Thursday, November 18, 2010
Lapostolle Merlot 2003 ... Senetiner Malbec 2001 (Chile / Argentina)
Is it old, corked or just woody? That is the question I am faced with this evening as I have opened a bottle of Casa Lapostolle Reserve Merlot 2003 ... I swirl and snort and there is some fruit here but there is also a big alcohol masking everything, especially the taste. I check the bottle and see a 14.5 staring back at me. But the flavours are dull and dumb, not dried, which is what it would be if it were old. Sure there is lots of wood notes coming through but they are overshadowed by the alcohol on the palate, almost wood alcoholish. So I am left with the conclusion that this wine is indeed corked (slightly, but will get worse with time in glass), and as I sip on it and swirl it around in the mouth it becomes more and more prominent, especially on the finish. So, one down and time to move on.
I have now moved from a corked wine to a wine with a crummy cork ... this one not only breaks in half but it crumble all over the place, I have to push the last few centimeters of cork into the bottle - so now I actually have cork in the wine. The first glass goes down the drain, to many bits in it. Next glass is fairly clean so now let's see how this Nieto Senetiner 2001 Malbec Reserva tastes. The smell is cherries coated in alcohol so I check the by volume rate and see it is only 13%, not astronomical. Palate is a little thin and the cherries are most definitely sweet and dried ... this one is almost too thin to deal with, but I think I will give it some time and see what develops. Now some 20 minutes later and the smell is cherry-sherry, lots of maturity on the nose but the palate is smooth and those cherries, although not fresh, are still playing across the tongue. Bits of cork add a little grit to the palate but it is quite drinkable - as long as your like your wines with a little age on them. Finish lingers around pleasantly.