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
Website: www.riverdaleestate.com.au


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
Website: www.bremerton.com.au

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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

2012 Krondorf growers Barossa Shiraz

Krondorf Growers Barossa Shiraz 2012
This wine from the Cellermasters stable has a nose with pretty hefty vanilla oak, intermixed with ripe, dark/black fruits. 
Fruity and mouth filling, with mulberry blackberry and some stewed black plum supported by soft tannins, slight aniseed notes and mixed spice. Finishes sweet, and the alcohol heat is in balance with the hefty fruit. For sub-$20 a nice smooth, fruity and powerful wine that is not subtle, but with elements in balance. On day two of tasting, this wine had developed nicely and should be drinking well for several years.

ABV: 14.5%
RRP: 17-18
Rating: 88pts

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