Four Pillars Gunpowder Proof Gin

four-pillars_navy-strength_very-lrThe third product from the Yarra Valley based Four Pillars, and what a cracking release!  Not for the faint hearted at 58.8% alcohol, nor for the thin-of-wallet at about $100 delivered to you.

And its not faint of flavour either – the Byron Bay finger limes  added to this give it a real citric lift and a blast of freshness, the turmeric adds body, and there’s also a fresh green nuance that isn’t in the rare dry gin.  The for pillars website nominates dill and cucumber and that’s pretty much spot on.

Brilliantly refreshing, smoothly flavoured, and (as you’d expect), explosive with alcoholic lift.  Brilliant spirit.  Special occasions stuff, and while its the perfect G&T spirit, its good enough to drink neat.

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

2012 Mullineux Swartland White

Looking for something to go with a roast chicken that’s a little out of left field?  Tired of Chardonnay and even Beaujolais as a match.  Well look no further.

mullineux76% Chenin Blanc, 16% Clairette Blanche, 8% Viognier, from Swartland in South Africa.  This is about citrus rind, smoke and spice, and its also about balance and length, and its also about texture.  Well, its about quite a lot, with flavours just right, weight just right, alcohol just right.  Hard to tell what wood treatment it mgiht have seen, as the smokiness, which i tihnk is a Clairette Blanche thing, hides all that, but the structure speaks of little wood.  Brilliant food wine, will work with a lot of white meat dishes and also fresh leafy salads.  Love it.  91/100

Posted in $20 to $50, Chenin Blanc, Notes, Wine | 1 Comment

2013 Stargazer Pinot Noir

Stargazer-BottleI wanted to like this more.  I really did. Tasmania should be making great wine, but I’m underwhelmed almost every time.  Seeing Sam Connew set up shop down there was something of a beacon of hope.

The fruit for this is from the Huon Valley south of Hobart.  It expresses as pure, clean red and black cherries dusted with brown spices, and the palate is glossy and complete, and balanced well with nothing sticking out.  I get a sense of beautiful fruit, and a winemaker who knows not to get in the way.

However there is a confected hint on the front palate which is distracting and detracting.  I’ll recheck in 24 hours, but at this point 88/100.  oodles of potential if the confection dissipates.

24 hours later:  the confection is gone, replaced by a delicate, peppery spice.  Now, this tastes like a young pinot should, and the fruit purity shows much better. It’s balanced and has enough interest to cellar – leave it alone a few years for best results.  89+/100 now

Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, Notes, Pinot Noir, Tasmania, Wine | 4 Comments

2011 Peter Lauer Fass 11 “Schonfels” Riesling

Fass 11 S-Fels-500x500From the Saar, in Germany, and a new name for most Australian drinkers.  This weighs in at 13% alcohol, and would be described and Auslese Feinherb.  Or in English, its made from ripe fruit, and fermented to be just off dry.

And it shows this choice of winemaking very nicely, with the ripeness apparent in gingery, spicy lychees & limes with a hint of pineapple skin, presented in a light, airy fashion that doesn’t always come with this kind of ripeness.  Lovely balance of flavours against ripe acids and textural phenolics.  Excellent choice with food.  And it was still going strong after being open for 8 days!  91/100.

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

Miscellany 11

IMG_0150AFL Grand Final drinkies!  Just posting the lost for now, I’ll add notes and impressions in due course

2013 Mac Forbes EB08 Methode Ancestrale:  A curio made from a fruit salad of varieties.  Methode Ancestrale basically is Methode Champenoise with the disgorgement stage deleted – the wine is bottled with yeast, lees and some RS remaining and secondary ferment takes place in bottle.  This is interesting, full of winery smells and skinsy smells and tastes too.  But seems to finish short – something  to flesh this out would have helped.

Rockford Black Shiraz, 2010 Disgorgement:  A bit mushroomy, and tasted older than it is.  Nice enough, and better fro being lighter on the liqueur in this disgorgement just a touch unexpected.

2011 Jean Chartron St Aubin Murgers  les Dents de Chien:  Buttery, full and rounded.  Not a vineyard I know anything about, but I’m told this is true to type for both vineyard and vintage.

1992 Taltarni Cabernet Sauvignon (not pictured):  Served blind we were asked to guess vintage, and we mostly went for mid 70s.  yes its 22 years old, but it still tasted older.  Disticntly Cabernet though.

2010 Vietti Castiglione Barolo:  Love the profile of these Vietti’s and they seem to have done very nicely in 2010.  Drive and energy in the acids and tannins, and both richness and restraint in the small berried fruit.

2005 Vietti Lazzarito Barolo:  And this is in a whole other place compared to the wine before.  Wow.  Balance and poise, red fruits are beginning to integrate, and nothing sticks out.

2005 Amiot Servelle Chambolle Musigny les Charmes:  Not paying attention by now…

2009 Georges Mugneret Gibourg Chambolle Musigny les Feusselottes: …but I remember liking this a lot more than the Amiot Servelle, which seemed indistinct and undistiguished.

2004 Solaia: And then this happened.  i could tell it was a lovely Cabernet, but opening this during the fourth quarter of a grand final was not a good idea.

2009 Chateau Rieussec:  and then there was this lovely sauternes.  Some coiled up orange marmalade and honeycomb power here,  this is going to blossom into something larger than life in a few years time.

Posted in $50 to $100, Australia, Barossa Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, France, Italy, Nebbiolo, Notes, over $100, Piedmont, Pinot Noir, Price, Pyrenees, Shiraz, Sparkling, Tuscany, Wine | Leave a comment

2012 Pooley Late Harvest Riesling

I thought I had bought the 2013’s but this is a 2012.  2012_Pooley_LHR  I also wish this had a better name than “late harvest”, which fro me conjured up images of some of the sweet muck that was going around in the 70s, which in every way is 40 years apart from this wine.

87g/l residual sugar, 10.4% alcohol, puts it in the middle ground between table wine and dessert wine.  Paired with a pork belly roast, it does the first of those two jobs admirably with flavours to match and acid to cut through the rich fattiness of the pork.  Its very well detailed – white flowers on the nose, pineapple and passionfruit on first sip, nuanced with honey, lime rind, guava, a slatey touch of sulphur and a dusting of cinnamon.  Clean and light on its feet, juicy and delicious, very slurpable and at the same time intellectually stimulating.  Would sit well in a global lineup of this style.  91/100.

Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, Coal River Valley, Notes, Riesling, Wine | Leave a comment

2011 Azienda Agricola Cos Cerasuolo di Vittoria

cecos11_anv800A blend of Nero D’Avola and Frappato from Sicily, presented in a squat, heavy, dark glass bottle.   This is the version aged in steel, not the amphora one, which is denoted “pithos”.

The pink tinged vibrant red says this should be crackling with youthful energy, but this goes somewhere different on the palate – we are well and truly in savouryland.  Smells of cracked wheat, and a grassy meadow with a strawberry and blackberry bush at the other end.  The palate is similarly languid and elegant, with dry spice and softly spoken fruit tannins joining in, and some slightly angular acids on a back palate.  After 24 hours the fruity components come up a bit.  Needs food – antipasti would do.  Just medium weight, and 13% ABV.  Pleasant and well made, just doesn’t float my boat and doesn’t stand out. Would need more intensity and more fruit presence to score higher.  85/100

Posted in $20 to $50, Italy, Notes, Sicily, Wine | Leave a comment

Weekend Drinks

Michel had a special day recently. Here are the highlights:

Youth & structure-excellent

Youth & structure-excellent

Ooh-I could drink buckets of this- deft gentle minerals & perfume

Reminds me of Nyall Decongestant Cough Mixture- I love this olive green port – world class

White flowers - bit of - oak- modern fresh wine - brill

Earthy berry fruit -one of the great wines I have ever had the pleasure to try

Funky -a good wine-but I reckon it is more Ponsot that CDR

Funky -a good wine-but I reckon it is more Ponsot that CDR

Power & minerals- great maker

Power & minerals- great maker

White flowers - bit of - oak- modern fresh wine - brill

White flowers – bit of – oak- modern fresh wine – brill

Ooh-I could drink buckets of this- deft gentle minerals & perfume

Ooh-I could drink buckets of this- deft gentle minerals & perfume

Pretty florals - like this maker

Pretty florals – like this maker

Posted in Notes | 5 Comments

Turkey Flat Butcher’s Block Red 2012

Turkey Flat Butcher's Block Red 2012

A blend of 45% Shiraz, 30% Grenache and 25% Mourvedre from a very good vintage. Consumed over two nights. The notes from the first night aren’t terribly complimentary, but summarising I found it bruising, boozy and badly tempered. Fortunately on the second night it was much improved, showing juicy plums, ripe cherries, bright raspberry fruits and warm spices. The palate was equally luscious, dark berries with a lovely depth of fruit and structure. Full bodied. 14.5% abv. Retails around the $19 mark. 90 points. Needs some time to settle. Drink 2019+.

Posted in Australia, Barossa Valley, Grenache, Mourvedre, Notes, Price, Shiraz, up to $20, Varietal/Style, Wine | Leave a comment

2013 MacForbes EB07 Whole Bunch Riesling

EB07-185x262This is the copper gold colour of those wines your rellies have kept in a cupboard and are now way past it.

Smells of musky rosewater, pickled ginger, white flowers.  Some expectation of sweetness which is a ruse – this is bone dry.Floral, gingery lychees, and a real energy about this.  Oxidative in its stature which reflects the time on skins, and a wildly spicy finish that will entertain you for some time after swallowing, on a finish that is…well…like a red wine. Tannic, mouthfulling and long.

Full of energy this.  Won’t be for everyone.

Posted in $20 to $50, Australia, Notes, Riesling, Wine | Leave a comment