Simple palates, Seriously

November 2010 Archive - Schwarz Wine Co, Glaetzer, new season '09 Beaujolais

2nd Nov 2010: New offerings from Schwarz Wine Co

You guys have no idea how tough it is living in Melbourne's scorching 28 degrees. I need a quick chill off, reaching into the new-arrivals box, it's The Dust Kicker Rosé by Schwarz. Pale salmon colour, youthful nose of redcurrants and crushed baby leaf buds. Dry, medium-bodied wine with flavours of whole redcurrant bunches with leaves and a hint of raspberry concentrated on the front palate and tip of the tongue. High acidity and 13% alc. Great comfort as you put on your sunnies and bask in the warm sunshine as a cool breeze passes through. $17. Have with generous serve of saganaki with half a lemon's worth of juice squeezed on top. Drink now. 88/100.


Schwarz Wine Co Dust Kicker Chenin Blanc 2010, Barossa Valley, SA
$17 from Jason Schwarz himself. Pale gold with green hues. Apple talc with sweet lemon barley brew. Dry, high acidity, youthful rich, clean green apple, unripe stone fruit peachy flavours with a nice steely mineral finish. 12% alc. Drink now. 89/100.

Schwarz Wine Co Dust Kicker Hunt & Gather 2007, Barossa Valley, SA
$20. Medium+ earthy ruby crimson colour. This Barossan blend has lovely carpet of aromas with sweet spice, clove, dark plum, blackcurrant liquorice, and a hint of oak (seasoned?) in the back. Dry, full-bodied wine with a velvety texture propped by fine tannins. High level of fresh acidity, the plush fruit is clear and present, cherry liquor and spicy plum. Drink now - 2015. 92/100.
Schwarz Wine Co Thiele Road Grenache 2007
Schwarz Wine Co Thiele Road Grenache 2007, Barossa Valley, SA
$26. Medium+ ruby with crimson/garnet sheen. Fine legs. Youthful, warm aromas of strawberry florals, savoury red currants and hints of weighty milk chocolate. This dry, full-bodied wine has a silky texture with fine grained tannins, medium acidity. The 15% alc is not overtly prominent, there is plenty of scrumptious juicy fruit, strawberry, cherry flesh and red plums. Lovely comfortable finish. Drink now - 2015. 91/100.
Schwarz Wine Co Nitschke Block Shiraz 2007 Schwarz Wine Co. Nitschke Block Shiraz 2007, Barossa Valley, SA
$32. Intense black ruby with crimson rim. Youthful compact perfume of dark, black berry fruit, cloves, touch of deglazed saucepan, brown meat savouriness. Dry, full-bodied wine with 15% alc, medium+ velvety tannins evenly distributed throughout the mouth. Rich flavours of black plum, blueberry fruit. Long finish. Drink now - 2018. 92/100.
Schwarz Wine Co Schiller Shiraz 2008

Schwarz Wine Co. Schiller Shiraz 2008, Barossa Valley, SA

$60. 50 dozen bottles. A step up in purity from the Nitschke shiraz. Black core with dark ruby-purple rum, fine legs with the colour clinging to the glass. Warm aromas of dark, concentrated berry fruit, hint of white pepper, black plums, hot dusty red earth, sweet nutmeg and cinnamon. Dry, full-bodied wine, silky texture with chocolatey even chewy tannins, high acidity and 15% alc. Lovely rich purple fruit, blueberry, plums, hint of raspberry liquorice. Soft, long finish. Drink now - 2022. 93-94/100.

3rd Nov 2010: New releases from Glaetzer

Glaetzer Wallace Shiraz Grenache 2009, Barossa Valley, SA
$25. Fruit from 60-80 year old vines. The grenache was fermented and kept in stainless steel tanks to retain maximal freshness and fruit characters. This was blended with shiraz matured in 2-3 year old French and American (70/30) oak barrels. Medium crimson colour. On the nose, notes of coconut shavings from the French oak is prominent. Behind this is dark red berry fruit. Dry, full-bodied wine with flavours of black cherry, dark raspberry and red currants. Good value for an easy drinking wine. Drink now - 2015. 89/100.  

Glaetzer Bishop Shiraz 2009, Barossa Valley, SA
$35. A blend of fruit from 35 and 120 year old vines, combining the freshness and vibrancy of young fruit with the structure and mellow weight imparted by age.  Medium+ ruby colour, this has a youthful nose but one does get a sense that there is depth to this fledgling. Asian 5 spice, cloves, dark plum skins. Dry, full-bodied with a good balance of weighty black fruit with the ripe acidity and tannins. Good long finish. Drink now - 2018. 91/100.

Glaetzer Anaperenna Shiraz Cabernet 2009, Barossa Valley, SA
$55. This label was not released in 2008. In 2009, it is a 75/25 blend of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon from 30-120 year old vines. The cabernet vines suffered from the 2008 heat waves and as a consequence struggled during the growing months for the 2009 vintage. This resulted in reduced fruit yields and hence only a small volume of Anaperenna 2009 has been produced. Medium+ ruby colour. A youthful nose of blackcurrant liquorice, finger-crushed fresh herbs, plums and a touch of sweet bakes. Full-bodied, high acidity and even tannins across the palate. Expected a bit more on the fruit weight but this is still in its infancy with young plums and crushed blackcurrants. Good finish with the fruit essence lingering. Drink 2012 - 2020. 92+/100.

Gaetzer Amon Ra Shiraz 2009, Barossa Valley, SA
$95. This is my second tasting of the 09 Amon Ra. 100% dry grown shiraz from 50-130 year old vines and matured in French and American (90/10) oak hogsheads. Notice the move away from the 100% American oak approach employed in previous incarnations? Dark ruby purplish colour. A heady fresh, youthful aroma of black plums, blackcurrants and hint of black truffles. Full-bodied with clean, dense ripe fruit flavours of spicy dark plum flesh and blackcurrants. Even fine tannins, almost cocoa-powder like texture, is well-balanced with fresh acidity. Good long finish. This is a welcome move away from the highly dense and thick over-extracted fruit in the past. Drink 2012 - 2025. 94-95/100.

15th Nov 2010

It is simply so predictable of Melbourne that the sunny warm weather never lasts for long. Just as I kicked back to knock back some Rieslings in the park, it's turned wet, overcast and grey skies over the weekend. Still, jot down the names of these 2009 beauties from Germany and you won't be disappointed when the hot summer sun finally overcomes the cold gloom.

Gunderloch Jean Baptiste Riesling Kabinett 2009, Rheinhessen, Germany
$30 from Prince Wine Store. Pale lemon colour with aromas of lemon citrus and crushed apple ferment similar to Spanish cider. Clean apple flavours with fresh acidity and good overall balance. Drink now. 88/100.

Georg Breuer GB Riesling 2009, Mosel, Germany
$35 from Prince Wine Store. Delicate perfumed nose of pear and orange spritz. Dry, high acidity and very flavoursome with notes of sweet apple, brown pear finished with a touch of steely minerality. Drink now. 88+/100.

Donnhoff Riesling Trocken 2009 Donnhoff Riesling Trocken 2009, Nahe, Germany
$38 from Prince Wine Store. Pale golden lemon colour with an elegant yet complex aromas of lingering florals and citrus blossom. Dry, clean acidity, touch of grip on the palate. Drink now. 90/100.

A. Christmann Riesling QBA 2009, Pfalz, Germany
$40 from Prince Wine Store. Pale lemon colour with notes of unripe apricot and white peach skin. Ripe and rich peachy flavours, high acidity and lovely length on the finish. Drink now. 89/100.

17th Nov 2010

Wirra Wirra The Lost Watch Riesling 2010 Wirra Wirra The Lost Watch Hand-picked Riesling 2010, Adelaide Hills, SA
Pale lemon colour, youthful aromas of orange blossom and lemon slate powder. Dry, medium-bodied wine, 13%alc, with rich orange citrus flavours and waxy kaffir lime leaves on the finish. Long fruity finish. Drink now. 90/100.

Ca'dei Mandorli Brachetto D'acqui 'Le Donne Dei Boschi'  2009
Recommended by Nico at Randall's Albert Park. ~$20. If you love Moscato d'Asti, then you'll love this more robust version made from the Brachetto grape. Medium purple crimson colour, youthful soft aromas of blackcurrants, rose petal florals. Delicious blackcurrant and rose syrup flavours, the dry pastille sweetness and acidity retain the zip and keeps the freshness in your mouth. If Moscato d'Asti is a shy 6-year old little girl, then this Brachetto is the unbashful and talkative 10-year old cutie. Drink now (and heaps) 90/100.

24th Nov 2010

Chateau Paul Mas Clos des Mures 2008, Coteaux Du Languedoc Chateau Paul Mas Clos des Mures 2008, Coteax Du Languedoc, France
$19 from Dan Murphy's. Intense black garnet with watery purple rim. Lingering perfume that is dense in nature of black cherry, blackcurrants, violets and sweet spice. Dry, full-bodied wine with high acidity and medium level of soft tannins. Strong black fruit flavours provide a punch that allows this wine to sit quite comfortably next to a prime rib-eye steak with mushroom sauce. Good value for money, perfect for your bbq'd meat stacks this summer. Drink now. 88/100. 

25th Nov 2010

Bleasdale Shiraz Cabernet 2005, Langhorne Creek, SA
A blend of 51% shiraz and 49% cabernet sauvignon. This spent 12 months maturing in old French and American oak barrels. Intense dark ruby core with a significant watery purplish-garnet rim. A sensation of hot South Australian summer wind blowing along the dusty gravel roads intermingled with aromas of ripe plum, blackberries and hints of tobacco, wood spice.  Dry, full-bodied wine with high acidity, 14.5% alc and nicely resolved tannins. Fresh ripe black berry flavours that linger on the tip of your tongue. Right now, this is a very good example of an entry level yet well-made wine that is fully mature. Drink now - 2012. 88/100.

26th Nov 2010

Knappstein Hand-Picked Riesling 2010, Clare Valley, SA Knappstein Riesling 2010, Clare Valley, SA
$19 from King & Godfrey on Lygon St. Pale lemon colour with a green tinge. Youthful aromas of musky lemon talc, hint of passionfruit. Dry, medium-bodied wine with a zip to the body. High acidity with rich, ripe lime citrus overtones on green apple flavours. Good fruity finish. Drink now. 89/100.

28th Nov 2010

Torzi Matthews Frost Dodger Riesling 2010, Eden Valley Torzi Matthews Riesling 2010, Eden Valley, SA
Pale lemon colour, with youthful nose of clean steely lemon, crushed calcium carbonate rock, pineapple juice and a hint of flint. Intensely flavoured wine with high acidity. Amazing rich, ripe lemon pulp and lime acidity, with linger ripe pineapple. Long finish. If you're looking for a riesling with the pomp and circumstance of the Austrian royal courts in summer, well this is it! An aristocratic structure, well-balanced and kept in check by the men-in-waiting. Drink now - 2013, then keep till 2020 before finishing it off. 94/100.

29th Nov 2010: Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!

There is the Beaujolais, and there is the Beaujolais. Try to look past the common shudder that emanates down your spine as you recall the massive hangover the day after Beaujolais Nouveau chugging is declared in New York City or Washington DC. The Beaujolais region and indeed the Gamay grape has a spectrum more to offer than the 3excuse to have a good time. As I chase the brilliant 2009 vintage of Chateauneuf du Pape, I remind myself that excellent quality wines are also available from other regions of France. Even regions less associated with quality, partly reflected in the cheaper price tags, are all excited over 2009 releases.

I don't need to heap further praise upon the 2009 vintage of Beaujolais, HRH JH has spoken sufficiently on this topic. David Schildknecht writing for WA is also positive in his reviews of the wines. An exceptional warm growing season suited the Gamay grape, except bouts of hail resulted in crop loss for several sub-regions. Many examples of high quality wines from old vines at lower prices.

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages Nouveau 2010
A minute past midnight on 19th Nov marked the open retailing of Beaujolais Nouveau for 2010. Whatever enjoyment you might seek from it, it's nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Geroges Duboeuf is the most prominently marketed Beaujolais Nouveau labels outside of France, especially in the US. The Beaujolais "Villages" Nouveau is better in quality than the straight BN. $30 from King & Godfrey (Lygon St). Typical notes of banana esters and kirsch in this light-bodied wine. Full flavour extraction by carbonic maceration which also minimised the tannin load. The 12% alc is therefore more obvious. Serve slightly chilled, oddly this went down quite well with Cheezels. Oddly comforting pairing for my Friday night. 85/100.

Paul Durdilly Beaujolais Les Grandes Coasses 2009
$20 ($15/dz) at Prince Wine Store. A somewhat classic Beaujolais with elements of dark cherry and sour red berry fruit. Fresh, clear with rough edges. Drink now. 86/100.

Potel-Aviron Beaujolais-Villages 2009
$20 ($15/dz) at Prince Wine Store. A classic Beaujolais that is a good example of the slight degree of complexity that can be found at this level. Clean flavours of fresh dark berry fruit with an element of sour black cherry. Light-bodied wine but certainly packs more than the previous Durdilly. Picturing some smoked quail or duck-anise paté with this. Drink now - 2013. 87/100.

Jean-Claude Lapalu Beaujolais Villages Cuvee Villes Vignes 2009
$40 from Prince Wine Store. From 50-100 year old vines, vinified in tank by modified carbonic maceration. A smack of dense purple fruit aromas, primarily blueberries, boysenberry and lavender. This is a light-bodied wine of good structure and palate load. Perfect with some sizzling kransky right now! Drink now - 2015. 89/100.

Michel Chignard Fleurie Les Moriers 2009
$40 from Prince Wine Store. Medium crimson-ruby colour. Youthful nose of cherry, waft of blackcurrant syrup and a hint of smashed black plums (flesh and skin). Light-bodied wine but with grip. Great for bbq'd lamb cutlets garnished with black volcanic salt and white pepper. Drink now - 2015. 90/100.

30th Nov 2010: Domaine du Vissoux (Pierre-Marie Chermette)

Domaine du Vissoux Beaujolais La Griottes 2009
$27 from Prince Wine Store. Med+ ruby colour with crimson rim. Fresh nose of strawberry and red cherry, with distinct red fruit on the palate ending with a sensation of cherry seed. A well-made wine with good structure and balance for the entry level. Drink now, but don't forget to chill to 15°C! 88/100.

Domaine du Vissoux Fleurie Poncié 2009
$25/375ml at Prince Wine Store. Medium+ - intense dark ruby core with purple rim. Clean, youthful nose of rhubarb crumble, cream custard filling along with a hint of blackcurrant jelly. Dry, med+-bodied wine with med+ acidity and even tannins that just envelope your mouth. 13% alc. There is a saline, savoury sensation to this, with watered down blackcurrant juice and black cherry flavours. A well-structured wine with potential to be cellar in the short term. Drink now (2012) - 2015. 90/100.

Domaine du Vissoux Brouilly Pierreux 2009
$40/750ml and $25/375ml at Prince Wine Store. Intense dark ruby core with crimson rim that's a shade darker than the Fleurie. Lovely youthful aromas of kirsch, crushed dark cherry flesh, Korean plum spirit and rose-scented talc. Dry, full-bodied wine with high acidity and a grip of fine, sappy tannins. 13% alc. A good load of concentrated dark berry flavours with tinge of savouriness, like a slate of roasted meaty residue on the oven tray that is glazed off with sherry. Drink now - 2015. 92/100.

Domaine du Vissoux Moulin à Vent Les Trois Roches 2009
$45/750ml and $27/375ml at Prince Wine Store. The 3 "Roches" is reference to Rochegres, La Rochelle and Roche Noire - sites south of Chenas where fruit for this beauty is sourced from. Intense dark ruby core with purple crimson rim. Youthful perfume of dark cherry stone, plum skin and hint of minerality. I'm getting a whiff of alcohol, sharper than the 13% alc on the label. This might have something to do with the wine being a smidgen over 15°C. Dry, medium+ bodied wine with med+ acidity and dry tannins. Quite held-back in comparison to the Brouilly and Fleurie, an even sway of cherry stalks, plum tannins and crushed blackcurrant. A very interesting wine worth following over the next few years. Drink 2013 - 2017. 91+/100.

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