Just in time for summer, the pink and the light red…

20170804_133716.jpgIn southern hemisphere, summer is fast approaching. In Sydney, it’s peeking it’s head every few days before winter claims it’s rightful place yet again. While today might be a tad chilly, all of 11 degrees, next week is looking sunny and positively pink drinking weather!

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure to try some rose and pinot noir…

2016 Jacob’s Creek La Petit Rose

A: a deep salmon

N: attractive with inviting aromas of flowers, black cherry, strawberry jam and raspberries

P: this is a dry rose style, with some good acidity but lacking in what the nose promised. Simple fruit and one dimensional.

C: Good for quaffing, which is what it’s made for. Currently $18 at my local. Could be good for $10. Grapes or region not specified.

2017 Taylors Estate Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir Rose

A: pale salmon

N: vibrant aromas of candied strawberries, fresh raspberries and grass

P: this is definitely dry, almost talcum with racy acidity and quite intense palate of raspberries, strawberries and some hints of ribena on the back end. There’s still that grassiness that was showing on the nose.

C: Good for quaffing. Would be really good on a Sunday with some friends. Great value and very session-able, $15 at my local on special.

2015 Mandela Yarra Valley Pinot Noir

A: ruby but with definite orange highlights

N: jumping out of the glass in it’s pinosity with cherry, earth, black fruits at the core. Developing nicely, with hint of barnyard and meatiness.

P: dry, juicy acidity with nice fine integrated tannins that give good structure on which the fruit hangs pretty and yet quite savoury. Reminiscent of black cherry, cinnamon spice, earth and smoked meats. Has a long finish note.

C: Good pub drinking, where you crank open the bottle and drink it fast. A glass 30 mins later was much duller. Around $30 in retail, so great drinking right now, but this isn’t a keeper.

2016 Jaraman Yarra Valley Pinot Noir

A: ruby

N: muted nose but with hints of black forest fruits, some cinnamon spice and oak, a bit of leather – sort of reminds me of a hot summer morning while it’s still fresh but promises to be a scorcher. Very youthful.

P: dry, with almost luscious lashings of dark cherry, very firm tannins that are almost angular, sappy and chewy. The body is medium weight and is promising good things with dark cherry, cinnamon, leather and cocoa.

C: Very good wine with a future, probably will drink much better in about 6 to 12 months. I’d love to revisit in another 2 to 3 years, so pretty good value at $30.

2008 Musella Amarone Riserva

Image c/o https://talk-a-vino.com/category/amarone/Who doesn’t love a beautiful and absolutely delicious red on a cold winter’s day? Or for that matter, a good looking Italian?

Sublime example from Valpolicella, Italy.

A: A deep garnet in the glass

N: Pronounced and overt, leaps at you from the glass wanting to envelop with aromas of coconut and cinnamon spice, stewed plums, raspberries, and earthier notes of herbs, heather and medicine. The wine is fully developed but still going strong.

P: A full bodied, high octane number (alcohol and tannin) that’s still quite elegant. The flavours follow on from the nose with black fruit and stewed plums, hints of raspberry, cinnamon and cloves, cedar some floral elements (!) and currants. Incredibly long and generous finish.

 

An outstanding wine. Spice. Cedar. Chewy fruit. Enjoy slowly, with food and good company so you can do the enjoyable noises at each other.

2009 Waverley Estate Reserve Semillon

A: Bright and enticing medium gold

N: Slightly muted bouquet of lemon curd, wildflowers, apricot and slathering of butter. Still developing.

P: A low alcohol wine with juicy acidity and high glycerol gives a full body palate with beautifully developed flavours of apricot, zesty lemon, lemon curd, and that beautiful oiliness of an older Sem. A very long finish.

Great freshness in the glass inspite of age and will continue to evolve. There’s great balance between the fruit and flavour intensity and the acidity, so expect good things in years to come. Drink now or keep and enjoy another 7+ years.

https://waverleyestate.com.au/

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2014 Mount Majura Pinot Noir

917110_0_9999_med_v1_m56577569855080457A: Vibrant ruby in the glass.

N: Earthy and raspberry notes, and very youthful.

P: Tight tannins and tart acidity with plenty of juicy and delicious fruit, think raspberries and blackberries. There’s an earthy note and some brambly heather. A beguiling little number out of Canberra that should evolve nicely over the next 5 to 10 years.

RRP $29

Restarting

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Hikaru Japanese Courtyard Restaurant

Plans for Saturday with the girls long lunch have been in play for over a month. It was a chance for us all to catch up, have a chat and a laugh and get a little tipsy on some vino without the hassles of responsibilities of day to day lives intruding. It was also a chance for a friend who has recently given birth, and was starting to come back to work, to let loose and re-live the old days. The scene was Newtown, Sydney. The setting a Japanese restaurant because we all love sashimi and there was to be wine, of course.

 

The day before, working oddly late on a Friday a text arrives from a friend seeing if I have seen The Results. She had great news, the goal of years of hard work had finally paid off. She can finally relax and enjoy having the DipWSET after her name. I had not seen any communication and really didn’t want to know, given especially that Saturday was coming and not wanting to ruin the fun. Despite the needling from colleagues to check and confirm the good news I simply did not want to chance that the news was not good.

Alas, at some point in the commute – I did. Justifying to myself that I would only brood over the possibilities until I had the confirmation, that Saturday would be a lot less fun with me sulkily checking my phone and toying with the idea all day. So I did…

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…and I’m glad I did 🙂

NSW Top 40 2012 – 90 minutes of top notch wines

October 25, 2012

It started as a simple day, with fresh breathe of wind, sun and trip to work. The excited mounted – because I was heading to the NSW Top 40 Trade Tasting. It’s simple – all wineries that produce wine in New South Wales, Australia submit their what they think is a good example of what they do to be JUDGED. Out of all those…only 40 come in the Top 40. (Funny that…)

And the trophy winners are:

2012 Citibank NSW Wine Awards Trophy Winners

Citibank Wine of the Year – Hungerford Hill 2007 Epic Shiraz (Hunter Valley)

Best Sparkling – Courabyra Wines 2001 “805” Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier (Tumbarumba)
Twit: 01 Courabyra Wines 805 Sparkling – my new friend. $55. A steal! Tumbarumba, my xmas drinking 🙂

Best Young Riesling – Nick O’Leary 2012 Riesling (Canberra District) – personally I think Ravensworth is better but then that’s from over 600 Riesling judged from around Australia, and some Internationals at the International Riesling Challenge, held in Canberra. More on THAT trip later.
Twit: 12 Nick O’Leary Riesling – nose doesn’t quite translate to palate, expect month sweet. Good stuff tho. Go ACT Riesling!

NSW Department of Primary Industries Best Young Semillon – Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard 2012 “The Ridge” Semillon

Twit: 10 Audrey Wilkinson Semillon – plenty of develop drink now, not enough on palate to hook me

Best Young Dry White – Other Varieties – Berton Vineyards 2012 “Metal Label” Vermentino (Riverina)

Twit: 12 Berton Vineyards Vermentino – a good version from the main stream. Floral fruit musk sticks

Longfellows Insurance Best Young Chardonnay – Pepper Tree Wines 2011 “Venus Block” Reserve Chardonnay (Orange)

Twit: 11 Pepper Tree Orange Chardonnay – subtle fresh tropics and citrus. Diverting.

Best Mature Dry White – Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard 2006 Museum Reserve Semillon (Hunter Valley)

Twit: 06 Audrey Wilkinson Museum Semillon – so fresh, good develop, depth, and some good secondary characters. Yum!

Wine Odyssey Best Young Pinot Noir – Tertini Wines 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir (Southern Highlands)

Twit: 09 Tertini Res Pinot – game cherry and match!

AMCOR Stelvin Best Young Shiraz – Tallavera Grove 2011 Shiraz (Hunter Valley)

Twit: 11 Talavera Grove Hunter Shiraz – its playing hide and seek with me. Beguiling. Fruity. Explosive mouthfeel – smooth as a baby’s bottom!

Classic Oak Best Young Dry Red – Other Varieties – Skimstone 2011 Barbera (Mudgee)

Twit: 11 Skimstone Mudgee Barbera – sex. Date tonight? Bring this. That’s the nose, palate is more subtle. Find a bottle and claim it.

CCL Labels Best Mature Dry Red – Hungerford Hill 2007 Epic Shiraz (Hunter Valley)

Twit: 07 Hungerford The Epic Shiraz – just like the name says, epic. Only if you dare, I’d like to sit back now 😉

Best Sweet White – De Bortoli 2008 Deen De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon (Riverina) – now I didn’t try it at the show but I have tried this little beauty earlier – impressive.

My raving twits of the day are in their allocated positions, below are the remainder that filled out the Top 40…and tell you what, I have some favourites!

WHITES

11 Artemis Riesling – curious beast, its warming and refreshing in one. Good texture. Can’t wait for the Pinot, good times.

12 Orange Highland Wines Sauvignon Blanc – easy drink style, no cat pee.

12 Toppers Mountain Gerwurz – musky, turkish delight, smooth and just right.

06 Tyrells HVD Semillon – interesting. Bring food. Go picnic. Bring this

12 Tulloch Vineyrd Select Semillon – grassy. Drinks well

12 Thomas Wines Braemore Semillon – subtle, deeper feelings. More for the connoisseur of good young Sems

12! Thomas Wines OC Semillon – yes yes yes – think when Harry Met Sally scene. No faking

07 Pokolbin Estate Riesling – yes, frm the Hunter. And I don’t knw why they dnt do more of it! Beautiful.

07 McLeish Estate Semillon – I’m raving I haven’t found this before. Has everything I’ve ever wanted in a Sem. Personality, zing, love + sun

11 McLeish Estate Semillon – kiwi? A lively one this, there’s a future and its bright as a spark. Keep an eye out.

10 Leogate Semillon – almost reminds me of watermelon on nose! Another one for a hot date, would stand up to wasabi!

09 Gartleman Semillon – good staple to have on hand, zesty! Austerer style

09 First Creek Reserve Semillon – sings to me in frm the glass and on palate. New winemaker doing big moves!

11 Ascella Chardonnay (biodynamic) – complex, funky w personality and all for $20RRP! Gentle French oak, grab it if ur a Charddy lover!!

REDS

11 de iuliis the stephen – more grwn up sweeter fruit. It wants to be mine. Nice choc hit to the back.

11 de iuliis shiraz – oh my. I’m getting happy, just the way I like it and only $25 RRP! Lovely choc fruit silk and balance

11 Pepper Tree Coquun Hunter Shiraz – almost regal,black cherry finish. Good balance. Drink slowly.

11 Tyrells Hunter Shiraz Cab – more. Perfumed. Eucalypt and mint. Tight tannins.

10 Tyrells Vat 8 Hunter Hilltops Shiraz Cab – phew! – subtle minx

10 Grove Estate Nebiolo – subtle, elegant and a mystery that invites you in for starts and seconds.

08 Logan Cab Merlot – dusky sunset in a glass. Bitey tannin sum alco heat but good fruit

10 Tertini Pinot – more subtle, chalky, needs help with food

Durif

What is it you find yourself asking?

French native crossing of Petit Syrah and Peloursin, propagated by Dr Durif (I would also name a vine after myself!). In it’s native land of France, it was not considered to be a grape of high quality and you’ll be hard pressed to find it these days.

It is found in USA, notably in California and is labelled under Petite Syrah.

In Australia, Durif found a welcome home in the hot land of Rutherglen, in North-Eastern Victoria. Here it makes inky, ballsy, tannic wines of lionesque magnificence. Recently, Riverina and Riverland have jumped onto the band wagon but have yet to produce anything that I have tried that would give Rutherglen Durif a run for the money.

My love for Durif started fairly early, with plenty of stumbling blocks, with a fairly common question of “what is durif?” from everyone else’s lips. Vintage Cellars was the place, during work hours and an article about a maligned grape that is unloved in it’s native land but that has found a very welcome spot in the land of fortifieds – Rutherglen, Victoria. With a bit of hunting down I tried my first sip, and the love was confirmed – Morris Durif. A two week stint at the Sydney Easter Show helping with the Hunter Valley Wines stand, momentous meetings with like minded Durif-iles and The plan was set, and with just over a year after first sight the trip to the heartland was set!

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Boxing Day, December 26, 2007 – my birthday and graduation present to myself – a trip to Rutherglen, Victoria to taste all that is there to taste, hunting down Durif. A memory of a lifetime. Hottest week in years. New car airconditioning didn’t stand a chance. We baked and sampled, and drank. The joy of Rutherglen for a visitor is that majority of the wineries are really close. One was within a 5 minute walk of the our ‘home’ the Victoria Hotel. Anderson Winery are the producers of the magnificent Cellar Block Durif – cemented me on the spot. There’s simply too much to sample from Durif, surprisingly good whites and reds, and all those stunning fortifieds! Three days, four nights of wine and food like never before.Only regret? Not being able to find Buller Wines – three times! Ended up driving off into the country side and found Pfeiffer Wines. Having had some amazing examples from Buller Wines at home, they are still on the To Do list…

Highlights: Morris of Rutherglen, All Saint’s Estate, Anderson Winery, Campbell Wines, Pfeiffer Wines, Mount Prior, Stanton and Killeen, Valhala and Vintara (Tempranillo and beer).

Confessions of a Durif Tragic by Andrew Sutherland Smith, Winemaker and self confessed Durif Tragic @ Warrabilla Wines, Rutherglen.

“What I really enjoy is the black phase fruit characters that this variety has in abundance. Dark morello cherries, satsuma plum, dark fine chocolate, huge mouthfeel and soft tannins. Trouble is to get those you have to go beyond what is considered normally ripe, 15 Beaume fruit is just the start of these characters..so you’re really looking at wines of 15.5 % alc to be any good…more like 16!”

See full article at http://www.vinodiversity.com/warrabilla-durif.html

Sounds interesting? Think about visiting…I’d take at least a week as 3 days is simply not enough to try it all. Oh, and yeah, bring a driver!
Visitor Info for Rutherglen, Victoria

Cheeky 😉
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