Saturday, July 27, 2013

2008 Bindi Original Vineyard Pinot Noir (Macedon)

When I first tried this wine a few years back it stood out as one of the best Pinot Noirs I had had. Trying it at five years of age just recently, and having had plenty of impressive Pinot in the interim, my view on this wine hasn't changed.

This is just a beautiful Pinot to smell. So perfumed, it reveal aromas of strawberries, dark cherries, cinnamon, and ginger. Once you've had your fill of the bouquet you'll find pitch perfect balance on the palate between generosity and elegance. All those lovely flavours are restrained and framed by fine acidity and tannins. A hint of stalkiness and an appealing note of orange peel add further complexity, before it finishes with great length and purpose.

Great now, and possibly even better in another 5 years time. Luckily I have another bottle left in the cellar.


RRP: $70
Drink: 2013-2018+
Closure: Diam
ABV: 13.5%


Sunday, July 14, 2013

2012 Hoddles Creek Chardonnay (Yarra Valley)

A part of the amazing affordability that Hoddles Creek offers is driven by the fact that winemaker Franco D’anna releases his wines very early. The downside to this is that when you excitedly crack open what you are pretty sure is going to be a damn good wine, you are often left a bit underwhelmed on day 1 by something that seems a bit disjointed and raw.

And so it was with this wine. Never fear though. By day 3 this was singing. Lovely citrus and grapefruit meets some appealing funk, mainly a cheesy funk that is. Intensity, generosity and stonefruit sweetness through the mid-palate, which carries through to a lengthy finish. Nutty and spicy notes are sprinkled in there for good measure. 

Give it a couple of years and there will be much chardonnay joy to be had with this little number.


Drink: 2015-2020
RRP: $19
ABV: 13.2%
Closure: Screwcap


Sunday, July 7, 2013

2011 Tarrawarra Viognier, Rousanne, Marsanne

Provided all of the components to this type of blend are made with care, I enjoy a good Australian white Rhone blend. 2011 was a difficult vintage in most regions, including the Yarra Valley, so I was interested to see how this presented on the tasting bench.

The wine has a pretty, slightly sweet bouquet of orange blossom, freshly cut apricots and some citrus fruits. In the mouth the textural qualities of the wine dominate: rounded yet not flabby, the wine spreads across the palate without flooding it. There is a pleasant grassiness on the mid palate, with a savoury, spicy and slightly bitter finish that includes orange peel, some sugared ginger and finely grated fresh ginger.

There are some interesting textural and acidity interplay with this wine that might please or put people off, while the finish is subtly spicy and pleasantly bitter which may also polarize. Regardless, I found this a cleansing, interesting wine from a very difficult vintage.

Rating: 88pts
ABV: 12.5%
RRP: $30


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

1968 Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon (Coonawarra)

1968 was not exactly a dull year. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were both assassinated. The Tet offensive shattered the perceptions of many about the conflict in Vietnam. Massive student protests rolled through Western Europe. The Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia. Things in Australia were a little less drama-filled, though apparently the Postmaster-General decreased the number of mail deliveries per day from two to one.
At the same time, in a remote pocket of South Australia, Wynns were making their 15th vintage of their cabernet sauvignon. Fast forward to today and Wynns have released 55 vintages of the Black Label, and it has become in that time one of Australia’s great wines.
This bottle was a random purchase from my offsite cellar provider. A punt on a piece of tree bark having kept a wine that almost always cellars well beyond initial expectations.
The ullage levels were mid-high shoulder which is pretty good for a 45 year old wine. Still at that age it is very much a lottery, and I thought it’s opening would reveal either a ruined offering or something quite exceptional. As it turned out it took a kind of middle road, in that what evolved in the glass was simply a lovely aged Cabernet. It smelt and tasted aged, but I would have never have picked it for a 45 year old wine. There was still plenty of fruit, and cork permitting, there’s no reason it wouldn’t continue to live for a while yet.
Beautiful blackcurrant, old furniture mustiness, mint, and a lovely earthiness. Soft and supple, the flavours are carried by some tannin that’s still holding in there and some nice acidity as well.  The finish actually lengthened as it opened up in the glass, giving that extra dimension of enjoyment. Four of us finished the bottle in good time with slow cooked lamb-shanks as the match. Remarkable that such a humble wine has aged so well and it bodes well for recent vintages of this wine that are now under screwcap.  Love my Wynns.

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