Henschke's Lenswood vineyard in the Adelaide Hills

Monday, 29 August 2011

Two Hands, Ares Shiraz (2007)

Barossa Valley/McLaren Vale, South Australia
16%, screwcap, non organic, RRP $165

A bouquet of aniseed and tar. On the palate there was a range of red to mainly dark fruit, with Silky mouthfeel. Finishing with refreshing acidity and grippy tannins, it had impressive length. Medium to full bodied - 95.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Tyrrell's Rufus Stone, Shiraz (2006)

Heathcote, Victoria
15.5%, screwcap, non organic, around $21

Dark purple. Quite a pungent meaty nose, with elements of salami, stewed plums and some cedary notes. Impressive fruit intensity with bright red fruits and bramble on the palate. Oak in the background. Nice balance. Slightly grippy tannins at the end. Bright acidity throughout. Some leather emerged on the nose after some time in the decanter - 93.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Thomas Wines, 'DJV' Shiraz (2007)

Hunter Valley, NSW
13%, screwcap, non organic, RRP $35

This wine combines the two strengths of the Hunter Valley, Shiraz and...Semillon (9%). The semillon was picked early and provided natural acidification. A lovelly fragrant bouquet. The palate was striking with silky mouthfeel. Great structure and length - 94.

These notes were from a tasting at the Small Winemakers Centre in the Hunter Valley a couple of years ago. No doubt this wine sold out a long time ago, but I stumbled upon my notes recently and decided that it should at least be mentioned on the blog.

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Little Wine Company, Petit Verdot (2008)

Murray Darling, NSW/VIC
13.8%, screwcap, non-organic, around $25

Deep purple. The delightful bouquet showed scents of plum, clove and violets. The palate was tight and focused with juicy intriguing fruit that was slightly sour edged (but pleasantly so), dancing with refreshing acidity and finishing with grippy tannins. There is American oak in the background. Great texture. Light to medium bodied - 93.

This Petit Verdot is from a 'small' producer located in the Hunter Valley. They have quite a large range of wines, which include some of the Hunter Valley classics, such as Semillon, Shiraz and Chardonnay. They also produce a range of alternative varieties, such as Sangiovese and Tempranillo. Their 2008 Gewurztraminer is the best I have ever had of the variety. Sadly, the 2008 Gewurztraminer and Petit Verdot are both sold out, but they both deserved a mention.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Clonakilla, Hilltops Shiraz (2006)

Hilltops, NSW
14.5%, screwcap, non organic, around $25

Deep red. A meaty nose with red berry scents and a little aniseed. The palate showed elevated boysenberry fruit. Oak in the background. Not overly complex. Some grainy tannins. A fraction short - 92.5. 

The back label states that this wine would benefit from four to eight years in a cool cellar. This bottle had been cellared in optimal conditions, but I formed the impression that it would have been better a year or two ago.   

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Seppelt, Chalambar Shiraz (2004)

Grampians/Bendigo, Victoria
13%, screwcap, non organic, around $24

A bouquet of dried herbs and roasted tomatoes. The palate was gentle and smooth, but lacking primary fruit and even secondary characteristics. A seriously underwhelming experience and quite disappointing. I did try a sample of this wine earlier this year and I was quite impressed. A dud bottle perhaps? Who knows - 87.  

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Allandale, Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)

Hilltops, NSW
16%, screwcap, non organic, around $25

Deep purple/crimson. Cedary nose with hints of blackberry and some nettle. The palate had good line, was very focused and quite luscious. Cedar and blackberry played out on the palate with American oak influence all in balance. Amazingly, I could not detect the incredibly high alcohol at all. Refreshing acidity at the finish. Needed a bit more time in the cellar - 94. 

I have been inspired to make a confession following Andrew Graham's recent admission that he has more cabernet/cab blends in his cellar than any other variety. Shiraz is easily the most common variety in my cellar. Cabernet would be the second most common variety for reds. But, I have come to the realisation that I have probably tended to under score varietally correct cabernets as a result of this bias. It's a bias that I'm working on. Watch this space.      

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Wynns, Coonawarra, South Australia

Riesling (2011) 12.5% - Tropical nose. A full bodied palate with a smorgas board of tropical fruits anda hint of citrus. More like a chardonnay than a riesling - 87.

Chardonnay (2011) 12.5% - A mouthfull of tropical flavours (again) with a whiff of oak. Nice balance and depth of flavour, but lacking oak influence, complexity and refreshing acidity - 88.   

The Siding Cabernet Sauvignon (2010) - Some green and herbal notes on the nose. Silky mouthfeel. A blend of fruit and cedary notes on the palate. Nice structure and good length - 91.

Cabernet Sauvignon black label (2008) - There was a mix of licorice, cedar and some herbs on the bouquet. On the palate a heap of blackberries, with nice complexity and good length. The oak is in the background. Some grippy tannins - 94. 

Cabernet Sauvignon black label (2009) - The palate was thinner than the 08. Whilst quite young at this time, the palate had a mix of dark fruits, cedar and some oak influence. Needs time - 93. 

There is no doubt about it, these red wines have been crafted in a traditional style and need time to really show their best (at least 5 years in a cool cellar). This seems to be an increasingly rare thing in the current market place as more and more wines appear to be crafted for the purchaser that intends to drink them 5 minutes after their purchase. I'm not against approachable wines, but quality often seems to be lacking in such wines. Another case of the baby being thrown out with the bathwater.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Cumulus, Climbing Shiraz (2006)

Orange, NSW
13.5%, screwcap, non organic, around $25

Deep red. A nose of blueberries and cloves. The palate was juicy with an array of red berry fruits sprinkled with notes of vanilla and spice, fine tannins and good length. The palate wasn't as complex as I had expected from the row of gold medals (and two trophies) decorating the bottle like bling, nevertheless it was a very enjoyable wine - 93.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Two Hands, Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon (2009)

McLaren Vale, South Australia
14.9%, screwcap, non organic, RRP $27

Deep crimson. Hints of earth and berries on the bouquet. The palate had good mouthfeel and impressive fruit intensity, but finished a bit short - 91.