Moving on to our second bottle of the night, a Sacha Lichine 2006 Coq Rouge from the Languedoc region of France. This blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvingon and Merlot was delightlfully peppery and spicy with lots of red and black fruits on both the nose and taste.
The wine of the evening was this Castano 2000 Hecula (Spain), a blend of 70% Mourvedre, 20 Tempranillo and 10% Merlot. It still shows lots of vibrancy in the glass, lots of spice, great colour that didn't hint at it's age, along with black fruit - some dried some fresh. The palate was still big and showed that it could still lie down for longer. Blackberry, spice, cinnamon and ... even more spiciness. Excellent wine - and these days it's cheap as chips (in Ontario anyway) at $13.95 a bottle - what a bargain for something that'll age 10+ years.
The final wine was a disappointment, some didn't care because by this point they were liquored up pretty good, but a professional must always be alert, especially when a new bottle appears. A 2003 D'Arenberg The Cadenzia (Grenach/Shiraz/Mourvedre) - this one was topped with a Zork (plastic pull off cork), which makes me realize why D'Arenberg moved to screwcap pretty quickly. The taste was blackberry and tannin grit with an underlying smell and taste of plastic. Nasty.