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25 fine wines from Waitrose

Waitrose is a leading UK supermarket with a decent range, and then at selected stores, a good assortment of additional fine wines. The full range is available at the flagship Kingston and Canary Wharf stores, and I think that at least some of these wines are also dispersed among the smarter branches elsewhere (I guess I should check...). Here's my notes on 25 of them.

Joseph Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches 2002 Burgundy
Drouhin own 14 ha of this 22 ha vineyard, and this wine shows bright, quite forward fruit and sweet berry notes The palate is supple and elegant with softness to the fruit. Quite pure, this is an interesting, elegant Pinot Noir. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£30 Waitrose) 04/05

Domaine de la Pousse d’Or Clos des 60 Ouvrées 2000 Burgundy
From east-facing slopes close to the boundary with Meursault, 30% new oak. Quite a dark colour. Tight, spicy, smoky red fruit nose. The palate is slightly meaty with well structured, savoury red fruits. Quite a severe style but with some elegance too. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£30 Waitrose) 04/05

Domaine de la Pousse d’Or Pommard 1er Cru Les Jarollières 2001 Burgundy
Really open meaty nose of perfumed red fruits. Spicy, dense and full on the palate, this is quite structured and bold. A full, expressive style. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£30 Waitrose) 04/05

Henschke Lenswood Giles Pinot Noir 2002 Adelaide Hills, Australia
Very sweet ripe red and blackcurrant fruit nose. The palate is supple and sweetly fruited with a subtle herby edge. A new world style. There’s a slightly sweet and sour finish to it. Very good+ 88/100 (£25 Waitrose) 04/05

Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2003 Marlborough, New Zealand
Open spicy, meaty nose with red fruits and a subtle undergrowthy edge. The palate is quite concentrated and dense with a chewy, spicy edge to the ripe red fruits. A nice wine that is quite savoury and restrained. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£15.99 Waitrose) 04/05

Domini Plus 2001 Douro, Portugal
A collaboration between Christiano Van Zeller and JM da Fonseca, this is quite a success. Dark coloured, it has an inviting nose of sweet, ripe dark fruits with a liqueur-like quality to the fruit together with some tarriness. The palate is quite dense, savoury and spicy, and shows good concentration of ripe fruit. Roasted, slightly baked finish. Very good/excellent 90/100 (Waitrose £12.99) 04/05

Carmen Gold Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 Maipo Valley, Chile
From 44 year old vines, this is an ambitious red wine from Chile. Dark coloured, it has a very intense sweet blackcurrant jam nose. The palate is soft, smooth, concentrated and sweet, with an incredible richness of fruit. It’s a lovely wine, providing you like this style, which is extreme. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£22 Waitrose) 04/05

Viñedo Chadwick 1999 Aconcagua Valley, Chile
94% Cabernet and 6% Carmenère from a vineyard in Puente Alto that used to be a polo field. A very dark colour, this has a sweet, liqueur-like jammy blackcurrant nose. The palate is bold and rich displaying concentrated fruit with a savoury, spicy twist to it. A very bold style. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£30 Waitrose) 04/05

Errazuriz La Cumbre Shiraz 2002 Aconcagua Valley, Chile
From 9 year old vines, aged in a mix of new French and American oak. A vivid dark purple colour. The red and black fruit nose leads to a palate of concentrated ripe fruit with a savoury, spicy edge. Very impressive in a modern fruit-forward style. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£14.99 Waitrose) 04/05

Montes Alpha ‘M’ 2001 Santa Cruz, Colchagua Valley, Chile
80% Cabernet, 5% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, harvested at around 4 tons/hectare. 18 months in new French oak. Pure sweet blackcurrant fruit nose with a liqueur-like edge. The sweetly fruited, supple palate shows great concentration and a nice spicy finish. A very forward wine. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£35 Waitrose) 04/05

Clos de Los Siete 2003 Mendoza, Argentina
Grapes come from 350 hectares at 1100 m altitude. A blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Very deep colour. Sweet forward black fruits nose of lovely vivid fruit. It’s soft, supple and gloriously fruited on the palate. Very intense and quite brilliant. Very good/excellent 93/100 (£9.99 Waitrose) 04/05

Catena Alta Malbec 2001 Mendoza, Argentina
Dark with quite a spicy nose. Good concentration of dark, savoury spicy fruit here. Very good+ 89/100 (£25 Waitrose) 04/05

Oxford Landing Viognier 2004 South Australia
Deep perfumed nose is ripe, smooth, peachy and floral. The palate is rich textured, fruity and soft with lovely balance. A brilliant effort. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£5.49 Waitrose) 04/05

Albert Mann Tokay Pinot Gris Grand Cru Hengst 2002 Alsace, France
30 g/litre residual sugar. Very ripe, sweet open nose with lovely typicity. The palate is rich textured with concentrated, soft, sweet fruit showing melon and pear notes. Lovely. Very good/excellent 94/100 (£16.50 Waitrose) 04/05

Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Furstentum Vieilles Vignes 2002 Alsace, France
32 g/l residual sugar. Perfumed but savoury lychee nose. Intense, concentrated palate is rich textured with lots of sweetness. Perfectly balanced. Very good/excellent 93/100 (£17.50 Waitrose) 04/05

Albert Mann Tokay Pinot Gris Selection de Grains Nobiles Altenbourg ‘Le Tri’ 2001 Alsace, France
Intense, sweet spicy nose of complex peach and apricot. Super-sweet intense palate with amazing fatness, richness and length. Great balance despite the sweetness: a remarkable wine. 135 g/l residual sugar, 7.3 g/l total acidity, 12.3 % alcohol. Excellent 95/100 (£35 Waitrose) 04/05

William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Côte Bougerots 2000 Burgundy, France
Fermented and matured in oak barrels, 5% new. Bright, fresh fruity nose with notes of herbs and straw in the background. The palate is minerally and bright with good fruit and length. Veru good/excellent 92/100 (£24.99 Waitrose) 04/05

William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Côte Bougerots 2002 Burgundy, France
A small lieux-dit of 2.11 ha in the 6 ha Grand Cru of Bougros, on a 40° slope. Natural yeasts, full malolactic fermentation, 80% barrel matured but no new oak. Lovely complex tight, herby, mineral nose. The palate is bold and tight, full of rich herbal fruit and quite complex. A brilliant effort. Very good/excellent 94/100 (£24.99 Waitrose) 04/05

Henschke Coralinga Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Adelaide Hills, Australia
From the Coulter vineyard at 550 m, total acidity 7.2 g/l, pH 3.12. This has a lovely fresh minerally, grassy nose that’s very bright and forward. The palate is lively and concentrated showing lovely fresh lemony fruit. Fresh and pure. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£12.99 Waitrose) 04/05

Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Marlborough, New Zealand
Yield 9.5 tons/hectare, Scott-Henry trellising, fermented in French oak, total acidity 6.2 g/l, pH 3.12. Incredible bold, herby grassy nose. The palate is rich and rounded with a lovely herbal edge to the sweet fruit. Very broad and plush. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£17.99 Waitrose) 04/05

Yering Station Reserve Shiraz Viognier 2003 Yarra Valley, Australia
Very dark colour. Vivid bright sweet liqueur-like nose. The palate shows swee, intense, concentrated dark fruits of mind-blowing intensity. Very fruity, vivid and bold. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£25 Waitrose) 10/05

Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2004 New South Wales, Australia
Very dark colour. Vivid, intense pure dark fruit is the dominant feature here, with nice weight and lovely purity of fruit. Bold, full, rich and expressive with perhaps just a hint of reduction. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£13.49 Waitrose) 10/05

Craggy Range Le Sol Syrah 2002 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Dark coloured, this has a sweet, intense nose that’s well defined. The palate is ripe with supersmooth, concentrated supple dark fruits showing a spicy edge. Elegant and delicious. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£29.99 Waitrose) 10/05 

Hidalgo Oloroso Viejo Sherry
Fantastic complex evolved nose which is sweet and savoury, nutty and complex, like a really good Madeira. The nutty, tangy palate is fantastically complex with a very long, rich finish. Brilliant. Very good/excellent 94/100 (£45 Waitrose) 10/05

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