Monday, January 3, 2011
A Red Christmas
Christmas in our family typically involves a big seafood feast on Christmas Eve, and then on Christmas Day we do the traditional roast turkey. It also involves pulling some good wine out of the cellar. The vinous highlight was to be a 1995 Grange. Sadly the cork was crap, falling apart on opening, revealing a wine that was badly oxidised. When I see all these wine people coming out at present attempting some sort of cork counter-revolution I don't know whether to get angry or just laugh it off.
Anyway, not the time for an anti-cork rant. Some highlights over the two days were
2004 Lombard Grand Cru – Absolutely loved drinking this. Could only be Champagne. Beautiful gentle acidity, nice complexity of flavour and excellent length.
2008 Grosset Polish Hill Riesling – Quality Riesling. Classic nose of citrus and bath salts, and a beautiful long palate with a wonderful sense of minerality. Perfect match for fresh seafood. A few members of my family are not typically white wine drinkers but they all came back for a second glass of this.
2008 Gembrook Pinot Noir – Same impressions as when I reviewed the wine with the addition of a twiggy, fresh forest floor scent that I didn’t pick up six months ago (http://tinyurl.com/33ramxb). Drinks beautifully now but will get better and better over the next 5-10 years.
2008 Martinborough Vineyards Pinot Noir – Needs time though tremendous quality of the wine is evident. Cherry, musk, hints of mushrooms, and a meatiness mark it out as both a Martinborough wine and a Martinborough Vineyards wine. Not quite there on the palate yet but it’s built to last, and I think it will be great in time.
2006 Charles Melton Grains of Paradise – My kind of Barossa Shiraz. It’s undoubtedly from the Barossa and yet shows a sense of restraint being almost medium-bodied (in context). Beautiful fruit is evident with lovely flavours of plum and berries, along with some spice and a touch of chocolate. The palate finished long, without anything being overdone, all of which was underpinned by a smooth acidity. One of those wines that can be enjoyed now for its lovely primary fruit, but that also has everything in place to suggest it will age well over the next 10 years.
Now that we’re in the first week of January, I’m a few kilos heavier than I was a few weeks back, but that to me is a sign of a properly enjoyed festive season, surrounded by family, good food and great wine. Now to the gym . . .