Posts tagged ‘2005’

Saltram No 1 Shiraz 2005 – What i’m drinking at the time 11.01.2012

Good evening everybody, hope you’re all doing well! Today my parents came home from their holiday so Nat and I invited the in-laws and them over for a nice dinner. Naturally, wine was to be had. I know they like their oaky new world styles so I pulled out this guy.

Saltram No 1 Barossa Shiraz 2005

Wow would ya look at all them shiny gold medals. These guys are good in providing information so you can find most of what you want here. Lowdown is that these guys are from Barossa and No. 1 is their first label started in 1859. The grapes are 90% Barossa, 10% Eden Valley and 14.5% so expect big flavours.

I bought this guy a while back before I got into this wine craze. Back in the day I bought a 2000 vintage of this for a friend’s birthday present. We drank it together 10 years later and from memory it was lovely.  Quick vintage check shows the 05 to be a very very good year and much better than the 00, though it may be still a bit young and tannic. My personal scribbles says that I should keep this till around 2015. Couldn’t wait that long so I made sure to decant this for a bit. I put it in a wide based decanter for about 1.5-2 hours and it sat in the glass for about 30 mins before anyone had a go at it so it felt ok.

The smell on this guy when I poured in into the decanter filled the room of Ribena, it was so fruity. Ok, lets dive in.

The nose had big “in your face” black berries. Some bitter dark chocolate notes followed by some sweet american oak and a tinny touch of barnyard smells and cashew nuts.

Attack is all vanilla and berries and red plums, basically typical barossan big fruit punch with a lean clean mouthfeel. Fruit gets overtaken by some bitter tannins in the mid palate which transitions in to a sharp acidity. They then mix together and you get a ginseng kind of flavour and effect with splash of bitterness from the tannins and a grippy mouthfeel. The finish is long but has some alcohol heat and it leaves you with a tingling on your tongue.

I was left a bit unimpressed, doesn’t seem young but perhaps hasn’t settled down or something. The balance is not there, very one dimensional flavours and straightforward (perhaps a bit boring?). There are accented fruit flavours but then there has to be an equal accented acidity and tannins which I don’t get. The bitterness is very noticeable and unpleasant. Not what I expected for $50. I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed. The table found similar faults in the wine, some liking the finish, some liking the start but mostly commented on its bitterness.

I left it in the glass for about another hour. The acidity and tannins blended together a better and it develops some vanilla spices but there is still a bit of heat at the finish. Still not great. In addition to all this, I tasted it out of 2 different glasses: Riedel Shiraz and Riedel “all-purpose” kind of glass. It’s startling how different drinking a Shiraz from a Riedel Shiraz glass is. I was kinda floored on how much more open the nose is and how the flavours were more pronounced. If you get a chance, try Riedel vs another glass, its crazy man.

So, final thoughts on the wine? If you do a quick google search, you will get rave reviews on this wine with very high scores. The tasting notes were similar in flavours but not in the level of complexity especially when you take into account when they tasted it vs now. Perhaps it needed longer in the decanter, or perhaps it was my particular bottle which was defunked (side note, it was screw top! no cork for my cork collection!). I don’t know. What I can say is, be sure to not just trust rating points or other people’s reviews, use them as guides. i’m pretty sure that when I bought this, I read somewhere that it was the nuts so I bought it at a relatively cheap price for its scores. Nope. Trust yourself and try it yourself.

Happy drinking


Cheval Noir Bordeaux 2005 Grand Vin – What i’m drinking at the time 4.12.2011

Hello gang!

First off, exciting news! I got my first two “likes” from fellow bloggers so a big shout out to lesleycarter and TechieChef! Cheers guys, hope to keep reading!

Today I wanted to see if I could find some value wine i.e. a good wine at a cheap price. Here’s what I came up with.

Cheval Noir Bordeaux 2005 Grand Vin

13.5% alco

This wine comes from the Mähler-Besse winery in the Saint-Emilion region. You can probably guess this from the name of the wine (I believe is a play on Cheval Blanc, a very famous wine from right bank Bordraux). I don’t know if this is true but that’s what I came up with in my head. The label shows that it’s “Appellation Bordeaux Controllee” which to me means that it’s a low classification of wine made from the Bordeaux grape varieties and in this case, Merlot dominate. I got this bottle for $10 – $15 dollars.

We poured this guy straight into glasses. The wine is dark, blackish purple and looks quite thick. It had a deep deep nose easily smelling black current and some earthyness, think about the smells you get when you’re lying on the grass on a sunny day. Now, lets give it a sip. The initial attach is very subdued and tannic. It builds up to a dry and dusty fruit mid palate. Acidity is in the back balancing out the flavours and zipping in and out in the mouth but makes itself known in the finish, adding to a dry powdery mouthfeel.

Some boldness and fineness to this wine but nothing special about it. A good solid effort but let down with that powdery mouthfeel finish. I think it needed some time to breath. If you try this, be sure to either aerate or decant for 30 min at least. This should smooth out the tannins a touch.

So, value? It’s probably worth a touch more than what I paid for it, maybe a $20 buck wine? Not a crap wine, but not great either. Lets call it an above average weekday wine which saves you $5.