5th Oct 2010
Santa Rita 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Maipo Valley, Chile
$20 from Nick's Wine Merchants. This has actually been out on the market for
sometime now, so I'm curious why this only popped up in Nick's recent
mailer. Clear dark ruby core with a lighter earthy crimson rim. There is a
load of herbaceous pyrazines on the nose but there is also warm and fuzzy
blackcurrants and dry, toasty (American?) oak panels. Medium+ bodied wine
with moderate tannins and VERY high acidity to the point of searing
imbalance. There is a streak of ripe black plum and berry flavours but there
is also an astringent bitterness on the finish. It's a decently made wine
but there is better value to be found from Chile. 85-86/100.
7th Oct 2010
Ventisquero Queulat Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Maipo Valley, Chile
$24 from Nick's Wine Merchants. Clear deep ruby colour, medium
intensity on the nose of cranberry, ripe red and black berries with hints of
black pepper, smoke and leather strap. I suspect that there is a proportion
of syrah in this, a full-bodied wine of silky texture with fine mature
tannins. Med+ acidity with 14.5% alc. Rich blueberry, blackcurrant and
cranberry flavours. Easy finish, perfect for grilled spring lamb chops with
zucchini on rosemary skewers. Drink now. 89-90/100.
Note: Ventisquero's Vertice line is made with input from John Duval.
8th Oct 2010
Los Vascos Grande Reserve 2007, Colchagua Valley, Chile
$20 from Nick's Wine Merchants. A child of the Domaines
Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) portfolio. A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon
and the remainder made up with Carmenere, Syrah and Malbec. A clear med+ dark crimson colour
with a watery purplish rim. Lovely young perfume of smoky mint, strawberry, dark berry
fruit and black cherry liquorice. Med+ bodied wine with high acidity and med
tannins. Nice easy structure with plush dark berry fruit flavours, sweet
raspberry liquorice and plum
on the back end. Drink over next 2-3 years. 89/100.
12th Oct 2010
The warm weekend weather has given way to a big rain front on this
overcast Monday evening, perfect for some warm Chilean Carmenere.
Caliterra Reserva Estate Grown Carmenere 2009, Colchagua Valley,
$10 from Nick's Wine Merchants. A touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and
Merlot (5% each) in this wine that has a black-ruby core with crimson edge.
Young, soft aromas of blackberries, tobacco, touch of green pyrazines (from
the Cabernet of course) and a hint of finely ground black peppercorns. A
soft palate profile for this full-bodied wine with 13.5% alc. There is good
concentration of black and red berry fruit with firm acidity and plump
tannins. Good value for money. Drink now paired with a combination of juicy grilled pigeon
and BBQ'd boudin noir. 87/100.
Caliterra Tributo Boldo block Single Vineyard Carmenere 2008,
Colchagua Valley, Chile
$15 from Nick's Wine Merchants. I am slightly confused by the label
because as you see from the picture, it's indicating that the 2008 release
is from the Boldo vineyard. However, a check of
Caliterra's website states that this vintage
was made from fruit off the Quillay vineyard. No matter, there is some
measure of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot in this offering that is
distinctly more aromatic than the Reserva line. Intense black ruby core with
purple rim, lovely waft of preserved salted plums, blueberries, hard toffee
and creamy almond that I usually find in Burgundian Chardonnay. Rich opulent
flavours of dark berry fruit and raspberry, high acidity and moderate
alcohol (14% alc) that is well balanced with chewy tannins that persist
through the long finish. Drink now with a fresh slab of sizzling rib eye
right off the grill topped with black pepper and mushroom sauce. Good value
for money. 90/100.
13th Oct 2010
Quinta do Noval Silval Vintage Port 2005, Douro Valley, Portugal
Purchased from Prince Wine Store, $85. A classic port house founded
in 1715 and currently managed by Christian Seely who oversees all AXA owned
wine properties. Made from 100% Quinta do Noval fruit, this is the cheaper
offering with no Noval vintage being declared in 2005. Dark inky ruby
colour, a youthful, intense spicy nose with aromas of nutmeg and reduced
dark berry fruit. A full-bodied vintage port, this has a concentrated palate
with fresh, clean fruit favours of blackcurrant and blackberry
flavours. The sweet flavour intensity is in good balance with the relatively
high level of acidity. Medium-length finish for a port, and one could
rightfully expect a longer finish. A fine effort nonetheless. Decant for 2
hours if you want to drink it now, easily last 20+ years. 92/100.
Sanchez Romate Cardenal Cisneros Pedro Ximenez, Jerez, Spain
$55 from Prince Wine Store. Founded in 1781, Sanchez Romate is one of the
few remaining family owned bodegas in Spain. This non-vintage PX has a deep,
varnished dark brown colour and has an intense nose of molasses, fried
seaweed, figs and toffee. A luscious offering with smooth texture on the
palate and rich, intense raisin flavours. A no-brainer that goes down a
treat! Instant visions of warm plum-pudding with vanilla bean ice-cream.
All Saints Rare Tokay, Rutherglen, VIC
$130 from Winestar. To be accurate, this is Muscadelle, planted in 1962. The
fruit is handpicked when sugar levels reach 24 Baume, and the bottling is a
blend of various vintages going back ~50 years. Dark tanned-brown table
varnish colour. A brilliant age-crafted wine but kudos too for the
assemblage. I'm also picking up a hidden rancio characteristic intermingling
with the sweet fruit aromas. A lush wine, there is no hiding the sugar
content of this wine, but the 18% alc is kept under wraps. Lovely, with a
touch of dryness on the finish. Happy to enjoy this with slices of pear.
All Saints Grand Muscat, Rutherglen, VIC
$55 from Winestar. Made from Brown Muscat vines planted in 1920. A bend of
wines of difference ages, sweetness and flavour profiles. That practice
contributes to the complexity and wholesomeness of this wine. 18% alc. A
lovely nose of dripping raisin juice in the hot sunshine. A full-bodied
luscious wine with robust, intense flavours of toffee and wood spice. A good
balance of soft acidity that doesn't distract you from enjoying the whole
dollop of sweet raisin flavours. Long, warm finish. I'd have this with
creamy New York cheesecake. 94/100.
The release of the fifth edition of the Langton's 2010 Classifications was a
notable event in October. Coverage of the tasting can be found