Ministry of Clouds Grenache 2015

Ministry of Clouds Grenache 2015

I recently played a social round of golf at Pacific Golf Club, with a bet on the side with one of our four for a bottle of Grenache. Match-play was the game and I won the day 5&4, sinking a tricky 8 foot downhill putt for par on the 14th, and got a bottle of this wine in return. It comes recommended, and searching online I see the winery is one of the uppering and comerings.

Nice aromatics, red cherries, currants, river stones, roasted peanuts and a light vanilla dustiness. Nice clean linear fruits on the palate, cherries with some dustiness, light glossy confection, quite pristine. Light to medium bodied, which gives it some elegance, and the oak is dialled back to balance the fruit. Not a style I have seen coming out of the McLaren Vale, but I live under a rock, so what would I know. Under screwcap. 14.0% abv. Retails around the $40 mark I believe. 90 BCP.

Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, Grenache, McLaren Vale, Notes, Price, Varietal/Style, Wine | 1 Comment

2009 Etienne Sauzet Puligny Montrachet Champ Gain


A nice Chardonnay for a nice roast chicken.  Well that was the plan…

While this starts white peach, almond meal and cream, it’s a little more forward than you would want, and is a little butterscotch and nectarine.  Very new world in its cut, spiffy in that tone, but I cant help thinking the premox fairy has been here.  Not what a high end white burg should be.   88 BCP on this showing.

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

2015 Chatto Isle Vineyard Pinot Noir

chatto-isle-300x245Pinot Noir with all the fashionable winemaking tricks isnt always my thing – whole bunch, wild yeast, pre ferment cold soak, no fining or filtering, etc.  The Halliday and Hooke reviews are at odds on exactly how much of each, but it tastes like it has had a good selection of them!

It starts with the nose – dynamic lifter, and stalks, smoke and autumn leaves, then some warm plum skins and red flowers.  After a couple of hours some bright cherries start to peek through.  To taste – the intensity is remarkable, iron fist in velvet glove stuff.  All savoury and textural. Dry leaves, brown spice, stemminess, a dash of soy or balsamic, and eventually some forest berry.  Lovely tannins here, gentle and insistent.  Give this a bit of a sleep in the cellar to integrate and settle, and then blossom.

Not quite my thing right now, but within its style this is a very, very good wine.  Sold out now, about $90.  13.5% ABV.   92 BCP.

Posted in $50 to $100, Australia, Notes, Pinot Noir, Price, Tasmania, Varietal/Style, Wine | 1 Comment

2016 Primo Estate Vermentino

Furthering my quest for the unusual.  I think this is Primo Estates first Vermentino, indeed the website talks of buying fruit from a neighbour while their own vineyard comes on stream.

In principle there is a lot to admire here.  Some great work being done in McLaren Vale with italian varities including whites, to make wines that grow well in a warm climate, and go well with the way we consume them.  Fiano and Vermentino are the current love children of this revolution.

This could easily be pinot gris.  Tastes like a fairly neutral wine that has had skin contact.  Musk, lemon drops, and some skinsy ginger. Once again not that exciting really, but will go well with the bistro crowd or at a summer BBQ.  Drink cold.  84 BCP.

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

2015 Primo & Co The Venetian Garganega


I’ve bought these from time to time to satisfy that itch that curiosity brings – to find something nice.  Different.  Unusual.

Joe Grilli often does a nice line in different whites, with his La Biondina Colombard leading the charge for may a year.  And he makes wine in Italy too – this is his white, made from the classic grape used for Soave.

The website talks abotu fresh tropical fruit, minerality and delicacy.  Well, I see it a little differently.  Its still super smashable – but completely unremarkable.  Light pleasant, honeydew and kiwifruit laced palate.  Green pineapple skin.  Finishes short and simple.  Put it on ice and slurp it with a salad at a summer BBQ.  But there are lots of better options out there.

Excellent that site admin has Garganega as a category though.  About $22 from cellar door I think.

82 BCP.

Posted in $20 to $50, Garganega, Italy, Notes, Price, Varietal/Style, Veneto, Wine | Leave a comment

2002 Castagna Genesis

Phwoar, this is good. castagna-genesis-2002

And it has evolved nicely too, its plateau has been a lot longer than expected.  Bright and vibrant still – Red cherry and plum skins, spice and white pepper dusted, redcurrant type acids.  Well resolved now and showing some secondary characters, but still fruit driven and plenty of energy about it.  This just flows beautifully, and the small viognier addition does exactly what it is supposed to in giving it a little lift and brightness. This is on a long slow peak, drink now, or it could hold on for goodness knows how long.

World class Syrah.  94 BCP.

Posted in $50 to $100, Australia, Beechworth, Notes, Price, Shiraz, Varietal/Style, Wine | 3 Comments

2005 Seppelt St Peters Shiraz

seppelt_stpeters_shirazThe last vintage I bought before my attitude towards whichever corporate owner at the time started letting the accountants loose on Seppelt.

Deep red, and has the undergrowthy smell these seem to get with some age, although this vintage doesn’t carry the heavy wintergreen like elements of some others.  Starting to show its leather and cola characters in its silty rich frame and leave its forest berry and red licorice behind.  Nice lines here, and has enough fine tannin structure to go a little while more.  I like it.  90 BCP.

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

2010 Epis Pinot Noir

epis-pinot-noirTranslucent garnet, and it smells of red things – fresh raspberry, rhubarb, salted with strawberry and cream,   laid across its fine bones.  At 6 years of age secondary development has been very good to this – glossy and full textured, still some sappiness, but more soy and forest floor. With time this becomes a little black berry.  Silky forest berries, spicy mid palate, with subtle fine acids and tannins in support as this goes strawberry and cream again on the back palate. Lush and expansive back palate, this has unfurled very nicely and drinking well now.  Should remain balanced as it evolves over time too.  92 BCP.

Posted in $50 to $100, Australia, Macedon, Notes, Pinot Noir, Price, Wine | 1 Comment

2013 Greystone Pinot Noir

greystone-pinot-noirGreystone and Muddy Water now share the same cellar door.  Sign of the times – things aren’t so easy in Waipara.  But that hasnt stopped Greystone making a tidy wine.

Healthy dark cherry colour,  meaty and cake spicy, full ripe cherries.   Lush and round fruit, tannins and acids in a nice place.  So comfortable in its new world shoes.  Touched by some classy wood and perhaps some stems, sticking out just a bit, but nothing to of balance here.  Very tidy.  Tick.  90 BCP.

Posted in $20 to $50, New Zealand, Notes, Pinot Noir, Price, Waipara, Wine | Leave a comment

2010 AJ Adam Dhroner Hofberg Kabinett

weingut-a-j-adam-dhroner-hofberg-riesling-kabinett-mosel-germany-10634877 In the universe of German Riesling there are makers who produce delicate, subtle nuanced wines, and there are those who make power (for riesling, anyway) packages.  This is the latter.

From a vintage that was both ripe and rippling with acidity, 6 years have added depth and richness to a slatey sulphured lime rind and apricot nose, this must be borderline spatlese.  Juicy, pithy orange, slatey goodness, and a chord of acid that rings like a bell to bring in a juicy lipsmacking finish.  High class stuff that still has years ahead of it.  Outstanding. 93 BCP.

Posted in $20 to $50, Germany, Mosel, Notes, Price, Riesling, Wine | Leave a comment