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What we’ve been drinking (5 December – 12 December 2008)

What we’ve been drinking index

Guy Woodward Editor, Decanter

   Falernia Syrah Reserva, Elqui Valley 2006

On a recent fact-finding trip to Chile, I was struck by the sense of adventure and willingness to experiment. Among the most successful examples is Falernia, a relatively new, Italian-owned producer whose winemaker Giorgio Flessati is better known in Trentino. In five years it has been responsible for putting the coastal, cool climate Elqui Valley on the map, notably through its northern Rhône-like Syrah – the Reserva 2006 is all violets, olives and game – a wonderful meaty intensity from such young vines.

Tina Gellie

Acting Assistant Editor, Decanter

   Royal Tokaji Wine Company, Aszu 6 Puttonyos Betsek, Tokaj, Hungary 1996

This was the star at the Christmas party of my monthly wine group. A deep, golden tawny brown, it had bright citrus zest, dried apricot and sea salt caramel on the nose, followed by currants and the sweet-but-sharp tang of caramelised pineapple. Beautiful acidity and complexity and a lingering finish it was a perfect partner to mince pies and roquefort.

Stuart Peskett

Acting Assistant Editor, Decanter

   Arietta Valpolicella Ripasso, 2007

Plucked from the shelves of a worryingly barren Thresher’s store in early December, this sub-£10 red was an unexpected treat. Wonderfully heady nose of black fruits and cherries, and plenty of gutsy cherry fruit on the palate, with enough tannin to balance the richness imparted by the ripasso treatment.

Adam Lechmere

Editor, decanter.com


Durin, Vermentino, Riviera Ligure di Ponente DOC 2007

We tasted this at our regular Friday night blind tasting at Decanter hq in Southwark. A really lovely, spicy, aromatic white with scents of ground-growing herb and some tropical fruit. A weighty wine as well – a food wine: two seconds in your mouth and you’re thinking of creamy seafood pasta, at a table on the quayside…

Mark O’Halleron

Tastings Executive

   Craggy Range, Block 14 Syrah, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay 2006

Craggy Range do it again. This is a real corker with a forceful personality and plenty of soul. The forward, purply fruit is countered by sage, violets, pepper and dark inky notes on the nose. The palate shows further biting white pepper flavours and touches of flowers and generous, ripe fruit. Totally delicious.

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