The Observatory carignan / syrah 02002.

Where to start? Well, to temporise, there was the Cantina Birgi rosato. Made from nerello mascalese, or possibly frappato nero (some uncertainty there) it is a pleasantly dry rosé which mostly avoids the typical strawberries and cream fare which is so popular at present. A person might reckon to this stuff even if deeply suspicious of all rosé wine. I must try this one on Aaaaaaar Bob, who deals with rosés the way your spam filter handles viagra adverts.

But enough of such trifles. To the main feature, the mighty Observatory. I'm not gonna scatter superlatives like buckshot. It's enough to say that if you care about wine you will grin when you taste this stuff. You may startle like a spooked colt at the bouquet, eighty percent sharp black concentrated fruit, fifteen percent crazy garrigue herbs and five percent ..., what... I dunno, that intangible something which marks out a wine as unique. You may flinch slightly at the jumping acidity on the first sip, although if you have decanted it and given it air to breath all day it'll be as mellow as a drunken uncle at a big fat family wedding, calling out for rich supper dishes of aubergine parmesan or red dragon pie. You may wonder if there is something funky going on, chemistry wise, which perhaps shouldn't be, until you give it a minute and realise that everything going on in this bottle is goooood.

if you believe in reincarnation then this stuff is the return of Joey Ramone and Jerry Garcia. Which of them is carignan I wouldn't like to say...

But don't take my word for it. The Big Egg likes this so much he blew his entire month's budget to stock up on the stuff. And as for Smiley, his grin was ventilating his cervical vertebrae.

The Observatory appears not to have its own website. There is this.

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