Archive for November, 2011

Louis Jadot Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2006 – What i’m drinnking at the time 2011.11.26

Hello everybody and wellcome to another edition of the “drinking show”. Today, we are revisiting France, specifically Burgundy.

Louis Jadot, Bourgogne Pinot Noir, 2006

12.5% alc/vol.

Burgundy, motherland of Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir from the Louis Jadot lable is a pure varietal wine produced from Pinot Noir musts and wines selected from village-level vineyard sites throughout the Côte d’Or and Côte Chalonnaise. As with several of their smaller wines (like this guy), Maison Louis Jadot practices a “réplis” to improve the quality of the wine by declassifying some wines of higher appellation to be incorporated into the blend. In other words, you get the BMW without the badge nor the price tag, a win win for the consumer.

We visited our friend Sophie and Richard and now their lovely bouncing baby William for dinner and we swapped their wine for our roast pork. The roast pork, as it turned out, was an excellent match for this wine.

The nose was light and airy, ethereal and thin layers of sour cherry, strawberry, yellow flesh plums and a background of liquorish. The initial attack on the palate was of dark fruits which lead into an aniseed, fennel seed, star anise combination (which is why it matched with the pork; we seasoned it with fennel seeds, coriander and thyme). The flavour followed into some sweet spices, dark berries and then into a barky tannin character with a firm acid backbone. Great mix of flavours and the wine and food bounced off the each other well. There was little to zero heat and the finish was long, spicy with a touch of a barnyard smell which is to my liking. I also noticed that the wine got a lot better and smoother as it sat in the glass but I should also say that your surroundings and mood does add to your enjoyment of the wine.

A very enjoyable wine especially with the meal and the company. It looked like little William wanted some too! At $30 bucks, maybe a touch expensive for a table/village wine but a great introduction and example to French pinot noir. I think I will always associate this with a family wine, very warming and loving.

Thanks again guys, till the next time.

Kenny

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Thomas Hardy Cabernet Sauvingnon 2006 – What i’m drinking at the time – 23.11.2011

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means, vino! Today we get to sample a Thoman Hardy from the Coonawarra Adelaide Hills areas.

Nice packaging, 13.5% alcohol and a coonawarra cab sav makes for some high expectations. This guy retails for about $100 bucks so lets hope it delivers!

Typical cab nose, red fruits, sour cherry and strawberry, maybe some blackcurrent? Some notes of lush green leaves, i’m thinking holly and some hints of kiwi fruit skin. There is also a sandy grainy aspect to this nose and makes you think of undergrowth.

Attack is somewhat bitter and takes it time to subside and mellow out. The fruit is not upfront, very much in the backgroung. The midpalate does spike in terms of fruit intensity but it’s short lived. Flows into a very tight but not omnipresent mix of tannin and acidity. Tannins definately kick in at the finish, the sides of your tongue and top gums are very grippy and there is a gravel, concrete mouthfeel, dusty dull and blunt finish. Tobacco bits thrown in the mix too with a sprinkle of acidity here and there as your mouth regains moisture. Extremely long finish with little to no heat and makes you want that next mouth full. Somewhat balanced (touch too much tannin) but I dont think its ready for drinking yet. The bottle says celler for 5-20 years and i’m inclined to say hold for at least another 5-7 years. As you drink the wine over time, it definately improves and more complexity and flavours come into play with more fruit forward flavours.

At $100 bucks a bottle, a soild wine especially for cellaring so not great for immediate gratification. I would spend money on some other wines at this price point but I can see others who enjoy this kind of profile easily spashing out on this.

Recommended for some, but as always make your own opinion and try try try!

Kenny

Circa – what i’m eating at the time 18.11.11

 
Friend of mine Eugene booked us a table at Circa in St Kilda last Friday and I was really looking forward to some good food, good wine and good company! His friend’s husband is the sommiler there so I was also hoping to pick brains. Nat, Eugene and I got there way way early so we decided to grab some bar snacks and something to drink; I packed in the water since I was feeling exhausted and wanted to make sure I didn’t pass out mid way through dinner (hey, it has happened before!)

We ended up getting some king prawns with green tea salt and saffron and mozzarella arancini. The arancini balls were meh, but the prawns were D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! I picked at the salt flakes whist I drooled over the crazy wine list. make sure to have a look, there are some great stuff there. We hung around till 7.30 and then food team was assembled and ordered 1 a la carte and 4 degustations (of course) with matching wines. We had a choice of standard or premium wines and when premium…of course 😛 On to the rounds!

Warm miso glazed eel, pickled kohlrabi, avocado & apple

Vinoptima Ormond Gewurztraminer, 2006

Round one is a lovely glazed eel which was tougher than expected, however worked extremely well with the avocado puree and prawn cracker and this highly prized NZ Gewurztraminer was it’s white on rice. Nose was of creamy pear, like a full bodied cider withough the fizz. It matched the food perfectly, to the point that it seemed to be an extension of the food. The wine felt like the texture of the avocado puree and the eel was perfectly coated and finished off with a well rounded mouth feel. Best food and wine pairing of the night, but only just. A great start to the evening.

 Rabbit tortellini, morels, broad beans, garden peas

Bouchard Corton Charlemagne, 2000

If your a wine lover, you got to be excited about round two’s wine, a Corton Charlemagne. Oh and yeah, lets just throw 10+ years on that. What a treat. Such as exciting wine. White peach, mineral notes with some sea salts. The palate was granny smith apples, grass and straw. Odd, I expected more from this wine. However, add this to the food and BAM, imcredible. The food and the wine both bounced off wach other enhancing all the flavours, especially the jerusalem artichoke puree. The nose changed giving off a toffee/caramel aspect especially in the finish. The meal was not to be outshined and was personally my pick for the meal of the night. Delicate pasta and chunks of rabbit with an amazing sauce. A very close second/third in terms of wine pairing but will not complain, hell, I’m asking for seconds!

John Dory, mussel & clam risotto, sea urchin butter

Foster e Rocco Rosé 2010

Round three came with a rose from Heathcote made from 100% mourvedre which I thought was stange. Looking at the colour, you would not pick it to be rose, it had a strange golden/bark colour, almost like a sweet wine, nice and golden. Nose was extremely fresh and floral like potpourri. Beautiful acidity, subtle bitterness, some fruit balance. Reminiscent of a sav blanc. The fish was cooked well and the risotto was excellent, though I’m not sure it was regular risotto. It was almost like a fat sago, very smooth and almost bouncy. I liked it and the sea utchin butter was plate licking good. There was a downside to this dish, the food gave or enhanced a bitter finish to the wine. The wine did do a good job of cleansing the palate reading your mouth for the next bite, but you had a bitter taste in your mouth mading the wine not as enjoyable. We were able to snag another splash from our sommiler! I asked her about the pairing and she said it was more of a textural match and to also prepare your mouth for the red wines to come. After drinking the extra glass by itself, I think it got better over time, but matching the fish? I’m not so sure. Slightly dissapointed but we did come from a major high.

Suckling pig, salsify & ham beignet, spring garlic

Felton Road Cornish Point Noir, 2010

Another NZ wine, this time from Central Otago. This pinot had a great nose of red berries, cassis, brambles, and makes you think of dry and arid bushes. Palate has some white pepper balanced with some sweet Asian spices, cinnamon and paprika. Light to medium bodied, some enjoyable heat on back end but again, well balanced with a touch of acid. Nice wine! The pork belly was solid, though nothing special and I wasn’t a fan of the ham beignet, tasted a bit like spam! Perhaps we were spoilt with the previous dishes? The pinot did a great job of cutting through the fat both on the palate and the taste. Well done and a solid dish, lovely pinot and well matched.

Black Angus rump, bone marrow and oxtail brik, rainbow chard, creamed nettles

Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, 2010

We drank the 2006 Clonakilla recently and was ranked last stacked against some heavyweight competition. After drinking this wine, it only shows the incredibly high calibre of those other wines. This is a great great wine and well done to such a young winery and vintage. Sniffy sniff opens with oregano, metallic notes and green peppercorns. The viognier comes through well, lifts the wine and brings out some floral sweetness. This wine has a juicy mouth feel, spicy mid palate of white and green pepper. Some caramel nuances also. Finish is a mix of interesting sweet alcohol with a touch of dry of the tip of your tongue, spicy and peperish but extremely well rounded and balanced. This wine matched the dish extremely well, virtually uplifts the entire dish to a new level. Exquisite, just edged out by the first dish, but phenomenal pairing and wine. I believe that the dish was the one playing the role of the backup dancer here and thats saying alot. The steak was excellent and I do love me some bone marrow. I jokingly asked the waiter for a second splash of this like the rose and guess what! I got one! yeah, we tipped 😛

 Salted caramel parfait, chocolate cake, honeycomb

NV Morris Classic Rutherglen Liqueur Tokay

Final round of the night was a treat. The sticky came with smells of honeycomb and port flavours. Not overpowering on the palate like a normal sticky, great mouth feel and balanced sweetness. Very impressive on its own. The dessert was gorgeous, both soft and cruncy and a effortless creamy texture on your mouth. With the dessert, the wine suffered and became overly sweet and somewhat unpleasant. It brought out the alcohol which made me want to finish the desert first then the wine or vice versa. Not a good match but great individually. Sipped that wine throughout the rest of the night with a smile on my face.

Circa was definatly an enjoyable experience. It was strangly loud in the rooms and had very funky ambiance with their own DJ. Very cool. The degustation will set you back $120 and then your choice of standard or premium wines at $85/$120. You will definately sleep well bring a wheelbarrow to roll yourself home.

Kenny

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McWilliams Shiraz 2002 and Pepperjack Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 – What I’m drinking last Wednesday 16.11.2011

What I’m drinking last Wednesday 2011.11.16

Went over to the parents as usual last Wednesday and got to sample 2 bottles today!

McWilliams Regional collection, Barossa Valley Shiraz 2002

Pepperjack Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa 2009

We tried the McWilliams Shiraz first (14% alco). This guy goes for about $16 bucks and was decanted for around 2.5 hours. Straight up the nose is white pepper and spices with plums, very ripe plums to the point where their over ripe. There is some rose petals and floral notes in there also. On the palate, the attack is quite strong with a lot of sweetness and vanilla bits, guessing French/usa oak combo? Its spicy in the front and then flows into dark cherries, nice rounded mouth feel with a touch of green. Finish is long and nice, grippy tannins, definitely white pepper and a touch of heat from the alcohol.

Solid wine, definitely what you would expect from Barossa reds. Though not the style I like right now, it’s still a good solid drinking wine with bags of flavour. Good value for the price for sure.

Pepperjack came next. We opened the bottle and aerated it into a decanter for about 30 mins, a bit rushed cos it was a bit last minute. FYI, this guy is 13.5% alco. Sniffing this wine brought up starfruit. Yep, starfruit. Fresh little green bits also, some raw broccoli, not very sweet and some bits of tar/road/gravel in there. Definitely an interesting nose. The taste was a bit of a disappointment though. Flat of the attack, mid palate is spicy but bitter and flabby (not enough acidity to balance). There is a sweetness in the background, its integrated but not pronounced. There are also dry aspects to this wine. The acid comes in at the end but it’s astringent coupled with powdery tannins.

Not sure this is a good wine, could be a bit young. It is more complex than the McWilliams but not as pleasant to drink. I found it a bit unbalanced and too harsh in the mid and back end. Also, the alcohol comes through on this wine even though there is less alcohol in this than the previous. Not good. What I do like about this wine is it hides the presence of oak on the nose and palate. At $20, I think we can do much better.

Happy tastings!

Kenny

Annie’s Lane Riesling 2010 Clare Valley – What i’m drinking at the time, 2011.11.15

Long time no sip! today I saw the missus cooking up a fish in nook num and i thought to myslef, “this would go great with that riesling in the cupboard…right? we hope!

Dig, dig, dig, GOT IT!

This duder is from the Clair Valley in south australia, a well renowned location for rielslings so big expectations. Straight off the cuff, beautiful golden colour and smells very much like a sav blanc/chardonnay with a touch of oak. Lots of weight on the nose, refreshing but not. Extremely minerally, light granny smiths and crunchy white peachs and lime juice. Reminds me of a Montrachet which is straight up my ally!

Palate is a straight mix of acisity, sweet/sour bits of nashi pear and lime skins. Very weighty which surprises me for a riesling, massive reminder of a chardonnay…wtf??? An almost creamy finish, firn and grippy on the mouth and gums, zesty. The minerality saltyness and crush rock feel comes in at the back. I think its a layered wine, but very subtle, not sure what to think. Would love to drink this with a like minded wineo so see what they think.

Great value at something liek $12, heavy and fresh and i believe goes great with Thai and Viet foods.

Kenny

Dominique Portet Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Yarra Valley Pyrenees – What i’m drinking at the time 2011.11.11

Hellow everybody and welcome back to what i’m drinking at the time. Over the past 2 days the wife and I have been chipping away at this:

Dominique Portet Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Yarra Valley Pyrenees

Dominique Portet is a little winery down in Yarra Valley own by father and son Dominique and Ben Portet who are big on old school French style winemaking (and could be french themselves!?). Got this little number when a bunch of good friends and us cashed in our scoopons for a Yarra Valley wine tour. Having zero responsibility to drive, we lapped up the vino like thirsty camels.

This sav must have cos we have 2 bottles! I think they were about $20-25 a piece, definately top end sav blanc price range, 13.5% acol which is surprising. I remember they also have a rose and champagne which made an impression on me. Did it deliver?

Sweet sour apples, a mix of granny smith and golden delicious with a fist full of passionfruit. Very appetising, extremely light and zesty. It has a tingly, almost fizzy feeling on your mouth and it almost floats on your tongue. Solid mouth feel though and has an intersting mix of salty sour fruityness which lots of apples, passionfruit, apple skins; kinda like the feeling when you bite too deep into a Nashi pear but have enough of the sweet bits. Heaps of a mineral aspect to the wine which mingles with the saltyness, imagine bath salts? kinda? The tingling feeling extends all the way to the finish and the sourness drifts off but the sweetness and saltyness lingers.

Interesting wine…what we found is it didn’t hold too well as it warmed up nor was it better (prob worse) day 2 so definately drink the whole bottle first time and on ice. Also, the tingling fizzyness subsided as the hours past. We also found it a bit difficult to pair it with food. We tried pork day 1 and prawns day 2. Definately worked better with pork, the wine has a weight to it even though the mouthfeel is light and the flavours come across very strong and accented. I’m thinking a feta and wallnut salad may match better, definatly on a nice sunny day.

Not sure if I recommend this wine which is strange because I distinctively remember singing its praises when we bought it…don’t buy wine drunk? or maybe I sould try this again, you know just to be sure 😛

Thanks for reading

Kenny

Cullen Diana Madeline 2009 – what i’m drinking at the time 09.11.11

Its a Wednesday, and that means i’m eating at parents house which means, wine time! I recently introduced by friend the wine bug to my dad and since then, we have been enjoying a bottle of wine every Wednesday. Today we are in for a treat, Margaret River’s Cullen Diana Madeline 2009 Cabernet Merlot.

Cullen Margaret River Diana Madeline 2009 Cabernet Merlot

Margret river is situated in WA and this wine comes from the sub region Wilyabrup. Made by Vanya Cullen, daughter of Diana, this is noted as one of Australia greatest Cabernets.  Some serious badassery. This bad boy is 88% Cab sav, 6% cab franc, 4% merlot and 2% malbec, coming in at 12.5% alco. Oh and btw 2009 was a wicked vintage. Looking good!

We decanted this for about 2.5 hours with premise that, IF this tasted good (ha!) that we may venture out and snag a 6 pack or so.

Sniff? crisp and clean, think of the freshness you get when you chop into an iceberg lettuce. Great mix of black fruits and berries with touches of red fruit and a sprinkle of grass (the normal kind). The nose is not all that exciting but it does give off an awe that there is something going on here. One thing I like is that there is no overpowering oak. To sum it up…this a gentile wine thats is all about elgance and finesse.

Hits your mouth like silk, smooth, velvet and a fruity. Super balanced wine, perfect mix of dryness, acidty and fruit sweetness. Has an abilty to both feel heavy and light at the same time. Makes me think of brambles and undergrowth. There is definately lots of complexity and layers in this wine, definatly a thinking wine to ponder over some time. I get alot more fruityness now (2nd glass in) with a definate sense of vegital components followed by the earthy tones then comes a wave of sweet acidity, like a sugary grapefruit. Heaps happening in this wine. Love it.

Finish lingers in the top front gums and the oak enters in the finish here for a well rounded mouth feel. Extremely mouthwatering, makes you want to drink more and more!

Cost? Got it for $89 bucks. Ouch? dunno, I would definately not say no to a freebie and can definatly see myself buying a stack to see how it develops. Factoring that the RRP is about $105, I am saying that its probabily worth the mula cos its a double threat – great to drink now (espically at such a young age!) and seems that it will only get better with time, bout a day should do the trick ;P

Let me know your thoughts!

Kenny