Mac Forbes does a nice line in subregional Pinot Noir from the Yarra, but he also does some pretty sweet things with riesling, from the Strathbogie ranges and occasionally Tasmania. This little gem has been on the bench for a while, and opportunity finally presents itself.
Watery pale still, even at over a year of age. A delicate little flower. Some subtle Bickfords lime cordial on the nose with bath salt and light florals to accompany. Sugar cane juice flicked with slatey minerals, lemon rind, lavender, bath powder and a fizzy fruit energy going on. There’s a fullness to complement all this, from a little bit of barrel ferment which i reckon I can smell and taste, and some lees in the steel tank component. But love the drive, and the tiny bit of CO2 that comes out of solution also gives it a bit of zing. Balance is impeccable – the 45g/l sugar sitting across from the 8.2g/l acids. Lipsmacking goodness here. Go find this, or the 2013 version wen it is released. 92/100.
I went to the new location of The Wine Emporium in Brisbane, now situated at the Gasworks complex in Newstead. A slightly smaller floorspace, but still stocked with some tempting wines. This wine was recommended to me, and being cautious about the ’11s, I only bought one. A great nose: minerals and smoke and stalk, but not in a bad way at all. That said, swirling the wine in the glass, it is on the edge, and it made me think it could go either way. Delicate palate, following the nose, sour cherries and dry stalks. Moving to something sweeter with time, and then seemed a bit woody; enimgatic. Nothing stalky or green thank goodness. Very nice. 89 points. Drink 2014-2017
From the Languedoc region in Southern France. A blend of 50% Carignan, 35% Grenache and 15% Mourvedre. An attractive nose; aromatic florals, black fruits, dried mushrooms and meats, spices and stones, herbs. Purple fruits on the palate, dry stones, dark cherry/plummy fruits with a thick streak of minerals to balance; fleshy but with some sinew, and an appealing richness that spanned the palate. A style I like; very nice. 88-89 points. Drinking-wise, doesn’t seem like one to cellar, so short term drinking I think; 2013-2015. 14.5% abv. Sealed under cork.
And so we remain in Scotland, this time on the island of Islay. And it seems the Scots are good at distilling things other than grains – here they do a nice line in Juniper berries.
The Botanist includes the, er, standard 9 Gin infusions (and we all know them by rote. Don’t we?). And then another 22 according to the table below. I have no idea what most of these should taste like, but suffice to say this gin has the barbell thing going on – airy, slightly sweet lemon citrus at one end, and pithy slightly bitter aperitif style herbs accompanying the juniper goodness at the other. I like the flavours, I like them rather a lot. if you like a truly dry style this will be your thing. For me – I’m looking for something to plump out the mid palate a little to make it all flow some more.
About $75 to $90.
And now our tour of the Gin globe moves north to Scotland. Hendricks seems to have a loyal band of followers, and I can see why – there’s a lot to like here, with lovely herbal botanicals balanced by a bit of citrus sweetness. The distinctive elements here are the cucumber and rosepetal distillations, and you’ll find them easily on the nose here. Served with cucumber garnish as suggested, this is an ideal go to gin for most purposes. Our house will always have one methinks. Widely available between $60 and $80.
This has been open overnight and it is certainly showing better for the air time. It has lost much of its disjointedness and now looks much more unified. Spices and rare roast beef, raspberries fruits and some earthiness. The palate is relatively delicate (for a GSM blend at least) and is not one of those gushy and busty Barossa reds. Dry spices, light red fruits, savouriness. Shows the alcohol a bit, not in a burning kind of way, but more slippery and numbing. 14.5% abv. Sealed under cork. $26 from the cellar door. 87 points.
And so my exploration of Gins from countries that can beat us at Rugby continue. England, Scotland, France, and now South Africa. And what an exotic beast this is. Has the usual slew of aromatics – juniper, coriander, citrus peel, angelica root, etc, But it gets a twiggy, earthy note and an undefineable fruit character from the Boabab fruit in the infusion. Want something a little exotic and delish for your sundowner? Give this a try. Cru Bar, James Street, Brisbane. Somewhere around $70.
I have a renewed interest in Mediterrenean varieties as food wines, when pinot noir wont do. This brings me to Turkey Flat – with its Rhone varieties both white and red, and strong vintages in 2010 and 2012.
Raw meat and iron filings first, then dark berries and cedar. Slightly cola like without being overripe. Rich and robust, and has some of the angular hard edges varietal mourvedre can have. Much better with food than without, in this case a paleo T Bone. I wanted to like this more than I did – but I think some more bottle age will do this the world of good. 86/100.
These 07 Fourriers have been troublesome in every way.
Leaking when they arrived. Due to very high fill levels in the winery apparently. Not due to heat exposure in transit.
Sent to Langtons as I have too much wine. Sent back because of the leaking – unsaleable.
So I’m drinking them as quaffers, and so far none of them have been much good. This has been a better outcome than any of the Gevrey Chambertin wines though.
Starts out with plenty of blue purple fruits that give this a plush feel, with some savoury sous bois character. Still has its touches of custard and vanilla oak too. its riper and richer and more forward than you might want from villages Chambolle, and it not a bad wine. Plenty of new world makers would be happy with this at $30, but it just sails on by without leaving a wake, and is somehow its a bit foursquare. 85/100.
I feel like I’ve been quite negative recently in my reviews. This one continues the trend. A blend of x% Shiraz and y% Cabernet; I cannot find the relative proportions. So I was expecting plummy Shiraz and rich berry Cabernet characters, but it was not to be, because for me it was all nutty and creamy oak. Not sure what it is trying to be or where it might be heading. Now don’t get me wrong, it is nice to drink, cuddly and flavoursome and smooth, but it would be nice to see it showing more fruit characters. Mid 80s. Screwcap. 14.0% abv. $35ish from Dan Murphys.