Posts from the ‘Bordeaux’ Category

Mount Mary 2011 Vintage – What I’m Drinking At The Time 20.10.2013

MM Title

Mount Mary 2011 Vintage


Last year I was fortunate to attend the 2011 Mount Mary vintage release tasting. I gotta, say, if it weren’t for their recent website update I would have forgotten to posted this. For those who don’t know, Mount Mary is one of my favorite wineries who stay true to quality. I am lucky enough to visit them every year and hope to eventually have a long list of vintage to reflect on in years to come.

The 2011 vintage hasn’t been a strong one and I felt that the wines were a bit boardline and not up to their usual awesomeness. It felt that whist the wine making was exceptional, the fruit was a bit lacking. Mount Mary are known to produce a “second label” for bad vintage when quality is threatened so suffice to say, the experts think that the 2011 vintage is up to scratch. The go to wines for me were the Bordeaux wines; the Triolet, highly complex and well balanced with the Quintet looking like a wine to cellar for a little while yet. The Burgundy expressions were sorely missed.


2011 Mount Mary

The 2011 Mount Mary Lineup

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Chateau Bernadotte 2006 vs Thomas Hardys Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 – what i’m drinking at the time 05.02.14

Its Cab night tonight, old world vs new world, french vs aussie. Looking into my cellar it looks like I need to drink more, oh woe is me, so I decided to do a comparison for some fun and games. Today we have a French Bordeaux from the Medoc, recommended to me a few years ago pitted against the well regarded Thomas Hardy’s Cab Sauv from the Margret River.

Both wines come with a bit of age and don’t come cheep coming in around the $50 mark at time of purchase with the Hardy’s currently coming in at just under $100. Expectations expectations…

2014.02.05 Chateau Bernadotte 2006, Thomas Hardys Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Chateau Bernadotte 2006 Haut Medoc
Thomas Hardys Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Margaret River

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Yarra Yering Members Tasting 2011 – What I’m Drinking At The Time 05.05.13


Yarra Yering Members Tasting 2011 Vintage

Many many moon ago, I was fortunate to attend the 2011 Yarra Yering vintage release tasting. I’m sure that I will not tire of this little winery and look forward to eventually have a long list of vintage tasting notes to share with you all in years to come. For now, (and to be updated in past and future posts), a link to the back vintages will be situated at the end of each members tasting.

The 2011 vintage fell a bit short to me especially after the standout vintage of 2010. Wines generally felt a bit tight and closed, little less balanced as usual and will require some time in the bottle. The whites were found wanting whist the dry red stalwarts led the charge and as usual the Carrodus labels didn’t disappoint. A little warmth in the glass will serve this vintage well and the back vintage bracket showing you what could be with a little patience.

In the previous 2010 post, I mentioned I missed out on the private tour around the very picturesque vineyard but was lucky enough to jump into one this year. If you get a chance, it is well worth it, digging into the dusty cellars of this boutique wonderland.

whatimdrinkingatthetime YY Tasting Room

No delicious sparkling this year (if you find some, snap them up!) so straight to the tasting table.

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1999 château d’yquem– What I’m Drinking At The Time 18.11.13

Man, let me tell you. Whatever you THINK you know about château d’yquem, believe me, nothing will prepare you for the awesomeness of actually tasting this wine…ever.

Chateau d'yquem

1999 château d’yquem

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Kenny’s 30yo wine – what i’m drinkning at the time 22.03.13

Greetings young scallywags. Last Friday I reached the ripe old age of thirty and decided to drink some wine. A little out of character I know, go figure.

Today we dabble into a few wines I had over the weekend starting celebrations at a long lazy lunch at Bistro Guillaume. Before we get drinking, I just wanted to mention that I have had a recent surge in followers and wanted to say thank you to all of you as well as my other followers who take the time to read my blog. I hope you have been enjoying my stuff and had a bit of fun.

So Friday. A workmate of mine also recently tuned 30 and being fans of la French food, we booked a table at Bistro Guillaume. We were lured by their lunch deal; $45 for two courses, $55 for three which you pick off the menu or specials board and if you check out their menu, you can see it’s a pretty good deal. Naturally there was wine to be had and the first victim to have its cork popped was…

2010 Bass Phillip Crown Prince & 2006 Chateau les Grands Maréchaux

2010 Bass Phillip Crown Prince Pinot Noir

2006 Château Les Grands Maréchaux, Premières Côtes de Blaye

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1987 Basedow Vs 1992 Clos Des Jacobins – what i’m drinking at the time 05.08.12

Hey gang, got a clash of the oldies today, a 25 year old Hermitage from Barossa vs the slightly younger 20 year old St Emilion Grand Cru. It’s Australia vs France…whos gonna win!?

Basedow Barossa Hermitage 1987, 12.9%


Cordier Clos des Jacobins, St Emilion Grand Cru 1992, 12.5%

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Yarra Yering Members Tasting 2010 – what i’m drinking at the time 06.05.12

Yarra Yering Members Tasting 2010 Vintage

Yarra Yering is a great little boutique winery in the Yarra Valley near Coldstream. Originally founded by the late Dr Bailey Carrodus in 1969, the wines from Yarra Yering gained an international reputation for quality and individuality. The wine is now made by Paul Bridgeman who continues the tradition of making a range of great wines including the delicious Carrodus range.

Couple of weeks ago I received an email from Yarra Yering. They were having a Medallion members only tasting for their 2010 release. I missed the previous one so not going to miss this one! A few friends and I first stumbled upon this winery a while ago whilst trundling around the Yarra Valley looking for something to fill the back of the car with. It’s a very beautiful place, looks like a very old school English house equip with a fireplace, a pond, fruit trees, a veggie patch all surrounded by rows of vines.

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Chateau Fourcas Dupre 1986 – what i’m drinking at the time 22.01.2012

Bonjour readers and Happy Chinese New Year!

Today I was lucky enough to drink a wine almost as old as me.

 Chateau Fourcas Dupre, Listrac – Medoc 1986

A 1986 Listrac-Medoc. That’s pretty old! This guy comes from a red wine appellation from the Haut Medoc region in Bordeaux, meaning Cabernet Sauvignon (especially in Listrac-Medoc) but also the usual Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The area is situation on limestone and clay (rather than the more prestigious areas on gravel and clay) weighting in at 12.5% alc. Lets see how it goes!

Nose is thin, strawberries and sour cherries with a blood plum background. There is also mushrooms and some cantelope meringues. I know hey. It’s very light and whispy and doesn’t engage you but you notice it.

The attack is light, ripe slightly mushy strawberries comes to the front. It transistions into an initially bitter mid palate but immediatey the acidity and sweetnes come in to balance it out, like the flavours of strawberries dipped in dark chocolate flakes. Finishes long and warm and you can still get the alcohol. Little furry and grainy (dusty throat feeling).

It’s an ok wine, nothing especially awsome but it is elegant and has a finess to it after all this time in the bottle. Definatly more merlot in this but still Cabernet.

Great way to bring in the new year!


Moss Wood 2008 & Chateau Lalande Sourbet 1990 – what i’m drinking at the time 18.01.2012

Waz up peeps! We got some treats today, a classic from the Margret River and a Cru Bourgeois with some age.

Moss Wood 2008 & Chateau Lalande Sourbet 1990

Had a BBQ with my folks and the in-laws tonight, both supplying the quality you see before you; my dad with the new school, in law with the old. Lets dive in!

Moss Wood

Moss Wood Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River 2008

I have had this guy at the Frenchy’s dinner here. As far as I can remember, I was very impressed and tonight was no different. Decanted for about 1.5 hours, this guy is 14.5% alcohol and as far as I know is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

This has a very “strong and silent type” nose, almost brooding with upfront bold black currents soaked in rum. There are little bits of cherry, bark and aged wood as well as some wet grainy earthy tones. It’s very faint, but way in the background is the sweetness of aromatic tea which you have to look for. If you let it breathe a little longer, it develops a buttery toast vanilla flavour which adds to it’s already rich, lush and seductive nose. Very sexy.

Attack is lean and straight away you find it to be a very balanced wine. Nothing fights it way to be heard and all the nuances work together in harmony. Then, the acidity kicks in at the mid palate and it tangos with purple fruits, blood plums. Then the tannins pull it back and adds liquorice, leather and turns the sweetness into toffee or caramel. All the while, it’s very silky and smooth, think of that feeling you get when you see oil being poured out. There is some tantalising chalky bits towards the end which diffuse the flavours and finishes long and warm. The flavours transition into crystalized oranges and “asian coffee” i.e. some milk chocolate, hint of condensed milk with a slight mix of coffee,

Expertly balanced, incredible and almost faultless, the only thing I felt was a let down is the warmth on the finish. This is a killer. It goes for around $90 but seriously, you will not be disappointed. With the complexity you get now, imagine what will develop in time. Simply stunning. It gets Ken’s stamp of approval.

Chateau Lalande Sourbet

Cru Bourgeois, AOC Haut Medoc, 1990

Label time. Cru Bourgeois is the classification for the non 1855 Bordeaux classification. It ranges from Cru Bourgeois Exceptionels, then Superieurs, then just Bourgeois. I believe that this classification only applies to the Medoc region so it should give you a hint that its most likely a Cabernet dominated blend. Both label nor Google gives me a breakdown of the percentages so you guess is as good as mine. It does tell you that its 12% alcohol so expect a lighter style, and its French.

We decanted this for about 15-30 mins, it is 22 years old so you don’t want it to fade away. The nose comes off as wet socks, concrete, chinese vegetable soup and has a musky, wet aspect. It really reminds me of a veggie that looks like morning glory but I cannot put my finger on the name. It also strangely has a canned peach or dried fruit, specifically apricot touch at the end. Initially I thought we were in for some corked wine.

The first mouthful hit me with wet stone and rocks. The mid palate developed more mouthfeel and weight, giving the wine a heavier and solid body. There is very little fruit sweetness or acidity and weak tannins are in the forefront. Loose overall structure, extremely gravely and arid in flavours – think of a peach or apricot seed that you have been sucking on for too long, gets a bit dry and bland but has some residual fruit flavours, then throw in some celery sticks and blood oranges. Finish is watered down dryness, soup bones and a hint of bitter melon.

Ok, so initially I suspected that this guy was way overdue. However, it got way better and better with larger mouthful and the more you drink. It coats your mouth better and blends in with the first, second, third sip and builds up. The flavours get more distinct. It a very mature wine and the flavours coincide with it; dusty, dried fruit instead of bags of flavours. You get to sit and almost drink time. I think that our palates were tainted by the bigger bolder flavours of the Moss Wood and it diminished the flavours of this wine both on the nose and palate. I was “desensitized” in a way. I found the experience very interesting and wondered how many times this has happened to me! Be sure to have some bread with you and some coffee beans to clean you nose and palate because I think that this is actually a pretty nice wine and something you grow to appreciate. Drink with mushroom? Actually could do this with a light cigar! Nice effort.

Still, go buy the Moss Wood, before I do 😉


Rice wines, Sauternes and Barbera – What i’m drinking in China and yesterday 07.01.2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hope you all have a great 2012 with many wine filled memories. Excuse me for my lack of activity, I’ve been in China and just came back, Many thanks to everyone who has been checking out my blog since my last post.

I was looking forward to trying some Chinese wines especially since there were reports of highly rated Bordeaux blends from China. Alas I found Chinese wines difficult to source and wine bars stocked more European and Australian wines, particularly Penfolds and Jacobs Creek. Sigh. Australian wines seems to also have a serious markup over there so if you’re looking to go, be sure to try something local.

I did get lucky though and stayed in a hotel (the Dragon) which happened to have China’s largest wine cellar! Presenting, the Cantina Wine Bar.

Cantina Wine Cellar 

The wine cellar is in the basement of a restaurant and I was lucky to bump into the drinks manager who gave us access. There is a large room where you a chill out, sip some wine and eat some food on comfy couches. Beyond locked glass doors is the cellar. The cellar was a long series of concrete squares filled with bottles of wines from all over the globe based on grape varieties. On the walls hung wooden boxes with wine labels. In the middle of the room was a wine fridge with the bad ass wines, rows of champagne buckets and a bench with the glassware. To be honest, I thought it would be bigger. I had loads of fun scouring the pages of the wine menus and the rows of wine. If you get a chance, check it out.

Some of the Bad Ass Wines

Among my travels, we ate at many restaurants and tried two kinds of wines:

Yellow Wine and Mao Tai

The first wine is Yellow Wine made from glutinous rice and dates back before christ. We had this wine most of the time because the foods we had were very “cooling” to the system. Yellow wine is very “heaty” which would balance things out. The wine was served warm and the bottle would be immersed in a bucket of how water. It was very addictive, sweet but not sugary sweet and low in alcohol. definitely check this out.

The second guy is Mao Tai, made from Sorghum (a kind of plant). This guy was lot more heavy hitting than yellow wine. The guest we had dinner with loves Mao Tai so that’s what we drank (and also some beer). Mao Tai is so so fragrant and flowery, bit like shoving your face in a bunch of flowers. It goes down like a smooth vodka without the alcohol burn and warms your belly. It also has some kind of yo-yo effect and you feel the wine traveling down your body then up and then down again. Very different and very strong but also very nice.

I did get to sample some other reds whist I was in China but wasn’t planning on making any notes on the trip. The above stuff was very different to me so I thought to share it with you guys. Be sure to check it out if your ever I China!

Ok so were back in Melbourne now. Setting the scene, we just came back from our annual ritual of crab fishing with our friends Sriyan, Cathie and Eugene. As it is also customary, we sat down to enjoy our haul of crabs in curry with potatoes, beans, papadums and other tasty condiments. Bobby (Sriyan’s nickname) broke out a Petit Manseng from Chrismont in the King Valley. Being both lazy and polite, I decided to just enjoy the wine and company so no notes on this one guys! After dinner, we broke out a sticky to go with a cheesecake and then broke out another wine just for kicks! We got talking about the wines which prompted me to take down a few notes. Enter some eye candy:

Chateau de Myrat Sauternes 2006 and La Cantina Barbera 2008

Chateau de Myrat Sauternes 2006

Label deciphering time. This guy is a Bordeaux second class (Deuxième Crus) growth in the 1855 classification located in Barsac (Grionde). Brasac lies within Sauterne meaning its a sweet wine made from Sav Blanc, Semillion and Muscadelle and sits as 13.5%. Preeetty. Smells of SPC canned peaches and a thick sweet creamy nose. Palate was not too sweet, extremely pleasant to taste and a great mouth feel. Tasted like poached pears with some of that fruit cheese with apricots and walnuts. Finished off short with peach syrup and passionfruit zing. Super sick wine, will be difficult to keep for long! Checks in at $38. I can’t help comparing this to the De Bortoli Noble One which comes it at $28. It would be very interesting to try these side by side and off the top, I think that the Sauterne is lighter and has more finesse whist the Noble One is more punchy and fuller in flavours. what to do what to do…anyone for a tasting night?

La Cantina Barbera 2008

When I first saw this I was thinking that this was a Barolo (i.e. Nebbiolo) but after some help from Google, I found that Barbera is actually Italy’s third most planted red grape! Well well well….Ok so this guy is from the King Valley and is family owned family grown by Gino and Peter Corsini (check out their site). It’s unfiltered, no added preservatives, 14.5% alcohol and uses very traditional wine making techniques. Lets see how this goes.

Smokey nose, reminds me of the bacon bits you get from old school all you can eat Pizza Huts. It also has some ripe yellow fleshed plums and some earthy dusty bits in the background. Attack starts off a bit tart (lemon curd?) and it continue into the mid palate, settles down a bit but still in the forefront. There is some vanilla essence in the background and in the finish with a touch of heat. The mid palate also has some cauliflower and kale (Tuscan cabbage) flavours and evokes holly and spiked leaf images. Finishes is a bit like balsamic vinegar balanced with cream brule and caramel. Quite nice! Very interesting wine and surprisingly nice on its own for an Italian wine, probably matches well with some Italian sausages? Hungery now…

Some other remarks on the wine, Bobby says it’s very meaty on the nose and gets some bitterness in the wine, something akin to witlof and Eugene says it’s a very easy drinking wine with alot of up front fruit flavours.

At $15, I think it’s a steal. To be honest, I’ve never been that big on Italian wines (besides Sangiovese) but this is slowly turning me around. Another one to put on your shopping list.

It’s good to be back, thanks for reading!