Welcome to part 2 of the pizza run down. How on earth we managed to have a pizza night without any Italian wines is beyond me, but we did. Why shoehorn in wines that you don't think belong? Which is better do a Hawaiian pizza? Barolo or Chianti? Syrup from the canned pineapple? It wasn't really authentic Italian food so I didn't bother with authentic wine.
Our only nod to the Italianate was the Coppola (well, Italian American) 2009
Black Label Claret (left). My previous experience with Coppola wines was a deeply
disappointing Green label Claret a couple of years ago. That one reminded me of
promotional cardboard cutouts of movie stars that are used in cinemas.
Lots of sheen, big smile and very recognizable but absolutely no depth. The
Black label was a much better wine. A stronger core of Cabernet Sauvignon fruit
and a broader palate than the Green label. Distinctive Bordeaux blend nose and
a decent length. This one could definitely be improved with either a stronger
hit of acid or more longer maceration time to impart deeper tannins. Certainly
a bit of extra mid palate flavour wouldn't go amiss. Preferably both. A nice
squeeze of good quality Petite Verdot please.
The shortcomings didn't dull my guests enthusiasm for this wine, it was gone in
the blink of an eye. Overall a pleasant experience but not really my style.
If you know me in person, skip this next section. Those people would know of
the enthusiasm I have for 2003 Les Fiefs De Lagrange (center). First lets get this over
with. Price. This is cheeeeeep! I don't know what your going to pay wherever
you live, but in Kyoto the lovely chap/esses at Liquor Mountain are banging it
out at about ¥2000 a bottle for loyalty card holders. Buy this shit up, stat.
Refined, and as luscious as a lot of decent 2003 Bordeauxs are. The length and
nose are surprisingly polished for a wine in this price range. Red fruit
predominates, with bright Victoria plum and some bramble fruit both on the nose
and palate. Sweet Redcurrant focuses the flavour and I felt that this bottle
would be much better suited to beef than half-baked (metaphorically speaking)
There are also typical Bordeaux savory notes as well and they're welcome, but
Buy and drink now before I do. Other vintages are readily available and nearly
Finally, a bit of a wild card. 2009 Llebre Tempranillo (right). It's very difficult to
pick apart this wine. Obviously Tempranillo and lusciously fruity, this is an
easy drinking table wine that all liked. This is a wine that would think
nothing of being discovered in your bedroom wearing only a smile. Identifying
precisely what the components of the nose and the palate is tricky. Drinking
this is like being hit in the face by a cherry, with a strawberry. The fruit
isn't incredibly intense so don't expect a California fruit bomb. If you must
insist on red wine with cheese, this might be a good choice.
Shoot-out Winner? Let's just say Chateau Lagrange did very well indeed.