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.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Review System

oops thought I'd clicked publish on this quite some time back...

Cats piss (self explanatory)
Barely Drinkable (probably flawed or just plain very ordinary)
Acceptable (ho hum wine)
Agreeable (ok, well and truly drinkable)
-- You'll almost never see the above ratings here
Recommended (good quality wines)
Highly Recommended (faultless high quality wines)
Excellent (benchmark wines)
Outstanding (few and far between)
The Ultimate (almost as rare as rocking horse dung)

* Bad news - wines with delusions of value
** Normally not worth buying unless its very high quality special occasion wine.
*** Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; average value for money.
**** The extra good value drops that we all search out.
***** Like hens teeth, the bargain of the year category.

Cellaring Potential
+ Likely to improve with some age
++ Certain to improve with some age
+++ Requires and will reward cellaring

1. My ratings are heavily based on the TORB system, and I try to mark as hard as he did and for exactly the same reason - I want to buy high quality wines at better than average value, and those need some work to find.

2. You probably won't see me actually review anything under Agreeable. I will rarely be able to justify trashing somebodies hard work - the exception is cheap plonk that I really think would please nobody and needs a warning label. Actually, as time has passed, I find I can only be bothered to write something up if it's at least Recommended, and there's a very large amount of wines never posted.

3. Conversely, very few wines will rate Outstanding unless they have some age to them. To me Outstanding should mean exactly that, standing out from the many good and great ones.

4. To indicate how I am guessing they will age I've roughly stolen Philip White's system, where no + means drink it's already at it's peak.

Right, now to explain why I refuse to use a 100 point system. TORB sums it up like this:

Firstly readers need to understand that I profoundly dislike all numerical based rating systems, believing that assigning an objective score to a relative assessment, unless in a show situation, is folly.

Let's say that unknown to you, two reviewers independently agreed and both considered a particular wine as "excellent" yet neither used that term in their review, instead one gave it a score of 92 and the other a 94. To get a meaningful comparison you then need to find out what each number for each reviewer actually means when related back to a descriptor. And really, which is the more relevant rating to the reader, "Excellent" or the arbitrary numbers?

Simply put, an excellent wine is an excellent wine, regardless of some unrelated, made up, inconsistent
and randomly scaled number.

The Devil You Know Shiraz 2008

Picked up a bottle for 10 bucks on special at local bottleshop. Can't find much information on it, and not listed at Kellermeister, so I suspect may be a export label.

Simple report is it's great value at that price. Plenty of quality fruit flavours, slightly sweet but not overly so, velvet tannins, mild acid, and medium-full bodied. If you find it for that price buy a case I reckon, pretty hard to find better value for 10 smackers.

Recommended and ****

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gran Sasso Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2009

Trying so broaden my horizons I picked up a bottle of this Italian wine, mainly because the 2008 had gotten pretty good reviews. It's pretty cheap so I didn't expect it to be too impressive.

I'd call it light to medium bodied but with some noticable dusty tannins. The flavours are different to most Aussie reds, but they're a tad restrained. The nose is a lot more interesting, with someone having put a bit of blue cheese on the fruit platter.

Kinda surprising the Italian's can make a wine like this and ship it halfway round the world for ten bucks. A pleasant quaffer though a wee bit simple overall for me to want to drink it too often, it does however yell "get me a pizza!".

I rate it agreeable and ***.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Laughing Jack - "Jacks" Shiraz 2009

Swirling my glass I can see long dark crimson legs, and whilst the legs don't belong to some supermodel wearing red tights, the owner is still showing her youth.

The perfume she's wearing is familiar. I can't quite work out where I know it from, and it doesn't really matter anyway if she smells this good.

I've somewhat prejudged her based on those crimson tights, but it seems I've got her all wrong. She might be bold but she's slinky, spicey, classy, and almost surprisingly, her kisses are velvet soft, and deliciously long.

I can see why Jack's laughing.

Highly Recommended and **** value. Buy a dozen I reckon and share with friends over the next 9 years. Why 9 and not 10? Ask Jack.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Schild Estate 2008 Shiraz

Edit: review withdrawn, see comments and this.

To note, at this time most bottles will not yet have the added label showing the bottle to be a second 'blend'.

Dear Aussies, you can have this other wine, all the award winning ones are being sent to the USA. It's just as good, honest!