Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Report from ... Bokke Inc. Tasting – February 11, 2009 (3:00pm)

I met Eleanor Cosman, President of Bokke Wines, a few weeks ago at the Australian Masterclass ... she handed me a card and invited me to her small portfolio tasting of about ten wines (she called her "Top Ten Tasting"). These are not all the wines she represents, just a small sampling of them (from what I gather, her most popular). Bokke specializes in South African wine, that's because Eleanor grew up very near South Africa's wine country, so these wines are near and dear to her heart ... she also has a few wines from Austria, New Zealand and Argentina on her list. As usual I had my favorites – here is my top three of the top ten:

3) Lammershoek 2006 Syrah ($34.00) … this big alcohol red (14.5%) was front loaded with cherry fruit on the nose; the palate showed more complexity with a smooth texture that had blackberry, black cherry and hints of white pepper. Good firm tannins and a dustiness on the finish ended this wine off nicely in the mouth.

2) Lammershoek 2005 Roulette Red ($26.80) … this South African blend is made from Shiraz, Carignane, Viognier and Grenache and has a great sniff-all-day-edness to it … lots of pepper and black fruit. The palate leaned red with nice herbs and hints of spice ... this was smooth and an absolute pleasure to drink.

1) Lugilde Goulart 2006 Paris Goulart Glam ($24.50) … this wine was the real unexpected gem of the showing. An Argentinean Malbec (60%) – Cabernet (40%) blend from a winery that boasts 91-year-old vines. The smell was very much reminiscent of old vines Zinfandel, full of ripe red cherries and perfumed plums … the palate was even more exquisite with plum, blackberry, chocolate, spice and big tannins that dry out the tongue. The lingering finish was plum and red berry that left a dustiness behind (or as someone once said to me, "my tongue felt like flannel").

Bokke also has another Argentine Malbec: Domiciano 2006 Malbec. I mention it here because it's a fine example of Malbec at an extremely reasonable price ($16.80) -mocha, pepper, blackberries, cassis, herbs, dark chocolate, firm tannins - all appear in my note about this wine – so do the words “excellent value”; but the real winner was the “Paris” - and for $5.00 cheaper I would have begged my way into getting six bottle - someone would have shared the case with me for sure.

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