Some of the leading wineries in Australia and New Zealand do not seem to care much about the appeal of their label; think Penfolds or Felton Road. I guess they do not have to. Today, I will review the 2018 Felton Road Block 2 Chardonnay. Here is a bottle shot. It may be the last Felton Road one.
Monday, August 31, 2020
Sunday, August 30, 2020
The internationally best known German Riesling estates are from the Mosel; think Dr. Loosen, J.J. Pruem etc. This is partly due to their marketing skill, partly the American sweet tooth and their interest in Auslese and Spaetlese wines. In Germany, wines from the Rheingau and Rheinhessen are held in the highest esteem. The Keller wines sit right at the top.
A little while ago, I reviewed an astonishing Riesling from Keller. Today we step down from those lofty heights, and I will review a still very good Kabinett Riesling from Rheinhessen.
Friday, August 21, 2020
In a recent tasting, a group of us compared premium Cabernet Sauvignon across France, Italy, Australia and the US. A common view is that old world and new world Cabernet is becoming more difficult to distinguish as warmer climate in Europe makes these wines more 'new world', while efforts to reduce ripeness in Australia and the US makes these wines more 'old world'. As we found out, the Cabernet world is more complicated than this and distinctions remain.
Thursday, August 20, 2020
The Penfolds Bin 389 is often called 'Baby Grange', because it is matured in oak previously used by Grange. And it has in common the finalization of fermentation in barrel. However, the fact that it is a Cabernet dominant blend makes it quite different. I will now call it 'Old Faithful'. It has been around for almost 70 years, and you know what you are getting.
The 2010 Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet/Shiraz has an almost black colour, very inky. There is blackberry on the nose, and the eucalypt gives the Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon away. I never thought I would use the term 'fresh' in describing a Penfolds wine, but this wine is still vibrant at 10 years. The wine is elegant yet very full-bodied. The energy in the wine makes it long rather than round. The wine is not heavy, despite the 14.5% alcohol. The tannins are fine grained, and there is a long finish of black fruit.
On day two, strong espresso notes became prominent, and the fruit was a bit dry. Therefore only
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Yesterday was International Pinot Noir day. And while these days are a marketing nonsense, I decided to open a red Burgundy. Domaine Faiveley is a larger producer and manages to make 1er cru at a value price, at least for Burgundy. This has to be applauded.
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Sunday, August 16, 2020
It had to be done. I recently opened my last bottle of the legendary 1990 Penfolds Grange ( legendary, because it was the first year when the term 'Hermitage' was dropped from the label, and when it became the world number one wine in Wine Spectator putting the wine on the world stage). This bottle was re-corked at one of the Penfolds clinics in 2016. As a result, this wine had a very high shoulder (see image).
Monday, August 10, 2020
If you think about an underrated red grape variety, Barbera would be on top of my list. It lives in the shadows of Barolo and Barbaresco, yet can be a concentrated and elegant red wine. It is mainly grown in the regions near the towns of Alba and Asti. Yet today's example comes from Castellania further east, but still part of Piedmont. It is the 2018 Marina Coppi Sant' Andrea.