jamie goode's wine blog: Drink me and Corralillo

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Drink me and Corralillo

Last night we had dinner with some friends. I always bring a few bottles along, simply because I have access to a lot of nice samples and it seems appropriate to share them around. But my buddy Karl often springs a nice surprise by bringing something interesting - and I really appreciate this. He brought along a bottle of Niepoort's 'Drink Me', which he'd bought from Hampton Hill independent merchant Noble Green. It's one of the most brilliantly packaged wines I know, with the label consisting of a series of 11 cartoons by Steven Appleby called 'Message in the Bottle'.

Niepoort have produced this affordable (10) wine before for foreign markets (they began with Falbehaft for the German/Austrian market a couple of years back), but the 2006 'Drink Me' is the first release in the UK. The wine itself is lovely, and serves as a great introduction to the Niepoort style.

Another wine opened last night was the Corralillo Merlot Malbec from my favourite Chilean winery, Matetic. It works really well because it isn't just about sweet fruit, but also has a lovely savoury, minerally dimension. It still has a bit of a Chilean edge, but this only slightly interferes with the lovely expressive character of this wine.

Niepoort Drink Me 2006 Douro
Dark, spicy and a bit earthy with some cherry and blackberry fruit on the nose. The palate is savoury and dense with attractive earthy, spicy notes, as well as good acidity. Fresh and quite complex, with lots of personality (perhaps a hint of brettanomyces, too, but it works well in the context of this wine, which is delicious). 89/100 (10 Noble Green Wines)

Matetic Corralillo Merlot Malbec Reserva 2006 San Antonio, Chile
Dark cherry and blackberry fruit nose with some spice and a distinctive meatiness. There's also a hint of Chilean character (dark rubbery edge) but this is quite subtle. The palate has sweet dark fruit with a lovely meaty, earthy savouriness, reminding me of a good Southern Rhone red. Finishes firm and tannic. I like the fact that this isn't just about sweet fruit. 90/100 (c. 12 Oddbins, but Majestic are also stocking the Matetic wines - they're all good)

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