Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2012 Dandelion "Wonderland of Eden Valley" Riesling (Eden Valley)

The consistency and quality on offer from the 2012 vintage for Clare and Eden Valley Rieslings would almost be boring, but for the fact that the wines just taste so damn good.

As with most Riesling from this vintage there is a primary, vinous quality that makes this offering from Dandelion incredibly enjoyable from the get go. Ripe lime juice, white flowers, and a gin and tonic quality. All this fruit and flavour sits within an architecture that should see it age well for a decade and beyond. Lovely acidity, a nice sense of texture, and great length of finish. It improved over three days of drinking, and by day three that tell-tale Eden Valley minerality had emerged. Great wine.


RRP: $27.50
ABV: 12.0%
Drink: 2013-2027
Closure: Screwcap


Sunday, May 19, 2013

2002 Leasingham Bin 7 Riesling (Clare Valley)

This wine had been sitting in the cellar for a while. I have a feeling it was part of a 6 pack offer for subscribing to the Winefront ( back in about 2006. How time flies . . . 

Put simply, a beautiful aged riesling. It still shows vibrant citrus fruit and acidity, but age has softened the wine, producing some honeyed richness as well. It drinks beautifully, with a great persistence of flavour. Displaying talc and florals, a hint of kero, there is also some pebble stone minerality. Over the course of a few days it actually improved, and my score continued to climb, so I would suggest its peak is still a few years away, though there's nothing to stop you drinking it now. Of course under screwcap you can continue to age this with confidence. Another stellar riesling from this much lauded Clare Valley vintage.

Rated: 4.5 stars
Drink: 2013-2017


Monday, May 13, 2013

2011 Howard Park Flint Rock Pinot Noir (Mount Barker)

Pinot Noir from the Great Southern region in Western Australia is relatively unexplored territory for me. I’ve been impressed by the Picardy Pinot on occasions, but beyond that there is not too much that easily springs to mind. This offering is sourced from the Mount Barrow vineyard in the Mount Barker region. Howard Park describes the 2011 vintage as on the warm side of perfect.

This is a pretty impressive Pinot and certainly distinctive. Smoky undergrowth is the dominant aroma initially, and as the wine opens up cherries and some nice oak reveals themselves. To drink it is ripe but medium-bodied, with a bit of stalkiness and spice in the mix. It’s underpinned with a prominent acidity that should better integrate with another year or two in bottle. The thing that really marks it out though is a quite intense mid-palate minerality (dare I say it flinty!), giving the wine a great sense of texture. Enjoyed drinking this and worth the journey to the west. 4 Stars.

RRP: $27
ABV: 14.0%
Closure: Cork
Drink: 2013-2018


Friday, May 3, 2013

Brown Brothers Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Pinot Meunier NV and 2012 Rolling Sparkling Pinot Grigio Chardonnay (Central Ranges NSW)

Two contrasting sparklings on the tasting bench: one a reliable NV from Victoria, another a ripe, fruity 2012 vintage from NSW.

Brown Brothers Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Pinot Meunier NV
This Brown Brothers wine is as safe bet in an Australian sparkling wine context. The wine sings a steady tune, with yeasty, bready aromas with fresh strawberry and mild citrus on the nose, with strawberry fruit and a nice, vibrant mousse on the palate. Finishes with fresh acidity without harshness you get with many sparkling wines below $20. Balanced, reliable and fantastic value.

RRP: $18-20
ABV: 13%
Rating: 90 pts

2012 Rolling Sparkling Pinot Grigio Chardonnay (Central Ranges NSW)
A blend of 50% chardonnay and 50% Pinot Grigio. Fresh and vibrant nose of sweet cut apple and pear.  Apple and ripe pear prominent on the palate once again. Smells and tastes sweet from start to the back palate though finishes crisp and not as cloying as expected. Texturally quite soft and smooth with pleasant acidity.  Quite a simple, fresh, fruit driven wine that would be popular with many, especially the Sauvignon Blanc army. Poles apart stylistically to the Brown Brothers NV.

RRP: $18.95
ABV: 13%
Rating: 86 pts

Face-Off: 2011 Pardas Rupestris (Penedes, Spain)

Red: The second of the Pardas wines from the Penedes region in Spain that Brown and I conducted a little Face-Off on.

How’s this for a mouthful of a blend - 70% xarel.lo, 10% xarel.lo vermell, 10% malvasia de sitges, and 10 % macabeu. Indigenous varieties from Penedes in Spain. If you’ve never heard of any of these four varieties you could certainly be forgiven, though Xarel lo and Macabeu are traditionally blending components of Cava, the Spanish sparkling wine. So how do these varieties go as a table wine? Well if the Rupestris is anything to go by then they certainly hold merit.

Opens with a bit of funky pong that largely blows off with a bit of air. Prominent acidity throughout and very dry in style. Nice flavours of citrus and peach are revealed with a bit of time before an appealing flinty/earthy minerality kicks in. Good length. Perfect with fresh seafood. A lovely, textural, dry white wine. 90.

I tried what remained in the bottle a couple of days later and the acidity had become better integrated and touch of honeyed generosity had appeared. Worth holding onto for another a year or two before drinking. 91

Brown: largely neutral nose with air, though if pressed, initially some hydrogen sulphide pong (that blew off a few minutes after opening), pork crackling and very subtle lemon florals.

Understated citrus fruit, unripe white nectarine, and lemon. Taut acidity at the front and back palate. The fruit and mouthfeel fleshes out a bit in the mid palate, and finishes taut, dry and clean.

Interesting, rather austere wine with clean acidity though nice mid-palate texture that would complement a range of seafood options and even poached chicken. 89-90pts + (bonus for its uniqueness and versatility with food)

RRP: Not sure but the LUC is $18
Closure: Cork
ABV: 12.5%

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