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, October 27, 2011

Inkwell 2010 Shiraz (preview)

I've tried it.

It's not released.

It won't be released until 2012.

Get on the mailing list.

You will thank me later.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Inkwell 2010 "Inkling" Shiraz/Primitivo

After trying lots of Zins in June, I had this thought that the grape has a lot of synergy with Shiraz and wondered why I hadn't noticed any blends of such.

Next time I was talking to Dudley Brown I asked him if he'd ever thought of blending the two. I think I surprised him a little since he had indeed made a Shiraz+Zin and was just about to bottle it. Clearly I am either clever or can read minds, or both - I know my wife can read my mind so perhaps I've absorbed that skill.

Dudley is obviously as clever as I think I am because this blend works really well. It smells like I've gone picking cherries in the Adelaide hills just before xmas. It tastes vibrant and yet not acidic, and would eminently suit being ever so slightly chilled for a warm summer's eve dinner.

I only had a small taste of it but I think it's a very exciting wine and well worth trying this unusual blend. I see a great future in it (I'm prescient as well as clever and having ESP).

Rated Highly Recommended.


Inkwell Infidel 2010 aka Primitivo

Infidel [in-fi-dl,del]
A person who has no faith; unbeliever

That's what Dudley has called this 2010 Primitivo (or as I prefer, Zinfandel), and whoever doesn't believe Zin can make great wines is indeed an infidel. A quick grape variety lesson here, Zinfandel and Primitivo are indeed the same grape. Read more about them on wikipedia if you're interested. I'm calling it Zin for the rest of this article BTW.

I first sought out Dudley because he was growing Zin in McLaren Vale. I had first tried Zinfandel in Napa Valley 15+ years ago at Cline Cellars in the Sonoma Valley, and I was blown away. I've been randomly searching for a local version of similar style for a long time, but it's just not a popular variety in Australia, possibly because it's pretty hard to grow.

My search has ended. This 2010 Zinfandel is brilliant.

In June I spent 3 weeks in Hawaii, and surprisingly there is actually a pretty good selection of Zins if you take the time to find the specialty wine shops. I reckon I tried two dozen Zins hunting for what my taste memory said I should expect from this grape, and I got close with a few but nothing that blew me away. What I found was many lacked complexity, such that after one glass I was ready to move on. That may well be my ignorant palate when it comes to Zin because I wasn't buying the cheap ones, well mostly not anyway.

This Infidel though, well lets just say I had to tell my wife off twice for trying to steal another glass of it - I was trying to save some of the bottle for day 2 to get a bit of an idea how it might go longer term. BTW, the answer is it's impressively even better today and sadly not enough left in the bottle for my liking either.

I'm not even going to attempt to describe it in detail, but I can say it's fruit forward, silky smooth tannins, perfectly balanced acid and flippin more-ish.

There's unfortunately very few bottles of it, and there's now at least one less than there was.

I rate it Excellent. And in my somewhat limited but enthusiastic search it's the best Zin I've ever had.


PS. the label print is done as a eyesight focus/sobriety test, but I had no trouble reading the word "INKWELL" so I reckon I'm fine. (you'll understand my waffle when you get a bottle)

PPS. US consumers will be buying this under screwcap cos only an Infidel would think cork is better.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dandelion Lionheart 2008 Shiraz

Gawd, I've neglected the blog again. I have written a few posts in my head but they never made it as far as my fingers. It's not the wine's fault, I'm sure.

Interesting wine this, and not in the way that people who use the word interesting to mean "I don't want to say bad things about this but...", rather I mean it's not an obvious wine. It's not obviously big, or obviously light, nor indeed can you fall back on the now obvious, 'obviously medium'.

The colour is light, the acid balanced, the tannins substantial, and the fruit is red. I think someone is pulling my leg, this is a Grenache yeah? Perhaps GSM? I know I wouldn't have guessed a Shiraz in a blind tasting.

The wine smells like a winery, well at least the room where they sit the barrels of wine to age. There's probably a name for such rooms, but personally I just call them heaven on earth. You'd think most wines would smell like that, but what I mean is this smells fresh, rich and heady.

Really the most obvious thing about this wine is it's obviously good. Light colour, medium bodied and huge nose - there's a joke at someone's expense in there somewhere.

Highly Recommended with a ++ I reckon.