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Shane’s Blind Wine Tasting 2006
December 1st 2006

Eight red wines from around the world, tasted blind. Fourteen people were invited to take part in the tastings. The wines are listed below with the official descriptions and some of the notes from the blind tastings.

Wine #1 – 2004 Apaltagua Enviro Carmenere. Price $12.99

89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep ruby. Explosively fruity, with strong raspberry, cherry jam and redcurrant scents, with a complicating note of cinnamon. Lush and silky on the palate, with a pure raspberry quality that's extremely easy to like. Pliant, suave and elegant, with a long, sweet red berry tone to the finish and very soft tannins. This is an excellent value and is drinking well right now." Blind Tasting Notes:

“Big body. Little tight”
“Lighter, earthier. No finish. Nothing special”
“Not good”
“Good table wine”

One person rated this wine as the best and most expensive

Wine #2 – 2001 Ramon Bilbao Mirto. Price $36.99

90 points Wine Spectator: "This thick red is rich with ripe, black fruit flavors of plum and blackberry, backed by toasty, smoky oak notes and muscular tannins. Not showing much finesse now, but it's solid and balanced. Best from 2007 through 2013."

Blind Tasting Notes:

“Dry, bitter, no finish – Tastes like Colgate”
“Harshest so far. Good with Italian dressing. Gets better as you drink it”
“Fruity, dry”
“Good wine. Big finish. Good color”

One person rated this as his favourite. One had it as the most expensive

Wine #3 – 2004 Craneford Private Selection Cabernet. Price $9.99

91 points from Robert Parker. A tremendous value. The wine sees neutral French and American oak that seasons the pure fruit. There are aromas of violets, black current, dark cherry and a mineral note. These elements come together on the palate with soft tannins and a touch of bittersweet chocolate that follow through with fine length.

Blind Tasting Notes:

“Tastes like crap”
“Very sharp at the finish. Strange aroma”
“Very fruity. Young wine. Tannic. Will improve”
“Lacks body”
“Worst wine. Tastes like Ribena and Grapefruit juice”
“Jammy. Pinot like. Best wine”

One person rated it as the most expensive wine and his favourite. Two people rated it as the worst and cheapest wine in the list.

>Wine #4 – 2001 d’Angludet, Margaux. Price $34.99

89 points Wine Spectator: "Blackberry and mineral with a hint of fresh herbs. Full-bodied, with plenty of good chewy tannins and a nice fruity, smoky aftertaste. Good core of fruit here. Best after 2007." (03/04) According to Robert Parker: "A sleeper of the vintage, this excellent offering possesses a deep ruby/purple color as well as a sweet nose of melted asphalt, cedar wood, black currants, gravel and tar. There is plenty of well integrated tannin along with surprising size, richness and aging potential. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2015." (06/04) K&L's notes - 53% cabernet sauvignon and 47% merlot. The structure of a classified growth at a great price. Good intensity with blackberry fruit flavors.

Blind Tasting Notes:

“No fruit. Older wine”
“Dry. Hot. Mouth stripped off. One of the worst”
“Huge tannins. Older wine. Not much fruit up front but a good wine”
“First whiff was like the toilet on Stephen’s Green (Dublin). Drank it all though”

Two people rated this wine as the worst and one person had it as the cheapest.

Wine #5 – 2001 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino. Price $34.99

90 points Wine Spectator: “Blackberry and vanilla with hint of Indian spices. Full bodied with fine tannins and a fruity finish. Lots going on here. Best after 2008”. K&L Top Pick.

Blind Tasting Notes:

“Very good wine. Big fruit. Great finish”
“Dry, bitter, no finish. Second cheapest”
“Good potential”
“Horrible finish. Tart”

Two people rated this wine as the worst and the cheapest.

Wine #6 – 2001 Heitz Cellars. Price $29.98

A stunning wine from the vintage everyone has been waiting for. Deliciously concentrated and gracefully classic, the flavors continue to unfold and mesmerize on this voluptuous Cabernet. The wonderful balance of smooth, rich, ripe varietal characteristics are so enjoyable...a winner. Oak Aging: 3 years (1 yr American Oak tanks and 2 yrs in French Limousin Oak barrels). Price: $30

Blind Tasting Notes:

“Very fruity”
“Might be some kind of Italian grape juice. Better second time around”
“Very floral, fruity wine. Not mad about it”
“Well balanced, a bit dry”

Two people rated this wine as the most expensive and two people as their favourite. One person had it as the cheapest.

Wine #7 – 2004 Juan Gil. Price $14

90 points from Robert Parker! He says, "A serious effort, the 2004 Juan Gil is fashioned from 45-year-old Mourvedre vines and is aged for 12 months in American and French oak. This rich, full-bodied, inky/purple-tinged cuvee exhibits aromas of scorched earth, blueberries, licorice, and pepper, a savory, layered texture, and remarkable opulence for a Mourvedre. Drink it over the next 3-4 years.

Blind Tasting Notes:

“A little tight. Needs to breath. On second thoughts, it’s just not good”
“Good color, nose ok, longer finish. Could probably finish bottle on my own”
“Terrible. Worst yet”
“Smooth, leather, weak legs”
“Medium fruit. Sharp”
“Not much of a finish”

Two people had this wine rated as the worst and the cheapest.

Wine #8 – 2003 Spring Valley Vineyard, Uriah. Price $40

94 Points Wine Spectator.
#25 on Wine Spectator’s “Top 100 Wines of 2006”
Supple, generous and beautifully structured to show off it’s currant, plum and blackberry flavors, gently supported by ultra-refined tannins to let the finish go on and on. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2013.

Blind Tasting Notes:

“Excellent. Big tannins. Will last years”
“Fruit up front – A bit too much all-spice”
“Nice nose. Big and young wine”
“Very drinkable. Oh, Hell yea”
“Good nose, smooth finish, sexy legs. My favourite”

Four people rated this wine as their favourite and four people rated it as the most expensive.

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