Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wine Masters

Wine Masters is a new video series on vimeo covering the famous wine regions of the world. Season 1 is on France, with individual episodes covering the Rhone, Loire, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Alsace.

Over the last couple of weeks,  I watched a lot of the Australian Open tennis on television. These days, with a 100 cameras on Centre Court, the viewing experience is better than in the stadium itself. Watching Wine Masters is similar. The cinematography is fantastic, areal shots of the vineyards, close ups of family gatherings and process scenes give an experience you could not gain from a winery visit. This adds value.

I watched the first episode, which is titled ‘Rhone’, but it is actually exclusively on E. Guigal, I guess as a wine master of the Rhone region. Unfortunately, the cinematography outshines information. Individual wines are not mentioned until two thirds through the 45 minute video. The full range, in its price point range probably only matched by Penfolds, is not described. One of the key features of Guigal is that Marcel and Philippe control every aspect of this 6 million bottle production - not explicitly mentioned. So in summary, this is a beautiful movie (which you have to buy), but the wine enthusiast has to gather information elsewhere.

I will watch the other episodes as well and give a further commentary in a few days.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Zuccardi Uco Valley Malbec

The 2013 Zuccardi Malbec comes from the Uco Valley, 100km south of Mendoza. This wine shows the typicality of the Uco Valley really well. Vineyards there are established at more than 1000m in altitude. The intensity of the sunshine leads to thicker skins of the Malbec, and the cool nights extend the ripening period. 

This translates, in this wine, to a fresh aroma of maraschino cherries, while at the same time there is great intensity and a full mouthfeel on the palate. The structure is balanced, with a hint of alcoholic heat on the finish.

Score: 92/+= 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Henschke Tempranillo

Those who have followed my blog for some time, know that I have been critical of many attempts in Australia to fashion 'alternative varieties' at quality levels similar to, say, those varieties in Italy or Spain. However, I have been impressed by the 2015 Henschke Stone Jar Tempranillo.

Although this wine shares the black label of its famous single vineyard icons, it is not made in the mould of those wines. This wine is bright, in your face. Red and black cherry flavours attack the front palate, and mocca accompanies this down the palate. Firm acidity reins in the fruit. This wine is well structured and it stands out. This Tempranillo may be a bit sharp for some, but I enjoyed it.

Score: 92/+++

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Giaconda Warner Vineyard Shiraz

What do you get, when a Shiraz comes from a cool climate, is 14 years old, and the fruit is very concentrated? - The flavour of elderberries.

The bouquet of this 2004 Giaconda Warner Vineyard Shiraz is massive. The aroma of elderberry flows on to the palate. The mouthfeel of this dense wine is big, but the fruit is not overripe. Savoury notes add to the complexity of the wine. The thick feel in the mouth is a surprise for a Beechworth wine, but the finish is almost fresh.

This wine will easily live for another decade.

Score : 94/++