21st July 2009
Maison Nicolas Potel Beaune Greve 2006, Beaune, Burgundy
$75-95. From vines planted in 1904, aromas of dark
berries and ripe raspberry but a hint of a higher alcohol level? The fruit
is sullen on the palate with a touch of savouriness. The tannins still have
a rough edge to them, so keep this for 2-3 years and drink before 10.
88/100. Tasted June 2009.
Maison Nicolas Potel Bonnes Mares 2006, Bonnes
$235-295. Robust, spicy red currants
and raspberry on the nose which flow through into the palate. Sweeping
'xiang-za' flavours, berry reduction and hint of liquorice. The tannins ont
he side are a distracting head-turner, like lights in your side mirror but
they pass-by, then you have an easy ride home. But keep your attention up,
lots of cars still on the road! (This is not a drink-drive promo) Drink in
10+ years. 93-94/100. Tasted June 2009.
Maison Nicolas Potel Chambertin 2006,
$235-295. Smoked cherry blossom, black tea
leaves. Seductive, head-turning perfume, not enough to leap out onto you,
but yet so enticing. Lovely, rich red fruit flavours, backed by a perfect
level of tannins laid upon a hot, wet rock. Great structure and length to
this well-rounded wine! 93-95/100. Tasted June 2009.
19th July 2009
Domaine Des Beaumont Morey St Denis Millandes 2006, Morey St Denis, Burgundy
$115-145. An old vineyard located just below
the Grand Cru Clos St-Denis of which ~30% was replanted by Thierry Beaumont
following a freezing winter in the mid 80s. Concentrated, dark berry fruit,
hint of caramelisation and a touch of sugar carbon. A smooth, dark drink
with rich fruit flavours with sweeping fine tannins. Drink now to 15 years.
91/100. Tasted June 2009.
Maison Henri Boillot Savigny les Beaune Les
Lavieres 2006, Beaune, Burgundy
$95-120. Dusty clay earth with elegant but not weak or soft red fruit. A
hint of oak with sweet, fresh fruit flavours ending with a lovely finish.
Drink now to 10 years. 90/100. Tasted June 2009.
10th July 2009
The list of wines for the 'Great
Cabernet Experience' to be conducted by Jeremy Oliver at Zema Estate,
Coonawarra, on 8 Aug 2009 has been
announced. Costing $250 pp,
you can pit wines from Coonawarra against Hawkes Bay (NZ), Margaux (France)
and Maipo Valley (Chile). However, it is odd that while the Connawarra,
Hawkes Bay and Maipo wines are from the 2006 vintage, the Margaux
wines are from the 2005 vintage. Also, instead of flagship wines such
as the John Riddoch, attendees will be served the mid-level Parker Estate
The Margaux wines line-up as Rauzan Selga, Pieure-Lichine,
Rauzan-Gassies, Giscours and Palmer (this one's a beauty!). I'd probably
drop the Giscours and include D'Issan, Kirwan or Brane-Cantenac.
If we were to match up the vintages, for 2006 Marguax, my selection would be
D'Issan, Rauzan Selga, Palmer, Pieure-Lichine and Cantenac Brown (but
I have yet to see this label being sold in Melbourne).
8th July 2009
Despite an initial heatwave, optimism is abound
following the first piece of
good news following the 2009 vintage with favourable quotes from Tim
Adams (Tim Adams Wines), Martin Shaw (Shaw & Smith), Paul Lindner (Langmeil)
and Joe Grilli (Primo Estate). The latest offerings of Rieslings and Pinot
Gris from the Clare and Eden Valleys as well as Adelaide Hills appear to be
of stellar quality. I'll be purchasing a line-up and tasting through them
Given a similar heatwave the year before, it will be interesting to compare
the 2009s to the 2008s, some of which were recently
reviewed (pdf) by Tony Keys for the Wine Industry Journal.
7th July 2009
Fred Franzia of Two-Buck Chuck fame is now
attempting to bring cheaper-than-Yellow Tail generic Aussie wine to the
American consumer. 'Three-dolla Koala' is made from bulk chardonnay and will
retail for a mere $2.99, beating out YT which sells for $6-8. I'm begging
ANYONE coming back from the USA to please, please bring me back a bottle of
A very poignant
article by Jenni Port of The Age on Wayne Thomas Wines.
And finally, as if the Australian wine market wasn't already under enough
pressure, it will soon be much easier to purchase wines from our Tasman
NZ Wine Online.
3rd July 2009
Domaine Lafage Cuvee Centenaire 2008, Roussillon
$30. Jean-Marc Lafage has produced a lovely wine from 100-year old Grenache
Blanc vines in the Mediterranean climate of southern France. Previous
vintages were blends with other varietals and for the 2008 there is 20%
Roussanne. Notes of citrus blossom, fresh, almost Chardonnay-like, hint of
sweet orange honey. This wine is crisp and refreshing with good level of
acidity. The flavours are a bit weighty in the middle palate, with musky and
oily characteristics. Drink in the next 2-3 years. 88/100. Tasted July 2009.
Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2005, Willamette Valley, Oregon
$40. The flagship cuvee from Argyle which is best known for their sparkling
wines in the USA. 2005 was a challenging vintage in Oregon, and it shows in
the wine as overall, this was an interesting Pinot Noir, but disappointing
otherwise. Carpeted aroma profile of spice and hot summer raspberry. Rich
and ripe red berries with a splash of blueberry even. But the finish is
absolutely lacking, it dissipates and vanishes. 88/100. Tasted July 2009.