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Posts Tagged ‘Langhorne Creek’

2006 Winner’s Tank, Velvet Sledgehammer, Shiraz, Langhorne Creek

September 1, 2011 Leave a comment

In organizing my old tasting notes I came across my tasting note from 2008.  You may find the tasting note in this old post Inaugural Aussie Hammers and Abbatoir.  I think it is fun to restaste a wine after several years so I pulled out a bottle and we gave it a go.  Honestly, I think we both prefered it more several years ago.

2006 Winner’s Tank, Velvet Sledgehammer, Shiraz, Langhorne Creek
This wine is a very dark, garnet color.  The nose is full of roasted red fruit, hints of spirit, and not much complexity.  In the mouth the wine is round, smooth, and mouthfilling with some interesting perfume notes.  Otherwise it comed across as coarse and a tad metallic.  At 15.8% ABV this is no lightweight! * Now-2017.

Inaugural Aussie hammers and Abattoir

I drank a lot of Australian wine a year or so ago but much less this year. It could be that I found the 2004s to drink well on release and prefer my 2005 and 2006s with some age. I only had one Maxwell wine before, the 2004 Ellen Street Shiraz which my wife and I really liked so I was eager to try the Silver Hammer. The Winner’s Tank Velvet Sledgehammer was mentioned in the Garagiste thread but I thought I’d include my note; it is tasty but more loose and flamboyant. The Rosabrook was reviewed on the board a year ago and is still drinking well. I drank one earlier this year at the normal price then bought a few more at MacArthur’s Aussie sale. In order of preference: Rosabrook, Maxwell, Winner’s Tank.

2005 Maxwell, Silver Hammer, Shiraz, McLaren Vale – ~$30
This is the inaugural vintage of the Silver Hammer. The medium-dark color is red with purple. There are blue fruits on the light, young nose. In the mouth there are blue and dark fruits and a bit of minerals. There is ripeness and roundness to the fruit, but it comes across as balanced. There are very fine tannins in the aftertaste. It is drinkable now but I’d give it a few more years in the cellar. As a point of reference, I drank this alongside the 2006 De Lisio, Quarterback. The Quarterback came across as having more blue/red fruit, a bit sour in tilt, and less definition.

2006 Winner’s Tank, Velvet Sledgehammer, Langhorne Creek – $20-$25?
This too is the first vintage of the Velvet Sledgehammer. It is aged in 35% new French barriques for 16 months. It comes from specific parcels within the same vineyard used for the regular Shiraz. It is a rather opaque ruby-purple color. There is a light nose of roast, red berries, and raspberry. There is immediate, rich, mouthful of flavors that echo the nose. The wine is not quite creamy but rather a softness that picks up ultra-fine tannins. I think it is preferable to wait a few years on this one.

1998 Rosabrook Estate, Abattoir Block, Shiraz, Margaret River – $32
A medium-opaque garnet in the glass. A fresh nose of wooden box and red fruit. In the mouth there are immediate, round, mouthfilling mature/earthy flavors with some mintiness. There is good acidity, and a fine, thorough finish that is still tannic. This wine is tasty, easy to drink (I sucked down the bottle), and has life left in it.

Leighton House Selections from December 2005

December 1, 2005 1 comment

These six selections were chosen for December 2005.

2002 Craneford Wines, Shiraz, Barossa Valley
Craneford was founded in 1978 and subsequently sold three times until purchased by the current winemaker John Zilm. John moved the winery to his home town where he also started a café in the building. He attempts to produce wines with more balance by having less alcohol and using less wood. This wine is 100% Shiraz aged in 85% French and 15% American oak. Medium-garnet in color. Lightly aromatic, mature nose. Very round, blackberry, and leather on the palate with very, very fine tannins. Excellent drinking for now.

2004 Jip Jip Rocks, Shiraz, Limestone Coast
The Bryson family has been involved in agriculture in Southern Australia for 150 years. They have long realized the potential of the Limestone Coast in producing good quality Shiraz. They established the Jip Jip Rocks vineyard in the early 1990s. They aim for good integration of fruit flavors and oak. This wine is 100% Shiraz. A rather dark, purple wine with a nose of meaty blackberries. Bright round fruit on the palate with good grip and acidity. To be drunk now rather than cellared. Open one to two hours before drinking.

2002 Killibinbin, Blend, Langhorne Creek
Killibinbin Wines entered the market in 1997 by producing 400 cases of Langhorne Creek Shiraz. The wine sold out in six weeks thus launching the careers of the founders Wayne Anderson and Liz Banks. The wines are styled to be balanced and fruit forward. The grapes are sourced from parcels in Langhorne Creek then sent north to the Barossa Valley for production. This wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Shiraz aged in new and used American and French oak for 12 months. Ruby in color with black fruit on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, chunky, and rich it makes for fine drinking now. It would be interesting to compare with 2002 Bleasdale Frank Potts which is also from Langhorne Creek.

2002 Koonowla, Shiraz, Clare Valley
Koonowla was established for farming and grazing in the 1830s by Colonel Barker. It was sold to John Tothill in 1892 who subsequently planted vines and built a commercial winery, making it one of the six original wineries in Clare Valley. A fire destroyed both the stock and cellars causing Koonowla to slowly switch to profitable grain and wool production. In 1991 Andrew and Booie Michael purchased the winery, restored the winery, and planted new vines. This wine is 100% Shiraz aged 18 months in 50% American and 50% French oak.

Quinta Vale do Marie, Lot No. 1 Reserve Port, Duoro
Christiano van Zeller is the former owner and director of the famous Quinta do Noval estate. He is now bottling ports under the medieval spelling of his family name, De Zellaer. This month’s selection is sourced from his own vineyards in Quinta Vale da Mina and Quinta Vale Dona Maria. All of his ports are foot trodden in lagares. This wine is a blend of Tinta Amarela, Rufete, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Francesa, Touriga Nacional, and Sousão aged in wood vats for 24 months. Aromatic, medium-bodied, with a charming slightly hot finish. Will throw sediment. Open 24 hours ahead then consume within a further 48 hours.

2003 Reilly’s Wines, Old Bushvine Grenache-Shiraz, Clare Valley
Reilly’s Wines was started as a hobby of winemaker Justin Ardill in 1993. The winery is named after Hugh Reilly, a shoemaker from Ireland who arrived at Clare Valley in 1856. He promptly built a stone cottage which today is used as the cellar store. The Grenache grapes are sourced from the 1919 block of bushvines. The Shiraz grapes are sourced from the Watervale Ridge Vineyard planted in 1999. This wine is a blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Shiraz aged in 75% American and 25% French oak for 15 months. Aromatic red berries on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, with sweet cherry flavors. Wonderful to drink now.

Leighton House Selections from November 2005

November 1, 2005 1 comment

These four selections were chosen for November 2005.

2004 Vinos Sin-Ley, G3, Terra Alta
This G3 wine is part of the “G-Series” of 100 percent Grenache wines.  Each G wine is from a different Denominacio D’Origen (DO) in Spain.  This wine was made by Juanjo Galcera, a winemaker at Vinos Pinol. This is 100% Garnacha. Medium violet, purple color. Meaty blue and black berries on the nose. Immediately flavorful, medium-bodied, fine tannins, makes for a tasty meaty wine. Satisfying now but can drink for several more years.

2004 Marquis Phillips, Shiraz, South Eastern Australia
Marquis Philips is a project started by Sarah and Sparky Marquis and the wine importer Dan Philips of The Grateful Palate. In 1998, Sarah and Sparky Marquis started working with the Longbottom family on the Henry’s Drive wines. This is 100% Syrah. Very dark, slightly garnet in color. Restrained peppermint nose. Immediately round, lush black fruit flavors, supple body, developing into liquorice and peppermint flavors. Enjoyably smooth finish that becomes slightly alcoholic after several hours. Drink now or within a year.

2004 Henry’s Drive, Pillar Box Red, Padthaway
Henry’s Drive Vignerons was founded in 1988 and is owned by the Longbottom family. Their farming operations in Padthaway have included sheep, cattle, and onions, since the 1940s. The Pillar Box Red represents the first lower-priced wine released by Henry’s Drive.
This is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Shiraz, and 11% Merlot. Dark in color. Strong black fruit and cedar nose. Medium- to full-bodied, toasty oak flavors, fine beginning flavors that become truncated. Drink it within the next few years.

2002 Bleasdale Vineyards, Frank Potts, Langhorne Creek
Bleasdale Vineyards was founded by the Potts family in 1850 and is currently run by Michael Potts, whose generation is the fifth to run the winery. The Frank Potts wine is Bleasdale’s flagship red. Frank Potts was one of the first to plant vines in the area and also innovated one of Australia’s earliest irrigation schemes using ox-drawn pumping. This is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Malbec, and 9% Petit Verdot aged 18 months in French and American oak hogsheads. A dark, rich ruby color. After breathing, an aromatic nose of dusty herbs. Medium-bodied, round tannins, slightly salty, very tasty. It drinks well now but will develop for a few more years. Decant one to two hours before drinking.