Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rootstock Sydney, part 2

In the first part, I reported on the wines which particularly impressed me. In this blog, I will comment on the other wines I tried. As an introduction, I need to say that the tasting hall was incredibly hot. As a result, most wines were not served at optimum temperature.

The Australian wineries I visited take the biodynamic regime very seriously and do not use any additives. This made some wines quite volatile. One such example was the 2011 Pinot Noir from Lethbridge (84 points). I have tried these wines in the past. Sometimes they can be quite good, but this one was not, unfortunately. You would never think that the 2013 Shobbrook Seppeltsfield Syrah is from the Barossa. This wine is feminine and lifted. Quite beautiful now, but will it age (92 points)? Castagna has been a top producer from Beechworth for many years. The biodynamic regime has become more rigorous, but I am not sure it has improved the wine. The flagship 2010 Genesis Syrah shows beautifully pure plum fruit, and is overall quite savoury (93 points), but I was disappointed with the 2007 Castagna 'Sauvage', a Shiraz/Sangiovese blend. This wine had mint and savoury flavours and was overall quite tough (88 points). I do not know much about Yangarra from McLaren Vale. The 2010 Shiraz is quite smooth, but a bit fruity (88 points). The 2012 Old Vine Grenache is also fruity, but has a nice lift on the finish and a good acid/tannin balance (91 points). I was not impressed with the wines from Ochota Barrels. I found the 2013 Surfer Rosa too sweet (85 points), and the 2013 Green Room, a Grenache based blend quite syrupy and too much in your face (86 points). - As you can see, these were a mixed bag.

Burn Cottage is from Central Otago. It is a new winery and its 2012 Pinot Noir is pretty and pleasant, but lacks depth (88 points). The Hans Herzog Estate from Marlborough is much better known. Their wines often distinguish themselves through great purity. I tried the 2012 Gruener Veltiner. It has strong pear flavours, but finishes quite short (88 points). Pyramid Valley, from Canterbury, is regarded by some as a cult winery, mainly because of its quite isolated location and densely planted home vineyard. I found the 2011 Kerner Vineyard Pinot Blanc fruity and a bit simple (86 points). However, the 2011 Lion's Tooth Chardonnay from the home vineyard is impressive. The mango and exotic fruit flavours are strong,distinctive and very complex, with good length. A wine I still remember well, but production is less than 200 cases (93 points). The 2010 Cowley Vineyard Pinot Noir has strawberry flavours and is quite earthy (91 points). More impressive is the 2011 Earth Smoke Pinot Noir from the home vineyard. This wine is also based on strawberry flavours. It is quite precise and has good length (93 points). This is a winery I will keep an eye on.

Now on to some exotic pursuits. Pittnauer is an Austrian winery focussed on red wine, unusual for this country. I tried the 2010 Rosenberg St Laurent. Sankt Laurent is an indigenous grape I never tried before. I did not like it one bit. I thought the wine was very flat and acidic (less than 80 points). Pheasant's Tears
is from the Caucasus region in Georgia. Georgia actually has quite an extensive wine production.  This winery, owned by an American, makes wine from indigenous grapes, based on ancient methods of natural wine making in the area. I tried the  2009 Rkatsiteli, an orange wine, which I thought was unusual, but not interesting (80 points), and the 2007 Saperavi, a relatively light red wine. It showed blackberry and plum flavours, nice tannins and some length (88 points).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting you say the Ochota barrels rose was too sweet for you. It is actually 100 % dry with no residual sugar at all!