Continuing the French theme, we got some more Bordeaux today. Presenting….

Chateau Bellevue 2009 Bordeaux

Nat’s parents got this as a present today so lucky us. Retails for around $10, and screw top on a french bottle! Wow, times are changing. Looking at the label, it’s within the same category of wines as I have been drinking recently; the Cheval Noir and the Chateau Haut-Madrac. Randomly going on a running theme here shall we say.  This guy is again a Merlot dominate wine with Cabernet Sauvignon blend and at 13.5% alc./vol. Passed once through an aerator. Shall we taste?

Nose is pretty deep with black fruits, blackberries. A big lush nose with some oak, almost Barossa in style. The attack is lean, medium bodied with a nice mix of acidity and fruit. Lacks structure until it hits the mid palate where the tannins come in to balance out the acid and bring something to the mouthfeel. Finish is dry on the gums and very  long with some lime characteristics and a bit salty. Tastes haps better after more and more time in the glass, less oak and more smooth and fruit. Not much happening here but a nice tasting wine and reminds me of Penfolds bin 28. Initially I thought this was going to be crap but all things considered, I’m kinda impressed given the label. Don’t judge a book by its cover hey? Not a great wine but getter than most standard casual wines, and better than the CHeval Noir and Haut Madrac at a better price point. I would guess that this would be a $20-$25 dollar wine so it’s not without merit.

But wait, there’s more….

Mid writing this review, I had to drop some things off at parents house. My brother and his girlfriend was there and started shouting “Ken’s here! Another reason to open a bottle!” At 11.00pm I thought? You cannot be serious?! Apparently, Pol (brothers girlfriend) came back from her work Christmas function where that had unlimited drinks! (just the nonalcoholic kind…yeah…). My dad scrummaged around so I can’t let my family do all the heavy lifting, if I must I must. So if your still reading, we get a special guest of wine number 2.

McWilliams Regional Collection Coonawarra Shiraz 1999

Got a bit of ages to it too! 13.5% just like the previous. We aerated this into a decanter for about 15 mins? No justice but it was getting late sooo….Lets get right into it!

The nose brought me straight into middle earth (or New Zealand) with green and lush rolling hills. French oak is present with dried cranberries. Some initial sharp sourness made me gasp…hope its not vinegar! Attack is weird. It’s watery, background of tannin, well integrated fruit and acid. Balanced but feels unbalanced. Mid palate is cranberries and no increase or decrease in intensity of flavours from the initial attack. Some burnt wood and pineapple, the bits you get towards the skin. Finish is smooth light tannins, oak comes out to party here with vanilla notes. It’s a long long, very long finish with some apricot flavours you get at the seed, persimmon and leaves you with a very waxy mouth.

This feels like a matured wine, mellow and just chilling out. It has some complexity to it, solid mix of richness, smoothness and fruit flavours but does feel like it’s past its prime and wasn’t intended to taste this way. Bottle notes say its full bodied, cherry, spicy, plum and clove (which you get from the numb wax mouth). The fruit has faded into shadows and the supposed find grained tannins and spicy oak is a ghost. Not a bad effort, but again, nothing to write home about.

Sweet dreams!

Kenny

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