An Australian Wine Blog

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Cooks Lot 'Lot 8' Handpicked Shiraz 2013

Handpicked, whole bunch pressed, wild yeast fermented, plunged four times a day - inputs that add some risk, take time and are choices the winemaker can make to look to make a wine in a desired manner.

Reductive on opening, combined with savoury, sappy notes from some whole bunch input. Black and brambly fruits combine to give a presence of fruit against savoury character. Tannin is fine, powdery, well integrated and providing carriage. Oak adds additional structure.

Shows good length, carried by tannin and a little spike of acid. If anything, it grew in stature over the time open. A wine I found myself returning too more than once in that time. Good work. 92

Tasted on: Thursday 9th April
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cookslot.com.au/

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Hither & Yon Young Shiraz 2014

Inviting, youthful aromas here, smells a little like a Grenache with its raspberry, grenadine and vanilla. There's a little wet potter's clay over spearmint. The latter carrying through to the palate.

The wine has a lightness, fleet-footed, tannin's feel a little waxy, coating the mouth.

Good presence, the carry of fruit flavour. Drinks well, easily. Another wine from this portfolio that will likely be lapped up hither and yon. 89

Tasted on: Wednesday 8th April, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hitherandyon.com.au/

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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Richard Meyman Waseca Riesling 2013

Fresh, fragrant - hints of cut marmalade, perhaps suggestive of a little botrytis perhaps?

Dry and textural, but with food gives the suggestion of a little retained sugar in the wine. Regardless, it's nicely poised with pitched acid against that texture.

Finishes long and dry, a suggestion of preserved lemons on the back straight. Nicely executed wine. 90

Tasted on: Wednesday 8th April, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Retail, Veno
Price: $25.50
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.richardmeymanwines.com.au/

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d'Arenberg d'Arry's Original 2012

It's a great privilege to receive wines for review, possibly even more so when the wine in question is one that you cut your teeth on. Ubiquitous in the UK in the first decade of the 21st century, the d'Arenberg brand even more so, such that I considered the red stripe synonymous with the region. I digress.

Grenache leads, although it's an equal partner in this 50/50 blend of Shiraz and Grenache. Licorice, woody spice and a mix of berry fruit from across the spectrum.

Struggles a bit on the palate for me, a searing acidity that puts the wine off balance. Pulls up short on the palate too. Somewhat unconvincing in the final two thirds. 86

Tasted on: Monday 6th April, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Monday, 13 April 2015

Amato Vino Nero d'Avola 2014

Throws the wood spice of the 20% whole bunch over cherry and - what seems to me - a little almond.

Light, juicy with some flashy acidity that enlivens. Vibrant- that's the word I am looking for - with licorice adding an extra dimension. That said it is really that freshness that reels you in.

Not terribly long on length - no real drama when it's existence in bottle and glass is equally temporal. 89

Tasted on: Monday 6th April, a Flower day
Source: Retail, Wine Cloud
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.winecloud.com.au/

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Twisted Gum Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Twisted Gum Cabernet -
2009 bottle image
A fine Granite Belt Cabernet from a highly regarded vintage for red varieties. This example has the capacity to age, tightly wound with fruit in abundance to hold it in good stead for the long haul.

Black fruits and cedar, these two taking the opportunity to swap who takes the lead role over time, the fruit becoming more prominent. Over time: leaf, cedar and sweet grass.

Black fruit, licorice and spice: clove and cool pepper. Tannin is fine, well embedded; it's tight, wound, not dense - after a day there's spice, powder-fine tannin, ash and black olive.

On the finish, black fruit provides a leg-up, acidity providing extra drive with savoury twists complementing the fine tannin on the finish. One for the cellar for sure. 93

Tasted on: Sunday 8th March, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.twistedgum.com.au/

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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Swirl Sniff Spit - Notes from an Overseas Experience

Usual disclaimer: "Swirl, Sniff, Spit" is a monthly, Brisbane based, tasting group that I am a co-organiser of. For the month of February, the theme was that of ‘Overseas Experience’ whereby all wines were made overseas by Australia winemakers. Tasting notes as written, save for the odd tidying up and marrying of background notes that were provided to attendees, for readability.

Ulithorne ‘Corsus’ Vermentinu 2013, Corsica; Winemaker: Rose Kentish
Rose Kentish opted to whisk the family off to Europe in 2009 after a challenging vintage in her native McLaren Vale. It’s a journey she has made each year since. The Vermentinu (Vermentino) is the third successive vintage made. 

Clarity of aroma here: lemon, that most freshest of citrus, plucked from a tree, raschi and leaf intact; shows a little green olive, texture - rolls around the palate. Little phenolic pinch on its tail. Needs the sea, a rocky coastline and possibly a plate of whitebait, crisp with a little salt. Simply devine - clearly evokes the Mediterranean for me. 91/2

Le Grappin 1er Cru Greves Blanc 2012, Beaune; Winemaker: Andrew Nielsen
Andrew Nielsen was working in high-end advertising, for publications such as The Economist, when a bottle of Dujac’s Clos de la Roche became his epiphany wine. It’s a response I can relate to,  given my own expletive lead introduction to Andrew’s Greves Blanc. Chardonnay in Les Greves is rather rare, a mere 2% of plantings across its 31 hectares. From 50 year old vines, this had me leading with “Fuck!” - mealy, creamy - stonefruit and citrus; powerful - such a concentrated wine, of depth and spice - dense and powerful. Superb. 94

Mayer The Doctor Remstal, Kabinett Trocken, 2011; Winemaker: Timo Mayer
Timo Mayer’s family hails from Germany - as does Timo himself. I gleaned a quote from Timo, published elsewhere, on this wine: “It’s a macerated, high solid wild barrel fermented Riesling Kabinett trocken. Its not how the folks do it over there but its what I like, textural and voluptuous”. Shows a little aromatic herb, citrus, lemon curd; fuller feel on the palate - something that possibly might be mandarin segments 90.

Tunkalilla Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Riesling 2008; Winemaker: Brian Croser
In 2005, Brian and Ann Croser purchased an old Christmas tree farm in Oregon, clearing some of the trees to plant out to Riesling and Pint Noir.  This 2008 was from their first vintage and Croser continues to make wines in Oregon each year. Tunkalilla is named for a beach in the Fleurieu (where Croser has the ‘Foggy Hill’ vineyard). Showing some development, possibly a little taint; sugar more evident here at 8.6 g/l (dry is about 2). Palate largely flat some hints of miineral with herb and citrus. 89

Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre Aux Vergelesses 2011 Winemaker: Jane Eyre
Eyre was a hairdresser in her native Melbourne when, somewhat serendipitously, she struck up a conversation with a customer about wanting to gain some experience in the wine industry. Said customer just happened to be the wife of leading Australian wine scribe Jeremy Oliver.

Overall ’11 is considered a good vintage, small crop, high prices. It is considered that Beaune can offer some relief to the buyers’ pocket compared to other better known communes. This typically offers a really attractive, perfumed style. Eyre is also the Asst Winemaker at Dom Newman, and since 2011 has made wine under her own name. Fine perfume of florals, and cherry aromas that waft out of the glass; beautifully elegant, well structured wine 94

Andrew Nielsen - Le Grappin
Le Grappin 1er Cru Boucherottes; Winemaker: Andrew Nielsen
From low on the slope near the Pommard boundary, to the West of Beaune. Typically a fruity, as opposed to tannic, expression. Nielsen is fastidious about vineyard work; opts to use smaller barrel houses to be able to work to get the right level of toast for the style sought. Florals almost to violets here - purple if i can just offer a colour. Light on entry, almost bouncy - yet with a little depth, spice and good tannin structure. Pretty special. 93

Two Men in Mendoza Malbec 2012; Winemakers: Dan Sims and Ben Edwards
Two men AKA Dan Sims (PinotPalooza and Game of Rhones) and Ben Edwards (formerly Halliday’s right-hand-man, now tree-changer). Wanted to make a wine in Argentina, make something about making a wine, a wine they wanted to be….just bloody drinkable. From Uco Valley in Mendoza. Plum, mulberry, squishy black fruit; easy-going, juicy - ‘soil’ style, a drinker. Good grain tannin, bright acidity nicely balanced against the fruit. 90/1

Jed Wines Uco Valley Mendoza Malbec 2012
So, Two Men make a Malbec – one upmanship form the three men behind Jed making a Malbec, also from Uco Valley, Mendoza. Woody, spice and savoury character here. Sandalwood - less acidic, not as ‘bright’ - more structure. 92

L’Imposteur Collioure AOC 2010; Winemaker: Adam Foster
Adam Foster
From Collioure, the designated AOC for table wines – if fortified they’re known as Banyuls (heavenly chocolate match!). Foster, “pan rocker”, turned Sommelier (ex-Lakehouse), Salami maker, now winemaker. 

L’Imposteur – as the French call him. Framboise with a little savoury edge - like its fortified counterpart, you could see this even working with chocolate. Touch of lift, moving to that savoury, sous bois character on the palate - good entry, moving to a little wild herb and red fruit. 91

Fletcher Barolo ‘Alta Pete’ 2010; Winemaker: Dave Fletcher
50% Treiso from 350m in altitude, this is one of the cooler areas of Barbaresco and selected because of this reason, and 50% Barbaresco commune. 2010 a ripper Barolo vintage. Winemaker Fetcher was once banned from entering the Alternative Wine Varieties Show for he only made Nebbiolo…go figure. The savoury imbued with a little floral: think pouch tobacco, a touch of clove with rose petal florals and plum skin adding that extra dimension. Feels dusty, powdery, well extracted tannin here that move to a firmness, letting your palate know you've been Barolo-ed. 93


Tasted on: Tuesday 17th February, a Fruit transitioning to Root day
Source: Tasting
Website: http://www.swirlsniffspit.com/2015/01/swirl-sniff-spits-overseas-experience.html
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Guthrie Wines 'The Snare' Syrah 2014

"It's really light and fresh. A bit of the function of the Hills last year (2014). Reds never got really ripe. Plus the whole bunch work" states winemaker Hugh Guthrie, explaining a little about the vintage conditions and the ethos of the wine.

The savoury bent of the whole bunch (40%) leads here, redolent of new growth in Spring, with hints of coffee grounds backing up.

Medium bodied, light and springy - possesses an airiness. Yes, there are hints of greenness that may unsettle some, but its light and easy going nature had me yearning to drink it - a ringing endorsement.

In that 'soif' style, may lack the classical markers of a great wine, but it's just downright smashable. Spice and bunch for interest, and that annoying ability to evaporate from the glass. Available in magnum too, I grabbed a couple for interest at $65. 88

Tasted on: Wednesday 11th March, a Flower day
Source: Winery purchase
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: DIAM
Website: http://www.guthriewines.com.au/

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Saturday, 11 April 2015

Ridgemill Estate Riesling 2014

I tasted this as a tank sample over a year ago, thinking then that if the aromatics could be retained, Ridgemill would be onto a winner.

Expressive, of citrus - lemon and lime - tropical hints, some apple and blossom even. Less florals than in the 2013.

Citrus again on the palate, good presence: tart and tangy, bright and vibrant acid with a good carry of flavour. 91

Tasted on: Wednesday 11th March, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://ridgemillestate.com/

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Friday, 10 April 2015

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Exceptional Cabernet here from Leeuwin Estate. 

Initially leafy, underlying mint, coffeed oak in the mix. With time, the aromatic balance shifts with the mint become more prominent, in tandem with chocolate coated berries.

Poise, elegance, balance - walks with grace and a straight back. Demands attention, makes you adjust your own posture against its own assuredness.

Berry mix - redcurrant, raspberry - against cedar. Look here for a definition of balance and poise, traits that become increasingly evident with time open.

Concludes with a glorious tail of acid, fine and integrated tannin, a little crunch underfoot. Effortless, classic line delivered by the fruit, seems like it will never end. 95

Tasted on: Sunday 8th March, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $70
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.leeuwinestate.com.au/

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Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé 2013

Mataro dominant blend, with Grenache, Cinsualt and Carignan (50/28/20/2% respectively).

Berry fruits, citrus - savoury, woody and herbal twists; of scrub, garrigue, the sun beating down onto a Mediterranean twinkling its azure blue wink; of oligarchs and molls, yachts bobbing on the waves, draining this by the case.

Strawberry, rhubarb, hints of citrus; spice, a little coriander seed, a touch wild. Dry, tart, savoury, latent cranberry - summer in a glass. Effortless, so good. 93

Tasted on: Saturday 7th March, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Retail, Cru Bar & Cellar
Price: $45-50
Alcohol: 
Closure: Cork
Website: http://domainetempier.com/

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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

d'Arenberg Custodian Grenache 2012

I'd wager that the red wines within the 'd'Arenberg Originals' range have been a gateway range for many drinker, and still provide sound drinking today. Amazing that a sub-$20 wine is released as a 3 year old, good track record of providing cellar-worthy wines too.

Berry fruits, mulberry and plum skins - moves to woody hints, with deeper bass lines of earth and spice.

Smooth and silken entry, dark spice congregates on the mid-palate, providing a gateway to some chewy tannin. Earthen, leathery, perhaps some Sellick's fudge in the mix too.

Tannin becomes a touch gruffer toward the finish - again there's dark fruit and spice that see the wine to its conclusion. Good value here. 89

Tasted on: Saturday 7th March, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Monday, 6 April 2015

Bremerton Bâtonnage Chardonnay 2013

Presents sour milk and curds to start, moving to underlying citrus and spice.

Decent, full, creamy mouthfeel - the result of the bâtonnage per the wine's name - backed up with a balance of acid and spice.

OK length, more about palate presence. Wanted more from this. 88

Tasted on: Saturday 7th March, a Fruit transitioning to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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