Posts from the ‘Coonawarra’ Category

2007 Jacob’s Creek St Hugo – What I’m Drinking At The Time 24.10.13

Hello hello the slacker is bbbback! Yes it has been a full 2 months since I have posted anything which I do apologize for BUT I have some backlogged tasting sessions hopefully coming up for you depending on time wise so stay tuned.

It’s breakfast time and as I’m reaching into the fridge for some eggs I notice the half finished bottle from yesterday’s dinner just chillin there so…as you do….wine and scrambled eggs, the choice of champions. Today it’s le Jacob’s Creek’s St Hugo 2007 Cabernet Sauvgnon, a wine which has some fairly good reputation and named after Hugo Gramp, grandson of Johann Gramp, who is the founder of Jacob’s Creek.

 

2007 Jacob's Creek St Hugo

2007 Jacob’s Creek St Hugo
Read more…

1992 Coonawarra Bin 128 Shiraz – what i’m drinking at the time 15.07.12

Penfolds is probably Australia’s most well known wine label; anybody and everybody will recognise its distinctive bottle. Bin 128 is one of the most distinctive reds in under the Penfolds label but this is a little more old school.

O and a big THANK YOU to my new two email followers! Common peeps!

1992 Coonawarra Bin 128 Shiraz

The ‘Coonawarra Shiraz’ is matured solely in French oak and is one of the few Penfolds reds that isn’t a multi regional blend. Penfolds Bin 128 is typically zesty, white pepper, floral and in recent decades is richer and fuller bodied so it will be interesting to see what 20 years will do to this style. Lets do this…

With aged wines you want to decant to remove any sediment buildup but be careful not to over aerate else the wine may oxidises in your hands! This was decanted gently, then went straight into a glass/mouth, same same, whatever 😛

The nose was very light with damp earth and leaves in the foreground. There are red fruits coated by vanilla essence in the back. This wine comes off etherial and elegant; very different to what you expect from this label. The acidity limps along on the initial attack and builds up into a sour cherry mid palate backed with tobacco leaves, charcoal, grilled meats, bay leaf and other herbs; all under a light bodied guise. A multilayered wine with a great mix of secondary characters. Finished with light tannins, great bark characters, brings you to the outback with gum nuts and breadcrumbs.

I really liked the way this wine evolved and it’s style. The phrase “gentle giant” came to mind; it was an elegant wine, but still punchy and came across with strong flavours. It has a good structure at this age, nicely layered and quite complex.

Ken’s thumbs up, though having said that, it has probably juuusssst past its peak so time to venture into your cellars people, I wouldn’t wait much longer to drink this. Me thinks have it with crispy skin duck.

Kenny

Lindemans Pyrus Coonawarra Trio 2006 – what i’m drinking at the time

Hey guys!

It’s Kenny here bring you your weekly hit of wine crazy. Today I get to introduce you all to the Linderman’s Pryus Coonawarra Trio.

Lindemans Pyrus Coonawarra Trio 2006

Read more…

Vue de Monde – what i’m eating at the time 16.03.2012

Vue De Monde

It’s Friday! Yay! Was so so tired last week and was tempted not to write this but thought of my 10 followers (hehe actually, its 11 now! thank you email follower! please comment to let me know who you are!) and said “what the hell”. I have some time after work so I went and looked for a little meeting room and try to take a nap. I ended up chatting the hour away before having to run off to Vue. A bunch of friends booked the mega chef’s table at the new Vue de Monde. We almost had the full 18 but after a miss count, only 17 bums were on the seats. I was really looking forward to this night since I have been to the original Vue on little Collins St before the move and some of those dishes….just wow. A few of the people who shared that night with us were coming again for a repeat experience so expectations were high. We still talk about some of those dishes today! If you have been, you will definitely remember the burnt butter marron, chocolate/coffee smoked kangaroo, cranberry marrow waygu and “the egg”. Magic.

Read more…

2009 Balnaves The Tally Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra – what i’m drinking at the time 29.02.2012

Man, have had some rough days at work recently so was looking forward to drinking some great wine. I was schedules to get into some basket press today but alas, that is for another great time. Today we are going to check out the “Balnaves of Coonawarra”.

The Tally Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Coonawarra

100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% alco

The Tally, flagship of the Balnaves, sits in the Langton’s Outstanding classification and regularly scores highly and sits amongst the company of Australia’s greatest Cabernets. The 2009 Tally was sourced entirely from a single parcel from Dead Morris Vineyard, handpicked for the first time to select only the best bunches and all of the blend received a long maceration on skins for a period of 26 days. Maturation was 16 months in new fine-grained Chateau barriques mostly from Taransaud and some from Seguin Moreau cooperages, before light egg fining and bottling in December 2010, under procork.

Initially the nose was extremely closed and tight. The wine in the decanter for almost 4 hours so I was extremely surprised at this. I decided to give it some more time before reviewing. Another hour later…nose is extremely fruity and oaky. There is a red and purple mix berries with yogurt aspect to this wine and there is also an egg custard thing happening. There is some spices of cinnamon and leaves you with a liquorice/sambuca finish.

The initial taste on the palate was brown sugar with a sharp orange peel scented creme brulee. It continued this trend peppered with peppery notes throughout. There is a rounded mouthfeel, though light to med bodied with a light tannin structure. The flavours linger in the finish but not very long. There were some creamy yet sour plum aspect here which is pleasant and a general slight bitterness to the wine and coca cola.

I am usually not a fan of wines from Coonawarra and this is probably the first one that I kinda liked. It’s a powerful representation of a Cabernet and I can see many new world fans clamoring for this wine. Fairly layered, rich and will develop further and improve with cellaring. Having said that, don’t think the flavour profile agrees with my palate. I usually find a chesty bitterness to wines from Coonawarra which I don’t like and this is no different.  One more thing I don’t agree with is the price. This wine retails for $80 – $90. Although you do get a better wine, I think you can get similar flavour profiles of slightly lower quality at half the price. If this wine was at the $50 mark, I would consider it.

All in all, a good solid wine, one for the new world fans and if you have had this before, please post and let me hear your thoughts!

Thanks guys

Kenny

Like it if you liked it 😛

Going blackjack+1, 22 wines – what i’m drinking at the time 17.12.2011

Crazy crazy day today! Almost felt like I was a professional wine taster! Big thank you to Dan Murphies Bulleen to putting on a premium wine tasting session of 19 wines including vertical tastings of Rockford Basket Press, Moss Wood and a Magnum of 10 year old Grange. So pour self a glass, sit back, listen to this can get comfortable cos this is epic.

The world warriors:

Sriyan, Eugene, Michelle, Alex, Simon and Me

The bad boys:

Read more…

Chateau Bellevue 2009 Bordeaux & McWilliams Regional Collection Coonawarra Shiraz 1999 – What i’m drinking at the time 11.12.2011

Continuing the French theme, we got some more Bordeaux today. Presenting….

Chateau Bellevue 2009 Bordeaux

Nat’s parents got this as a present today so lucky us. Retails for around $10, and screw top on a french bottle! Wow, times are changing. Looking at the label, it’s within the same category of wines as I have been drinking recently; the Cheval Noir and the Chateau Haut-Madrac. Randomly going on a running theme here shall we say.  This guy is again a Merlot dominate wine with Cabernet Sauvignon blend and at 13.5% alc./vol. Passed once through an aerator. Shall we taste?

Nose is pretty deep with black fruits, blackberries. A big lush nose with some oak, almost Barossa in style. The attack is lean, medium bodied with a nice mix of acidity and fruit. Lacks structure until it hits the mid palate where the tannins come in to balance out the acid and bring something to the mouthfeel. Finish is dry on the gums and very  long with some lime characteristics and a bit salty. Tastes haps better after more and more time in the glass, less oak and more smooth and fruit. Not much happening here but a nice tasting wine and reminds me of Penfolds bin 28. Initially I thought this was going to be crap but all things considered, I’m kinda impressed given the label. Don’t judge a book by its cover hey? Not a great wine but getter than most standard casual wines, and better than the CHeval Noir and Haut Madrac at a better price point. I would guess that this would be a $20-$25 dollar wine so it’s not without merit.

But wait, there’s more….

Mid writing this review, I had to drop some things off at parents house. My brother and his girlfriend was there and started shouting “Ken’s here! Another reason to open a bottle!” At 11.00pm I thought? You cannot be serious?! Apparently, Pol (brothers girlfriend) came back from her work Christmas function where that had unlimited drinks! (just the nonalcoholic kind…yeah…). My dad scrummaged around so I can’t let my family do all the heavy lifting, if I must I must. So if your still reading, we get a special guest of wine number 2.

McWilliams Regional Collection Coonawarra Shiraz 1999

Got a bit of ages to it too! 13.5% just like the previous. We aerated this into a decanter for about 15 mins? No justice but it was getting late sooo….Lets get right into it!

The nose brought me straight into middle earth (or New Zealand) with green and lush rolling hills. French oak is present with dried cranberries. Some initial sharp sourness made me gasp…hope its not vinegar! Attack is weird. It’s watery, background of tannin, well integrated fruit and acid. Balanced but feels unbalanced. Mid palate is cranberries and no increase or decrease in intensity of flavours from the initial attack. Some burnt wood and pineapple, the bits you get towards the skin. Finish is smooth light tannins, oak comes out to party here with vanilla notes. It’s a long long, very long finish with some apricot flavours you get at the seed, persimmon and leaves you with a very waxy mouth.

This feels like a matured wine, mellow and just chilling out. It has some complexity to it, solid mix of richness, smoothness and fruit flavours but does feel like it’s past its prime and wasn’t intended to taste this way. Bottle notes say its full bodied, cherry, spicy, plum and clove (which you get from the numb wax mouth). The fruit has faded into shadows and the supposed find grained tannins and spicy oak is a ghost. Not a bad effort, but again, nothing to write home about.

Sweet dreams!

Kenny

Frenchy’s Dan Murphy’s Langton’s dinner – 29.11.2011

Greetings All! Last Tuesday Nat and I were invited to a Langtons Classification Fine Wine Dinner semi sponsored by Frenchy’s and Dan Murphy’s Glen Waverley. A special mention to the guys from Wantirna Estate for donating their wines to sweeten the price. A big big thank you to you guys. It was a great night and a huge success.

Frenchy’s Bistro Head Chef Klaus Lemme, Steve Alexander Dan Murphy’s and Wantirna Estate’s Reg Egan

The Langtons classification is a “form guide” of Australia’s best performing and most prized wines based on quality, recognition and markets. The classification is revised every 5 years (currently its 5th Classification) which showcases wines in 4 categories; Exceptional, Outstanding, Excellent and Distinguished. It is arguably the most famous and widely respected wine classification outside of Europe. For more information, visit click here. I felt very lucky to sample some of Australia’s finest.

Wines of the night


Champagne Duperrey

Oysters with cucumber tea granita
Potato pancakes with mandarin vodka-cured Salmon and herb crème fraiche
Sashimi tuna with scorched orange dressing

The night started of swimmingly. As we entered, we were greeted with old friends Mr. Champagne and Mrs. Canapes. Good day to you sir’s, delightful to see you again if I don’t say so myself 🙂 30 people were invited to the dinner and I was easily the youngest and to be honest, I felt a bit out of my depth discussing these wines with experts but the champagne helped quite a bit 😛 Nat was playing with her new lens and was given the “task” of taking some happy snaps of the evening. The canapes were yummo and if they have these on the menu, I would recommend the potato pancakes with the vodka cured salmon. It was off the hook! At 7 we were all to be seated and the fun began.

McWilliams Lovedale Semillon 2005

Tyrrell’s ‘Vat 1’ Semillon 2005

Pickled Bonito with lemon and apple Tuna Tartar with tomato and squid ink Miso rice ball with Blue Swimmer Crab meat

The 1st course paired up two 2005 Hunter Valley NSW Semillon’s both from the Outstanding Classification, same vintage and both screwcap. This would be interesting!

First the McWilliams Lovedale. Sweet, ripe peaches, light fresh syrupy flavours on the nose. Attack is a bit thin but in a good way and the acidity is big on the palate. There are little touches of tannin here and there and the fruit is well integrated but the “hero of the wine” (picture Gary from masterchef here) is the acid. Finishes short and a touch dry. In a nutshell, a very refreshing thirst quencher. The fish is a great match with the wine, it melds and mixes extremely well with the creaminess and oils of the fish. 

Now to the Tyrrell’s. There was a lot of prior talk and praise with this wine and a lot of gold medals on the bottle to match (if your into that sort of thing). Bang! Butter, mineral and oak wafts into every sniff. Deep, complex and layered nose with rock salt components (the kind you get when you order oysters Kilpatrick and they serve it on a tray of rock salts). Very Montrachet like which is lovely and right down my alley. Attack is accented, uplifting and tingly with acidity, less fruit and tannins but well balanced and integrated. Smooth and creamy with a long green apple and grapefruit finish. Food increases the acidity and adds a subtle sweetness.

The food was spectacular. The tuna tartar was very soft and delicate but the main part of the dish for me was the rice ball and the pickled bonito. They were banging with flavours and perfect within the dish and with the wines. I found the Tyrrell’s a more balanced wine and powerful whist the McWilliams is more restrained and elegant and a better food wine for this dish. Both got more mineral and salty components with time.

Pierro Margaret River Chardonnay 2009

Leeuwin ‘Art Series’ Chardonnay 2008

Free range chicken and white asparagus in a light cream of roasted almonds

2nd course was a grudge match between Chardonnay’s from Margaret River WA. The Leeuwin Art Series sits in the Exceptional Classification and is always mentioned in Australian top self Chardonnay. The Pierro is from the Outstanding classification and is a long standing foil to Leeuwin Art Series and very grand cru Burgundian style wine. Both use French oak, malolactic fermentation and long battonage (lees stirring). I think Nat was too excited during this course and missed out on pictures of the chicken! Oh well, lets see how the wines went. Coming into the dinner, this was one of the wine brackets I was excited about.

The Pierro was a very aromatically challenged wine only getting hints of oak but nothing else coming through. Very woody on the attack, almost spicy and chilli in taste which I found strange. Mid palate becomes milder and incorporates more butter and oak nuances. Fruit is all in the background, sitting there looking pretty. Finish is deep, dark and woody and relatively long. A very interesting taste profile from a Chardonnay. It tasted very different with the food, somewhat sweeter. It’s great with the chicken and it rounds out what the wine lacks and brings out more acidity.

Now to the Leeuwin. Milk, cream, custard, mushroom omelette with wafts of duck? Gentle shadows of oak and sweetness. Reminds me of French whites with some brets/barnyard smells. Strange nose indeed. Initial attack is again a bit spicy and pinewood (perhaps some food from the first course is still on my palate? I did have some bread I promise). The was had an almost raw lemon rind and a touch of bitterness. Insanely complex wine with butt loads of mineral and iron ore feelings…think copper? Finish is warm and a bit creamy with some of that lemon rind in there (bitter and acidic, but a nice bitterness). Another interesting wine with lots of grapefruit and lemon components but not as much of the milk and cream you get from the nose and I found this more Burgundian than the Pierro. The food is uplifted with this wine but the finish becomes bland whist highlighting the almost almond puree of the dish. It also develops apple and pear components.

Food was again very good. The dish didn’t look like what I expected; for starters the dish came in a ramekins! There were evenly sliced pieces of chicken brest submerged in a generous serving of almond cream puree and 2 green asparagus. The almond and the chicken was a great match in flavours nad textures whist the asparagus would set you up for the next bite. Yum! The Pierro brings up more sweetness of the dish whist the Leeuwin brings up more savouriness. Amazing.

Both wines are soooo different. The group nutted out that the Perrio was more elegant whist the Leeuwin was more powerful. I’m not sure on either, what I do know is that there is tonnes of complexity and layers in both wines just on different spectrums. Tough to compare, Leeuwin today, tomorrow, who knows! Both are mood wines, thinking wines and food wines. Try them both, I’m very divided though I think I was leaning towards

Coriole ‘Lloyd’ Shiraz 2007

Best’s ‘Bin O’ Shiraz 2009

Rare roasted lightly peppered venison. Savoy cabbage and mangoes

The Shiraz matchup; Coriole ‘Lloyd’ 07 vs the Best’s ‘Bin O’ 09, McLaren Vale SA vs Grampians Vic both in the Excellent Classification and both very traditional classics and old school wines.

First up, Coriole ‘Lloyd’ Shiraz 2007. Big red cherry with a touch of heat. Green nettle and earth flavours…bugs? with some barnyard thrown in here too. That mumbo jumbo probably just means earthy, but that’s what comes into my head sooo yeah. Attack is tannic, acidic and gives you a dry mouth feel. The mid palate is a touch bitter and the fruit comes in at the finish but short lived. A dry and tannic wine, would benefit from some more time sleeping. However the food and wine paired up extremely well. The food made the wine sweeter and more balanced, simmering down the tannins.

Best’s ‘Bin O’ Shiraz 2009 is a few years older but didn’t show its age. Candy, fruit bomb nose wrapped in TV remote control plastic. Add some blueberries and water all that down a bit (came across a bit thin). Hummm…. Attack is a mix of bitter tannins, fruit and spicy apple pie and fairy floss..definately fairy floss without a doubt. Finish is like artificial sweetener, very fruity and spicy caramel pancake flavours with some crispy bacon. Not sure about the quality of this wine, reminds me of a watered down basket press. Food did the opposite to the first wine, brought up the tannins and structure and backbone in the wine.

The food was again, excellent (running theme?) The cabbage for me was the main part of the dish with the venison almost as a side note. The venison brought the texture but the cabbage brought the flavour. The cabbage was savoury and had a soy like sweetness. I looked at the food/wine pairing as cabbage/wine pairing and the Lloyds matched better with this dish hands down. The better wine, I’m not sure which is better. I’m not sure I liked either and I think both improve with different foods; sweeter meats with the Coriole (in this case, cabbage) whist more savoury BBQ meats with Bests. Still, neither wow me all that much.

Wantirna Estate ‘Amelia’ Cabernet/Merlot 2009

Katnook Estate ‘Odyssey’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Slowly cooked ox cheek. Parley coulis, sweetbreads.

This was going to be an uphill battle for the Katnook Estate ‘Odyssey’ as Reg Egan, winemaker of the Wantirna Estate ‘Amelia’ was here to talk and share his knowledge (and to present his fabulous wine today). Not blowing his horn or anything but this is a great wine, personal favourite of the night (at least top 2 or 3). This wine was made in a Medoc style with some added can franc and petit vedot. Excellent, excellent….go on. It had a dry woody strawberry and sour cherry nose with some branches and undergrowth, barky and green flavours. Wine was light bodied, well balanced, and elegant on the attack. In fact, my notes just keep saying well balanced, well balanced, well balanced! A must swallow drop. Berries, touch of dryness and acidity on the mid palate all in perfect harmony. Finish is again a tough dry and long with a hint of heat. Truly impressive, has a maturity to it and the better wine of the bracket. This sits in the Distinguished Classification and the only downside is I found the food brought up some of the alcohol in the wine. Easy fix, I drank this by itself 😛 Best thing about this wine?  Yarra Valley, Victoria, just next to the Glen. I could walk there! Check out the website map.

So, how about the Katnook Estate ‘Odyssey’? This guy sits also in the Distinguished Classification coming from Coonawarra SA. It had a candy nose, viscous, honey, caramel, sweetbreads and cinnamon kind of flavours. Attack is unsurprisingly sweet but sharp, followed by tannins and bacon bits. Transitions into a bit more sweetness on the mid palate but better balanced with the tannins and dryness. Finish is dryer and spicy – sweet white pepper and paprika. Food brings more Asian sweet spices to the wine and I think was a better food match than the Wantirna Amelia. Reminded me of the Best’s ‘Bin O’. I’m not sure about this style of wine, too sweet for my palate and a bit thin but I can see people liking it and obviously they do.

Food wise, I expected the ox cheek to be softer but it was still delicious. I do love me some snails and garlic though! The flavours brought me back to France and reminded me of a slice of Burgundy.

Cullen ‘Diana Madeline’ Cabernet Merlot 2009

Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Tournedo of spring lamb with cannelloni of braised lamb neck. Swiss chard and water cress.

The 5th course was the big one. Two classified Exceptional wines from  Margaret River WA.

The Cullen ‘Diana Madeline’. One of Australia’s greatest cabernets with small portion of Cab Franc (dense and sweet), Malbec (spicy and rich) and Petit verdot (deep concentrated and liquorice). Planted in 1971 on ancient granitic soils and practices biodynamic viticulture to “achieve greater individuality of site by working with and not against nature”. Hand picked, 10-50% is barrel fermented, rest is further matured in 30% new French oak. Just had this recently (see my previous posts?) so I know it’s going to be a bomb! Great toffee and green bramble notes and earthy tones. Attack is a touch of acid with the fruit coming in and out of. Superb balance with an acid backbone and subtle tannins. Finish is long, smooth and rounded mouthfeel, again, perfect balance and long lasting. No unpleasantness whatsoever. Nothing to complain about (besides the price :P) A close close second for the wine of the night, or maybe not, I dunno, I have to try them again.

Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. One of the choicest and beautiful vineyard sites in Australia and makes one of the pinnacle cab savs in Australia. Unirrigated and widely spaced on NE slopes with sandy loams and gravelly red/brown loams over clay. Big on terrior and sustainable viticulture but not fully biodynamic. Also adds cab franc, petit verdot and merlot and longer skin contact during ferment. De stemmed into open tanks and hand plunged 4 times a day and 24 months French oak aging. Another bad boy I was looking forward to try. Vanilla and sweet oak wood notes on the nose. Attack is mellow at first,  then sharp and acidic and complemented well with vanilla a fruit flavours. A more accented and up front wine than the Cullen but still very laid back in style. Finish continues to be mellow with some acidity and lemon rind creating a smoothness but some edge.

Both are so so layered and complex. Cullen is more pleasant to drink, moss wood has slightly higher heat aspect. The Cullen is more acidic and the moss wood is, well, woodyer and earthy. The Cullen is more elegant, softer, moss wood is more powerful but gentle at the same some. I’m just splitting hairs here, they are both very special wines, sensational and just kick ass. Moss wood rounds out my top 3 wines of the night.

The dish with these wines was lamb which was a bit tough and lemony. Both wines matched in different ways, Cullen was more integrated with the taste of the food whist the moss wood lifted and accented the food. In any case, the lamb played a second fiddle to the wines.

 De Bortoli ‘Noble One’

Shadows of Blue caramelized pear
Toasted ginger bread.

Dessert! De Bortoli ‘Noble One’, from the Outstanding Classification is made from Botrytis Semillion in Riverina NSW. This is the benchmark of Australian dessert wines. Ok so I’m pretty sure I was drunk at this point. How do I know? For starters, after visiting the little boy’s room, I thought I was locked out of the restaurant. I was pushing and pulling at the door trying to get in only to find that it was a sliding door. Next, Nat tells me that she may have seen me drifting in and out of sleep or something (thank god I’m asian hey?) but the funniest part was I found two sets of tasting notes! Let’s just say I was being thorough shall we?

Notes 1: Citrus notes, extremely fresh, ginger with pears. Not very viscous, not too sweet. Thin and crisp. The blue cheese and pear matches with the wine very well, very sublime and exquisite. Also goes nicely with just the toasted ginger bread.

Notes 2: Beautiful sweetness, pear and savoury notes. Not viscous, nice balance of sweet and sour. Long finish of figs and orange peel and lovely match with the food especially with the blue cheese and pear.

So they’re kinda the same but you get the picture 🙂 In any case, it was a great desert wine which is hard to find for my palate.

All in all a wonderful night. I met lots of like minded people and made new friends! Got some numbers too (hehe) and invites to other food and wine parties which I can’t say I mind. Hope you enjoyed my wine escapades.

Until next time

Kenny

Frenchy's Bistro on Urbanspoon