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Thursday, October 29, 2015

2012 Hayshed Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Hay Shed Hill Cabernet Sauvignon2012 was a strong vintage for the Margaret River, as well as many other regions in Australia. Fruit for this wine all came from the estate vineyard. Grapes were open fermented prior to spending 18 months in good quality french oak.

Ripe dark berry aromas with hints of chocolate and just a touch of mint. Wonderfully balanced and finely structured palate, with well integrated oak. Paired fantastic with braised lamb shanks.

Price:      $30
Source:   CRU Bar and Cellar
Varietal:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    94
Website: www.hayshedhill.com.au




Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2015 Jacob's Creek 'Classic' Riesling

While Riesling in Australia generally has a very favorable ratio of quality to cost, it's still quite impressive to find such an enjoyable wine sitting below 7 dollars. In terms of an everyday-drinking white wine, it's hard to go wrong here. 
A rather floral Riesling, almost leaning towards notes of tropical fruit, there are some nice citrus elements that keep it refreshing. Soft acidity and more lemon and lime flavors on the palate. A good one to keep on hand.
Price:      $6.20
Source:   Dan Murphy's
Varietal:  Riesling
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    89
Website: www.jacobscreek.com




2013 Jed Torrontés

The Torrontés grape is something new to me, and I love it. It's such an interesting and unique aromatic white grape. This particular wine comes from three Australian wine makers who travel to Argentina, the home of Torrontés, each year to produce wines. The Argentinian Torrontés grape is not to be confused with the Spanish grape of the same name, as genetic testing has revealed that it is likely more closely related to Muscat of Alexandria.

Bright floral aromas, carrying plenty of rose petal and jasmine sit alongside a spiciness I really enjoy. It has a backbone of good acidity and a slightly firm, fine finish. South East Asian cuisine seems the natural partner for this wine.

Price:      RRP$25
Source:   Tasting 
Varietal:  Torrontes
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    94
Website: www.jedwines.com

2013 Jed Malbec

Jed's wines are made by three young Australian winemakers that fly to the Uco Valley, in Argentina's Mendoza region, each year to produce a variety of wines. Made in a medium bodied and very accessible style, that's great for everyday drinking.

A red berry fragrance, with some hints of violet and a dusting of pepper. Ample, yet refreshing tannins make way for a well balanced finish. While I didn't taste this with food, I couldn't help but think about steak.

Price:      RRP$25
Source:   Tasting 
Varietal:  Malbec
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    92
Website: www.jedwines.com

2007 Izadi Crianza

Bodega Izadi is a member of the Artevino group in Rioja, Spain. This Crianza is comprised of 100 percent Tempranillo, which has spent 14 months in American oak.

Nose opens with red berry fruit, anise, and hints of cedar and vanilla. Tannins are rounding out nicely, producing an elegant and structured palate. Has both the power and a roundness that allowed it to pair nicely with cured meats and Manchego.

Price:      $50
Source:   www.simplywines.net.au 
Varietal:  Tempranillo
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    93
Website: www.izadi.com


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2013 La Terre et du Temps 'Mas Autanel' Picpoul de Pinet


Piquepoul is one of the oldest white wine grapes to be grown in the Languedoc region of France. Wine maker Jean-Claude Zabalia has made this wine from vineyards rented in this region, where it is apparently very difficult to purchase land.

Beautiful floral and mineral aromas, with exceptional length and acidity. An almost saline minerality on the palate. This just got better and better after being opened for a few hours. I really enjoyed this wine and though it  paired beautifully with scallops.

Price:      $38
Source:   Wine Emporium
Varietal: Piquepol
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    95
Website: http://www.laterreletemps.com/

2013 De Bortoli 'Villages' Pinot Noir

I'm often pleasantly surprised by the quality of wine De Bortoli are able to produce, in relatively large quantities and at very smart prices. This is certainly no exception, and a very good Pinot Noir for under $20. Blended from the 'leftovers' of the 6 different estate wines, this wine is naturally fermented with about 20 percent whole bunches.

Dark red berry fruit aromas wrapped with spicy herbal notes from the whole bunch additions. Chalky and finely textured tannins give good form and length to this wine. Just very good Yarra Valley Pinot Noir at a very good price.

Price:      $17
Source:   Dan Murphy's
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    94
Website: www.debortoli.com.au

2013 Margan Estate Shiraz

Margan ShirazAn entry level Shiraz sourced from winemaker Andrew Margan's Hunter valley vineyards.

Some reductive sulfur notes on first opening, which fell away on the second day of tasting. Some dark berry fruit, with spice and earthy notes. Decently structured tannins which stuck around on the palate for a decent amount of time. Not a bad Shiraz, will likely benefit from a bit more age.

Price:      $20
Source:   Dan Murphy's
Varietal:  Shiraz
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    89
Website: www.margan.com.au

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2012 Rusden 'Chritine's Vineyard' Grenache

ChristinesVineyard NVSourced from vines that were planted over 40 years ago, this wine takes it's name from winemaker Christian Canute's mother, who is particularly fond of this old vine block.

Spicy herbal aromas mix well with dark cherry fruit and a bit of licorice. I found it lighter on the palate than the nose suggested, which was a pleasant surprise. More spice on the palate with nice chalky tannins and a good acid finish.  Paired very well with roast lamb.


Price:      $40
Source:   Gift
Varietal:  Grenache
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    93
Website: www.rusdenwines.com.au




Thursday, October 8, 2015

2001 St Hubert's Pinot Noir

Bought with a group, figuring it would minimize the risk, I was surprised to find a Pinot of this age that still has some primary fruit character and structure remaining.

Opening with some soft cherry aromas, savory forest floor and mushroom like aromas soon followed. Tannins were very soft, but still there in quantity and structure holding the wine together with a touch of remaining acidity. It was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Price:      $45
Source:   Grape Therapy, Fortitude Valley
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    93
Website:  www.sthuberts.com.au/


2001 Tamar Ridge Pinot Noit

It was a bit of a gamble trying a pinot of this age, but after the '01 St Hubert, I figured the gamble could pay off.  I was wrong. Completely shot.

Taking on aromas of stewed fruit and wild honey, the acidity is out of check and there are relatively no tannins to speak of. You win some, you lose some.

Price:      $45
Source:   Grape Therapy, Fortitude Valley
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    80
Website:  www.brownbrothers.com.au

1998 Yalumba ' The Menzies' Cabernet Sauvignon

Named after politician and wine enthusiast Sit Robert Menzie, the grapes for this wine all come from the Menzies vineyard in Coonawarra.

Initial cigar box and black pepper aromas opened up in the decanter to reveal more dark berry fruit and developed well over about an hour. Didn't detect any of the eucalypt like aromas, common in wines from Coonawarra.  The tannins have aged gracefully and the acidity is still in tact and well balanced, resulting in excellent structure and length. This wine has developed well and likely still has a few good years ahead of it.

Price:      $60
Source:   Grape Therapy, Fortitude Valley
Varietal:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    95
Website:  www.yalumba.com