few wines where the grapes do not come from multiple regions; all grapes are sourced from the Coonawarra region. The wine is a cool climate Shiraz that is matured exclusively in Franch Oak.

I purchased this to assess whether I like it enough to purchase a case to stash in my cellar for a few years. This wine is, in my own humble opinion, a little too young to drink now.

Here's what I thought of it:

The first thing that hit me about this wine is the whimp of a cork used by Penfolds - what a joke. Anyway on to the wine. Really deep, dense red in colour with purple hues. almost black. The nose shows dark plummy, almost cassis-like fruit with some oak there in the background too. Medium in weight on the palate this wine shows nicely ripe dark berry, curranty, plummy fruit along with some hints of white pepper. This is all nicely framed with toasty oak. A lengthy, drying finish completes a really nice wine (though you need to appreciate some oak). Given the quality this is really quite decent value for money.