Henschke's Lenswood vineyard in the Adelaide Hills

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Bimbadgen Sparkling Semillon (NV)

Hunter Valley, New South Wales
Sample, 12%, cork, RRP $15

I'm always looking for an excuse to celebrate and a bit of 'fizz' is the perfect way to get the party started. If you are looking for a great value Australian sparkling wine, then this is a great place to start. Sourced from the Hunter Valley, a region that is known for top notch Semillon, this sparkling wine is 100% Semillon, made using the charmat tank fermentation method. Light in colour and a shy nose. Gentle citrus flavours combined with biscuity notes to produce a compelling alternative to the varieties that feature more traditionally in sparkling wines. It had fine bead. The small amount of residual sweetness was well judged. I must say I was easily convinced. There's no question about this wine's authenticity and value - 90.   

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Bimbadgen Chardonnay (2011)

Hunter Valley, New South Wales
Sample, 13%, screwcap, RRP $22

Partially fermented in new and used oak, using Indigenous yeasts. A delightful nose of fresh peaches, cashews and vanilla bean. With a little more time some fruit salad aromas emerged. The fruit had generous intensity with all of the promise of the bouquet realised on the palate. The experience of the palate was like gliding along a meandering river - a central theme of nectarine carried me past hints of almonds and vanilla oak notes, with medium length and medium acidity. The malolactic influence was perfectly pitched. The fruit was vibrant and intense, though slightly dominated by the oak - 94. 

I really liked the way this Chardonnay has found a middle ground between the way Chardonnay used to be made and what is currently in fashion. In my view this is a smart move given the flood of Chardonnay made in a lean and minerally style (think thin and weak) that currently dominates the market place. It is so hard to find a Chardonnay that is vibrant and rich. 

Drink with...

Jacket potatoes, topped with sour cream, smoked salmon and a dash of horse radish cream. The richness of this Chardonnay enables it to be partnered with rich creamy dishes and the oak compliments the smoked flavours of the salmon. A perfect match.   

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Bimbadgen Estate, Semillon (2011)

Hunter Valley, New South Wales
sample, 10%, screwcap, $20

The grapes for this wine were sourced from the Howard 'Somerset' and Benwarin vineyards located in Pokolbin (Hunter Valley). Light straw in colour. Some grassy notes with elements of lime blossom on the bouquet. I found the palate to be quite restrained, with a central spine of lime and soft acidity. With a little time some white flowers emerged on the bouquet. A somewhat sappy finish - a case of bottle shock?  - 91. 

Try it yourself

The folks at Bimbadgen have provided me with a bottle of this Semillon to give away. To enter the competition for this bottle, simply start 'following' this blog using the 'Followers' widget in the right hand column - just click 'join this site' and enter your details. I will randomly select a 'follower' in one week's time. To enter this competition you must be of legal drinking age and must have a postal address within Australia. Good luck!

Monday, 7 May 2012

De Bortoli, Vat 8 Shiraz (2008)

South Australia and Victoria, Australia
14%, screwcap, around $14

Smells of plums and mulberries. The palate has balance, though it isn't overly complex or long. A dash of oak. Somewhat sharp on the finish. That said, this wine is good value - 86.