Friday, August 17, 2012

Valli Waitaki Valley Pinot Noir 2009

"Take short views, hope for the best, and trust in God." Sydney Smith 1771-1845

Now I'm not pontificating like the erstwhile Mssr Smith; he was a God-squadder unlike myself being anything but. Anyway, the jist is short and to the point.

The Valli Waitaki Valley Pinot Noir 2009. I know it says North Otago, but Jim Jerram from Ostler would have my neck if I didn't lead with Waitaki Valley, New Zealands newest wine region.

So to the wine you say. Quite a deep colour in the glass, the nose is a great marriage of new world and old world Pinot Noir with prickly plum woven together with gamey and bacon fatty notes. The palate follows the nose with wonderful depth of games and dark fruit all held together by balanced acid and tannins. Well worth looking for.

Drink with five spiced duck breast
Drink till 2020
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $60ish at Raffles Cellars, South Perth

Viñero Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2010

This trade - the wine biz - is a funny beast. Out there in wine sniff land there is an abundant lot that crow about this Grand Cru and snort on how Montlouis is far superior to Vouvray in drier years; thats what they read or heard second hand anyway. The wine expert, yes indeed, a curious fellow of both genders.

With that said, it is rare to see two interested and curious fellows come along and take a genuine stab in the wine game on a primary level and go out and hang their hat on a patch of fruit in the woolly Macedon Ranges; pick it, crush it, blend it, bottle it, market it, sell it and finally chase over-due invoices. The fruits of their labour is the Viñero Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2010. A wine by two sommeliers; Matt Brooke and Liam O'Brien.

A dirty red in the glass with a faint translucency, the wine throws a great mix of spice a green sappiness on the nose - partial whole bunch I suppose. The palate is what I would call effeminate and long; supple musk stick/red skin on the front palate with more brown spices woven in with tort acid and super-fine tannins.

This is a wine though that if you do not have any now, you probably wont be getting any. I was fortunate enough to grab a few before they all went down the road at Albert Street.

Drink with grilled spatchcock of quail
Drink till 2017
Screwcap 13.5%v/v

Saturday, August 11, 2012

By Farr Geelong Sangreal Pinot Noir 2009

I think the last time I blogged about a By Farr wine, Tout Pres I think, I likened it to a Pommard with the wine delivering a supurb mix of power and elegance. Well they have done it again down in Geelong with the By Farr Geelong Sangreal 2009 simply stunning. Enjoyed last month at Must Wine Bar in Perth on Bastille Day, the wine was simply stunning with prickly semi-ripe fruit woven delicioulsy with game, funk, bacon fat and earth, it has it all. Just stunning.

Drink till 2024
Drink with Beef Bourguignon
Quality cork 13.5%v/v $120 on wine list at Must Wine Bar, Perth

Gioiello Upper Goulburn Merlot 2008

Merlot still gets a bad wrap unfortunately, from that stupid movie 'Sideways' to Neil and Bob on Youtube, Merlot is still the ugly duckling. But we all know what happened to the ugly duckling, it turned in to a majestical beast. Good Merlot too can be a majestical beast; look at the great Right Bank wines like Petrus, Le Pin and Cheval Blanc - all Merlot and all truly unforgettable.

With the soapbox put away, please welcome the Gioiello Upper Goulburn Merlot 2008. Pronounced 'Joy-ello', meaning 'jewell' in Italian, is a wine that came across my bow a few months ago and was penned in to the list when there was a spot. A great colour in the glass, the wine sings with pretty blue fruit with a hint of dusty tannins too come. The palate is a great example of what Merlot is; blueberries, ash, minerality, cedar and acid. And the producers of this wine have done the right thing and released the wine with a bit of bottle age, and not straight away where the real Merlot would not be seen. A ripping wine.

Drink with lamb back-strap
Drink till 2025
Screwcap 13.6%v/v $25 Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ruggerbellus Barossa Valley Efferus 2010

It seems in an ever changing wine landscape, there are some things that are just what they propose to be - wine without the song and dance. Enter the Ruggerbellus Barossa Valley Efferus 2010 Mataro blend.

I reckon I had this about 2 years ago for the first time at Fix in Sydney and was simply drawn to it by it pure simplicity; gorgeous fruit, gorgeous acid and tannin structure and gorgeous length. Gorgeous.

Forward 2 years and it is now a fixture at Albert Street Food & Wine, but don't put it on the burner, there's not much left. So the wine. Deep colour in the glass with an almost black/purplish hue. Massive wafts of black fruit and black olives on the nose with a slight ashed finish, the wine powers in the palate with flavour that ascends ever so lightly and seems to go on for ever; I didn't do a Robert Parker Jnr and time the flavour length - I do have a life thankyou! But I digress. Plenty more black fruit with a slight tinge of green leaf in the acid working its way at the end. Cracking good wine.

Drink with Côte de boeuf with Béarnaise - like I did last night
Drink till 2025
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $42 Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick