Simple palates, Seriously

August 2009 Archive

25th August 2009
Two Hands
recently conducted a tasting of some of their up-coming releases at Deanery in Melbourne. I am very agreeable with the purpose of the Garden series which offers five distinct wines to showcase the typicity of the unique regions from which the vineyards hail from. However, overall, I still maintain that Two Hands needs to price their wines more strategically as the quality on offer does not fulfil the retail cost and better value for money can be found quite easily elsewhere.

Two Hands Brilliant Disguise Moscato 2009, Barossa Valley
$18. Smokey, sweet white peach notes are found in this off-dry, sweet wine reminiscent of the spatlese style. A good aperitif that I'm likely to purchase a 6-pack for keeps. 90/100. Tasted August 2009.

Two Hands Brave Faces Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2008, Barossa Valley
$27. 15.3% alc. A 60-20-20 blend respectively that on the nose, has the oak apparently covering up the fruit with the Grenache component not too obvious. Cherry, ripe red fruit with the robustness of the shiraz, a savoury touch from the mataro and even tannins but lacks character  and is a simplistic wine for me. 88+/100. Tasted August 2009.

Two Hands Angels Share Shiraz 2008, McLaren Vale
$27. 14.9% alc. Matured in 20% new French oak, the alcohol doesn't attempt to hide. The tannins are young, raw and chewy. The ripe red berry flavours are abit swamped for me right now but this looks likely to last ~5 years. 91/100. Tasted August 2009.

Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2008, Barossa Valley
$27. 14.8% alc. Matured in American oak which is where the toasty oak sweetness comes from. Supple red fruit with even tannins and a fine finish. Easy drinking but still quite a punch and while I'm happy to have a glass, I'm very sure I wouldn't drink a whole bottle on my own. 92/100. Tasted August 2009.

Two Hands Max's Garden Shiraz 2007, Heathcote
$60. 14.9% alc. A typical Heathcote shiraz with dark red berries, stewed raspberry and a touch of the burnt earth characteristic. Rough, dry tannins with some alcoholic heat at the end. 88/100. Tasted August 2009.

Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz 2007, Barossa Valley
$60. 15.5% alc. Perfume of ripe blackberry and cherry. Youthful tannins which need to be more flowing as they are a distraction to the fruit. The cherry flavours kick back in towards the end for a smooth finish. 89/100. Tasted August 2009.

Two Hands Lily's Garden Shiraz 2007, McLaren Vale
$60. 15.7% alc. Ripe, fleshy blood plum skins. More integrated than the previous two labels but the dryish tannins maintain their prominence. A straight and simple wine comprised of ripe, red berry flavours. 90/100. Tasted August 2009.

Two Hands Sophie's Garden Shiraz 2007, Padthaway
$60. 16.4% alc. A dense, intense wine with very intense dark red and black berries. Slightly astringent? A view shared by my French tasting partner. More fruit than tannins which is a plus. 88/100. Tasted August 2009.

Two Hands Ares Shiraz 2007, Barossa Valley/McLaren Vale
$165. A much more complex wine than the entry and mid-level wines. This has a captivating aroma profile, and I found it odd to sense blue Baygon (confirmed by a second person), liquorice, blackberry, strong blueberry and preserved plum. Supple and generous vanillin from the oak. Rich flavours, intense fruit with youthful tannins that are raspy and dry. This wine needs some time to come together, 3-4 years and should sustain for drinking in 10-15 years. 93/100. Tasted August 2009.

Two Hands A Day Late A Buck Short Fortified Muscat NV, Rutherglen/Barossa Valley
$45. Notes of walnut and molasses that is quite attractive, but the intensity doesn't transfer onto the palate. There is a sense of some raw alcohol too and hence the aftertaste is rather out of whack. 87/100. Tasted August 2009.
NB. Two Hands offers a Rare muscat 'Fait Accompli' made from 20 year base material for $100.

Two Hands For Love or Money Cane Cut Semillon 2007, Barossa Valley
$50. Smells like 'claypot tofu' with a hint of sherry sweetness. A viscous drink that reminds me a very ripe Spanish cantaloupe but lacks character for me. 86/100. Tasted August 2009.

23rd August 2009
is synonymous with the Northern Rhone, one is the left hand to the other's right. I think part of Marcel Guigal's reputation is due to his ability to transcend all levels of the consumer pyramid, from the Cotes du Rhone rouge for the dining table of the masses to the exquisite single vineyard LaLa's which so purely express the breathing, living lands from which they were sculpted. For anyone looking for a pleasurable education in wine ranging from the most basic that is regional grape varieties to experiencing land-borne differences, Guigal is a name that is firmly entrenched right atop of my list. NB. Most of the following were tasted at PWS, and I've tacked on four other notes I've enjoyed recently.

Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2006
$20. The entry level white, this is a somewhat accurate reflection of varietal typicity, but the fruit is somewhat muted to the following white offerings, and lacks the edge of freshness. For this price, it still represents good value for a casual drink over the next 1-2 years. 88/100. Tasted at PWS August 2009.

Guigal Condrieu 2006
$80-95. What a beautiful viognier! Light gold in colour, notes of nectarine, sweet pear and reduced lemon skin. Ripe yet clean citrus flavours with a sensation of lignin flowing through into a long, satisfying finish. 92/100. Tasted at PWS August 2009.

Guigal St Joseph Lieu-dit Blanc 2007
$80-95. An expressive LdB exuding notes of clear, sugared berry juice and honeysuckle bearing down on a hint of minerality. A delicious, layered wine that is full-bodied and well-structured so it's not flabby. 93/100.Tasted at PWS August 2009.

Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2005
$20. This entry level blend of shiraz and grenache is good value for money. It's rich with sweet berry fruit and a quick dash of pepper. There is a component of the night, it's got a velvety texture and is dense and ripe. This will keep you happy until 2010. 89/100. Tasted at PWS August 2009.

Guigal Crozes-Hermitage 2005
$40. The basic crozes-hermitage is a dense, full-bodied wine that is a mix of cassis splashed onto fresh leather, hint of black olive and damp bramble. Balanced with sweet tannins and good level of acidity. Good value for money as the next step up from the entry Cotes du Rhone. 90/100. Tasted at PWS August 2009.

Guigal Cote Rôtie Brune et Blonde 2005
$120-145. Lovely ruby colour, an intense wine with a big bouquet of ripe raspberry and stewed cherry, cassis with a touch of herb. Lush flowing fruit flavours backed with fine grainy tannins leading into a long, pleasing finish. Drink over 10+ years. 91-92/100. Tasted at PWS August 2009.

Guigal Chateau d'Ampuis Cote Rôtie 2005
$240-300. A robust wine with a punch. This is dense and concentrated with notes of dark berry fruit, spice, and herb marinated pheasant breast fillets. Sweet chewy tannins lend themselves to this beautiful, bold wine. Don't touch this now if you want to enjoy this in its peak in 7-15 years. 96-97/100. Tasted at PWS August 2009.

Guigal Chateau d'Ampuis Cote Rôtie 2004
This is an intriguing experience, although clearly not the best representative of this label. Forest undergrowth, herby with red currants under your feet and squished cherries in hand. Not a keeper like other superior vintages, drink up over the next 5-7 years. 92/100. (Personal bottle)

Guigal Chateau d'Ampuis Cote Rôtie 2003
Oh wow! Dense ruby purple colour, aromas of cassis, raspberry, black cherry, hint of minced olive on roast. Sexy, curvy wine that is pure and fresh. I wish I had bought more of this. There's no need to wait on this, it's so drinkable right now, and will continue to be accessible for the next 15-20 years. 98+/100. (Personal bottle)

Guigal St Joseph Lieu dit Saint Joseph 2006
$80-95. Dense ruby colour, aromas of black cherry, ripe raspberry and liquorice. This elegant wine surprised me in terms of the level of tannins on the palate as they were hardly noticeable despite being matured in 100% new French oak. Drink over 10 years. 93-94/100. Tasted at PWS August 2009.

Guigal St Joseph Lieu dit Saint Joseph 2003
A rich aromas of little flowers growing on rocks on the Swiss alps with blackberries and currants. A very fine drink that is perfectly balanced in structure and weight. Drinking beautifully now, drink over next 10 years. 95/100. (Personal bottle)

Guigal St Joseph Lieu dit Saint Joseph 2001
Big, dense and rich, earthy cherry, hint of olive and spice. A good drink to be enjoyed right now. The 2001 didn't have the purity and sleekness of the 2003. 91-92/100. (Personal bottle)

Guigal St Joseph Vignes de l'Hospice 2006
$170-200. A great expressive wine with aromas of raspberries, blackcurrant, incense and graphite. Fresh, pure and ripe flavours etched onto fine grained, sweet tannins. Drink over next 15+ years. 95/100. Tasted at PWS August 2009.

22nd August 2009
Robert Chevillon Nuits St Georges 2006
$88-110. Powerful blueberry fruit, hint of sweet clove and 5 spice. Robust tannin structure that lends good weight to this powerful wine. Tannins should settle in 5-7 years to allow the elegant side of this wine to shine through. 91-92/100. Tasted June 2009.

Robert Chevillon Nuits St Georges Les Chaignots 2006
$120-150. The lingering perfume in a lady's fur coat. Sweet, dark fruit, fresh and well-sculpted. Robust, dusty tannins that quickly give way to a second wave of fruit to finish. 95-96/100. Tasted June 2009.

20th August 2009
Perrot Minot Gevrey Chambertin 2006
$120-150. Trudging through spring woods with slight humidity in the air, the sun shines through on small white flowers with rich small red berries in the forage and the bushes. Long satisfying finish, elegant and I want this to go on and on. 93/100. Tasted June 2009.

Perrot Minot Morey St Denis La Rue de Vergy 2006
$120-150. Black dark fruit, concentrated yet the perfume is not overpowering, a hint of clove even. Younger tannins are present, but firm and smooth, not chunky or distracting. Ok now, but keep for 5 years at least. 91/100. Tasted June 2009.

Perrot Minot Gevrey Chambertin Perrieres Vielles Vignes 2006
$200-250. Seductive perfume of crystal spring water washed red berries. Hint of oak is present but adds to the textured aroma profile. In terms of intensity, this is a step down from the GC, but the complexity and structure is there. Can be drunk now, but why would you? Patience will be rewarded! 15-25 years. 94-96/100. Tasted June 2009.

Perrot Minot Morey St Denis La Riotte 2006
$200-250. Wow... Aromas of purple flower, dark black fruit, hint of sweet spice. A powerful flavour profile with sweeping layers of black fruit flavours and spice, and a finish that gives a sensation of menthol? The young tannins are robust but not obstructive. Keep for 5-7 years before drinking over 20 years. 93-94/100. Tasted June 2009.

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