Wednesday, October 31, 2018

2000 Clos du Papes Chateauneuf du Pape (Southern Rhone, France)

This was a great wine with which to celebrate my better half's birthday. Given how little Chateauneuf du Pape (CDP) I have drunk it also reminded me of how much more exploration I have to do of the great wine regions of the world, never mind how much exciting new stuff is out there as well. By reputation Clos du Pape is one of the top estates in Chateauneuf du Pape and this wine didn't disappoint.

Kirsch cherries, florals, and leather on the nose. The entry onto the palate is supple and elegant, but nevertheless has wonderful intensity. Beautiful fruit underpins this wine. It's chock full of spice and still has plenty of lovely tannin at 18 years of age. In turned increasingly earthy through the finish. Superb wine and one that is really in a sweet spot now.

Rated: 95
Drink: 2018-2023+

Thursday, September 6, 2018

2017 Chatto Isle Pinot Noir (Tasmania)

With a post from Brown recently, and now myself, is it possible that RedtoBrown is coming out of the hibernation induced by young children? Certainly this was a wine that raised me from my slumber.

I've written previously about the long-term journey that Jim and Daisy Chatto have been on to make great Pinot - 

Since that first release in 2012, they haven't missed a beat, and for mine they are producing some of the best Pinot in the country.
The Isle is their top wine, coming from a "purple patch" on their Isle Vineyard. Only 180 odd cases made. It's a blend of the 777, Abel, and 667 clones, and is made with sensitive oak input (1 and 2 year old barriques), 1/3 whole bunches, and natural yeast. As with all Chatto wines the vineyard is allowed to speak.

It's beautifully perfumed from the get go. The stalk influence clearly playing a part in wonderful and expressive aromas of dark cherry and florals. On the palate there is a great intensity of fruit, but it's not at all heavy, with a lovely mouth perfume to match. Hints of smokiness. Fine tannin. It's certainly young at this stage with some stalky spice not yet fully integrated. Time will resolve this though. It's long through the finish with some earthiness emerging as the wine opened up. Needs a few years in the cellar and then it will fly. Outstanding.

Rated: 95+
RRP: $75
Closure: Screwcap
Drink: 2020-2027+

Sunday, June 10, 2018

2007 Yelland and Papps Greenock Shiraz

Reflecting on the wines Red and I reviewed in our “active” period from 2009 to roughly 2015*, one winery that stood out for me was Yelland and Papps. You can see in our archive that several of their wines were reviewed, and rated well. Susan and Michael Papps are indeed, as their website claims, “boutique artisan producers pushing boundaries with respect to the traditions”.

While their ‘Second Take’ range and creative blends like the Vin de Soif definitely push traditional boundaries, their Greenock Shiraz was, and remains, in the classic Barossa style - made in a bold, traditional style, using old growth grapes from one of the most reliable sub-regions of the Barossa (and a trusted grape grower to-boot).

This bottle being reviewed was purchased in the dining room of Susan and Michael in 2009 when Red and I were halfway through a very memorable wine holiday in the Barossa Valley. I still recall the enjoyable tasting where Susan and Michael hosted us, telling us of their plans to expand the winery and their love of good Grenache. Looking back on those early days, and where their winery is today, it is a very happy memory - winemakers are passionate about their craft, love life, and are  living the dream on so many levels.

The 2007 vintage was a hot one, and on the whole, I have not cellared many wines from this vintage. However, the wine making and vineyard/grape selection of Y&P have always impressed, and this wine confirms it. Following 9 years of careful (offsite) cellaring, the Greenock Shiraz still showing its fruit profile of blackberries and dark plumb - both on the nose and palate. The oak and alcohol (14.5%) are prominent, but harmonious with the overall package.

Unlike so many wines in the “Parkerised” era of 2003-2010 (or so) which were alcohol fruit bombs when young and then quickly became soupy, dark chocolate concoctions doused in pure, hot alcohol, this wine is warming, but still integrated with the fruit. It is powerful, alcoholic and dark, but in balance. It finishes relatively savoury, with notes of liquorice and chocolate.

Given the vintage and the time in the cellar, this wine was a surprise. But then again, it should not have been.  Yelland and Papps are a small but elite Australian winery, and the longevity of this wine, from a poor vintage, is further proof of why they are held in such high esteem.

Rating: 94+
ABV: 14.5%
RRP: N/A (cellared wine)
Drink: Now-2020 (if you still have some, try them and make the call - still has time to develop)

  *RedtoBrown is in hiatus, but we still have a passion for wine, and intend to fire-up the blog at some stage. Keep the faith! Hope to see you soon at a wine event or winery.
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