The Kilikanoon business has a strong commercial orientation, and while there is nothing wrong with it, in fact it is necessary to an extent, obviously, I have never been drawn to its wines. However, a few years ago, I was given its flagship Attunga 1865 Shiraz from Clare Valley.
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Saturday, January 23, 2021
For a special occasion, I opened a bottle of the oldest Barolo in my cellar from the legendary Giacomo Conterno.
The 1997 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Francia had a high shoulder and look at the cork! Fresh like a daisy and came out like a two year old.
1997 in Piedmont was similar to 1982 in Bordeaux. This warm vintage put Nebbiolo on the international map. At the time, new approaches were tried in Piedmont, but not by Conterno. His maceration period was 30 days or so, the barrels large.
In 2020, this is a mature wine. The wine still has some freshness on the nose, but on the palate, the primary fruit is almost gone. There are tea leaves, a bit of dark cherry, cedar and tobacco. But Conterno was never about the fruit, and the structure is still strong. The very long dry and silky finish gives this wine its quality.
Monday, January 18, 2021
In a recent tasting of examples of 8 different white wine varieties, three wines stood out. The move in Germany to designate some sites with GG (Grosses Gewächs), and imposing some regulations for these, has clearly been successful. The example in this tasting was the 2015 A. Christmann Koenigsbacher IDIG GG Riesling.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Friday, January 15, 2021
Highland Heritage from Orange is new to me. The 2019 Highland Heritage Riesling has done quite well on the show circuit.
Monday, January 11, 2021
I have been reflecting how my favourite Barossa wineries have been changing over time. It is a bit like companies on the stock exchange, except in this case it is not market capitalisation that drives it, but a combination of changing winemaking styles, new entrants, and a changing palate on my part. So here it goes:
10 years ago*
1) The Standish Wine company
* Penfolds is excluded as a multi region blender
** Eperosa could perhaps be in the current list, but I have not tasted it enough
Friday, January 8, 2021
I assume 'Odi' does not relate to odd, but it could. The two unusual features are the shape of the bottle, a bit like an old Roman wine vessel,
and the fact that this wine is a blend of three vintages, a bit like what is being done in Champagne. I reviewed the Sami-Odi The Little Wine #4 a while ago, but it is worth another review.
The fruit comes from the highly regarded Hoffmann vineyard in the Northern Barossa, where ironstone soil reigns supreme, and the temperatures are high. The two main vintage components come from 2013 and 2014. There is no surprise this is a full-bodied wine then. However, it is surprising that this wine is quite elegant while delivering a big mouthfeel. Blackberry, ripe plum, and black olive produce an intense core, but there is enough drive to make this wine delicious to drink. This wine has a smooth and long finish, backed by dry tannins, with the slightest hint of alcohol.
I must say I am not a big fan of this three year blending, given that the Hoffmann vineyard is very special and can deliver terroir and vintage specific results. Having said this, Sami-Odi produces a single vineyard wine from Hoffmann as well.
I drank this wine some time ago, but now, after 6-7 years it is more rounded and integrated. This is a modern take on a ripe Barossa wine, which I can recommend whole-heartedly.
Anyone had any experience with this producer?
Thursday, January 7, 2021
There are not many exciting Pinot Gris outside of France and maybe Italy. But there is this guy in Marlborough, New Zealand who is an exception. Coming from Switzerland, it is not surprising that there is this attention to detail, in this vineyard of many varieties. In a way, Herzog reminds me of Domaine A in Tasmania, the other Swiss influenced winery in Asia/Pacific, now owned by MONA's David Walsh. The wines are totally different, but the focus on quality is very similar.
Friday, January 1, 2021
The third wine in this trio of indulgence was Grange, of course. I was tempted to open a 2010 as well, the last vintage I bought of this wine. However, I felt this would not have been near its peak yet, so I decided for a 1998 Penfolds Grange. This wine had been recorked at the recorking clinic in 2016. This is a terrific service by Penfolds. First, the wine is opened to check on its quality. Then a couple of thimbles of new wine (in this case Grange 2010) get added to the wine. As a result, there is a threefold benefit: a new cork, very high shoulder, and a bit of refreshment, if you like).