These 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.
I popped into Dans recently to use a gift card from Christmas, and I grabbed a bottle of this wine. A blend of 68% Grenache and 32% Cinsault. Made using approximately 35% whole bunches, and matured on lees for six months in stainless steel and large (600L to 250L) old wood prior to bottling without filtration. No wood, all good.
A bright red in colour. A lovely fruity nose, cherries, cranberries, red currants and touch of mulberries, with some lifted herbal florals. A very soft palate, gentle fruits and minimal tannins. Cherries again, with spices and some bay leaf savouriness. A clean dry finish. 13.5% abv. Screwcap. $25.65. 86 points. Drink now.
Flat cola and red fruits, a touch of stalks, spices and a weird confection reminiscent of Pascall milk bottles. Nice texture on the palate, a mouth filling broadness, cherries and a liqueur character. Tang through the mid-palate and on the finish. An interesting and enjoyable wine; though not quite what I was expecting from a Sangiovese. Sealed with cork under wax. RRP in the $20s or early $30 (from memory). 13.6% abv. 89 points.
I’m going to do this wrong way round, because the point score is the least interesting thing about this wine. 88 or 89 book club points, ‘cos this really is very good, and worth your attention for a little over twenty bucks.
It looks like some very interesting things are going on in Mclaren Vale with Italian varietals, both red and white. Coriole have been into this for more than two decades, and are making giant strides with their sangiovese in particular. But now – here come the whites. Fiano is a great example of the new things going on white could bring white wine back into the frame in the Vale. Olivers Taranga make a particularly good one.
And what an interesting wine this is. Fresh and so mediterrenean. Lemon rind and pine nut according to the winery spiel, I also get rockmelon and lime. And yet texturally this is built on texture rather than acids, with mid palate roundness followed by phenolic grip on the finish which gives it decent length and keeps things fresh.
Lovely summers day drink, only 12.5% ABV and sealed under Stelvin Luxe. Insert this wine where others might choose sauvignon blanc, stroke your chin wisely, and watch others in awe of your eclectic knowledge.
It is a few years since I’ve bought any Beaujolais, so all of the stuff on the table now has a few years on it. An inviting nose, cherries and iron filings, sweet florals, leathery spices, a touch of sarsaparilla root. This is followed by a beautiful savoury palate, red fruits and medium tannins, some tomato-y acid. A cheapie from Burgaud, but I am very satisfied. Travelling well. Sealed under cork. 12.5% abv. Drink 2015-2019+. 88 points.
Rick Burge is a 3rd generation winemaker in the Barossa, hence the name of the wine, and is quickly approaching 40 years as the chief winemaker. This wine is a blend of 55% Shiraz from the Draycott and Olive Hill blocks, and 24% Mourvedre and 21% Grenache from Olive Hill. On the nose, dusty spices and warm cuddly fruits; plums, mulberries, dark cherries and cinnamon. The palate is soft and smooth, plums and leathery characters. Very easy drinking. Still has plenty of stuffing, so should go a bit further. 14.5% abv. Sealed successfully under cork. Drink 2015-2020. 89 points.
Made from fruit from vineyards in the Bethany and Marananga districts in the Barossa Valley. The Bethany parcel was put in a small fermenter without a single grape being crushed, making it 100% whole bunch. The Marananga parcel was 50% whole bunch. Fermented with wild yeasts.
Initially quite herbal and stalky. Bright and crunchy palate, light red fruits and stalky, cherries and cranberries, some smokiness, and a full rounded mouthfeel. With time, the fruit came to the fore and I noticed the stalk less and less. Very different aromatically and texturally to a standard Barossa Grenache. Might be a wine that will divide opinion. RRP $35. Sealed under screwcap. Not a keeper; drink 2015-2016. 87 points.
100% Semillon from Kangaroo island. Seriously. Despite the silly name (which has its roots in Kangaroo Island history).
Made by Jacques Lurton, of THAT Lurton Family (the Chateau Cheval Blanc one), of his vineyard on Bark Hut Road on Kangaroo island, South Australia. And what a cracker this is. Its seen some time in barrel, Which lends some creamy nougat smells and tastes to honeysuckle, cashew, and oyster shell. Its pierced by fine needles of lemon acid, and orange rind and pith, along with hints at barrel ferment in oyster shell and wet wool. Only fault to find is that in among the length of the finish is a little bit of warmth which might come from the 14% alcohol.
Alive and fresh. Tasty and food friendly. Has the stuffing to age a few years too, but its delicious now. Will handle white meat or seafood dishes with some weight to them.
Happy New Year and all that! Not many posts from me recently, and no, I haven’t been on the wagon; just lazy. Here’s hoping for a more productive 2015, at least tasting notes-wise. This is the second bottle of this bottle in last 2 days, and it has been consistently good. Raspberry and cherry fruits, red liquorice, clean earth, cloves and some meatiness. A lovely palate too; a mix of fruit freshness and aged earthy and savoury characters. Some spice and acid on the finish. Medium bodied. Right in the zone, well, at least it is for me. Drink now. 14.0% abv. Sealed under Screwcap. 92 points.
Writing tasting notes with no knowledge of whats in the bottle is a touch more challenging. My first reactions here were that this was a southern Rhone white with its smoky gunflint characters. There’s also ripe citrus and tropicals which could be a number of varieties accompanied by creamy nougat akin to Chardonnay, and the piquant acid on the finish reflects the one grape I know is in this wine – Chenin Blanc.
Which makes it a complete package. Really enjoyable for its fruit driven melange of flavours, gunflint complexity, body and freshness of finish. An excellent match with cold cuts and salad. From Swartland in South Africa. Imported by Eurocentric Wines http://www.eurocentricwine.com.au
Seek it out. 91/100.
PS the blend? Chenin Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Viognier, Verdelho, Semillon Blanc, Semillon Gris.