Saturday, March 20, 2010

Demoiselle Tete de Cuvée NV Champagne

A champagne that will be making its debut in Australia probably at the start of Spring Carnival, the Demoiselle Tete de Cuvée NV is really a smart little wine.

Chardonnay dominant, though even assemblage with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, with achingly upright grapefruit and lemon citrus on the nose with some stonefruit also thrown in. The palate follows the nose with a super fine bead that remains all the way through the glass. A lovely wine that should do very nicely in a competitive market.

Drink as aperitif
Drink now
Quality cork 12.5%v/v

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Marcarini Piedmont Barolo La Serra 2001

Indulge me, it’s my birthday!

Barolo, you sexy beast, you. I first saw you on my travels to Italy when I was young and fanciful and only really liked two types of wine – red and white.

There I was, alone, vulnerable and staring into another empty glass of wine. That’s when you appeared. Dark and brooding, you stood tall and handsome in front of me with a stately world view, yet seemed too easy with a commonly rustic charm. Your breath was warm and savage; your scent strange yet wonderfully alluring. You came at me. It was strange and I was overwhelmed. What was this in front of me?

I was trapped. I wanted to run away but was somehow drawn back to your sweaty elegance. It was over; my lust could not be contained. Seconds seemed like hours, minutes turned into days – I had to have you, I had to have you now.

My Visa in hand I returned again and again. Soon I had nothing left. My craving for this ancient beast had left me with nothing but a hunger and a need for more. There was nothing left.

I decided then that the only noble and proper way to have my craving restored was to write a message in big letters on a white sheet and take myself down to Kennington to watch the annual AFL game and hold aloft my plea:

Send money now Mum!!!

And the wine, the Marcarini Piedmont Barolo La Serra 2001 - pure and utter perfection.

Drink till 2023
Drink with the curtains drawn and a little Barry White
Quality cork 13%v/v $90 five years ago

Friday, March 12, 2010

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Bourgogne 2006

'In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.' Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sleek, lean, tempered and long. The Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Bourgogne 2006 is a wine that needs no dissection. Full of tight lines of citrus with pink grapefruit dominant, the wine picks up in the mid palate with super fine minerality, with just a touch of licorice powder toward the end. Just real good wine - simple!

Drink till 2011
Drink with fried whit bait and aioli - an easy Susan
Quality cork 13%v/v $50 last year

Monday, March 8, 2010

Christmont King Valley La Zona Savagnin 2009

To tell you the truth, I don’t believe the hype.

On almost a weekly basis, some new young pretty thing is trying to take credit for ‘discovering’ a wine or variety that is going to take the market by storm; Viognier – last seen trying to pull its way out of a jar of apricot conserve, Chenin Blanc – keep it WA, it’s yours, Trebbiano – best left unsaid, and Verdelho – ditto.

This brings us to Albarino, that little powder keg of spine tingling citrus with a soft woven texture to it, or is it. Seems those smart folk at CSIRO have been working on a few new projects other than working out water is wet and sticks are brown (no seriously, I do respect the work they do – I almost became one of them!). Anyway, seems that wonderful complex white grape from Spain wasn’t the hip and funky thing people were hyping it up to be – it was Savagnin!

Sav-an-what you say; doesn’t that come from New Zealand from a pipe that was just layed in the ditch to get it to us quicker and fresher?

Close my eager friend, but no. This, too, is sort of a Spanish variety with links dating back to Germany somewhere about the time Bill and Ted landed back there in episode 1 – the 17th Century; seems there was some witch hunt on and the good folk of Bavaria needed to amscray toot sweet, and supposedly on their way brought with them Savagnin.

This brings us back to the 21st Century where man knows everything, now that DNA is 99.9999999999012% spot on, or almost spot on. Ever since the unglorified debunking of Albarino to Savagnin, the good young bright things out there have been going, ‘Yes, Savagnin, marvellous stuff that. Must have it next time I’m with Chad and Miffy up at Cape Cod... snort snort, sniff sniff’ – think young Major Charles Emerson Winchester the third when reading that.

Now we know it’s Savagnin we can rejoice the wonders of it while secretly dissing that imposter Albarino – I knew it was a fake the whole time!

This brings us to the wine of this already long and shamelessly ‘in your face’ post. The Christmont King Valley La Zona Savagnin 2009, a wine making its debut due to the simple fact that last year it was Albarino. Crisp bone straw colour with an almost watery hue. Absolutely nothing on the nose except aggressive citrus. The mouth, pretty much the same unfortunately. A very dull wine with no saving graces to think of – sorry.

Drink with whatever you have with Albarino
Drink only if you need to impress someone
Screwcap 12.5% $19.99 Dan Murphy’s Kew

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bindi bottling 2010 - Composition 2009 and Pyrette 2009

Last Saturday I was once again up in Gisborne for a bottling of Bindi; the Composition 2009 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and the Pyrette Heathcote Shiraz 2009.

Once again it was a great day, this time thought there was pretty much a cast of thousands. Once again Gary and Jules were there; neighbours of Michael's. There was Cameron from Randalls of Albert Park, who is a regular up there and also Jason, a Mercedes car salesman who has been stung by the wine bug, and his wife Christina. But it was the the other entourage that made it pretty cool.

Yes Stuart Anderson was there again as he always is, but also up at bottling was Alec Epis of Epis Wines, who was extolling his grand advice on relationships and marriage (never married mind you) to us young folk, and the quiet spoken Pat Carmody from Craiglee of Sunbury.

All in all, about 20,000 bottles were put away; a pretty good day I would suggest. Now I could give the wines a critique here, but that would be wasteful seeing that they just went in to bottle. That and we did not actually taste the wines. This time we settles down to some back vintages of Bindi, with wines like Original Vineyard 2004, 2005 and 2007, and Compostion chardonnay 2006 and 2007. Yet for me the stand out for the wines was the Craiglee 2008 chardonnay - lean, mealy and just super sexxy!

And those who want to know, the lunch put on by Wendy was again too much yum!

[yellowtail] Moscato 2009

Question: what do you get when you combine glass and sugar?
Answer: [yellowtail] Moscato 2009 from all over Australia!

Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet, sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet wine this one.

Ohh yeah, the MIL Pam loved it!

Drink with redskins or 50 cents worth of mixed lollies
Drink till yesterday
Screwcap 5.5% $9.99 everywhere!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rhythm and Flavour

It has been a very busy morning here in down town Brunswick.

After a very good night sleep from the youngest member of the family, Henry, the usual morning rituals seemed to flow on as any other Saturday morning; feeding children, changing nappies, brewing coffee and navigating through the morning broadsheet. It was also time to have a look at some emails that I have been sort of ignoring; two were of interest.

The first one was about a consulting job in writing a report on exporting wine and dried fruit to Latin and Central America, something that I will look in to I think. The other was from a fellow Brunswickistani who is interested in doing a wine appreciation course.

Now there are plenty of wine courses out there and you need to be sure what you want to get out of it. Some start simple enough and after a session or two you can pretty much tell a Savvy from a Chardy and that a Riesling is no match to a slab of bloody beef.

But some of these courses can last up to 10 sessions with a nebulous of text to trawl over; baume, brix, veraison, acetic acid, close planting and on and on and on.....

When undertaking a wine course, the first question you need to ask yourself is what you need to know and why - KISS - thats right, keep it simple stupid!

Another thing you need to find out is who you are paying your folding stuff to has the right credentials. You do not want someone who has just finished a wine course to then regurgitate what they have just learnt; knowledge is not the only credential you need to have to teach a wine course - you also need to have passion about the grape juice you are woffling on about.

So there you go. I could talk about how Henry threw up all over me with the contents of his stomach ending up all over me; so much for rhythm and flavour.....