Has regionality in wine gone too far? A brief look.
Sifting for gold among the crowds at the Langtons classification tasting
Storing wine badly. Again!
Australian merlot receives a lot of bad press from the wine media. Let's have a look at what's going on.
Terroir sometimes, it would appear, has limits.
Sunday, March 09, 2014
I reviewed the 2009 vintage of this blend from Norton the other day, and the 2010 vintage is pretty good too. A blend of malbec, merlot and cabernet sauvignon from Mendoza in Argentina, there are aromatics of red plum, spice and blueberry. The palate has a medium length finish with reminders of plum and black cherry. This is a very balanced and drinkable wine that is ready to drink now. Good
Saturday, March 08, 2014
This is an interesting wine in a couple of respects; for a start, it's very good. But it is also more Crozes-Hermitage, than Heathcote. Which is something of an oddity, since well known winemaker Adam Foster adopts a non-interventionist style, uses natural yeasts and does not appear to fine or filter, among other things. He thus pays what would appear to be quite diligent homage to the tenets of terroir. Yet the result is distinctly Rhône Valley in accent, and northern Rhône more specifically.
As it happens, I like wines from the Rhône and I probably write more about French wine than many locally, and I also like shiraz from the Heathcote region and have tasted it over a number of vintages, including older vintages. I haven't seen an example from either that could be mistaken for the other until this wine, and so my tentative conclusion is that the imprint of its winemaker is a factor here.
Whether that's good or bad is of course up to you. The wine is really quite good and so therefore I suspect it probably doesn't matter. What then of this wine? It has aromatics that remind of plum, dried rosemary and thyme and dried earth. The palate gives the impression of medium to high acidity and is rounded out by flavours of plums, dried herbs and carefully managed cedar wood characters. There's medium length on the finish, and this is certainly a balanced and elegant wine that warrants serious attention. Not a typical Heathcote. Good to Very Good
This cabernet sauvignon from Plume in the Napa Valley has largely everything I want in a $30 wine, although this price is admittedly in Canadian dollars and so won't benefit from Australia's panoply of wine taxes. It has aromatics of black cherry and plums, but it is the palate that sings. Here, there is a textured structure with velvety tannins, fleshy extract, balance, medium to long length and flavours reminding of blackcurrant and blackberry. This is a very good wine that I have no hesitation in recommending. Very Good
Thursday, March 06, 2014
A really deep saturated purple in colour, this wine from the strong 2010 vintage in the Bordeaux region is more Coonawarra than Pessac-Léognan in appearance. It has typical Graves region aromatics though of tobacco, earth and blackcurrants and reveals some dark olive and Christmas cake characters with oxygen. The palate has fined grained tannins and flavours that pay due regard to its aromatics, with the addition of some cedar characters. The finish is towards long. Overall, my impression is that this is quite a serious effort made in a new world cabernet sauvignon style and should reward at least 5 years in the cellar due to its quite structured palate. Good to Very Good