Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bindi Macedon Ranges Composition Pinot Noir 2011

I will be heading up the Calder Freeway again this Saturday to join the bottling line for the Bindi Original Vineyard, Quartz and Block 5 wines - 16th bottling and counting - so I thought I would revisit the February bottling of the Bindi Macedon Ranges Composition Pinot Noir 2011.

A lot more restrained and feminate that its 2010 sibling, this wine at such a young age starts singing as soon as I decant and pour. Delicate floral notes of violet with a lick of spice on the nose, the wine in the glass just keeps going and going with with soft tart red fruit, cranberry the standout, washing over the taste buds.

This is one of the first Composition Pinot Noirs that I would  had that in a blind tasting would pass as Burgundy, and not just village or VDP, but Premier Cru also.

Drink with slow roasted cumin crusted lamb
Drink till 2025
Diam cork 13.5%v/v $54 at Albert Street Food & Wine next week!

Hoddles Creek Yarra Valley 1er Chardonnay 2010

I love this wine, and I have fallen back in love with Yarra Valley Chardonnay - this Yarra Valley Chardonnay anyway.

The Hoddles Creek Yarra Valley 1er Chardonnay 2010 is all heirs and graces (whatever that means I dont know) with a delicious blend of new world razor sharpness and old world finesse and style. Straw colour in the glass, the nose is singing between tart grapefruit, mealy almonds and licorice powder.

Like another recent fave of late - the Eastern Peak 2008 Syrah - this wine almost sits cool in the mouth. Not Fonzy cool, but temperature cool. From my tasting notes we drunk this wine at temperature range of about 6-10 Celcius, and the cooling idea comes from the way it just sat in the palate so effortlessly.

Back to the wine at hand. The palate was like the nose, with a wonderful mix of tight citrus acidity, but as the wine developed over the night, a denser Puligny-Montrachet feeling came to the fore with licore powder and minerlaity.

A welcoming wine from many years of citric acid madness I say.

Drink with veal cutlets
Drink till 2018
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $42 Albert Street Food & Wine

Afternoon tea

A rare day at home with just me and the boy calls for some tea and bickies

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Laffers Lane Heathcote Shiraz 2010

A new offering from a staffer at Blackheart & Sparrows - Laffer Lane Heathcote Shiraz 2010.

From looking at the label I was imagining a wine that was made in the 'natural' way; go out and hug a vine and play it 'John Butler trio' bleeding heart music and all that palaver - so this is what I take from it; house on the bottom of a hill on a cold winters night with a million and 1 stars in the sky and a roaring open fire inside!What, me being cynical? Anyhoo, I was expecting something that was singing with tart fruit and achingly sharp acidity. What I got however was a beautifully crafted wine from what I would suggest would be very well grown shiraz fruit; Tim the anti-cynic in that sentence.

Deep crimson red in the glass, the wine had a great mix of black fruit and black pepper with an equal amount of dust to boot. Tart fruit on the front palate with acid and tannins holding perfect sway. The wine really went to another level at the back palate with beautiful black olives and black fruit fighting for dominance - olive won this time.

A great debut from someone who knows what they are doing, whoever they are!

Drink till 2017
Drink with roast beef
Diam under wax seal 13.5%v/v $32 Blackheart & Sparrows, Brunswick

Benevelli Piero Piedmont Langhe Nebbiolo 2010

Since returning to the restaurant/retail side of this business, I have been reunited with one of the first loves of my wine life - Italian varieties.

Back in the dark days of the 1990's wine industry in Australia - where for the best part of 6 years I was away in the US and Europe honing my wine passion - pretty much all of the focus was on Australian Shiraz and Chardonnay and the new romance with Burgundy. What was lost were the Italian verities that Australia was effectively weaned on in its wine infancy; Sangiovese, Dolcetto, Barbera, Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano and the rich man's Italian Bin 389 - Nebbiolo.

Thanks to the Tobacco Road growers in North Eastern Victoria, Australian-Italian varieties were once again slowly finding their way back in to restaurants and retailers, but they were still seen as a poor man's wine with memories of the great Chianti Fiasco's sitting in Lygon Street eateries with a candle subtlety wedged in the top of the neck.

So it is no surprise to me that restaurants such as Cutler & Co - be it 2 years ago - were found to be pouring Brown Brothers Prosecco amongst other Australian-Italians on the list. I'd be going far these days to find a list that doesn't have at least one Italian variety on BTG; right now Albert Street has four BTG.

So this Italian segue has been brought to you by Benevelli Piero Langhe Nebbiolo 2010. A young Nebbiolo, but what a beauty it is. Dusty on the nose with wafts of violets and black fruit peaking through after a while in the decanter. After a while in the glass the palate opened up with mouth watering tannins and acidity tightly bound around tart cranberries and raspberries with an almost dried green herb finish.

NB this wine was positively singing three days later - could have gone a week, but who has the patience I ask?

Drink with osso bucco
Drink till 2020
Quality cork 13%v/v $37 Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick

Bests Great Western Dolcetto 2010

I gotta say, that in the last few years, that Best's are really bringing sexxy back to Western Victoria. The Best's Great Western Dolcetto 2010 from initial tyasting back in April with FESQ rep Brad was to date the most intiguing wine I had come across for the year to date; endless wafts of dried green garden herbs of oregano and even lavender drive the aroma with beautifully balanced acidity and tannins combined with another great mixof red and black fruit. One of the wines of the year for me.

Drink with lamb navarin
Drink till 2016
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $28 Albert Strett Food & Wine, Brunswick