Monday, 19 December 2011

Taylor's Estate Shiraz 2009

Second of two Taylor's (for some reason they shun the possessive form of the family name) wines tasted.  Thought this much better quality and at $10 less than the Jaraman Cabernet.

Initially opened a touch reductive before revealing an array of black fruited goodness: cassis, blackberry and black cherry.  Thick, rich and full bodied - but not sickly sweet.  Some fruit sweetness is present but with a follow through of more savoury elements - tobacco and leather - providing added interest.

Finish is decent with some good length, defined by this rather pleasant mix of blackcurrant and leather, an element of licorice thrown in too.  Structure and balance at $20 - seek it out at a good local independent store and you'll likely pick it up a little cheaper too.

Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap

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Taylor's Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

From Coonawarra and Clare Valley fruit comes this perfumed and well proportioned Cabernet.  Showing good aromatics of mint, chocolate, with typical dusty, leafy typical Cabernet aroma.  

Full bodied on entry, exhibiting plum, and further chocolate.  The movement towards the finish not entirely seamless, some awkward acid jutting out ahead of some chalky tannin before a decent finish of moderate length. 

Source: Sample
Price: $29.95
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap

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Friday, 16 December 2011

Henschke Julius Riesling 2011

Another very good wine from what is meant to be a rather crap vintage.  Shows the perils of lumping all regions and producers together on this island continent.

Floral aromatics abound, supported by a hint of pear, talcum and hallmark Eden Valley lime citrus.  Quite tight on the palate, generous acid carrying lime through to the finish with  rapier-like thrust.  Nice touch of weight on the palate too, but it's the length, persistence and drive that define the finish.

Source: Sample
Price: $33
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Screwcap

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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Yalumba Single Site Habermann Vineyard Grenache 2005

Kevin Glastonbury oversees the production of some of my favourite wines out of Yalumba's rather significant portfolio, including this cracker from the Single Vineyard series.  He seems a cracking bloke too - kindly guiding this individual at the Brisbane RNA earlier this year when I was a tad lost.

Hand picked and then crushed to 8 tonne open fermenters. Initially wild  yeast fermented before some cultured yeasts applied to sustain fermentation.  Fruit off of a single site, planted in 1972, in the Bethany sub-region, grown on deep dark clay.

At 6 years of age the wine is still showing some significant fruit presence: raspberries and redcurrants, intermingling with some chocolate and sweet perfumed oak.

Lovely texture in the middle, creamy oak feel - and it is this that really the wine's lasting memory: a loving, voluptuous embrace.  A wee spike of heat before earthen spice shows itself providing a finish of moderate length, integrated tannin.

Source: Retail, The Wine Emporium
Price: $55
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: www.yalumba.com

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Saturday, 10 December 2011

Agricola Querciabella Chianti Classico 2007

Length and complexity abound in this wine.  The finish shows this pulsing wave of savoury charm, encircling the mouth, throbbing - beckoning you in for more.  Silky tannins complete the picture of dark cherries, some barbecue meat and new leather.

Woody nutty palate, silken smooth medium body.  Excellent balance. My only criticism is a little spike of heat that rears its head, but it quickly pops back below the parapet.  Beautiful.

First made in 1974, this is the wines 34th release.  The estate has been certified biodynamic since 2000.  Blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet (as permitted under the 1984 DOCG regulations).  One hundred percent French oak.  The Sangiovese sees only 10% new, the remainder is 1-2 year old.  The Cabernet sees 80% new.

Source: Retail
Price: $39.99
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Cork

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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Yelland & Papps Divine Mataro 2009

Yelland & Papps is Michael and Susan Papps (née Yelland), and was established in 2005.  Sourcing fruit from largely old vine material in the Greenock sub-region.  Resultant wines exhibit the characteristics of the locale, rich and full bodied.

This Mataro comes from 57 gnarly, hand picked bush vines planted around the 1880's, in its beloved loam over clay.   Only one hundred bottles made, thus this wine represents 1% of the entire production.  Open fermented on skins for 14 days before gentle basket pressing, 24 months maturation in old French oak, before bottling unfiltered.  Much love.

On visual impact alone the wine delights.  I referred to it - and the wine itself - as the Prince of Darkness meets George Clooney in his finest Armani suit.  It has the dark concentration and underlying brooding darkness of good Mataro, yet it's smooth, refined and a pleasure to be in the company of.  Seductive black cherry and plum aromatics, the old oak supporting the wine and assisting in the concentration of flavour.  The body is silken, smooth with chocolate and mocha.  There is an intensity, and a depth to the wine more than equivalent to the punt on the bottle.

Over two days the wine barely budged, in anything it became more focussed with greater shape being noted, channelling the wine, effortlessly flowing across the tongue towards the finish.

Tannin is extremely fine, there's hallmark spice, and it would be remiss to fail to mention the lack of heat that I have seen in other examples of Mataro recently.  Beautiful balance and all up this is simply an exquisite example of the style.  Exceptional.

Source: Sample 
Price: $102
Alcohol: 14.8%
Closure: Screwcap

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Monday, 5 December 2011

Gumpara Old Vine Semillon 2010

The Mader family, along with many others, fled religious persecution in their native Germany and settled in the Barossa in the mid-19th century. Roll forward six generations to Mark Mader who founded Gumpara in 1999, making his first wine in 2000 - a Shiraz- before expanding into Semillon through a block planted some 90 years ago.  

From the Light Pass sub-region of the Barossa comes this wine of diversity and delicacy.  No oak used here, allowing the old vine fruit to really sing. And boy does it show it's impressive range, singing of summer: variously lemon cream, freshly shelled broad beans, hints of apple.  It shows all of these elements, seemingly in turn.

It has quite a grassy/ hay feel to it, but all up it is fine tuned, with crunchy, balanced acid rounding the wine out and providing some moderate length. 

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

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