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01 August 2005

Mountain Valley - Montenegro

Mountain Valley - Montenegro

To be brutally honest, the reds in this range go from average to pretty good but the whites are a waste of space, at least the samples I tasted - see my comments in each of the tasting notes. All the wines come from Plantaze's vineyards in the Lake Skadar region, located between the Adriatic coast and surrounding mountains (hence the name no doubt). With a bit of work in the vineyard and winery (and on the pricing), I'm sure we'll be seeing more and better from Montenegro. Tasted August 2005:
2004 Chardonnay - This wasn't good: faulty winemaking or something has left a heavy handed sulphur character; and that bitter finish implies unripe grapes and/or too much skin contact or badly acidified wine. No chance at £5.49. Under 70
2004 K white (11.5%) - Clean towards neutral and, like the Chardy (although not as marked), sulphur dominated with a bitter finish. 75
2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (12.5%) - Simple 'Vin de Pays' type showing black cherry / currant fruit, soft-ish palate v dry coating on the finish. OK but at £5.99... 80
2004 Sauvignon Blanc - Not faulty at least, this is just about OK with some floral and citrus characters; but too boring to ask £5.49 for it. 75
2004 Merlot (12%) - Attractive enough Merlot style offering spicy biscuity plum fruit, reasonably fleshy mouthfeel with light bite of tannins. Again not bad but put it up against a Merlot from France or Chile at the same price... 84
2003 V red (Vranac 12.5%) - Similar soupy rustic style to the Vranac but richer and riper, shows quite good depth of fruit although, for me, the finish becomes slightly rough after a while. £7.49 84
2003 Vranac - Not bad at all actually: maturing rustic leather aromas with nice peppery undertones, fairly smooth and ripe finish. £5.49 85

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