Monday, December 31, 2012

BK Adelaide Hills Cult Syrah 2011

Its the last day of the year. 2012 will be recent history this time tomorrow.

Sometime over the coming week I will compile my 'Best of 2012'. You can be sure that this wine will not only be in that list but will also feature on the podium. The BK Wines Adelaide Hills Cult Syrah 2011 . Cult indeed!

It is no secret that 2011 was fairly tough throughout south east Australia. One wine maker said to me that, 'you cannot make a turd shine but you can role it in glitter to make it sparkle'. Too true. This wine, however, shines and sparkles and quite simply perform a lap dance when considering the year should merely be flashing some boob.

So to the wine. The nose has an instant hit of brown spice - cardamon springs to mind straight away - with prickly subtle dark plum and red licorice; very northern Rhône. All very delicate and leaving me just wanting more. The palate starts with seamless soft tannins with acid flowing just after. More spice forms the mid palate with tart red fruit and more spice lingering all the way. I'm not sure how long this was; I don't time length like Robert Parker. Just superb.

Drink with smoked duck breast
Drink till 2018
Natural cork 13.5%v/v $32 Seddon Wine Store

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Austins Geelong Shiraz 2008

This wine reminded me of what simple good wine is all about. A Shiraz. From Geelong. A good year. It looks and sounds like a simple formula, and that's exactly what you get here. The Austins Geelong Shiraz 2008 label reads just that. In the bottle you get s great whack of cool climate shiraz, a lick of regionality and a touch of age which is something odd these days with wine producers often getting their wine out the same year as the vintage.

Black licorice and subtle spice - white pepper notably - come to the fore on the nose with white pepper being quite dominant in the primary palate. I did decant this after my first sip; very big acid early. After about 30 minutes the wine was still focused around the acid and white pepper but time in the decanter brings black licorice and half tart half ripe blackberries. Good to have you back Austins!

Drink till 2016
Drink with chilli con carne
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $30 Carlton Cellars 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vinea Marson Heathcote Viognier 2011 Part II

Gorgeously textured, the Vinea Marson Heathcote Viognier 2011 is a true expression of this variety with exactly the right amount of apricot and other stonefruit to balance out with the acid and supple white phenolics. And if you want to know exactly what the right amount of stonefruit is for a viognier, then its 59!

Drink with pork cutlets - with fat on of course
Drink till 2016  
Diam cork 13%v/v $30ish

Wine Super Heroes Unite! Bodegas Roda Rioja Sela Tempranillo/Graciano 2009

It maybe that time of the year where a good proportion of my brain cells have been internally fried by excessive wine and beer intake, but humour me with this one. What if for some funky-arsed reason there were wine super heroes, and with this there were Nemesis's to said wine super heroes. Cool hey?

So, who are are wine super heroes and nemesis's you wonder. I think its a no brainer; Tempranillo and Pinot Noir.

There's this brash young upstart -Tempranillo for argument's sake - in the new territory who has been lording it up in the old world for god knows how long. So then we look at the perennially good guy, Pinot Noir; butter wouldn't melt in its mouth they say. Tempranillo looks down the street and sees a life of adulation and worship, and Tempranillo wants some of that, wants it now.

Then all of the sudden Tempranillo develops a little following, and slowly over time this little following turns in to a ground swell. Well, Pinot Noir does not particularly like this, not one bit. But it is not in Pinot Noirs make-up to respond in spite for Pinot Noir is a member of the Noble Royal European family and to stoop to a the level of a commoner would just not do.

So with this Pinot Noir offers Tempranillo a seat in the unofficial 'Cool Grape Society', and as they say, the rest is history with Pinot Noir and Tempranillo both sharing equal adulation and glory without any blood, or juice for that matter, being spilt. It is not everyday we can say we have peace in our lifetime.

This little piece was inspired by the lyrical genius of Tenacious D and the song 'Wonder Boy'.

And with that we need a wine note I think. The Bodegas Roda Rioja Sela Tempranillo/Graciano 2009. Super dark in the glass, the wine has a great waft of blueberries and a surprsing hit of marzipan - something I was not expecting, but nevertheless thought was rockin'. The palate is all about primary acid and tannins up front with a flow of spice and more blueberries and marzipan. I loved it.

You can probably see in my labels that Tempranillo is somewhat in the shadow of Pinot Noir on my blog. I promise to remedy this over time.

Drink with spiced lamb shoulder roast
Drink till 2019+
Natural cork 14%v/v $50 Seddon Wine Store

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bindi Macedon Ranges 1992 Chardonnay

It has come and gone just like that. Christmas 2012 is but a recent memory, and for some of us, a loosening of the belt. Like with most Xmas days I try and pull something schmick out of the cellar; didn't have to think too hard this year. The Bindi Macedon Ranges 1992 Chardonnay. It may not have a label, but when it is given to me by Michael Dhillon I just take his word for it.

The colour was turning orange with hints of straw yellow in the hue. The nose was a bomb of creme brulee, almonds and dried figs. The palate was just amazing with acid still prominent. There are not too many Australian Chardonnays that have the chutzpah to hang in there. Twenty years people, and a first vintage to boot!

Drink till 2015
Drink with my salmon gravlax - a Susan if ever there was one
Natural cork 12%v/v

Monday, December 24, 2012

Kasaura D'Abruzzo Trebbiano DOC 2011

Days like today throw me. You see its not a public holiday, but I'm not at work. I'm not at either of my jobs actually - Seddon Wine Store or Bindi up in the Macedon Ranges. I've trimmed the hedge, mowed the lawn, turned the gravlax (wait till you see it!!) and given Daisy a bath. But it just feels a bit, well you know?

The same thing happened a couple of weeks ago when I tried this beauty; The Kasaura D'Abruzzo Trebbiano DOC 2011. Its a Trebbiano, not something that has gone down well in my humble glassware. Till now. This is such a spankingly good wine. A bit of green garden dried herb something something going on with a lick of soft citrus. The palate starts with a generous amount of glycerol and wax all melded into one. Great start. There is great weight with this wine without any terse astringency, and right at the end is a great lick of lemon curd. Bloody good.

Merry Xmas everyone!

Drink with a classic prawn cocktail
Drink till 2014
Screwcap 13%v/v $16 Seddon Wine Store

Eastern Peake Ballarat Intrinsic Pinot Noir 2009

So when its hot, drink dry whites. When its not, drink something else. Yesterday was hot. Last night was really hot. Today; not-so-hot. That's right, I live in Melbourne. This means I can have a wide selection of wine to choose from cos the weather here lives in a permanent state of bi-polar flux.

So my wine for a cooler day today is the Eastern Peake Ballarat Intrinsic Pinot Noir 2009. Deep red in the glass, the aroma has an instant waft of dark fruit with prickly plum to the fore. But it is after about two hours open that the wine develops in to a beautiful beast of game and forest floor;serious and sensual stuff. Very Pommard if I have to say. I have to say!! The palate follows a similar path of the nose with supple dark fruit beautifully held together with mouth watering acid and perfectly tuned silky tannins. Nice work Norman.

Drink with sticky pork ribs
Drink till 2022
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $46 Seddon Wine Store

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Reichsrat Von Bulh Pfalz Riesling 2011

Its taken me about 6 years to give this wine a go again. So when I saw this in the fridge at Seddon Wine Store, and also glimpsed the price; a meager $24 if you don't mind, then yes, it was long enough to have another wee look at this German dandy. The Reichsrat Von Bulh Pfalz Riesling 2011 is quite simply a knockout!

In the back of most peoples mind just before sipping a Riesling, certain flavours leap out such as lemon/lime and tart minerality rounded out by sharp acidity. And sometimes it is all about sweet primary fruit with glycerol. This wine was, and is, somewhat of a leap from the two previous styles. The nose starts full of fresh white peach with lanolin wafting around the longer in the glass. The palate is where it gets funky. My first sip was full of dried green herbs very reminiscent to the Vadiaperti Falanghia tasted earlier in the year, with fresh green fennel being the standout.

The surprising bit about this wine is that I was not disappointed because I did not get the massive citrus and acid whack, nor the sweet stewed pineapple affect; quite on the contrary. What I love about this wine is it is not one dimensional. Its Original. Its a winner!

Drink with chicken with buttered sage
Drink till 2016
Screwcap 12%v/v $24 Seddon Wine Store

Friday, December 14, 2012

Albert Mann Alsace Pinot Blanc Auxerrois 2011

Its getting to the pointy end of the year and the time where we need to grab some awesomely-awesome wine for Xmas. Its also the time I collate my top drops for the calender year; I think this one will get a mention. The Albert Mann Alsace Pinot Blanc Auxerrois 2011, whom I was informed recently was named Wine Spectator winery of the year 2012,  is quite simply the Bomb! A cute blend of Pinot's Blanc and Auxerrois, this wine has layer upon layer of fine nashi pear, wax, minerality and crisp fine acid; there's also a fine line of white phenolics right at the end which neatly balances out the tort acid.

Such a great wine and a monty in downtown Brunswick this Xmas.

Drink with grilled octopus
Drink till 2014
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $29 Seddon Wine Store

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Domaine Anne Gros Bourgogne 2010

It was at a tasting earlier this year where a young sommelier, or that's what he was telling everyone he met and announcing it as his 'calling', made the comment that any French wine with the variety on it should be avoided at all cost. Fortunately a wine maker there reminded him that pretty much all Alsace wines come with variety stated as do with a lot of great champagnes. Score 1 to the wine maker!

It seems comments like the one from the sommelier are like hair cuts; everyone has a different one. My take on opinions should squarely be based on the finished product, not what the label says. But if on the label somewhere is the name Anne Gros, then yes, my opinion will be a resounding thumbs up. The Domaine Anne Gros Bourgogne 2010, with the variety fair-and-square for everyone to see, is easily one of the wines of the year for me so far.

A very dark red in the glass, the wine opens up with dark cherries, spice and earth, and the longer in the glass a very distinct bacon fat wafts up the olfactory in a most pleasurable manner. The palate is quite different from the nose with a very dry and grippy front that washes away with an almost syrupy cherry middle and then, just like that, a tart cherry and cranberry finish. Just delightful.

Drink with grilled quail with figs
Drink till 2016
Cork 12.5%v/v $45-$50

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Prunotto Ochetti Piedmont Nebbiolo d'Alba 2008

My lament is that only one glass gets washed around here these days; Erin only having wine a few days a week, which is cool though. Pitiful lament I know. But its the case so half bottle season it is! The Prunotto Occhetti Piedmont Nebbiolo d'Alba 2008 is all bells and whistles; its really everyhting you love about Nebbiolo, or Barolo for that matter, only its in a little bottle and perfect for one glass - 2 1/2 really. Chicken or the egg meets tomato/potato kind a thing if you get my drift.

Drink with juicy lamb chops
Drink till 2020
Quality cork 13.5%v/v $40ish Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick