The first proper bottle I've opened since I've been back is the 2004
Schulz Benjamin Shiraz. From the Barossa, it's made by Dave Powell (Torbreck)
from grapes of the Schulz family vineyard which apparently supplied some
of his previous RunRig fruit. 14% a/c, about $24, screwcap. Upon
opening, the vivacious fruity smells poured out of the bottle, enhanced
probably by the slightly warmer evening air. I decanted for about 4
hours before drinking. The dense fruity nose remained, but was somewhat
masked by what I felt was unsettled alcohol (again, the warmer evening
weather might have contributed to this). I got a hint of butterscotch at
one point in time too. Medium-bodied, this was very much a Rhone-styled
wine, doesn't smash into your palate like alot of other aussie Shiraz of
the same price range. Flavour is concentrated to the front of the mouth,
no excessive acidity to the back. Finish of about 10+ seconds. Good wine
for the price. 91-92/100.
2003 Chateau Suduiraut. Abit
early for this, wasn't intending to open this till Chinese new year's eve
with the rest of the linup. Had this with Milawa cow camembert and Lavosh
crackers which were a good accompaniment. Rich honey nectar nose, not as
dense as the 2001, but gives a good clue of the flavours to come. I didn't
leave it out for long as it disappeared rather quickly, but I got hints of
orange towards the end of the glass. In the mouth, not overly sweet. A nice
bodied honey opulence that isn't over-powering, but I think the oak flavours
are still lingering, which indicates quite obviously that this is still too
young. Maybe 2-3 more years. For now, 93-95/100
Lunar New Year 2007: Year of the
Hi guys! A little late
here, but we've just heralded in the year of the Golden Pig.. crispy pork
crackle!! yummmm..... fresh siew yoke! YUMMMM... Well, I've got lots to
mention from this weekend, from my CNY reunion dinner to the entire day of
初一, so let's get cracking.. oh, I'll include the
wines of course, but no pictures of the labels yet.
Saturday started with the opening of the raved 2005 Mollydookers, Enchanted
Path and Carnival of Love.
How else can I
describe these wines besides BIG BIG BIG!!!! A whopping 16% alcohol
each, the atomic bomb of fruit bombs contained within a bottle! The
Enchanted Path was slightly less sweet and fruity than the CoL, but
tasting both side by side was a torture and I couldn't do more than a
glass each. Into the fridge they went, and they're still goog 2 days
later. That said, I'd give the EP 94-95/100, but the CoL is no way
deserving of RP99, it's too dense, and the secondary characteristics are
struggling to come across. Given that Sparky Marquis made this to be
drunk straight away, it's too imbalanced currently, and too difficult to
determine whether it has the potential to age; personally I think not. I
think it's more of a 92-94/100 wine. You either love it, or hate it.
There were two afternoon tasting sessions, the first at Prince Wine
Store showcasing new wines from NZ, then followed by a session at Randall's.
At PWS, we tasted wines from Koru, Pyramid Hill, Bell Hill, Maude and
Peregine. Koru is based in Marlborough, offering Sauvignon Blanc 2005 (note
of capsicum and grass) and 2004 Pinot Noir (13.9% alcohol, well-balanced
mouthful). Pyramid Hill is one I'd never heard of, from North Canterbury,
which Jancis Robinson says "Put your order in now" with respect to the
pinot. However, I found the Eaton Family Pinot Noir 2004 ~ok, and balanced,
but nothing outstanding. Bell Hill is also from North Canterbury, and their
04 Old Weka Pass Road Pinot Noir 2004 was very light, almost to the point of
a diluted flavour, but it was spicy and average at best. Maude is out of
Central Otago and makes Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The 04 SB was
slightly different in that it exuded strong notes of fresh forest nettles
under an emphatic gooseberry smell. The Pinot noir was closer to a Burgundy
in that it smelt of earth but had too much tannic notes which left my tongue
absolutely dry. The Peregine 05 Pinot Noir had riper tannins but these were
still on the stronger side. It had a nose of morning dense musky forest,
leafiness, and would be a great pairing with lamb. Randall's had some roses
on tasting, from france and italy, but nothing worth mentioning. Right, I'm
rather tipsy now, so I'll post the Vue de Monde dinner and Sunday's full day
decadent indulgence menu tomorrow.
2005 Pettavel Evening Star Late Harvest Riesling.
Amazing stuff out of Geelong. Rich roman-golden colour with mixed rich
equatorial notes of ripe papaya and sugar pineapple. Sweet orangey
finish minus the harsh acidity and citrus sugars. Tropical punch in a
Two Left Feet & The Boxer. $25 each, both need a serious 3hours of
decantation. Almost undrinkable straight from the bottle due to the overt
sweetness and overwhelming fumes of alcohol. Next day, Two Left Feet:
alcohol had blown off, intense blackish-purple colour. The first wafts on
the nose reminded me of concentrated cologne and black plum, so there was
residual alcohol hidden behind after all. Chewy savoury in the mouth, with a
spicey finish on the back palate. Very good length. The Boxer: darker
colour than Two Left Feet, with a thinner rim. Greenish nose with residual
alcohol still present. Tannins are still quite obvious, leaving a slight
dryness in the mouth. Not as spicey as the Two Left Feet, with flavours
concentrated on the back-mid palate. Chewy, average lengthed after-taste.
Thought of bbq'd chicken as an accompaniment. Unfortunately, I couldn't
quite grasp how these wines would be able to last in the mid-long term.
Because I didn't quite like them on first impressions, I'm going to refrain
from giving them any score or the likes until I give them another go.
2006 Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Reserve. I can't remember
how much I paid for this.. maybe $20+-30.. Great clear nose and fresh
straight forward passionfruit and gooseberry flavours. Almost perfect
balance between fruit and acidity. Saint Clair is the NZ wine producer
of the year according to the London International wine and Spirit
Competition. I'm not a white person, but this was nice. 92-93/100
Lunar New Year 2007: Year of the Golden
Pig Part 2
to make an immediate correction to my previous post before I type up the
Sauternes notes. It's regarding the Mollydookers, specifically the Carnival of Love.
Firstly, Enchanted Path had lots and lots of sediments. Take that as you
would. Now, the CoL.. I'm drinking it as I'm typing this, it's almost 4 days
since I've opened it, and unbelievably, not all the alcohol has blown off; I
mean, my eyes are literally being blown out of their sockets with each raise
of the glass! Because of the excess alcohol, the nose is still overwhelming,
but I'm starting to pick up some subtle perfumed notes, while it is a
mouthful of sweet plummy fruit cake, some tingle on the tip of the tongue
and towards the back, with a great length for an aftertaste. I stand
corrected as to it's potential to age. I think this will go heaps down the
road. I'm still not getting the strong secondary characteristics that I like
in the top-notch frenchies, but I guess that's not typical for an aussie
fruit bomb, so in it's own right, this IS one of the best big aussie wines
that I've had. Do I like the style? Not exactly. Is this good wine? Quite
before I get high on this full glass of CoL, I need to get onto Sunday's
daily menu and wines. Note that I prepared all the following serves.
Breakfast at 10.30am was scrambled eggs with slices of black truffle and
garnished with black truffle-infused olive oil.
This was to be had over
the 2003 sauternes partial-blind tasting + 1996 Nirac. The first group was
what I thought would be the lighter wines based on tasting notes from
various sources, and the second group were the stronger, more showy ones.
Bottles were opened at 10am to allow for some aeration, and the following
listing is the exact order in which I had the wines.
Filhot (1A): Light golden colour. Lacks floral bouquest typical of
bigger sauternes. Nose of esters (almond), nothing obvious standing out.
Gracious feel throughout the mouth, slightly high acidity. Sweet, aftertaste
in back corners of mouth. 90/100
Lafuarie-Peyraguey (1C): Slightly
darker golden colour; bigger, sweet floral nose, higher alcohol, with
strong, streaky legs. Nose of honeyed confectionary, taste of honey suckle,
mellow and mature flavours. But aftertaste tapers off quite quickly. 88/100
Latour-Blanc (1B): Light yellow colour, not as dense as 1C. Legs not
as fast as 1C. Not perfumed or floral, more nutmeg. Flavours of nutmeg, not
very sweet. Weak sensation on the mid palate, lacks acidity. Poor
Guiraud (1D):Deep, dark subtle honey nose with a
faint grassy note right at the end. Not too sweet, honeyed candy.
Well-balanced in terms of acidity, sensation lingers on the mid tongue. Good
length for aftertaste on the mid/back palate. 92-94/100
From this first group, Guiraud was the best, followed by Lafaurie-Peyraguey,
Filhot, and a very disappointing Latour-Blanc.
Coutet (2A): Golden colour, slightly richer than the first 4 wines.
Nothing too clear ont eh nose but fresh and greenish, like crisp salad.
Flavour - mellow and rich, concentrated at the tip of the tongue and mid
palate. Big and malleable aftertaste. 94-96/100
Rieussec (2B): Colour
of clarified butter, not much alcohol and few legs. Notes of fresh, light
honey; simple basic honey flavour with aftertaste lingering under the tongue
and back palate. 92-94/100
Suduiraut (2C): Light yellow, very light,
castor sugared nutmeg, nothing too obvious. Weak, tasting of sugared water.
Lacks aftertaste. Some balance of acidity which lends this credit, but
lacking in character overall. 88-89/100
From this second group, the winner was the Coutet, followed by the Rieussec
and a disappointing Suduiraut.
1996 Nirac (Barsac): Rich, glossy, pecan-like lacquer colour. Rich
walnut nose, very flavoursome concentrating on the back palate. Good balance
of acidity, slightly on the higher side but not too much to handle. This is
probably at it's peak so if you have these sitting around, better gulp them
Wow! all that and it was
only for breakfast?! I was definitely high by 11am. Nothing handles too much
alcohol like more food!
Lunch: Duck confit served on foie gras with a
side of fresh mix salad leaves with dried tuscan herbs, tossed in white
truffle-infused olive oil. This was downed with some Enchanted Path from
the morning before, and remnants of Coutet.
Dinner: Lobster and
mushroom risotto, topped with butter seared lobster tail sautéed with fresh
mushroom, served with grey truffle slices and white truffle oil.
was served with the 2005 Donnhoff Schloβböckelheimer
Felsenberg Riesling Spätlese. A mere 8.5% alcohol, this is what all
riesling should taste like. Good accompaniment for the heavier truffle
and butter flavours because of it's crisp, light taste.
Dessert: Ice-cream with
peach slices poached in reduced sauternes sauce, topped with crushed fresh
walnuts and a white chocolate brandy sauce. Wellington (Tasmania) 2004
Light golden colour with a nose of faint petroleum. Medium bodied, rich
flavour of pineapple and good acidity, tailing off with sweet lemon. Decent
aftertaste but finishes with a hallow feel to the mouth. 88-89/100