Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mac Forbes Strathbogie Ranges RS16 Riesling 2013

A most stunning wine. Ginger, wax, subtle brine, bruised pear. Its got 16 grams residual sugar per litre - hence the RS16 - but you wouldn't know it if it wasn't there. A most beautiful wine in a time where most Australian Rieslings are bone dry and void of any flavour profile. Mac Forbes Strathbogie Ranges RS16 Riesling 2013. Stunning.

Drink with coconut and ginger poached scallops
Drink till 2016
Screwcap 12.5%v/v $32 Seddon Wine Store

Renato Ratti Piedmont Dolcetto D'Alba Colombe DOCG 2010

Ernest Hemingway wrote the classic WWI novel, 'A Farewell to Arms' where he chronicled his time as an ambulance driver in the Italian army. It is one of my favourite books. Early in the book Hemingway, in great, detail describes and then mocks the many beautiful army uniforms that the Italians were famous for, but not their fighting. If only Hemingway got a load of the is.

The Renato Ratti Piedmont Dolcetto D'Alba Colombe DOCG 2010, with the splendid army uniform circa the Napoleonic War, is all finesse and style but still has the mongrel and grunt to hold it s own on any front. Dusty garnet in the glass, the nose throws up earth and spice, tart dark fruit with as hint of bitter chocolate. The palate is pretty much more of the nose with tart dark fruit - think prickly plums, spice and earth all kept in tune with seamless acid and tannin balance. I love it!!!

Drink with bloody lamb
Drink till 2018
Quality cork 13%v/v $35 Seddon Wine Store

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Witness Point Yarra Valley Shiraz 2012

If you are in Melbourne today then yes, Melbourne weather sucks!!!

Now I've got that sorted, lets talk smokin hot wine. The Witness Point Yarra Valley Shiraz 2012. This is made from fruit declassified from the Thousand Candles project, but to be honest, and I said this to the rep when showed the wine - the Thousand Candles - that I much preferred the Witness Point Shiraz, and at a fraction of the cost too boot.

The nose shoots a quick whack of green edginess, but I like that, with tart and crisp blackberry following. The palate is all racey acid and tight fine tannins with bursts of peppercorn flowers, more tart blackberry and a hint of black licorice.

Cannot wait to see the fish John West rejects next year.

Drink with chilli beef snags
Drink till 2015
Screwcap 12.5%v/v $22 Seddon Wine Store

Saturday, November 30, 2013

BK Adelaide Hills Cult Syrah 2012

Last year this wine, the 2011 version, was my wine of the year. Could it be two years running? The BK Adelaide Hills Cult Syrah 2012 is a wine that I believe giving the Adelaide Hills a really bloody good name. Seriously. Blackberry - think Marengo wild if you've been down there, otherwise just think stonkingly good blackberries - earth and spice with a long line of savoury soy and green edgeness. really, its super-great and if I can give a wine like the 2011 the gong for last year, just imagine what this is like coming from a schmicko year. Anyway, I love and dig it.

Drink with sticky beef short ribs
Drink till 2018
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $30 Seddon Wine Store

Lucien Muzard & Fils Bourgogne 2010

A very New World Old World this wine. The Lucien Muzard & Fils Bourgogne 2010 is one of the most generous Bourgogne's I have had ever I think with plenty of fruit forward red and black fruit aka Central Otago, and seamless earth and spice all held check by effortless acid balance. Geez, just got a bit glossy mag on you didn't I. In short (like me) a super impressive Pinot with all the bells and whistles for Burgundy's entry level tipple.

Drink with rare beef steak sanga
Drink till 2016
Screwcap - finally France, well done; 12.5%v/v $33 Seddon Wine Store

Storagiste - A love story

Rory loves Barney. Barney loves Rory. The Story loves Garagiste and begat Storagiste. I should write smoochy-smoochy books I reckon.

A field blend jobby from Rory of The Story and Barn of Garagiste; The Storagiste Henty and sundry Chardonnay/Riesling/Pinot Gris/Gewurzt 2013 - its smashing and smashable all in one with great notes from all four varieties - real Turkish delight, citrus, pear, wax, kumquat. Get it on Vagabond!!!

Drink with a crab sandwich
Drink now
Screwcap 12%v/v $23 Seddon Wine Store

Punch Bannockburn Friends of Punch Syrah 2010

A couple of Mondays I shuffled on down to the Imbibo annual everything-on-show day at the Fitzroy Bowls Club. I got there early so I could get away earlyish. Yeah-Nah. After all was said and done I was the last one to leave at 7.30 where a group of us went down to The Builders Arms on Gertrude Street and well, you know - dusty the next day.

Anywhoo, there were wines aplenty and this was one of my picks; the Punch Bannockburn Friends of Punch Syrah 2010. Everything about this wine rocks, and I'm loathe to say it cos Bannockburn has its own terroir, but this is very Cornas; slate, earth, blackberry, black olive tapanade and soy sauce. Yep, soy sauce. Its delish!!!

And Cath and Beth, youse ace!!!

Drink with bloody lamb
Drink till 2018
Screwcap 12%v/v about $38ish

Millton Gisborne Te Arai Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2011

Its been a big November I tell ya....

I just love Chenin Blanc and I love this producer and this is such a beautiful wine. The Millton Gisborne Te Arai Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2011 is all about purity of fruit and balanced acid and phenolic mouth feel; orange citrus - mandarin, tangerine and kumquat all laced together with delicious rich loquat and balanced white phenolics and acid. Its great and its Biodynamic too boot!! Bonza stuff.

Drink with chilli grilled chicken
Drink till 2015
Screwcap 11.5%v/v $26 Seddon Wine Store

Monday, November 4, 2013

Robert Johnson Alan Veitch Adelaide Hills Merlot 2010

This is a wine for Neil and Bob.

A beautiful wine this one. The Robert Johnson Alan Veitch Adelaide Hills Merlot 2010 is a wonderfully structured wine with layers of blue fruit, terracotta and tilled earth on the nose. The palate follows suit with blueberries having a very cooling effect on the primary palate which is then followed by subtle tannins with more blue fruit at the back. Not just a super wine, a super Merlot.

Drink with lamb and rosemary sausages
Drink till 2018
Screwcap 14%v/v $29 Seddon Wine Store

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tscharke Barossa Valley Appellation Shiraz 2012

In another Fonzy moment, I was w-w-w-w-w-rong about JABS. The Tscharke Barossa Valley Appellation Shiraz 2012 may be soaking in 15.5%v/v but by golly, you don't see it, rather you see seamless fruit and oak integration with plenty of savoury black olive and blackberry compote all held together fine a fine line of acid and soft chewy tannins. Wow. Who'd have thunk it?

Drink with chargrilled beef, such as image below - a definite Susan
Drink till 2016
Screwcap 15.5%v/v $25 Seddon Wine Store
Gorgeous rib-eye over hot coals

Monday, October 14, 2013

Vinea Marson Heathcote Syrah 2008

As was in August 2011, only William Shakespeare can give it true justice:

My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth and disease;
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,

Th' uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my Love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept, 
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve
Desire is death, which physic did expect.
Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
And frantic mad with evermore unrest;
My thoughts and my discourse as mad men's are,
At random from the truth vainly express'd;
    For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
    Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

Sonnets 147

Brooding. Dark. Blackberries. Black Olive tapanade. Soy Sauce. Balsamic. Lust. Love. Envy. Need. Want.

The Vinea Marson Heathcote Syrah 2008  

Drink till you have licked all residual flecks from the glass
Diam cork 14.5%v/v

Mount Monument Macedon Ranges 2011 Pinot Noir

Another reason how the experts got it wrong. The Mount Monument Macedon Ranges 2011 Pinot Noir is a belter. Yes, as I have said before, 2011 was a very tough year for growers, but it all comes down to vineyard management and how you protect your fruit. I do not know who is in charge at the Mount Monument gaff but they deserve a big pat on the back. And a beer. And a medal. And the week off for that matter.

A great colour in the glass, the wine throws up a great mix of spice, funk and supple tart red fruit. In the palate the wine is swimming with depth of flavour; toasted spice, burnt toffee, tart raspberry and cranberry and perfectly balanced oak.

Again, a super wine from a real tough vintage. Good onya Mount Monument.

Drink with jerk chicken and beetroot salad - a Susan
Drink till 2016
Diam cork 13.5%v/v $32 Seddon Wine Store

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Azienda Agricola il Borghetto Tuscany Montigiano IGT Sangiovese 2010

And the year just keeps going...

Its October. This year is going sop fast. And this year has also been a year of some amazing wine. From this post until the end of the year I will write only about super-sexy stuff. So on that note people, we have a new club house leader. The Azienda Agricola il Borghetto Tuscany Montigiano IGT Sangiovese 2010.

What a wine!!!! A serious wine that in a blind tasting could easily be mistaken for a Burgundy (the winemaker worked at Dujac in Burgundy I was told at the tasting) with plenty of game, earth and funk. The nose starts out with supple spice and tart red fruit, but it is the palate that picks it up with mouth watering acid and fine tannins all holding sway with wet terracotta, toasted spice and more tart red fruit singing singing and singing. Seriously well made wine and a label definitely to look out for down at the Brunswick East Wine Store next year. An Icona Pop wine if ever there was one!!!

Drink with crispy duck breast
Drink till 2018
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $32 at Seddon Wine Store

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Giovanni Almondo Piedmont Roero Arneis 2010

Sometimes you can stick your nose in a glass and wonder and ponder on what you are smelling; citrus, honey, butterscotch, chocolate. Yep, the olfactory is a mysterious thing. But sometimes the aroma just goes bang. The Giovanni Almondo Piedmont Roero Arneis 2010 is such a wine with a wackity-wack-wack of spiced quince; quince baby, where's the cheese I say. But don't drink with cheese, its gotta be pork. That's whats on the menu tonight. Just get it.

Drink with pork - that's a Susan!!!
Drink till 2015
Quality cork 13%v/v $35 Seddon Wine Store

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bindi Heathcote Pyrette Shiraz 2009

Yes. Indulgences.
Full nose. Subtle blackberry conserve primary. Spice comes through. Savoury black olive tapenade. Smmoth fruit. Length. Length. Absolute indulgence. Super length. Not much left. Get it. But not mine.

Drink with char grilled beef - again I know
Drink till 2019
Diam cork 13.5%v/v 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Château Bel Air Saint-Estéphe 2009

Saint-Estéphe. Think the kid at school who always got bullied. When they grew up they became people like Bill Gates, Quentin Bryce and Tim Winton. Saint-Estéphe. The sub-region on the Left Bank that always gets overlooked, but then, Schazamm!!! In your face Haut-Medoc and Paulliac.

Two days later. 

The Château Bel Air Saint-Estéphe 2009 is super sexy on day 1, getting spesh day 2 - just a wee sip though, and all baby-got-back on day 3. Today. Baby-got-back indeed.  The nose is all coco powder with a tinge of pepper corn - think the big tree on Barrow Street in Brunswick if you are in the area. More chocolate on the primary palate with achingly precise cassis and cedar pushing through. Seriously, a great wine now and plenty down the track and a possible new club house leader

Bullies out there, suck on this!!!

Drink with char grilled lamb
Drink till 2020+
Quality cork 13.5%v/v $58 Seddon Wine Store

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fathers Day 2013

A gorgeous start to spring. A ride in the park with the kids and Erin. A super roast chook. A delicious wine - the Giaconda Beechworth Chardonnay 2006 Cette Bouteille porte le No. 4882 ; Developed. Sensual. Beautiful. Stunning. Happy Fathers Day indeed.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Warner Glen Estate Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Its crazy weather out there today and Erin wants me to clip the hedge at the side of the house. Its too windy and I just want to drink this and listen to Paul Weller. The Warner Glen Estate Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 has got cassis, mocha, acid, chewy tannins and is just a real drinkable wine on a day like this one -  a little warm hug in a bottle. And it's just $16!!!

Drink with left over roast beef and Paul Weller on the tunes
Drink till 2015
Screwcap 14%v/v $16 Seddon Wine Store

Saturday, August 17, 2013

New beginnings

The left wall at 472 Lygon Street Brunswick East

Last Monday I signed a lease for 472 Lygon Street Brunswick East. This will be the home to my wine store, the Brunswick East Wine Store. It has been in the planning stage for over 3 years with this location in particular being the ideal location and a location I have been in negotiations since February this year. Now it is mine - trigger all kinds of emotions......

Castelli Frankland River Shiraz 2010

Its lean and tight. It has savoury and ironstone notes with plenty of spice tones too. Its simply fantastic. Its one of the wines of the year for me. Simple. Castelli Frankland River Shiraz 2010. Just get it.

Drink with beef short ribs
Drink till 2018
Screwcap 14.3%v/v $28 Seddon Wine Store

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday anticipation

2.5kg leg of lamb. Almost done...Cinnamon, fennel seed and coriander seed rub. In frifge over night. In the oven at 11am today. 150°C. Almost done...

Heathcote II Heathcote H.D. Shiraz 2009

An infant indeed. Dark and brooding and full of promise. Some wines are not meant for laying down. Some are. This one is. The Heathcote II Heathcote H.D. Shiraz 2009 (H.D. for hand de-stemmed - can you imagine that!!) is brute strength on the 1st day, controlled anger on the 2nd day, presumed beauty on day 3 with elegance and intrigue on dayb 4.  A wine not for these times you might say.

Drink with steal au poivre
Drink 2015-2025+
Quality cork 14.5%v/v $89 http://www.heathcote2.com/

Ettore Germano Piedmont Dolcetto d'Alba 2009

Its turning out to be a Dolcetto year I reckon.

The Ettore Germano Piedmont Dolcetto d'Alba 2009 has had a very good run here in Brunswick this year, and without prejudice will continue to find its way in to our recycling bin. Bright and tart cherry aromas flow primary on the nose with a lick of nougat at the back of the nose. The palate opens up with fine chalky tannins and persistent acid and more cherry flavours flowing from tart to prickly ripe as the bottle develops over the night.

This is a wine for all you Pinot Noir drinkers who are eagerly waiting for the cracking 2012 wines to develop just a little bit more.

Drink with spicy pork sausage
Drink till 2016
Quality cork 13% $29 Seddon Wine Store

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Open truths

Its been just over four years now since I have been writing this blog. When I started the posts came at a great rate of knots. As time went on my life got busier with work and another kiddly-wink, young Henry the little brother to Imogen. And over time the writing got a little bit more adventurous ranging from humour to taking a stand (on more than one occasion) for an industry, hospitality, that I have been involved in now for over 15 years spanning New York, London and here in Melbourne. And with these posts I have had some great responses posted, but I have also have had some nasty responses in the form of emails; these people rather do it in anonymity rather than the public forum.

One of these nasty emails I received today. It was unexpected, stemming from an earlier post this year I can only assume. And it was viscious. Here is a small excert;

"Your manner is sanctamonious (sic) and vengeful. You have no right writing this blog because you are a little nobody that people don't care for and you are somebody that wont be missed when you die little man."


I was fairly stunned and quite hurt actually when I read this email but after going through the text I learnt a little about the author, and then I felt sorry for them. Your truth is to do this in a hidden environment surrounded by your empty bottles of Coche or Penfolds or whatever tipple gets you off. This is your environment. I do not hide behind pseudonym; I have my picture right there on the home page. And I live in Brunswick. Not very anonymous if you ask me.

One other comment the author made in this email was how I am prejudiced and give high scores for money. In the four years doing this blog I have turned down plenty of offers for paid advertising on this blog. In this time I reckon I have accepted maybe 8 bottles en gratis to write a review. Some I have and some I haven't posted. Some just weren't that good. In the end I choose what content is published. In the end this is my blog.

There have been times when I have gone overboard. These posts I have deleted from the blog. But never have I been spiteful or vengeful as the the author of the email stated I was.

It is a shame that people like yourself need to take the time and effort to write such nasty words. I have deleted your letter to me and blocked your email address to my account. What a waste.

Good bye to you.

Matthieu Barret Côtes du Rhône Petit Ours Gris 2010

Ever bet on a horse because of thew colours or the name? If you have you have also chosen your wine because of the label. This label is one of those labels.

Perched just out of reach of the kids at Seddon Wine Store, the Matthieu Barret Côtes du Rhône Petit Ours Gris (little grey bear) 2010 Syrah and Grenache blend is in prime view of us big kids and am happy to say is a constant mover. The nose is full of bright red fruit with sweet raspberry pronounced. The palate has an almost cooling feel about it with more fruit; raspberry, blackberry and licorice allsorts. The mid palate pushes most of the fruit aside with balanced acid and soft chewy tannins cleaning up all and sundry. A good wine and maybe just as fun as putting $2 each way on the jockey wearing the pretty silks.

Drink with lamb casserole
Drink till 2015
Quality cork 13.5%v/v $29 Seddon Wine Store

Monday, July 15, 2013

In a moment of time....

Poured to about two fingers, the glass that sat in front of me was to be just a moment in time. It was a strangers slight glance of the arm walking down the street which stays with you for 40 years and the idea and notion of just what if? To prolong it's existence was achingly difficult; every motion to my mouth was met with the anticipation of Jeff Buckley's haunting sigh at the start of Leonard Cohen's mesmerising 'Hallelujah'. The Chateau-Grillet 2009. Beautiful.

Man O' War Waiheke Island Dreadnought Syrah 2009

It's been a while...

I am not the type of person to shy away from a big statement, or THE big statement, and in a year where there has been some absolute rippers released I'm going to make THE statement that the Man O' War Waiheke Island Dreadnought Syrah 2009 is the wine of the year.

Packed with wafts of white pepper, brown spice and earth on the nose, the Syrah moves in to top gear in the palate with waves of tart prickly fruit, more brown spice in the form of slightly roasted start anise, game, lip smacking minerality and fine tannins and an almost ironstone like blanket drawn across the whole mouth full. There is a lot going on but it is all in harmony. Just brilliant!!!

Drink with char grilled lamb back strap
Drink till 2019
Screwcap 14.5%v/v $42 Seddon Wine Store

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Moondarra Gippsland Beurot Pinot Gris 2012

We hear a lot about terroir in the wine world. We also hear a lot of people compare Australian wines to Burgundy or Champagne or Piedmont. Me included. What we need is to how to use terroir in terms of where the wine comes from and what terroir means to that growing region. Its an open ended question if there ever was one but a question that needs to asked whenever we compare our wines to those of the old world.

Anywhoo, the Moondarra Gippsland Beurot Pinot Gris 2012 is all about, yep thats right, terroir. Coming from a region where the soil is rich with a friable clay soil profile, this wine screams what the vines are grown in. Soil and wet earth. The nose is full of dried porcini mushrooms and wet earth. Its quite amazing really. This just goes on and on and on. Quite amazing actually. In the palate the wine continues with more mushroom flavours with lush layers of checked acid, prickly pear and quince, and finishes with tiny talc-like white tannins. Just a great wine Mr. Prentice.

Drink till 2015
Drink with porcini risotto
Screwcap 11.5%v/v $25 Seddon Wine Store

Cavallotto Piedmont Dolcetto d'Alba 2011

“If it is true that there is no greater sorrow than to remember a
happy time in a state of misery, it is just as true that calling up a
moment of anguish in a tranquil mood, seated quietly at one's desk, is
a source of profound satisfaction.” Primo Levi, The Periodic Table

All things beautiful do not always come from a happy place.

The Cavallotto Piedmont Dolcetto d'Alba 2011, like Primo Levi from near Turin, is a seductive work of tart red cherries and chalky fine tannins that flows in layers and just keeps giving. A beautiful work of art. Yes art. A stunning wine indeed.

Drink with osso bucco
Drink till 2024
Quality cork 13.5%v/v $33 Gertrude Street Enoteca, Fitzroy

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Head Moppa/Barossa Valley The Brunette Syrah 2011

I dream weird dreams I do. I woke this morning having just left a dream where I was at the ear of Malcolm Turnball in the caucus room of a coalition party where I was trying to get him to run against the mad monk, with him just saying why run after him when he'll just trip up in time'. See, weird.

And yes, I digress. The Head Moppa/Barossa Valley The Brunette Syrah 2011 is no contender and has no signs of tripping up. A complex nose of earth, spice and savoury olive and blackberry notes precedes a similar palate combination with earth and olive tapanade the highlight of a complex and compelling flavour profile.

Maybe someone should give Malcolm a glass of this too light a spark.

Drink with Chateaubriand
Drink till 2020
Screwecap 13.5%v/v $55 Seddon Wine Store

Monday, May 27, 2013

Fighting Gully Road Beechworth Shiraz 2010

A good wine speaks for itself. I rather speak for great ones. The Fighting Gully Road Beechworth Shiraz 2010 is super sexy. Soft blackberry notes on the nose are followed with savoury black olive and peppery notes. The palate is a wash with more black fruit and subtle black licorice, but it was the spice and savoury undertones that made it all work; white pepper, cassia bark and earth are all present, but not just present, dominant and full. As Ray 'Rabb's' Warren would say, its all about 'lifting and extending'.

If you're going to drink a wine watching the NRL State of Origin, drink this.

Drink with soy and honey chicken wingettes
Drink till 2019
Screwcap 13.9%v/v $30 Seddon Wine Store

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Memories Part I; Vue de monde Pinot Noir by Bindi 2007

Sitting around the chefs table many years ago at Vue de monde the idea of a serious house wine was realised. Bindi from Macedon was going to be the Pinot Noir. This is it's story, or one of its stories - cue Law & Order 'dung dung' tune.

Quite simple - its 2013, yet the wine is still singing. Spice and tart fruit still hold sway with cinnamon and cranberry evident. A smack of toffee is the primary palate with the mid palate all about spice and prickly acid. A cracking wine, but sad to say, all gone. Special one that Dennis!!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Clonakilla Murrumbateman Shiraz Viognier 2009

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”
― John Keats, Endymion: A Poetic Romance

Not knowing how long forever may be, the Clonakilla Murrumbateman Shiraz Viognier 2009 was, and will be no doubt, a thing of beauty. Opened and finished last Saturday night, all I could write was 'majestic'. You're a good egg Mr. Kirk. More beauty please.

Drink with something stonkingly good
Drink till 2025+
Screwcap 14%v/v $105 Seddon Wine Store

Monday, May 13, 2013

Yves Cuilleron à Chavanay Rhône Valley Les Vignes d'à Côté Roussanne 2011 and my French Onion Soup

Sometimes things just work together. Simple ideas that make it obvious. The Yves Cuilleron à Chavanay Rhône Valley Les Vignes d'à Côté Roussanne 2011 and French onion soup work together. Well. Simple. Not together and the Roussanne is just another aromatic wine and the French onion soup is just a viscous and winter warming soup. Together they shine with the wine full of rich honey suckle and soft candied peaches and pears on the nose, the palate continues on this way with touches of prickly stewed pineapple, ginger and plenty of finesse.

I think I have called the end of Summer at least a dozen times. I'm going to call it again because right now it is hailing and 13°C here in downtown Brunswickistan, so this wine and this soup need your attention people. Alone good, together stunning. Simple and delicious pleasures.

My French onion Soup
1 kg brown onions  - sliced
100 grams butter
1 tablespoon of flour
1 litre of water
200 grams Gruyere cheese
1 baguette
salt and pepper

Melt 150grams of butter in a big pot. Slice all onions and add to pot. This needs plenty of stirring and should take up to 20-30 minutes to colour. When you have a decent colour, add flour and continue to stir for a couple of minutes. Add water and 100 grams of Gruyere to melt in soup. Bring to the boil and and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Cut up baguette on an angle and lightly toast. Cover with grated Gruyere cheese and stick under grill and place on top off soup when cheese melted. Bon.

Drink with my French onion soup
Drink till 2015
Diam cork 13%v/v $30 Seddon Wine Store

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kate Hill Tasmanian Pinot Noir 2010

I love winter for its bountiful harvest of root veggies, shrooms and slow roasting meats. I also love winter for deep flavoured and concentrated reds. This is one of those stories.

The Kate Hill Tasmanian Pinot Noir 2010 is dark and brooding and stacked with flavour in all of the right places. Dark ripe cherries on the nose are combined with prickly spice and and a touch of game. The palate starts similar to the nose with heady dark cherries followed instantly with seamless and checked acid. The palate moves along effortlessly with toasted spice notes of cinnamon and cloves. A racy wine this one and drinking stonkingly well right now that's we're in the cool months.

Drink with mushroom risotto
Drink till 2018
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $34 Seddon Wine Store

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Domaine A Stoney Vineyard Coal River Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

A few years ago I posted a blog about Domaine A proclaiming that they were the best Cabernet producers in Australia. A big call some suggested. This post reaffirms that position. The Domaine A Stoney Vineyard Coal River Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 in all intents and purposes may be an entry level wine or second label to many, but for me it stands as one of Australia's premier Cabernet Sauvignons. Simple!

The wine in the glass opens up with characteristic Left Bank wafts of cassis, dried herbal notes and profound  prickly dust. The palate has instant chewy tannins all woven in with layers of cassis, blackberry and tart cherry all washed clean with pitch perfect acid. What a great wine and certainly a no-brainer for these coller months.

Drink with slow cooked lamb shoulder
Drink till 2020+
Diam cork 13.5%v/v $34 Seddon Wine Store

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Moondarra Gippsland Studebaker Pinot Noir 2012

For the cool people:

"We were lounging in a Camden flashback in the commons, splitting a Molson, our sunglasses on,our eyes glazed over, a peeled orange sitting untouched between us on a table, and we'd already read our horoscopes and I was wearing a T-shirt that read IF YOU'RE NOT WASTED THE DAY IS and waiting for my laundry to dry and she was alternating between playing with a pencil and smelling a Thai orchid a secret admirer ha sent her and heavy metal pop - Whitesnake or Glass Tiger - was playing from somewhere where we couldn't figure out and it was driving us nuts and her dealer wasn't coming up until next Tuesday so we were fairly unresponsive toward certain events and in the sky things were getting dark." Bret Easton Ellis Glamorama

Moondarra Gippsland Studebaker Pinot Noir 2012. Its cool. Its now. Its dirty. Its got spunk. Its now. Its what Bret Easton Ellis would make his characters drink if they weren't strong out on xanex. Cool and dirty.

Drink till theres no more
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $32 Seddon Wine Store

Monday, April 29, 2013

A. Rodda Beechworth Cuvée De Chez 2011

Picture the scene if you will.

The camera pans in slowly with clouds lifting from the floor - (narrative)There is a chill in the air. Winter is here (narrative fades). there is a shadowy figure in the foreground with camera now focusing on its silhouette.

Camera pans right suddenly; the silhouette emerges from the cloud; there is a scream somewhere in the distance; the camera searchers for the scream but is drawn to the silhouette. A leg appears, but just the leg. It has a boot and a sock rolled down over the top. There is a ball, a soccer ball.The leg draws back and the camera is now firmly fixed on the leg. A scream enters the air again but the camera does not budge from the leg. The leg move but moves too quick and just like that the ball comes hurtling towards the camera and it smashes with furious force.

The camera is now filming with faint clarity while on its side laying on the ground. The cloud again appears. There is another scream but it is now drowned out by an evil laugh.
Camera fades .....

Thanks for humouring me. The A. Rodda Beechworth Cuvée De Chez 2011 is all dark and mysterious, is made for the cooler months and is made by a guy with a laser sight on his left leg that can find your head from any corner of the winery. Yes Adrian, my head remembers the ball very well ya mongrel!!!

Made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (58%), Petit Verdot (16%), Malbec (13%) and Merlot (12%) this wine is a ripping example of what a Left Bank wine looks like when it is made here, not Bordeaux. Cassis and bitter chocolate dominate the nose with a faint but ever present waft of dusty tannins lurking in the background. The palate is an instant hit of soft furry tannins and blue fruit that is quickly gobbled up by more cassis and bitter chocolate with acid holding everything in sway. An awesome wine and certainly one to look out for at the pointy end of winter. And watch out for his left leg too!!!

A. Rodda Beechworth Cuvée De Chez 2011, the quintesential Christopher Lee of the wine world. Exit stage right....

Drink with bloody lamb chops
Drink till 2019
Screwcap 13%v/v $34 Seddon Wine Store

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pipoli Campania Aglianico 2010

I cannot sleep tonight. Woke up at about 2.30am and have been stuck ever since. So here I am in the study listening to the wine and also watching a stream of Tottenham Hotspurs cracking come from behind win against Cashchester City - Go you Spurs!!!

But we are here for the wine right. The Pipoli Campania Aglianico 2010 is one of those wines that cannot be likened to anything from the new world. Its not shiraz fruit forward.; its not Cabernet tannins and its not Pinot Noir gamey. Its Aglianico. You just gotta try some.

The nose is a combination of dusty black fruit, olive tapanade and ironstone iodine. The palate follows suit with dusty tannins up front which are quickly followed by a big wash of blackberries while all being held tight by an iodine like acid strip. Real complex but real enjoyable, not to mention a bargain to boot!!!

Drink till 2015
Drink with lamb rago
Cork 13.5%v/v $19 Seddon Wine Store

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Kids in the vineyard

Another season is pretty much wrapped up at Bindi. All wine is safely in barrels slowly ticking away and all that is left is leaf-fall. Time for the kids to have a run up in Block K then ...

Savaterre Beechworth Chardonnay 2010

A slap and a kick for being so quick. The result? Savaterre Beechworth Chardonnay 2010.

A fantastic wine. A fantastic chardonnay. Colour is developing quick with a pale yellow coming through; must add that I had this 6 months ago and the colour was still pale straw with a green hue. The nose is a mix of white peach, supple citrus with funky burnt match and white licorice powder. The palate has an instant hit of rich stone fruit of peach and locuts. Citrus acid ties more white peach and licorice powder at the end. All in all, it was a nice stuff up - not by Keppell though.

It;'s still tight and it's got plenty left in the tank.

Drink with braised ling and pancetta
Drink till 2020
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $80 Seddon Wine Store

Monday, April 15, 2013

Home pleasure

It takes just 15 minutes to prepare, 5 minutes to cut and 60 minutes or so to dry. Home made pasta, made with the kids. Happy days!!

Ettore Germano Piedmont Serralunga Barolo 2006

"When viewing the universe as a closed system, it also stands to reason the universe began in a state of high order, and when it ends, will be in a state of extreme disorder." Stephen Hawking on order and disorder.

Order - a full bottle of Ettore Germano Barolo 2006.
Disorder - an empty bottle of Ettore Germano Barolo 2006.

It stands to reason that Stephen Hawking is right. The man has never been wrong in his life. The Ettore Germano Piedmont Serralunga Barolo 2006 is simply quite stunning, and in the life of a Barolo, still very much an infant. Very dusty on the nose, the wine opens up with dusty dry morello cherries, ink, garden herbs and dried flowers. The palate is achingly dry like to nose with more morello cherries, violets and bitter chocolate all woven together by endless acid and tannins. A wonderful, wonderful wine.

Drink with steak au poivre
Drink till 2025+
Quality cork 13.%v/v $90 Seddon Wine Store

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hopworks Organic IPA Pounder

Its been a while, but hey, stuff to do.

This is awesome. Oursum. Oresome. The Hopworks Organic IPA Pounder from the home of craft beer, Portland Oregon is just ripping. It is what it is. It is an Indian Pale Ale. Its hoppy. Its got that great green edge about it. And its in a can; all the hipsters are a fan of the can so tick, tick, tick and tick. I just love it.

Drink with a burger - am right now
Drink now
6.6%v/v 473mL can $25 for a 4 pack at Seddon Wine Store

Monday, March 25, 2013

Heathcote II Heathcote Shiraz 2010

There are some wines which come out of the blue and go whack to the senses. There are  wines that come out of the blue that are projected into cult status because they excite the masses. This is such a wine. The Heathcote II Heathcote Shiraz 2010. Stunning.

I'm going to call it. Heathcote II will enter cult status. Be it this wine or the premium shiraz or the Right Bank Blend Myola, Heathcote II's star is on the rise. I have no doubt. I also have no doubt that the two guys involved, Peder and Lionel, will be spoken of in the same light as Tim Kirk, Michael Dhillon and Rick Kinzbrunner for the immaculate way they treat the fruit from go to woe.

Anywhoo, enough back slapping for the time being. Broodingly dark in the glass, the wine has a lovely perfumed nose up front of soft white pepper and brown spices. The palate is lifted with instant juicy tart blackberry and firm tannins. I will admit here that it wasn't till the second day of this being opened that I tasted the wine for the first time. You see on the day Peder and Lionel came through to show me the wine I was just coming off a bout of food poisoning and my tummy was still quite grumbly, so no wine and a third consecutive AFD if you don't mind!! So more of the second day palate; marzipan, black olives and seamless acid complement the blackberries and tannins that were up front. Stunning length. Stunning.

Drink with medium rare chateaubriand
Drink till 2025+
Quality cork 13.5%v/v $42 Seddon Wine Store

Paul Blanck Pinot D'Alsace 2010

When you work in the wine retail game, you need to be open to all and sundry who want to show you wine or discuss potential opportunity to grab a cracking deal; unlike the restaurant trade, there is no such thing as being in a 'meeting', you are always available. This wine is proof of just such an example - Paul Blanck Pinot D'Alsace 2010

Now I have been familiar with the Paul Blanck wines for some time, but it has been actually that - some time since I have had a look at them, so when Jonathon mentioned that this wine was looking peachy, well that was enough for me and within a week Jeremy and I were going through samples and this one got a massive tick. The nose is all minerality and quinine - think tonic water. The palate is a gentle wave of stone fruit -  subtle white peach, more plentiful minerality in the form of river stone and lingering leesy goodness. Delicious.

So there you go. The next phone call may just be that something special, and instead of fobbing it off, take the time and be surprised to find that wine is there to enjoy, not to avoid.

Drink till 2015
Drink with veal marsala
Screwcap 12.5%v/v $19 Seddon Wine Store