Exploding Plums and Chocolate Shrapnel

This time it's Colomé Estate ('04, cork). A big, dark, plummy blend of two thirds Malbec, a fifth Cabernet Sauvignon, and some Tannat from the Salta province of Northern Argentina. I was impressed by its claim to be from "The highest vineyard in the World", but Puddleglum assures me that all Argentinian wines have this on the label. The wine is very concentrated, dry, warming, and satisfying. It seems complex, too (my tasting note mentions herbs, barley sugar and blackcurrants), and has a long finish. A very good 16++(?17)/20.

There are two points to note here. My first impression of the wine was, "Whoah! Fruit bomb! Hee-hee!", but that's such a tired description, hence this blog's title, which conveys something of the attention-grabbing nature of the wine, and also tells you a little about the flavours. There was an anonymous comment on the previous post about how we describe wines, but I did detect the hand of TallAsAVan, who once characterised a poor Argentinian Malbec as being "like the dissonant clatter of a filing cabinet falling down some stairs". Perhaps he might think of Colomé Estate as an October storm rushing through a beech copse high on the Downs; powerful, exhilarating, exciting.

Second point: scoring. What exactly does 16++(?17) mean? Mainly it reflects my inability to settle on a single number, but that isn't very satisfactory. This year I am resolved to improve my wine scoring system. Along the way I may well try out Parker-style scoring, a star rating, or anything else which is suggested to me. In the meantime, have a look at this radical new scoring system.

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