Saturday, 28 March 2015

Krondorf Growers Barossa Shiraz (Schulz & Bowen) 2012

The growers for this Krondorf wine are Anita Bowen and Nick Schulz, and the custodian winemaker is Nick Badrice.  I am not entirely sure what custodian in the context of winemaking means, but it may not matter, as I liked this wine in the glass as a typical example of a Barossa shiraz at the $15 to $20 mark.  Purple in colour, it has aromatics of spice and dark fruits - mostly impressions of dark plums and blackcurrants.  Some black pepper characters too.  The palate has a fruit purity to it and its oak is handled well.  A salty slice of pepperoni pizza saw its component parts well matched.

Rating: Good, Abv: 14.5%, Price: $18, Source: sample, Vendors:, Website: n/a, Tasted: 2015

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Ten Minutes by Tractor 10X Rosé 2013

I aim to be gentle on your inbox by not posting too many reviews, although it does seem that readership spikes when I do.  There's a balance there somewhere.  In this case, my caution has meant that this very tasty rosé from Ten Minutes by Tractor has already sold out at the cellar door, although happily it does still appear to be available elsewhere.

With typical detail for this hyper diligent producer, we learn that the grapes for this rosé are 100% pinot noir (clone 115), sourced from their Coolart Road vineyard behind Hastings, picked on 22 February 2013, cropped low at 17.4 hectolitres per hectare, fully destemmed, underwent 100% wild yeast fermentation, didn't undergo malolactic fermentation and saw 3 months in old French oak.  A veritable wine course of information that I can't help admiring.

Source:; The Coolart Road vineyard is the most northerly on the right hand side of the map towards Western Port Bay.

Wine education complete, in the glass, this is one of those appealing rosés that disappears quickly.  Somewhere between salmon and pink in colour, it has aromatics of rose petal, spice and well, pinot noir.  The palate is clean, crisp - but not too crisp - and its characters remind of red berries, with some complexity evident.  I scribbled down somewhat inelegantly "drink this instead of the rosé you normally drink".

Rating: Good, Abv: 12%, Price: $24, Source: sample, Vendors:, Website:, Tasted: 2015

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Food and wine pairing

In terms of food and wine pairing, I subscribe to the view that most wines go with most food, most of the time.  Nonetheless, some matches are more equal than others, and some certainly don't work.  From time to time, I have toyed with food pairing suggestions in tasting notes, but fearing repetition (steak anyone?) have relented.  The best pairing guide I have is set out in the Larousse Encyclopaedia of Wine, but I suspect an app would be more efficient than carrying around a tome resembling the white pages for dealing with the more challenging matches.  To that end, app suggestions gratefully accepted.

d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2012

The 2012 vintage is a good release of the $18 "The Footbolt" shiraz from d'Arenberg.  Its aromatics remind squarely of McLaren Vale shiraz.  Little berries, wet green herbs, chocolate, pepper and spice come to mind in terms of aromatics.  The palate is fresh, with reminders of mixed herbs, thyme and plum.  It's aged in a mixture of new and used French and American oak.  Overall, this is a fresh and clean release.

Rating: Good, Abv: 14.6%, Price: $18, Source: sample, Vendors:, Website:, Tasted: 2015

Thursday, 19 March 2015

The new grape variety of the moment; Stockman's Ridge Rider Savagnin 2013

Savagnin is traminer, but not gewürtztraminer or gewürtztraminer that is called traminer.  And nor just for good measure is it albariño.  These sentences unexpectedly make sense because savagnin has been proven to be the same grape variety is that called traminer in Germany, the CSIRO confirmed in 2009 that source material propagated at the CSIRO that was thought to be albariño is in fact savagnin and gewürtztraminer is not traminer, even though it often has been called this name in Australia.

This state of affairs is sort of like calling a pear a lettuce and then importing bananas that are in fact lettuce to sell to customers hoping for bananas and thinking they already have lettuce when they have pears, and it turns out wish to have lettuce after all.  But I digress.  What I can say is that savagnin is most certainly the grape variety of the moment, because the same variety underlies the ultra fashionable wines of Jura.

The wine in the glass here is a savagnin from Stockman's Ridge in the Central Ranges Zone.  It's a wine of interest, with aromatics of citrus, talc and yoghurt and some honey at the edges.  The palate is balanced with a fuller body, lemon citrus and bread characters and some crisp acidity that shows itself with time.  A nice drink.

Rating: Acceptable to Good, Abv: 13.9%, Price: $23, Source: sample, Vendors:, Website:, Tasted: 2015