Sunday, January 25, 2015

Taylor's St Andrews Clare Valley Riesling 2012

A friend popped over with this and to help fend off a steamy afternoon, we ripped in.

The vines for this wine were planted in 1892 and all fruit comes from a single vineyard.

It came across more aged than it should have I thought. Those characteristics synonymous with aged Riesling were starting to poke through. Being a 2012, I would have hoped there would still be plenty of freshness retained.

Steely and slatey with some rivers stone minerality, lemon pith is held in line by some honey notes. The acid has softened up but there is still the bones of some tightness there before moving to a long lasting finish.

I enjoyed a couple of glasses but doubt I'd purchase one myself.

Good.

Region: Clare Valley
RRP: $35
Source: Gift

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Seppelt Drumborg Vineyard Chardonnay 2013

Whatever winemakers Adam Carnaby and Mel Chester are doing at Seppelt, I hope it doesn't change. They are pumping out some exciting wines and with this Chardy, here we go again.

One of my favourite wines tasted last year was the Seppelt St Peter's Grampians Shiraz 2012 which I described as a sexy minx. And this wine ain't far behind. It reminds me of Jason Mraz's song Butterfly amongst other things, 'You make my slacks a little tight," he says. Whoa, I just got a little hot under the collar with excitement there.

Coming off vines planted in 1964, this single vineyard wine has a load of white fleshed peach and a creaminess than crawls through the wine in stealth mode. The fruit, a little tight initially, but unravels slowly supported by balanced oak. I get a sense it has a shy personality wanting to hold itself back a little. Subtle cashews and a squeeze of lemon add some more layers of complexity. It's pure and just feels homely and cosy.

All this for only $40! Top stuff and one I'd definitely buy to cellar for the medium term.

Mraz goes on to say, "You got it all." Yep, this sure does.

Excellent.

Region: Henty
RRP: $40
Source: Sample

www.seppelt.com.au

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Cook's Lot #666 Pinot Gris 2014

A good looking wine with a slight bronze appearance, I was looking for the fruit to reveal itself and it took a while.  Some peachy, poached pear and apricot type characters show up but they aren't in your face. Patience is needed. Textured due to some barrel work, there's a good length but the fruit nicks off all too quickly.

Nothing too appealing here for me regrettably.

Region: Orange
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

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Montalto The Eleven Chardonnay 2013

Writing a plethora of notes before evening sticking this in my mouth speaks volumes for the quality of this wine. There's so much going on to arouse the senses.

I had the pleasure of catching up with winemaker Simon Black this time last year and we had a look at this in barrel. I broke into a happy dance as I was unable to mask my excitement. I'm sure Simon was amused coz I can't dance! I was looking forward to the release with much anticipation and the wait was worth it. After a few fist pumps, I can assure you that this is outta this world.

Sure you get citrusy characters and the usual suspects a good Chardy should carry, but this gets going with pickled onion aromas which then morph into something similar to sour dough. Tip it in your mouth and it's like planet funk. Nougat, cashews and almonds add tremendous depth but it's the butterscotch and caramel tease which are my favourite bits. The barrel work really comes to the fore.

It's layered, edgy, satisfying and certainly age-worthy.

Excellent.

Region: Mornington Peninsula
RRP: $55
Source: Sample

www.montalto.com.au

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Cook's Lot #689 Sauvignon Blanc 2014

This is no where near the Sauv Blanc winemaker Duncan Cook has produced in the past. But that's what you get when you have a heap of rain to deal with before vintage.

Passion fruit cheesecake, honeydew melon and snow pea aromas; this is more of a tropical fruit style wine than than asparagus and grassiness savvies out there.

Some textural interest leaves the palate clean, and in all, it's not bad. Not too bad at all. I reckon I could sink a glass pretty easily which equates to many others scoffing the lot.

Good.

Region: Orange
RRP: $18
Source: Sample

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Golden Grove Mourvedre 2011

Another cracker from Ray Costanzo. Gee he is making some tasty booze at the moment and this Mourvedre is right in the slot.

Savoury dried herbs, earthy with a little kitchen spice, there's some smoke, dry mulch and cured meat aromas which really give the wine an edge. The fruit is soft and persistent and just really well weighted. Dusty and a little drying to finish, it's the type of wine you want to drink on a chilly night or perfect for meat dishes. Classy stuff.

It will sit for another ten years in a comfy place. I'd be happy snuggling into a comfy place right now and having another glass to be honest. Check it out online or at the winery.

Very good.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $40
Source: Sample

www.goldengroveestate.com.au

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Leeuwin Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Whoa! A belter!!

And if there was to be a criticism straight off the bat, I reckon some may believe there is too much mint here but I reckon it's in check without going into overkill.

Excellent fruit presence waltzes along nicely with balanced oak. Nothing out of place nor is there anything protruding. Some eucalypt sits nicely in the background too without stealing the show. The wine unfurls nicely in the glass over time and long term cellaring is certainly on the cards.

Outstanding and my pick of the two top Margaret River Cabernet samples tasted recently.

Region: Margaret River
RRP: $70
Source: Sample

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Voyager Estate Cabernet Merlot 2010

Another excellent release from Voyager Estate. This is really smart.

It's easy to see that the best of everything has been thrown at this wine. Black fruits, dark cherries, mulberries and capsicum drive this rich and complex wine. Bay leave has been dragged through this too adding a sexy savoury edge. Mint, dark chocolate and cedar characters work their way in nicely to a super soft and smooth finish.

Hard to resist, it won me over with ease.

Region: Margaret River
RRP: $70
Source: Sample

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Lindeman's Early Harvest Sparkling NV

The marketing push with this wine is the low calorie and low alcohol pitch. The fruit is picked early to achieve the 7.5% alc. Whilst picking early can yield wines which are unripe and hard to drink, this comes across quite well.

Made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir fruit, this wasn't stated on the label and was only discovered after a bit of investigation.

Quite an interesting wine by the simple fact it doesn't really have any aromas nor taste. Yep, you didn't misread that. And yet despite being almost flavourless, there is a smashability to it. It's clean and crisp in the mouth although there is a massive amount of fizz in it.

Hot days and this by the pool (or in the pool) could be friends.

Readily available and often cheaper than the RRP.

Good.

Region: Not specified - South Eastern Australia
RRP: $15
Source: Sample

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Sirromet Vineyard Selection Chardonnay 2014

Sirromet is Queensland's biggest producer of wine. This is their second tier label, and a quick look at the website indicates there is a strong emphasis on sales in Asia with tasting notes translated into another two languages. Not many, if any, other wineries do that to my knowledge.

A muted nose tosses up lemon rind and citrus blossom. The fruit sits on the mid palate and whilst it sits comfortably, there's nothing there to excite. It's more warm than fresh to be honest.

I do think the RRP is inflated for what you get. I had a look at a Chardy last week which shoots for $18 with more work and interest.

Reasonable but not a wine I would lean towards.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $21
Source: Sample

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