Wine Notes – April 2010
By Franz Scheurer
Springbetts (Grant Burge) Lyndoch Valley Shiraz 2008
The Springbett family originally arrived from England in 1848 and Samuel Springbett planted a vineyard in the Lyndoch Valley. Grant Burge’s great great grandfather John Burge married Samuel’s daughter Eliza and became a winemaker in the Barossa. The wine is a layered but fruit dominated Shiraz with soft tannins and a generous mouth feel. Aromas of black berries and pepper are confirmed on the palate with a hint of chocolate and coffee. This wine still shows a lot of vanilla from the oak and should mature into a balanced and interesting wine within the next 6 years.
For more information go to: http://www.grantburgewines.com.au/
Jean-Marc Brocard Petit Chablis 2008
This lovely Chardonnay from the Domaine Sainte Claire confirms that not all Chablis is challenging to drink when young. It’s quite austere and will no doubt age well, but it’s a lovely drink right now. Orange blossoms and scents of snowbells tickle your nose and the citrus flavours are confirmed on the palate. Distributed by Déjà vu in Australia, it’s excellent value for money.
For more information go to: http://www.dejavuwines.com.au/
Casanova di Neri, Tenuta Nuova, Brunello di Mantalcino 2004
This DOCG wine is an absolute cracker. Rarely have I been fortunate enough to taste a wine this good from this area of Italy (despite the fact that some of Italy’s most expensive wines come form Montalcino) and I wish I had a few more bottles. Brunello di Montalcino originates from Tuscany (southwest of Florence) and the grape variety is Sangiovese Grosso. DOCG status was awarded in 1980. This wine is a bit of a contradiction: even though it is eminently easy to drink, it’s very complex and the longer you evaluate it, the better and more complex it gets. It is, no doubt, a food wine and benefits from a bit of fat on your palate. On the nose you notice fresh pencil shavings, stewed rhubarb with cinnamon and blackberries and on the palate you first get the dark berries, then the spice elements with a hint of angelica, finishing long, with lots of cedar and freshly cut wood notes. Distributed by Enoteca Sydney, this has to be one of my favourite Italian wines. For more information go to: http://www.enotecasydney.com/
Sordo Barolo Chinato
If looks are part of impulse buying then this wine’s packaging must earn top marks. Sleek, tall and slender bottle with a red and gold label in a red box, it probably sells itself. The trouble is, however, that you don’t see this on shelves as it is distributed mainly to restaurants. Min you, it should make the sommeliers’ job easier. Barolo Chinato is an aromatised wine, relatively low in alcohol, 16% a/v, and works well as an aperitif with a dash of soda, or chilled as a digestif. Based on an old recipe from the Langa area in Italy, it is bitter-sweet and spicy with clove and nutmeg the predominant spice flavours. This is an acquired taste and, a bit like most amaros need a little sense of adventure at first.
from Bottega Rotolo, 2/14A Underwood Ave, Botany NSW 2019
Tel.: (02) 9695 1310
For more information go to: http://www.bottegarotolo.com.au/home.html
Yering Station Chardonnay 2007
From Victoria’s first vineyard (established in 1838) this Yarra Valley Chardonnay is an agreeable wine, easy to drink, not too heavy and not at all oaky. Bottled at 12.5% a/v it is meant to be drunk young but will cellar up to 5 years. It’s a fresh, fruit driven, surprisingly elegant wine with a solid grounding in good oak without ever being oak heavy. At a RRP $26 this is a worthy Australian Chardonnay AND it’s good value.
For more information got to: http://www.yering.com
Reilly’s Dry Land Shiraz 2004
Reilly’s in the Clare Valley has always produced gutsy red wines and their dry land series are concentrated, strongly varietal wines, showing off their terroir. The Dry Land Shiraz is no exception and the 2004 is a superb example of a good, Australian Shiraz. It has it all: concentration, fruit, spice and that certain, undefinable but superb ‘earthiness’ that makes this red something special. Reilly’s wines are not well represented in Sydney and the easiest way to get your hands on some is to buy from the winery. They’re happy to ship and you won’t believe how superb value for money they are.
I can’t recommend them highly enough.
For more information go to: http://www.reillyswines.com
Or given them a ring on: 08 8843 9013
Willunga 100 Pinot Gris 2009
Although a McLaren Vale vineyard, named partly after an old Red River Gum (which was already well on a 100 years old in the 1840s when the vineyard was started) the fruit for this Pinot Gris comes from the cool climate Adelaide Hills. It’s unoaked and it is fruit forward without being ‘Alsatian’ in style. It’s quite dry with a predominant aroma of Nashi pears, changing into burnt toast and hazelnuts on the palate with a hint of citrus. It’s a dry, fresh white wine and it is sold for RRP $22.95
Tinpot Hut Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Made by Fiona Turner this is her ‘solo venture’ wine, made from fruit sourced mainly from the Turner family vineyard in Blind River. This wine stands out from the flood or mediocre (or even bad) Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, and although very aromatic and grassy on the nose it shows much more depth on the palate. This is a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, there can be no doubt about that, but it is also not as cats’ pissy as most and displays some lovely white asparagus, preserved lime and yeasty flavours. RRP $ 22
Château de Beaulon Pineau des Charentes
This ‘Vieille Réserve’ Pineau des Charentes is 10 years old and it’s basically an aromatised, fortified wine, bottled at 18% a/v. There is a white and a red version of the same age and both are meant to be served chilled, either as an aperitif of as a digestif. You can add a little soda or ice or both, or use it as a mixer if you so desire. On its own, the white is a far more intricate and complex wine and I can highly recommend it with something as culturally wrong as smoked eel (e.g. Japanese unagi). Imported by Arania Investments Pty. Ltd, it is available from Ultimo Wine. Tel.: (02) 9211-2380
ant moore sauvignon blanc 2009
When is a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc not typical? Answer: when it’s ant moore! I am generally not a friend of the cats’ pissy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but ant moore is not only a Sauvignon Blanc I want to drink, it’s a great wine.
I would like to quote the wine maker:
‘I wasn’t sure about putting my name on the front of a bottle. It seemed a bit egocentric. But faced with the prospect of naming a wine after another tree, river, rock or mountain and then trying to define what made my wine unique, my name seemed a fair choice.
The production of this estate wine is the culmination of many years hard work and the realisation of a dream. I moved to New Zealand in 2002 and have since undertaken every task required to make wine. I developed a number of bareblocks into vineyards, bought a winery and built it up, created a number of successful wine brands and now with benefit of hard-earned experience, I can launch my signature wine "ant moore".
I have control over every aspect of the production, from managing my vines to harvesting the fruit to processing the wine. I'm not afraid to try new and different approaches and to push the boundaries. To me that's what making wine is all about... constantly learning and enjoying the creative expression that is making wine.’
- Ant Moore, Winemaker
With butterscotch, crushed apple and pears on the nose you confirm the apple on the palate. The almost oily texture tells me that the fruit was ripe when picked and the wine, although refreshing and dry, shows lots of fruit and nary a hint of the typical, gooseberry attributes so prevalent in this variety. Seek it out, it’s worth it and bloody good value for money.
For more information go to: http://www.anmoore.com
Hollick Bond Road Chardonnay 2007
A good Chardonnay for drinking now; It’s quite an oxidative Chardonnay and shows a lot of age for something that young, but I do believe it’s at its peak right now. A blend of Padthaway and Coonawarra fruit (with predominantly Hollick vineyard fruit from Coonawarra – adjacent to Bond Road) this is a wine with melon, lily of the valley and citrus aromas. On the palate the over-ripe grapefruit flavours dominate with roasted almonds and an undertone of creamed leeks. Grab some and drink it now.
For more information go to: http://www.hollick.com