Sunday, April 6, 2014

2003 Tyrrell's Vat 1 Semillon (Hunter Valley)

This is not one of the truly great Vat 1’s, but it registers very high on the scale of drinkability and joy.

As a wine it is in its transition phase, with plenty of primary fruit still in the offing, but development on display as well. There’s a prominent and cleansing acidity that marks the wine out and will ensure long life, while a growing roundness of fruit and flavour balances this nicely. Lovely citrus, a hint of vanilla, with some toasty, honey notes in there too. It perhaps lacks the intensity and length of a great Vat 1, but it is so enjoyable to drink you don’t really care. Sydney rock oysters were a great match.

Rated: 4 Stars
ABV: 10.9%
Closure: Cork
Drink: 2014-2019+


Thursday, March 27, 2014

2012 Sorrenberg Chardonnay (Beechworth)

This is one of my favourite Chardonnays but given the quality of the 2012 vintage this perhaps didn’t quite meet my lofty expectations for this label.  Ironic in a way that I prefer the Chardonnay that Barry and Jan Morey produced from the much maligned 2011 vintage. That being said the 2012 remains a beautiful wine and will improve over the next 5 years.
It took a couple of days to come together and really open up, but once it did it presented a lovely nose with notes of peach to the fore. It follows on from this with beautiful palate weight and everything nicely proportioned.  High acids and spicy oak integrate with air. Peach and an appealing milkiness are underpinned by a tell-tale minerally, lime streak that I find in all Sorrenberg Chardonnay.  Good persistence of finish. Time should be kind.  Cork as ever the only real negative I can find with these wines.
Rated: 4 Stars +
RRP: $48
Drink: 2015-2020
Closure: Cork


Sunday, March 9, 2014

2012 Coriole Sangiovese (Mclaren Vale)

Coriole’s Sangiovese is one of those wines where the grape variety and region are both evident, and the synergy between the two is typically something that is lovely to drink. In fact the 2012 is rather beautiful, and perhaps the best vintage of this wine yet.

Lovely, ripe fruit  with berries tending towards sour cherry as it travels along the palate. Texturally it feels like a Sangiovese with prominent acidity that integrates well over a couple of days, and that drying tannin that is so appealing. Mind you there’s a juiciness here as well. Notes of aniseed, spices, and orange peel give it complexity. Yummy earthiness to finish. It needs another year or two but I could drink lots of this. Great value too.   

Rated: 4 stars
RRP: $25
ABV: 14.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Drink: 2015-2022


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Press Release Files - Volume 1

Editor's note: from time to time, RedtoBrown receives press releases from a wide and wacky range of wine people. Below is the first of a series of responses ......

Interview? Valentine’​s Day Beyond Wine: A Chocolate Guide by Wine Spectator

Hi RedtoBrown --
If you’re looking for that perfect Valentine’s Day chocolate fix to top off your wine glass—or champagne bottle—consider a chat with Wine Spectator Features Editor Owen Dugan. Both a wine and chocolate extraordinaire, Owen recently rounded up the best chocolate bars in the U.S. and beyond—his picks can be found in Wine Spectator’s February 2014 issue, available on newsstands now.
Are you interested in setting up an interview or seeing a PDF of the full feature? Owen can recommend V Day bars and boxes that will impress your sweetheart on this special day. From best value, flavor, snack, novelty and more – take a peek at some of Owen’s favorites:
·         Xocolatl de David’s 68% Bolivian Cacao Sour-Dough & Olive Oil Bar—$9/2.2oz I Portland, OR I
·         Mast Brothers’ Crown Maple Dark Chocolate Bar—$9.45/2.5oz I Brooklyn, NY I
·         Blanxart’s Chocolate Negro Con Almendras—$10.45/7oz I from Barcelona I
Owen is also available to discuss candy and wine pairings that will make for the most scrumptious dessert this Valentine’s Day. Please let me know if you would like a PDF of Owen’s Best Chocolate Bars article and/or a copy of Wine Spectator’s February issue; the issue also includes the editors’ picks for Wines to Discover in 2014.
I look forward to your interest.

Best regards,

Dear Jacob,

I would literally give my right arm, or sell secrets to the Chinese government to interview Owen. Aside from Nelson Mandela and Gandhi, Owen is a hero of mine.
To think I could be asking him about the best champagne match to go with 70% cocoa dark chocolate is almost too much for me to bear.

You have made my dreams come true. Thank you, thank you
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