Simple palates, Seriously

July 2009 Archive

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 Mares, Burgundy
$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, Chambertin, Burgundy
$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 'First Growth'.

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 soon.

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 this!

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 neighbours through 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.

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