January 22, 2010

Nugan Estate Riverina Durif 2007

The CROWN 2 winner. I felt like I needed a big red after the last one.

Durif is another term for Petit Syrah. Deep rich colour and a lemony plum bouquet. Actually, once I noticed the lemon it's quite obvious. Some leather and blackberry tastes as well, very interesting. To be honest, not as good as I remember it from cheap wine night, but still a class act. Probably would benefit from an hour in the decanter. I would proudly serve this with a bacon cheeseburger, or duck a l'orange if you want to go to the other end of the culinary scale.

89 points. $14 (as of CROWN 2).

Chateau de Cabriac Corbieres 2007

Some background: I came across the Wine Century Club, which is a website that will give you a certificate if you promise you have tried at least 100 different wine varietals ("the application is entirely on the honor system; should you lie, may the wrath of Bacchus curse your palate!"). Once you get past the first dozen or so, it gets a little obscure. So, we have a new mission.

This French wine is a combination of Syrah (got it), Grenache (got it), Mourvedre (uh, got it), and Carignan (need it!). So, check #42 off the wine century club list, and here we go. I get a dark berry and possibly flinty aroma, and the colour is a nice deep ruby. It's definitely not heavy or chewy, but there's just enough structure and body to keep it from feeling too thin. The acidity is just about right, but it seems to lack - well, flavour, I guess. I don't think this wine would stand up to any sort of rich food. I'm struggling to think what it might pair with (possibly seared ahi tuni?? what a stretch), and it's kind of plain to sip on its own, so I'm not sure where that leaves us. It's not a bad wine, just doesn't really seem to fit in. It's smooth and has some character, but ultimately is kind of unsatisfying.

I just poured another glass, this time with the aerator, and that helps a bit. Acceptable with the leftover popcorn chicken nuggets from tonight. Bump it up a point, but still, something is lacking, I wish it had some game. I'm trying not to blame the carignan.

87 points. About $14.