Friday, May 6, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$ Chateau Reynella Basket Pressed Grenache, McLaren Vale, Australia, 2002 (GOOD VALUE)

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By way of background: McLaren Vale, Australia, is well-known for its offerings of shiraz.  Today, however, I am trying something different - a grenache from that region.  To boot, this is a grenache which has been aged nine years from vintage date.  We'll see what that may do to the classic, bright grenache flavors...

Initial review : This is Chateau Reynella Basket Pressed Grenache, McLaren Vale, Australia, 2002, finished at 13.4% alcohol, extremely shy and conservative by south Australia standards.

In the glass:  Reynella Grenache is deep magenta, opaque from about a half inch in from the edge of the glass.  The rim shows red with just hints of brick.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows sweet and bright deep fruit, laced with cinnamon and touched with oak.  From the aroma, seems like this will be rich, soft, full-throttle, maybe spicy.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact a deep luscious blackberry, touched by highlights of bright raspberry. It is a mouth-filling experience, bringing far more power than implied by its modest alcohol level.   Light pepper comes on as the sip fades.  The fruit gently gives way to light acids and a clean finish that seems to make your whole mouth sparkle. 

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a big plus for its bright red layers.  Good value.  Just shy of four stars.

Following long decant, three hours at room temperature in flat-bottomed decanter:  On the nose, sweet and classic deep fruit.  The palate is blueberry and blackberry, nicely balanced and consistent with the experience directly from the bottle. 

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