Hawkers IPA

Cloudy Amber.

Creamy bead here. Caramel & toasted grains, citrus pith running through the palate lacing it all together, clean, uncomplicated finish.  No outward sign of the 6.5% alcohol, this is very nicely balanced, easy to contemplate and complex enough to enjoy.  Nice.  $5/btl.

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2011 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese Riesling #8

Aaah, now here’s a spatlese that tastes like a spatlese, not a declassified beerenauslese. 2011 was an “everything in its place” year, and so far has produced wines approachable early.  But this – I’m not so sure its ready.

Lots of sulphur and slate masking the nose, and only a little yellow fruit pokes through.  Passionfruit drenched quinces, little bursts of finger lime, and lime rind, over a gravelly riverstone mineral core, finishing with a trace of blackcurrant buds.  There’s acid in a moderate back palate to boot.  The package is all there but is fairly shy at the moment.  Hard to award more than 87 BCP right now, but revisit after 2020 and this will reward the wait,

Posted in $50 to $100, Germany, Mosel, Notes, Price, Riesling, Varietal/Style, Wine | Leave a comment

2015 Sailor Seeks Horse Pinot Noir

Limpid garnet colour. Some reduction masking the nose so this starts out undergrowthy, but after some breathing, spiced cherry smells at first, evolving to forest berries.  Slippery texture – pepper and spiced cherry , blackcurrant, on a palate that feels coiled and dense.  A long breathe or few years will help this unfurl. Sleek and svelte for the moment, with fine tannins and acids carrying the day. 12.7%.

90 BCP now but has the components to go 90+ in time.

Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, Notes, Pinot Noir, Tasmania, Wine | Leave a comment

2016 Jilly Lone Ranger Nebbiolo

Never did I ever think I’d find a nebbiolo drinkable at 1 year of age, but here it is.  Not just drinkable, interesting and tasty.

I think the fruit for this comes from Toppers Mountain near Tenterfield, a vineyard that is spawning all sorts of interesting things.  The wine is made in Clunes, on the road between Bangalow and Lismore.  And its lovey, fresh interpretation of nebbiolo.

A riot of cherry.  Fresh, macerated, glace.  Alive and energetic,  touched with rosepetal too.  There’s a hard to pin down savouriness, which is somewhere between mulch and mushrooms, along with green herbs ( a positive), and almond skin like tannins which arrive on the back palate.  Really feels like its made in the vineyard, cant find an awful lot of winemaking or oak here, and all the better for that.

Yes the image is for the 2015, but the 2016 is the same.

13% ABV.  about $45 i think.    Drink now –  fresh and vibrant. 89 BCP.

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Balter Pilsener

Another from Mick Fanning’s brewery, and once again a tasty drop.

Mid yellow gold. Subtle yellow fruit aromatics and taste, creamy mid palate, ever so lightly bitter pine needle hoppiness leading into  a surprising tongue coating finish that seems to have a trace of aniseed to it.  Fresh and clean, very sessionable.

Spendy at $18 for a 4 pack, but worth a look.

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2015 Grace Koshu

So here is the untaggable wine.  Made from the Koshu grape, in the Katsunuma village in the Yamanashi prefecture in Japan. Fabulous wine to mess with peoples heads in options games, but a seriously good drink in its own right.

To frame this – think Vermentino or perhaps Pinot Blanc.  It is a delicate thing, pine nuts, fennel leaves, touched by some gingery spice, wafts of citrus, beeswax. Minerally palate, and nicely balanced acids make this beautifully integrated, fresh and slips down very quickly.

As cliched as this sounds, it would be a bang on match for most sushi or sashimi.  Forget the novelty, this is quality in it own right.  12% ABV.  There are single vineyard renditions available as well.  About $45 retail in Aus.

89 BCP.


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Castagna Aqua Santa

This has been in the fridge for years, waiting for the opportunity.  Such an offbeat wine, so hard to know when to present it.  So I didn’t, I drank it myself.  And what a reward.  This has evolved a lot from the younger version of the wine, to now sit somewhere between oloroso sherry and tokay.  Amber colour stands out in this 500ml clear bottle.  Lots of sweet raisiny fruit, the crystallsied dried mango and apricot and paw paw kind you would expect to cloy, but headed off by a wide swathe of phenolics that help this finish almost dry despite the 100g residual sugar.  It has the leftovers of viognier apricot and ginger, but s now quite secondary and has a woodspice, coffee like element in its finish.  Will work with a lot of foods from nuts through to fruits and possibly even chocolatey desserts.  Seems to be still available at cellar door, although at $110/bottle now!

Stunning eccentricity.  93 BCP.

Posted in $50 to $100, Australia, Beechworth, Notes, Price, Varietal/Style, Wine | Leave a comment

2006 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey Chambertin 1er Champeaux

Fourrier and me.  Me and Fourrier.  i thought I had sold them all after a fairly bitter experience with the 07s and the Australian importers attitude to clearly faulty wines.

But here is this bottle in the cellar, so with a heavy sigh of trepidation I brought it out for a look.

And its good.  Really good in fact.  Bright and breezy opening with a slinky small berry mid palate, and some soy sauce development.  Still going string 24 hours later too, finely moderately tannic, and the modest acids of the vintage. Nicely balanced right now, more development to come if you’re patient.

90 BCP

Posted in Burgundy, France, Notes, over $100, Pinot Noir, Varietal/Style, Wine | Leave a comment

2012 Castagna Adams Rib Red

A Shiraz Nebbiolo Blend made by Adam Castagna, and designed for early drinking.  Or so the early release notes said, however this is indeed worthy of a few years bottle age.

Some dark berry and plummy fruit touched with tobacco and olive, with a redcurrant overtone.  Met nicely by the nebbiolo tannins to make this a great winter food wine.  I like it, and it will be part of my Castagna mixed dozen from time to time!

It will take more ageing but that will just keep it on its plateau rather than improve it.  88 BCP

Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, Beechworth, Nebbiolo, Notes, Shiraz, Varietal/Style, Wine | Leave a comment

2010 Alex Gambal Puligny Montrachet 1er la Garenne

Wow this has darkened up, deep gold already.  Not premoxed though, its lovely white florals and almond paste echo its Puligny origins.  Yellow and orange citrus palate, creamy texture with an undercurrent of phenolics keeping this in line, and despite the butterscotchy advance, this is still well alive and energetic. Some air helps it uncurl.  However I’m skeptical about its prospects – drink now.

90 BCP.

Posted in Burgundy, Chardonnay, France, Notes, over $100, Price, Wine | Leave a comment