Sunday, November 25, 2012

Paradigm Hill Mornington Peninsula Col's Block Shiraz 2007

A truly captivating wine this one. The Paradigm Hill Mornington Peninsula Col's Block Shiraz 2007 is one of those new world wines that would fit very neatly alongside Northern Rhône gems; Ghislaine Fumat and Allemand Reynard from Cornas were two producers that spring to mind straight away.

One thing that always jumps out in this wine is the long and intense mineral line, once again drawing comparisons to Cornas with its ever present Massif granite that lies just below the top soil. The nose in this wine has certainly developed with a soft coffee note coming through as well as retrained black olive tapanade. The palate sits very cool in the mouth with the acid still holding court along with soft grainy tannins that are followed by even notes of black licorice and black olives. A wine that has got better with age and will again benefit with more cellaring to follow.

Seriously, this wine is so good, if Thom Yorke wanted to make wine he'd want to make this.

Drink with crusted slow roasted lamb
Drink till 2022
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $50ish if you can still find it

Old school

It looks old school. It is. Lamb chops, rosemary and lemon on the BBQ. Simple

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Holyman Tamar River Pinot Noir 2010

It's funny how you go through stages. For a long time it was all about acid, tannins and a super dry style of Pinot Noir. I was a poo-pooer of big, bold and fruity Pinot's. Like I said, you go through stages. I'm a big boy now, so I take it all for what it is, not what I want it to be. Sometimes I like, sometimes I dislike. This one I really liked.

The Holyman Tamar River Pinot Noir 2010 is certainly not a wall flower. This is a wine that yells, 'I'm over here. Look at me'. And it is this bravado that sets it apart from other 'bigger' style Pinot's from across the ditch. Yes it has a wonderful mix of dark and masculine fruit, but it also has a very even balance of acid and soft mineral tannins that leave the palate clean and fresh and not heavy and hot. This a wine that demands food and is a definite Susan to the classic Peking Duck.

And speaking of stages, I'm currently listening to Phil Collins, 'Hello, I must be going...'. Now that's the funky shit.

Drink with Peking Duck
Drink till 2017
Screwcap 14%v/v mid $40's

Monday, November 19, 2012

Craiglee Sunbury Chardonnay 1996

Stonkingly. Good. Stonkingly good. Stonkinglygood. Doesn't matter how you say it. The Craiglee Sunbury Chardonnay 1996 was today's knock off beer at Bindi. But no, beer is really good after a hot day in the vineyard. But anyway.

Who would have thunk it that in 2012 a 16 year old Australian chardonnay would be this good. And youthful. And awesome. In the glass the wine still has a youthful white wine look about it, with just a touch of colour age about it. The nose smells very 1996 with crème caramel with some orange and grapefruit pith. The palate however? 1996 no way! A massive mix of soft butterscotch, creaminess, citrus in the way of pithy and taste, and above all fine and persistent acid. With a wine, and espicially chardonnay, at this age the acid would have pretty much been swallowed up by time. Not here. Acid is all preset here.

One of the best knock off beers I've ever had.

Drink with grilled marron
Drink till 2018
Quality cork 13%v/v

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cascina Morassino Langhe Nebbiolo 2008 DOC

'O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, 
Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse 
Without all hope of day.'
John Milton - Samson Agonistes

Not quite the end of the world stuff, but dark nonetheless. The Cascina Morassino Langhe Nebbiolo 2008 DOC appears almost black in the glass with the hue seemingly black also. The nose is all true Nebbiolo with tar steaming off the surface. The palate, like the nose, is again all Nebbiolo with lip smacking tannins and acid all holding tart red fruit in check. No need to wait for the apocalypse to enjoy this.

Drink with osso bucco
Drink till 2020
Quality cork 13.5%v/v $50 Blackhearts & Sparrows, Fitzroy North

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shobbrook Seppeltsfield Syrah 2010

There's steak on the menu tonight. Erin is off to one of her friends birthdays so steak makes an appearance tonight in my kitchen. The kids will probably have pasta or noodles but steak at about medium rare will suit me just fine.

The wine cellar is a bit skinny lately so I will get to what I'm drinking later, but if I had this gem still in there then it would be an easy option. The Shobbrook Seppeltsfield Syrah 2010. Like the 2008, this wine is very much a part of the new breed of Shiraz/Syrah coming from the Barossa. Yes, there are still wines that are all JABS, but then there are wines such as Shobbrook, Head Wines, and Vinteloper from MacVale who are all creating wines that hold more familiarity to Northern Rhone than South Australia.

So the 2010. Like the 2008 again, very dark in the glass with a faint purple hue. The nose throws up plenty of black olive and black licorice with a lick also of prickly plum. The palate has a super razor sharp acid length going on with tannins that are there, then not, then back. Strange that one. With the aid of a decanter the wine opened up wonderfully with a mix of savoury gaminess, grainy minerality and more prickly plum. Such a great wine.

Drink with porterhouse medium rare
Drink till 2020
Quality cork and wax seal 13.5%v/v mid $40 range Blackhearts & Sparrows, Fitzroy North

Friday, November 16, 2012

Domaine Maurice et Anne-Marie Chapuis Corton-Charlemagne 2004

in•dul•gence    [in-duhl-juhns] Show IPA noun, verb, in•dul•genced, in•dul•genc•ing. noun

1. the act or practice of indulging; gratification of desire.
2. the state of being indulgent.
3. indulgent allowance or tolerance.
4. a catering to someone's mood or whim; humoring: The sick man demanded indulgence as his due.
5. something indulged in: Her favourite indulgence was candy.

Courtesy of

Tick. Tick. Tick. A stunning wine. The Domaine Maurice et Anne-Marie Chapuis Corton-Charlemagne 2004. Hazelnut meal, citrus, white peach, lean minerality. Sexy as a nut. That's it really.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blue Poles Margaret River Teroldego 2011

If I loved continental tigers I'd write a blog on them. If I loved 16th Century Albanian poetry I'd write a blog about that too. The thing is I love wine. Lots of people love wine. Lots of people may also too love 16th Century Albanian poetry, but that may be a stretch I reckon. So when it seems I am almost Robinson Crusoe regarding the next wine, well I just don't get it. Maybe people are just too busy with peace crisis meetings to actually take the time to look at it.

The Blue Poles Margaret River Teroldego 2011 is a step up from its predecessor, the famous 'non vintage' wine from the same producers; well there are only two producers of this variety in Australia who share approximately 4 hectares between them. Very dark in the glass with no real hue to speak of. The nose is very heady and rustic with secondary notes of cedar, lead pencil with big, fat and juicy ripe cherries at the back; there's a lot to love in the nose itself. The palate is laced with a gorgeous line of lip smacking tannins and acid all combined with more secondary flavours such as dried herbs and bitter chocolate. Wonderful rustic goodness I say.

This is a wine that is not predictable in the slightest, and in that may just challenge your local neighbourhood wine expert along the way. Ships ahoy!

Drink with parmigiarna di melanzane - a definite Susan
Drink till 2020
Screwcap 13.8%v/v $30ish

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jamsheed Beechworth Syrah 2011

My body hurts. You see I've just spent the past few days up in vineyard at Bindi; lifting wires, dropping wires, snipping watershoots and leaving watershoots. My body hurts. That was hard work.

Now I could have come home and opened one of the many wines from Bindi I got for being a top bloke, but that would have been a little predictable don't you think! But I wanted something grand. Something schmick. The Jamsheed Beechworth Syrah 2011.

Its only a young wine but by goodness, what a young wine. Blackish purple in the glass, the nose opens up with blackfruit, black licorice and slight olive - black - tapanade. It's the new black you might say. Plenty of minerality up front with acid and silky smooth tannins riding shotgun. The wine is just super. I love it. My body still hurts.

Drink with rare roast beef and horseradish rolls
Drink till 2020
Diam cork with wax seal 13%v/v $44 Blackhearts & Sparrows, Brunswick

Sunday, November 11, 2012

De Iuliis Hunter Valley Aged Release Semillon 2005

If you are in Melbourne this morning, look out the window, it's a stunning day. And on a day like today when all is said and done, when the garden has been sorted, when the washing has dried - from the close line not the drier, and when the kids have exhausted themselves from 4 hours of trampolining, drink this.

The De Iuliis Hunter Valley Aged Release Semillon 2005 is a Melbourne spring day in a bottle. Straw colour in the glass, the nose offers soft hints of honey, white flowers and waxy lanolin. The palate is driven with a mix of lemon and lime citrus sting with an almost whizz-fizz grainy finish. And like a Melbourne spring day, after a while it all changes. On looking at this wine the following day a real toastiness flows through the wine. Just beautiful, like today.

Drink with grilled prawns
Drink till 2015+
Screwcap 11.5%v/v $30ish at Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Paradigm Hill Mornington Peninsula Les Cinq Pinot Noir 2010

So it's over for another 12 months. The Melbourne Cup has been run-and-won and I can once again forget about a career as a professional punter after my worthless box trifecta I spent 2 hours on this morning; seems being smart at maths doesn't work here.

Green Moon. It was written off by the experts after the Caulfield Cup I think. Since a little after 3pm I have been humming a host of songs in my head with 'Green' in the title; 'Green Eyes' by Coldplay, 'Devil with the green eyes' and 'Evergreen' by Matthew Sweet, 'Everything's gone green' by New Order and most of the 'Green Album' by Weezer. But it has been 'Devil with the green eyes' by Matthew Sweet that has stuck. And this stuck too. The Paradigm Hill Mornington Peninsula Les Cinq Pinot Noir 2010 is not green, but it's a wine that if you didn't get any, you'd be green with envy.

This has got to be one of the best ever Pinot Noirs to come from the Peninsula. And I'm not just saying that because George Mihaly is like a defacto dad to me. Not at all. The nose is all seduction with a woven mix of brown spice, tart cranberry and gamey goodness. The palate is a class above anything I have had this year I'd say. Supple and generous acid and stunning tight tannins combine up front that open the way to brambly red fruit, earthy sweetness all flushed along by mouth watering minerality.

My notes got a bit blurred so I'll just leave you with this. Buy it. Drink it. But try sharing it.

Drink with as few people as possible
Drink till 2030
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $85-$90

PS. Good luck with the $100 million jackpot tonight

Monday, November 5, 2012

BK Wines Adelaide Hills Skin n' Bones Pinot Noir 2011

Q. What are the two things you take home with you when you leave a wine store - assuming you have just purchased a bottle of wine?
A. The wine of course, and the receipt. When its natural cork, the receipt is what stands between you and undrinkable wine.

Okidokey then. The BK Wines Adelaide Hills Skin n' Bones Pinot Noir 2011 - second bottle - was a pretty as a picture. Ruby red in the glass, the aroma was a mix of soft strawberries and tart cranberry and raspberry. The palate was brimming with more tart red fruit, little bit of spice, but tart red fruit; that's what the notes say anyway. And the 250 days? Dunno. Maybe on skins. A goodin' for the dollars.

Drink with spicey taco's
Drink till 2015
Natural cork 13.5%v/v $32 Seddon Wine Shop

PS: BK Wines, diam is the new black.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wedgetail Yarra Valley Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

A very pretty wine. The Wedgetail Yarra Valley Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 is everything you want from a Pinot coming from a great vintage; perfume, tart red fruit - think raspberry and cranberry, spice and plenty of acid. It should really be a crowd pleaser, but coming in the high $40's, its not everyone's cup of marmite when it delivers, but just doesn't deliver. All things being equal, a nice wine.

Drink with BBQ quail
Drink till 2016  
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $40+ Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick