Saturday, October 30, 2010

World Class Australian Cabernet – Langton’s Classification V Tasting

Brown and I attended the Langton’s Classification V Tasting in Sydney earlier in the week. It was a bit testing at times in terms of the crowds, but nevertheless a wonderful tasting. It afforded me the opportunity to try numerous wines that are considered genuine Australian benchmarks, many of which are either too expensive or too rare for me to typically get my hands on. While I certainly didn’t get to try every wine there, I did manage to try pretty much every wine I hadn’t tried previously, as well as a number of great wines that I had.

There was some amazing Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot, and Shiraz to be had on the night, but the highlight for me really was the Cabernet. As a Cabernet lover this is perhaps not surprising, but I genuinely thought the quality across the board was outstanding. I’ve had a few people who have drunk plenty of Bordeaux suggest to me that, with the exception of the very best bottles of Bordeaux, Australian Cabernet is the equal of any on the world stage. The Cabernet I drunk this night would certainly be supportive of this supposition.

Margaret River stood tall, with many 07s and a number of 08s on show, reinforcing my belief that it’s Australia’s greatest combination of region and grape variety. Coonawarra was also well represented with some wonderful wines. This of course is what you would expect from Australia’s two premier Cabernet regions. There were however, also, some wonderful examples from the Clare Valley, Tasmania, and the Yarra Valley. Below were my favourite Cabernets on the night

2008 Yarra Yering Dry Red No.1 (Yarra Valley, $75, cork) – This is one of those wines that had me with my first sniff of its fragrant, yet complex bouquet. On the palate it’s medium-bodied and elegant, and yet still intense with beautiful sweet and savoury flavours. Defined more by its natural acidity than its tannins. This is just going to get better and better. My wine of the night.

2001 Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon (Coal River, $91, cork) – I’d always been intrigued and bit sceptical of this wine (not having ever tried it) as a Cabernet from Tasmania. Tasmania being more or less the coldest part of Australia is more readily associated with Pinot Noir. Like any broad regions however, specific sub-regions and sites can make a huge difference and according to Peter Althaus, Domaine A’s winemaker, their site for Cabernet Sauvignon in the Coal River has less problems ripening grapes than Bordeaux does. Peter had brought along the museum release 2001 for people to taste so as to demonstrate how this wine ages. For me it stood out as different from the other Cabernets I tried on the night and yet also a quintessential Cabernet. Some lovely leafy and capsicum notes mingled with berry and blackcurrant fruit. Perfectly balanced and built to age. All scepticism has been wiped away.

2008 Wendouree Cab Malbec (Clare Valley, Cork) – Wendouree has been one of those wineries that has held a bit of a mythical status for me ever since I first read some of Halliday’s writings about them a number of years ago. As he wrote about them requiring 20 years minimum in the cellar and described them as an iron-fist in a velvet glove it immediately enamoured me to Wendouree and made me think that it was a winery that ought to be part of any cellar I was going to build. The fact that they have been so removed from the mainstream of websites, cellar doors, and sample sending only increased my interest in the winery. In the past couple of years as I have had both the means and the opportunity to purchase some Wendouree, however, I’ve just held off as I’ve heard and read quite a few dissenting voices who have questioned the quality of these wines. Having now tasted the wine I can cast these doubting voices aside and look to add Wendouree to my cellar shortlist. The 2008 is very much as Halliday has often described the Cab Malbec with a lush, fragrant nose followed up by a powerful, rich and mouth smackingly tannic palate. Love it! Happily these wines will apparently be under screwcap in future as well (the Cabernet that never dies?).

2007 Cape Mentelle (Margaret River, $85, Screwcap) – Prior to trying the Cape Mentelle I tried the 08 Cullen Diana Madeline, which I found to be an interesting, atypical Margaret River Cabernet. I doubt I would have picked it blind as being from Margaret River. It was in a medium-bodied, almost dilute style, that doesn’t deliver much in the way of enjoyment now, though the quality is there to suggest it could build with time in the cellar. Anyway, the reason for that little aside on Cullen, was that it contrasted so vividly with the Cape Mentelle which to me was just classic Margaret River. My beloved gravel was there on the bouquet, and it was a ripe, powerful yet nevertheless restrained Cabernet. Beautiful structure. Could drink this sought of wine with alarming regularity for my bank balance

2006 John Riddoch (Coonawarra, $75, Screwcap)- Rippling tannin. I love to see powerful tannins in young wines and the John Riddoch has this element in spades. Importantly, however, the tannins never overwhelm the wine and the fruit is more than up to the task through the long finish. This should age into something quite special over the next couple of decades.

I already have some of the John Riddoch in the cellar. Now to explain to the missus why the other four Cabernets are such must buys despite the price tags . . .

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Knappstein mini Riesling vertical tasting - Ackland Vineyard, Hand Picked etc - Summer of Riesling Part 2

A quick search of the RedtoBrown Wine Review will reveal that we are fans of Riesling. Despite being the commercially dominant white wine variety of the 70s and early 80s, sales of Riesling have remained relatively static for decades as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and even Pinot Gris/Grigio have attracted most of the commercial attention. Though Riesling is not dominating sales and wine shop shelf space, the overall quality of Australian Riesling has never been better.
Furthermore, we are increasingly seeing slight stylistic deviations from the traditional dry lemon-lime-chalky-mineral wines we know and love (personally at least). These deviations, including off dry, Riesling blended with other grapes and the use of some oak when aging the wines are now becoming a bit more common on wine shop shelves in Sydney. The risk that these new styles could muddy the waters between dry, off dry and sweet Riesling styles in the minds of consumers has been discussed in another post. However, despite this potential problem, if quality and ‘something new’ have any effect on influencing consumers, Riesling is as well placed as any grape to carve out a greater market share.

Recently, RedtoBrown were treated to a tasting of several Rieslings from Knappstein winery (Clare Valley) hosted by Knappstein winemaker Julian Langworthy. Joining us at the tasting were Andrew Graham of the Ozwinereviw, Kate Parry and a cameo from Mike Bennie. The mini vertical included a number of aged and current release Rieslings yet also some of the ‘experiments’ and small run new blends that are emerging out of Knappstein.

The highlight of the evening (unsurprisingly), was the Ackland Vineyard Watervale Rielsings – from the 2010 and 2005 vintages.

The 2010 arguably needs another few months to settle in the bottle before showing at its youthful best, though it was still an impressive wine. The first and lasting impression were the attention-grabbing florals on the nose, combined with passionfruit and even lychee scents.
On the palate the 2010 there were some melon and almost tropical fruits and a trace of passionfruit accompanying the more typical lemon flavours.  Given time to settle, I can envisage it remaining a powerful, flavoursome young wine for a year or two, before continuing on for several years developing more restraint and complexity.

The 2005 Ackland was an even more powerful wine in its youth than the 2010: big boned and filled with ripe apple, lemon, and enough acidity and tannins on the finish for it to be a pleasurable wine to drink young. Tasting it with 4-5 years of bottle age, the 2005 has grown up and matured, and has not fallen in a heap (unlike me!). The nose was a more of what I would consider a 'typical' of the Clare Valley  though it still gave off a lovely floral perfume (for me a common Watervale characteristic). In addition, there was a whiff of kerosene and spice to add complexity, framed by rounded lemon, fine, chalky tannins, refreshing acidity and a focused finish. Though the 2005 is not a wine to cellar for another 20 years, it was by no means on its last legs – with more air it evolved further complexity. All-in-all a pleasant surprise given it was a well respected crowd pleaser when young yet is still winning over the fans in middle age (and I think both Red and my favourite wine on the night).

Knappstein Hand Picked Riesling 1994, 2002, 2005 and 2010.
The handpicked is Knappstein's entry level Riesling. With the 2010, once again, the nose is what held my attention the most – riper lychee and passionfruit than the Ackland, mixed with the previously encountered florals and lemon. As with the Ackland, the 2010 Hand Picked probably needs a few months to settle as the acid is a bit nervy and some of the flavours more rounded and ripe.

Under Langworthy's watch, the Hand Picked is made in a ‘drink now’ style and not necessarily for contemplation or long term cellaring.  It is one of an increasing number of affordable Rieslings that are in a more popularly accessible style – while not being a Sauvignon Blanc killer/competitor, I would argue fans of Sauv Blanc would also like this wine (I would argue they would love 80% of Rieslings if they bothered to try them, but that is a rant for another post). The 2010 Hand Picked is more in the more ripe apple, lemon and passionfruit flavour spectrum than the steely, taut lime and lemon style I prefer. It still has the structure and balance of flavour, acidity and tannin to make it a versatile wine to drink alone or with food.
The 2005 Hand Picked had undergone a similar development to the 2005 Ackland (more complexity, more developed flavours), though with the intensity and length turned down a fair few notches. It was not ageing with as much grace as the Ackland, though still had primary lemony fruit intermixed with some harsher kerosene complexity and decent acidity.

The 2002 Hand Picked was arguably fresher and more vibrant than the 2005 – one to hang onto a bit longer if you like your aged Riesling.

Unfortunately, the Magnum of the 1994 Hand Picked we tasted was slightly oxidised and probably not a typical example. It had a golden/green hue and had a waxy, toasty, oily texture, with toast and almost woodchip flavours over the top of gentle, soft lemon. Nevertheless, an interesting curio on the evening, with the bottle being a funky retro 'bottle green' that reminded me of the 1970s.

Finally, to round off the wines tasted, we tried the 2010 ‘Three’ – a blend of 72% Gew├╝rztraminer, 18% Riesling and 10% Pinot Gris and the 2010 'Insider' - one of a number of experimental wines Langworthy is developing.
In regards to the Three, this is a style of wine that goes hand in hand with asian food - spicy asian food at that.  Coming from Sydney, I find myself at an Asian restaurant every second weekend in summer, and the Riesling is the wine weapon of choice more often than not.  However, I have purchased the odd lower alcohol Gewurtz when the chilli and spice is turned up to 11.
The alcohol level (13%) and residual sugar (4.8g/l)  in the Three are both low enough to allow the sweet, spicy/lychee aromatics and clean drying acidiy on the finish to come to the fore without the harsh, short, phenolic finish and oily alcohol heat that I find with many Australian Gewurtz/Gewurtz blends.
The use of 10% of Pinot Gris adds some texture to the wine that differentiates it slightly from a straight Gewurtz or Riesling (once again, without the oily, flabbiness I find unappealing with some Pinot Gris). The Three is not a thinkers wine, it is a wine for enjoyment.  I could see white blends like it replacing a Moscato or Sauvignon Blanc on the restaurant table without too much trouble.

Finally there was the 2010 'Insider' (though tasted near the start of the evening). Julian has considerable resources to experiment with at Knappstein (hectares of old vine fruit and various varieties) and the yet to be officially named or released 'Insider' is one of the end products of this ongoing experimentation. The Insider consisted of machine harvested fruit that had underwent a wild ferment and was then aged on lees.
The 'Insider' was an advanced release sample and was probably not showing at its best/most representative (exuberant youth, bottle shock, culture shock from being in Sydney :-)). Suffice to say it still had clean lemon / honey dew melon flavours and a perfumed floral aspect that would be well suited to a warm summers day in Sydney. An approachable style that aims to show another side to the Clare Valley many would not get to see and one that would win over many mainstream punters, if not the traditional Riesling drinkers.

Overall, the evening was a very informative experience.  Talking to Julian it was clear that Knappstein are increasingly prepared to tinker with their previously established wine making formulae in order to seek out new approaches, styles and perspectives on Riesling. This shows promise for the future as I would argue Knappstein had previously underachieved and somewhat lost its way in the early 'noughties', despite its substantial resources.  Newer Riesling/riesling-based wines like the Three and the recently released Grosset off dry might be just what Riesling needs to increase its profile and  sales in the very image consicous and fickle white wine market. In saying that, the more traditional 2005 Ackland reminded me why I like Clare Valley Riesling and Riesling so much in the first place!

Thanks to Dan and Fiona for arranging the tasting, Andrew, Kate and Mike for the company and many thanks to Julian for the informative chat and run-through of the wines.

Winery Website: http://www.knappstein.com.au/

The Diversification of Riesling Styles in Australia: The Positives and Negatives (The Summer of Riesling Part 1)

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary Of Defense 2002

Sauvignon Blanc in the New Zealand Marlborough style is the wine equivalent of a Donald Rumsfeld ‘known known’- consumers are all familiar with the style and 90% of readily available bottles have a very similar flavour profile. As a result, it can be marketed quite easily and wineries do not have to waste time trying to differentiate Sauvignon Blanc from other varieties.

Whether as a response to the recent commercial dominance of Sauvignon Blanc, or a desire to diversify, wine makers of other white wine varieties such as Riesling, are increasingly deviating from the 'traditional' style we have become familiar with. For example, there are a number of ‘off dry’ Rieslings that have been released in the last year; Grosset and Petaluma being two high profile examples. Furthermore, I am noticing an increased number of affordable ‘drink now’ Rieslings that have softer apple or tropical flavours (relatively speaking) than the usual lime/lemon. However, a swallow does not make a summer and 2 off dry Rieslings and a few more approachable Rieslings do not make a structural shift away from traditional dry Riesling. If this does represent even a slight, subtle trend towards the diversification of Riesling styles being produced in Australia, what are some of the the positives and negatives of such a move?

Positives:
Most of the positives I can identify are based around increased sales of Riesling and interest in Riesling.

The small-scale production of different styles may increase and broaden the level of interest in the grape and possibly increase sales across all styles in the process (eg: make it the next ‘it’ wine).

It could be argued that in the face of commercial realities (outstanding Riesling has been produced consistently in the last 10 years, though sales have not risen dramatically), a move to produce small batches of high quality examples of different Riesling styles could boost interest – eg: promoting it as a new, fresh approach to a respected wine. It could also keep the sales of Riesling ticking along until tastes or fashion changes (for the better).

Negatives:
By releasing more off dry Rieslings, local wine makers are possibly creating some Rumsfeld ‘known unknowns’ amongst consumers. A sweet tooth, Sauv Blanc-buying wine consumer would only need one glass of a lemon/lime/chalk and steely acid Riesling to run screaming back to the soft fruity warmth of their New Zealand old faithful. Similarly, a person seeking a dry, crisp white wine would not take kindly to picking up an unmarked Riesling with 22g/l residual sugar when they were expecting a dry wine to have with their steamed fish (probably playing it safe with Chablis thereon in).

An unregulated growth of off-dry/sweeter Rieslings could undo the hard work of Australian Riesling winemakers who have promoted their wines as being (bone) dry for several years. Given that predictability of style is one of the strengths of Sauvignon Blanc, if Riesling were to suddenly become stylistically schizophrenic, it could lead to people avoiding Riesling based on ‘style ambiguity’ alone.

It could also be argued that any wholesale move towards a ‘Sauvignon Blanc Killer’ style is doomed to fail as was the case with the Australian red wine making regions other than in South Australia who tried to mimic the Robert Parker Jr ‘Fruit Bomb’ style in the early noughties. Such an approach is arguably a lose-lose situation. Whether a small scale move (eg: only a small percentage of the wine produced is of a new style) has the same negative impact in the Australian world of Riesling as it did with Shiraz remains to be seen.

Some would argue, with history backing them up, that the dry style of Riesling is dominant for a reason – the dry style produces the finest Riesling. Why change something or dilute something that obviously works (even if it is not appreciated in the mass market)?

Note: Would love to hear of any additional positives and negatives not covered here.

A Solution/Compromise/Way Forward?
I am unsure if there is a perfect solution to address the quandary of diversifying Riesling styles. However, avoiding confusion amongst consumers– through education, marketing, and regulation by wine makers and/or Riesling wine representatives could all assist. Andrew Graham of OzWinereview and others have previously advocated the use of a Riesling sweetness scale on bottles or in shops to avoid style confusion (eg: the International Riesling Foundation’s Riesling Scale, German Wine Classification). I think this is a good idea (on a much simpler level, it worked with alcoholic cider – sweet dry or draught).

However, any use of a scale or standard needs to be backed up with further ongoing education in the broader wine drinking community: A sticker on the back of a bottle will help some people, though for it to be successful, the different Riesling styles in the scale need to be known almost instinctively by consumers to boost sales and avoid confusion – (eg: dry = fish, off dry = spicy Thai, sweet = desert wine). Riesling – dry or off dry- is such a versatile wine to have with food, its versatility deserves to be more widely known amongst consumers. Education, marketing, word of mouth and luck may all come into play in this regard.

In conclusion, there are positives and negatives related to the diversification of Riesling styles in Australia. A diverse range of Rieslings have always been made in the country, and at certain stages sweeter/off dry versions were much more popular and dominant relatively than dry Riesling is today. If some of the aforementioned negatives can be overcome, and if the wine makers themselves can continue to make increasingly good quality, balanced and not over-sweet alternative styles of Riesling, I see no reason why Riesling cannot start eating slowly and subtly into the market share of more dominant white wines.


PS: Once again, throwing this article onto the blog to hopefully generate some friendly debate: we are fans of Riesling, but are open minded on its future. Interested to hear peoples thoughts (be they about off dry Rieslings, traditional Rieslings, progressive german house music, etc :-) ) RB

Monday, October 25, 2010

Juniper Estate

It wouldn’t surprise me if in a decade’s time we are talking about Juniper as one of the very top Margaret River estates . . .

On the surface of things you’d think it would already be one of the premier Margaret River wineries. It was one of the earlier vineyards planted in Margaret River, being 1973, so the vines have a nice bit of age to them. The vineyards are also in the prestigious sub-region of Wilyabrup, and its neighbours are Vasse Felix and Cullen. With this combination of age and location you’d think you might be on to a winner. Of course producing great wine is never quite so simple

The vines themselves need to be in robust health, and this was lacking when Roger Hill and Gillian Anderson bought it off the original owners in 1998. At the same time Mark Messenger came across from Cape Mentelle as the winemaker. From that time work began on restoring the vineyard including retrellising along with new plantings. Mark reckons that this work in the vineyard really started to demonstrate its worth in the 2005 vintage. 2006 was of course a bit of a tough vintage in the Margaret River (especially for reds), but then 2007 came along and this could well be the breakthrough year for Juniper.

I’ve written about the 07 Cabernet Sauvignon in a previous post - http://tinyurl.com/26bvpfv - and I was able to try it again at an excellent tasting at North Sydney Cellars, where Mark Messenger guided us through a range of Juniper wines. It was an impressive collection across both their entry level “Crossing” wines as well as their Estate wines. As well as the traditional Margaret River varieties, Juniper are doing some interesting things with both Tempranillo and Zinfandel. The only wine I wasn't such a fan of was the Sem Sav Blanc, but that might say more about my tastes than the wine itself. The highlight, however, remained the 07 Cab Sav. It just reaffirmed my view that it is one of my wines of the year thus far and the best Margaret River Cabernet I have had from the 07 vintage.

After the tasting I had the opportunity to have a good chat with Mark. He’s a lovely, modest guy, who nevertheless demonstrates a real passion for what he is doing and is very forthcoming in talking about all things wine. An interesting aspect that we discussed was the importance of the addition of 1-2% of Merlot, Cab Franc, and Petit Verdot in the 07. Apparently the straight Cab Sav would have made a good wine on its own, but lacked just a little both in terms of length and complexity. It took a long time to get the blend right, but once in balance, these small amounts of Bordeaux varieties were really important in building the wine into something special.

This 07 could well be backed up by wines of similar or even greater stature in 2008 and 2009. Mark is of the opinion that these two vintages will ultimately prove to be better than the much proclaimed 2007 (interestingly while he thinks 2010 is a decent vintage, he’s of the opinion it’s certainly not a great vintage). Cabernets from 08 and 09 mightn’t initially show as well as 07 but will likely prove more classic, finely structured vintages. Specifically for the Juniper Cabernet these excellent vintages are matched by the continuing improvement of the vineyard, and as such has Mark pretty excited about the next two releases.

I’m generally too young in wine drinking years to be able to reminisce about when such and such a wine was only $7 and the like, and while $45 is no bargain basement price for the Juniper Cabernet Sauvignon, it may well look inexpensive 10 years from now . . .


Red

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2009 Teusner "The Dog Strangler" Mataro


A bit of a Mataro focus for me at the moment.

This is the kind of wine that provides a lot of immediate drinking pleasure, and yet is also interesting enough to be a wine to enjoy contemplating. Lovely, complex spice is its calling card.
It smells of ripe berries, chocolate, violets, and five spice along with just a touch of meatiness. On the palate it’s mouth filling in its ripe fruit, with intensity provided by exotic spice. This is underpinned by a clean acidity and lovely earthiness. It finishes nice and savoury. A tiny bit of heat on the finish, but it didn’t prevent me from loving drinking this wine. Another notch on the belt for Barossa Mataro . . .

Rated:



RRP: $25
ABV: 14.5%
Website: www.teusner.com.au


Red

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2010 Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon (Hunter Valley)



You normally see this wine in bottle shops as a 5 year old cellar release, so I nabbed this when I saw it the other day.

Very young Semillon often doesn’t provide a lot of drinking pleasure, and the less than great examples I often think are akin to drinking water with a squeeze of lemon. Generally speaking greatness and drinking pleasure for Hunter Semillon comes with some time in the cellar.

2010 Hunter Semillons might be touch different however. I tasted the 2010 Tyrrell’s Semillons a few weeks back and found them to be richer and more expressive than I would have expected. This 2010 Elizabeth follows the same trend.

If I’d smelled this blind when just out of the fridge I reckon I would have picked it as a Riesling. It initially has a very riesling-like floral and citrus nose. Once warmed up a touch it revealed its origins more clearly adding in some subtle tropical notes. It drinks pretty well now with a nice balance between its acidity and citrus flavours on the one hand, and rich honey-like flavours through the mid-palate on the other. It possibly comes up a touch short on the finish, but as a wine that you can typically pick up for $10-$15, it’s a very minor quibble. 3.5 Stars for now and a “+” for where it might well be in 5-10 years time. A lovely Elizabeth.

Scored:
+

RRP: ?
ABV: 11.5%
Website: www.mountpleasantwines.com.au


Red

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2007 Toscar Monastrell (Alicante, Spain)

Mataro (Mourvedre if we are in France or Monastrell if we are in Spain) is a variety I want to drink more of. As a single variety they’re relatively rare in Australia but I’ve really enjoyed those which I have tried, particularly from Hewitson and Teusner, both in the Barossa Valley. Earth, game, and spice are often matched with a core of lovely ripe fruit in these wines, and as such really tickle my fancy.

The 2007 Toscar Monastrell broadly fits this mould, though is obviously different given that it’s from an entirely different country. It’s appealingly rustic and a good quaffer in the best sense of the term.

The nose isn’t especially expressive but has some nice aromas of plum, oak and some dried herbs. On the palate there is a bit more going on with that core of plum fruit enmeshed with flavours of spice, game, and herbs. There’s also a lovely smokiness throughout.

A great food wine and appealingly different from what I normally drink.

Rated:


RRP: $15
ABV: 13.5%
Website: www.salvadorpoveda.com


Red

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

2008 Willow Creek Tulum Pinot Noir (Mornington Peninsula)



The Mornington Peninsula possibly makes my favourite Oz Pinot Noir, though both the Yarra Valley and Macedon could well challenge that favouritism given what I’ve tasted of late. This wine is certainly a credit on the Mornington Peninsula side of the ledger.

There is a lovely balance between cherry and savoury flavours with this wine.

It becomes increasingly fragrant with air and has aromas of cherry, spice, some floral notes, and lovely oak. On the palate it is beautifully structured with a tight line and length of flavour. It tastes of sour cherry, dried herbs, some earthiness and hint of chocolate. There's a nice spiciness throughout as well as an attractive sea salt note. The finish is long and very dry. With a good decant this drinks well now, though i reckon it will continue to get better over the next 5 years at least. A quality Pinot.


Red


Rated:
+

RRP: $40
ABV: 14.0%
Website: www.willow-creek.com.au

Saturday, October 2, 2010

2008 Tar & Roses Tempranillo (Heathcote, Alpine Valleys)



I’m yet to have a Tempranillo moment.

In the past few years, as my tastes have really expanded beyond the Aussie staples of Cabernet and Shiraz, I’ve invariably had a moment with other red varietals that have grabbed me, excited me, and made me want to go out and drink and purchase as much of the wine that my budget allows. Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, and Nebbiolo are all examples of where this has happened.

My Tempranillo moment may well come as I try more Spanish examples, as well as an increasing number of good quality Australian examples, but for whatever reason Tempranillo has thus far failed to grab my imagination.

This wine is good drinking and worked well while watching footy finals the other week with a pizza. Nice nose of red fruits, five spice and maybe a touch of tobacco. Oak is there but not unpleasant. To drink it’s a bit overripe but nevertheless has some enjoyable flavours of sour cherry, sarsaparilla, and liquorice. Medium-full bodied. Good wine and fairly priced. My score might be considered a bit miserly for those who have more of a taste for Tempranillo.

Rated:


RRP: $25
ABV: 14.0%
Website: www.tarandroses.com.au
 
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