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Tuesday 29 March 2011

De Iuliis Steven Vineyard 2009

Patience is a virtue and one that is richly rewarded with some decanter time for this wine.  It is easily consumable from the off, but it offers a whole other drinking experience given some time to get into its groove.

The wine offers  red berry aromas on first opening, something akin to a Grenache, yet over time some spicy, clove studded oak presents itself.

In the mouth, its ethereal, lighter than I expected; some well pitched acid and a silkiness that comes with it.  At first the wine fell short of a length, yet over time the flavours extended themselves.  Not in the sense where the tannin extends to the back of the throat, for this sees the fruit and oak delivering more as the wine opens up further.  It carries through and holds your interest.  

It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.  The winemaker's notes give a cellaring timespan of some ten years, not normally one to disagree with the individual who should know his product best, I would consider the drinking window pushed further out.  I had the wine open for three days and it showed no sign of faltering.  If you can keep your hands off it that long, you're doing well.

Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap

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Monday 28 March 2011

Karra Yerta Eden Valley Riesling 2010

If it was the reviews of this wine from Messrs Graham and Pringle that brought Karra Yerta to my attention and thus purchase the wine, it was an even more recent review from Chris Plummer that prompted me to pull it out from storage and crack it open.....

From the get-go the aromas on this wine were escaping out of the bottle - before I'd even managed to get any into my glass the floral notes, accentuated by some varietal lime were luring me in.  Supported by a typical minerally edge - think pebbles smoothed by the flow of a river - and some chalkiness adding further interest and edginess to the wine.

In the mouth, more lime, a touch of talc and all checked in balance by some decent acid that has your cheeks puckering up for more.  The wine feels like it will go on forever.  In two senses, for leading reviewer Philip White has given this wine something in the region of a 30 year life-span, but on the more immediate horizon it keeps coming at you...wave after wave.

I had the wine open for two days and it barely shifted.  The only reason it survived this long is I wanted to see how it held up.  Do yourself a favour, acquaint yourself with this wine whilst you can.

Source: Retail
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap

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Brokenwood Hunter Valley Shiraz 2007

As Penfold’s Bin 389 is oft referred to as ‘Baby Grange’, Brokenwood’s Hunter Valley Shiraz could be seen as a ‘Baby Graveyard’ - although as a newish father that term troubles me somewhat - for it is made from fruit off the same vineyard as Brokenwood's top tier wine. This would be declassified fruit along with fruit off of younger vines.

This wine was received as a sample for the #HunterWine tweet up on the 28th March 2011.  It is what I expect from traditional Hunter Shiraz: leather, earth, with primary fruit shining through - supported by oak and vanilla from that.

It was silken, medium bodied. There was textural interest in the middle. It was intoxicating, inviting me back for more. But what also shone through was the balance between these constituent parts. 

At its conclusion, the wine delivered some fine tannin. I caught a final hint of liquorice right at the wine's end. But it had me coming back for more. 

Source: Sample
Price: $40 RRP
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Grove Estate Sommita Nebbiolo 2008

A complex savoury mix of aromas greets you in the glass: struck match, rubber and leather.  It had me straight away.

But these aroma give nothing of the incredibly smooth core in the mouth that then yields peripheral spice.  The spice just builds and builds in the mouth, sitting there in the roof.  There's tannin, but nowhere near as much as I was expecting from a Nebbiolo, it is already very well integrated.

A very impressive wine.  It had me at hello.

Source: Sample
Price: $ 35
Alcohol: 15.5%
Closure: Screwcap

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De Iuliis Aged Release Semillon 2002

First up, bottle image: 'borrowed' from Tim Cohen over at 'Cooked & Bottled in Brunswick' - I hope he doesn't mind :)

I'm just starting to appreciate the charms of good aged Hunter Semillon.  I picked this up retail for $20, I was trying to help Patrick Haddock - who was in the Hunter - promote twitter by engaging with Hunter winemakers.  This was the result.

Winemaker guidance is drink until 2012 and I could see that it was peaking in terms of its development.  A beautiful golden straw colour in the glass, presenting subtle honey and toasty notes on the nose.  The palate showed some petrol, but it was the citrus burst of lemon that shone.  It had no real length to speak of, though the toasty notes did linger and fade to a pleasant conclusion.

To see where this wine was at two years ago, pop on over to Jeremy Pringle's Wine Will Eat Itself site.

Source: Retail, Cru Bar
Price: $20
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Cork

[Edit: This post was edited on 29/03/2011 to correct my spelling of the winery name]

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Grove Estate Cellar Block Shiraz Viognier 2009

If you see the words Shiraz Viognier and Tim Kirk you're bound to get a little excited.  But that doesn't do justice to the Grove Estate team and their fruit, in Tim Kirk's own words "The Grove Estate fruit is fantastic, it's not difficult to make really good wine when you're dealing with such terrific raw materials." 

Speaking with Brian Mullany about this wine he commented that they believe the 2010, just bottled, to be even better!

Turning the screw on this 2009, the Viognier was immediately apparent, with the lifted aromatics passing down the nasal passage.  Gloriously purple hued, after a double decant the wine smells of Hilltops Shiraz - and my limited experience of that place - there's a meld of black fruits, spice and even a touch of clove on first introduction.  Over time there's a touch of roasted meat juice and cherry too.

In the mouth, it's soft, medium bodied - silken is not over-descriptive of the wine.  It finishes long.  There's little tannin to call out, the finish is persistent, a touch of the cool climate peppery spice driving to a conclusion.

Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap

Thursday 17 March 2011

Thierry Michon: Domain St Nicolas

I recently had the pleasure of a quick business trip down to Sydney.  Naturally I left sufficient time to be able to take in a couple of the fantastic wine outlets in Sydney and it was at Fix St James where generous host/ owner Stuart Knox allowed this interloper to stay for a trade tasting of the wines of Domain St Nicolas.  Thierry Michon is the vigneron of Domain St Nicolas and was in Australia as part of the Return to Terroir initiative.

Spread over 32 hectares, the Domain St Nicolas estate has been cultivated organically since 1995. No synthetic pesticides or other chemical products are applied.  Thierry often comments that 'he is alone' - meaning that his vineyards are not next to any other vineyards where there might be sprays used.  In fact whilst all wines are certified Biodynamic.

From Thierry's site: "The estate is situated on the Ile d’Olonne which borders the old salt marshes of the Pays des Olonnes. The vines are planted facing south-west for the Pinot Noir, Gamay and Cabernet and south-east for the Chardonnay and Chenin on clay and schisty soils." 

The region recently received AOC status - thus some of the wines produced will technically be illegal under the conditions of the appellation, Thierry will be given a period of grace but ultimately it is likely he will classify the wines as 'Vin de Table'.  Because he's like that.  And he can.

I've no doubt not done these wines justice, but it's all part of my education. 

Domaine Saint Nicolas Fiefs Vendéens Brem Les Clous Blanc 2009
A blend of Chenin, Chardonnay and a touch of Groslot Gris.  You can smell the marsh in the aromas present, manifesting to me like heather, lavender and almond.  Good tight, crisp palate. 

Domaine Saint Nicolas Fiefs Vendéens Brem Reflets Rose 2009 
Gamay, Pinot Noir and Groslot Gris.  One for the #RoseRev: Gloriously pale pink colour with berry aromas with a savoury dry finish many of us are now familiar with. 

Domaine Saint Nicolas Fiefs Vendéens Brem Cuvee Maria Blanc 2005
Straight Chardonnay, named after Thierry's grandmother.  Made in the Burgundian style with new oak treatment.  Apparently this tastes very similar to White Burgundy, this correspondent not having consumed enough to refute or support that claim.  I found it fairly lean, good minerality with an exemplary finish. 

Domaine Saint Nicolas Fiefs Vendéens Brem Gammes en May Rouge 2009
The name is simply a play on Gamay.  No carbonic maceration lends the nose a slightly earthen mushroomy aroma still supported by typical bubblegum notes.  The back palate exhibits a slightly more savoury note. 

Domaine Saint Nicolas Fiefs Vendéens Brem Reflets Rouge 2009
A blend of Pinot Noir, Gamay and Cabernet Franc.  Light berry aromas on the palate but the real beauty of the wine is the incredible lightness of being in the palate.  Fantastic delicate balance in the mouth. 

Domaine Saint Nicolas Fiefs Vendéens Brem Cabaret Rouge 2007
Beautiful perfume and trademark blackcurrant aroma.  The wine showed a good tannic backbone and length. 

Domaine Saint Nicolas Fiefs Vendéens Brem Cabaret Rouge 2006
Perfume here was not as dominant but this was compensated for by a finer body, smoother tannins - yet still persistent with that driving finish. 

Domaine Saint Nicolas Fiefs Vendéens Brem Cuvee Le Poiré 2008
Made from 100% Negrette, a variety more at home around Toulouse.  Gloriously perfumed - yet again - to me it showed some Gamay like qualities: light berry, sweet fruit characteristics.  Yet the palate was leathery with fine tannins.  Interesting variety, apparently goes well with fatty foods. 

Domaine Saint Nicolas Fiefs Vendéens Brem La Grande Pièce Rouge 2005
Pinot Noir made in the Burgundian style.  To me the core exhibited a strong hit of raspberry yet this transitioned to a spicy back end, alluding to a faint Maritime hit.

Source: Fix St James
Price: $Free
Alcohol: Yes
Closure: About 17:00

Monday 14 March 2011


So the #BYOFaves crew got together again on Friday 11th March to share a few bottles of the good stuff and to celebrate the recent birthdays of NickOs and Ryn of Ryn & Cordie fame.

There was no particular theme this time around with regards to wine, although there's always the general principle of less wank and more wine, something this wannabe wanker sometimes struggles with!

Wine 1: Rockford Black Shiraz 2010 Disgorgement

Wine 2: Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2002

Wine 3: Polished Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris 2010

Wine 4: Domaine Vincent Bouzerau Mersault 1er Cru 2004

Wine 5: Isolee Olena Cepparello 1999

Wine 6: Rockford Moppa Springs GMS 2006

Wine 7: Massena Moonlight Run GSMC 2008

Wine 8: d'Arenberg Derelict Vineyard Grenache 2007

Wine 9: Boireann The Lurnea 2009

Wine 10: Summerfield Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Wine 11: Blue Poles Merlot Cab Franc 2005

So, yet another stonking night of good wine and even better company - just how it should be.

Source: Friends and Love
Price: $ Priceless
Alcohol: Much
Closure: About 23:00 when the restaurant closed and sent me on my merry way

Friday 11 March 2011

Dyson Wines Sangiovese 2010

Dyson's first Sangiovese, off of vines 8-9 years old.  Entirely dry grown, no sprays applied at all.  All the fruit is hand-picked and stored to a temperature of 8 degrees before the magic happens in open fermenters.

It's young and needs some time in the decanter.  Initiailly it was all twiggy and stalky aromas with some faint touches of rose and strawberry.  The palate showed a rusticity to it and there was a good deal natural acid, for there are no tartaric additions to this wine.  The tannins were quite raw and chewy, but these started to settle down slightly on day 2. 

The wine started to morph over this period, aromas or Kirsch with a faint backnote of molasses.  The palate still showed that 'rusticity'.

This is a pre-release wine - no image as yet, I'll try my hand at photographing the bottle myself.  Speaking with proprietor Allan Dyson, he expects to release it once vintage has concluded - so May time.  I will say it is young, the acid there will give it longevity, I would look forward to seeing how Dyson progresses with the style. 

Source: Sample
Price: $25 (estimate) 
Alcohol: 13.6%
Closure: Screwcap

Cabinet Meeting: Capital Wines The Fence Sitter 2009 & Capital Wines The Abstainer 2010

If you're into wine and twitter, you've surely heard of Capital Wines?  Tweethound Jenny Mooney has done an excellent job, in my opinion, of raising the profile of the Canberra region and championing the value of social media channels for wineries.

The Capital Wines Rosé is made from Cabernet Franc and Merlot specifically grown, and picked, for Rosé production.  This 2009 version shows immediate blackcurrant aromas with a softer, creamy background note.  The palate is clean, crisp and fresh - an excellent thirst quencher - and offers easy drinkability. 

The length is lacking a bit - to no real detriment - it certainly tickled my tastebuds and passed the 'smashability' test: the bottle does not last long.

Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 12.7%
Closure: Screwcap

The 2010 version underwent a slight identity change due to a trademark conflict.  Still made from Cabernet Franc and Merlot, the aromas are more generally fruit driven.  There's still the trademark blackcurrant/ cassis but there was an overall melding of mixed berry fruit coming through - to me more pronounced than in the 2009.

The palate shows a wee touch of cheek puckering acidity, the wine feels firmer in the mouth that with the 2009.  Again there's no real length to speak of - and if that's its only fault then it provides plenty of drinking pleasure.

Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 12.7%
Closure: Screwcap

Thursday 10 March 2011

Lucky Country Shiraz 2008

An export order apparently fell through enabling Chalk & Cheese stores to stock this lovely glossy purple hued Barossan gem for $15.

Immediate aromas of American oak offering up cedar and vanilla notes, with chocolate and jammy, fruity, plumminess in the background.

Big gobfuls of fruit make way for a touch of spice and more cedary vanilla oak.. Fine tannin, smooth finish.  You know what you get with this.  

Drink now.

Source: Retail, Chalk & Cheese
Price: $ $14.99
Alcohol:  tbc
Closure: Screwcap

[Edit: This page was edited at 15:08 on 11/03/2010 to reflect that Lucky Country is a distinct brand to Two Hands.  The Title and Website were edited to reflect this.]

Monday 7 March 2011

Grove Estate Wherehaveyou Bin MCB

An easy drinking, savoury blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera.  The wine in glass had me feeling pleasantly schizophrenic, offering in turn Merlot plumminess with Cabernet blackcurrant and cedary notes.  In the background there further lurked some ripe fruit notes from the Barbera and even a touch of mint sauce.

Entry immediately showed a smooth, medium bodied wine.  There wasn't much fruit showing in the palate, yet some oak provided some interest.  On the finish, there was some good mouth coating tannin, a hint of coffee-ish oak - this all fell away rather quickly.  Made for drink now pleasure indeed.

Source: Sample
Price: $15 (via
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap

The Wine List

A holiday in 2009 was a major turning point for me.  I finally managed to visit some of Australia's great wine regions and taste some of its great wines. 

On that holiday, with my travelling companions, we took to photographing each day the wines that we consumed.  What follows is, hopefully, the full chronological list of the wines (full bottles only, not covering tastings at Cellar Doors) consumed on that holiday in 2009.  All bottles (with the exception of those consumed in Katoomba; the Bannockburns and Yering Station) were purchased at the Cellar Door of the winery listed.

Katoomba, NSW - Monday 16th February
1. Two Churches, Barossa Valley Rose, 2007
2. Banrock Station, Sparkling White Shiraz, NV
3. Penfolds, Thomas Hyland Shiraz, 2006
4. Mount Pleasant Philip Shiraz. 2006
5. Dalfarras, Shiraz Viognier, 2004
6. d'Arenberg, "d'Arry's Original" Shiraz Grenache, 2006
7. d'Arenberg, "Laughing Magpie" Shiraz Viognier, 2006

Apollo Bay, VIC - Thursday 19th February
1. Shadowfax, Riesling, 2008
2. Shadowfax, Werribee Shiraz, 2005
3. Shadowfax, Heathcote "One Eye" Shiraz, 2005
4. Yering Station, Shiraz Viognier, 2006

Robe, SA - Saturday 21st February
1. Balnaves, Sparkling Cabernet, NV
2. Shadowfax, Sauvignon Blanc, 2008
3. Balnaves, "Cheeky Red", 2008
4. di Giorgio, "Sterita" Shiraz, 2005

McLaren Vale, SA - Sunday 22nd February
1. Katnook Estate, Sauvignon Blanc, 2008
2. Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Coonawarra Riesling, 2008
3. Bannockburn Geelong, Shiraz, 2004
4. Wynns Coonawarra Estate, "Black Label" Shiraz, 2006

McLaren Vale, SA - Monday 23rd February
1. Gemtree, "Cadenzia" Grenache Tempranillo Shiraz, 2007
2. Red Heads. The Back Shed Shiraz Grenache, 2006
3. Tapestry. "Cadenzia" Old Vine Grenache, 2007
4. d'Arenberg, "Sticks & Stones" Tempranillo Grenache Shiraz. 2005
5. d'Arenberg, "The Last Ditch" Viognier, 2008

Barossa Valley, SA - Tuesday 24th February
1. "Lazy Ballerina" Shiraz Viognier, 2006
2. Red Heads, "The Back Shed" Shiraz Grenache, 2006
3. Wirra Wirra, "Sparrow's Lodge" Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006

Appelation Restaurant, Barossa Valley, SA Wednesday 25th February
1. Pelorus, Sparkling, NV
2. Radford Dale, Eden Valley Riesling, 2007
3. Cooper Burns, Barossa Valley Grenache, 2006
4. Deisen, Barossa Shiraz, 2005

Bay of Shoals, KI - Thursday 26th February
1. Wirra Wirra "Scrubby Rise" Unwooded Chardonnay, 2008
2. d'Arenberg, "The Stump Jump" Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne, Viognier, Chardonnay, 2007
3. Hardy's, Oomoo Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre, 2006
4. Pertaringa, "Over The Top" Shiraz, 2006

Bay of Shoals, KI - Friday 27th February
1. Majella, "Melody" Rose, 2008
2. Bannockburn Geelong, Pinot Noir, 2005
3. Gemtree, "Obsidian" Shiraz, 2005
4. Peter Lehmann, "Clancy's" Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot (Magnum), 2004
5. d'arenberg, "The Noble Mud Pie", Viognier Pinot Gris Marsanne, 2008

Bay of Shoals, KI - Saturday 28th February
1. Two Hands, Gnarly Dudes Shiraz, 2007
2. Turkey Flat, Rose, 2008
3. Pertaringa, "Scarecrow" Sauvignon Blanc, 2008
4. Woop Woop, Verdelho, 2008
5. Katnook Estate, Chardonnay Brut Blanc de Blancs, 2007
6. Chateau Tanunda, Terroirs Ebenezer Shiraz, 200?
7. Kaesler, "Reid's Rasp" Shiraz, 2008
8. Wynn's, Samuel Port, NV

Brisbane, QLD - Sunday 1st March
1. Langmeil, "Fifth Wave" Grenache, 2006
2. Langmeil, "Orphan Bank" Shiraz, 2006

Brisbane, QLD - Monday 2nd March
1. Isabel, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2008
2. Turkey Flat, Rose, 2008
3. The Black Chook, Sparkling Shiraz, NV
4. Two Hands, Bella's Garden Shiraz, 2006
5. Red Heads, "Yard Dog" Petit Verdot merlot Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006
6. Wirra Wirra, "Catapult" Shiraz Viognier, 2006
7. Langmeil, Fortified Shiraz
8. Wynns, Samuel Port

Sunday 6 March 2011

Witches Falls Classic Tawny

I've already written at fair length about my visit to the Witches Falls cellar door.  It seems funny to think back to that weekend now, for it was the weekend immediately prior to the Brisbane floods.  It seemed like it hadn't stopped raining for months, we were worried about access to the cellar door for I know that some roads in the local area have a tendency to ford with large volumes of rain.

So to the wine itself, it was consumed as part of my OTBN dinner -  as the liquid accompaniment to a cheese course.

It exhibits aromas of candid orange peel and black cherry.  In the mouth it is rather smooth, offering chocolate coated berries, chai latte and some porty raisiny notes.  The finish is spicy, more of that Chai/ cinnamon, and it has a fair reach to it.

Yet another reason to get yourself to Witches Falls Cellar Door.

Source: Cellar Door
Price: $28 ($23 Members)
Alcohol: 18%
Closure: Cork Stopper

Saturday 5 March 2011

Grove Estate The Italian Sangiovese Barbera 2008

From the Hilltops region of NSW, this 50/50 blend of varietals of Italian origin Sangiovese and Barbera, is a balanced representation of its constituent parts.

The Sangiovese provides savoury aromas and these are readily apparent on introduction to the wine, where earthen notes strike you -  to then be supported by some plum and cherry from the fruit-driven Barbera.

In the mouth, the wine is smooth, medium bodied.  There's some black pepper and mouth-filling spice.  A good touch of oak provides some background interest and also a coffee-ish conclusion.  The finish shows some fine tannin but it really is a bit part to those aromas and peppery spice spoken of earlier.

Source: Sample
Price: $20 (CD Price)
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Icely Road Rose 2009 Rosé

Icely Road is a brand of Mayfield Vineyard, which is located some 10KM from the town of Orange.

The wine, a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot, leads with aromas of delicate, not overtly pronounced, berry fruits which serve as an introduction to more of the same on the palate. In the mouth the wine offers a smooth concentration of the same berry flavours that conclude with a dry savoury finish.

In summary, a light refreshing, fairly linear style that works well with food.

Source: Sample
Price: $17.99
Alcohol: 12.2%
Closure: Screwcap

4 Orange Rosé 2009

The Orange wine region has two advantages: it has consistently produced a series of very good wines in recent years, and has an active PR business supporting it (David Cumming of Define Wine).
~ James Halliday, Wine Companion

David was a crucial supporter of the Rosé Revolution and instrumental - for me at least - in raising the profile of some excellent wines coming out of Orange.

This particular wine is crafted by 4 friends who work in the Orange wine community.  Very little about it appears on the internet and the address on the label leads me to the Union Bank Wine Bar in Orange.  A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz grown specifically for the wine, it opens with juicy red berry aromas and a hint of some drying cranberry.  

The palate shows no breadth or depth to speak of - not uncommon in Rosés - instead the finish is where the action happens.  It shows the typical savoury, drying finish of the type of wines the Rose Revolution was promoting.  There's a touch of bitter acid at the conclusion and even a touch of tannin in there too.  That said, it is not a complex wine.

Tip: don't serve too cold as this masks some of the concentrated flavours that were revealed once it came to life.   Still it should be chilled, enjoyed with friends and food as befits the ethos of the wine made by the four friends. 

Source: Sample
Price: $14.99
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap

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Tuesday 1 March 2011

New Zealand In A Glass

First up, I want to commend the organisers on a well put together event.  Each attendee was presented on arrival with a Riedel tasting glass, a bottle of water, pen, paper exhibitor list along with a full colour high-quality booklet listing all exhibitors with contact information.  Inside the event, there was plenty more water available along with bread, crackers and even some sandwiches available.  My only gripes being the spit buckets being on the floor, the members of the public wearing their ropey colognes/ perfumes and ruining the beautiful perfumes of the products on show and the exhibitor who didn't know the Residual Sugar (RS) of the Riesling they were pouring!

My focus for the event: Waiheke and Hawkes Bay reds (and maybe a little else of what took my fancy). 

Man O'War
Standout wines: Valhalla Reserve Chardonnay 2009, 100% barrel fermented - 40% new French, wild yeast fermented. Some yeasty notes on the nose with good supporting Oak.  Typical riper characteristics of good quality Chardonnay.  Savoury conclusion.

Ironclad 2008: Blend of Merlot (52%), Cabernet Franc (27%), Malbec (10.5%), Petit Verdot (9.1%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (1.4%).  Beautiful lifted berry aromatics, well integrated on the palate and some concluding earthiness supported by fine drying tannin. 

Cable Bay
Merlot Malbec Cabernet: A blend of Merlot (45%), Cabernet Sauvignon (24%), Malbec (20%) and Cabernet Franc (11%).  600 cases made.  Beautifully perfumed, plumminess exhbited from the Merlot along with some dreid herb notes.  Typical cassis along with some of the earthen, leathery notes one would expect.  Fine tannin concludes the experience. 

Trinity Hill
The Gimlett 2008: Another 'Bordeaux' blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (43%), Merlot (41%), Petit Verdot (7%), Malbec (6%) and Cabernet Franc.  There's a pattern forming here: beautiful perfume with blackcurrant and cassis notes dominant.  But it's the gentleness that makes the wine stand out.  It has fine tannins and is of moderate length, but on the palate it has a fullness to it that has you yearning for more..

Source: New Zealand
Price: $45
Closure: About 9PM