Monkey 47 Gin

monkey47Marconi 46…Monkey 47.  Hard to got but I’ve got to say – worth it.

From the Black Forest i nsouthern Germany, with a quaint story surrounding its origins, take a look at their website for the whole thing.

47 botanicals indeed, this is rioutously complex aromatically, very much on the herbal gin camp, not particularly juniper forward nor citrus dominated.  Lots of brown spice nuance, white and yellow florals, all sorts of tangy pithy citrusy wafts. Wow it balances well.  Great lift from the 47% alcohol too, fabulous lift and punch.

A gin for sipping neat.  Don’t trouble it with tonic water or vermouth.  Excellent, even if pricey at about $100 for a 500ml bottle.

Posted in Germany, Gin, Notes, over $100 | Leave a comment

2015 Mac Forbes RS29 Riesling


Seem to be tasting a lot of Mac Forbes wines of late.  But so be it, they are generally very tasty. And this Riesling really stands out, both for being different to the Australian bone dry norm, and for just being bloody good.

A delicate, talcy peach fuzz nose, leading to a textured palate with a lot to say – lemon curd and lime pith fruit witgh floral, almost rosewater lift. A trace of barrel treatment  and that 29 grams of residual sugar in a rounded textured point of view that tames the acids and makes this oh so slurpable in its youth.  Fabulous length and phenolics on the finish too.  Ripping good wine to drink now, and should age for a little while too.

10% alcohol, 29g/l residual sugar, PH 3.1 and a TA above 9g/l.

Classy.  92 BCP.

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

Mac Forbes EB18 P3

MacforbesEB18P3 means Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Gris, exact blend unknown.  Made to be bright and fresh, with a little bit of whole bunch action for some complexity.

And it works a treat.  Watermelon pale to look at, and smells of red berries with that little bit of stalk spice, its a treat to slurp on.  Red berries, creamy textural elements cut by fresh redcurrant acids, a little funk and pinot sap, and the right amount of pippy tannin to make this refreshing and fun as well as academically interesting.

Really good.  88 BCP.

Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, Notes, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Pinot Noir, Price, Wine, Yarra Valley | Leave a comment

Larmandier Bernier Longitude Extra Brut Blanc de Blanc

larmandier longitudeTried this at an in store before Christmas and it stood out for its depth and complexity.  A “sitting down” champagne, where the Latitude is the “standing up” version.

It always befuddles me that blanc de blanc wines can show red berry flavours but there you go.  Among the brioche, lemon curd white peach there they are.  The expressive bead really present the lot to you in a restrained yet powerful way on a lovely understated acid backbone.  Relatively low dosage on this keeps it taut and full of energy.  Lovely wine.  made from all Premier Cru vineyards.  92 BCP.

Posted in $50 to $100, Champagne, Chardonnay, France, Notes, Wine | Leave a comment

Poli Marconi Gin

marconiSo when you don’t have Monkey 47, you have Marconi 46!

Gin names and numbers seem to go together – 1, 3, four, 1 & 9, 46, 47.  This one is distilled in Italy and came recommended for its juniper and pine needle characters, and it certainly has both of those in spades.

Jacopo Poli is a grappa distillery in Veneto, so I’m guessing thats where the base spirit comes from here.  This is quite lifted and almost floral to smell, but after that, just like the website says, it goes balsamic pretty quickly.  Juniper for sure, a floral coriander lift mid palate, theres a grape pip thing going on among the spices, and then a resinous, quinine like pine needle finish.  Indeed the botanicals are juniper berries, muscat grapes, mountain pine, cembra pine, mint, coriander and cardamom.

Strikingly characterful, this isn’t going to please everyone, but it sure makes one nice, refreshing G & T.

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

Pagan Quince Cider

pagan quinceThere is a liquor merchant in Brisbane – Craft – thats run by Tony Harper who I have known for a long time.  Its a fascinating shop to visit – home of the artisanal, small make alcohol of all sorts.  And  despite my love of all things wine, I’m fairly certain I have spent more $ on non wine beverages from Craft than on wine.

Here is one of those non wine beverages, and its quite out of the box.  We happened to be at the pagan cellar door the day they opened on 27 December 2013 in the Huon Valley just south of Hobart. We got an insight into what they try to achieve with cider and how they go about things – natural as possible, no sugar additions, no tricky oak or leesy stuff.  In this case, cider made from quinces,   Coppery salmon coloured, an initial yeasty smell in the head upon pouring.  Then its about the fruit – quinces, over a clean apple cider base (I think?).  Its a refreshing tipple, made off dry in a clean fruit driven style that has texture and seems to capture pulp skin and seeds. And then the finish arrives – tannin.

Never seen such a wine like structure in a Cider.  8% ABV and somewhere between $20 and $30 for a 750ml bottle.  Set aside any preconceptions and search this out.

Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, Cider, Notes, Price, Tasmania | Leave a comment

The London No 1 Gin

London_No._1_Blue_Gin_295445My first blue gin.  Note carefully – not a “London Dry” despite having the usual list of botanicals and actually being distilled in London, but it also includes almonds which give this more of a palate roundness, and licorice root – an ingredient I don’t favour so much.

It is richer and rounder flavoured, helpful as the 47% alcohol is quite a kick here.  Lots of spice to this followed by that licorice, with juniper well in the background.

Style preference is for more juniper less licorice, along the lines of the No 3 (the square green bottled one from Berry Brothers and Rudd).  In a G & T, this works better served slightly less strong.

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

2008 Louis Boillot Volnay 1er Caillerets

boillot cailleretsI’m posting this to prove I don’t score everything between 87 and 92 BCP.

Geez Louise, this is awful.  Raspy in its acidity, bitterly tannic, underfruited.  Maybe some bacterial spoilage in there as well giving everything that just-too-ripe green edge.

Unclear whether there are one or two faults here or whether its just woefully made.  What a shame, the same producers 2008 Chambolle Musigny village was quite pleasant.

78 BCP – I don’t speak the sub 80 point language very well.

Posted in $50 to $100, Burgundy, France, Notes, Pinot Noir, Wine | Leave a comment

2011 Felton Road Bannockburn Riesling

FeltonRoad_Bannockburn_RIESLINGBeing an off dry riesling fancier, I’m quite partial to the Felton Road releases, and this is no exception.

At a really nice stage development stage.  Bursting with pulpy, pippy lime and lemon fruits, touched with green herbs and spice. The balancing  sweetness is counterpoint to some striking phenolics – usual riesling acids plus some fruit tannin elements.  Great fruit, great backbone, this should continue to be lovely for quite a lot of years.  World class and mirrors the quality vintages either side.  In giving 92 BCP I’m rating it with the best of German Kabinetts.

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

2002 Seppelt St Peters Shiraz

seppelt st peters 2002

I wen thorugh a phase with these, I bought a lot from the 1997 to 2004 vintages.  Then we visited the cellar door and heard first hand what the corporate owners were doing to Seppelt, and decided to stop supporting them.  What a shame – a brilliant Western Victorian operation swallowed by corporate greed and the destruction of the heritage continues to this day with the winery facility being divested separately from vines and brand.

Still plenty of fresh purple colour about this although bricking a little now.  Cola, prune, black olive, coffee grounds to smell lots going on in that ripe oaked corner of the world.  But its restrained, and on the palate this shows as bright and fresh for a 13 year old. Cedary plums, wintergreen and szechuan pepper, then cherries, some classy oak still showing and then cracked pepper.  Tannins are near resolved within a comfortable, leather chair finish.    In excellent nick and a tasty drop with a joint of meat. Could go for years more if you really want, but probably at its most excellent peak now.

If I’m going to drink a Shiraz with a hunk of meat it should look like this.  91 BCP

Posted in $50 to $100, Australia, Great Western, Notes, Price, Shiraz, Wine | Leave a comment