Monday, May 30, 2011

Domaine Lucci Adelaide Hills Merlot 2010

Been a strange day. Been a strange few days really. Head cold on Thursday. Sinus on Friday. OK Saturday – had dinner at Taxi, so I sort of had to of been. Mucho-Man Sunday – Erin’s birthday but I was still un-well. The thing with the ‘Mucho-Man’ thing is I tried too hard to make it the perfect day and by 3pm when I was about to put the lemon tart in the oven, Boom, I sort of got a bit dizzy and next thing you know I’m in bed not feeling well – again! And if you’re wondering the lemon tart was awesomely awesome!

It’s been a few weird days. But that was what the Domaine Lucci Adelaide Hills Merlot 2010 was like. Green and whacky day one; big and bold on day two; nice on day three and weird and funky on day four.

I really wanted to like this wine because the Pinot Noir version is so Billy Ocean! But here lies the rub, the Merlot is no Pinot Noir here. That’s it!

Drink with beef vindaloo leftovers
Drink not now, maybe in a few years perhaps
Diam cork 13.7%v/v $30 Blackheart & Sparrows Brunswick

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hardys Pemberton/Yarra Valley HRB|D643 Chardonnay 2008

Quote the label: “…continues the tradition of Hardys rich blending heritage” I think you are reading from the wrong manifest Jenkins!

The Hardys Pemberton/Yarra Valley HRB|D643 Chardonnay 2008 – maybe the license plate of the B-double that ferried the juice over the Nullarbor – barely scrapes in as a Jack Dyer wine and is unfortunately headed to the near-sub 80 category. On first glance the wine in the glass has all the hallmarks of a chardonnay; its bone/straw colour and tight and closed nose right away makes me think I have got a bargain from Uncle Dan’s at $28. Oh the fleeting glimpse of joy, with the palate displaying full, heavy and rich and chockers of all that was chardonnay back in 1994 – big and flabby; nuts and creaminess dominate the palate with the notable absence of lemon that is clearly printed on the label. Oh well, never thee mind.

Drink with fondue
Drink now or at a ‘Melrose Place’ party (thats a reference to the early 90’s if you didn’t pick it up)
Near-sub 80
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $28 Dan Murphy’s Coburg

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kidnapper Cliffs Hawkes Bay Syrah 2009 Bottle #1049

Glee is on so here I am.

This is the one. This is the one. This is the one. This is the one.

There’s no stutter, just that this is the best bottle of wine this year and also the best example of a syrah/shiraz coming out of the “land of the long white cloud”, and that’s big considering up the road there sits Bilancia’s La Colina. No, everyone this is the one. The Kidnapper Cliffs Hawkes Bay Syrah 2009.

A collaboration between Dry River and Te Awa, this first time release to Australia is beyond peer. Sitting almost black in the glass, the wine takes on a whole different guise on the nose with an even mix of white and black pepper with soft and sexy plum and blackcurrant fruit wafting through almost like as if they were strolling past you and saying a polite ”hello”. The longer in the decanter the nose has a very pronounced herbal feel to it which is odd, yet great, but odd. But it was great! The palate delivers super fine tannins with acidity keeping everything in check; the wine sits so soft and gentle in the mouth that all the fruit, tannins, acid and oak are almost seemingly singing the perfect aria. That’s the funky shit!

Just remarkable!

Drink with calf’s liver - a Susan if ever there was one!
Drink till 2025
Quality cork 13%v/v $62 at Europa Cellars East Melbourne

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers Day 2011

Mothers Day 2011. The pancakes have been eaten, the tea has been drunk and the hand-made Mothers Day cards have been read – quite impressive I must say from child #1. So with some semblance being restored in down-town Brunswick we come to the important question that has yet to be answered; what champagne/sparkling to open today.

Now I am going to be controversial here and generalise sparkling wine as the drink du jour for Mothers Day. Generally speaking I would suggest that Shiraz, or Crown Lager – depends I guess, as the chosen tipple for Father’s Day, so sparkling to me is a no-brainer for today (you can drink Marlborough Savvy B any day of the week so let’s just not go there today OK!).

In being diplomatic and all, I have chosen one champagne and one Australian sparkling wine. Firstly champagne: the Heidsieck & Co Monopole NV Blue Top. Hailing from Eperenay, this wine is an assemblage of 70% pinot noir, 20% chardonnay and 20% pinot meunier, this champagne takes a different path than the clean and linear chardonnay dominant wines. Sitting in the glass, the colour is ever so slightly soft salmon pink. The aroma strays between subtle pink grapefruit with the slightest hint of cranberry – I reckon anyway. In the palate this wine becomes a bit larger or heavier in the mouth, but not sweeter; 9g/L residual sugar still puts it in the Brut category by some margin. The fullness or richness for me stems from the abundance of red fruit which impasses a greater impression of red fruit, but subtle all the same.

The second wine is the Bindi Macedon Ranges Chardonnay Pinot Noir Extended Lees Aged 2003 sparkling wine. Yes I can almost hear the exasperated sighs, ‘of you are such a Bindi slut Tim’. Well yes, I am, we know this so get over it ok! This wine is quite simply one of the best Australian sparkling wines you will see. Big call I know, and possibly slightly impartial, but by golly this wine is fantastic. A wonderful mix of brioche, preserved lemon and cashews with pitch-perfect acid, this wine is great now but definitely worth a look at over the next 10 years I’d say.

There you have it. Two wines worthy of any Mothers Day breakfast or lunch. Happy Mother’s Day ladies.

Heidsieck & Co Monopole NV
Drink with blueberry pancakes
Drink now
Cork 12%v/v $54 Vintage Cellars Richmond

Bindi Macedon Ranges Chardonnay Pinot Noir Extended Lees Aged 2003
Drink with seared scallops and marron
Drink till 2013
Diam cork 12%v/v $46 Rathdowne Cellars in Carlton and Steve’s Fine Wine and Foods in Nedlands

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blue Poles Margaret River Teroldego 2009

Once in a while you get a wine that raises eye brows. It could be because it’s biodynamic, or because it’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris or because the winemaker is blind – true story; Mountford in Canterbury NZ. However, this eye brow raise is because when I mentioned this grape to a few wine industry professional, the common response was, ‘Terol-what’.

That’s right, Teroldego. Native to Alto-Adige in Trentino NE Italy, Teroldego has a little over 4 acres –just under 2 hectares – under vine in Australia. Three of these acres are planted in Osmington, Margaret River in the Blue Poles vineyard. So here it is, the Blue Poles Margaret River Teroldego 2009.

Where to start. Because of its eye brow raising attributes, I will let Nicholas Belfage introduce the variety:

Teroldego is called the “prince” of Trentino red wines, prized for its elegance, complexity and harmony. Overcropped, as it often is, it can be very ordinary, at best a pleasant wine for drinking early. But in the hands of a quality producer it can reach impressive heights of breeding and concentration.... These days the undisputed top producer of Teroldego is Elisabetta Foradori of Mezzolombardo.”

The last sentence is where the Australian connection starts. It is from Elisabetta Foradori where the cuttings came from to propagate the Margaret River Teroldego plantings; pretty good lineage if you ask me. But we are here for the wine right?

One of the deepest ‘red’ colours in a glass of wine I have ever seen, sort of like ‘blood in the moonlight’ in colour; yeah, I know that’s the funky shit. The nose is a real head turner with obvious characteristics of Nebbiolo and Sangiovese – ripe plum, mulberry, dust, leather, tobacco, violets and tar just to name a few. Tight and fine grippy tannins greet the palate with some tart raspberry thrown in. The longer in the glass the tart raspberry fades in to a sweet mulberry feel with the acid and tannins still pulling all of the strings. This is a real special wine.

This is produced in small quantities; tiny really. So if you see it give it a go because it will not sit around on the shelf for too long.

Drink with lamb ragu on wet polenta
Drink till 2020
Screwcap 14%v/v $32 at The City Wine Shop or by the glass at Grossi Florentino’s Cellar Bar