Sunday, October 28, 2012

2009 Nemea Driopi Classic Agiorgitiko (Greece)


Greek wines are largely unexplored territory for me, particularly the reds. Based on historical reputation you would typically try them with a bit of trepidation, but as with so many wine producing countries and regions these days, the quality of winemaking has improved markedly. And there’s no questioning this wine’s quality. It was consumed over lunch at The Apollo, an impressive Greek restaurant in Sydney, and was a great accompaniment to the food.

The region is Nemea, which is close to Corinth. The estate Driopi, and the grape variety Agiorgitiko, which is according to some, Greece’s most noble indigenous red variety. It’s medium bodied and provides the kind of drinking that one looks for at lunch. Ripe plum fruit, appealing spice, and notes of leather adding some savouriness. It’s balanced, highly drinkable, and was great with some slow-cooked lamb. If anything it lacks a bit of funk or rusticity, or something to mark it out as really unique, but there’s no denying the enjoyment here. Lovely wine.


Rated:



RRP: ? (Was $60 for a bottle in the restaurant)
ABV: 13.5%
Closure: Cork
Importer: Deja Vu Wine - www.dejavuwines.com.au


Red

Sunday, October 21, 2012

2010 Montalto Estate Chardonnay (Mornington Peninsula)


Montalto send some great information with their wine, particularly on the Mornington peninsula and the vineyards that Montalto source from. This fruit for this wine comes from the Hawkins Hill, North Face, and Pennon Hill vineyards, and has resulted in a pretty impressive Chardonnay.

It doesn’t blow you away at any point, but is undoubtedly classy. Generosity and restraint are there in equal measure. There’s a nice bit of complexity with flavours of lime, nectarine, oyster shells, and some nuttiness. Oak contributes positively throughout and it finishes with some appealing bitter pith. A nicely balanced Chardonnay that would work with either seafood or white meats, but give it a few years and it will undoubtedly build weight and generosity and move firmly into roast chicken territory.

Rated:



RRP: $39
ABV: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Drink: 2012-2017
Website: www.montalto.com.au


Red

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2010 Drayton’s Heritage Vines Shiraz (Hunter Valley)


This is both quintessential and historic Hunter Shiraz. The grapes for this wine come from the “Flat” block planted in the 1890’s by William Drayton.

The wine opens up a bit funky and stinky as if to hark back to the problems Hunter Shiraz has had in the past. This element, however, blows off with some air. It's medium bodied, acid driven, and a touch rustic. It tastes of sour cherry and chocolate oak, but the flavours that really come to the fore are earth and leather. In fact those leathery notes are this wines unique calling card, while also marking it as quintessential Hunter. It improved nicely over a few days of tasting, lengthening through the finish, and I ended up bumping it up to 4 stars from an initial 3.5 Stars. It needs time in the cellar but will provide lovely Hunter drinking for many a year to come.

Rated:



RRP: $60
ABV: 14%
Drink: 2015-2025
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.draytonswines.com.au


Red

Sunday, October 14, 2012

2010 Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett (Mosel, Germany)


(Wehlener Sonnenuhr)

Wehlener Sonnenuhr is a very steep, rocky vineyard, with a very thin top soil, and apparently the purest of blue slate in the Mosel. Many of Germany's most revered Riesling producers including JJ Prum, Willi Schaefer, and of course Dr Loosen produce a wine or several wines from this site. James Halliday has written that Wehlener Sonnenuhr is his most treasure vineyard in Germany. With this history and reputation, this is the kind of wine I want to love, but at least in this instance, it falls a touch short of my expectations. Perhaps tellingly 2010 was a less than perfect vintage in the Mosel, with Dr Loosen saying that it "was marked by dramatic swings in the weather and a fitful growing season".

This is a rich, off-dry Riesling. Flavours of citrus, honey, and an interesting note of green tea ice-cream, are nicely balanced by the acidity. As the wine moves to room temperature an appealing minerality comes to the fore. This is a very nice Riesling, and it went well with a Vietnamese meal, but it never scaled any great heights. If you are partial to the off-dry style you might score it higher.

 
Rated:



RRP: $40
ABV: 7.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Drink: 2012-2020


Red

Friday, October 12, 2012

Annie's Lane Copper Trail Shiraz Clare Valley 2002

One of many large labels that has taken an image and price hit in the last decade, Annie’s Lane red wines can be found in the large retail stores for under $15 these days. Regardless of this somewhat sad decline (in price point at least), the 2002 Coppertrail Shiraz is from a great vintage in South Australia, and a relatively strong era for the winery (or at least an era before the rapid, relative decline).

Out of the bottle, and after 10 years maturation the wine has a powerful nose of sweet vanilla and cedar oak, and some porty black cherry and blueberry fruit.  

The wine is full bodied and follows through from the nose with sweet blackberry, some dark plum, dark bitter chocolate and soft ripe tannins. There is a hint of bitterness on the finish, potentially showing some over and under ripe characteristics, though I would have liked to see the wine after more of a decant. Overall, a ripe and fruit-driven wine with powerful oak very much of the era. Will age further, most probably for another 5 years.


Rating: 91 Points
RRP: $40-50
ABV: 15%

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2008 Clayfield 'Thomas Wills' Shiraz Grampians

A dark purple, blood plum-colured wine, Ripe blackberry, cherry liqueur, plum and liquorice-spice nose. Full-bodied and powerful flavours of bitter dark chocolate, ripe blackberry, plum and salted liquorice on the palate. Does not finish as sweetly as the nose would suggest. The smokey cedary oak is apparent, though not dominant.
Alcohol heat (abv listed at a hefty 15.8%) apparent, in broad balance with the hefty, ripe fruit, liquorice and chocolate flavours. Just.

A wine for those who like their Shiraz turned up to 11, even 12. Pass.

Rating: 86pts
RRP: $28-32
ABV: 15.8%
Website: www.Clayfieldwines.com

Monday, October 1, 2012

2006 Marques de Murrieta Rioja Reserva (Rioja, Spain)


When trying Rioja or Australian Tempranillo, I’ve often been left underwhelmed. That's not the case with this wine, however.

It is sexy, yet serious. Succulent, yet structured. It smells so good, with aromas of strawberries, chocolate orange, vanilla oak, tea leaves, and a lovely dustiness. To drink it is ripe yet medium bodied. There’s some nice juiciness to start before it turns very savoury, revealing a lovely liquorice and an emerging earthiness. Drying tannin shapes the wine nicely, and puts you in the mood for some barbecued meats. As a 6 year old wine, it is in the groove, but it continued to unwind and drink well over 4 days. Lots of love for this and I’ll be buying some for the cellar.





Rated:



RRP: $30
ABV: 14.0%
Closure: Cork
Drink: 2012-2020
Website: www.marquesdemurrieta.com


Red




 
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