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.

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

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!

where_is_rutherglen

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 😉
Rutherglen_has_great_port

2006 Capercaillie The Ghillie, Hunter Valley NSW

14% alc

Grapes: Shiraz/Syrah

Fruit sourced from the exceptional Graham Woodward’s Valley View Vineyard planted in 1972. The wine was bought at the cellar door, which is a must to visit at least once. A combination gallery and cellar door there is a little for everyone. The wines are works of art in the bottle.

The Ghillie is the premium offering from the Capercaillie team. It is a dark, dense red in the glass and incredibly perfumed. There’s the typical Hunter funkiness on the nose, with a promise of richness of dark fruit and maybe even a little spice. Once tasted, the promises were confirmed. This is one consistent beguiling wine that should be enjoyed as slowly as possible over a period of time. Crushed wild cherry stones, cherries, mulberries, with lifted notes of something almost animalistic make this one seductive liquid. Amazing balance, nice tannin and acid integrate well with what would seem high alcohol but that is so well blended one does not notice. (Why did I not get more?!!!!!!)

2005 Kochertalkellerei Ingelfingen

Ingelfingen Kocherberg Schillerwein

QbA Erzeugerabfullung

Wurttemberg

12% alc 250ml

 

Going a little salmon in colour. Lovely and bright. Barnyard and red fruit aromas, that are gentle on the nose. Strawberry concentrate aromas.
Feels almost off dry but still quite dry on the palate. Lovely acidity with relatively intense palate, with the strawberry character following on. A little hint of spice.

Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz 2004

It’s 6.40pm after a long hard day. I need a drink, so I opt for a bottle of Miamba. I first sampled this one back in 2006 when working for Vintage Cellars and they were flogging it to their members over the phone. Loved it then and I loved it even more now.

Dusty. Magical. Plums. Juicy. Violets. Dark. Sensuous. Sensational.

The feel of midnight blue superfine silk flowing over skin. A lead fist in a velvet glove.

It’s a dark and dense blood red, almost black. Impenetrable and inviting. Spicey. Punchy. Forward. Incredibly long intense blackcurrant finish. Cedar. Cigar box. Dark chocolate. Chocolate covered fruit. Stunningly mysterious. Chewy tannins.

A hedonist’s delight!

24hrs later –

Still a little dusty but it has mellowed with more floral characters coming through. Still fruity though! With plenty of life. Red and blackcurrants, whiff of warm plums. Good dose of dark chocolate and i’m getting a glimpse of aniseed coming through.

On the palate, intense flavours of blackcurrant and chocolate. Lively acidity and slightly grippier and dirtier tannins then last night. It packs a punch for sure. Rich roast of lamb and potato. Rosemary! There’s some rosemary in there…

Like a hot chocolate with a hint of chilli. Lovely little bit of spice with heat.

48 hours later –

It’s even more complex and divine. Has opened up further and is even more hedonistically brilliant! Cloves, cinnamon, dark cherries, chocolate, plums and raspberries coming through. So much smoother on the palate – the spice is more subdued but still very much there. The tannins are grippy, the acidity incredibly juicy. Stunning long warm finish, with wild cherries and spices dominating. Utterly delicious. This is a lovely example of a blockbuster shiraz with a distinct chocolate aftertaste.

72 hours –

Smoother and chocolaty palate with the structure coming through as the fruit recedes. Not even starting the decline. This is definitely a very long lived wine. Would love to try this again and again as the years roll on!