Home
Page
Geoff Kelly Wine Reviews
independent
analytical
non-commercial
Independent reviews of some local and imported wines available in New Zealand, including earlier vintages.
SYRAHS FROM FRANCE,  NEW ZEALAND and AUSTRALIA – 2005 CRAGGY RANGE LE SOL TRIUMPHS AGAIN


NEW ZEALAND:  in the years in which it is made,  the subsequent release of Craggy Range's Syrah le Sol (two years later) has become one of the most eagerly-awaited events in the New Zealand wine calendar.  2005 Craggy Range Syrah le Sol will be released on 1 June,  and like last year's,  will no doubt sell out in short order.  However the reputation of the junior wine 2005 Craggy Range Syrah Block 14 has also been growing dramatically in its equally short history,  and it is more widely available.  First casual tastings have suggested it is excitingly different in style this year.  It was released in March.  Meanwhile there has been the release of Gordon Russell's first Reserve syrah,  the 2005 Esk Valley Syrah Reserve,  which has just swept all before it to be announced Champion Wine of the recent Royal Easter Show.  It is sparingly available.

Thinking that these represented virtually all the top-level 2005 New Zealand syrahs not already covered in recent articles on this site,  the need for a formal blind tasting with other relevant wines became imperative.  There is no 2005 Trinity Hill Syrah Homage.  However,  I have just learnt that Villa Maria have a 2005 Reserve Syrah secreted in the woodwork,  yet to be released,  so the exciting story of the evolution of New Zealand syrah,  as seen via the 2005 vintage,  will not be wrapped up in this review.  To calibrate these wines,  I included one of the (arguably) top two 2005 NZ syrahs thus far released,  2005 Te Mata Syrah Bullnose,  which is currently available.  Of these four,  only the Esk is entered in judgings.  The opportunity to include a preview bottle of the 2005 Craggy Range le Sol demands appreciative acknowledgement to Steve Smith,  CEO Craggy Range.

FRANCE:  Of equal interest is the release of the first serious 2005 Northern Rhone syrahs in New Zealand,  from the rising-star winemaker Yann Chave.  Yann is the son of Bernard Chave,  and has taken over the winery totally as from 2002 vintage,  bringing a new and modern approach to vineyard and winery practice – e.g. de-stemming.  The winery is now re-named;  they are based in Crozes-Hermitage.  Some say he is nephew / cousin to the famous J-L Chave father and son in Hermitage,  but the balance of opinion seems to be that there is no connection.  

Bordeaux sets the pace in rating the vintages of Europe.  By all accounts 2005 was remarkable in Bordeaux,  even by the standards of the normally beady-eyed Jancis Robinson.  And there seems to be euphoria grading into stampede to secure the 2005 burgundies.  So it is a little hard to get a cool detached impression of 2005 in the Northern Rhone.  Here are the views of Wine Spectator's James Molesworth,  in late Nov. '06:
The Northern Rhone is set to return to center stage with a vengeance. 2005 is a classic vin de garde vintage, offering ripe, authoritative Syrah driven by powerful, tannic structures, ideally built for cellaring. I visited the Rhone in early November and, after tasting a few hundred wines during my two-week trip, I am confident in maintaining my preliminary score of 93-95 points for the vintage. It is another drought influenced vintage, with cool nights helping to maintain freshness. Wines show terrific color, aromas and purity.

In the last 20 years on Wine Spectator's vintage chart for the Northern Rhone,  that compares only with 94 for 2003 (some over-ripe),  96 for 1999 (stunning),  91 for 1995,  97 for 1990 (massive,  some excessively so),  and 1989 (92,  well-rounded).  It is vital to remember that the Northern Rhone is a very small and climatically variable area,  more like Burgundy than Southern Rhone.  So those numbers need notice.  The general impression is that due to drought again,  volumes are down,  so it may be prudent to buy on release here,  for re-supply is unlikely.  Note though that Robert Parker is much less impressed with the vintage in the Northern Rhone,  rating it 89.  He hasn't written up the '05 Northern Rhones yet,  so that may change.  

Jancis Robinson is in Wine Spectator's camp.  Her December thoughts on the Northern Rhone are (paraphrased):
The 2005 Rhone wines I have tasted so far are looking very good.  … after tasting well over 100 examples,  I was excited to see how good the 2005 Northern Rhone wines are. Most growers agree that the joy of 2005 is that it has the complete ripeness of 2003 but more acidity to give them focus, life and longevity.  Although drought plagued many, and reduced quantities, only a few wines seemed marked by particularly drying tannins on the finish. There are many really lovely red St Josephs as well as Cote Roties … The Rhone Valley is certainly as full of energy as any wine region in France.

To round off the tasting,  and give a perspective on the 2005s,  newly available Cote Roties from 2004 and 2003 were included,  plus Villa Maria's two new 2005 Cellar Selection Syrahs.  And in New Zealand,  few will have missed the recent whole page ads for the 2004 Penfolds Bin reds,  at prices roughly two-thirds normal retail.  2004 is at least a pretty good vintage in South Australia,  meaning not too hot.  So a couple of those were added,  one the Bin 389 since it has traditionally been on a scale that matches le Sol,  and it does no harm to have a cabernet in a syrah tasting,  when cassis is such a frequently-used descriptor for syrah,  as opposed to shiraz.


WINES REVIEWED:  

2005  Yann Chave Crozes-Hermitage le Rouvre
2005  Yann Chave Crozes-Hermitage
2005  Yann Chave Hermitage
2005  Clape Cotes du Rhone
2005  Craggy Range Syrah Block 14
2005  Craggy Range Syrah le Sol
2005  Esk Valley Syrah Reserve
2003  J-M Gerin Cote Rotie Champin le Seigneur
  2004  J-M Gerin Cote Rotie les Grandes Places
2003  Leeuwin Estate Shiraz Art Series
2002  Leeuwin Estate Shiraz Siblings
2004  Penfolds Cabernet / Shiraz Bin 389
2004  Penfolds Shiraz Bin 128 Coonawarra
2005  Te Mata Syrah Bullnose
2005  Villa Maria Syrah Cellar Selection
2005  Villa Maria Syrah / Viognier Cellar Selection


2005  Te Mata Syrah Bullnose   19  ()
Ngatarawa Triangle,  Hawkes Bay,  New Zealand:  13.5%;  $44   [ cork;  Sy 100%,  including clone 470,  16 months in French oak 33% new;  www.temata.co.nz ]
Ruby,  carmine and velvet,  one of the lighter wines.  But it is not lighter in other dimensions:  if the le Sol is Hermitage,  in this tasting the Bullnose is Cote Rotie,  the florals much more concentrated at the dianthus and roses part of the olfactory spectrum.  Below is fragrant cassis,  blueberry and plum,  even more floral than the Esk Valley wine.  Palate continues in the same vein,  berry winning totally,  velvety texture and admirable alcohol,  flavoursome,  the oak much less apparent.  This is beautiful succulent wine,  almost overlapping with great Cote de Nuits,  softer than the other three top wines.  Cellar 5 – 15 years.  GK 04/07

2005  Craggy Range Syrah le Sol   19  ()
Gimblett Gravels,  Hawkes Bay,  New Zealand:  14%;  $90   [ cork;  Sy 100%;  hand-harvested @ 2.4 t/ac;  95% de-stemmed,  wild-yeast fermentation;  18 months in French oak 52% new;  better supply of the '05 @ 7800 bottles,  but 65% will be exported;  www.craggyrange.com ]
Ruby,  carmine and velvet,  a vibrant colour,  the deepest of the syrahs.  Bouquet is sensational,  an exact capturing of syrah at a near-perfect ripeness point,  retaining deep violets,  boronia florals and cracked peppercorn,  yet showing exquisite berry redolent of cassis and darkest plum.  It is confuseable with fine cabernet / merlot were it not for the spice and black / white pepper.  This is the most fragrant le Sol yet,  on bouquet,  and tasters from hot climates may therefore think it under-ripe.  Not however by European standards;  I would hope a winemaker from Hermitage would say it was optimal ripeness,  no sur-maturité.  Palate follows superbly,  great fresh cassis,  darkest plum and aromatic body,  great spice,  the new oak marrying into deceptive concentration and richness,  and the finish at 14% alcohol seeming remarkably more subtle than the 14.5% of the more ebullient '04 and '02 wines.  The whole wine is more subtle than the two previous vintages,  reflecting perhaps not only the vintage '05 per se,  but also the 5% whole bunch now incorporated – a trend worth exploring further,  to optimise bouquet florals and wine complexity.  This is marvellous syrah for long-term cellaring,  more Hermitage than Cote Rotie.  It needs 5 years to soften,  and will cellar for 10 – 20 + years.  Eight tasters in 25 rated this their top wine,  in a double-blind tasting.  GK 04/07

2005  Esk Valley Syrah Reserve   18 ½ +  ()
Gimblett Gravels,  Hawkes Bay,  New Zealand:  14.5%;  $60   [ screwcap;  Sy 100%,  from the Cornerstone Vineyard,  100% de-stemmed;  c. 4 weeks cuvaison;  20 months in French oak (ex Burgundy) 50% new,  enriched by batonnage in barrel;  Trophy Syrah and Champion Wine of the recent Easter Show;  1200 bottles;  www.eskvalley.co.nz ]
Ruby,  carmine and velvet,  in the middle for depth,  a little more oak-affected in hue.  In the tasting,  the bouquet on this wine was special,  strongly of cassis,  blueberry,  and vanilla wafer – the latter quite incredibly so.  The floral components are there too,  but not quite so pinpoint as some other top wines,  and the whole wine smells softer.  Palate is succulent,  and there the florals spread out over the tongue,  into the berry.  Dark plum builds too,  on oak which already seems much more married-in than at the Syrah Symposium at the end of January.  This is marvellous wine,  as rich as le Sol and no more oaky,  fleetingly available only at the Esk Winery shop north of Napier,  and the Villa Maria Winery shop,  Mangere.  Six tasters rated this their top wine.  Cellar 5 – 15 + years.  GK 04/07

2005  Craggy Range Syrah Block 14   18 ½ +  ()
Gimblett Gravels,  Hawkes Bay,  New Zealand:  13%;  $37   [ screwcap;  Sy 100%;  hand-harvested @ 3.4 t/ac;  100% de-stemmed,  wild-yeast fermentation;  17 months in French oak 54% new;  www.craggyrange.com ]
Ruby,  carmine and velvet,  one of the deeper.  Quite apart from the 'oh, wow ! look at the alcohol' factor,  this wine is the dark horse in the race.  It does not at this stage have quite the explicitly beautiful floral bouquet of the other top wines,  and yet all the floral components are there,  understated,  on cassis and berry and plum.  The palate is marvellous,  nearly as velvety as Bullnose,  less oaky than le Sol or the Esk,  just a lovely mouthful of cassisy,  plummy and slightly spicy syrah.  The Villa pair look a little acid alongside (which may explain their heightened florals).  This is by far the most beautiful Block 14 yet,  in its fragrance and poise.  Conversely,  those who put brawn above finesse will think it lesser than last year's.  Cellar 5 – 15 years.  GK 04/07

2005  Yann Chave Crozes-Hermitage le Rouvre   18 ½  ()
Crozes-Hermitage,  Northern Rhone Valley,  France:  13%;  $45   [ cork;  formerly the Tete de Cuvée label;  1 year in 1-year old 600 L barrels,  because 'Syrah is easily over-run by too much oak' – Yann Chave,  quoted by Livingstone-Learmonth;  Wine Spectator:  A buttery hint to the black cherry, plum and floral notes. Round, soft easy finish shows a dash of toast. A touch more flesh than the regular cuvée. To '08. 89.  On Jancis Robinson's website,  Julia Harding MW is now co-writer. These are her notes:  Sweet, spicy pepper and very pure black fruit. Soft rounded sweet dark fruit. Very smooth and rich, already easy to drink. Combined with the softness there is also a finesse that comes from strong but fine bone structure. To 2015  17.5;  imported and distributed by Maison Vauron,  Auckland ]
Ruby,  carmine and velvet,  one of the deeper.  The high point of this wine is the superb floral complexity on bouquet,  bespeaking true syrah at optimal ripeness in a climate temperate enough to retain the floral components.  This is even more accurately syrah than le Sol,  for in addition to violets,  boronia and deepest red roses on bouquet,  there is the sweet lifted light perfume of wallflower / dianthus – very beautiful.  Palate is crisp,  almost identical to the Block 14 but not quite as rich,  the oak subtler and slightly older.  This is close to the superb 2003,  perhaps fractionally lighter.  It is one of the best Crozes-Hermitage I have tasted in 35 years of cellaring them.  It needs three years to soften,  but it already shows all the varietal character and style of all but the most substantial Hermitage wines,  at a fraction of the price.  Every winemaker in New Zealand who aspires to make true syrah-styled wines should invest in a case of this,  and focus on the bouquet particularly – over the next 12 years !  Cellar 5 – 15 + years.  GK 04/07

2005  Villa Maria Syrah Cellar Selection   18  ()
Gimblett Gravels,  Hawkes Bay,  New Zealand:  13.5%;  $32   [ screwcap;  hand-harvested,  all de-stemmed,  c. 10 day cuvaison,  MLF in barrel,  16 months in French & American oak 40% new;  www.villamaria.co.nz ]
Ruby,  carmine and velvet,  deeper than the Bullnose,  in the middle for depth.  And in every respect but one,  this wine is almost modelled on Bullnose:  wonderful florals from roses to violets,  crisp cassis and some plum,  subtle oak aromatics.  On palate,  these components meld into a flavoursome crisp young wine with beautiful cassis berry,  all slightly acid.  Where it departs from Bullnose is in the weight of fruit,  this wine pulling up a bit short against the velvet of the other.  But it is still lovely syrah,  explicitly varietal,  which once it has softened for three years or so,  will give much pleasure.  Cellar 5 – 15 years.  GK 04/07

2005  Yann Chave Hermitage   18  ()
Hermitage,  Northern Rhone Valley,  France:  13.5%;  $120   [ cork;  Sy 100%;  90% Beaume vineyard,  10 Péléat;  21 days cuvaison,  16 months in new and 1-year 600 L barrels;  Wine Spectator:  Crisp acidity carries the red plum, violet and grilled herb notes in this taut Hermitage, with a slightly firm, minerally finish. To 2013. 300 cases.  89.  JR / Julia Harding: Deep purple ruby. Aromatic pepper, fruit and spice leaps out of the glass in an outburst of fresh purity. Firm, quite tight but very concentrated. A great combination of freshness and power, already easy to taste and enjoy. To 2015.  18.5+;  imported / distributed by Maison Vauron ]
Ruby,  carmine and velvet,  right in the middle.  This is one of the understated wines,  not as floral as the Villa pair,  but still lovely roses and pale violets,  on subdued cassis and blueberry,  all quite shrinking in comparison with the le Sol or Bullnose.  Palate continues in exactly the same vein,  every flower and berry subtly tasteable,  elegant,  restrained,  more new oak than le Rouvre,  beautifully ripe,  a little richer than the Villas (and with similar slightly fresh acid),  but lighter than the top wines.  So it is very good Hermitage,  but not great.  Nonetheless it should cellar well,  over 5 – 15 + years.  GK 04/07

2005  Villa Maria Syrah / Viognier Cellar Selection   17 ½ +  ()
Gimblett Gravels,  Hawkes Bay,  New Zealand:  13.5%;  $32   [ screwcap;  Sy 97%,  Vi 3,  hand-harvested,  all de-stemmed,  co-fermented;  c. 15 day cuvaison,  MLF in barrel,  18 months in all-French oak 50% new;  only available from Winery shop,  Mangere;  www.villamaria.co.nz ]
Ruby,  carmine and velvet,  clearly less dense and a little brighter in hue than the Syrah sibling,  close to Bullnose itself.  And in total achievement,  this wine is close to,  but not identical with,  the straight Syrah version.  Co-fermentation has not produced the colour enhancement often attributed to it,  and the bouquet is not more floral.  Berry characters on bouquet and palate are near identical,  but the blend is a little lighter and shorter in the finish,  as if TA in this wine were fractionally higher [confirmed later].  As noted above,  there are subtle differences in the winemaking and elevation,  which will make this a great study pair of wines.  Both are good examples of the grape,  in a slightly cooler-season winestyle than the 2004 pair.  This will cellar 5 – 12 years.  GK 04/07

2003  J-M Gerin Cote Rotie Champin le Seigneur   17 ½ +  ()
Cote Rotie,  Northern Rhone Valley,  France:  13%;  $95   [ cork;  Sy 95%,  Vi 5;  18 – 20 months in barrel 25% new;  not filtered.  Parker 163:  The 2003 Cote Rotie Champin Le Seigneur is an opulent, sexy, whore-ish sort of Cote Rotie boasting soaring aromas of chocolate, smoke, blackberries, cassis, raspberries, hazelnuts, and orange rinds. Its low acidity, plump, fleshy flavors, and broad mouthfeel are irresistible. 91;  distributed Maison Vauron ]
Ruby,  one of the lightest.  Bouquet is beautifully fragrant,  in the venison casserole / bouquet garni style including the most elegant brett on mixed berries,  all remarkably burgundian.  Palate is delightful,  the fruit almost red and black cherry,  a floral component in the savoury bouquet garni,  no sign of drying though the tannins might be a little furry.  Only a highly technocratic winemaker could object to the total palatability of this slightly old-fashioned but delicious wine.  Cellar 3 – 10 years.  GK 04/07

2003  Leeuwin Estate Shiraz Art Series   17 ½  ()
Margaret River,  West Australia,  Australia:  13.5%;  $38   [ screwcap;  French oak;  J. Halliday: an elegant, medium-bodied array of cherry, plum and blackberry fruits; fine tannins and supporting oak. 93;  www.leeuwinestate.com.au ]
Ruby,  below midway in depth.  Amongst these overtly syrah-varietal wines,  this is explicitly shiraz,  the florals and spice lost to the climate,  the berry fruit taken through to raspberry and boysenberry.  But as such it is fragrant,  subtly oaked,  understated.  Palate is juicy,  boysenberry now dominant,  oak and tannins a little coarse alongside the cooler climate wines,  but the juiciness covering that well.  Cellar 5 – 12 years.  GK 04/07

2004  Penfolds Cabernet / Shiraz Bin 389   17 ½  ()
South Australia,  Australia:  14.5%;  $40   [ cork;  CS 53%,  Sy 47.  Elevage 13 months in US oak c.20% new,  c. 65% 1-year including some ex-Grange,  balance older.  Included in blind tasting partly because has been offered down to $25 recently,  partly because good to have a high-cabernet wine in to check relationship to syrah;  partly because in style and substance (when good),  could be an interesting foil for le Sol.  J. Oliver:  A tightly focused, firm and sassy 389 of structure and sophistication. Deeply scented with alluring and lightly spicy aromas of crushed dark berries and cedary oak, this slightly meaty red blend reveals undertones of briar, white pepper, mint and a hint of game. Long and smooth, its intense and dark-fruited palate of cassis, mulberries, cherries and plums is underpinned by a chalky chassis of firm tannin. It slowly reveals nuances of dried herbs and underlying meatiness, while its generous complement of vanilla oak shows some classy integration. It’s a lot more contemporary than the traditional 389, but very impressive, all the same. 95;  www.penfolds.com ]
Ruby,  carmine and velvet,  by far the deepest wine in the whole tasting.  Initially opened,  it tends to the raw,  heavy,  oaky and abrupt,  a suggestion of mint / nearly euc showing.  Decanted a couple of times,  it expands remarkably,  to show the explicit cassis I wanted to demonstrate in this blind syrah tasting,  on fragrant oak with pleasant American vanilla showing.  Palate is not quite so good,  for though it is subtler and finer than some Bin 389s have been,  with good plummy and blackberry fruit,  there is still a tremendous tannin load at this stage.  Wine concentration matches or exceeds le Sol,  but the 389 is much broader.  Alongside the syrahs,  the berry is more plummy and less aromatic,  the oak coarser.  But the saturation of flavour is very good.  This is a potentially good 389,  worth cellaring,  so that with time it will acquire some of the finesse it lacks now.  Cellar 10 – 25 years.  GK 04/07

2004  Penfolds Shiraz Bin 128 Coonawarra   17  ()
Coonawarra,  South Australia,  Australia:  14%;  $29   [ cork;  Sy 100%;  elevage 12 months in French oak hogsheads 22% new;  J. Oliver:  Something of a sleeper, this fine, well-integrated and structured wine presents delicate, dusty and peppery aromas of blackberries, dark plums and older oak with a distinctly meaty aspect. There’s also a background of earthiness and a briary fruit quality suggestive of brandied cherries. Smooth and polished, long and savoury, its presently rather simple palate of vibrant berry/blackcurrant/plum-like fruit is backed by a pleasingly firm undercarriage of drying tannin. It needs five years. 91;  has been priced down to $17 recently;  www.penfolds.com ]
Ruby and velvet,  one of the darker.  Freshly poured,  this is berry-rich and straightforward.  With air it opens to extraordinarily pure blackberry,  most unusual.  Palate is rich in berry but very tannic,  detracting considerably.  Can this be natural ?  Finish is almost sour in the mouth,  an interaction of acid and tannin,  both added one fears.  Good in parts now.  Check in five years,  for there is good fruit richness.  Cellar 5 – 20 years.  GK 04/07

2002  Leeuwin Estate Shiraz Siblings   16 ½ +  ()
Margaret River,  West Australia,  Australia:  14.5%;  $28   [ cork;  French oak;  J. Halliday:  considerable substance and texture; supple black fruits, excellent tannins and quality oak: long finish. 92;  www.leeuwinestate.com.au ]
Older ruby,  about midway in depth.  This is a curious wine,  hovering between syrah and shiraz in style,  partly because there is a little entrained sulphur.  So while there are suggestions of cassis on bouquet,  there is also a dullness,  and no florals.  Palate is more Australian,  suggestions of boysenberry,  fairly rich fruit,  subtle oak with a cedar hint,  quite tannic yet softer than the 128.  Straightforward wine now,  but may improve in cellar.  Cellar 5 – 12 years.  GK 04/07

2005  Yann Chave Crozes-Hermitage   16 ½  ()
Crozes-Hermitage,  Northern Rhone Valley,  France:  13%;  $36   [ cork;  no oak at all;  Wine Spectator:  Solid, with a piercing violet aroma to go with vivid mineral and blackberry fruit flavors. Nice tangy finish. To 2009. 88.  JR / Julia Harding:  Perfumed and slightly floral black fruit. Attractively fresh but doesn’t (yet?) appear to have much weight of fruit in the middle, still well balanced and long. To 2012.  16 ]
Ruby,  above midway in depth of colour.  This wine opens a little reductively,  and benefits from a splashy decanting or two.  Behind the light sulphur veil,  there are suggestions of florals,  white pepper and red fruits.  Palate is modestly varietal,  good red fruits of medium weight,  plummy mainly,  at this stage hardened just a little on both sulphur and some stalks,  short finish.  This will cellar 5 – 10 years,  and should soften and become more varietal (in its straightforward village style).  GK 04/07

2004  J-M Gerin Cote Rotie les Grandes Places   16 +  ()
Cote Rotie,  Northern Rhone Valley,  France:  13%;  $160   [ cork;  Sy 95%,  Vi 5;  20 months in 100% new oak;  not filtered;  c. 400 cases;  Parker 163:  The finest wine of this trio [of 2004s] is the 2004 Cote Rotie Les Grandes Places. Notes of crushed rocks, smoke, bacon fat, black currants, and resiny pine forest emerge from this lovely Cote Rotie. To 2014.  88-90;  distributed by Maison Vauron ]
Ruby,  the lightest of the syrahs.  Bouquet is sweet and lightly floral / fragrant / oaky,  not immediately identifiable,  remarkably like some Martinborough pinot noirs.  Palate shortens the act up considerably,  the flavours stalky,  tending acid and short,  exacerbated by new oak.  Yet there is flesh,  and it's all pure.  Hard to score,  and will soften in cellar and become more complex over 5 – 12 years;  to judge from the rather similar 1984s,  also a cool stalky year.  GK 04/07

2005  Clape Cotes du Rhone   16  ()
Cornas,  Northern Rhone Valley,  France:  12.5%;  $48   [ cork;  Sy 100%;  this wine from Cornas' most famous grower is essentially a Cornas,  comprising young vines and other syrah just outside the strict AOC boundary,  plus no doubt wines not good enough for the grand vin.  Sometimes it has been a bit rough,  but it is always worth checking out.  Highly respected San Francisco wine merchant and Rhone specialist Kermit Lynch says of this wine:  Clape’s 2005 explodes with Syrah fruit, and his mastery is in full bloom ]
Ruby,  carmine and velvet,  near the middle for colour.  Only one word for the bouquet on this wine – rustic.  There is a touch of H2S expressed as farmyard / rabbit guts (fresh),  a suggestion of brett,  and then good fruit.  In mouth there is attractive ripe quite rich berry,  old big oak if any,  a plump well-balanced wine.  I was tolerant of its 'complexity' on the night,  but it is fair to record half the tasters marked it as their bottom wine,  some disliking it intensely.  So,  try one and see,  before buying a case !  Cellar 5 – 12 years.  GK 04/07