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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lazy Ballerina Shiraz 2009 - Revisit

I reviewed this nearly a year ago, and after opening a bottle last night I was so impressed I thought I'd  check what I thought and give an update on how it's travelling.

Before reading my old review, my impression is this is a very classy wine, excellent complexity, and lacks nothing. It's only flaw is I've drained the glass without even getting two paragraphs done!

So how does it compare to my review a year back?

Well, the colour is a bit more crimson now, which you'd expect. It's still got that something dark and wicked, but now it seems a little more savoury with Christmas ham and a lovely aromatic sweetness that reminds me of Roquefort cheese.

The biggest change is the tannins which have that brilliant blend of firm and soft, giving mouthfeel without dryness. Another 2 years won't hurt, but you can safely crack one now, though it is better after 24 hours so still I reckon I'm right about it's potential long life.

Surprisingly it's still apparently available. It would have to be my favourite 2009 Shiraz and a bargain for this quality really.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Whistler Hubert Irving (Red Blend) 2010

This wine exudes quaff, and I don't mean that in a negative way. This is a wine that goes with everything a red wine goes with; food, fireplaces, friends and footy on the TV. By the way, I didn't have any trouble coming up with four F words, I had more problem in limiting to 4 clean ones.

Possibly, probably even, the reason this wine goes with everything is it's a blend. In Australia we seem to be fixated on single variety, but how many of us are aware that most of the single variety stuff is a blend of vineyards, sometimes a blend of regions, and occasionally a blend of States. It can even be a blend of vintages, but it's rare to get an admission of that.

I have nothing against single variety, and indeed single vineyard is pretty hard to beat when it's a good 'un, but I reckon there should be a lot more labelled blends out there. And a bit more willingness to experiment beyond GSM, Cab-Merlot and Cab-Shiraz.

This one is somewhat unusual, with 30% Mourvedre, 30% Merlot, 25% Grenache, 8% Shiraz and 7% Cab Sav, and they go so well together. Mostly red fruit on the nose with a touch of rosemary and oregano, reasonably full body and chewy tannins give longevity to red and black fruits on the palate,  and there's just enough quality acid to keep it all in balance. I reckon this would be a cracker if it had been made with their premium fruit.

Very good value at $16-$19, ready to 'quaff' now and good drinking for the next 5 years.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sieber Rd Shiraz Mataro 2008

The deer have gotten into the vineyard again.

You'd think they would be still full after gorging themselves on the half fermented raspberries and blackberries from the bushes that line the north paddock. The buggers had even been eating the wild black olives.

So in the immortal words of Ugluk, looks like meat's back on the menu boys, and it's venison.

To the self marinaded vension, we've added a sprinke of black pepper, a dash of garam masala and given it a rub with thyme and lemon peel.

Juicy, tender and gum lickingly good. Probably should have aged it a bit more, and it got a tad charred on one edge when we had the BBQ too hot, but the charcoal aids digestion they say.

Recommended++, but not easy to find outside cellar door and not even on the website, so you might want to email them and ask.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pyramids Road Mourvedre 2011

I was pretty excited to try this as it would be my first Granite Belt wine. In an attempt to be unbiased I decided to have a pseudo blind tasting with friends prior to dinner, and then try the wine again with food. Only I knew what the wine was and where it came from.

The blind tasters had a variety of aroma descriptors; raspberry, lime, chocolate, old leather, rain on hay. The concensus was the nose was very complex with the fruit being somewhat in the background. Everyone agreed the palate was quite peppery with probably the best descriptor being 'like rocket'. Overall it was felt the palate was not yet living up to the nose and that the acid was currently too obvious - "I can smell the wine that this will become, but I am not tasting it tonight".

My notes were that it had a nice beefy aroma, some cocoa powder, fruit blend of cranberry, raspberry and blackcurrent, with fine dusty tannins. I did not find the acid to be as noticable as my friends, but not being a fruit driven wine I can see why it was comparitively sticking out.

We went back to it a few hours later with dinner, which was BBQ chicken thighs with a Thai green curry dipping sauce - I got the idea from a Jamie Oliver recipe and it worked extremely well. The best thing was the wine absolutely melded perfectly with this dish, and if I do say so myself one of the best meals I've had for a while.

I really enjoyed it, particularly with the food, and I rate it Highly Recommended as a dinner wine.