Steak & Wine in Cornwall – seemed like a good idea!

I can assure you this sounded like a brilliant idea at the time. 6 guys going away to Cornwall for the weekend; a reward for the numerous spa weekends the wives seem to arrange!

Many of the guys are wine lovers, are interested in learning more about wine and also love their food. So what better than the suggestion of a BBQ where we cooked up a number of different cuts of beef, and some wines to see what goes together the best? Whatever could go wrong?


Arriving at 5.30 on Friday and deciding to do the steak & wine on Saturday
Lots of brilliant British beer on Friday followed by a trip to the onsite “Club”
Then playing cards until 4AM
Finding a pub to watch the Lions on Saturday morning
The Lions winning
Ending up with 13 bottles of wine
Not being afraid to drink them

Well apart from that nothing could go wrong!

Despite all of the above we still approached our task systematically and with aplomb. The steaks were cooked up (half way through the wine!) and we scored each of the wines out of 10 to come up with a favourite. I scored the wines on the 100 point scale also so I could add them into the tasting notes. Below are all of the wines in the order they were tasted with a bit of analysis at the end.

Chateau des Trois Tour 2010, Bordeaux (around £10)
I was very impressed with the red fruit concentration, big body and nice oak integration. A deliciously easy drinking wine that bats well above it’s price tag. 89 points (team score 8/10)

Chateau Segonzac Cru Bourgeois 2009, Bordeaux (Waitrose £9.99)
Lots of ripe red fruit from an opulent vintage but really that was about it. The oak is overdone and there isn’t much balance. May soften a touch in a year or two but I’m not prepared to find out! 85 points (6/10)

Chateau Le Baronnet 2010, Bordeaux (Al didn’t know where it came from!)
None of us were too bothered when Al didn’t know where it came from as it was stewed, jammy fruit with no hint of elegance. You can probably pick it up in a 3 for £10 deal. 79 points (4/10)

Errazuriz Merlot 2011, Chile (Majestic £9.99)
This wasn’t my cup of tea – it is big and bold but it’s overdone with sickly fruit and sickly oak. There is 15% Carmenere in the blend). A couple of the guys really liked it’s smooth texture and upfront fruit (but you know what they’d had to drink before!). 83 points (6/10)

Otra Vida Winemakers Selection Malbec 2012, Argentina (Asda £5.48)
I’m not a big Malbec fan and was pleasantly surprised by this wine. There’s some real texture and only a hint of the rubberiness I dislike so much. Lots of juicy dark fruit and good length too… Shame about the really cheap looking label! 87 points (7/10)

Perez Cruz Carmenere Limited Edition 2009, Maipo, Chile (Wine & the Vine £14.95)
This is a real jump in class to anything we’ve had yet – really classy stuff. Heaps of dark plumy fruit with hints of chocolate, liquorice and a slight herbaciousness. There are waves and waves of aromas and flavours and it seems to last forever. Really top notch stuff – best wine of the tasting. 93 points (9/10)

Linaje Garcia Joven 2010, Ribera del Duero, Spain (Wine & the Vine £11.25)
100% unoaked Tempranillo and very fresh. There lots of red fruit and just a touch of bramble – its a delicate and gently wine but has a very dry finish. This most certainly needed a forkful of steak. 87 points (7/10)

Castillo San Lorenzo Rioja 2007, Spain (Tesco £12.49)
Nice red fruit and warm spice on the nose. Deeper, riper fruit on the palate with subtle vanilla oak. A little drying on the finish and no great length but does have the Rioja strawberries and cream. Decent. 87 points (7/10)

St Hallett Waitrose Barossa Shiraz 2010, Barossa Valley, South Aus (Waitrose £10.99)
This is a very classy wine at a very decent price. Lots of blackcurrant fruit, lovely brambly edge and smooth smokey, chocolate finish. I’ve drunk plenty of more expensive Aussie Shiraz that doesn’t come close to this. I bought this when it was 25% at £8.24 – I’l buy a case at that price next time. 91 points (9/10)

Brancott Estate Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Hawke’s Bay, NZ (Tesco £6.99)
Back to a Bordeaux blend but just tastes a bit stewed and industrial to me. Brancott make some very god wines but unfortunately this isn’t one of them. Overripe red fruit but very smooth – not offensive; I’d just rather pay an extra £4 for the St Hallett! 85 points (6/10)

Puccini Chianti Riserva 2009, Tuscany, Italy (Costco £7.49)
Lovely cherry fruit and hint of earthy spice and leather. This is a deliciously smooth Chianti with real elegance. It’s getting late in the afternoon by now but I think this could be the bargain of the selection! 89 points (7/10)

Firemark Syrah/Malbec 2012, Argentina (Tesco £5.99)
Another very decent value wine. There’s lots of dark, black fruit with plenty of plums and black cherry, but it’s smooth and spicy too. Not bad for £6 and very good with what was left of the steak! 88 points (7/10)

Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 2009, Sonoma, California (Costco £8.49)
A good one to round things off. Bursting with concentrated sweet blueberries, plums and spic; it’s very bright and fruity with a soft and smooth texture. Nice acidity and smoky spices that linger. 90 points (9/10)

I looked at the scores we all gave and realized I’m a right tight-arse when it comes to scoring wines! My average score was about 6 and the rest of the team were between 7 and 8. Having said that, we mostly agreed that the best wines on show were the Carmenera, Barosa Shiraz and the Lodi Zin. All great fun at the end of the day… Except it wasn’t the end and we had to go back to the club…. AAARRGGHHH!!!!!


About Confessions of a Wine Geek

Posted on July 10, 2013, in General, Tasting post, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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