The palate calibration exercise 2007

This is the third Palate Calibration Exercise (PCE), a mass tasting of the same wine by visitors to For these events, each participant buys exactly the same wine, tastes it, and feeds back their comments plus a score out of 20. The end result is a taste sketch each participant can use to calibrate” their palate against others.

The wine

A very high priority is placed on choosing a wine that is widely available and reasonably priced, so that the broadest range of people can take part. In truth, the Errazuriz Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 from Chile turned out to be less than ideal, as a lot of shops were still on the 2005 vintage and many people could not track down the 2006 needed for the PCE. Beneath are some summarised statistics, though you can also go straight to the tasting notes from all 49 participants at the bottom of the page).

The scores

In total, 49 people bought the wine and took part in the PCE. The scores awarded for the wine ranged from 11/20 to 18/20. The graph below shows how many people awarded a particular score to the wine:


The grouping of scores – from 11 to 18, with a heavy clustering around 13/14, is more condensed than the Beaujolias tasted in the previous PCE in 2004, where scores ranged from 7 ro 18, with a more even spread of votes.

Average score

Lowest score given 11
Highest score given 18
Average score 13.78


Despite the different scoring pattern, the average score of 13.78 is not too far removed from the average score for the 2004 PCE Beaujolais, of 13.31.


Average score males 13.76
Average score females 13.87
Average overall score 13.78

The highest score of the entire PCE (18) was awarded by two people, one male and one female. Overall, the 41 men marginally prefered this wine to the 8 women who took part.


Average score UK participants 14.02
Average score overseas participants 12.00
Average overall score 13.78


The 6 overseas visitors who participated scored the wine considerably lower than their UK counterparts, with the highest overseas score being 14, and three of the six awarding the lowest score of all, 11. Is this a wine designed with the ‘UK palate’ in mind?

Other scores and ratings

Tasters were asked whether they would buy the wine again, whether it represented good value for money, and – if they had it with food – whether the wine improved or not. The data returned is:

Yes Maybe/
Would you buy again? 06 24 19
Was it value for money? 15 10 24
Did it improve with food? * 12 28 09


Whilst only six people out of 49 would buy the wine again, 15 thought it was good value for money. This suggests some thought the wine was good for the price, but was not to their taste. Also, prices seemed to vary between £4.66 on promotion and £7.49 in different merchants, which would obviously affect this judgement. Several people in their detailed notes commented on how the wine improved after initial tasting (“24 hours later and the palate was much more together with deeper and darker spicy elements with a much more pleasant and lingering aftertaste,” “By the 2nd glass seems to have settled better and more in balance,” “2nd night: More integrated”).

* Whether or not the wine improved with food was a comment field, rather than a yes/maybe/no, so I have interpreted the data as best I can. 12 people thought the wine improved with food, whilst 28 either didn’t taste it with food or didn’t comment. This suggests this wine is marginally better with food.

Commonly occuring key words

descriptive: black fruit (34 tasters); vanilla (19); green/herbal (14); cherry (11); spice (12); plum (9); raspberry (7); tobacco (6); jammy (4); smoke (5)
positive: long finish (9); rich (6); sweet (6); balanced (4)
negative: green (13); over alcoholic/hot (15); too dry (7); astringent/bitter (4); short finish (6)

Some final thoughts

This turned out to be a pretty poor choice of wine in the final analysis, not just because the lack of availability of the 2006 vintage frustrated many people who wanted to participate, but because pricing was widely varied (there was £3 between cheapest and most expensive bottles) making value judgement difficult. There also seemed to be significant bottle variation: I tasted two bottles, sourced from different places, six months apart. The first bottle was a richer, more balanced and better wine than the second.

This was still a truly fascinating experiment and I would like to thank everyone who bought the wine and took part.

The full suite of tasting notes

In descending order of points awarded

Wine: Errazuriz (Chile) Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Li, Chenguang, London – 18 points
appearance nose palate food
dark ruby, short rim,
very strong blueberry nose. a little bit too much for me. maybe that’s what people said “fruit bomb”, but a touch of vanilla coming through after the blueberry.
very strong dark fruit, just like rasin and it caused a touch of bitterness on the finish. tannin is not that much(it’s what I expect from a new world easy drinking red, but personally I hope there could be a little bit more of it) and it’s ripe and soft. good acidity cut through the fruit and tannin(good point). the acidity is really good for a new world large volume wine, the tannin’s acceptable, just the fruit is too much, I feel like drinking herb soup at first. I didn’t finish it in one go, and 3 days later I tried it again, it becomes much rounder and the fruit more acceptable, the bitterness decreased. ah, this time, I finish it all within 3 hours. (3/4 bottle) nice!
sorry, I didn’t try it with food.
[buy] Yes [value] Yes [comments] it’s vintage 2005, 14%. Bought from waitrose, aroud 4-5 pound(I can’t remember the exact price) when waitrose has a discount of 25%.
Barabas, Melinda, London – 18 points
appearance nose palate food
Bright shiny purple
chocolate, cardamom, spices, cloves, wheatgrass, mould
caramel (burnt sugar?), plum, sweet ripe apple, pomegranate (sweet concentrate), blackcurrant, butter
Not judged
[buy] Yes [value] Yes [comments] More pleasant than most supermarket wines at the price
Walker, Craig, Fife – 17 points
appearance nose palate food
Deepish red in colour but seems to lack sharpness. When opened I thought I detected a trace of a brownish edge.
When first opened I was initially hit by some super ripe fruit. This then soon made way for a range of tobacco,vanilla, spicy and pine-like aromas.
Slightly sappy and on the astringent/greenside initially. Slightly rough and rustic nature ends with a dash of caramel and everso slightly rubbery.As I drank the first half of the bottle over a two hour period the wine became less volatile, rounder and fresher. The rest of the bottle was drunk just less than 24 hours later and the palate was much more together with deeper and darker spicy elements with a much more pleasant and lingering aftertaste.Tme made this very delectable
Not when I drank the first half of the bottle. Slightly less than a day later I finished it with some stonebaked pizza which was a bit lost in it. Or maybe I was enjoying the wine so much that the pizza became little more than an afterthought.
[buy] maybe [value] Yes [comments] This is a very well made wine which, as a Chilean varietal, is a solid expression of the grapes. It certainly demonstrates some complexity but it is also in need of some harmony when trying to rope in all of its varying elements. The alcohol, though not really noticable on the palate, delivers a bit of a stealthy bruising over time. Regardless, these are minor quibbles when you consider what an achievement this is as a branded wine from reasonably sized winery. For the money it seems unbeatable. A complex wine which evolves in time and I was very pleasantly surprised by its structure and development over 24 hours. It is full of character from a country which has made its name producing safe and rather uniform wines. Very imprssive. Casillero del Who?
Simpson, Alan, Edinburgh, UK – 16 points
appearance nose palate food
Quite opaque ruby/purple core with paler ruby rim; decent legs.
Intense dark fruits (plums, blackberries,…) Powerful with a hint of oak spiciness.
Ripe dark fruits but with a noticeable core of ripe tannin. Dry and with pretty good length. Young wine that could improve over 3-5 years.
[buy] maybe [value] Yes [comments] Combination of high alcohol and tannin might make it difficult wine to match with food/occasion. More grip than many New World cabernets.
Springford, Paul, Peterborough, UK – 16 points
appearance nose palate food
Very dark. Deep purple-red, nearly black, like blackcurrant skins
Elderberry and new leather mingled. Intoxicating aroma – almost unnecessary to taste the wine.
Rich and jammy with plenty of body and length. Nicely balanced combination of unobtrusive tannin and fruit – toffeeish, jammy fruit like thick blackberry jelly
Had it with chilli con carne – quite hot – and the wine matched it really well. Not quite so good with a strong but fairly creamy cheddar cheese.
[buy] Yes [value] Yes [comments] Excellent value, even at the full price. We also have a bottle of the 2005 and are looking forward to comparing them.
Ferguson, Paul, Blackpool, UK – 16 points
appearance nose palate food
Pale at rim, deep ruby in centre, good legs, colour of Vimto
Plums, raspberries, slighly musty
Musty taste at tip of tongue, sharp taste at back of mouth, Taste of berries. Delicious
[buy] Yes [value] Yes [comments]
Moss, Antony, Gillingham, UK – 16 points
appearance nose palate food
Deep ruby core; narrow purplish rim
Very youthful with pronounced aromas of ripe summer fruits (especially blackberry, mullberry, blackcurrant). It has a creamy quality, suggesting cheesecake, and subtle blackcurrant-leaf pyrazines. There is a hint of well-integrated, smokey oak. Very fragrant and fruity, with aromas lifted by the high alcohol.
Rich and full-bodied due to high (14%+) alcohol and only moderate levels of acid and tannins (these are ripe and fine, but slightly bitter). The fragrant curranty fruit and high alcohol give an impression of sweetness ?especially on the front-palate. Some of this fruit intensity is carried through to the midpalate, but the wine finishes quite short with spirity warmth dominating the finish.
With chilli, the fragrant fruit, soft tannin and unintrusive acid worked well, but the alcohol emphasised the heat and the wine seemed more bitter.
[buy] maybe [value] Yes [comments] Varietally expressive, and soft and ripe without being too jammy/raisiny. Although this is wine as a (rather one-dimensional) perfume, and although it has limited textural character, it is very easy to enjoy and I will be recommending this to friends. With such robust fruit, I suspect this would make an exceptionally good mulled wine!
Cannavan, Tom, Glasgow – 15 points
appearance nose palate food
  Very attractive, pure, essence of blackcurrant and cream nose, with a sweet, juicy cherry note and subtle nuances of smoky Lapsang souchon tea and spices. There’s a touch of greenness here, but I don’t find it unattractive.
Firm, juicy black fruit is fresh and crisp, like biting into ripe blackcurrants, with that touch of bittersweetness. There’s a nice, subtle chocolate and charry, tobacco character and a firm edge of tannin that keeps this fresh and moreish.
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments] Very solid Chilean Cabernet that is well made and nicely savoury for drinking with food. This score of 15 is from a bottle tasted in tasted in August 2007 (a sample from the UK press office for importer Hatch Masfield) whilst a second bottle purchased in Somerfield, Glasgow, in December 2007 was slightly less full and rich and would have merited a score of 14. I’ve stuck here with my original findings and score.
Quelly, Ray, – 15 points
appearance nose palate food
Deep cherry with purple rim
Blackberry and ripe fruit with a hint of pepper. Slight ‘ribena’ lift to it.
Nice full mouthfeel. Very much a new world style of Cab- far removed from Bdx. Quite sweet and rich.
[buy] maybe [value] Yes [comments] This is a fairly priced wine. Blind I would not have guessed straight Cab. A crowd pleaser.
Grande, Gunn, UK, Manchester – 15 points
appearance nose palate food
Deep ruby red, bordering on purple
big nose: soft, red fruit/cherry with vanilla tones (and some breakhrough cat’s pee)
Bit overpowering, quite a mouthful; dark red fruit followed by spice and tobacco flavours; fair bit of tannin
Found it a bit overpowering with steak
[buy] no [value] average [comments]
Boyle, Vanessa, Essex – 15 points
appearance nose palate food
dark, pink rim
tannin oaky spices
smooth, soft finish, cherries, fruits, sweetish
[buy] Yes [value] average [comments]
Jenkins, David, London – 15 points
appearance nose palate food
Deep ruby, but good clarity. Bright. Always a good sign.
Black cherries. Very much fruit to the fore. No obtrusive oak. Doesn’t smell much like Cabernet
Nice balance of crunchy fruit and acidity. Tannins a little harsh. Obviously a very young wine. Finishes quite short
Initially tasted without. Later with Shepherds Pie
[buy] no [value] Yes [comments] A good wine, but not something I would normally choose to drink. Good for parties
Anderson, Nick, UK – 15 points
appearance nose palate food
Ruby, medium intensity
Soft blackcurrant aromas
Soft tannins, good balancing acidity, blackcurrant fruit
Yes – excellent with medium rare steak!
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments]
Hyam, Aaron, London – 15 points
appearance nose palate food
Bright shiny purple
Blackcurrant, ribena, green leaf (tobacco?), pencil/charcol
Alcoholic heat/burn is immediate and slightly off-putting, huge rush of sweet, blackcurrant fruit, slight tannic grip, clean/crisp, limited complexity (no follow-through onto the palate of the tobacco/pencil/charcol from the nose), simple, limited complexity
Not judged
[buy] maybe [value] Yes [comments] well, it is what it is I guess. I imagine that it’s the cheapest wine most forumites have consumed this year and, stylistically, certainly miles away from what most drink regularly. It’s been a long while since I’ve had anything like it and must admit that, despite its chemical/clean/manufactured essence, I kind of liked it, certainly the pencil lead and ‘green’-ness on the nose (though the blackcurrant/ribena smell was a bit extreme!). Bottom line…with all the recent wine-price-inflation (over here at least), is there anything better for ?6.99 on most UK supermarket shelves? I honestly can’t remember the last time I drank something similar (how bourgeois!), but would guess it stands up well (more bang-for-the-buck) against most mass-produced 3 for 2 type wines?
Brown, Martin, UK, Slough. – 14 points
appearance nose palate food
very good colour, purple core lightening at rim.
dominant blackcurrant, hint of green leaf.
sweet blackcurrant fruit, chewy, medium length.
Eat with pepperoni pizza. No improvement on wine score but adequately coped with the food.
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments] overall a good wine but nothing great. Would buy again only if available on 25% discount etc.
Grant, Simon, London – 14 points
appearance nose palate food
Full, deep ruby to purple.
Mulberry and slightly plummy fruit becoming more leafy blackcurrant over an hour or so.
Soft entry initialy, plum, chocolate and spice, quite rounded and generous; takes on a little more structure with good acidity and blackcurrant fruit. Positive finish.
Not tested with food but I imagine it would be reasonable with most grilled or roasted meats and cheese. Perfectly decent on its own.
[buy] maybe [value] Yes [comments] Good vfm and perfectly correcly made.
Slatcher, Steve, Manchester, England – 14 points
appearance nose palate food
Medium intense ruby. Legs.
Very intense blackcurrant. High toned, and with a refreshing edge. Not greenand vegetal, but not fully ripe either. Some oak, but not obtrusive.
Dry. Not even much of a suggestion of sweetness from the fruit. Medium to low acidity. Soft, nicely structured tannins, with just enough grip to let it work well with food. Intense primary fruit, pretty much reflecting the nose. Not complex, but clean and pleasant in the mouth. Long, but with a slightly unpleasant finish that is both treacly and bitter at the same time, metallic perhaps.
Suspect it is a decent food wine. I’m about to drink it with steak, seasoned with salt and pepper and fried in olive oil, and expect it to go well. Well, I was wrong. The intense fruit was far too much. Drink it by itself at a party, or maybe with spicy food.
[buy] no [value] average [comments] Good varietal character, and I think pretty typical of Chile too. Drink now.
Geary, Gavin, london – 14 points
appearance nose palate food
sweet parma violets
full bodied, rich and fruity, but stong alcohol aftertaste
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments]
Mitchell, Mike, Edinburgh – 14 points
appearance nose palate food
Deep mid ruby. Clear and bright.
Woody, cedary nose, bit of grassiness. Lots of black foresty fruits too.
Blackcurants, bit tarry. Then almost green peppers. Plenty fruit.Good fresh acidity. Quite short. Not very complex.
Fine with food – good burgers. Decent acidity helps.
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments] Decent wine, pretty good value even at full rrp. even better on offer. Not for serious contemplation but OK for a cheapish simple wine.
Holland, Adam, – 14 points
appearance nose palate food
some kind of sweetie
typically chilean
shows better without food
[buy] maybe [value] Yes [comments] generally not a fan of aouth american reds as too sweet. but given that caveat a good example of chilean cabernet
Warner, Michael, London – 14 points
appearance nose palate food
Mid-deep colour – ruby edge. Good clarity.
Cassis/blackcurrant. Sweet, clean and ripe. Slight touch of stalk/herbaceousness – and mint. Enough to add interest rather than detracting.
Good intensity – ripe tannin. Ripe sweet fruit. Good medium length. A bit heady – alcoholic. After a while is a bit samey and tiring. Nice but lacks real interest.
[buy] no [value] average [comments] High alcohol makes it a bit tiring to drink.
Black, Ian, UK/Alton, Hants. – 14 points
appearance nose palate food
Quite opaque. Red with purple.
Like an immature minor-ch?teau claret. Specific notes of plum, stewed apple, vanilla, cherry and clove (a bit surprised by the last one), but much swirling needed.
Nice acidity balance. Tannins are there but not objectionable. Fruit seemed more blackberry than blackcurrant. Thought I caught a bit of Shiraz on the side of the palate (?) Any oak is not very pronounced. Finish is quite long. Not yet ready for drinking – needs more bottle age.
Didn’t change my assessment of the wine. However, read 8 below.
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments] Left some for 24hrs then re-tasted. A huge difference. Rawness had gone and wine was much more harmonious. It’s interesting to speculate what the winemaker was aiming at with this wine. It’s wasn’t the in-your-face new world approach I was expecting, but given its unreadiness, will this put people off? Also, if I had been marking this as a ?4.66 wine rather than a ?6.99 one, I would have scored it quite a bit higher.
Monk, Matt, Blackpool, UK – 14 points
appearance nose palate food
Strawberry/crimson to rim. Purple in centre
Creamy, Red Fruits, Strawberry, slight Spice. Summer Fruits Pudding
Off Cream flavour, full mouth, berry flavours, vanilla
[buy] maybe [value] Yes [comments]
Foulds, Rich, Bermuda – 14 points
appearance nose palate food
deep garnet/purple, fading to the rim
stewed plums, background of blackcurrant but not prominant
blackcurrant jam, some vanilla, prune. Medium finish quite smooth and silky in the mouth.
red meats, barbeque.
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments] an unexceptional wine, has good points, easy to drink, but there are better wines for the money.
Anderson, Paul, Roslin, Scotland – 14 points
appearance nose palate food
Dark, dense red
Black fruits and slight smokey oak. Also hints of black cherry.
Ripe blackcurrant and spicy bramble fruit. Hints of licorice and vanilla. Quite savoury and dry tannins on finish.
Had both on it’s own and then with food. Didn’t make much difference.
[buy] maybe [value] Yes [comments] Good wine. Got it for ?4.66 in Waitrose so would probably buy it again at that price.
Biswas, George, UK/ virginia Water – 14 points
appearance nose palate food
Bright, clear, medium intensity ruby core, with a thin pale purple rim. Legs/ teras noticed.
Clean, medium intensity cassis, toast, menthol and some leafy notes. Slight burn from the high alcohol.
Dry, high acidity, high level of grippy tannins,medium – full bodied, high alcohol. Medium intensity fruit character with cassis, black currants, black cherries, plum skin, vanilla and toast. Long spicy finish.
We were eating seared scallops tonight so passed on this wine with the meal as it seemed a poor match. Tried with some blue cheese and French Basque country sheeps milk cheese afterwards, neither of which worked well either.
[buy] no [value] average [comments] A well made mainstream new world Cabernet Sauvignon. Too alcoholic for me (This bottle bought in Waitrose, Staines showed 14.5% Abv) A crowd pleaser, safe, solid, but no real character or excitement.
Johnston, Brian, Glasgow – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Deep purple
Cl;ean Medium intensity, possible developement. Black fruit with cherry and vanilla sweetness.
Fruit blackberry and blackcurrant with slight oak. Low / medium tannins, medium intensity, medium/high alcohol with good length. After warming up the next day jammy .
Went well with a pork and bean casserolle on day 2. Fine on it,s own.
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments] Although fine for the money a little non descript and you could buy better for ?7.
Johnston, Evelyn, Glasgow – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Medium to deep purple young colour with cherry red highlighting hues and a lighter rim.
Immediate dark berry fruit on the nose with Blackcurrant leaf and vanilla at the end.
Good fruit flavour of blackcurrants at the start, mid palate tobacco finishing with sweeet vanilla and a touch of spice. Medium in intensity acid and tannins with a resonable length but a feeling of hotness from the alcohol.
Went fine with a vegetable casserole and better than drinking it on it’s own.
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments] This is still too young and has potential to develope a bit but without the tannin backbone long term aging is unlikely. i felt it was a bit unbalanced and too acidic for my palate. On the whole a ok wine but I wouldn’t get it again as for ?7 I can buy better.
Alabaster, Nick, UK – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Deep burgundy core consistent to rim.
Clean nose of woodsmoke, soft herbs and vanilla sweetness. Balanced toasty oak notes against ripe blackcurrent/redcurrant fruit.
Full bodied but in an alcoholic sense; one dimensional. Basically a blast of fruit and alcohol with moderate warmth on the finish with a light, lingering fruit/smoke notes. Lacks depth or complexity and has a firmness through excess alcohol. A fair modern cab style but utlimately not for me. Lacks sutblety and balance. A one glasser at most for me.
Not a food wine at all. Needs less alcohol. Too heavy for food.
[buy] no [value] no [comments] Given the modern style of glossy ripe wines with higher alcohol, then I guess this is a fair representation. It is absolutely not for me though – finding the alcohol to excess and the wine ultimately simple.
Carrington, Mark, England, Dorset – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Deep purple
Berried fruit, blackcurrant pastilles, cassis, attrative.
Tannin rather overwhelms fruit. Attenuated, short finish.
Went well with lamb.
[buy] no [value] average [comments] Discounted price of a fiver gives good value & at that price would consider buying again, though Chilean wine holds little interest.
Witcomb, Henry, london – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Dark, ruby red. Obviously young, but knew that anyway.
Quite closed, grassy, touch of blackberry.
Surprising after the closed nose. Fruity blackberries, with some vanilla.

[buy] maybe [value] average [comments]
Boyle, Steve, Essex – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Dark red, verging on purple at the rim. Full colour, opaque.
Black berries and blackcurrent, with cherry undertones. Ripe fruit, with a mouthwatering effect for me.
Feels quite tannic on the palate and a hint of heat. The fruit is a little overwhelmed initially, and, for me, the nose promises more than the wine deilvers. By the 2nd glass seems to have settled better and more in balence. I suspect it will benefit from a few years in the bottle, but not too long.
Not tried.
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments] I think at 6.99 there are better Cab Savs for me. A little too out of balence with the 14.5 alcohol showing too much for me. At 4.66 – what I paid – then I would buy again, though not regularly.
Ferguson, Sue, Blackpool, UK – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Dark Ruby
Black Berries
Hint Of Oak, Slightly Dry
[buy] Yes [value] Yes [comments]
Monk, Mel, Blackpool, UK – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Blackcurrant Juice
Raspberry, Strawberry, Honey, Blackcurrant
Blackcurrants, Dry, Bitter
Lifts flavour, not so bitter
[buy] no [value] average [comments]
Edwardes, Warren, London, UK – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Translucent garnet with moderate pale tranparent rim
moderate oak; but a very weak nose
low to moderate tannins; low acidity; long finish more strawberries and cherries than raspberries; The low tannins make it sangiovese and merlot like.
Tried with Lebanese lamb meatballs. The finish is not long enough. Being low tannic could go with moderately spicy food such as Middle Eastern Cuisine. But lacking in acidity.
[buy] no [value] no [comments] Seemed to be designed for drinking without food. Lot L7226 Year 2006
Clayton, Adam, Surrey, U.K – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Mid-purple with ruby on the rim. Medium intensity with noticible legs.
Fairly pure and recognisable blackcurrant aromas.
Smooth with the same blackcurrant fruit as nose. Low to medium tannins. Alcoholic heat noticieble and a little out of balance. Medium length.
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments] Uncomplicated, well-made and juicy Cab Sauv made for drinking young. Moderately good to good for its price-point.
Wong, Raymond, Japan / Otsu – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Inky crimson
Initial nose of some Pinot-like farmyard aromas and oaky. Some VA. After an hour in a Riedel Bordeaux glass, lot more blackcurrant emerged ,the oak subsidied, and the farmyard aromas dissipated. 2nd night: Settled down. A very fruit-driven nose of mainly blackcurrant.
Attack of red fruits then moving onto some blackcurrant. The tannins are a bit harsh with some bitterness on the finish. Vibrant acidity. 2nd night: More integrated. Drying out on the finish. Okay, but nothing spectacular.
No. Drink it by itself.
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments] I had the 2006 Cab Sauvignon. Batch No. L7032
Richards, Bea, UK/ Virginia Water – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Blackcurrants/ Berries
Dry Tannins Black cherries, Quite smooth
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments] Too alcoholic, went straight to my head.
Walters, Tim, Stockport, UK – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Quite a light colour, watery rim.
Rather muffled nose initially. Opened up after a while. I’m not good at smells but a rather generic jammy red fruit for me.
Quite thin, little acidity or length. Again rather generic flavour.
[buy] no [value] no [comments]
Young, Hamish, Burgess Hill – Sussex – UK – 13 points
appearance nose palate food
Clear. Paler than expected. Bright and fairly light core with v pale rim.
Clean. Medium intensity. Sweet blackcurrant fruit is the dominant aroma with a hint of spice and vanilla. No great depth or complexity.
As nose. Sweet, juicy blackcurrant/fruit pastille. Touch of spice. Oak noticeable but very restrained. Mostly used to round out fruit. Acid highish but balanced, alcohol a touch out of balance on the high side. Tannin soft. No great depth or complexity but a well-made and pleasant wine.
[buy] no [value] average [comments] Sorry I’m late! This was a 14.5% ABV example. Lot L7204 from Waitrose.
Hughes, Timothy, Toronto, Canada – 12 points
appearance nose palate food
Dark purple core, with some lighter plum at the very edge of the rim.
Ribena and other black fruits. Cardamom. Some oak (tastes artificial). Alcohol.
Liquorice. Black fruits. Tannins quite grippy. A medicinal overtone. Slight residual sweetness.
Too sweet for food.
[buy] no [value] no [comments] The wine tastes confected. I’m not keen on it.
Borwick, David, Northumberland, UK – 12 points
appearance nose palate food
Deep, almost opaque purple, narrow ruby rim
Medium to subdued, confected black fruits, distinct green notes
Dry, full bodied, sweeter blackcurrant fruit comes through, liquorice finish. Touch of drying tannins, decent cleansing acidity. Unpleasantly artificial/woody aftertaste. Short to medium length
Carelessly matched with a light chicken dish this turned out to be a well structured food wine and I kept going back to the glass (and bottle!) between mouthfuls – its artificial and disjointed flavour profile showed less with food. In particular it carried its 14.5% alcohol very well.
[buy] no [value] no [comments] My prejudice before opening was that this wine would be showy to taste but too flabby for food. I was wrong -I found its flavours dull to unpleasant but its structure well balanced and drinkable. 12 points in the ISO, 13 with dinner!
Millar, Hugh, Amersham / UK – 12 points
appearance nose palate food
Very dark ruby. Some “frothing” on surface of wine, as if it had been shaken up.
Almost imperceptible at first. After a good 20 mins in glass, and much swirling, a touch of alcoholic fumes appeared.
Moderate level of fruit; slightly bitter, smokey. Well balanced use of oak. No complexity whatsoever. [Tasted at first without food]. Drinkable, but completely uninspired.
Improved considerably with food [chicken casserole]. Bitterness disappeared and a little more fruit seemed to come forward. Still, however, not worth the cash.
[buy] no [value] no [comments] If I had marked this on the strength of tasting without food, it would have been put into the “extremely poor” category, mainly on its total lack of any nose whatsoever. Luckily, I opened it about 20 mins before dinner, so it was marked up to the bottom side of “average”. I paid ?6.99 for the wine; but I believe I was one of the few who will pay this price – this is a true supermarket BOGOF wine, intended to be sold at under a fiver, which [usually] these days means a wine guaranteed to provide very limited satisfaction. It’s a party glugger, but I don’t like spending 7 quid on party gluggers. Very disappointing; I’d have expected better from Errazuriz. This is a great example of why I have virtually given up on supermarket wines [except from Waitrose – which was where I found this effort!! :(]
Pickles, Stephen, Scotland – 12 points
appearance nose palate food
Dark, clear, garnet
Big, fruity nose. Cherry and leafy blackcurrant, touches of cedar and sweet oak.
Very tannic, then very hot, and harsh alcohol, then some ripe fruit, and low acid finish.
In a reidel CS glass it opened out a little more, leafy fruit,but slightly confected oak note. Palate still had chalky tannins, and heat.
[buy] no [value] average [comments] Its not faulty, but verges on it, with the alcohol . Its “wrong” in almost every direction for me ( to hot, to flabby, don’t like the oak treatment). There are more composed wines out there at this price
Stevenson, Andrew, UK – 11 points
appearance nose palate food
A darkish ruby with a bit of youth at the edges.
Initially some good cabernet fruit: fairly pure blackcurrant, perhaps with some leather. Feels slightly reductive. Then there’s a real cheesiness, almost to the point of the savouriness of cheese crisps. After a while, the nose starts to settle down and integrate a bit to give an overall impression of black fruit, cheddary cheese and tobacco.
Nice attack: nicely balanced fruit and acidity. Some structure builds in the mouth, but doesn’t really go anywhere, and ultimately it feels a little hollow, as the fruit recedes and ultimately disappears. There’s also a green, weediness on the finish that means it ends up feeling very unsatisfying. If it had been sealed with a cork rather than screwcap, I might have been wondering about low level cork taint.
[buy] maybe [value] average [comments] L7037
Parsons, Bob, Edmonton/Alberta/Canada – 11 points
appearance nose palate food
Medium red-ruby showing just a brief hint of purple on the thin watery rim.
Woodsy, green peppers, alcohol, some blackcurrant. No evolvement over 5 hrs, some herbal quality which I find suspect?
Green peppers, stemmt, tannic, tad “green’ w. very little lush fruit and no appeal. Found some bitterness on finish, heat too. 8 tasters tried this, only one liked! Some plum, blackcurrant after 2 hrs but still unripe fruit here. Astringent finish continues overnight, not up to par at all. Do not think a bad bottle> “This is what I found when visiting winery” Ed Fong owner DeVines winestore.
Just some cheese and crackers. No food would have made a difference.
[buy] no [value] no [comments] Hopefully this is the same wine that is on UK shelves? As discussed in August, different label and appellation here.
Simpson, Clare, Edinburgh – 11 points
appearance nose palate food
Dark, rich ruby with thin pale pink edge and thin clear rim. Opaque at middle. No sediment. Strong legs
Rich, earthy nose, dark fruits – cherry, prunes, blackberry. Smells a bit alcoholic on nose. Attractive nose.
Didn’t live up to the nose! Very tannic, not much fruit – might improve with age. Don’t really like it. Good length.
[buy] no [value] no [comments]
Nieminen, Otto, Finland – 11 points
appearance nose palate food
Very dark.
Cranberry jam and vanilla; lifted.
Extracted, oaky, sweet, un-refreshing, jammy, harsh and alcoholic.
[buy] no [value] no [comments]
Hostler, Wade, San Diego – 11 points
appearance nose palate food
The color is very deep and extracted, quite inky.
I knew the wine was going to be a cabernet but I didn’t know where it was from. On the first sniff I immediately nailed it as a Chilean Cabernet. That’s not a good thing since it had a huge whack of bell pepper along with New World fruitiness and that’s not a combination that worls for me.
On the palate much the same thing was happening, with the bell pepper interfering with an otherwise quite New World styled wine. The palate was lacking in depth and substance, while the finish was shortish and exhibited some heat.
[buy] no [value] no [comments] To the wine’s credit it does have a sense of place and is identifiable as to varietal, being identifiably Chilean Cabernet. That being said I don’t like Chilean Cabernet for its odd mix of New World style with incompatible vegetal notes. It is at least drinkable and I would not call it flawed or faulty. That being said I can get much better wines for the same amount of money, including some value-priced Cabernets.