Gaillac 2004, Renaissance, Domaine Rotier
An interesting wine to watch as it morphed from a pretty and delicate fruitiness to this raw piece of meat. Huh? Act 1 - It starts with ripe red cherries and cassis. Act 2 - Tannins soften, flavours get redder as the cassis fades into something red, iron-laden. Act 3 - Fine, polished tannins, and the curtain falls with an image of a wild boar, or some other beast, dead and bleeding in a field of grass. Very good. A bit strange, but very good.
Tannat 2005, Reserva Familiar, Leonardo Falcone
Watch out, Bullwinkle! There is a wine here that wants you served up on a plate with mushrooms. Tannat, the grape of France's Madiran, often produces dark and dense wines that need years in the cellar to tenderize. While this Uruguayan version is much more forgiving, it is still not for everyone. Its bouquet made me think of meat, raw meat, laced with the juice of black olives and mint. If purple were a flavour, it might be this. But it grows on you, despite its sanguinary references, like falling for a pretty vampire.
Grenache 2005, The Custodian, McLaren Vale, d’Arenberg
A bit shocking at first sip, as it is incredibly fleshy. There is a rawness to this wine, almost like a freshly killed animal: sanguine, fresh, pure. But once it opens up, there are cherries and other red fruits, earth, coffee grounds, and some oaked spice on the end palate. Very original, and if you like something off the beaten track, this is spectacular.