Sunday, June 10, 2018

2007 Yelland and Papps Greenock Shiraz

Reflecting on the wines Red and I reviewed in our “active” period from 2009 to roughly 2015*, one winery that stood out for me was Yelland and Papps. You can see in our archive that several of their wines were reviewed, and rated well. Susan and Michael Papps are indeed, as their website claims, “boutique artisan producers pushing boundaries with respect to the traditions”.

While their ‘Second Take’ range and creative blends like the Vin de Soif definitely push traditional boundaries, their Greenock Shiraz was, and remains, in the classic Barossa style - made in a bold, traditional style, using old growth grapes from one of the most reliable sub-regions of the Barossa (and a trusted grape grower to-boot).

This bottle being reviewed was purchased in the dining room of Susan and Michael in 2009 when Red and I were halfway through a very memorable wine holiday in the Barossa Valley. I still recall the enjoyable tasting where Susan and Michael hosted us, telling us of their plans to expand the winery and their love of good Grenache. Looking back on those early days, and where their winery is today, it is a very happy memory - winemakers are passionate about their craft, love life, and are  living the dream on so many levels.

The 2007 vintage was a hot one, and on the whole, I have not cellared many wines from this vintage. However, the wine making and vineyard/grape selection of Y&P have always impressed, and this wine confirms it. Following 9 years of careful (offsite) cellaring, the Greenock Shiraz still showing its fruit profile of blackberries and dark plumb - both on the nose and palate. The oak and alcohol (14.5%) are prominent, but harmonious with the overall package.

Unlike so many wines in the “Parkerised” era of 2003-2010 (or so) which were alcohol fruit bombs when young and then quickly became soupy, dark chocolate concoctions doused in pure, hot alcohol, this wine is warming, but still integrated with the fruit. It is powerful, alcoholic and dark, but in balance. It finishes relatively savoury, with notes of liquorice and chocolate.

Given the vintage and the time in the cellar, this wine was a surprise. But then again, it should not have been.  Yelland and Papps are a small but elite Australian winery, and the longevity of this wine, from a poor vintage, is further proof of why they are held in such high esteem.

Rating: 94+
ABV: 14.5%
RRP: N/A (cellared wine)
Drink: Now-2020 (if you still have some, try them and make the call - still has time to develop)

  *RedtoBrown is in hiatus, but we still have a passion for wine, and intend to fire-up the blog at some stage. Keep the faith! Hope to see you soon at a wine event or winery.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2011 Riversdale Estate Crater Chardonnay (Coal River, Tasmania)

The birth of a second child a couple of months ago has meant that my reviews have been non-existent of late. A state of semi organised chaos has existed in the Red household since no. 2 came along, though as we start to find a routine I'll see if I can't be a tad more productive.

I'm always interested to try Chardonnay from Tasmania. It's yet to produce the amount of world class chardonnay that a number of mainland regions have, though there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this will change over time.

Upon opening the thing that stood out was the high, prominent acid. There was some good grapefruit flavour to match but that acid put me in the mind of a young, bracing Eden Valley Riesling or some such. I can see why the winery has held back the release of this wine more than your average chardonnay. On day two, however, the acid had softened considerably and the quality of the wine came to the fore. Some richer stonefruit and creamy notes are balanced by flintiness and a touch of bitter pith. Excellent line and length of flavour. A high quality chardonnay and one that will still benefit from some time in the cellar. 4 stars.

Rated: 4 Stars
RRP: $35
ABV: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Drink: 2016-2021


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2013 Bremerton Malbec

The 2013 Bremerton Malbec is of several single varietal wines sold mainly at their cellar door with a limited retail release.
On the nose and palate, use of Hungarian oak infuses some aniseed spice into a nice mix of blackberry, mulberry and black plum. There is a flavour burst from front to mid palate, dropping off a little, though finishing with ripe and pleasantly tart tannin, and a lingering hint of 5-spice and mixed black fruit.
A spicy, reasonably restrained interpretation of Australian Malbec. Intriguing wine. 

Price: $24
ABV: 14.5%
Rating: 92

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bordeaux vs Coonawarra: 1994 Chateau Leoville Poyferre vs 1994 Petaluma Coonawarra Cabernet

Two 21 year old Cabernet blends, courtesy of my aunty’s cellar.

The first, the Leoville Poyferre, is a Second Growth from the Saint-Julien commune in Bordeaux. Having been established in 1840, the estate has been through some peaks and troughs as might be expected, however, the past few decades have seen a resurgence in its reputation and the quality of wine produced. The second wine, the Petaluma Coonawarra has been one of Australia’s more highly regarded Cabernet blends over a few decades now. Production for this wine began in 1979.
When the Red and Brown clans got together recently, we decided to take these two wines of pedigree head to head. They are obviously worthy of enjoyment and contemplation without competition or reference to any other wine, but I still find comparative tastings like this highly enjoyable and revealing.
Both wines had excellent quality, long corks that happily had done their jobs, with both wines smelling great in the decanter from the get go. We then proceeded to drink both bottles over the course of a few hours, with some slow cooked lamb the accompaniment.
1994 Petaluma Coonawarra -  At 21 years of age this has retained an impressive level of primary fruit that is present from the tip of the tongue through to the long finish. Blackcurrant mainly. Adding savoury complexity are notes of red earth and black olive. There’s a bit of regional mint/eucalypt but it’s in no way dominant and plays its part in a complex whole. What’s really impressive moreover, are the prominent tannins that really help shape and finish off the wine. There was a little bit left in the bottle on day 2 and it continued to drink impressively well. It’s in a real sweet spot now where it offers a great aged Cabernet drinking experience, but still has the stuffing to drink well over the next 5-10 years. 94 points
1994 Chateau Leoville Poyferre – What enthrals me with this wine is the tightrope it walks between power and elegance. The entry onto the palate is supple and subtle before building to great mid palate intensity, which then tapers into a focused and savoury finish. It's the kind of structure that marks it out as a great wine. Classic cassis and cigar box flavours. Gravel is also a signature, both in terms of the bouquet as well gravelly minerality through the long finish. Fantastic to drink and wonderful to see it weigh in at only 12.5% alcohol. It's a wine that ultimately could only be Bordeaux and would never be confused as anything else.  As with the Petaluma, it gives great enjoyment now but will age over the next decade without a second thought. 96 points
In the end the Bordeaux was the preferred wine on the night, showing a class that is rare in the world of wine. That being said the Petaluma is a great wine in its own right and is testament to the ageworthiness and quality of the marque and Coonawarra Cabernet more generally.

Blog Design by: Designer Blogs