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, July 17, 2012

Whistler Mourvedre 2009

My nose told me this would be good. My nose got it right!

If I might digress a moment, I've mentioned before the acrid bitterness of sulphur dioxide on some freshly opened wines. The thing is many well made wines, even those designed to live for decades, don't always have it. So I can't help thinking perhaps some winemakers are dosing SO2 as though they are putting their wines under cork. Certainly breathing a wine is almost always a very good idea, but if I was having this in your average restaurant that wouldn't know what a decanter was, then I'd be swirling my glass vigorously, trying to cope with the aforementioned bitterness. I don't see the reason for it in the era of the screwcap.

Wine whine aside, this one just confirms to me that Mourv is something we should see more of, perhaps it will be mostly in blends, but it really does stand up up well on it's own. BTW, I think blends are 'the next big thing', but only if the industry does it right and not just blend for the sake of it.

Savoury, sweet, spicy, meaty, lush, and yet focused. Big nose as I said before, and that's not a line from Brian's Life, full body, very fine tannins, lovely acid, and long length. Very enjoyable indeed as a sipper but even better as a food wine.

Rating: Highly Recommended 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Neil Hahn Yanyarrie Shiraz 2010

I picked this one up at Melbourne St Cellars on special and had no idea what I was buying. If you were to buy it direct from Hahn Barossa Vineyards - which might be tricky as they are listing the 2009 still -  it would cost $17.95.

It's rather a shame many smaller wineries can't keep their websites updated, and given the extortionate prices some web developers charge for minor changes, I am not surprised they don't. If I could give some advice here to wineries, make sure your web developer gives you full access to all passwords and hosting information, that way you can shop around if they start being silly with pricing for updates.

This is day 2 for the Shiraz, and it's held up pretty well for what is not a premium priced wine, and is in fact better tonight than last night, which is always a good sign of a well made wine.

The only fault with this wine is also why I am blog reviewing it. Since I review for fun, and all of my reviews are of wines paid for by me, I'm finding reviewing anything that isn't inspiring to be a chore. This wine interests me because it's pretty much one dimensional in flavour, but it's a flavour that is not as common as I'd personally like. Black cherries.

There may be some other hidden flavours but black cherries dominate strongly for me. They are on the nose and the palate, and giving the glass a swirl even the colour is black cherry.

My daughter has had a laugh at me for slurping air through the wine looking for something more, she probably think's I'm a wine ponce. But I laugh at her taste in music, so we're even. Plus I did find a little spice, so the noise was worth it.

Right, so if you like black cherries, with a little bit of spice, then this might suit you.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cradle of Hills Wines

I was going to just review the 2009 Shiraz Mourvedre, but when I went to pick them up I ended up spending about 3 hours with Paul and Tracy Smith. I tasted all their bottled wines and a fair bit of what they have in barrels, so here is a bit of an overview of their new and upcoming wines.

First thing I remember is that the view from their winery is lovely, a sweeping vista looking over the vines west to the sea, and looking the other way the vines are cuddled by the hills that meander their way down to Sellicks Beach. This area is well known for growing top notch grapes, it's probably because they are happy grapes.

The second thing is Paul and Tracy are thoroughly down to earth type people. This is a winery started by people who love wine, they know it's going to be very hard work, but talk with them for a short while and the passion is obvious. They also have a very clear goal of what wines they are wanting to create, and they have the talent to make great ones.

The third thing that interested me is that there is a unique individual aroma that all of the Cradle of Hills wines have, even the Mourvedre that they don't grow has it, though the Mourv is grown pretty close by. That aroma is particularly stunning in the 2009 Shiraz Mourvedre, but the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon also has it in spades. I wish I could describe it, but suffice it to say pretty much all of their wines I would be happy to have a 1/4 of a glass and just breath it in all afternoon.

Reviewing the 2009 Shiraz Mourv is pretty much a tease as it's almost all gone. However, whilst we were there Paul invited us to a prelude of the 2010 by allowing us to do a rough test blend. The rough goal being to get something like the 2009 - and why mess around too much and change the target when you've pretty much nailed it on your first vintage eh? For this fun blend there was a Shiraz-Grenache, the Mourv, a bold fruity Shiraz and a more austere Shiraz. We did a couple of blends and it's amazing how much a small change in percentages makes for a much larger change in the final wine. Before blending I would have expected to like a blend just of the big fruity Shiraz and the Mourv, but it absolutely would have lacked balance and character.

Our blend will not be the final one, but what is clear was the 2010 will likely be at least as good as the 2009 even without my input, and since I'd rate the 2009 as Excellent++ you'd be mad not to get on the mailing list.

I was going to waffle on about some of the other barrel samples, but I'll shorten it by saying the future looks extremely bright for Cradle of Hills, and that's good for us wine lovers.

PS. you gotta check out the very cool label, and have a read up on how it was created;