Having had the pleasure of the mature Lynch-Bages, I wanted to explore how the 2009 vintage stacks up by tasting three wines from different left bank subregions.
Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Monday, May 30, 2022
Monday, May 23, 2022
There is no doubt that Tasmania can deliver top shelf Chardonnay. Is the 2021 Frogmore Creek Chardonnay in the same league as Tolpuddle, Penfolds and a couple of others?
Floral notes will start you off, followed by pineapple and white peach. There is good purity of the fruit. The oak, through vanilla and nutty flavours, is quite present. The wine is a little sweet, which I did not find appealing, but might suit some. The wine has medium length and low acidity. This should be drunk young.
Clearly, this wine is not top shelf, but the attractive pricing reflects this.
Monday, May 16, 2022
It was not until after I bought a bottle of 2019 Achaval Ferrer Malbec that I started to think about it. You see, this business is owned by Stolichnaya, a Russian vodka business. Are we, as individual consumers to boycott Russian goods? On one level, it makes sense, because it creates trouble for these companies, and hopefully creates pressure for the Russian regime. On the other hand, and in particular if the business resides elsewhere, it hurts local employment, and would it really achieve anything? Anyway, I had bought this bottle before those thoughts went through my mind.
Sunday, May 15, 2022
I came across this unusual (for me, at least) wine from Südtirol in Northern Italy and thought I must try this.
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Timo Mayer is a charismatic winemaker, and his wines have personality, too. This is certainly true of the 2018 Mayer Yarra Valley Syrah. The Syrah labelling indicates this wine is cool climate. Indeed, it comes from the upper part of his vineyard.
Thursday, May 12, 2022
Giant Steps has been producing successful single vineyard wines from the Yarra Valley for a number of years. The 2018 Giant Steps Nocton Vineyard Pinot Noir is their first Pinot Noir from a different region, in this case from the Coal River Valley in Tasmania.
Saturday, May 7, 2022
My understanding of US Pinot Noir is less than of Burgundy, and certainly a lot less than of Australian or New Zealand Pinot Noir. However, I recently developed a theory of these wines.
The first area to gain recognition for Pinot Noir was Sonoma and Russian River. Just north of Napa, these regions are still quite warm, and most Pinot Noirs reflect this. They are quite dark and full-bodied, Shiraz drinkers Pinot Noir, if you like, and comparable to Central Otago. There are exceptions with lighter bodied wines, but this is the main rule. Then along came Oregon, which set out to make Pinot Noirs much closer to Burgundy (this is the theory, but see below). And recently, the Sonoma Coast gained prominence. This subregion is close to the ocean and at higher elevation, perhaps combining the best of the two main regions mentioned above.
I recently tasted a couple of premium wines from these last two regions. Let's first talk about the 2015 Evening Land La Source Pinot Noir. It comes from the Seven Springs Estate at Eola-Amity Hills, a key area in the Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
It is a blockbuster couple of days, with the Hill of Grace launch today. However, hardly anyone can afford it. I opened a Basket Press instead to see how it would compare with the Standish wines. It is not a totally fair comparison, as this is the 2009 Rockford Basket Press Shiraz.
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Dan Standish, with his last two releases, has achieved the trifecta of power, elegance, and drive in his wines. The 2020 vintage threw up a particular challenge. It was the second drought year; even old vines start to struggle then. Yields are low, only a couple hundred kg/acre, as opposed to the standard low 1/2t/acre. The harvest was 80% below normal. As a result, the skin to pulp ratio of the grapes is high, and the risk of harvesting grapes with port-like flavours is real. Dan Standish told me a year ago, there would only be one wine. Things must have improved, because four wines will be released today. I decanted these wines 5 hours before tasting, assuming they would be big and concentrated, and tasted over two days.