Sunday, September 30, 2007

'05 Marquis Philips Shiraz, '04 Bodegas Borsao: Borsao Crianza-Seleccion

In Brief:

2004 Bodegas Borsao: Borsao Crianza-Seleccion ($13, Varsity)

Fruity, sans sweetness, with nice acidity, this was a drinkable, bright wine. Since we have not previously tasted the Spanish varietals in this blend, we didn't know what to focus on, or to expect with this blend. No one aspect of the wine's nose or flavour stood out, as in the case of the B.M.'s smokiness, or the Yalumba's floral bouquet. (RP89)

2005 Marquis Philips Shiraz ($19, Witherspoon)
Fruity and viscous, with plum and pear besides the characteristic Shiraz blackcurrants and blackberries, this smokeless wine delivered complex flavours and scents with great clarity and intensity- but quite frankly, too sweet. (RP 91)

Tasting Notes:

2004 Bodegas Borsao: Borsao Crianza-Seleccion

Tasted this too early (~5 minutes after pouring) - it hadn't developed yet. Fruity with significant, though not unpleasant, acidity. Very little tannin in the finish. The nose was delicious and inviting, smelling of bright, warm, ripe fruit. I tasted a hint of initial sweetness, on the same order of magnitude as the Barrel Monkeys. It was enjoyable, but not interesting or impressive, since we lack reference for this blend of (according to the bottle) half-Grenache, a quarter-Tempranillo, and a quarter-Cabernet Sauvignon. In the future, we plan to taste similar blends together, and varietals with the same varietal.

"A stunning value, the 2004 Borsao Crianza Seleccion (a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Tempranillo, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon) was aged 10 months in French oak. It is a delicious, hedonistic fruit bomb offering soft tannins, medium to full body, and loads of sexy blackberry and cherry fruit as well as hints of earth and spice box. The elegance, flavor depth, and richness are amazing for this price point. Drink it over the next 1-2 years." RP 89

2005 Marquis Philips Shiraz

We vigorously decanted half the bottle, waited ~10 minutes before drinking. I think this peaked around 15-20 minutes after a well-agitated decanting, and remained open and aromatic for at least an hour. The bouquet bloomed noticeably. At first, from the bottle, it smelt faintly of sulfur (less than the B.M. from the bottle). Later, from the decanter, there were different fruit tones, especially blackberries/blackcurrants - the characteristic Shiraz aromas, but also plum and ripe pear. It was quite sweet. There was lots of fruit, but the sweetness, high alcohol content, and viscosity created a fleshy, heavy feeling. As a wine novice, I was impressed by two aspects of the Barrel Monkeys: First, the ability to deliver a strong, concentrated fruit aroma and flavour, without sweetness (save a small trace - 1.1% according to the importer). Second was a long, fruity finish, that melted away into mouth-puckering tannins, yet without bitterness. This wine had a tannic finish, but it was somewhat bullied by the intense sweetness. Any peppery nature was masked by a noticeable bite of alcohol in the back of the throat. At 15.9%, it was very alcoholic, and the mouthfeel was noticeably more viscous than the Bodegas Borsao. In small quantities, an enjoyable, interesting wine. After a glass or two, the sweetness becomes a bit cloying.

Tasters: Rajiv, Sanjiv, Paul, Jo, Liz, Doug

"Cut from the same mold as the Sarah's Blend, the inky/blue/purple-colored 2005 Shiraz offers up sweet, rich aromas of blackberries, toasty wood, licorice, and a touch of pepper. This dense, opulent, fleshy, full, rich, mouthfilling, concentrated Shiraz should drink well for 3-4 years."

2005 Marquis Philips Specs (The Grateful Palate Imports)

Region(s): Langhorne Creek, Padthaway, McLaren Vale
Varietal: Shiraz
Vine Age: 10-15 yrs
Alcohol: 15.8%
Fermentation: Completely barrel-fermented in oak. Barrel matured for 12 months.
Oak: 1 yr old American Oak
Production: 48,000 cases

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