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.

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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…at the Canberra International Riesling Challenge, where Riesling dreams come true…

Last time I waxed lyrical on the subject of Riesling…well, I spent a weekend drinking, slurping, swirling and sniffing Riesling. We talked about it, discussed and analysed…and I’m more in love with the grape then ever before.

The morning of Saturday 15 October started with the opportunity to taste…514 Rieslings! Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Austria, Germany, South Africa and France sent in their representative bottlings.

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We started with the Elite Golds and the Trophy winners before casually spending the next 3 hours trying the rest of the winning crowd – an incredible 85 Gold medals got handed out this year. Luckily, got to start before the crowds rolled in.

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An impressive array of styles, from the bracing examples of bone dry Clare Valley to searing acidity of New Zealand with a nice balancing touch of residual sugar, to the lushness of Alsace and the versatility of our North American friends. This is a must attend event for anyone at all curious about wine, the absolute generosity and versatility of a single grape and for anyone interested in terroir. And no, just because someone didn’t win on the day doesn’t mean their particular Riesling was not delicious – competitions are only as good as the judges on the day, after all.

And for those more serious, Friday held the annual Seminar and MasterClass on the excellence in Riesling. This year we covered such topics as:

  • Innovation in Riesling winemaking – trying everything from sparkling examples to “orange” Riesling with plenty of skin contact (oddly yumm even if I was in the minority), lees and other bits, to a the new fad of low alcohol wines (clearly, I am not a fan of the ultra processed…nevermind the lack luster taste).
  • Key Aspects of Terroir – with focus on climate and the changes we have recently experiences in temperature.
  • The MasterClass on Riesling from regions 41 degrees and south: A presentation on evolution of New Zealand Riesling with some excellent examples, as well as what the Tasmanians have been upto in the recent years. Incredible diversity!

 

Interested or curious? Check out these links:

Cheers!

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PS: My personal picks

2016 Mount Majura Vineyard Riesling, Canberra District (Trophy)

2016 Jim Barry Watervale Riesling, Clare Valley (Gold)  – consistently good

2016 Jaeschkes Hill River Clare Estate Riesling, Clare Valley (Gold) – purity

2016 Hentley Farm Riesling, Eden Valley (Gold) – deliciousness in a glass

2016 Galafrey Reserve Riesling, Great Southern (Gold)

2016 Trevelen Farm Estate Riesling, Great Southern (Bronze) – juicy deliciousness

2016 Hay Shed Kerrigan & Berry Riesling, Mount Barker (Gold)

2016 Capel Vale Regional Series Riesling, Mount Barker (Gold)

2016 Freycinet Vineyard Riesling, Tasmania (Silver)

2016 Goaty Hill Riesling, Tasmania (84 points)

2016 Chartley Estate Riesling, Tasmania (Trophy) – rose petals, waxy green apple.

2016 Bellarmine Dry Riesling, Pemberton (Silver)

2016 Robert Stein Riesling, Mudgee (Gold)

2016 SANTAS & D’SAS Henty Riesling, Henty (81 points) – chocolate nose and green apple pastry palate.

2016 Ferngrove Off-Dry Riesling Limited Release, Franklnad River (Trophy) – love it despite my self

2015 Basedow’s Eden Valley Riesling, Eden Valley (Gold)

2015 Laurel Bank Riesling, Tasmania (85 points) – finger limes and roses with jasmine, textural

2015 SANTA & D’SAS Henty Riesling, Henty (Bronze) – that of the fabulous magnum bottle, so points for presentation but also damn good juiciness inside

2015 Bream Creek Riesling, Tasmania (Gold) – searing acidity balanced with just a hint of sweetness to finish dry, but just love the purity

2003 Eldridge Riesling, Clare Valley (Gold) – for the petrol and kerosene

2010 Petaluma Hanlin Hill Clare Valley Riesling, Clare Valley (Gold) – aging nicely, no kerosene

2005 Poacher’s Ridge Riesling, Hastings River (Gold) – slurp, slurp away!

2015 Prinz von Hessen Kabinett ROYAL, Rheingau (Gold)

2014 Joern Riesling Arancia, Rheingau (80 points) – texture, funk, weirdness or epic proportions, totally intriguing. One of those ‘orange’ wines that’s just lips smacking good.

2014 Joern Riesling Hasensprung Stuckfass, Rheingau (81 points) – more ‘normal’ of the pair but oh so wickedly fun to drink. Slightly ‘orange’ wine i.e. saw some skins.

2015 Martha Clara Estate Reserve Riesling, Long Island (Bronze) – great balance

2014 Fox Run Vineyards Riesling Lot 11 Lake Dana Vineyard, Finger Lakes (Silver) – ripe tropical notes, great length

ALSO:

2015 Moorilla Estate Sparkling Riesling, Tamar Valley – just yummy and frothy

2015 Glaetzer-Dixon Uberblanc Goldpunkt Riesling – sherbet, pears, apples, roses, lychees…and on and on

2011 Foxes Island Belsham Awatere Estate Riesling, Malborough – juicy, yellow fruits, tangy and incredibly fresh

2015 Mudhouse The Mound Riesling – in spite of myself, drink by the bucket

2010 Peregrine Riesling – “very like-y” not so technical with this one but sweet monkeys on fire this stuff is good. Good savoury edge.

 

 

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 🙂

Starting something new…

I had a good run.

Website, wine tastings, books, magazines, trips to wine regions…

It’s time to take a step back, re-energise and start fresh. So here I am. Writing a blog, which is probably where I should have started and worked from rather than plunging straight into the demanding world of website running. Let me start again.

My name is Anna. I am a wine fanatic. Fell into it by pure accident while studying psychology and finishing off a rather grueling thesis on psychotic and violent offenders and various rehabilitation methods. Big, big surprise! Anyways, the wine thing was only a temporary thing, while I finished off uni or so I told myself. Six years later and I’m very much into wine. I read about it. I blog about it. For a very long time I worked in the wine industry until a rather unfortunate run into a … well let’s not trash people here. Now I’m trying to get back into it, after a long run of soul searching and deciding that after all – I’m a wino. Who am I kidding. It’s what I love, it’s the one thing that I can read about all day long and sprout information on any wine topic at any time. Usually, the problem is to shut me up.

So this will be my release valve so I don’t alienate my friends anymore with anymore wine speak 🙂 Sometimes, they don’t mind.

What will this be about? Well, judging by how the website went I’d say it will be tasting updates, random thoughts, news from the wine world that is of interest and any other related topics such as food. Naturally, I am also a little bit into food. It happens. Wine goes well with it. Sometimes wine makes one want food. Let’s not dwell.

Today… well today is a stunning day in Sydney. I am being taken to a dinner at a Russian restaurant – so should be a pretty good night!