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.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Madeleines Primitivo 2008

This is somewhat of a new variety in the Australian scene, where Primitivo has it's roots in Italy and is a close DNA sibling of Zinfandel. Both are probably originally cloned from a parent vine in Croatia.

I opened this about 3 hours before dinner to decant. Early tasting at that time it had some green stalks, and bit of sulpher to blow off. The acid was fairly noticable with a slight raspberry tang. It improved a fair bit after breathing.

Drank most of it with dinner, a Moroccan Beef Tagine, and it was an excellent match. The wine coped with the strong spices well, and the lower than Shiraz fruit sweetness was a bonus with such rich food.

Finishing a glass after dinner, the black fruits were more obvious, as too the floral aromas. Tannins firm but not too dry. One of my guests guessed it was a BV shiraz, and I can see why given some of the 2007 Shiraz we've had lately with their imposing tannins, but this one is a bit of an individual and the best Primitivo/Zinfandel I've had in Australia, though sadly that group is small for now.

Rated as Highly Recommended, particularly with food.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Big Chardonnay - The Red Drinker's White, R.I.P

Summer is coming soon to Adelaide, and I'm here in Broome at the moment which is reminding me a cool white on a hot night is a good thing. The trouble is I'm really not much of a white fan, they are generally quite acidic without any strong fruit to offset that for my palate.

Dear Winemaker,
I used to enjoy the truly big Aussie Chardonnay, the type with the kitchen sink thrown at it, not picked too early, buttery malolactic ferment, considerable time on lees, and a fair whack of oak resulting in a full flavour white. I say 'used to' because they seem to be dead, gone, forgotten. At least by winemakers.

I appreciate that acidic bland Sav Blanc has been on a growth spurt lately, but did you really need to completely abandon lovers of  truly big Aussie Chard? Is there any sense in all of you moving all of your Chard production to the new 'compete with SB' acidic style Chard? Did you not consider big whites to be a taste bud stepping stone to developing an interest in reds?

The funny thing is one producer didn't and Giaconda gets $150 a bottle for their Chard simply because it is truly big, and Parker in the US loves em big.

So, here's my challenge, if any winemaker thinks they still make a big old fashioned Aussie chard, send me a bottle and if it really truly is big I'll sing your praises for a year, at least, not to mention buying a few cases, probably every year, for life. Because I'm tired of buying promises not kept.

I somehow think I'm more likely to see a Thylacine this summer. The madmen killed that off to make room for other things too.

In the meantime I'm also wondering why there are so few sparkling reds out there, it's another market segment mostly being ignored right now.

Thank Baccus for the golden one known as aged Reisling this summer.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tim Smith MGS 2009

As I said on twitter, you know a wine is good when you've finished you first glass, (which you've poured to review), and not a word written yet.

(10 minutes later...second glass)

I seem to be having trouble describing this wine.

Ok, so I'm getting the typical Grenache red fruit aromas but there's a level of complexity added by the Mataro which is hard to describe, and therefore I'll throw out words like cedar, tobacco and old socks. I'm admitting right here to stealing the term 'old socks', it's what a friend uses when she can't describe a certain aroma. We reckon she means the kind of smell that Silton has, though somewhat more subtle in wines usually.

The flavour is savoury and spicy, but not peppery. The fruit is definitely there but slightly hanging back like the cute girl who hasn't worked out she's cute yet. The oak is hiding behind the cute girl. The tannins can't seem to decide what they want to do for me; at first I decided they're a bit clingy, then next taste I reckon they're just self assured, but quite frankly they're clearly female tannins cos they have me quite confused yet wanting more of whatever they want to give. 

There's probably a long lingering finish, but I seem to take another sip before the previous one fades.

Drink it with beef burgundy. I did.

Highly recommended. Very cellarable, 10 years at least.

* No MGS was harmed in the making of the boeuf bourguignon, though a pitiful wretch from Moppa Rd redeemed himself.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Karrawirra Barossa Valley Shiraz 2008

Another one from the Glug Shiraz dozen packs (mostly sold out now) this wine is pretty decent. Typical fruity Barossa Shiraz, a bit on the rustic side with somewhat coarse tannins but otherwise balanced with the oak, acid, and fruit. A bit of a simple fruit driven wine at this time, but a good gusty red overall.

Don't know that I can see the $16 they want outside of the tasting pack but if you can get on special it's good quaffer. I reckon I like it slightly more than the Bin 221 and 222 which sell for more individually, and it would certainly improve with a coupla years cellaring to soften the tannins.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sons of Eden Kennedy GSM 2008

The Grenache is obvious on the nose with it's red fruit aromas but I reckon I can smell the hayshed from the orchard too. I found there was quite a spicey zing on the tongue well before I swallowed. A long peppery finish with the fruit showing through, before fading into a bantam-weight fight between the tannins and the acid, with no clear winner by the end of the bout.

A very good food wine as my butter chicken with a hint of chilli would attest to, if it could speak. And if it does speak, pray you're not in hearing range.

Recommended, but it's sold out at cellar door so I'm clearly not the only one who liked it.