Posts Tagged ‘Barossa’

Dessert Wine From Australia

February 25, 2013 Leave a comment

I am working on my most involving historical post yet. While I am having great fun researching, reading, and analyzing I am spending a significant amount of time on this post. So I need to publish a number of simpler tasting note posts. Tasting note posts do not always make the most compelling of reads but hopefully this may be mitigated by including some interesting wines. In this case a recently drunk 1998 Elderton, Golden Semillon. I took a chance because my friend William introduced me to Elderton, Command Shiraz many years ago so I have thought it a traditional winery. If you like apple cider than just buy a bottle of the Golden Semillon. Once opened it drinks well for quite some time. I had a glass after I returned from Mondovino 2013 and it was therapy for my tongue. On the other spectrum, the 1995 Peter Lehmann, Vintage Port would be a decent wine if you could remove the spearmint aroma and flavor. Tasted eight days after I opened the bottle, with a partially shoved in cork, the spearmint bit was fading and a brighter red berry note developing. Perhaps this needs a two-week decant. A better option is to skip the gamble and buy the Elderton. These wines were purchased at Wide World of Wines.


1998 Elderton, Golden Semillon, South Eastern Australia – $20 (375 mL)
Imported by the Australian Premium Wine Collection. This wine is 100% Semillon. Alcohol 11%. The color is a golden caramel but not like a suspiciously dark Sauternes. The nose revealed ripe, fallen orchard fruit then apricots. In the mouth there was apple-like notes, tangy acidity, and not too much residual sugar which was well integrated. This moderate weight wine has flavors on the edge of the tongue with grip and spiced apple notes. The weight from the residual sugar is kept alive by acidity throughout. The finish brings fresh apple cider and wood box notes. Lovely. **** Now-2023.


1995 Peter Lehmann, Bin AD 2016, Vintage Port, Barossa – $20
Imported by Appalachian Imports. This wine is 100% Shiraz. Alcohol 20%. The light to medium nose was fresh with spearmint and ultimately odd. In the mouth there was ripe and sweet red fruit, residual sugar, and a little spice. The spearmint flavors came out, which just wasn’t my style. There were still tannins, decant acidity, and a fresh aftertaste. Quite frankly it was just odd. * Now-2033.


Two from the Southern Hemisphere

While Yalumba has been around for some time Bodega Chacra is relatively new.  Bodega Chacra originated when Piero Incisa dell Rocchetta purchased an old estate in the Rio Negro Valley of Patagonia.  Piero is the grandson of Mario Incisa who created Tenuta San Guido which produces the legendary Sassicaia wines.  These are both interesting wines in terms of their aromas and flavors.  The Yalumba is different with its orange-citrus and rosemary notes.  It is meant for current consumption and is appealing for those who do not want a large-scale wine.  The Chacra has a unique mixture of red fruit and apricot.  Well-made this will hopefully develop some more complexity.  While I prefer to drink something else on a daily basis, I would not hesitate to open these bottles for friends or order them at a restaurant.  Both of these wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Yalumba, The Strapper, Barossa – $17
Imported by Negocients USA.  This wine is a blend of 38% Grenache, 32% Shiraz, and 30% Mataro.  The fruit was fermented in small batches, a mixed of oak vats and stainless steel, followed by aging for two months in used American, French, and Hungarian Hogsheads(!).  Bright red fruit makes way to tart flavors, citric acidity, and an incense note.  Then the flavors become ripe, with orange citrus undertones, a hint of rosemary, and a mixture of fruits in the finish.  ** Now-2015.

2010 Bodega Chacra, Barda, Pinot Noir, Patagonia – $27
Imported by Kobrand Corporation.  This second wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from the old vineyards planted in 1955 and 1967 along with new vines from a ten-acre vineyard located on the original estate.  The fruit is fermented with indigenous yeasts with malolactic fermentation in Burgundian oak barrels.  The wine was aged for 11 months in French oak barrels.  There was an interesting nose of red fruit and apricot.  In the mouth the red fruit mixed with apricot notes, some spice, and acidity that drives the wine with freshness.  There is not much complexity as this point but there is a good, lightly salivating aftertaste.  ** Now-2017.

Two Spanish and Australian Wines from 2004

November 5, 2011 1 comment

After drinking a few bottles of the Mustiguillo, Mestis I was curious to try the Quincha Corral. Bodega Mustiguillo sent me a tweet that this should be “maximal Bobal expression.” This is Bobal turned to 11 and unlike the 2009 Mustiguillo, Mestis  I would recommend cellaring this a few more years. In the Mestis the Bobal is tempured by Tempranillo, Syrah, and other varietals but here its full personality is revealed.

Seeing that there were a few bottles of the 2004 Tait lying about I thought we should try one. It was surprisingly good and easy to drink. While it does not seem in danger of cracking up, it might be best to drink these up sooner lest the midpalate thin out further with age.

Bodega Mustiguillo, Image from Bodega Mustiguillo

The Bodega Mustiguillo was imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars and purchased from MacArthurs a year or two ago. The Tait Wines was distributed by Bacchus Importers Ltd and purchased five or so years ago.

2004 Bodega Mustiguillo, Quincha Corral, Vino de la Tierra el Terrerazo
This wine is 96% Bobal and 4% Syrah sourced from vines that are 70-90 years old.  The wine was aged for almost 20 months in new French oak. It is a dark color in the glass. My daughter noted “Strawberry” on the nose. In the mouth the brambly fruit is chewy, mouth coating, and powerful. This medium to full-bodied wine is spicy with plenty of fine textured tannins that coat the lips and sides of the mouth. It is past the primary stage but not mature yet. There are hints of mocha toast in the aftertaste. At this early point in its development I would recommend eating fatty foods to tame the powerful tannins. But you are better off cellaring it a bit longer.  I think it is close because it alternates between being well-integrated and youthfully structured. **(*) 2014-2019.

2004 Tait Wines, Ball Buster, Barossa Valley
This wine is 74% Shiraz, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 12% Merlot. There were fruity-tooty berries in the mouth that are still young and have a powdery texture. The wine thins a little in the midpalate as a little roast and heat come out. But then it expands in the finish with dark, fruity flavors. ** Now-2015.

Post Gold Cup Wines with William

October 17, 2011 Leave a comment

William is naturally curious when it comes to food and drink.  He is also equally excited to drink both young or mature wine.  The wine list at Public NYC is international in scope but has an Antipodean focus.  They carry the 2006 Torbreck, The Steading so decided it would be fun to open the 1999 and 2000 vintages along with the 1999 Domaine Pallieres, Gigondas as a foil.

2000 Torbreck, The Steading, Barossa
This was quite different from the 1999.  It showed tart red fruits mixed with cherry flavors.  The entire wine is driven by acidity and tartness.  Noticeably more mature than the 1999 there are little flavors of dried herbs.  There are small amounts of fine tannins.  I would drink this up soon.  While it is in no danger of cracking up I do not see it developing further.  ** Now.

1999 Torbreck, The Steading, Barossa
This wine took several hours to open up.  On the second night it started with primarily brighter red fruit before revealing a core of inky, blue, earthy, minerally flavors that developed into mouth filling flavors.  The aftertaste left gentle, perfumed, dark flavors with minimal tannins.  This is a tasty wine with many years left. **** Now-2017.

1999 Domaine Les Pallieres, Gigondas
This bottle took its time to open up.  On the second night the nose contained red fruit and dried herbs.  In the mouth the restrained red fruit mixed with gobs of dried herbs.  There are very fine tannins that coated the inside of the lips.  The overall impression is of solid, rustic wine with red fruit that is riper and sweeter than that of the Torbrecks. *** Now-2017.

I broke a cork on the second night

Four Wines Between $12 and $15

September 26, 2011 Leave a comment

During the early weeks of this blog, I once took a break from posting for two days.  This prompted my friend Lou to check in on me, to make sure I was healthy and still drinking wine.  I am currently flying to Seattle and have recently passed over Fargo.  I was too busy having fun with my daughter to write a post for today.  Fortunately, Alaska Air has excellent inflight wi-fi as I demonstrated from this post.  So here I am once again blogging from the air.  Jenn and I have drunk some excellent wines from Washington and Oregon this summer but the majority of these bottles comfortably cost over $25 per bottle.    For this trip I plan on tasting and buying wines under that price point.  In this vein, this post includes notes on four different bottles all $15 or less.

The Thorn-Clarke was purchased for $13, the Alpha Box & Dice for $12, the Quinta da Rosa for $15, and the Plungerhead for $15.  All of these should be currently available at MacArthur’s.  My favorites were the Thorn-Clarke and the Quinta de la Rosa.  The Thorn-Clarke strongly delivers on value and the Quinta de la Rosa is at a decent price.  The Alpha Box & Dice and the Plungerhead were both too soft, jammy, and too sweet for my preferences.  If you are craving a zinfandel blend then spend an extra $2-$3 to buy a 2009 Ridge Zinfandel.

2008 Thorn-Clarke, Shotfire, Quartage, Barossa
This is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Malbec, 18% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, and 3% Merlot that was aged for 18 months in 85% French and 15% American oak. I first tried this at the Fran Kysela tasting held at MacArthur’s. We recently tried a full bottle that I had purchased that day. This wine has savory, soft, dark fruit with notes of olive. It is smooth, easy to drink with textured tannins, and supporting acidity. It is definitely an Australian wine and one that Jenn quite enjoyed. On the second night there were more blue fruits and the wine gave the impression of maturity beyond its age. *** Now-2015.

2008 Alpha Box & Dice, Tarot, Grenache, McLaren Vale
This wine is 100% Grenache from 10-year-old vines grown on hard red clay over limestone.This is very youthful and fruity with ample flavors of raspberry. A bit jammy in the sense of sweeter fruit, some blue notes, and plenty of acidity. Pleasant but not the most interesting. Drink with in a couple of years. * Now-2014.

2009 Quinta da Rosa Vinhos, Dou Rosa, Douro
This wine is a blend of 30% Touriga Nacional, 35% Touriga Franca, and 35% Tinta Roriz that was aged in French barriques. The nose was light with floral and fruity notes. There were flavors of youthful, purple fruit that immediately left the impression of being an easy to drink wine. With air a gentle, berry, ripeness develops with an enjoyable perfumed violet and lavender quality. The fruit becomes a mixture of red and blue flavors as tannins come out in the finish. *** Now-2017.

2009 Plungerhead, Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi
This wine is 98% Zinfandel and 2% Syrah sourced from mostly 30-60 year old vines. There are ample flavors of jammy, soft raspberries and strawberries. The flavors are a bit sweet, with unobtrusive acidity, and some spice.  Sealed with a Zork, which is actually quite handy for resealing the bottle. * Now.

A Tasting at MacArthurs with Fran Kysela

September 16, 2011 2 comments

This past Saturday I managed to arrive at MacArthur’s in time for their afternoon tasting with Fran Kysela.  He was recently nominated by The Wine Enthusiast magazine for Wine Importer of the year.  Coupled with the fact that Jenn and I drink a lot of the wine he imports, I was particularly excited to attend.  Both Fran and Jeremy Sutton poured wine and chatted about the eclectic range of wine on offer from France, Germany, Australia, and South Africa.  The 11 wines ranged in prices from $11 to $32.  With such diversity there were surely favorites for all who attended.

The Lineup

I spent most of my time chatting with Jeremy, Phil, and eventually meeting Fran.  I was rather enjoying their company, myself, and the wine so I did not bother to take any formal notes.  I should hope that I get to taste wine with them again as they both amiable and there is much I could learn from Fran.  I have already posted notes on two of the selections, tasted at home from full bottles, and will eventually get notes up on some of the other selections.  My overall impression was one of good, fresh aromatics followed by clean, pure fruit flavors.  You may read about my individual impressions below.  I rather liked the Sancerre, went back for more of both Mordoree Liracs, felt the Thorn Clarke Quartage is a great bargain, and would like to restaste the Mullineux again in the near future.

2010 Jean Reverdy, La Reine Blanche, Sancerre
This was enjoyable with its aromatic floral nose and core of sweet fruit.  Not Rated.

2009 Gaudrelle, Clos de Vigneau, Vouvray
This is dry with hints of residual sugar with smooth flavors of stone fruits.  Not Rated.

2010 Bastgen, Riesling, Qba Blauschlefer, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
This was clean, fresh, leaning towards citrus flavors and some minerals.  I only had a tiny sip but this seemed like a solid wine for the price, if not exciting.  Not Rated.

2010 Mordoree, Rose, La Dame Rousse, Tavel
This sports ripe red fruit and has a lovely mouthing coating aftertaste.  Not Rated.

2009 Mordoree, La Dame Rousse, Lirac
This had been open for some time and was showing quite well.  You may read my impression of a bottle drunk in May hereNot Rated.

2009 Segries, Clos de l’Hermitage, Cotes du Rhone
This was consistent with an earlier impression of rich blue fruits, youthful tannins, and a contemporary profile.  Earlier this month we drank a bottle and I published a note hereNot Rated.

2009 Cave de Tain, Crozes-Hermitage
The weakest of the reds, reminded me of a light Crozes.  Available for $25 I would spend $3 to purchase the outstanding 2009 Colombier, Cuvee GabyNot Rated.

2009 Mordoree, La Reine des Bois, Lirac
This was lovely and quite approachable.  Richer than La Dame Rousse but with primary red fruit, a creamier texture, and balance.  This will age for some time.  Not Rated.

2008 Thorn Clarke, Shotfire, Quartage, Barossa Valley
This was soft, savory, subtle with dark fruits.  Strong value.  We recently drank a bottle and I will post a note soon.  Not Rated.

2009 Thorn Clarke, Shotfire, Shiraz, Barossa Valley
This showed black fruit, youthful flavors, richer than the Quartage but less evolved.  I preferred the Quartage.  Not Rated.

2008 Mullineux,  Syrah, Swartland
This showed dark fruit, some herbs, plenty of acidity, structure from oak but in a balanced manner.  I was rather surprised and pleased.  Tasted blind I would not have guessed South Africa.  Not Rated.

Tasting Notes from the 1999 Dinner


Here are my tasting notes from our 1999 dinner.  I was running around a bit so my notes are a bit casual.  However, Lou will eventually be posting his notes.  He was able to taste the Trimbach and Meulenhof on the second night.

The Whites

1999 Jean Noel Gagnard , Clos de la Maltroye 1er Cru, Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy
This wine had a light nose of yeast, toasted, and reduction.  It was rounder in the mouth, a bit coarse with tannins and some heat.  There was apple-like acidity and some lavender/perfume with air.  This was drinkable but not in the best shape.  Good thing it was a bin-end.  * Now.

1999 Trimbach, Gewurztraminer, Cuvee des Seigneurs Ribeaupierre, Alsace
This showed a light-medium color of straw with touches of gold.  A light to medium nose of tropical fruit.  In the mouth there were steely flavors of mango in this medium bodied wine.  The flavors leaned towards floral highlights.  It was a little flabby towards the finish.  ** Now.

The Reds

1999 Torbreck, The Steading, Barossa (Group 1st, My 1st)
The nose revealed waves of rich fruit and spices galore.  The rich fruit continued into the mouth with a youthful core of black fruits and lovely spices in the aftertaste.  A very well made wine with good complexity.  **** Now-2017.

1999 R.H. Phillips, EXP Viaje, Syrah (Group 2nd)
This had the sweetest nose of the reds.  It came across as a rather young wine with ample red fruit, pepper, and spices in the finish.  There were darker fruit flavors in the aftertaste.  On the second night it was just a softer version as there were gobs of fruit and spice and a dark fruit aftertaste.  ***(*) Now-2019.

1999 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques, 1er Cru (Group 3rd, My 3rd)
This showed softer, more fruit driven flavors.  It had a strong, pure Pinot Noir like profile.  It was a very enjoyable and easy wine to drink.  It is still young and only just starting to show hints of complexity.  My only complaint is that the flavors thinned out a bit in the finish.  **(*) 2015-2022.

1999 Fattoria de Felsina Berardanga, Rancia, Chianti Classico (Group 4th, My 2nd)
This sported a light, lithe nose of blackcurrant.  There were fine tannins that coated the mouth.  Good aftertaste, good wine.  On the second night it had a light, scented nose followed by calm, complex flavors in the mouth.  It was still going strong.  **** Now-2017.

1999 Chateau Musar, Bekaa Valley (Group tied 5th)
A little bit of nail polish on the night.  Then sweet, round fruit in the mouth, lean finish and flavors turning towards bright blue fruit.  A seriously underperforming bottle and nothing like the one I had last year. * Now.

1999 Tardieu-Laurent, Vieilles Vignes, Saint-Joseph (Group tied 5th, My 4th)
This had flavors of red fruit with an underlying layer of supportive dark fruit.  It turned towards red fruit in the finish, somewhat tart, but with a nice woodsy character.  ** Now-2015.

1999 Hardys, Shiraz, Eileen Hardy, South Australia (Group 7th)
This had one of the darkest core of color.  It strutted New World Syrah aromas with Eucalyptus notes that reminded me if Jim Barry’s Cover Drive.  The flavors followed the nose.  The long aftertaste persisted with red fruits and herbs.  On the second night it continued to sport Eucalyptus that was very fresh and pure.  ** Now-2017.

1999 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia, Barbaresco (Group 8th)
Very old-looking with a lot of bricking and some garnet.  This had a restrained nose, volatile acidity, and just hints of complex, light fruit.  But in the mouth the fruit was also very learn and overwhelmed by a heavy amount of harsh tannins and coarse aftertaste.  On the second night it still had a wooded nose, lean fruit, and overwhelming tannins. * Now.

1999 E. Pira and Figli, Via Nuova, Barolo (Group 9th)
A light color in the glass.  There was a lifted nose of cedar.  In the mouth there were woodsy flavors of roses, light+ acidity, and coarse but ripe tannins that coated the lips.  It came across as totally shut down.  On the second night it showed more scented roses on the nose.  In the mouth the fruit was gritty and red, with dark red fruit in the aftertaste.  More lip coating tannins. *(**) 2017-2022.

1999 Font de Michelle, Cuvee Etienne Gonnet,Chateauneuf du Pape (Corked)
This wine was corked.  Not Rated.


1999 Meulenhof, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Auslese, Mosel
I was running around at this point so I did not take a note.  But I remember a lovely golden color, good lush flavors there were perfectly supported by the acidity.  There is plenty of life left but so easy to drink.  A bargain at $25 per 500 mL.  *** Now-2022.

Extra Wines

1999 Domaine Les Paillieres, Gigondas
In the glass there is a medium ruby/garnet core.  This wine is still young, shows good dark fruit, minerals, and some inky/glycerine qualities.  The flavors turn towards pepper in the finish followed by good, coarse tannins that coat the mouth.  A very drinkable wine.  *** Now-2015.

1999 Gourt du Mautens, Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rasteau
A very youthful wine with grippy, gritty fruit flavors.  A little bit of freshness, nice mouthfeel, and plenty of fine tannins from wood.  Even less advanced than the Paillieres.  I preferred the Paillieres.  **(*) 2015-2019.

1999 Domaine du Caillou, Chateauneuf du Pape
A lighter, more acidic style of Chateauneuf.  There were medium round blue fruit flavors.  ** Now.

1999 Domaine de la Pinede, Chateauneuf du Pape (Corked)
This wine was corked.  Not Rated.

A 1999 Tasting and Dinner

On Saturday a small group crammed in to our small dinning room for a 1999 themed evening. All of the wines were of the 1999 vintage and all of the dishes were inspired by Gourmet and Bon Appetit recipes from 1999. It was an eclectic group in terms of wine experience.  Many of the bottles still contain leftover wine.  I will retaste the wines tonight then post my notes tomorrow.

White Wines
1999 Jean Noel Gagnard , Clos de la Maltroye 1er Cru, Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy
1999 Trimbach, Gewurztraminer, Cuvee des Seigneurs Ribeaupierre, Alsace

The ten red wines were double-decanted two hours ahead of time then brown bagged.  I have listed the red wines in order of group preference.  The Torbreck is a lovely wine and appeared to be universally liked.  The R.H. Phillips demonstrated its new world style and remains youthful.  The Bruno Clair was easy to drink and is just starting to gain complexity.  The Felsina is a really good wine and is consistently pleasing across vintages.  I personally thought the Musar was underperforming and has issues.  The Tardieu-Laurent pleased with its modern style charms.  The Hardy’s had an Aussie eucalyptus quality to it.  I thought the Paitin was coarse and showing some VA.  the Pira and Figli is quite young and shutdown but will be lovely in the future.

Red Wines
1999 Torbreck, The Steading, Barossa
1999 R.H. Phillips, EXP Viaje, Syrah
1999 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques, 1er Cru
1999 Fattoria de Felsina Berardanga, Rancia, Chianti Classico
1999 Chateau Musar, Bekka Valley
1999 Tardieu-Laurent, Vieilles Vignes, Saint-Joseph
1999 Hardys, Shiraz, Eileen Hardy, South Australia
1999 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia, Barbaresco
1999 E. Pira and Figli, Via Nuova, Barolo
1999 Font de Michelle, Cuvee Etienne Gonnet,Chateauneuf du Pape (Corked)

Sweet Wine
1999 Meulenhof, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Auslese, Mosel

Bonus Wines
1999 Domaine Les Paillieres, Gigondas
1999 Gourt du Mautens, Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rasteau
1999 Domaine du Caillou, Chateauneuf du Pape
1999 Domaine de la Pinede, Chateauneuf du Pape (Corked)