Friday, September 30, 2011

Andrew Thomas Hunter Valley Sweetwater Shiraz 2009

Day 1 – a bit clumsy
Day 2 – a bit awesome
The Andrew Thomas Hunter Valley Sweetwater Shiraz 2009 is exactly that. After the first glass, decanted also, it was pretty clear that this wine is not a lazy quaffer but something that needs a little time. Controlled by great dusty tannins, this wine on the second day shows wonderful hints of pepper and spice with a great whack of black olive tapenade sticking at the back of the palate. The best thing I can say about this wine though is that it will definitely better in a few years and brilliant in about 10 years. Pretty simple really.

Drink with five spice roast duck
Drink till 2025
Screwcap 13.5%v/v Rathdowne Cellars, Carlton North

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eden Road Canberra/Hilltops ‘The Seedling’ Shiraz 2009

There is one thing I have found since acknowledging my addiction to wine, and that’s that it is arbitrary. What I think is great, someone else will think is shite. Bit like one persons terrorist is another ones freedom fighter. So wine is arbitrary; just remember that The Princely one next time you have a whack at me!

So, where was I? Yes, the Eden Road Canberra/Hilltops ‘The Seedling’ Shiraz 2009. Quite simply a ripper. Plenty of blackberry and cheery and juice and just a little bit of acid and ever so polite tannins. The best thing though it is $15. $15? Yep, $15. Baaaaarrrgggainnn. It’s a steal, and the best thing is it is not trying to be Cornas or Hermitage or whatever Jonny Rock n’ Roll is waffling on about. It’s just a great wine. And its $15!!

There you go; wine is arbitrary. If you want to go and lick coconut skins then do it. Thats arbitrary too.

Drink with a lamb burger
Drink till 2014
Screwcap 14%v/v $15 Blackheart & Sparrows, Fitzroy North

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thierry Violot-Guillemard Pommard Clos de Derriére Saint Jean 1er Cru 2006

A wine that was enjoyed with two good friends on a recent trip back to Perth for work. The Thierry Violot-Guillemard Pommard Clos de Derriére Saint Jean 1er Cru 2006 is all power and elegance or puissance et elegance as one of my friends kept saying. A wonderfully vinous nose and beautifully structured tannins with a very clear line of minerality, this wine just kept giving and giving, mostly thanks to our waiter who insisted on topping our glasses every 3 minutes! Tart cranberry with a lovely layer of earth and musk, the Clos de Derriére Saint Jean, or The back house of St. Jean, is the type of wine that is good to share with others, but a wine that you only want to give a thimble full to them while you greedily hog the rest. Yes I know - all class, and next time, all mine!

Drink with hare pie; a special that evening at Must Wine Bar & Restaurant, Beaufort St Highgate
Drink till 2018
Quality cork 13.5%v/v $$$$

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gérard Tremblay Chablis 2009

For anyone who has met me, one of the first things people notice is that I am not tall. I am short; 170cm in the vertical – I do hope my kids will be taller than me because I am sick of being the tallest Cohen in the family. I’m short and so is the Gérard Tremblay Chablis 2009 . Its a great little wine on the primary palate but then its gone. Its short, but unlike me its got lovely white flower aromas with a thin line of citrus, mainly grapefruit, holding it together; I don't smell nearly as good. If you are unsure about Chablis and get scared by some of the $$$, then grab a bottle of this; for $30 it’s a great introduction.

Drink till 2012
Drink with scallop ceveche
Screwcap 12.5%v/v $30 Blackheart & Sparrows, Brunswick

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Brix Café & Bistrot, Fitzroy

This is going to be a small and quick post because I have to go and pick my daughter up from her mates place. The Brix Café & Bistrot in Fitzroy is The Dope. Its The Shit. Its The Place. Its The Place Right Now. NOW!!! And it will be the place that will be responsible for me putting all that weight back on that I lost last summer. Beautiful oysters - $10 for 4 thankyou very much! Beautiful black pudding. Beautiful little wine list. Thats all I have. Just go. Beautiful!

The Brix Café & Bistrot
Rear 412 Brunswick Street,
Fizroy VIC 3065

(03) 9417 6114

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wilson Vineyard Clare Valley DJW Riesling 2009

It’s a character that doesn’t need to be there. Kerosene. It is a bi-product of Terpenes, where exposed fruit gets too much sun after veraison, something that isn’t an issue in the northern hemisphere. But it’s an Australian characteristic so that is cool, or hot, depending where Riesling is grown.

This effectively is my segue to the Wilson Vineyard Clare Valley DJW Riesling 2009. Drunk over two days, the wine initially displayed lovely nashi pear with a piercing lime finish. The next day a very obvious kero aroma wafted from the bottle. Well not really obvious but there none-the-less. I dunno know, but it’s not me. I like the pear. I like the lime. I don’t like the kero. Good day 1. Not so good day 2. For me anyway.

Drink till 2014
Drink with pan fried whiting
Screwcap 12.5%v/v $23 Dan Murphy’s Kew

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mitchell Harris Pyrenees Sangiovese 2010

This for mind is the perfect pizza wine. The Mitchell Harris Pyrenees Sangiovese 2010 contains all the elements of a Friday night footy wine with pizza - cherry ripe fruit without the ripeness, grainy chocolate and a hint of green vegetalness (yes, I made that word up)- a good thing I reckon, along with super chewy tannins which were, and are, perfect with a homemade prosciutto and mozzarella pizza. Cracking stuff Jonno!

Drink with pizza.... der!
Drink till 2015
Screwcap 13%v/v
NB not sure on the $$; wine obtained when I won a round through the 'Mitchell Harris' footy tipping comp. And it was when I was in Vietnam!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cascina Morassino Barbaresco 2006 DOCG

Spotted on the 'end of bin' table at Blackhearts a month or so ago, the Cascina Morassino Barbaresco 2006 DOCG was in my mind a no-brainer at $65; as it turned out my brain was right again! A purple ink colour in the glass, this wine after about 30 minutes in the decanter was positively singing with floral and savoury notes as well as bright tart fruit - cranberry my notes say. The palate was definitely showing its age with tort chewy tannins and piercing acidity. When you get passed that, lovely violet, dark cherry and chocolate notes take over but not all the way with the tannins still primary. In hindsight the wine would have been much better in about 4-6 years, but being a lush good things don't always happen to those who wait; they happen when you are impatient too!

Drink with cumin crusted slow roasted shoulder of lamb
Drink 2015-2025+
Quality cork 13.5%v/v $65 Blackhearts, Fitzroy North

Monday, September 5, 2011

Xanadu Margaret River Reserve Chardonnay 2008

On a recent trip to Perth, I popped in to Steve’s Fine Wine and Food – a bit of a favourite – to have a chat with the guys. With no real urgency to leave I purchased an enomatic card to sample some of the wines, but it was the wine that was sitting on the tasting table really had me salivating. The Xanadu Margaret River Reserve Chardonnay 2008.

After a little cosmetic work with the label, The Xanadu brand has more of a sophisticated look about it after what seemed like years in bargain basement wilderness, and this wine certainly lends to that. Straw colour in the glass, the aroma offers the soft and sexy wafts of bees wax and citrus blossom. The palate delivers wonderfully integrated oak; you wouldn’t know it but it’s got 100% barrel ferment – with seamless minerality and acidity held up by more citrus, but no over powering, peach and licorice powder. A great wine.

Drink with pork and prawn Hue pancakes
Drink till 2014
Bottle was opened and did not notice closure, but get it at Steve’s Fine Wine & Foods, Nedlands

By Farr Geelong Tout Pres Pinot Noir 2008

An Australian Pinot Noir that masquerades as Burgundy - no shit! The By Farr Geelong Tout Pres Pinot Noir 2008 is as close to pure seduction as I have come across this year; blindingly seductive! Dirty red in the glass, the aroma makes its way to the olfactory in a teasing fashion to wash you over with savoury and earthy notes with a real sense that this is really something from Pommard or Volnay. The palate is all class with just the right balance of soft tannins and acid with dark cherry the bright spot. A truely great wine.

Drink with grilled calves livers
drink till 2017
Quality cork 13.5%v/v $110 from Blackhearts Brunswick