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.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sieber Road Wines

Sieber Road Wines is owned and run by Richard and Val Sieber, hence the name. They have diversified into wines from being predominantly a cropping and grazing farm, after their viticulturist son Ben convinced them they had a property highly suitable for growing wine grapes. It's been a bit of a long road, but the last 5 years or so have seen them release a variety of consistently well regarded wines.

Val is most likely who will greet you at cellar door as they have it incorporated into their actual house living area. It feels quite homey yet also very classy, and the view is beautiful. I was made to feel very welcome indeed even though it was my first visit there, and I think I was there over an hour talking, mostly not even about the wines. Val is just like the cellar door, classy but comfortably down to earth. Even if the wines weren't so good I reckon I'd visit for a chat anyway. But they are good, very good in fact.

They grow Viognier, Mataro/Mourvedre, and Grenache, but the majority grape by far is Shiraz. With those varieties they do a straight white Viognier, a Shiraz/Viognier co-ferment, a GSM, a Shiraz/Mataro, and a straight Shiraz or two.

The Shiraz-Viognier was quite impressive because, unlike many of that blend, there was no overt apricot, but instead the co-ferment simply lifted the bouquet of the Shiraz, giving it a different feel and style to the straight Shiraz, without detracting from it.

All of the wines are fruit forward style with lively, and good quality, blue and black fruits.

Sadly I didn't keep notes of all the wines I tried at the cellar door as I was enojoying the chat, but I am enjoying the 2006 Ernest Shiraz whilst writing this, and in fact I drank it over two nights.

The colour is almost black but there's just a hint of crimson when held up to the light. There are aromas of ripe blackberries and black cherries, with some cedar and soy loitering around. Those all continue on the tongue, supported by lovely silky tannins and lively acid, overall presenting a muscular frame. The fruit is forward but not sweet, and the complete package is well balanced. The finish is pleasingly long and quite savoury. This should go at least another 5 years as it was noticably even better on the second night. $20 cellar door.

The winery is slightly off the beaten path but well worth the side trip from Tanunda.

I didn't get around to publishing this for a while and in the meantime I've tried a couple more of the wines, so here's my notes on those.

The 2008 Shiraz Mataro has a big rich nose, blue and black fruits, a bit of nutty oak combined with some floral hints to keep you interested. Dusty tannins and a refreshing acid blend with the fruit forward style to present quite a sophisticated wine. Went reall well with a mildly spicey stir fry. $20

Tonight I had the 2008 Special Release Shiraz, and whilst all of them will age well, of the three this one really is demanding more time in the cellar to show it's best. Based on it's structure I can only assume it was built to age. There's a fair bit of oak, but then there's a fair bit of everything. Intense black fruits on the outside, with some chocolate and Shiitake mushrooms providing a delicious earthy core. $28

All three wines I rate as Highly Recommended and ****. All of them are capable of going 10 years past vintage, but give the SR 08 at least another 2 years minimum.

BTW, if you've got access to James Halliday's notes and you're comparing to mine, I've confirmed he's got the 2006 and 2008 Shiraz backwards.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Crabtree Hilltops Shiraz 2008

This took about 2 hours to open up properly, and although it was quite good to start with, it's really singing now after 3 hours. On the olfactory senses it's overtly hitting me with black fruits, then following that up with subtle spices and quality oak.

My gustatory senses are enjoying the harmonious balance of silky velvet tannins, good quality obvious fruit with lively acid on a full bodied frame. A long finish leaves me satisfied, briefly, as it's more-ish. It went brilliantly with a top notch home made pizza.

There's none of this left at cellar door, and hasn't been for quite some time. They're into the 2009  there now, if there's any left of that. I got lucky and found some of this at a bottle shop, so keep your eyes peeled.

Rated Highly Recommended and ****.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Head Wines Head Red Shiraz 2010

The first thing that stands out is the stewed fruits on the nose. It doesn't scream apricot like some Shiraz Viognier's do, and thus it's more about subtle complexity. There's mainly red and blue fruits with a hint of spice. Tannins are dusty supporting a medium bodied frame, with somewhat lively acid. Fruit is noticeable and of very good quality.

Trying this wine over 3 hours, with and without food, it showed very good complexity and changed quite a lot in that short time. This wine will age and was probably released too young really.

Initially I wasn't overly impressed with it, but seeing how well it went with a seafood chowder I'm inclined to grab a couple more just for those type of foods, since I rarely drink whites. Actually a white wine would probably cower in fear at my seafood chowder.

It's Recommended and ***.

Torzi Mathews Schist Rock Shiraz 2008

Eden Valley fruit and thus a lighter style Shiraz. Light red fruits on the nose with a medium body based on rounded tannins. Quite well balanced but overall just a bit too simple to be anything other than the quaffer it is.

Agreeable and ***

J&J Shiraz 09

Black with maroon hue. Aromas of black fruits with a whiff of choc and maybe some olives, but overall the nose is a tad light. Dry coarse tannins, in a full bodied fruit forward style, though it's not as ripe as label suggests.

Acid is refreshing to mild, but the tannins may be hiding it somewhat yet. The fruit quality is average.

For around $12 it's quite Agreeable drinking, and probably will improve with a year or two.

Heartland Director's Cut 2009

Aromas of tobacco, licorice, black fruits, walnut and a hint of soy/umami. It's black with maroon hue,
fine dusty tannins, and full bodied. Refreshing acid, but the fruit is forward and of excellent quality. Overall a wine with diverse complexity and good balance.

On the negative there's a slight bitterness right at the end, probably the tannins as it was there day 2 still. However it's quite mild and with food you can't pick it at all.

I liked it better than the 09 Bishop, which Ben Glaetzer also makes under his Glaetzer label, because the fruit in this is overall just more appealing to me. I've hedged my bets though and bought some of each.

Highly Recommended and ****