Wine Notes Ė December 2011

By Franz Scheurer


Grey Sands Merlot 2006

Glengarry is roughly between Devonport and Launceston in Tasmania and Rita and Robert Richter grow some great fruit there, turning it into terrific wines. I donít think I have ever had a bad Grey Sands in the few years I have been tasting them and the 2006 Merlot is a cracker. The nose perceives savoury notes and bright fruit with overtones of dried, black olives. On the palate it is gentle showing moderate tannins and the fruit wins the battle. Stewed rhubarb and blackberries surface towards the end and the finish is medium long and moreish. I would pair this wine with a plate of gnocchi or a lovely, crunchy, thin, classic pizza.

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Peller Estates Icewine 2007

The big difference between this and other icewines is the fact that it is made from Cabernet Franc grapes. Itís a red icewine. Itís hard enough to ripen Cabernet Franc in Ontario and even harder to keep it going into the Ďfrostí zone. Icewines have to be frozen naturally three times before they can be picked and with the thick skin of this variety it is a very expensive process. Good to see then that this icewine is not just an expensive curio but a good wine. Itís sweet, berry-forward dessert wine with an unctuous mouth feel that is not cloying. Itís gorgeous with a bread & butter pudding.

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Luna Rosa Rosado 2010

The name Luna Rosa is easily explained as the fruit is picked in the light of the moon to preserve their freshness. The fruit comes from the Central Ranges in NSW and Australian winemaker Debbie Lauritz teams up with Portuguese winemaker Francisco Antunes to make this Portuguese-style rosť. On the nose it smell of freshly mowed grass and crushed red currents. On the palate it tries to stay dry but fruit flavours are creeping in, making this quite a food wine. It will not work as an aperitif as it is not dry or refreshing enough but it will take your roast chook to paradise and back.

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Adamís Rib ĎThe Whiteí 2008

Julian Castagnaís second label, Adamís Rib, showcases a white and a red, both terrific value for money. I prefer the white, a Ďbastard blendí of Chardonnay and Viognier, made by Adam Castagna, a juicy, textural wine that works as a stand alone and as a food wine. The nose is typical Chardonnay with overripe grapefruit and citrus aromas but the palate is far more Ďtropicalí, with flavours of stone fruit and dried apricots. Finish is long and as creamy as the first mouth-full and you will automatically hold your glass our for a refill. Itís a very approachable wine.

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Zeema Estate Shiraz 2007

A stalwart of the Coonawarra, the family owned and operated Zeema Estate has been making top reds for many years. Cabernet Sauvignon might be what most people would immediately think of, giving the terroir of the Coonawarra, but this Shiraz is a fabulous red to drink now. It might keep for a few years, but in reality itís a cracker now. Bottled at 15.5% a.v there are lots of dark berry aromas and balanced tannins on the palate. It is finely structured and the berries are confirmed. Itís a great wine that will stand up to dishes like a daube but itís also elegant enough to work with an entrecote Cafť de Paris and some chips.

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