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Today's Wine Tasting Note

© Copyright 1999 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.


"Below the Belt"
With thanks to Joel Goldberg and the MoCool group, I shamelessly borrow the term "Below the Belt" to describe this recently tasted pair of hearty reds from lands South of the Equator. One's from Chile, one from Australia, and both represented very decent value.

Carmen Carmen 1996 Rapel Valley (Chile) Reserve Merlot ($9.99)
Inky dark garnet in color, this rich Merlot breathes very ripe black-cherry and anise aromas with distinct green-pepper notes that increase with time in the glass. Fully, juicy and bright, unsubtle but appealing; lemon-squirt acidity underscores the fat fruit and adds structure. U.S. importer: Brown-Forman Beverages Worldwide, Louisville. (Feb. 23, 1999)

FOOD MATCH: Fine match with roast turkey; keep this in mind for holiday time.

Seaview Seaview 1997 McLaren Vale (Australia) Shiraz ($8.99) Best Buy!
Dark garnet, with ripe raspberry fruit aromas, jammy and fresh. Full, fresh and simple fruit, consistent with the nose, so fruity it almost seems sweet, but held in balance with fragrant black pepper flavors and lemony acidity. Very fine value, with more flavor interest than you'll find in many low-end Shirazes. U.S. importer: Southcorp Wines North America, Monterey, Calif. (Feb. 25, 1999)

FOOD MATCH: Almost too much fruit and extract for a leftover turkey pot pie.

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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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