The second wine in my trifecta, drunk last night, was the 2010 Bass Phillip Reserve. This wine created a stir when it was first launched as much for the stamp sized front label as for the bottle content.
Thursday, December 31, 2020
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
A year like no other - you would have read this 100 times. I feel it is reason enough to raid the cellar and get out three of the best wines Australia has to offer for three consecutive nights. You only go around once. Last night it was the 2010 Henschke Hill Of Grace. I do not buy these wines anymore, as prices have gone through the roof, but I used to buy a couple of bottles from the great vintages, and 2010 was one. To start with, the wine comes in a nice wooden box.
Brokenwood is an unusual winery. It is one of the most highly regarded wineries in the Hunter Valley, yet quite a bit of its wines actually come from McLaren Vale. I believe this impacts on its style of Hunter Valley red wines, which are fuller bodied than one would normally find. Today, I am briefly reviewing the 2014 Brokenwood Wade Block 2 Shiraz from McLaren Vale.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
I decided to use the 'a must read' notion, when I come across something extraordinary. It will be rarely used. So far, I only applied it to The Standish Wine Company 2018 releases last March. Today is the second time.
The Timorasso grape was almost extinguished, but the Massa family continued to farm it through the generations. Now the planting has grown from 5ha to about 180ha near Tortona, 100km east of Alba, in the eastern corner of Piedmont. Major Barolo producers, such as Vietti and Podero have started projects there. Prior to phylloxera, the Timorasso production was larger than Nebbiolo. The labelling is similar; Timorasso is the grape, Derthona (after Tortona) is the wine, like Nebbiolo and Barolo.
Monday, December 28, 2020
The family gatherings this Christmas have been much smaller for most. It probably meant the variety of wine was less than in previous years, but hopefully just as enjoyable.
In my case, it started with a beautiful grower Champagne from André Clouet, called Silver. It showed a beautiful balance between citrus and yeast flavours. This was followed by a sensational white wine called Timorasso, which I will write up separately tomorrow. There was also a Valenciso Rosé from Rioja, and a 2005 Wendouree Shiraz and a 2013 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon.
What did you drink for Christmas? Let the comments come in, also from Europe and the US, please.
Saturday, December 26, 2020
There are legendary wines in Australia, like Penfolds Grange or Hill of Grace; there are cult wines like Greenock Creek or Cloudburst, and then there is one legendary cult wine. This is Wendouree - a cult wine for over 50 years.
Thursday, December 24, 2020
I have on occasion voiced the opinion I prefer cork as a closure for red wine. Screw caps have done one good thing. They made the Portuguese take notice and dramatically improve cork performance. Also, because there are now only a few Australian wineries who use cork, they are being noticed and no longer at the end of the queue receiving the worst product. So the question now is, if you have a perfect cork, why would you use screw cap? The answer is, it is easy and 95% of wine is drunk within 24 hours of purchase. But what about the other 5%?
I assume most of my readers anywhere in the world store some wine in one form or another. The other day screw cap did it for me. I opened a bottle of Felton Road Block 5 and served it blind to a group of experienced tasters. People picked Central Otago straight away, and the age was estimated between 2014 and 2017. The wine was from 2008. The wine just had not aged much. Central Otago produces powerful Pinot Noir, but we can never experience it in the way we can an older Burgundy wine, matured by minimal oxygen exchange under cork.
Bring back cork for red wine!
Sunday, December 20, 2020
It is impossible to find 'cheap' 1er cru Burgundy, but if you are prepared to spend money on the best Australian Pinot Noirs, you can make 1er cru comparisons from less fancied regions in Burgundy. One such region is Santenay, at the southern end of the Côte de Beaune.
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
The Great Southern region of Western Australia is becoming a strong performer for Riesling.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
As a consumer of fine wine, I have not been too impressed by many of the new, and often natural wines from the Adelaide Hills. Having said this, the Adelaide Hills are a hub of innovation, and this should be applauded. The feedback cycles in making wine are very long. It therefore will take decades to get some of these new approaches right. And I have to apply the same quality measuring stick to new wines as to established ones.
This 2018 Murdoch Hill Chardonnay is not made in a radical way, but it comes from a relatively new winery, only 20! years old. The winery also makes a more hand-made artisan range, which I have yet to try.
Saturday, December 5, 2020
St. Hallett is one of the stalwart wineries in the Barossa. Its wines are competently made and reliable. However like others, St Hallett has felt the pressure to if not move away from ripe Shiraz, at least offer an alternative. Along comes the 2018 St. Hallett Higher Earth Syrah from Eden Valley.