I quite like contrasts. Two wines at either end of the red wine spectrum have been my companions over the last few nights (well, not last night - we were out at a fun 40th party where we ended up playing Back in Black loudly...well, a few of us boys did - it's not really chick music).
These two wines are as different as they could be, but I like both. I can imagine some people hating either, though, because they are quite extreme in their own ways.
D&P Bellauard Mondeuse 2004 Vin de Savoie, France
Hmmm, yes - I like this mountain wine. It has a very bright red fruits nose with a juicy, fresh, peppery edge. The palate is fresh with high acid and light, refreshing, juicy red fruits backed up by peppery, grippy tannins. A very savoury but deliciously fresh red that reminds me a bit of northern Rhone Syrah, but a bit lighter and brighter. A brilliant antidote to the 'modern' style of rather sweet, confected commercial red wine: lots of soul here. Mondeuse rocks. Very good+ 89/100 (Les Caves de Pyrene)
Old Plains Power of One Shiraz 2005 Adelaide Plains, Australia
Oooh baby. Domenic Torzi has returned to his roots to make this wine: his family were from the rather discredited region of the Adelaide Plains, although Domenic has moved to the Eden Valley in the Barossa, where he makes his impressive Frost Dodger Shiraz and Riesling. The Adelaide Plains is a much warmer region, and from isolated remaining parcels of old vines he's fashioned this enormous red. It has a very sweet, bold, almost Port-like nose with complex, intense red and black fruits. The palate is massively concentrated with smooth, sweet, dense red and black fruits coupled with a spicy complexity and what almost seems like a salty edge (I think this is a combination of the alcohol and intense, pure fruit). There are some tannins here, but they are quite silky. This wine is not for the shy, but if you are in the mood for a bit of a blast, this is a lush intense mouthful that's great fun. It might also develop nicely. Sealed with a tin-lined screwcap: on opening it seems a bit disjointed with brassy, jammy fruit and oak not meshing terribly well. However, a couple of hours later it's settled down and is showing well. I'm not sure these screwcaps are the best closure for big reds like this. Very good/excellent 93/100 (Aus$30, which I think is very good value) See more at www.oldplains.com