I do this blog for fun, the wines here are some of the very few I can be bothered to write up, the cream has risen.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sevenhill St Ignatius Cabernet Blend 2012

I've been drinking this blend for a while, but the monks at Sevenhill don't tend to market the wine as well as they might. It's a 'Bordeaux Blend', of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Us Aussies regularly blend those, especially in Margaret River, but it's not particularly common to see all four in a wine. I have no idea on percentages, and apart from it being a talking point, who cares really? I think it's typically half Cab Sav, 1/4 Merlot, 1/8th Malbec and Franc.

I had this opened about 4 hours before I started writing, and it certainly did need time to open up properly, and continued to develop in the glass. I'll take that as a sign it will go long the in the cellar, but if drinking soon give it a good decant and if possible a few hours to give up the goods.

The nose is slightly light, but it is very complex, and extremely pretty. Quite full bodied, but more Natasha Romanoff than Nigella. The 15% alc on the label suggests it could be fairly ripe, but the book cover judging technique would be wrong. The tannins are dusty and chocolatey, providing just enough dryness and structure to balance the acid and fruit, and should provide a strong backbone in it's later years. The complexity on the palate even more impressive. Blackberry, schwarzwalder schinken, pipe tobacco, allspice, dried Italian herbs, and a touch of rosemary flowers, all balance and class.

Rated Highly Recommended+++


Monday, June 15, 2015

Koltz The Wizard Shiraz 2013

I wrote a review of this wine a few weeks back. Then I read what I wrote and couldn't bring myself to actually publish that waffle about such an interesting wine. So I shall try to keep this attempt a bit more to the point.

Mark and Anna make this wine using the Ripasso method, which involves arcane magiks and some clever Pagan grape necromancy. I would not be surprised to find that 'ripasso' is Italian slang for 'ripper'.

A sure sign that the wine is an aromatic joy is that you take your eye glasses off, just so you can fit more nose into the glass, and get a seriously good whiff. Bit of hardwood in there, more like Jarrah than oak, wonder if that's been tried? Aromas of mulberry jam, pipe baccy, and rich dark brown/black soil.

There's a very unusual tannin structure to this wine, it's both firm and velvety, clearly the ripper method at work. What strikes me most though, is the clever tightrope balance the wine has between rich fruit and savoury. There's just the slight hint of a late picked character, but it's not cloying or palate fatiguing like a true late picked Shiraz often is.

Savoury? Yes. Plush? Yes. Simple? Nope.

This is a special wine because it's really not like anything else I've had. It takes a bottle or two to start to understand what it is you're tasting. At least that's my excuse.

Rated Highly Recommended+++

PS. background information from Koltz /Mark Day:
We did the first Wizard in 2006 and have since done a 2009, 2010, 2012 and a 2013. We only do it in certain years as it depends on the skins from Pagan.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Koltz Autumn 2015 Release

2011 Koltz Etruscan
80% Sangiovese, 10% Shiraz, 10% Sagrantino

You know a wine has a great nose when you start getting a buzz even before the first sip. An absolutely stunning olfactory experience, though it has moderated slightly on the second day. I'd advise amateurs to avoid drinking it from Burgundy or tulip shaped glasses.

A bit of a dirty wine this, likely grown on sacred soil, and so has sucked up some of that righteousness. Earthy and savoury, and just a little floral, a bit like doing a face plant in a herb garden really. Mid weight on the palate, silky tannins and that beautiful mouth watering acid that is sadly very rare. The fruit somewhat in the red spectrum but a bit of black and blue too.

Ignore the year, I know some of you still have a mental bias, but this is from McLaren Vale and secondly my big Shiraz loving wife thinks it's bloody good (I may be paraphrasing here). My own confession is I am not much of a Sangiovese drinker, in fact I might not have any in my cellar, but this is bloody good (I am not paraphrasing) and clearly I need more of it.

Highly Recommend+ and *****

2013 Koltz Dog Day Sangiovese

As mentioned before, I don't drink a lot of Sangiovese but it's a grape with a relatively distinctive nose, and whilst I would not have picked the Etruscan as Sangio, I'd like to think I'd have picked this in a blind tasting. Of course I probably wouldn't have, but I have delusions of adequacy.

I like the nose on this better day 2, it's a little less fruit focussed and more clearly savoury. Blueberries for sure, some mulberry too. I had a bit of cigar box on day 1, but today I'm going with dried shiitake mushrooms grown under an old jarrah tree, as unlikely as that may seem.

At the lighter end of medium weight, very fine tannins, acid is light but in balance, it overall strikes me as a very pretty wine. Have with food to get the best from it, but sips just fine.

Recommended+ and ****

2014 Koltz Dog Day Shiraz

My wife wants to come back as a golden retreiver, 'cos ours spends a very large amount of time just laying around snoozing. Clearly a 'dog day' is a good day. Anyway, I'm not sure the Pope will be that keen on changing church dogma.

I reckon this might be my first 2014, if you don't considering me internally fermenting Marius grapes a year ago. I may be sharing too much information. I'll be even more honest and say I thought this was too young yesterday, but what a difference one day can make. Stating the obvious, it's still pretty young, but there's sometimes a bit of cool vivaciousness in young wines as they gangly run around, with knees and elbows seemingly juxtaposed yet weirdly in harmony.  

The more I drink it, the more I like it, and yes that sometimes happens with booze, but then again I've never gone back for a second glass of Cow Bombie, ever.

So, a powerful nose of rich red and blue fruits, there's something underneath but the fruit aromas overwhelming it at this early stage. More savoury on the palate than the nose suggested, full body, chewy tannin, chocolate and black cherry. Balance makes it absolutely good enough to drink now if you are an impatient type, but try for a year or 3 in the cellar and drink the Sangios in the meantime, I reckon.

Recommended++ and ****

Oh, and you can probably add a star above if you order soon as Koltz have an Autumn offer for the above 3 wines at a further reduced price. I secured mine before telling you about them, so feel free to load up.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Longwood 2013 Sellicks HIlls Cabernet Sauvignon

I started writing this quite some time back, then forgot I hadn't finished it until I cracked another bottle and wondered what I wrote back when I "first reviewed" it.

A nose of graphite, blackberries, mulberry, mace, and a hint of custard & apple. OK, I'm stretching on that last one, the Frenchies would say je nes sais quoi, which sounds all very clever until you know the direct translation is: "I haven't got a flamin clue". I wouldn't normally go with custard or apple as descriptors in a red, but this is all cuddly and rich without being sweet, so c'est ce que c'est.

Med to full body with very fine round tannins, and the acid is playing seesaw with the fruit, so all the kids are playing nice together.

Very good value wine this, a true bargain at $12ish. Drinks so easily now, and even better a day later, so I reckon hedge your bets and go short for fun and long for more complexity. Apparently there's some left, which is crazy.

Recommended++ and ***** for value.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Flametree "Frank" Tempranillo 2012

This wine was only available from cellar door and wine club. Shame that as it's pretty good.I'm only posting about it in case someone is thinking of joining their wine club and wants an example of the club only wines.

Lotsa blue fruit is what this is built on, despite them using red grapes. Somewhat spicy but more like mace than the usual pepper, and of course nutmeg with that, but I'm not sure I want to call it a savoury wine as that blue fruit is pretty forward. The body is medium full, and the finish lingers suitably long with a hint of dried herbs.

Let's call it a Rec stick a + on it, and say that it's one of the better Temps I've had recently, and the Mayford was one of those recents.

If I had a more empty cellar I would probably join the club.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

SC Pannell Tempranillo Touriga 2013

The label is red, but this is more of a black wine. Tempranillo Touriga? Seriously? We do blends down here? Without Shiraz???

I don't know if it's chicken or egg, but more and more these kinds of wines are catching my attention, and satisfying my desire for something beyond the fruit driven Shazza that's been a staple for so long.

This wine is a mouthful, with great structure and character. I can smell the Tempranillo clearly, and it's that self assured Temp, not the wishy-washy type. I'm trying to come up with some good flavour descriptors because this is a really nice wine and really deserves your attention, but it's Thursday night and I'm not able to channel my inner Phil.

So, bloody good drop, savoury, wants something seared with it, or when you have it you'll want to sear something, but you'll get distracted and char what should be seared, and not care, and pour more, and all in all it will be a good evening. (this was not my evening, well except for wanting to sear something)


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Summer is Sangiovese Season

Tonight the said Sangio is the La Curio 2013.

Slight chill, bout 10C in the bottle, by the time it hits the glass it's probably closer to 14, so pretty much perfect. You know you've chilled it too much if there is a bit of condensation on your glass, but that is a problem that takes mere minutes to rectify on a hot day.

Roses, rosemary flowers and freshly crushed thyme on the nose, whilst the palate has vibrant red cherries and a touch of tarragon. Medium body but with obvious fine and firm tannins, and a nice acid finish, with no eye quivering tartness.

A very good wine with most summer foods, including freshly caught garfish encrusted in crushed fennel seeds, parmesan, and polenta, with a dash of curried goat powder (because I had leftovers and it had the pepper and cardamom I wanted).


PS. my thoughts are with the Adelaide Hills folk tonight, several friends and family affected by the fires, but we hope things will be ok in the end with the stupendous help of the emergency services.