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What we’ve been drinking (20 February – 27 February 2009)

What we’ve been drinking index

Christelle Guibert

Tastings Director, Decanter magazine

   Harlan Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 1994

From one of the great vintages of Napa, the 1994 is still holding together. More of a Bordeaux style than a Napa fruit bomb, the wine still has lots of complexity with some dark fruit characters and enticing aromas of tobacco; the acidity is still very much alive.

Mark O’Halleron

Tastings Executive, Decanter magazine

   Barossa Valley Estate, Ebenezer Shiraz 2001

Cracked open on a grey, drizzly afternoon, this matched the mood perfectly. Pure and crunchy violet fruit, peppery spice on the back of the palate, vibrant, lifted flavours and breezy acidity – they were all there, as was a nice level of freshness that helped it slip down even more easily. It was a bit like a warm blanket

Adam Lechmere

Editor, decanter.com

   Chateau d’Angludet 2005

There are those who would look askance at opening this superb Margaux Cru Bourgeois so young…but…what a fine herby, almost garriguey nose and delicious, meaty, spicy, aromatic mouthful it offers! We had it over a weekend lunch with a robust beef ragu pasta, which went perfectly with the strong dark cooked blackberry fruit and firm tannins. Too young? Of course. This wine will last and last. I won’t be opening another for another year…

Tina Gellie

Acting Assistant Editor, Decanter Magazine

   Casa Valduga, Identidade Single-Vineyard Arinarnoa, Encruzilhada do Sul, Brazil 2006

A week spent in Brazil’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul was a real eye-opener in terms of varietal diversity. None more so than at this family estate, where the Identidade label showcases three very underrated grapes: Marselan, Ancelotta and Arinarnoa. The first two I’ve tasted before – and are increasing in popularity in this burgeoning wine country – but the latter, a cross between Merlot and Petit Verdot is a one I’d never come across, and is unique to Valduga. A lifted boysenberry, mineral nose leads to ripe, red cherry fruit and white pepper balanced by firm acidity and soft tannins. The alcohol is a touch warm at 14% but it would make a great match with a churrasco of barbecued pork.

Oliver Styles

Deputy Editor, decanter.com

   Christophe Pacalet, Chiroubles, 2006

I found this a very interesting wine. Although very reductive, it opens out given time and reveals itself as quite a serious Beaujolais (and far, far away from a ‘nouveau’ style). Drinking this, I began to understand why some people might draw parallels with Pinot Noir (I don’t, I must admit, try very much Beaujolais). Very attractive red berry fruit and cherry characters abound. It’s quite deep and complex too. Not only enjoyable, this was an eye-opener. Mea culpa, Beaujolais.

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