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Australian Wines With Acidity

Jenn and I recently tasted through a slew of Australian wines.  John likes some age to his Semillon and of the three that I tried, the 2008 Kaesler, Old Vine Semillon was the most interesting and it is still young.  I would cellar it a few more years.  I found more to like with the red wines.  The 2010 Shadow Chaser, Red Wine is a good buy at $13.  The 2011 Torbreck, Woodcutter’s Shiraz proves to be another satisfying vintage and one I could drink by the case.  The 2010 Tournon, Mathilda Shiraz from Michel Chapoutier is evocative of the Northern Rhone.  It really is a good wine which I would age for a year.  It is also only $13 so grab several at a time.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2010 Torbreck, Woodcutter’s Semillon, Barossa Valley – $16
Imported by Wine Creek LLC.  This wine is 100% Semillon with fruit from the younger vines fermented in stainless steel and the older vines in used French barriques. Alcohol 14%.  The color was a light straw yellow.  The nose revealed tart pear and ripe lemon aromas.  In the mouth there were pineapple flavors which were a touch more ripe than the other Semillons.  The wine had a pebbly texture with berry and tooty-fruity flavors near the finish.  It showed some grip.  ** Now-2015.

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2008 Kaesler, Old Vine Semillon, Barossa Valley – $17
Imported by Epicurean Wines.  This wine is 100% Semillon sourced from vines planted in 1961.  It was aged for seven months on the lees.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was a light straw yellow.  The nose was slightly rich with Semillon aromas that stepped out of the glass. Perhaps a little toast as well.  In the mouth there was acidity with tart white and light yellow fruit.  There was plenty of acidity for the gravelly, citrus flavors.  There was a ripe lemon texture and dried herbs in the finish.  In a sense this is still very young.  ** Now-2018+.

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2007 Henschke, Tilly’s Vineyard, South Australia – $20
This wine is a blend of 57% Semillon, 24% Sauvignon Blanc, and 19% Chardonnay.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The color was a light yellow with a gold tinge.  The nose was subtle with dried herbs and flowers.  In the mouth there was richer fruit driven by acidity which promptly expands to reveal drier, lighter, and very lively flavors with underlying mature notes.  The white fruit brought a little focused citrus note in the back-end.  ** Now-2017.

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2012 Shadow Chaser, White Wine, McLaren Vale – $13
Imported by Epicurean Wines.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from four vineyards with vines 11 to 34 years of age.  The fruit was fermented in stainless steel using indigenous yeasts and underwent partial malolactic fermentation.  5% of the wine was aged in French oak.  Alcohol 13%.  The color was a very light straw yellow.  There was toasty fruit on the nose which had some grip.  In the mouth there was focused, ripe white fruit, a good mouthfeel, and lots of integrated acidity.  It took on fine pebbly spices.  **  Now-2014.

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2010 Shadow Chaser, Red Wine, McLaren Vale – $13
Imported by Epicurean Wines.  This wine is 100% Grenache sourced from two 40+ year old vineyards.  The fruit was fermented and aged in stainless steel.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There was a good nose of fragrant berries.  In the mouth there were fresh ripe berries, black and racy fruit, and a savory and weighty personality.  The flavors were drier in the finish where it was a little rough, or furry as Jenn put it.  The acidity was supportive from underneath with firm minerals towards the finish.  There was a nice mineral texture.  ** Now-2015.

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2011 Torbreck, Woodcutter’s Shiraz, Barossa Valley – $19
Imported by Wine Creek LLC.  This wine is 100% Shiraz which was fermented in stainless steel, cement, and wooden vats.  It was basked pressed then aged for 12 months in used hogsheads and foudres.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The color was a medium black cherry.  There was a tart start with young, complex fruit with good depth.  The wine was a little chewy and sappy with a tautness from youth.  With air spices and black minerals came out in the finish.  *** Now-2018.

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2010 Michel Chapoutier, Tournon, Shiraz, Mathilda, Victoria – $13
Imported by Fruit of the Vine.  This wine is 100% Shiraz which was vinified and aged in both concrete and stainless steel tanks.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was lifted with aromas of smoke and some meat.  After a few hours the wine opened up with tart red fruit, tart black fruit, and some citric tannins.  It remained a little tart and grapey with minerals in the finish.  A good wine which needs a little time.  *** 2014-2019.

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2010 Ring Bolt, Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River – $17
Imported by Negociants USA.  This wine  is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon which was aged 10 months in American and French hogsheads and barriques.  Alcohol 14.1%.  The nose bore greenhouse aromas.  In the mouth the flavors were not too tart with red and black fruit.  The wine was dry with the mouth following the nose.  It was rather focused the first night but showed more ripe fruit the second night.  ** Now-2015.

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2010 Pyren Vineyard, Broken Quartz Shiraz, Pyrenees – $24
Imported by Vine St Imports.  This wine is 100% Shiraz which was aged for 10 months in used French and American barriques.  Alcohol 13.6%.  The nose was good with fresh aromas of exotic flowers, herbs, and pepper as if from cool fruit.  In the mouth there were very tart flavors of citric red fruit.  It was a little pebbly on the tongue time and certainly vibrant.  Interesting but I found it hard to drink.  ** Now.

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Australia!

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

These two recently tasted bottles were quite tasty.  The Torbreck came recommended by John at MacArthurs.  I must admit I had never tried a Cuvee Juveniles as we typically pick up the Woodcutter’s Shiraz.  Jenn found a bottle of the Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier hidden amongst some plates in the basement.  Last year we had purchased several bottles but they were always shut-down and not too pleasing.  This wine has come a long way since it was last tasted in June 2011.  If you are willing to take a gamble then cellar the Terlato & Chapoutier while you drink the Torbreck.  Otherwise you should try the Torbreck.

2009 Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier, Shiraz-Viognier, Victoria
Imported by Terlato Wines International.  This wine is a blend of 95% Shiraz and 5% Viognier.  The fruit is fermented in cement or stainless steel and tank aged for up to 12 months.  This is starting to settle down with red fruit on the nose which continues into the mouth.  The tangy red fruit has underlying blue fruit notes, steely ink and generally presents itself with enjoyable flavors, texture, and a little ripeness.  I would cellar this another year or two at which point it should be a good drink.  2014-2017.

2009 Torbreck, Cuvee Juveniles, Barossa Valley – $19
Imported by Wine Creek.  This cuvee is made for Tim Johnston the owner of the Juveniles wine bar in Paris.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Shiraz, and 20% Mataro sourced from 40-150 year old vines.  The vineyard batches are fermented separately before tank assembly and malolactic fermentation.  There is a nose of raspberry and strawberry.  In the mouth there are round, almost rich, flavors with some tartness.  The sweet fruit is round and soft but there is acidity throughout which keeps it lively.  The flavors turn dark red, a bit warm and spicy, as minerals come out in the steely finish.  Now-2015.

Four Random Tasting Notes

This post covers a mixture of wines that we have drunk this summer. The Terlato-Chapoutier is imported by Bacchus Importers, Ltd. The Man O’ War and Reserve St. Dominique were purchased from MacArthur’s. The Chasseur was purchased on sale at Arrowine.  I only recommend the Reserve St. Dominique.

2009 Terlato-Chapoutier, Shiraz-Viognier, Victoria
This wine is 95% Shiraz and 5% Viognier that is fermented in cement or stainless steel.  The wine was aged in micro0-oxygenated tanks for 10-12 months.  The very purple color is of light to medium opacity.  There is a light nose of purple fruits with more toast than the 2009 Remizieres, Crozes-Hermitage.  Though rounder in flavor, it is less complex.  It is more coarse and intentionally structured with dark toast and fine tannins.  I think this wine is improving as the vintages go by but it suffers in comparison to the Remizieres.  ** Now.

2008 Man O’ War, Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Malbec, Waiheke Island, New Zealand
This wine is 42% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 19% Malbec, and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wine was aged on lees for 11 months in Old French and American barrels.  This was a bizarre wine that I kept visiting over three days. There is a dark, black cherry color. The nose has aromas of dark, tight roast and toast from barrels and confected black fruits. In the mouth there are dark fruits with some minerals but again, lots of roast and coffee. There is supportive acidity in the aftertaste and minimal tannins. The nose, mouth, and aftertaste all share the same overt barrel roast, marked coffee, and dark berries. It is a bit overdone in my opinion. * Now.

2007 Reserve Saint Dominique, Lirac
This wine is approximately 65% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre.  This is light to medium opacity. There is a light nose of blue fruits. In the mouth there are ample flavors of creamy, primary, blue fruit. It is a modern style of wine with a lifted aftertaste. There are fine+ new tannins.  I would cellar this a few years before drinking.  **(*) 2015-2019.

2006 Chasseur, Chardonnay, Durell Vineyard, Sonoma Valley
This wine was aged for 17 months in 60 gallon French oak of which 67% were new.  The light gold color shows promise with its long legs. Then the disappointment hits. The light nose has apple aromas that are slightly yeasty. There are soft flavors in the mouth of creamy oak. This wine tastes expensive but is completely boring. I had Lou taste this on its second night and I believe he agreed that it was not a flawed bottle but an uninteresting one.  *  Now.

Six Aussies Including the Tasty 1998 Maxwell Grenache, 09 August 2008

August 9, 2008 1 comment

Jenn and I decided to shake things up and try a number of Aussie reds. The 1998 Maxwell Grenache was by far our favorite and a very good value. After that, but a notch down are the St John’s Road and Warrenmang. I wouldn’t recommend the Yalumba, Hazyblur, nor the Rockford.

2005 St. John’s Road, Blood and Courage, Shiraz, Greenock, Barossa – $20
Very opaque purplish color. A light to medium intensity nose of gritty blue-red fruit. Tart blue fruit, slightly salty, in this medium bodied wine. The acidity is strong, causing puckering, that is wrapped up with a good finish and strong aftertaste. Young. A nice wine that doesn’t have the elegant of Solitary Block Shiraz from Greenock.

2003 Yalumba, Handpicked Shiraz Viognier, Barossa Valley – $20
Medium plus opaque purple with a hint of garnet. A light to medium intensity nose of candied red and purple fruits. Tight, dark fruit, toasty oak flavors, some acidity, and fine noticeable tannins. It never developed into much after three days. Our least favorite of the bunch.

2002 Warrenmang, Estate Shiraz, Pyrenees, Victoria – $20
Medium plus opaque ruby-purple, younger looking than the Hazyblur. A medium strength nose of bright, black gritty fruit, with some eucalyptus. In the mouth there was bright, tart fruit. The acidity is up front followed by a decent finish and aftertaste with some fine tannins coming through.

2001 Hazyblur, Barootra Shiraz, South Australia – $16
This came from 8-year-old vines. Medium plus opaque garnet. A nose of tart red fruits and some rubber/tar component that eventually blew off. In the mouth there is savory, dark red berries, enlivened by high-toned acidity. The flavors drop off to reveal minimal tannins, a simple finish and aftertaste. It did not change much on the second day. Second least favorite.

1998 Maxwell, Grenache, McLaren Vale – $25
Medium garnet in the glass. A medium nose of gritty, mildly sweet blue fruits. In the mouth there are cool, blue fruit, minerals, with good supporting acidity. The finish is refreshing. It still has textured tannins. This was by far our favorite and drinking beautifully right now. The nose makes one interested and the flavors do not disappoint, well-balanced.

1996 Rockford, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley – $19
This was fermented in open-top slate tanks and aged for two years in American and French oak hogsheads. Medium garnet in the glass with a core of darker purple color. A light to medium nose. There are red and blue fruits at first, a slight amount of minerals then the acidity comes through. There are some cedar/wood flavors in the finish, followed by a tart fruit finish. This isn’t that complex and there are still some new oak tannins. Kind of boring.