It's winter time here in south-east Queensland yet the outside temperature sits around 22 degrees with blue skies a prominent feature. A glass of this in hand in the gorgeous sunshine would be picture perfect.
Another organic wine from Lowe, this time the fruit comes from Mudgee.
Named after achieving the London Times Rosé of the Year in 1992 & 1993, the Headstone name is in reference to being remembered for the achievement, thus having those words inscribed on a headstone.
Primitivo (also known as Zindandel) from young vines is used to make this Rosé. Plum compote and blackcurrant is followed by some strawberry although the aromas aren't leaping out from the glass. There's a meatiness about the wine too. It's nicely balanced and just a good drink.
Another food friendly wine which is starting to become a theme from what I have seen with the couple of Lowe wines I've looked at now. A snag on the barbeque would do the trick here.
Another extraordinary night of wines put together for this edition of Swirl Sniff Spit. Props to The Vinsomniac for his research and excellent presentations during the night, and also to Brad Hickey from Brash Higgins for making the effort to attend and share his wines.
The evening showcased a delectable range of wines, many varieties of which have not been seen by most in the room - me included!
In an industry where everyone is looking for a point of difference and a way to stand out from the pack, there were plenty of examples on show.
A quick run through some of the magic....
Fox Gordon Princess Fiano 2011, Adelaide Hills:Green pea/snap pea on nose. Grassy. Zesty. Love it, and represents super value for around $15. Check out my 2010 post here.
Yalumba Y Series Vermentino 2011, Riverland: For a wine available readily for around $10, you'll be hard pressed to find quality like this at that price point. Serve super chilled with a bucket of seafood - ooh la la! Check out my previous posthere.
Holm Oak Wine Arneis 2011, Tasmania: Savory and peachy characters. Plenty of fans in the room enjoyed this but I found it a little too tart and acidic for my palate. Would go well with food, a creamy pasta or even fresh seafood.
Lark Hill Winery Gruner Veltliner 2011, Canberra: This vintage has already sold out and the winemaker was kind enough to share this from his personal stash. A runaway early leader in the Wine of the Night for mine. Pear and fresh apple juice characters. This wine was fresh and finished with a tad of almond meal. A seriously good version of this Austrian variety.
K1 by Hardy's Gruner Veltliner 2011, Adelaide Hills:Pears and pear skin. Restrained mid palate due to light fruit weight. A watery, clean finish. Many happy campers with this.
Crittenden Wines II Tributo Savignin 2010: A sherberty nose. Flavours of savory herbs, spice and a crisp minerality and drying finish on the palate. Yum!
919 Wines Petit Manseng 2010, Riverland: Wow! This was a complex piece of work. Honey, spice, floral notes with a slash of apricot and stone fruit flavours. Lovely soft texture and super length. Only small quantities of Petit Manseng in Australia, four coming from South Australia's Riverland, and one each from north east Victoria and Griffith.
Brash Higgins NDV Nero d'Avola 2011, McLaren Vale:On skins for two weeks. Wild fermented and only 114 cases made (less than 30 available as I write this). Lavender on nose - stunning!! Orange peel and raspberry jam flavours. Drinks like young Gamay. Serve with slight chill and drink now to five years. $37. Did I say how outrageously fantastic the nose was?!?!
Madeline's Nangkita Primitivo 2008, McLaren Vale: Has an appearance of stewed plums in the glass. Cigar, fruit cake and spice characters all going on here. Gentle soft finish.
Mount Majura Graciano 2009, Canberra: Bright in the glass. Spice and cigar notes shining through. A fistful of pepper and balanced acid profile. Load this up with some food and you're happy.
Chalmers Wines Aglianico 2005, Heathcote: Cherries, raspberries and earthy goodness. Some fruit cake elements in there too which I enjoyed. Smooth finish. An eye opener for a variety I looked at for the first time.
Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy Teroldego 2010, Langhorne Creek: Rhubarb and raspberries leap from the glass along with wild flowers. Some serious kick here on the palate with a handful of dry herbs and flavours which follow through from the nose. The palate is also edged with a brush of pepper. Finish with a dry tannin grip. Matured in 4-7 oak for 18 months - I loved it! Wine of the night, hands down!
Oliver's Taranga Sagrantino 2009, McLaren Vale: A great way to finish off the night with this heavy weight. This wine is the first vintage of Sangrantino made by the winery and it is a mighty fine effort. Violets, black fruits with a tiny herby touch, charred oak and a bucket load of tannin. A big chunk of pork will match perfectly.
This is a mighty impressive piece of work by Pirate Cru Wines from single vineyard fruit in the Hilltops region, NSW. Shame for the punters is only 750 cases were produced and they are all sold out!
Pirate Cru have an impressive portfolio and the thing that stands out is the quality across the board as well as the value. Some of their wines could easily fetch up to $40 off the shelf, the asking price for this piece and many others in the range is a mere $25. Whoa - this is a bargain deluxe!
A gorgeous nose of violets greets you and lingers superbly coupled with lovely floral aromas. A gentle whiff of chocolate bullets also waft across.
The palate is deep and rich assisted by twelve months in French oak. Plenty of plummy, dark fruit and dark cherry characteristics sealed up with soft and fine tannins and an impressive length.
I sensed a little something extra was in there and some further investigation drew me to the conclusion that there was 10% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot present. Most welcome additions which assist to deliver this well crafted wine.
But in the end, I just can't keep my nose out of the glass - damn those violets are good!
Rosé originated in the south of France and is a style of wine which has flexible boundaries. It can be sweet or dry, and made with any number of grape varieties. There are some excellent examples are out there in the market, but beware those with a little too much sugar, as the sugar can act as a great masking agent for poor fruit.
The process of making Rosé is simple. Red wines get their colour from the skins, and this is the case with Rosé, the only difference being that skin contact is only for a very short period. Only a few hours in some cases.
The fruit quality of those Rosés shared was well above acceptable and trying to pin down a top wine was not an easy task. The gatherings of @SwirlSnifSpit occur the third Tuesday of every month at Era Bistro in Brisbane. Attendees are a mixed bag with this event attracting a Master of Wine, trade, industry and all in between to your novice. It's a great group to mix with and learn about all things wine.
Here were some of the Australian wine highlights...
La Boheme "Act Two," Yarra Valley 2011. 97% Pinot Noir with skin contact for 10 hours. Some Pinot Gris and Riesling skins were added to boost the texture of the wine. Bright in the glass with a lovely perfumed nose.
Attwood Wines "3 Little Birds," Geelong 2011. This hit the spot. Wild fermented Pinot Noir, it demonstrated some earthy funk. There was a soft and supple element early on then a masculine touch with oak. Damn fine.
Foster e Rocco Sangiovese Rosé, Heathcote 2011. Love the fruit here. Savoury, soft and supple. Good acid core. Some red licorice and a suggestion of watermelon juice which is spot on. A cracker!
Kangarilla Road Primitivo Rosé, McLaren Vale 2011. Primitivo is directly related to Zinfandel. One word sums this bad boy up...dry. Some savory characteristics and a little spice punching through with good fruit weight on the palate. A drying finish that cleans out the mouth. Have with food.
Turkey Flat Rosé, Barossa 2011. Easy to see why this is one of Australia's best selling Rosés. A blend of Grenache (61%), Shiraz (22%), Cabernet Sauvignon and Dolcetto. Raspberries a plenty laced with red licorice. Lip smacking goodness.
Sparrow and Vine Grenache Rosé, Eden Valley 2011. This won the colour award of the night, in my humble opinion. Super bright stewed cherry appearance and loads more on the palate. Appeared to have a reduced element too. Almond meal on the finish. Delicious. Made by Wayne Ahrens from Smallfry Wines.
Bespoke Bros Mourvedre Rosé, Heathcote 2011. Wine of the night? Bingo! Great colour and texture. I picked up a light petilence on the palate which I liked indeed. Very approachable and goes well as an aperitif or with food. Some funk. Some length. Some awesomeness right here.
Capital Wines "The Abstainer" Rosé, Canberra 2010. Great varietal characteristics - Cabernet Franc. Love the colour. Raspberries. A little fruity with great texture and grip. A Rosé in impeccable order.
Logan Wines "Hannah" Rosé, Orange 2011. Logan Wines hail from Mudgee but the fruit for this comes from Orange. Blend of Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Pinot Noir. Very light and faint appearance. A simple no nonsense style. Strawberries and light whiff of cherry. Very easy to drink. Yum.