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Monday, June 14, 2010

The World Goblet Round 1: Australia vs. Chile

Posted By on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 1:00 PM


While scanning the World Cup groups in order to plan our daytime drinking over the next month, Gut Check noticed that most of the great wine-producing nations are represented in the tournament field, including all of those with a reputation for crafting good, value-priced wines. Because Gut Check never saw a value we didn't like, we resolved to stage our own tournament to determine the 2010 World Goblet Champion.

Australia has gained prominence as a source of inexpensive wines, but many of these are gloppy reds with too much alcohol and residual sugar, or oaky, one-dimensional whites. Chile, too, has long been a pillar of the grocery aisles, and today we open what has become its signature red variety, carménerè, a grape with its roots in Bordeaux (where it's now all but forgotten).

This is a group stage match; three points for a win, one point for a draw.

To view all 2010 World Goblet matches to date, click here...

Next: On to the match!...

Two heavyweights face off in this Round 1 action... - DAVE NELSON
  • Dave Nelson
  • Two heavyweights face off in this Round 1 action...

2007 Boarding Pass Shiraz South Australia ($11) Very dark purple in the glass. Yes, this one hits you in the honker with big ripe fruit, but it stops short of smelling like Smucker's. As $11 shirazes go, this one borders on elegant, and a drinker's patience is rewarded with some earthy, spicy elements. Its aromatic wallop carries through to the flavor -- plenty of sweet fruit, but some underlying tannic bitterness to balance. Not much on the the finish, but that's hardly a shortcoming. A nice effort from Australian importer Dan Philips of the Grateful Palate, and winemaker Chris Ringland, that was just as good on the second day.

2007 Santa Ema Carménère Reserve ($11) Clear, light purple. A deep breath proves much more restrained on the nose than the Boarding Pass, with cool blueberry and cranberry leading the way. There's a really prominent dill note, along with a bitter streak that, unfortunately, carries over to become the defining flavor. Time out of the bottle reveals only a hard tannic character that makes the wine even less appealing. A disappointment.

Result: Australia

While big Aussie shirazes don't usually trip Gut Check's trigger, this one was well above average. With the Chilean offering little, this match turned out as one-sided as Sunday's Australia - Germany match in South Africa -- only with the Australians doing the ass-kicking.

Group C Standings:
















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