Wednesday, August 27, 2014

2007 Cirὀ ἉVita Rosso Classico Superiore

A tasting note that was lost in the mail - Wine tasted early July 2012. Posted for blogging posterity. Interested if people have tried this wine, or later vintages recently.

Purchased from one of the most impressive bars in a blossoming Sydney wine bar scene (121BC), this Calabrian wine is defined by its tannins: if you are not a fan of tannic wines, a trip to merlotville might be advisable. The Cir Vita Rosso Classico Superiore is made using the indigenous Calabrian Gaglioppo grape, and in the glass, the wine looks and smells a bit like a Pinot – light crimson with a sappy, cherry nose. On the palate it is light to medium bodied with dark and sour cherry fruit, some all spice and sappy, earthy flavours with nice savoury intensity at the finish. The tannins are prominent and lingering in a good way – you find yourself pondering the tannins long afterwards. The drying characteristic of the tannins demands and greatly compliments food – a good start would be some rustic Calabrian pasta dishes.

Rating: 90pts
RRP: $32
ABV: 14%
Supplier: 121BC Cantina

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

2012 Star Lane Nebbiolo (Beechworth)

Australian Nebbiolo.

    Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it

Edgar Albert Guest


I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read or heard that Nebbiolo isn’t really worth pursuing outside of Piedmont in Northern Italy. The theory goes that there exists such a unique synergy between grape and terroir there, that nowhere else will be able to produce wine worthy of this King of grapes.

Well I’ve tasted enough good Australian Nebbiolo over the past 5 years or so to state emphatically that this is not the case. SC Pannell, Luke Lambert, Coriole, and Pizzini are all examples of wineries that have produced Nebbiolos that would sit comfortably in a line-up of Langhe Nebbiolo, albeit that the flavour and texture profiles might be somewhat different from a wine from Piedmont. The only question to my mind is whether Australia will end up producing profound, long lasting Nebbiolo such as one gets with top Barolo and Barbaresco. This is as yet unanswered. I am, however, increasingly of the view that Australian Nebbiolo is like Australian Pinot Noir of twenty years ago or so. Another decade or two will likely see a handful of vineyards and wineries making great Nebbiolo.

To the wine at hand, the 2012 Star Lane Nebbiolo. Somewhat pale and translucent in colour as per the variety. The nose is initially somewhat closed but it opened up over the course of a couple of days to reveal cherry, tar, and a note of orange peel. There’s nice fruit on the palate, but all within a medium bodied Nebbiolo frame. That orange peel note, along with some appealing bittnerness puts me in the mind of a Negroni. No bad thing. Oak is there but unobtrusive. The overall balance of the wine is excellent and it finishes with proper, drying tannin and a lovely earthiness.  On day one I had it at 3.5 Stars, but my last glass on day 2 was impressive enough to give it a nudge. 4 Stars, and a wine that needs a few years in the cellar yet.

Rated: 4 Stars
RRP: $55
Closure: Diam
Drink: 2016-2022


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

2010 Yelland and Papps Divine Shiraz

A typically seductive, ripe, full bodied wine in the Divine range by Yelland and Papps,  smelling and tasting of plush, juicy blackberry, black plum fruit, supported by good quality sweet cedary oak. With air, liquorice and mixed spice open up on the nose.

At 14% abv it has some alcohol heat, though fully in step with the powerful fruit across the palate. A real crowd pleasing wine from a great Barossa Valley vintage. Drink now or cellar 10+ years.

Rating: 95+
ABV: 14%
RRP: $75

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Scarborough 2011 Yellow Label Chardonnay

Scarborough does wonderful things with Chardonnay in the Hunter Valley and the Yellow Label is their out and proud ‘old school’ style of chardonnay. In all but the odd horror Hunter Valley vintages, I can rely on this wine.
Smells of lemon, traces of lemon rind, cashews and spicy, creamy oak
On the palate, juicy lemon, ripe grapefruit, an alluring creamy texture and clean acid. Some integrated oak flavours on the back palate. 

Clean, flavoursome and refreshing, but not overpowering or too woody. The body and flavour to make it a versatile wine to drink with across a range of white meat dishes (seafood to roast chicken thighs).

Old school but wearing a shiny new suit.

Ratings: 91pts
ABV: 13.5%
RRP: $23 (Cellar Door)

2010 Yelland and Papps Divine Grenache

From an impressive Barossa Valley vintage comes a powerful and flavoursome wine made from Grenache north of Greenock, planted in the 19th century. The Divine range are premium wines produced by Yelland and Papps. Made in a familiar and consistent style, they tend to be fully flavoured yet built to last.
Tasting Note:
Juicy, round red and black cherry, mixed black fruit merged neatly with Christmas cake spices. Primary fruit at the front and middle especially.  Finishes with elegant power, no overt confection.  Luscious, approachable and moreish, though kept together thanks to its impressive structure.

Makes a bold impression with a fruit intensity and  rich oak treatment that will please many.
I would probably drink this now, given the few years in the bottle and the luscious fruit on offer, though it would cruise through cellaring for 10 years.

RRP: $75
ABV: 14.5%
Score: 94+ pts

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