Monday, October 20, 2014

Friday Drinks on Radio 4BC 17 October - Top booze worth the $$

Last Friday I had a chat with Ben Davis about the Good Food and Wine Show which hit town.

We also discussed some smart very wines. The ones you'd fork out a little more for. And oh my, they are well worth it!

My picks this week:
d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2010 $65

Seppelts St Peters Grampians Shiraz 2012 $80

Listen in here

(Both wines supplied were samples)

Hahndorf Hill GRU Gruner Veltliner 2014

Larry Jacobs calls this GRU. I reckon it's more like James Bond, a man for all seasons. This is a wine that is sooo tasty and versatile. It's fresh with some texture, personality and it's dangerously smashable. With food or without, you see the bottom of the glass in no time.

This is the fifth vintage of the variety Larry has produced. Due to high yields, three separate harvests took place and each batch was handled differently. That is, different yeasts were used and a combination of cold, warm and wild fermentation took place.

A blend of the three batches, this wine exudes fresh fruits. Think of your fruit bowl and take a whiff. Green apples, pears and stone fruits. Down the hatch and it's more happiness with a little spicy edge and filling flavours. It's just damn tasty booze and you want more, and isn't that what you look for in a good wine?

Get some in your glass. Very good.

Region: Adelaide Hills
RRP: $28
Source: Sample

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Arcadia Bohemia Chardonnay 2013

Whilst I like the label, there's not too much else I like here to be honest.

I've seen this on Vinomofo for sometime and unlike most other wines on this website, it just hangs around week after week. I can only assume they have a bucket load of it and it's not moving.

A friend of mine bought himself some and gave me this bottle to check out. A word I'd use to describe this wine is disjointed. It's all over the shop and had me scratching my head.

This is made by Brendon Keys for Vinomofo with Adelaide Hills fruit. Aromas of chunky oak, over ripe peach plus a whiff of preserved lemon and orange blossom. The palate throws up bitey acid and a waxy sensation. The fruit doesn't match the aromas and leaves a dirty slippery finish in the mouth. The acidity hangs on too and buzzes around. Not pleasant and below average for mine.

Not a wine I'd purchase.

Region: Adelaide Hills
RRP: $15
Source: Gift

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

de iuliis Aged Release Semillon 2007

It's hard to believe that this is seven years old! Whilst quite fresh, it's also dirt cheap for a seven year old of very good quality.

Squeezed lemon jumps out along with a little waxy character. Lightish in the mouth, some honey traits synonymous with aged Semillon are starting to show their hand as is the expected toasty goodness. Lively acid helps it skip around too.

Ready to go now but will easily ride out another five to ten years should you choose to throw it in the cellar.

I'll be heading to the Hunter Valley in December and a couple of these will find their way home with me.

Region: Hunter Valley
RRP: $30
Source: Sample

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2010

I must say I was excited when this arrived at the front door, but then again I was a little nervous.

Excited simply because of intrigue and what a new vintage can bring. Nervous because I did not like the 2009. Not at all.

A slosh into the decanter and whiff gave me a sense of renewal. That skip around like a school girl excitement kinda thing.

This is a wine that keeps coming in waves. A veneered effect perhaps. One highlight peels back the next; first savoury then fruit.
The fruit rises up again before a savoury finish.

Expect dark fruits, mulberries, plums, and earthy characters. Well balanced oak adds further appeal whilst dried herbs and some black olive roll out to a peppery spice finish that has superb hang time.

Some guts here with charismatic appeal. Classy stuff.


Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $65
Source: Sample

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Coldstream Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2013

To put it simply, this is a delicious wine and an excellent example of Chardonnay.

The highlight for me was the layers of flavour which just kept revealing themselves delivering a soft and sophisticated wine.

Loaded with fleshy peach, nectarine and a little toast, the restrained oak an fruit are integrated beautifully yet the fruit finishes on top. Just what you want in a classy drop. And then the nougat hits you right at the death. Yum!

A long and generous finish wrap up a terrific wine, one which I would certainly purchase.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $60
Source: Sample

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Karra Yerta Wines Eden Valley Riesling 2008

I bought a heap of these some time ago when the winery was closing its operation and all stock was being thrown out at crazy prices. All stock has since sold out.

This Riesling comes from 80 year old dry grown vines which were hand picked.

Bang in the middle of its drinking window, this has aged beautifully.

Kero lights the flame, preserved lemons and a dollop of honey. The palate is filled with dense fruit and some textural interest leading to a long finish. Better still, there's plenty of life left in it and I'm pretty pleased I've got a lot more in the bank.

Very good.

Region: Eden Valley
RRP: $??
Source: Cellar Door

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Twisted Gum Shiraz 2012

I dig this. A lot!

Coming from a small vineyard which is all hands on, thick mulch is distributed under vines, minimal herbicide used and zero pesticides are applied. The vines are dry grown which is unique from most vineyards in the Granite Belt region. Only 1900 bottles were produced.

Winemaker Andy Williams take a bow. Juicy red berries and dark cherry fruit cut loose delivering sexy complexity and supple length that just won't go away. Wade through it some more and find a dash of granite minerality hovering in the background.

Available online and at the cellar door.


Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $30
Source: Cellar door tasting

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Drinks on Radio 4BC 3 October - Granite Belt

I was in the Granite Belt region so it was more than appropriate to give the low down.

The vast majority of the wineries are small operators punching out tiny quantities and most of these don't have distribution in the retail market, though this is steadily changing. More and more are becoming available in restaurants too.

The Granite Belt has really hits its straps in the last few years producing some excellent wines which are now being recognised nationally and internationally.

Shiraz, Chardonnay and Mediterranean varieties perform best.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Summit Estate Verdelho 2010

Although Verdelho is quite successful on the Granite Belt, interestingly enough it only accounts for about 5% of the entire vintage.

This is a clean and crisp easy drinking wine offering good refreshment. Tropical fruit is meshed in nicely along with some paw paw aromas. Some varietal spice lingers on the finish.

No wow factor but it suits its purpose. Would I go back for it, probably not.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $18
Source: Cellar door

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