I am not alone in frequent comments on the alarming increase in alcoholic and over-extracted fruit bombs that masquerade as fine wines – much of these comments directed at South African examples since this is the turf. However, I recently tasted two foreign wines that made me realise that we are not alone, in fact we may still be relatively moderate in our output of these “extravins”.
First a Shafer Merlot 2002 from the Napa. What a nasty wine. Pretty much only about baked fruit and alcohol, the wine bursts into the mouth, does a flourish and disappears. Yet I gather it’s pretty well regarded? Can anyone shed some light?
Then a Rosemount GSM 2001 from the Barossa. I know this is seal-clubbing to some extent, but with extract like reduced fruit jam and the cloying effect of 18 months of American oak, you have to recognise that there is little room for the imagination here.
Perhaps there is comment to be made along the lines of palate acclimatisation, but I would love these wines to be defended as being optimally ripe and of desirable balance.