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Single vineyards and the Mornington Peninsula; a look at the wines of Polperro and Even Keel A tasting of the 2008 Bordeaux first growths When carignan is not carignan Wine storage, absurdity and other things Merlot in Australia; maligned or misunderstood?

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

d'Arenberg The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2010


Cabernet sauvignon is not something that necessarily comes to mind when I think of McLaren Vale.  However, that the wine will not resemble Bordeaux for climatic reasons is no flaw in my view.  Instead, it's a look from a different angle at what cabernet sauvignon is capable of, and in the right hands - such as here - it is a very valid look.  In this case, Chester Osborn and Jack Walton have fashioned a very good Coppermine Road cabernet sauvignon indeed from the 2010 vintage.  Dark and opaque in the glass, the wine has aromatics that remind of black olives, anise, licorice, dark plums and earth.  It is not unlike a Coonawarra in some respects.  The palate has long length and an attractive depth of flavour of dark olives and dark plums.  This is a very good and balanced wine that will provide enjoyable drinking over the next 10 years or so, and probably longer.

Rating: Very Good, Abv: 14.2%, Price: $65, Source: sample, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au, Tasted: 2014

Monday, 1 September 2014

Montalto Estate Pinot Noir 2013


Montalto's Estate Pinot Noir from the 2013 vintage is a very good wine indeed.  It has aromatics that are savoury in impression with notes of cherry, old cedar and earth.  The palate continues the savoury theme, with its restrained expressions of earth, cherry and wood spice, complemented by light fine grained tannins.  With air, some dark cherry flavours are coaxed out, while the acidity in this wine gives it an appealing freshness and vitality.  This is a very good release from Montalto and its winemaker, Simon Black.

Rating: Good to Very Good, Abv: 13.7%, Price: $48, Source: sample, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://montalto.com.au, Tasted: 2014

Sunday, 31 August 2014

d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2010

d'Arenberg's "The Dead Arm" is a benchmark shiraz from McLaren Vale, and I would suggest, Australia.  Certainly, it is a "go to" wine at home with its consistently outstanding quality and fair price.  Fashioned by winemakers Chester Osborn and Jack Walton, the 2010 vintage tasted here is no exception.  A deep purple in colour, it has promising and alluring aromatics of plums, anise, dried rosemary, thyme and white pepper.  What its aromatics promise, its palate delivers, bringing to the table all of the dimensions that fine wine can bring.  There is lingering long length and balance, together with lapping and deep flavours of dark plum, mulberry, anise and dried herbs.  The 2010 vintage has that harmony that is as obvious in great wines as it is difficult to put into satisfactory words.  This is an outstanding "Dead Arm" release from d'Arenberg and should cellar well for many years.

Rating: Outstanding, Abv: 14%, Price: $65, Source: sample, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au, Tasted: 2014

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Printhie Mountain Range Merlot 2013


Printhie's Mountain Range merlot from the 2013 vintage has been sourced from merlot clones 8R and Q45-15.  I mention the names of these clones, because an important part of the discussion on merlot in Australia has focussed around their contribution to the grape's performance on these shores.  Both of these clones have more recently found a place in Australian soil (see my longer post on merlot here).

The 2013 vintage of Printhie's merlot, a producer I like, has aromatics that remind of dark plum, vanilla, wood and coffee grounds.  The palate continues these characters, with expressions of plum, wood smoke, a smidgen of bitter coffee and is bound together with some firm acidity.  The balance in the glass improves with air.  Overall, this is a balanced wine, but I think even less wood influence would improve it.

Rating: Acceptable to Good, Abv: 14.5%, Price: $20, Source: sample, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://www.printhiewines.com.au, Tasted: 2014

Friday, 29 August 2014

Château de la Bouyère Bordeaux 2013


This Bordeaux blanc from the 2013 vintage of Château de la Bouyères is a particularly good example of its style.  It's a blend of 80% semillon and 20% sauvignon blanc, and sees little or no oak influence.  Its aromatics are attractive, with notes of grass from the sauvignon blanc, together with hints of lemon, green apple and white peach with time in the glass.  The palate is particularly balanced, with flavours reminding of lemon and dried herbs.  A pleasing acidity seamlessly threads together its component parts and gives this wine a pleasing freshness.  This is an excellent release, will work very well with or without food, and could replace more than a few Kiwi sauvignon blancs on the table.

Rating: Good, Abv: 12%, Price: $21, Source: sample, Vendors: http://www.discovervin.com/, Website: n/a, Tasted: 2014