Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Yalumba The Signature 2004

Yalumba's The Signature label represents the best fruit from the vintage. This wine is absolute class and elegance from a cracking Barossa 2004 vintage.

A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon and 46% Shiraz, the wine was aged for 22 months in French, American and Hungarian oak.

Super deep purple in colour, aromas of chocolate, blueberries and dark fruits leap from the glass with a touch of vanilla.

The nose follows through to the palate of dark berries, chocolate and vanilla - this is flavour country! Lovely texture - smooth as a silk, with lovely warmth and persistence coupled with subtle oak. Damn this is good!

The finish is super long and fine. A gem of a drop that will have you standing and applauding.

Bleasdale Sparkling Shiraz NV

A bottle of this has been a welcome guest for the last few years at our Christmas gatherings and it screams out for the turkey to partner it.

Deep in colour, it has a plummy and cherry nose with a little confectionery characteristic. The palate is full of fleshy, lip smacking goodness with chocolate, deep plum and cassis flavours. The mouth feel is fantastic and the slight confectionery characteristic reappears adding a fraction of sweetness on the palate which makes this an excellent sparkling wine at the price point. A non-vintage style, I'm yet to be disappointed by this wine and very confident in saying I don't think I ever will be.

Serve chilled and with a big smile. Seriously good gear for the money!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Leo Buring "Leonay" Watervale Riesling 2005

A very tidy example of great aged Riesling. Although an '05, I felt it was perhaps a little further on than that, and gee it drinks well.

Straw in colour with a slight greenish hue, laced with bounds of lemony, citrus goodness on the nose. The fruit and acid have married together nicely resulting in a delicious wine with flavours of textured lemon and toasty elegance.

Finish is clean and persistent leaving a touch of spice and a mouthful of happiness.

An impeccable aperitif!

McWilliams Mt Pleasant Verdelho 2011

Verdelho is a perfect option for a warm summer's day.

This Verdelho is a simple, no nonsense style providing a pleasant (no pun intended) nose of tropical and stone fruit. The palate is clean with a zippy edge. The acid is firm but not harsh.

A clean and crisp finish which calls out for seafood.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Fox Gordon Princess Fiano 2010

I recently saw this wine in a bottle shop for $14, and that is value you cannot pass up. So I seized a few, and what a treat it is. You'd be happy paying double and still be satisfied.

The nose is a powerful mix of floral characteristics and fruit. Lemons and lemon curd up front but lurking in the background is an attractive perfume of stonefruits, pear and green herbs.

On the palate you are met with an enticing creaminess and well rounded profile. The stonefruit nose follows through here and is accompanied by tropical fruit with great length and persistence.

A tremendous wine for the summer months.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Clovely Estate Left Field Barbera 2008

I grabbed this little number to accompany me for an Italian dinner. And being an Italian grape, no surprises it matched the food splendidly.

Barbera can be categorised as Nebbiolo's little brother. Nebbiolo has all the spunk and personality, whilst Barbera is settled, composed and does what a good little brother should.

The "Left Field" bracket is the label alternate varieties fall under at Clovely. Others in the range include Semillon, Pinot Gris, Nebbiolo, GSM, Petit Verdot, Botrytis Semillon, and Liqueur Cabernet Sauvignon to name a few.

The fruit is grown in the South Burnett region in Queensland which has a similar climate to the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, that is, cool nights and warm days.

Stewed dark fruit colour in the glass, it has a capturing nose of plums and boot polish of all things. The palate is delicately smooth with loads of fruit, some chocolate with little acid and tannin. The back label suggests hints of tomato leaf, and after some time in the glass, the wine maker was spot on as this became more distinct.

A simple and very approachable wine, this Barbera is a great introduction to those beginning their red wine experience, or for those looking for a great pizza and pasta wine. Tick!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Toolangi Estate Pinot Noir 2006

The fruit for this wine comes from vineyards at Dixon Creek in the Yarra Valley. There is no winery nor cellar door to greet you, and the wines are generally made at Yering Station. Toolangi wines are sold at the Yarra Valley Dairy which upon my last visit there, showcase numerous smaller wineries and poses as a mini "cellar door" for them. Get stuck into some very yummy cheeses while there too. Hmmm, Goat's cheese...!

A tremendous wine which oozes quality and class and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a Pinot with five years already on it. Splash it into a decanter and give a good swirl and enjoy the fruits of this magnificent piece of work.

A lightish colour in the glass, shaping up with a ruby appearance. Strawberries and raspberries jump out at you. There is a little forest floor characteristic that sits behind with a smidge of clove and spice, even a mushroomy touch. The palate is met with some of the strawberry and raspberry notes whilst also adding a lovely stewed cherry. A lovely little spice element but I warm to the savoury aspect of the wine. Very enjoyable indeed, finished off with soft tannins which were a little drying.

This is Pinot Noir my friends at a cracking price! And with five years on it, best you get yourself amongst it.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Stonier Pinot Noir 2010

Coming from the brilliant cool climate region of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, this Stonier Pinot is laced with class and drinkability.

Light and bright ruby colour in the glass, it presents a nose of cherries, a whiff of raspberries and a tad of earthiness. All these characteristics are wound beautifully together and follow through to a generous palate. The flavours become more complex as time goes on and the earthiness becomes more prominent. Long length and soft tannins seal the deal. Fabulous!

Many Mornington Peninsula Pinot's are well above the $30 mark, so grabbing this between $20-25 is value for money and then some.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Capel Vale Regional Series Shiraz 2008

The Regional Series represents two consistent things for me - great value and well made wines.

The Shiraz is once again a shining light. Coming from Mount Barker within the Great Southern region of Western Australia, the 2008 even gave me the impression is was a little further on than the three years it already had under the belt.

Brightish cherry colour in the glass, the fruit is full and delish. Gorgeous rounded flavours on the palate which finishes smooth and long. A trendy savoury touch added to the experience.
The wine is a tiny step back from the spice you get with some Shiraz wines, but this trait adds to the wine's appeal.

Yum and yum!

d'Arenberg The Stump Jump GSM 2009

To get a decent GSM for a tenner or less is not easy but the The Stump Jump GSM is always extraordinary value.

These guys turn out brilliant wines at all price points (and some very creative labels).

Nose of earthiness, plums and a dash of spice. Juicy dark fruits on a medium palate with a good splinter or two of oak thrown in. The spice is gentle but enough to boot you along with the package rounded off by soft tannins.

A super easy drinking wine. You definitely get value for money. Bargain deluxe! Enjoy

Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2010

The Y Series has always represented good quality at a bargain price. It is one of the brands you can reliably get off the shelf and know you won't be let down regardless of vintage.

A fresh and simple style. The nose is laced with nectarine and stone fruit characters. The nectarine flows onto a clean medium palate. A crisp refreshing finish.

You can often get change back from $10 and with such quality for that price, happy days!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Briar Ridge Cellar Reserve Orange Chardonnay 2008

Great little wine this from a Hunter winery with some vineyards in Orange.

Golden appearance with a good whiff of mango, peach, and some sweet vanillin oak. The oak sucks me right in and the back label reveals the wine sits in one year old French (14% abv).

A generous palate of fruit - the mango comes back at you gently and a hit of grapefruit evident, as are the stone fruits. The package is wrapped up nicely by the oak - thanks very much barrel ferment! Long persistent finish.

If oak ain't your thing, this isn't what you are after. But then again, the oak is not overpowering either.

I liked it!

Barambah Vineyard Selection Shiraz 2009

Barambah is situated in the South Burnett region in Queensland, roughly two and a half hours drive north west of Brisbane. The company has 7 hectares under vine including Chardonnay, Semillon, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon which were planted in 1995. Master of Wine Peter Scudmore-Smith is the man in charge bringing these wines together.

This is a wine which would be a good intro to those who fear shiraz. It still possesses many of the typical shiraz characteristics, but is lighter than you would expect. I made some comparisons to a heavy type pinot in some respects, but as my drinking companion described it, it's a feminine type shiraz - which is the opposite end to some of those massive shiraz wines you could become aquainted with from the Barossa and beyond. She was right.

Immediately on the nose it's lighter. Dark cherries and berries throw down the welcome mat (13.5% abv). The wine hits the front palate and crawls through with some spice and blackberry flavours. A touch of French oak sits behind the fruit with good tannins rounding off. $18.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Brown Brothers Prosecco NV

A terrific party starter for less than $15!

Non-vintage from the King Valley, light straw appearance with a faint green edge.

Palate is fresh with pear, some apple and a slip of lemon sherbert. Crisp and dry. A delight indeed. Long finish ties up a pretty tidy drop.

Serve as an aperitif or just find an excuse to indulge in a glass or two! Enjoy.

Smallfry Red Blend 2009

As the name suggests, this is a small winery tipping out some excellent wines from the Barossa and surrounding areas. Having had several of their reds and whites, these wines are consistently good.

This red blend is a fruit salad of sorts - Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro, Carignan and Cinsault. The latter two add a wonderful dimension to the wine both on the palate and nose.

There is something for everyone in this one. Sweetness from the grenache, spice from the mataro, a delicate softness on entry balanced by a rustic harder edge. I really enjoyed what was on offer.

Medium purple in the glass, a nose of some cherry, jubes but also some delicious plummy hints. The palate followed through from the nose beautifully. Wonderful texture, juicy fruit and well balanced. There was an inviting softness but also a harder edge giving it some good punch too. Smooth tannins on a super long finish.

Over two days there was an evident warmth which at no stage was a turn off, but only screamed out for a cold night by the fire or a hearty meal.

I picked this up for a ridiculous $18 - what a bargain. A great drop all round!