2010 Felton Road Block 2 Chardonnay

Reviewed the 2011 here:


and the 2010 is a better wine.

Almond meal & milky nougat nose, roasted cashew, orange cumquat, and very first signs of honeyed lemon development, not outdone by a vein of acid which also gives this a juicy moreish character.  Impresses in a barrel ferment, oyster juice kind of way too, and the finish is elegant but persistent and vibrant.  Lovely, lovely, new world interpretation.  Slightly bitter grapefruity, stalky twang as the wine warms is the only distraction I can find.

92 Bookclub points.

Posted in $20 to $50, Central Otago, Chardonnay, New Zealand, Notes, Wine | Leave a comment

1998 Guigal Chateauneuf du Pape

Google:  “Wine match for roast goat”chateauneuf_du_pape nouv_2_Zoom.  Lots of answer that say Syrah or Chateauneuf du Pape.  So here we are – this bottle comes from a dozen that have been in the cellar since 2001.  They have varied a lot but this one in really good condition. Almost no progression of the wine up the cork.  It starts out showing leathery bottle aged characters with orange rind flavours, but after a while these settle to be joined by dried herb, some red-petal floral character, salted plum and brambly berries, with leathery tea leaf on the finish.  At 17 years of age it still has some succulent secondary fruit, but it is drying out and needs food to pair with a tannin dominant finish. As good as its going to get at this stage. $55 on release, seems to be somewhere between $70 and $90 now.

85 Book Club Points, and has rated much higher earlier in its life.

Posted in $50 to $100, France, Grenache, Mourvedre, Notes, Rhone, Shiraz, Wine | 2 Comments

Sipsmith London Dry Gin

We’ve been in our comfort zone with Gins – savouring our favourite Australian sipsmithand International tipples for a little while, and now its time to branch out again.  This time to England, London, Chiswick, to the Sipsmith distillery.

This is a dry gin.  Dried herb and juniper nose on a quality alcohol lift.  Juniper, aniseed and fennel palate, with orange rind and spice showing on a crisp dry finish.

Lovely gin.  Summer G&T drink.  Fever Tree tonic water is perfect (it usually is).  About $80 I think.

Posted in $50 to $100, Gin, Notes | Leave a comment

2007 Bouchard le Corton Grand Cru

bouchard-pere-fils-le-corton-grand-cru-rouge--cortonFrom a 375ml bottle.

Ooh this is nice.  Ruby red and vibrant to look at.  Smells of blue fruit, some spice, tarry traces and cedary oak.  Dense and a little chewy, blueberries, blackcurrant, undergrowth and twiggy savoriness.  Acids still prominent and tannins are edgy – profile is a little Italian in that way.  Lots of stoic power and resilience packed into a balanced, elegant package here.  Still has time to run in the cellar, even in 375 format.  Interestingly – sealed under Diam. $75 for the 375ml bottle n release.

93 Book Club points.

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

2013 MacForbes Hoddles Creek Chardonnay

From the Hoddles Creek Vineyard, at 270m altitude.  Sealed with one of those synthetic cork that MacForbes uses.  Interesting choice – its a seal you cant see until you take of the capsule.

Onto the wine.

Bright, hay colour.  Cracked wheat and lemon nose, accompanied by a little bit of “oyster juice” and nuttiness as it warms.  Immediately striking is the acid line.  Riesling like, at over 8g/l.  A morsel of nougat, cashew nuts, beeswax for the inner mouth perfume too.  Lemon rind and pith, grapefruit and piercing acids carry this through to a long, elegant, lingering finish that ends tight and savoury.  Light on its feet (and 12.5% alcohol) but there is some coiled power here that will take time to unfurl.  Could be Chablis.    Cellar with confidence. Really good.  Really, really good.  I mean it.

92 Book Club points.

Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, Chardonnay, Notes, Wine, Yarra Valley | Leave a comment

2011 Olivers Taranga Sagrantino

OT_sagrantino-117x520Now here’s something you don’t see every day – Sagrantino.

Deep garnet.  Smells of red flowers, coffee grounds, rich blackberry fruit pastilles, spicy sultana and raisins.  Yes it is ripe and full flavoured, but nothing out of control.  Plum skins,  blueberry, boysenberry, salted licorice and almost musky and rosepetal at the front palate.  Plenty of inner mouth perfume, followed by a wash of acid. Cedar oak and plenty of rich fruit tannin.  Warming finish reasonable length.  All presents in order, so give it some time in celalr to integrate.  Nice fro a change of pace, and will be interesting over time.  Remarkable for 2011, as Sagrantino ripens late and noted this doesn’t get much contact with the big thick skins this variety produces.

$40 at cellar door.

89/100 now with upside in good time – and it will need a fair bit of this.  Big on the interesting factor.

Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, McLaren Vale, Notes, Wine | Leave a comment

Miscellany VII

From a dinner for six recently. This is a list with comments recalled a week later, no notes taken at the time.

08 Donnhoff Dellchen Grosses Gewachs Riesling: V Nice – lime rind white flowers, showing a bit of clean botrytis too. Full of life and energy.
11 Jacques Carillon Puligny Montrachet:  Lots of oak masking some cashew and white peach.  Struck match character.  Drying finish.
76 Jayer Gilles Echezeaux:  Still holding on to its fruit nicely, lots of secondary character  of course.
02 Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin Clos de Beze:  Others didn’t like this.  I found it fresh and surprisingly primary, if a bit new world in style.  Approachable now with a load of dense berry fruit, let down by a fair bit of EA and VA.
05 Frederic Esmonin Estournelles St Jacques:  No strong recollections
06 Lucie et August Lignier Charmes Chambertin:  Liked this
12 Mongeard Mugneret Richebourg:  Hugely powerful in a masculine way, and very coiled up.  Needs a long sleep to become as special as it should be
06 Meo Camuzet les Chaumes:  Pretty after the Richebourg.  Bright and lively.  Liked this a lot.
07 Comte de Vogue Chambolle Musigny: (didnt see if this was the standard or the VV?)
10 Aldo Conterno Barolo Francia:  Another wine served way too young and not showing much perfume or palate.  Come back in 10 years or more.
07 Schloss Lieser Niederberger Helden Auslese Goldkapsel Riesling:  Peach and drenched with honey, lime pith, some Lieser tropicals and orange marmalade bot.  Long and satisfying.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

2005 Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier

CLONAKILLA_SHIRAZ_VIOGNIER_2005I think the bottle image is a magnum, but this was an normal bottle.

At 10 years of age this is maturing now, and for me is at its peak.  Starting to show some kid leather and mild cedar characters joining broad plums, small black berries and white pepper.  Savoury and drinkable, still with plenty of sweet fruit to make this a nice all round package.  Lots of integrated length,  tannins well resolved – in a very good place right now as a mature Aus Shiraz.  If you have these, try one now.  92/100.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

2012 Passopisciaro Etna Rosso

passopisciaro2012Whoa  momma – a big structured wine that needs a lot of breathing, a la old school nebbiolo.  Squishy red fruits, a la ripe raspberries ready for jam, a pile of fruit tannin and hessian like savouriness that often goes with TCA in my experience, but this is just savoury expression of Nerello Mascalese to accompany some glossy black berries through to the finish.  All very structurally firm and taut right now, and the warm finish ( its 15.5% ABV ) kind of crashes up against all that.  This really needs a long breathe to present well, and even after 24 hours this is hard going.  I have liked previous vintages a lot more.  About $55 retail.  84/100

Posted in $50 to $100, Italy, Notes, Sicily, Wine | Leave a comment

2012 The Islander Estate “Majestic Plough” Malbec

iev majestic ploughThese wine names are up there with the D’Arenberg ones for silliness.  Quite a juxtaposition with the wines, which are serious.

This is 100% Malbec from Kangaroo Island, and appears to be a variety with promise there.  Its robed in dark purple, and smells dark as well – licorice, black nikko pen, tar, boysenberry, spice, and a touch of fruitcake.  Wow, there’s a lot going on here.

The palate goes the same way.  Its very primary and unevolved, and even now is plush in its boysenberry plumminess.  Well spiced with black pepper to the fore, a slick of licorice and melted tar, lush and assertive at the same time.  All very grippy front palate tannins and a warm comfortable finish of some length.

If you must – sip this slowly with some hard cheese.  If you can – put it away for at least 5 years.  Very promising, nay exciting, wine.  14.0% ABV, $30 cellar door.  89 Book Club points.

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