Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rosemount Show Reserve Chardonnay

The reason most of my reviews are quite positive is that I mainly report on wines from my cellar, and I usually taste before I buy. But being independent, I am quite happy to dish out negative reviews where they are deserved.

I tried the 2009 Rosemount Show Reserve Chardonnay on an aeroplane. What a shocker this is. Rosemount used to have access to a vast amount of Chardonnay, and some were reasonable. I have not had any of their wines for a while and don't know the current circumstances.

In any event, this wine is as industrial as you can get: no particular fruit flavour, very oaky, slightly sweet. It screems 'pump out the volume' and 'enjoy the alcohol, no matter what the taste'.

Score: 72/---

PS: I just saw this wine advertised in a merchant's brochure: oaky is 'toasty' and what I called 'no particular fruit flavour' is 'straw and melon finish'. Hilarious!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Uzbek wines

I have been a bit silent due to my travels to Central Asia. I have yet to find a 90 pointer in Uzbekistan, but some red wine is drinkable. Some customs are unusual, though.

My favourite wine so far is called Classico, from Tashkent. It is called a Vino Rosso Secco. There is no name of a maker on the front label and no year. The back label is in russian and mentions a manufacturer's address. - The label mysteries continue, obviously.

The wine is probably a Cabernet Sauvignon or blend, but the yield pretty high. The colour is slightly off-red, and the fruit concentration not great. However, the wine has some structure and firm tannins. - You are unlikely to be interested in this, I gather.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

John Duval 2009 New Releases

If you are interested in Barossa wines, in particular Shiraz, you have some difficult vintages to deal with: 2007 and 2008 have been drought years, with wines often too ripe and not very differentiated. 2011 is a disaster, and don't get persuaded by whatever the local spin doctors come up with. So the vintages to go for are 2009 and 2010.

The first 2009 reds are coming out now, and I had the opportunity to taste the 2009 John Duval Plexus and the 2009 John Duval Entity yesterday. The Plexus is the GSM, the Entity the pure Shiraz. These wines are pretty much as far away as you can get from the Penfolds profile. They are wines where the fruit reigns supreme and the 2009s are impressive. The Plexus shows the elements of all three grapes, the Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre quite clearly and weaves them to an elegant whole. The Entity, from vineyards in the Barossa as well as Eden Valley shows more fruit concentration, a very pretty plum profile. There is oak there as well, and fine tannins - a wine made for longer term cellaring. I was impressed and can recommend these well made wines.