Decanter screws up its courage

Decanter magazine made quite a bold statement this week – and a bit of a marketing move for their August issue. “Screwcaps are best: Decanter Verdict“, says the title, as if the pronouncement was the definite word on the issue.

Many of the big guns are on deck to affirm the position. Steven Spurrier calls the Stelvin screw cap enclosure “one of the best things to have happened to wine in my lifetime”.

Yet if you keep reading, there is a big if that pops up further down in Adam Lechmere’s article:

Decanter may champion screwcap even for many robust reds, but on the subject of ageing wines, the jury is still out.

Anyhow, just reading the host of sometimes harsh and fiery comments (more…)

Tasting note: Tahbilk Marsanne 2004

They’re no longer a Château, but the wine is still as good. I’ve loved Tahbilk‘s Marsanne for years and years, and I’ve even laid down a few bottles over the years, to see how this inexpensive, well-made, original wine evolved over time. I had great fun drinking a 1994, two or three years ago, and found its nutty, candied orange flavors quite seductive. I still have an orangey 1995 and an pale gold 1997 in the cellar, which I’m waiting to be surprised by… someday.

With vines dating back to as far back as 1927, Tahbilk is a rare Australian producer of this lovely Rhône varietal, and I was amused to read on their web site that they recommend aging it – something I’d started doing well just out of curiosity.

The 2004, which is starting to turn to a lovely pale gold colour, displays rich and plentiful aromas, with notes of honey, star-fruit, apricot and a touch of toasted bread on the nose. On tasting, the bright acidity and light but smooth texture immediately strike you, before nutty, honeyed flavors emerge and roll around for a nice, long time around your mouth. At 13% alcohol, it is remarkably balanced and restrained – and here, the word restrained hardly means that you are missing out on anything. I found it lovely with some cheese, and would recommend it with salmon or poultry dishes.

The Marsanne’s great balance also means that the wine indeed has a good aging potential. At just over 15$, around these parts, I’m surely going out to get some more, and setting it in the cellar. If I can convince myself to wait.

Published in: on April 7, 2008 at 12:14 pm  Comments (1)  
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