Friday, April 30, 2021

Chateau Oumsiyat Jaspe Red

 Chateau Musar is the leading wine company of Lebanon. The other day, I had the opportunity to try another red wine from Lebanon at an Arabian dinner. This was the 2014 Chateau Oumsiyat Jaspe Red. I know no background of this wine.

Cab Sauv Syrah Carignan Cinsault

This medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon blend tastes of blackberry, olive, and red plum. The fruit concentration is medium, as is the acidity. The wine delivers a smooth mouthfeel on the mid-palate with dry dusty tannins. The finish is slightly harsh.

This is not a bad wine, particularly with food, and when wine is not the focus. However, it is not good enough to really seek it out, unless you are curious.

Score: 87/0

Friday, April 23, 2021

Chapoutier de L'Orée Ermitage

 The second astonishing Hermitage Blanc wine I tasted on the night mentioned a few posts below was the 1991 Chapoutier de L’Orée Ermitage. It was the first year this Marsanne was made. It comes from the lower parts of the famous hill, with the vines grown on alluvial soil.

This 30 year old wine was not as alive as the Chave reviewed previously, but it was still in very good shape. The colour was a medium intensity golden. Apple flavours and walnut made for an enticing flavour mix. The wine was smooth with a slightly oxidative bent.

Score: 93/++

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Kosta Browne Rosella's Vineyard

 I drink a fair bit of Kosta Browne Pinot Noir from California, but normally do not report on it, as it is mailing list only, and not many would have a chance to try it. But this wine was really quite special.

The 2013 Kosta Browne Rosella's Vineyard from the Santa Lucia Highlands is very layered, with red and black cherry, and raspberry flavours building on top of each other. The oak is smartly integrated. The mid palate shows the sweet core (a must for American wine). Acidity and dry tannins pick up the wine again, leading to a silky finish. This is a full-bodied Pinot Noir, and why not, if it is done well.

Score: 95/+++

Monday, April 19, 2021

Craggy Range Te Kahu


The 2016 Craggy Range Te Kahu, a single vineyard wine from the home block, yet a blend of five Bordeaux varieties, with Merlot taking the lead at 63%, received rave reviews on release. I did not taste it at the time, bought it on spec. Tonight, I opened my first bottle. 

Blackberry, mulberry, and black olive flavours blend well together. The fruit intensity is medium in this elegant and smooth wine. The tannins are soft and dry, well integrated. The finish is long, but a little lean.

This wine lacks some power and complexity which I would have expected from the Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay, but it is a lovely wine. It will continue to evolve for a few years.

Score: 92/++ 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Jean-Louis Chave Sélection

It is not very often one has an opportunity to drink Hermitage White, in particular from the top of the famous hill. This 2011 Jean-Louis Chave Sélection Blanche is 100% Marsanne. The 50-60 year old vines grow on iron-rich clay soils. The wine has been matured in used oak.

This wine drinks deliciously right now. The colour is still light. This wine is superbly elegant with flavours of white peach, apple seed, quince, hazelnut and a splash of marzipan. The mouthfeel is harmonious from beginning to end. The slightly waxy finish is very satisfying.

Score: 96/+++ 


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon

 There is no need to show the label. It is as boring as all Penfolds labels. But I did not expect the disappointment this 2010 Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon was providing on taste.

There is good fruit concentration in this wine, but the blackcurrant flavours are quite dried out. What remains very present are the vanilla notes from the American oak. As a result, the mouthfeel is really dull. The tannins are firm and dry leading to quite a piercing finish. If you are looking for a graceful Cabernet, look elsewhere.

Score: 88/--

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Clarendon Hills Domaine Clarendon


Domaine Clarendon is one of the less expensive wines in the Clarendon Hills stable, yet it still comes from the desirable Clarendon subregion of McLaren Vale.

The 2012 Clarendon Hills Domaine Clarendon is a full-bodied wine tasting of ripe plum and blackberry. The tannins are a little rough and extracted, and overall the wine is not too balanced. Much of the Shiraz from South Australia is very ripe. The good wines stay on the side of what is pleasantly drinkable. This wine is just on the other side for my taste. 

It is often instructive to experience the wine on the second day. A couple of posts below I commented how a Scavino Barolo excelled on day two. This wine developed quite a harsh mouthfeel on the second day.

Score: 89/- 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock

 I remember 15 years ago or so I attended a vertical tasting of Emily's Paddock, going back a further 20 years. The old wines were beautiful with their noses of leather and savoury flavours. I have not had this brand for a long time, so I was curious when I pulled this 2012 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock from the cellar, how it would compare to my memories.

The first impression on taste is this is a full-bodied wine, quite ripe. Blackcurrant flavours hit the front palate, then secondary and tertiary notes take over. There is a hint of leather, but more prominent are barnyard notes. This wine has aged quite quickly, but there is still some elegance to this wine, largely due to the fine tannins and the long finish.

If you own this wine, drink it now.

Score: 92/+ 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Jane Eyre Volnay

The weight of this bottle suggests this is a serious Burgundy. The Australian outpost in Burgundy, Jane Eyre, has managed access to good fruit. It shows in this bottle.

This 2015 Jane Eyre Volnay is a medium-bodied wine. It is red fruited, with some black cherry notes as well. This wine, from a warm vintage, is well balanced and not overdone. The tannins are finely grained, and the wine goes on for a while on the finish. 

So what is the difference between this wine and a grand cru? Fruit intensity, tannins and acidity are in synch, and reach a 6 or 7 out of 10. They are not dialled up as high as a grand cru at 9 or 10. Having said this, this profile works well in this warm vintage: recommended.

Score: 92/++