International Chambertin Day – 16 May 2015

Here’s how we celebrated the day:

2010 Faively Bienvenues Batard Montrachet: lots of colour, opens as a buttery oxidative style. White peach cashew fruit still a bit coiled at first, and after the best part of an hour it begins to show more clearly. Rich and powerful and needs time but you’re going to have to like this worked style as it ages.

2008 Coche Dury Mersault Rougeots Cracked wheat tightly wound grapefruit acid. Intense and coiled. Brilliant wine.

2002 Louis Jadot Clos de Beze: Pale red colour. Black fruit, sour cherry persistent red currant acids. Ripe – olive and prune elements to the fruit. Attractive in its ripe way, and persistent in its warm fuzziness.

1978 Clair Dau Clos de Beze. Hessian nose, quiet palate at first, took a good amount of time to throw this off and show its mature integrated structure. Ready to go, but didn’t really grab me.

1929 Doudet Naudin Chambertin: New cork, seems to have been freshened rather than just topped up – acid and some spritz is a surprise for an 86 year old. Delightful to sip on – violet blueberry leather. In really good condition, and quite an attractive drink.

2005 Bouchard Le Chambertin: Way too young. Taut coiled black berries. Rounded and balanced for this very early phase of its life. Plenty of presence, this is going to be a great wine one day.

2007 Bruno Clair Clos de Beze . Slightly stinky and a whiff of nail polish remover. Ever so slightly green oak? Perhaps a vintage related issue there. Density, and presence, but again too young.

 2008 Rousseau Clos de Beze: Black and white pepper. Peppery red fruits, attractive. Taut, then black fruits and pepperiness persists. Closed and a touch short early, but becomes very alive and lifted over time. Wath this wine.

2012 Jadot Clos de Beze: Bright pretty. Once again excruciatingly young, pink and red fruits, lift and high toned. Hard to judge in such youth.

 2001 Dujac Chambolle Musigny Gruenchers: Ooh pretty. Red cherry strawberry and cream, sous bois. Nicely balanced and pretty where the core Chambertin tasting is weighty.

2010 Hudellot Noellat Romanee St Vivant: Stinky and otherwise all locked up. Needed a big decant or about 20 years bottle age.

 1995 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese: 20 years old, just showing its age now. Some Vaseline like elements over the prettiness of its citrus and passionfruit. Clean style, no botrytis.

 2010 Auburn Twilight: This on the other hand loaded with Botrytis, but also shows clean heels.

 66 Warres Vintage Port: Yes, it really did need to stand up and decant for hours more than it got. Starts out very light and floral, and was beginning to build presence as the bottle was drained.

Then back to some dry reds for round 2, although it was past 5.02 by now, and now a root day rather than a flower day:

05 Dujac 1er combottes : also too young and tight. Plummy skinsy goodness under all that. Leave alone for 10 yrs.

07 DRC Echezeaux. Lifted spice. Forest berry. Dense and taut, and balanced, but seemed to me to become just, well, uninteresting.

67 Chateau L’evangile birth year. Very dark label. Didn’t even hit our glasses – pronounced dead.

 09 Pichon Lalande: Pure and fruity, lots of weight compared to pinotfest. Quite attractive with a big piece of beef.

Posted in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Otago, Chardonnay, France, Germany, Mosel, New Zealand, Notes, over $100, Pinot Noir, Portugal, Riesling, Wine | Leave a comment

2013 Goaty Hill Pinot Noir

goaty hill pinot noir$32 – this is pretty good.

Deep garnet, slightly cloudy.  Nose and palate show a little stalk – some whole bunch here?  Also a waft of white pepper among the blackcurrant fruit. Palate follows correctly, almost inky ripe blackcurrant, some pepper and spice again, twang of redcurrant acidity, chewy tannins onto a persistent, dense finish with its core of black berries.  Lovely balance.  Good wine and good value.  89+ book club points.


Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, Notes, Pinot Noir, Price, Tamar Valley, Wine | Leave a comment

2012 Lethbridge Pinot Noir

LethbridgePinotNoir Ooh me likely.  Earthy, red clay.  A sombre, serious looking garnet colour, and truffley earth and plum nose.  Palate is beautifully structured, earth again, raspberry, plum with an oh so delicate waft of peppery, asian spices.  Brooding, sous bois, mossy undergrowth too.  Nicely structured, grippy albeit fine tannins.

Drunk at the same time as the 2013 Holm Oak Wizard (also reviewed here) – others preferred the Holm Oak, I preferred this,  but your mileage may vary.

89+ Book Club Points

Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, Geelong, Notes, Pinot Noir, Price, Wine | Leave a comment

2013 Holm Oak The Wizard Pinot Noir

holm_oak_wizard_pinot_noirTamar Valley, Tasmania.  Turns to the retailer who sold this to me ended up with stock somewhat by accident.  But lets call it serendipity, as this isn’t bad at all.

Strawberry red to pink.  Smells liked cinnamon spiced cherries.  Warm and comforting, with a nice lift to it.  Red cherry, strawberry and cream, sous bois elements, touch of oak char maybe, but this is primarily about concentrated sweet red fruit, and it doesnt show the new oak it was given. Couched in ample fine tannins, albeit a little warm on the finish.  Lovely new world style.  Just either side of $50 – Drink now to 2020.

89 Book Club Points.


Posted in $50 to $100, Australia, Notes, Pinot Noir, Tamar Valley, Wine | 2 Comments

Drinking from the auction pile, part 2

Louis Jadot Vosne Romanee 2004: definite wrongness here, red fruits with a strong whiff of the pyrazines. Body is okay, but the nose is distracting. Stalk and greenness. 82 BCP.

Louis Jadot Vosne Romanee “Les Suchots” 1er cru 2004: more wrongness here, but slightly less wrong; again red fruits with a strong whiff of the pyrazines. Better body, but all the badness of the vintage are evident here. Lester Ross can believe what he likes. 83 BCP

Domaine Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin 2003: a mixed bag: confection, reduction, liquorice all-sorts, baked fruits, dry earth, very weird. Relatively okay on the palate, broad red fruits and woody spice. Hoping this is the last bottle. 84 BCP.

Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin 2004: some wrongness, slightly cleaner and more focused fruit, but swathed in green beans and stalks. Decent length. 84 BCP

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

2012 Sadie Family Skurfberg Chenin Blanc

314587Wow, big ripe wine.

Has some color to it, including maybe some pink flecks.  Floral and almost musky, this shows a lot of orange rind and pith, gingery spice too.  Its rich and mouthfilling, with more ripe elements like honeydew flickering in and out, leaving an almost sweet impression – but that could be the 14.5% ABV.  Acids have a slight almond bitters  tang on the finish.  Very interesting and well made.

89 book club points.

Posted in $50 to $100, Chenin Blanc, Notes, South Africa, Wine | Leave a comment

No 3 London Dry Gin

Berry Bros and Rudd – 3 St James Street.  Hence the name. no3-london-dry-gin-front-hires_3Despite it being distilled in the Netherlands.

Just six botanicals here.  Juniper, Orange peel, grapefruit peel, angelica root, coriander and cardamom.  And they present in precisely that order.  This is clearly a juniper first version, and the bitter edge this gives continues right through the palate.  Simple?  Maybe, but wow, does this present nicely.  Every botanical rings as clear as a bell, right through to the finish where juniper reappears.  The 46% ABV gives an extraordinary lift.  Brilliant gin.  New house favourite.

About $80 – seek it out.

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

Vietti Barbera d’Alba Scarrone Vigna Vecchia 2010

Vietti Barbera d’Alba Scarrone Vigna Vecchia 2010

Ah Grasshopper; another Scarrone VV from Vietti. The board of the Brisbane Book Club have a fondness for this wine, and this is my reward for putting a (small) dent in the auction pile.

A super lovely nose, very complex, cola and florals, cherries and olives, minerals and earth. Savouriness on the palate, initially dominated by minerals, with ripe cherry fruits, mulberries and raspberries. Softened with time. Textured, with great length. Probably needs a couple more years.

Sealed under cork. 14.5% abv. Drink 2017+. 93 BCP.

Posted in $50 to $100, Barbera, Italy, Notes, Piedmont, Price, Varietal/Style, Wine | 2 Comments

2000 Majella Malleea

Its an Anzac Day thing in our house to drink something typically Australian.  Some years MajellaMalleeathat’s a sparkling shiraz, other years its a Cabernet Shiraz blend.  And so this bottle was produced.

2000 was generally regarded as a poor vintage across SA, but Coonawarra fared better than most.  Majella’s flagship wine – a Cabernet Shiraz blend – performed quite well, and I liked this wine rather a lot last time I tasted it in 2011.

And now at 15 years of age, not a lot has changed.  Cabernet mintiness, shiraz chocolate and black olives, and a range of black berry spectrum fruit that are remarkably primary for this age.  Tannins have resolved a little, and there is some cigar box showing now. The overall impression is richness of sweet fruit (and comfortingly this is 13.5% ABV), rather than just hang time and raisiny  ripeness.  However there is an acid line is here which is strong enough to be  disconcerting and throw the wine out of balance.  What a shame.  82 Book Club Points.

Posted in $50 to $100, Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, Notes, Shiraz, Wine | 1 Comment

2012 Circe Hillcrest Road Vineyard Chardonnay

2011_Circe_Hillcrest_Chardonnay__66513.1405356576.386.513From the Red Hill part of the Mornington Peninsula. Made by Dan Buckle.

Has a little colour to it.  Quiet nose, perhaps too cold at this  point, and that shows as the palate evovles over time.  Early, its also a quiet affair, cracked wheat, almond meal, touches of orange citrus.  With warms, more cumquat and oak spice.  This is relatively loose knit and open textured right now, and remains very nicely balanced.  Lovely approachable wine in a rounded new world style, this will match a lot of foods.  Very good – would buy again to sip over the next few years. 90/100.

Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, Chardonnay, Mornington Peninsula, Notes, Wine | Leave a comment