The wines of Argentina 2008 part III

These notes accompany a massive report from Argentina. In part I and part II there are an additional 250 tasting notes. For profiles of all of these estates please see Regional report: Argentina: 40 estates and 360 wines.


Bodegas Noemia

Bodega Noemia A Lisa 2006
90% Malbec, 10% Merlot. No new oak in this cuvée, only second and third fill barrels. Nice oak on this, with a fine, cedary character. Fruit is delicate, with a red fruit and a very fine smokiness. The palate has very pure, racy red fruit character, just backed up with an integrated delicate oakiness. Good persistence and juiciness, and the creamy oak just adding depth. 90/100. £17 – £20 approximately.

Bodega Noemia J. Alberto 2006
J. Alberto is named after Noemia’s brother and father. 95% Malbec, 5% Merlot, a field blend form the 1955 vineyard. 30% New oak. Much meatier, richer nose, with more fragrance from the fruit and oak. The palate has some dry, mouth-coating tannin, but the florality and beautiful persistence of the fruit comes through powerfully, with a gorgeous acid and tannin axis adding superb freshness. Delicious and very long. 93/100. £30 – £35 approximately.

Bodega Noemia J. Alberto 2007
Bottled the day before I tasted it. Massive chocolaty quality to the fruit, but that beautifully honed black fruit and raspberry freshness comes through. The fruit sweetness is terrific, with a coffeeish oak coming through and plenty of freshening acidity and tannins. This needs time to knit, but has fantastic black sweet fruit and beautiful structure and length. 93/100.

Bodega Noemia 2001
100% Malbec. All from the same 1932 vineyard, only 3,000 bottles can be produced. Hans went through the vineyard marking each of the Malbec vines to identify them. Only natural yeasts, and each berry de-stemmed by hand. Beautiful nose, flooded with cedar and truffle, with plenty of sous-bois, ripe, rich chocolaty berries and a touch of iron-filings. Beautiful nose. Gorgeous palate too, with a bloody streak of gaminess, and a beautifully refined, svelte black fruit. Coffee and chocolate intermingle with silk, ripe tannins in a seductive wine. 94/100. Around £50.

Bodega Noemia 2002
Fantastic nose, with such elegant, Bordeaux-like blood-streaked, gamy black fruit, with hints of minerality and earth. The palate has delightful sweetness with extraordinary ripe, deep, very mouth filling melange of the copious ripe fruit, and all that bloody, fine minerality. Delightful elegance here, and a delightful balance again, with a long, long finish. 95/100

Bodega Noemia 2003
Very, very tight, with much more intense, mineral, but beautifully expressive Malbec nose of floral-edged, kirsch-like black plum and cherry. The oak is sweet and vanillin, with hints of mint and chocolate. The palate has a real intensity too, with a svelte blue-black raciness, lots of kirsch and taut fruit against Sandalwood and mellow coffee and earthy flavours. Terrific acidity, and very dry tannins, giving this power and structure, though perhaps not quite the finesse of the earlier vintages. 93/100

Bodega Noemia 2004
Fantastic chocolaty and mocha nose, with a flood of very svelte, ripe, deep-seated black fruit, with little hints of the violet and kirsch of the grape, and plenty of spicy and cedary nuances. The nose is endlessly fascinating, with layers of fruit and tertiary aromas. The palate has that plump, seductive, intensely sweet and concentrated fruit, with beautiful spices and glossy fruit, and fabulous concentration and length. Lovely nuanced, layered finish. Power, finesse, concentration and simply outstanding. 97/100

Bodega Noemia 2006
Barrel sample. The 2005 was declassified after a freak frost ravaged the vineyard. Very schisty, mineral, highly promising nose, with very nice quality of oak, and a focused seam of ripe black fruit. The palate betrays a little oak dominance at the moment, but there is wonderful concentration without extraction, and copious layers of coffee and earth, minerals and fantastically ripe, fine, chocolaty tannins and that bright, elongating acidity. A baby of course and needs to integrate, but superb. 95/100, with potential for 97/100. Should be arriving in the UK around now.

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Bodegas Chacra

Chacra Barda Pinot Noir 2005
Second label. Declassified grapes of 32. Lovely rich, concentrated and glossy Pinot fruit. Touches of blackcurrant and very pure and glossy. The fruit is rich, sweet and very pure, with liquoricy concentration and lovely finesse. Very tight grained and firmly spicy. 89/100.

Chacra Barda Pinot Noir 2006
Has a lighter, more fragrant nose, with more truffle and earth and sweet black fruit. The palate has lovely savoury acidity with a very refined fruit and that nutty, cherry and redcurrant fruit, with very nice warmth from smoky oak and good, ripe tannins. 90/100. $30

Chacra Cincuenta y Cinco 2006
The “Cincuenta y Cinco” from the 1955 vineyard, has a very nice nose here, with lovely cherry freshness. There’s a touch of liquorice and black plum skin bite on the palate, with a lovely crisp acidity and very nice, smooth and svelte tannins with a lovely juicy fruit and acidity. Very firm black fruit. Lovely finesse and quality. 92/100. Around $100

Chacra Trenta y Dos 2005
Only just over 2,200 bottles were made of the “Trenta y Dos”, from the 1932 vineyard. Terrific nose, with lots concentration without appearing too big. Plenty of bold black fruit and touches of truffle and wood smoke in the background. The palate has lovely structure, with raciness and firmness, though a touch less giving than the 2006 55. 91/100 $120

Chacra Trenta y Dos 2006
30% new oak. Real blackberry fruit concentration, with very refined, subtle spices. A touch of star anise and caraway seed. The palate also has a silky, tight, very focused palate, with racy tannins and fine concentration, and a svelte, pure, very long finish. This is a tightly-wound, black cherry acidity and fantastic sense of minerality and plum and cherry juiciness. 94/100. Around $120

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Humberto Canale

white wines

Humberto Canale Intimo Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2007
Very nicely pitched wine, with a touch of oak on the Semillon component adding a creamy, oatmeally note to otherwise very fresh, passionfruit that bursts through on the palate with succulent orange acidity. Delicious. 87/100. £5.99

Humberto Canale Black River Torrontes 2007
Little floral and medicinal notes, with some zesty tangerine and lemon fruit coming through. Very nice mouth-feel, with some roundness and powerful, punchy fruit with a hint of spice. 85/100. £4.99

Humberto Canale Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Very nice, juicy, passionfruit nose, with nice downy peach skin fruit. Good aromatics leading on to a fresh, nicely luscious and tropical fruited palate. Very good weight and texture and lots of vibrant tang. Well pitched. 85/100. £5.49

Humberto Canale Black River Organic Semillon 2007
Nicely zesty and lemony fruit, with a hint of Sauvignon-like herbal notes. The palate is very fresh, with just a rounding if creamy, custard apple flavour and texture, and a lovely cut of lemon acidity. 85/100. £5.49

Humberto Canale Viognier 2007
Very nice crisp, peachy, lemony nose, with a small note of exotic lychee and a palate that is fresh and tangy, if slightly dilute. 84/100. £5.49

red wines

Humberto Canale Intimo Cabernet Merlot Malbec 2007
45% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, 10% Malbec. Very nice smoky and damson fruited nose, with some bright blackcurrant fruit. On the palate there is a very nice chocolate-tinged, very nice black fruit with soft, silky tannins and nice spice and freshness from the acidity. 87/100.

Humberto Canale Intimo Malbec 2007
10% American oak. Quite a charry, toasty oak nose, with copious black fruit coming through, and a tiny floral lift. Very generous, deliciously opulent black fruit, with a lovely silkiness to the tannins and balanced acidity. 87/100.

Humberto Canale Pinot Noir 2007
Pale ruby colour, with very fresh, summery berry fruit, and a hint of spice. Fairly straightforward, with a juicy palate that lacks a little flesh perhaps, but has delicious, spicy, bright red berries and very good varietal character. 87/100. £6.49

Humberto Canale Black River Merlot Pinot Noir 2007
Lovely custardy, smoky oak, with plenty of oaky oomph, but a big, spicy background that is coffeeish and rich. The palate has grip and spice, and though it perhaps lacks a touch of elegance, it has presence and plenty of fruit. 86/100. £4.99

Humberto Canale Black River Malbec 2007
A touch of earth to spicy black fruit. Good fruit quality though, that comes through on the palate, with a touch of damson and silky raspberry. Lots of spice and quite good concentration. 86/100. £4.99

Humberto Canale Black River Organic merlot 2007
Creamy and spicy, with ripe and creamy red fruits, like plums and cherries. Palate has very soft tannins, though there is a touch of dryness about them, and the refined red fruit turns a little sweet and jammy. 85/100. £5.49

Humberto Canale Estate Merlot 2007
Barrel sample. Dark red cherry and liquorice fruit, with a charry oak quality from American oak barrel ageing. Quite charry, with a lot of coffee oak showing on the palate at this stage, but there’s a firm juiciness to the fruit that is very appealing and the tannins and acidity are good. 87/100. £6.99

Humberto Canale Malbec 2007
Barrel sample. Nice, smooth floral and svelte, creamy black fruit nose. The oak here seems more integrated, adding a black coffee depth. The palate has a sweet plum depth of fruit, with silky mouth-feel and very refined, spicy tannins and oak as well as fresh acidity. 88/100. £6.99

Humberto Canale Black River Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2007
100% oak, a mix of 80% French and Romanian. 25_year-old Pinot vines. Lovely silky, sumptuous depth of exotic spices and earthy, coffee-touched strawberry fruit. The fruit persists on the palate, with a background of spicy, smoky oak, but the freshness is all there again, with herbal and spicy fruit and lovely fresh acidity. Very good indeed. 90/100. £10.99, in Gaucho Grill.

Humberto Canale Estate Reserve Merlot 2006
Very ripe, almost minty and chocolaty nose, with a tiny hint of gamy Brett. The palate has lovely juicy red fruit, with a very gentle smokiness and that minty ripeness continuing. 88/100. M&S, £9.99.

Humberto Canale Black River Gran Reserva Malbec 2006
Big, highly toasted, charry burnt toast nose, with spices and juicy, vanillin and blue-black berry fruit. Palate has some vibrancy and tang, and a punchy, powerful yet savoury black fruit character before a spicy, oak-dominated finish. 88/100. £10.99

Humberto Canale Black River Gran Reserva Cabernet Franc 2006
Nicely spicy and earthy, with plenty of cedar and a refined, leafy black fruit character. The palate has lovely fruit, with a really silky, lithe black fruit and plenty of smooth, refined tannins and bright, but silky and background acidity. Deliciously drinkable, and a modest 13.5% ABV. 90/100. £10.99.

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Del Fin Del Mundo

white wines

Del Fin Del Mundo Ventus Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay 2007
Fresh, pineapple chunk and bright lemony fruit nose, with nice mouthfeel and rich, sweet fruit and an off-dry finish. A little raw in the acidity perhaps. 84/100. £4.99

Del Fin Del Mundo Newen Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Bright pineapply fruit, not much green character, and a little bit commercially bland perhaps, but the acidity comes through without really expressing the Sauvignon very well. 85/100. £5.99

Del Fin Del Mundo Postales Chardonnay 2007
Lemony, bright and creamy fruit, with a touch of apple and some brighter tropical fruit notes. The palate is quite grippy and skinny, with a slightly aggressive fruit quality perhaps, and rather raw adjustment of acidity. 84/100. £5.49

Del Fin Del Mundo Reserva Chardonnay 2006
There’s a toasty edge to the fruit here, with a nice orange and lemon fruit, and good palate weight. This has more balance. 86/100.

Del Fin Del Mundo Reserva Viognier 2007
Very nice, expressive Viognier, with lots of skin contact richness and good fruit sweetness through the mid palate. Nice style, with a bit of succulent mid-palate flesh without being too alcoholic. 86/100

red and rosé wines

Del Fin Del Mundo Postales Rosé 2007
Malbec, with 15% Merlot. Cranberry and nutty raspberry fruit, with a touch of rose-hip. Quite powerful, with nice fruit and a dry, quite elegant finish. 86/100

Del Fin Del Mundo Ventus Tinto 2007
Merlot 70%, Malbec 15%, Cabernet Sauvignon 15%. Quite an elegant nose, with a touch of leafiness and gentle blackcurrant fruit. The palate has a nice juicy plum and blackcurrant sweetness, and just enough tannin and acidity to stop it being cloying. 85/100

Del Fin Del Mundo Postales Cabernet Malbec 2007
Slightly duller, more baked and plummy nose, with a touch of liquorice and then a rather harsh quality on the back palate. Nice enough fruit, but I find this a touch clumsy. 84/100

Del Fin Del Mundo Postales Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Young, very slightly leafy black fruit, with a blackcurrant core, but again I find that slightly harsh, liquoricy edge is slightly distracting. 84/100

Del Fin Del Mundo Postales Mundo Malbec 2007
Red fruits and a slightly baked plum pie aromas, with a huge palate sweetness that is very appealing. Jammy, but at least it hangs together better than some. 85/100

Del Fin Del Mundo Newen Pinot Noir 2006
Biggest producer of Pinot Noir in Argentina, with 90 hectares out of 900 planted in total. Quite a nice, rich and rounded smokiness, with quite nice ripe fruit, that is luscious and rounded, with a fairly solid but attractive finish. 86/100. £5.99

Del Fin Del Mundo Reserva Pinot Noir 2005
Fairly big vanillin nose, with a certain spiciness and quite ripe cherry fruit. On the palate the tannins and oak seem slightly over extracted for the quality of the fruit. Although this has really quite nice fruit, it has slightly bitter phenolics in the finish, with a touch of pithy, stalky bitterness. 84/100. £7.49

Del Fin Del Mundo Newen Merlot 2006
Silky and berry fruited, with some coffee and fudge notes. Palate has good fruit, but that same slightly dull personality, with a rather astringent finish. 86/100.

Del Fin Del Mundo Newen Syrah 2006
Nice leafy, racy red fruited nose with raspberry and cherry and a bit of vanilla and spice. Sweet, rich fruit on the palate, with quite a nice touch of chocolate, and juiciness that is missing in some other wines in this range. 87/100

Del Fin Del Mundo Reserva Merlot Reserva 2006
This has a nice rounded blackberry and soft, strawberry fruited nose. The palate has some really good juiciness, with plenty of sweet, mouthfilling fruit and a touch of plumskin roughness and chocolate. Slightly hot perhaps. 86/100

Del Fin Del Mundo Reserva Malbec Reserva 2006
Silky, solid black fruit, with plum and chocolate, with a nice spiciness and plenty of richness and spice. These take the tannins and extraction much more happily than the lesser wines. 88/100

Del Fin Del Mundo Gran Reserva 2005
36% Malbec, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. 12 months in oak, 70% of which is French, the rest American. Nice, plush, cedary nose, with some burnt toast, but also good red berry fruit. The palate has good fruit and very good, fine tannic ripeness that are riper and more generous. It is perhaps slightly lacking fruit in the mid-palate, not quite standing up to the oak and tannins, but a nice wine. 88/100 £9.99

Del Fin Del Mundo Special Blend 2005
40% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. 15 months in new French oak. Big, seductive, chocolaty nose, with plenty of oak and spice. The palate has good juicy flavour, and a big-framed, spicy robust personality that is a touch overoaked for me. 88/100. £14.99

Del Fin Del Mundo Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2007
Barrel sample. Nice glossy leafiness, with a touch of kirsch and cherry brightness. Nice fruit, with a lot of dry fruity extraction, but actually this is quite nicely handled. Good quality here and good concentration. 88/100.

Del Fin Del Mundo Single Vineyard Tannat 2007
Big, solid, dark, plummy fruit in Patagonia’s first Tannat wine. Nice smoky spiciness and a touch of coffee. Juicy and fine, with great acidity and lots of bright fruit. Very nice wine potentially. 88/100.

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Valle Perdido

white wines

Valle Perdido Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Bottled in screwcap. Fresh tropical nose, with nicely judged herbaceousness, and a hint of waxiness on the palate very bright and fresh, with a nice tang of acidity, and a very juicy, citrus character. 86/100. Approx £5 – £6

Valle Perdido Chardonnay Roble 2007
Very big, toasty nose, with plenty of oak showing, over lightly tropical fruit. Very good mouthfeel, and bursting with ripe tropical fruit, but excellent lemon acidity that gives this fine freshness and tang. 88/100. £6.00

red and rosé wines

Valle Perdido Malbec Rosé 2007
Direct pressed (not saignee). Quite a deep, vibrant crimson, with cherry fruit and a touch of lipsticky quality. Palate is perhaps a touch dilute and drying, with nice fruit quality and a touch of residual sweetness. 85/100. £5.00

Valle Perdido Pinot Noir 2006
A proportion is lightly oaked. Quite fragrant and pleasantly smoky, with light cherry fruit. Quite a nice palate, with a nice sense of freshness. Cherry fruit with a little earthy background, and very pleasant texture and delicate spiciness. 86/100. £6 – £7

Valle Perdido Malbec 2006
Nine months in barrels and staves. 60% French oak is certainly quite dominant, but there’s a very nice coffee and charry toast quality. The palate has a rich, ripe, very juicy and glossy black fruit of good quality. Nicely balanced, with a tiny touch of dryness to the finish, but very nice wine indeed. 88/100. £7.49

Valle Perdido Cabernet Merlot 2006
51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% merlot spending nine months in contact with oak (part staves, but 60% French in barrels). Very nice wine, with a glossy, deep, full blackcurrant nose, a tiny edge of bloody and earthy minerality. The palate is quite dry, with a savoury juiciness, maybe not quite the vivid, pure appeal of the Malbec and slightly drying tannins, but another very good wine. 87/100. £7.49

Valle Perdido Malbec Reserva 2006
From a densely planted vineyard, it spends 14 months in new French barriques, a tank sample having been blended one month ago. Beautifully sweet, fulsome, rounded nose of deep, velvety black fruit. Oak is very nicely integrated. The palate has a very fine, silky, concentrated character without any inkiness the fruit is sweet and full, and whilst the tannins are a touch dry, the balance is excellent and the depth of fruit and smoky, spicy oak support makes for a sumptuous but balanced wine. 89/100. £8.99

Valle Perdido Cubas Patagonia 2006
Two years in large wooden cuves, this will be the top wine of the estate, though not yet bottled. 6,000 bottles that may sell for around £14.99. Very fragrant, cherry and floral-touched glossy black fruit, but there’s and elegance and restraint too, with cedary notes. Lovely fruit purity, with a real sense of minerality coming through. 90/100.

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Bodegas NQN

white wines

NQN Picada 15 blend 2007
55% Chardonnay, 40% and 5% Pinot noir. Nice and bright, focused fruit with crisp, juicy fruit and good rounded acidity. Very juicy. 85/100

NQN Malma Chardonnay 2007
Nice little bit of background creaminess, a touch of vanilla fro Demptos oak barrels. The palate is quote full and rich, with a slightly heavy alcohol and too sweet an oak character. 85/100.

red wines

NQN Malma Pinot Noir 2007
Rather paintboxy, slightly harsh aromatics, with some bright cherry fruit. Palate has a nice juicy fruit, though perhaps lacks a bit of pinosity. 84/100

NQN Malma Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
Second use Taransud oak Barrels, but has quite a vanillin note, with a thick, creamy black fruit. Some plum and juicy cherry skin acidity, and quite nice tannins, but all a touch dry and inky, lacking a touch of fruit? 85/100

NQN Malma Reserve Pinot Noir 2005
Nice nose, with the vanillin and slightly cedary oak better integrated. There’s a certain leafiness, and very nice structure on the palate, with good oak integration and a bit of plummy depth and spice. 87/100

NQN Picada 15 Malbec 2006
Oak chips used and micro ox. Slightly paint boxy, slightly lipsticky character. Huge, sweet palate, with some dry cherry fruit but plenty of low acid, soft red and black fruit. Good commercial wine. 85/100

NQN Malma Malbec 2006
Slightly sweaty aromas, with he lightly fragrance of the malbec coming through. Nicer palate, with rich red and black plum fruit and a nicer tannic base. 86/100

NQN Malma Reserve Malbec 2005
Nice bright, cherry and kirsch-like cherry fruit, with. Lots of vanilla and fudge. The palate has a nice balance, with the sweet fruit coining through. 87/100

NQN Malma Reserve Malbec 2006
Tank sample. Better balance, with the fruit coming through more powerfully. The palate betrays a little more dry, slightly astringent. 86/100

NQN Malbec Collecion 2005
Vineyard selection, form a vineyard at 5,000 plants per hectare. Aged 15 months in French oak, plus 20 months in tank. Very smooth, velvety, dark-fruited nose, with a little of the florality and plenty of plummy fruit. Big, dark, plummy oak with spices and a touch of exotic Sandalwood. Very nice wine this, though the oak is perhaps slightly overdone. 88/100. Around £15 in UK.

NQN Malbec Collecion 2006
Barrel sample. Much nicer, more violetty and kirsch like fruit that is much more expressive. Oak is reined back a little, and that is very suitable for the sweet but savoury and plummy weight of fruit, with a lovely tannin structure. 89/100.

NQN Malma Merlot 2005
Big, creamy, soft and inviting jammy berry nose. Plenty of vanilla. Palate has lots of jammy, thick fruit with a cloak of toasty oak. Good commercial wine. 85/100.

NQN Malma Merlot Reserve 2004
Slightly smoky and cedary character, with plush fruit quality and a bit of jamminess. Very creamy and vanillin rich on the palate, with a strawberry lusciousness and a bit of firm tannic weight kicking in. Drying, and quite a nice style in the end. 86/100

NQN Malma Merlot Reserve 2005
A pleasant touch of paint-box juiciness coming through. A touch of schisty minerality even. The palate has a black fruit intensity that has a firmer character. Appealing, with a bit of real bite and spice. 87/100.

NQN Malma Merlot Reserve 2003
Nice and chocolaty and rich, though perhaps the whole picture is rather heavy. 86/100

NQN Collecion blend 2004
60% Malbec, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Nice touch of leafiness to tobacco and leafy, mint leaf, with quite svelte tannins and a touch of spice. Very nice fruit. 88/100

NQN Collecion Blend 2005
Quite bright and paintboxy, with a nice purity of red fruits coming through. Very nice and spicy. Lots of spice and a powerful weight of fruit and tannin. 87/100

NQN Collecion Blend 2006
Blended, but not bottled. Very nice, bold, quite crunchy fruit. There is some really bright fruit being allowed to show through here. Ore brightness and kirsch-like juiciness. The coffee oak is quite dominant, but this has lots of potential. 89/100.

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Schroeder Estate

white and sparkling wines

Schroeder Estate Saurus Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Nice bright fruit on the nose, with a touch of leafy herbaceousness and good juicy fruit that has succulence and enough tropical fruit, as well as a biting pithy grapefruit acidity. 6.99. 86/100

Schroeder Estate Saurus Select Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Barrel ferment, with a smoky, lightly toasted orange marmalade hint to the punchy fruit. The palate has an opulence of sweet, tropical edged fruit, with very nice bright attack and good expressive Sauvignon character. 88/100

Schroeder Estate Saurus Chardonnay 2007
Nice bright pineapple and zesty lemon fruit on the nose. A creamy touch of oatmeal and cashew. Very attractive. The palate has clean, juicy fruit, with plenty of sweet fruit ripeness, and a creamy touch of oak. Pear and tropical fruit has good acidity too. 87/100

Schroeder Estate Saurus Select Chardonnay 2007
Honey and oatmeal, with some toast and a touch of peach and nectarine. The palate has really nice fruit, with huge sweet fruitiness and a mealy, rich, mouthfilling nutty texture before the tropicality powers through. Good balance here, and a gain a very natural acidity. 89/100

Schroeder Estate Saurus Extra Brut
60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir. Charmat method wine, with nice leafy touch to crisp peachy fruit. With a lemony, zesty background. Very fresh, luscious, very good acidity and a touch of sweetness just making it very easy to drink. 86/100

Deseado de Familia Schroeder
70g/l sugar, from a first fermented Torrontés, with the carbon held in the tank. Very delicate, fine lychee and peach fruit. The fruit has a lovely Moscato D’Asti appeal, with very racy sherbetty fruit, and a delightfully summery appeal. Lovely shimmering stuff, with juicy apple and nectarine hints. 88/100. £8.99

red wines

Schroeder Estate Saurus Pinot Noir 2006
Lots of coffee and earth, with a slightly baked quality. Fruit is fresher on the palate, with a nice cherry juiciness and good fruit character, backed up with a touch of smoky oak and fine, ripe tannins and acidity. 87/100

Schroeder Estate Saurus Select Pinot Noir 2006
More suave, polished, quite dense cherry and plum fruit. Very nice oak treatment, with a coffee warmth before the ripe berry fruit reveals a slightly truffly side, with nice, ripe tannins and good acidity. Very attractive. 88/100

Schroeder Estate Saurus merlot 2006
Quite chocolaty and cedary, with a touch of coffee and gaminess. The full, plush, rich palate has a suave, solid red fruit character. Slightly big and baked, but a nice wine with commercial appeal. 87/100

Schroeder Estate Saurus Select Merlot 2006
Even a little hint of mint here, with very nice coffee and cedar fruit. Big, full palate of ripe, quite meaty and powerful berry fruit. Lovely quality, with a lot of persistence and a nice bit of structure. 88/100

Schroeder Estate Saurus Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
This has very good cabernet character, with nice violetty hints and a touch of leafy character to solid black fruit. There is a juiciness and with chocolate and rich, full, very chewy but juicy but lovely balance and length. 88/100

Schroeder Estate Saurus Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
The fruit here is very juicy and fine, with delightful juiciness and a touch of grippy, leafy cedarwood grip. Very nice wine again, with plenty of creamy depth. 90/100

Schroeder Estate Saurus Malbec 2006
Fine touch of paint-box cherry fruit, with a little bit of rose-hip and violet fragrance. The palate becomes quite chocolaty, with a silky tannin structure and refined, coffee and chocolaty depth, with nice acidity. Beautiful tannins here. 88/100

Schroeder Estate Select Malbec 2006
There is a lovely silkiness to the fruit here, with a black plum depth that is very sensuous and deep, but also hints of a bright violetty brightness and some coffee in the background. On the palate very good, silky, broad texture, and the red fruit elegance and violetty exotic character shows thorough. Lovely tannins and acids again, in a terrific Malbec. 90/100

Familia Schroeder Pinot Malbec 2003
60% Pinot Noir and 40% Malbec. Very powerful, interesting nose, with a touch of sweatiness and game, and a lot of deep red fruit. The palate has a full, silky finesse, with the Malbec component dominating, giving lots of bite and solid fleshy plum fruit, and a nice freshening finish. 89/100. £25

Familia Schroeder Merlot 2003
36 months in oak. Leonardo took out after 18 months, but decided it needed more time, so back into barrel. Big coffee and chocolate nose, with lots of flesh and rich, meaty chocolate fruit on the nose. Palate has a sumptuous depth of fruit, with very nice weight, depth and creamy. 91/100. £25

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