Friday 30 September 2011

Woodstock Shiraz 2008

Another great Shiraz from Woodstock with all the typical traits. Super dark fruit with a purple hue.
The usual suspects on the nose here - dark chocolate and vanilla with some sweet oak. The sweet oak was more noticable than expected. Even a tad of eucaplyt in there too I reckon.
Take one sip and you'll be hooked. A full and rounded mouth (14.5% abv) with delicious blackberries and chocolate. Soft and long finish with lovely spice to tickle the taste buds and enough to coax you into another sip. And let's face it, you don't need the coaxing!
Top gear.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Sons of Eden Kennedy GSM 2009

I've had a look at this wine a few times now and it never fails to impress. I bought it at Chalk n Cheese for $20, and it normally chases a little more.

Layers and layers of flavour continually unwrap themselves and then the delicious spice at the end drags you back for another mouthful.

The fruit is Barossa grown on 50+ year old vines and the blend is made up of 45% Grenache, 40% Shiraz and 15% Mourvedre. The wine was aged for 16 months in French oak.

Dark fruit in the glass with a hint of sweetness on the palate. Raspberry and black fruit characters build up a silky smooth mouthfeel and depth. The longer it sat the greater the flavour profile developed revealing new taste sensations.
The spice was the clincher for me. It's seductive and sexy and begs for another mouthful, leaving a long lasting finish. Man it's good!
No surprises this is sold out - so I recommend you steal from someone who has some!

Friday 23 September 2011

Witches Falls

A trip to Mount Tamborine this week saw me pop into the Witches Falls winery, which is in the Gold Coast hinterland in Queensland. The winery borders the Witches Falls National Park - hence the name. There is a small vineyard outside the cellar door with some Durif vines, but all fruit is sourced from vineyards in the Granite Belt region in Queensland.

The area is superb for a lazy day's drive. Many houses have an avocado stand out the front selling them at bargain prices, and you'd be in the minority if you didn't have a stand. Our journey even saw some of these stands selling fresh rhubarb which were quickly snapped up and will be made into an Apple and Rhubarb pie this weekend.

At the cellar door, we were hosted by the very passionate and knowledgeable Sheryl. Wild Fermentation is commonly used here with some great results. Also, no blends are made so each variety can express itself.

The wines looked at were:

Fiano 2010: light perfume on the nose, tight on the palate but opens up a little. Clean with a finish that lurks enough for you to stand up and take notice. And then I'm told this little number tipped out some southern contenders for the Gourmet Traveller best Fiano. Nice story. Nice wine. $20 (then I'm told it's sold out!)

Wild Ferment Fiano 2010: This is the first time the wine maker has produced a wild ferment with Fiano. The wine was wild fermented in French oak for four to five months. The oak adds excellent complexity to the fruit. Slight apricots on the nose. Great softness and length. $28

Unwooded Chardonnay 2011: Co-inoculated with complementary yeast strains to enrich and enhance the resulting wine. Citrus and tropical notes with honey dew melon. Clean and crisp finish. $20

Chardonnay 2008: Toasty oak. Did I say oak? There's probably a slab of it in here somewhere. Palate is dry with some peach. Lingers long but I reckon this fella needs food to kick him along. $20

Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2010: This Chardy seems to click much better. All elements are inviting. Toasty oak, fleshy white peach, long dry finish. Could easily drink this on a warm day. $28

Wild Ferment Viognier 2010: Four to five months in French oak has added a lovely light straw colour. Some lemon and a snip of pear. Fruit component stands up but not dominated by oak and nor should it be. Handy type and well made. $28

Wild Ferment Grenache 2009: Light to medium body. Dark cherries with loads of spice. Buckets of it! Not me. $28

Cabernet Sauvignon 2008: I really liked the colour of the fruit. Green pea and black fruits on the nose which opens up to a moreish finish. Yum. $24

Prophecy Syrah 2008: I just wanted more of the stuff. The colour wowed me straight away. Lovely and dark. Nose was enticing with massive dark cherries and some cheeky oak on the palate. Super long finish called out for the next sip. If the Fiano made me stand up and take notice, well hello boys! A cracker, and a price tag to reflect the work gone into it. $48

Prophecy Cabernet Sauvignon 2008: The two Prophecy reds (Syrah and Cab) are only made in an excellent vintage. This is a testament to that and gaps the other Cabernet in the range by a mile. Super deep colour. Inky with blackcurrant and chocolate characters. The French oak is prominent with a cedery touch. This lingered on the palate for what seemed a millennium. Incredibly delish. Woah. $48

A very enjoyable experience and the wine cellar at home is better for my visit. The wines are well made and impressive. I'll be sure to pop in again in the future.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Tim Adams Riesling 2010

The Clare and Eden Valleys produce some of the world's best value Rieslings. Here is another contender to  that title. It's hard to believe that this wine comes in under $20 too.
Yeah baby, this is awesome Riesling, and the proof is in the pudding!

As stated on the bottle, fruit parcels are sourced from four different vineyards with the best contributing to this wine, and that only being the free run juice.

Immediately on the nose you pick up slatey and minerally characteristics, with a floral perfume. The palate has this classy firmness to it which ensures a dry, long finish. A wonderfully balanced wine with all bases covered exceedingly well.

It will easily see out another ten years, and in all honesty, I would love to have a look at it then. But between now and then, there is plenty more Rieslings to get through!

Sunday 18 September 2011

De Bortoli Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2007

I love the Yarra. The rolling hills, the greenness, the climate and, for sure, the wines. So many excellent varieties florish here but not only that, they are all made well. All within a short drive from the Melbourne CBD, it's hard not to be drawn to the place.

One of my first trips to the Yarra back in 2001 had me wandering around the Dixon Creek area. Perhaps it was some of those excellent experiences which enhance the memories, but at the same time, make me want to go back there, and of course, continue to enjoy the wines too.

I distinctly remember a conversation with one of the locals about the vineyards De Bortoli own which they source the fruit from for this wine. "First class and very well maintained," were the words used in his distinctly gravelly voice. The vineyard was purchased from Graeme Miller in the late 80's, who was at the helm of Chateau Yarrinya at the time. In the late 70's Graeme won the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy. He has since re-established himself nearby and still produces some great wines.

But enough of the history lesson, this pinot needs some attention. It demands it in fact.

Cherries and strawberries on the nose with some earthiness and leather. A medium bodied red, it's silky smooth with a deadly balance of fruit and fine tannins (13% abv). Super impressive stuff! The oak adds a wonderful subtlety. 50% sat in new French oak with the balance in one and two year old oak for ten months.

Each sip was magic and matched the accompanying pizza perfectly. An excellent example of the grape and what the region can produce. I'm so pleased I have reacquainted myself with this one!!

Friday 16 September 2011

Majella "The Musician" Coonawarra Cabernet Shiraz 2008

This is a great example of why Cabernet and Shiraz works so well together. The quality of the product and the price is just simply outrageous!

The winery is situated in Coonawarra from where all fruit for this wine is grown.

Fruit is dark with a deep purple hue. A nose of dry herbs, some black olive, with a plentiful palate of black fruits and plums (14.5% abv). Tannins are ripe and juicy. Man this is a smooth and delicious wine!

Seriously good gear for the money (around $18) and I highly recommend it if you are searching for a great red in this price range.

Thursday 15 September 2011

David Hook Pothana Semillon 2007

Spring is a great time to hop back into some whites, and this Semillon fits the bill perfectly.

A pale straw appearance with a green tinge. Limes, lemon sorbet on the nose. An elegant line of minerality on the palate with citrus influences and honey. Cleansing and refreshing acid seal the deal. Will continue to develop for a couple of years yet.

Another great wine from an excellent Hunter producer!

Saturday 10 September 2011

Henschke Peggy's Hill Riesling 2011

2010 Peggy's Hill Riesling

This new vintage upholds the excellent standard set before it. A fantastic little package from the Eden Valley.
Let's keep it simple: Lemons. Clean. Crisp. Texture. Length. Brilliant!!!
A smidge under $20 this represents great value and quality and is well worth a look.

Deen DeBortoli Vat 1 Durif 2009

This is value deluxe right here!
I've been told about the Deen DeBortoli range of wines by several people but never got round to getting my hands on them. Thanks to the lovely Carrah at DeBortoli who was kind enough to throw me a sample.

Fruit is sourced mainly from the Riverina and a small amount from the King Valley (17%). A great wine on many levels but the price is what keeps stunning me.
Fruit is deep purple and inky. Nose of some earthiness, lifted blackberries, chocolate and obvious savoury oak. This full bodied wine (13.5% abv) has a palate that is well rounded with firm tannins and a deliciously long finish.
Sit it on the table and try and convince your mates you only paid 10 bucks. Stunning value.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Brokenwood Chardonnay 2009

One thing that is for sure is that Brokenwood is always going to be an interesting wine worth looking at. Something which seems to work for them time and time again is the multi regional approach they have to some of the wines in their range. The fruit in this case comes from Beechworth (Victoria) , Cowra (NSW) and McLaren Vale (South Australia) with percentages of 44%, 33% and 23% respectively.

Pale straw in colour, it has a nose of tropical fruits, peaches and even a bit of biscuit. Oak is a prominent feature on the palate, and those initial aromas of peach and biscuit follow through to the palate with a lovely full roundedness. If oak is not your thing, have a look elsewhere, but for barrel fermented goodness, this is flavour country. Finish is creamy and long with a touch of spice and a need to put the glass to your mouth again.
A neat package at 13.5% abv and sells for around $25.

Monday 5 September 2011

Bridgewater Mill Shiraz 2009

I'm going through a cool climate phase with shiraz at the moment and it was about time the Adelaide Hills made an appearance.
No need to say too much here... I thoroughly enjoyed this wine and it is a fraction off being brilliant! Time will be it's friend too and I'm sure that it will tip over into brilliant status in years to come.
The nose was captivating. I was getting floraly notes, but also sweet smoke, and of all things, bacon! I was sure there was something wrong with my nose but my trusty drinking buddy confirmed my thoughts - and we loved it! It was one of those wines which you could whiff all night. But I didn't have time for that as my curiosity got the better of me.
Fruit was spot on. The colour was appealing and the palate weight was super. Spice and oak, with a deliciously fine finish. RRP $25 and a very handy investment at that. Enjoy!

Thursday 1 September 2011

Woodstock Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Woodstock is a winery that holds some great memories, specifically those from an epic adventure to South Australia in 2003. In our journey through McLaren Vale, we dropped in and had lunch with wine maker Scott Collett. Lunch at the winery was spectacular. We sat outside the Coterie on those lovely bench tables sharing some excellent food, and of course, wine!!! The highlight was when Scott produced the flagship wine - The Stocks Shiraz. That day it was a knock out and still proves to be.

Needless to say, since that great day, Woodstock has always been a favourite. You can tell a lot about a winery by the quality of their portfolio. These guys are a great example of that theory. Their range of wines has always been first class and this Cabernet slips in nicely.

McLaren Vale is synonymous with Shiraz, and with this in mind as well as Cabernet Day here before me, I felt it would be apt to have a look at something a little left of centre.

The wine is seasoned in American oak for 22 months (8% new) and the sweetness from the oak is present, but sits behind the fruit well. The colour is deep with a brighter hue. Not surprisingly, one of the first characteristics on the nose I picked up was some eucalypt, spice and hint of cedar. Plenty of dark fruits and cherries on a medium palate (13.7% abv). It took about 90 minutes in the decanter for the wine to sort itself out but the result was great. Impressive and rounded mouth feel with some delicate tannins. Slightly dry finish, but hey, that was easily fixed with another sip.
You can grab this for around $22 rrp which is acceptable.

All in all, an enjoyable Cabernet Day experience for 2011!