2004 JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Auslese Riesling

jj-pruem-riesling-graacher-himmelreich-auslese-2013A special select harvest from one of the gods of Riesling, in the heart of the Mosel Valley, Germany.

I’m just smitten, right from the look of this wine.  11 years old, and it just glows its green tinged pale gold colour.  Vibrant  and rich to smell – ripe peaches, yellow flowers, heather honey and apricots. On first sip this is alive and vibrant and just zings along – just-ripe passionfruit and peach fuzz laced with honey, slicked over its slatey mineral base, and a thrill of green apple acidity to close out the ripeness here and tantalise the back palate for an age.  This is still in its flush of youth at 11 years old, and surely this will last for decades.

Remarkable, world class wine.  95 BCP.

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

Martin Millers Westbourne Strength Gin

Water from Iceland. Botanicals from all over the place.

mm_westbourne_1Westbourne Strength just means 45% ABV instead of 40% in the Standard Martin Millers.

Botanicals here are relatively standard – Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, Liquorice, Root, Cassia Bark, Florentine Iris, then a range of citrus peels.  The Juniper is more dominant than in the standard Martin Millers, reviewed here, thanks to the extra alcohol lift.  The subtle citrus and then the spiced finish remain.  Like this very much indeed – the alcohol and juniper lift really adds something.

Spendy – $120 / bottle.

Posted in Gin, Notes, over $100, Price | 2 Comments

2013 Framingham Gewurztraminer


Gewurz is such a hard variety to make into a broadly appealing wine.  Its often a mouthful of rosepetal and lychee and often highly spiced.

This wine is all those things – white flower nose, lychee and ginger in particular make for an attractive luscious flavour profile. Its also whiskey warm thanks to its 14% alcohol.  Where it misses out is its thick, oily peach nectar texture without the acid cut to balance it, leaving it fat and ripe on the finish.  Such a shame.  Drink now.

85 BCP.

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

2010 AJ Adam Dhroner Hofberg Feinherb Riesling

ajadam feinherbNow here is a post that could go on for an age, as I lament German labelling laws, what i thought Feinherb meant, that Rieslign needs decanting, and the abberant 2010 vintage in the Mosel.

This has been picked very ripe, and shows a lot of marmaladey botrytis on nose and palate. For the geeks – this is Auslese Feinherb.  In fact the ripe, gingery cumquat and apricot, botty flavours dominate, and those familiar with Zind Humbrecht will see some resemblance.  Despite that the palate is just off dry, with the residual sugar showing as a texture rather than sweetness, making this all rich and full, and an easy match for a spicy chicken dish, and this would go well with Thai or even Indian.  At first this finishes quite short, and some breathing is needed  to show the limey white and yellow flower finish on offer.  No sign of the monstrous 2010 acids here.  Drink now if this is your thing.  11.5% ABV, I think this was a nudge over $50.  90 BCP.

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

2014 Clonakilla Chardonnay

2014_chardonnay_01This is one of Clonakilla’s Small Batch selection, made from fruit from Tumbarumba.

It gives the overall impression of being almost painfully dry.  In its apricot stone, mealy way, it gives you a breakfast muesli flavour spectrum of  oats, red apple, milk, before reaching a slightly bitter grapfruit pith acid finish.  Lots of nice components but isn’t all together.  24 hours later this has integrated a bit and is more approachable, bit the bitter grapefruity acids aren’t so attractive.  87 BCP now. Give this a couple of years and you will get better value.

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

Vietti Barbera d’Alba Scarrone 2008

VIetti Barbera d'Alba Scarrone 2008

This is the Scarrone, and not the Scarrone Vigna Vecchia. It is also 7 years old, and I’ve had 3 bottles of this wine this year. And I don’t particularly like it; is it just not particularly good? Would I have liked more it a few years ago? Sometimes, timing is everything. Or am I just plain wrong?

Funky cola and black fruits, dried herbs and some dustiness, but also a dankness, stale dead fruits and a lifelessness that bodes ill; let yourself be warned. The palate is medium bodied, black fruits and minerals, but there is no vibrancy, no spark. Decent length, but dominated by herbs and then stark acidity. Winter in coming. 14,5% abc. Sealed under cork. Drink some time in the past. 84 BCP.

Posted in $50 to $100, Barbera, Italy, Notes, Piedmont, Price, Varietal/Style, Wine | 1 Comment

2015 Mac Forbes EB15 PYT

I Want To Love You (P.Y.T.)
Pretty Young Thing
You Need Some Lovin’ (T.L.C.)
Tender Lovin’ Care
And I’ll Take You There
I Want To Love You (P.Y.T.)
Pretty Young Thing
You Need Some Lovin’ (T.L.C.)
Tender Lovin’ Care!

Aaah, Michael Jackson.  That was always going to happen.

This is a 2015 Yarra Valley shiraz, picked early, dealt with simply, and bottled.  Has a lot of  winery smells among that slightly bubblegummy, CO2 laced effect of wines like this.  Takes a while to show its earthy, black berry shiraz tones, and heaps of delicious fruit tannin.

11.5% ABV, and smashable now.  However I reckon some time in bottle will do it good,

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2007 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Kabinett

willi-schaefer-graacher-domprobst-kabinettWow this has gone nicely.  Database says this is my first look in 6 years and also my last one – double shame.

Eight years old  and still showing freshness and zip among a more tropical fruit expression – passionfruit, cumquat, lime curd.  Some tasty marmalade secondary development, and still with acid and sugar beautifully balanced and linger nearly as long as the smile this brings.  Expect this to take a sinuous development path for a long time, and when it is best is just a matter of personal preference.

Database shows I bought this for $21.  Must be a mistake, that’s outrageously cheap.

Class act.  World class act in fact. 92 BCP

Posted in $20 to $50, Germany, Mosel, Notes, Riesling, Wine | 1 Comment

2010 Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir

This is a gangly uncoordinated teenager in every sense of the word, and there is a requisite amount of patience. NV_FeltonRoad_BANNOCKBURN_PINOT_NOIR

Opens to a warm mushroomy smell of maturing pinot.  Good start.  First taste shows a linear, blocky palate, of raspberry cordial, wood spice, and angular tannins you could trip over.  Really hard work, and very un-Felton Road.

However an hour of breathing works its magic and this begins to come together the way you might expect – all the components work into one with maturing fruit sliding into its finely tannic frame.

Heave a sigh of relief.  But this still isn’t as rewarding as you want a $70ish Pinot Noir to be.

87 BCP – with the caveat that more breathing may have been required.



Posted in $50 to $100, Central Otago, New Zealand, Notes, Pinot Noir, Wine | Leave a comment

La Spinetta Casanova Chianti Riserva 2009

La Spinetta Casanova Chianti Riserva 2009

Malted fruits, cherries, liquorice and five spice, dry woody herbs and faintly stinky. Only faintly. Medium bodied palate, with lovely body and texture, broad fruits spanning the palate, undergrowth and complexity, acid and a firm streak of minerality. Nicely balanced, though perhaps it has a bit too much oak, and lacks some freshness. But it’s not like it isn’t that it says on the box; it is a “Riserva” at all. 14.0% abv. Sealed under Diam, which was nice to see. Price in the mid $30s. Drink 2015-2019. 88 BCP.

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