Posts tagged ‘Margaret River’

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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Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 – what i’m drinking at the time 28.06.12

Hey guys, hello again! We got some more Margaret River today this one from Cape Mentelle.

Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

This wine is the flagship of the Cape Mentelle range sourced from the Wallcliffe Vineyard planted by founder David Hohnen in 1970 and sits pretty in the Excellent category in the Langtons Classification. I arrived at dinner to see this wine already in a decanter. It had already been sleeping soundly for two hours so I grabbed a few glasses and dished this guy around the table. I didn’t see the bottle so essentially I tried this wine blind.

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Penfolds, Moss Wood & Mount Mary – what i’m drinking at the time 22.02.2012

Hello everybody! Welcome back to another edition of the Kenny wine show. Today is action packed! I got three wines for you today in celebration of my lovely wife Natalie’s birthday and our 10 year and 1 month anniversary. Lets go!

So we gathered at my parents house today for a lovely dinner. I was nervous because I had invited people over as a surprise. Turns out, Nat actually knew about it already…well played. sigh. Anyways, Dad went crazy over the weekend and not only has he bought out Melbourne of Cullen Diana Madeline, but it seems he has basically done the same with the Moss Wood Cab Sauv (I think there are 6 bottles left, get them now!). He also went nuts on some Penfolds cos they were on special. In any case, much joyous food and drink was had. Here are the boys:

 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Mount Mary Quintet 2007

Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2003

Drink 1

 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

14.5% alc

The first of the bunch was one of the many 07’s found in the wine fridge. I have gone over the history of Moss Wood a few times now (just do a little search in the blog) so nothing much else to say. The 07 rates slightly lower than the 08 so I am interested in how things go. It was aerated into a decanter for almost 4.5 hours. Even so, the nose was much more closed than I expected. I did get some intervals of oak sweetness, but mainly it’s some yellow plums and some dry leafs, herbs and some semi sweet sour red berries. There is also a touch of lemon rind, maybe lemon thyme.

Attack is a bit of tannins and acid mix with some roundness from the oak.  The leafy aspect comes in at the mid palate along with dried orange peel and a big hit of dark berries. Loads of non spicy ground black pepper, black leather, bark and richness like that of a reduced red wine sauce and some toasted oak, throw in some burnt wood. Medium to full body and very smooth and rich mouth feel.

Finish is dark, wooded and brings up that pleasant bitter note with a complete balance of background plums, berries and lemon rind.

Balanced wine, extremely layered, feels older than it is at 6 years. Makes me think the vintage was hot and dry and summer. I am impressed with this effort though I can see why the 08 vintage is better.

Drink 2


Mount Mary Quintet 2007

13.1% alc

Mount Mary is a great little winery in the Yarra Valley and is a winery that let their wines speak for themselves. They are very anti-publicity and is built up from word of mouth. Helps that their Quintet is a cracker wine hey? Mount Mary was started by Dr. John Middleton who has since passed away and now run by his son Dr. David Middleton and family owned. They produce four wines, 2 in the Burgundy style (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) and 2 in the Bordeaux style (Quintet and Triolet). They pride themselves on quality and as such, the 07 was given out to members as a gift as it was thought to not be up to standard. The back of the label reads:

“The wine was produced from secondary fruit as a result of a devastating frost event in the early hours of October 23rd 2006 which destroyed the entire primary crop. Whist significantly different to ‘normal’ vintages it is not without merit and we have released this wine as ‘not for sale’ gift to our dedicated customers who have shared and endured the seasons with us over the years.”

We are very fond of this winery and if you get a chance, look them up and join their mailing list. They only open for tastings 2 weeks a year so clear your calendars. We aerated this wine into a decanter for about 30 mins. Idealy it would have been better if it stayed in the decanter for a full hour but glasses were empty 🙂

Nose is floral and light with violets. It is also a little bit bread and cake with some green icing. Think cup cakes!

Attack is light, some firm tannins and some sour cherry cover the mouth. Mid palate firms up the flavours and gives the wine a tighter mouthfeel. Somewhat like a semi sweet granny smith apple and equally light in body.

Finish is a touch dry, dusty tannins and again a lemon rind but much more present, maybe a little flabby. Lacks sweetness and more terroir driven with little to no oak.

Two different styles, Moss Wood definitely more new world, Mount Mary more old world. I get alot of Cabernet Franc from this wine. Difficult to say which I like more…I am leaning towards the Mount Mary, probably because I am drinking it now! Still, the better wine is definitely the Moss Wood, more complex, more layers, rich, has a better mouth feel and I dare say more balanced.

Drink 3


Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2003

14.5% alc

This wine was opened almost as an after thought, rated around the 93 mark so not to be outdone by its predecessors. Penfolds Bin 28 is a very robust and generously flavoured warm climate Shiraz. Originally named after the Kalimna vineyard from where it was sourced, it is now a multi region and multi blend from Barossa Valley.

The nose on this wine reminded me of peach Lipton ice tea, toasted sesame with liquorice/aniseed notes in the background. I am expecting a very powerful wine.

Attack is a bit bitter, that aniseed flavour comes through and brings some cloves. Not too nice. Transitions into a blackcurrant and walnut notes in the mid palate. Very unbalanced in my book and quite harsh to drink. Brunt wood and overly soaked back tea, rough on the mouth and void of richness to balance the wine’s weight.

Finish is very green, fresh mulch, dirt with the smokey burnt bitter green and black tea.

Errr…..super pass. Nothing good to report. The word stale comes to mind. Sorry guys, I couldn’t finish my glass.

Well, what a downer to finish on, but hey, we got to drink some fantastic wines and eat birthday cake so I can’t complain!

Hope you guys are enjoying the blog posts. Noticed that I got alot of hits for my Fat Duck review so a bit thank you for reading (where are the comments!?!?) I will be going to Vue de Monde in a few weeks so can I get a show of hands via hitting the ‘like’ button or better yet, a quick comment to see if it’s worth me bringing my computer to the dinner? I would love to write a review for you all but it does take a bit of effort and concentration on my part so a bit of support from you lurkers would be appreciated 🙂 Please let me know!

Till the next time, happy birthday Natty, Love you always

Kenny

Vasse Felix Heytesbury 2008 – what i’m drinking at the time 01.02.2012

Aaaannnnndddd were back. Hello hello everyone, I know I haven’t posted much lately but that’s because I haven’t drunk or eaten at a fancy restaurant recently. I know, how shameful of me, but thanks for still checking out my blog. Well, I hope to make it up to you all but reviewing a pretty “up there” wine today, Margaret River’s Vasse Felix Heytesbury 2008.

 Vasse Felix Heytesbury 2008

I must say, I’m been drinking a lot of Margaret River over the past few months and it’s a great place quickly becoming one of my favourite wine regions. The wines coming from that area have been sublime and Vasse Felix is its first winery way back is 1976 by Dr Tom Cullity. This is ment to be a small step down from the top end Cabernet players like Cullen and Moss Wood, but surely holds its own. It has gotten incredible scores, this vintage in particular ranging from 92 to 97 points which, by the way, are ridiculous scores.

This wine is simply called Heytesbury because the percentages of the varieties used changes from year to year. The usual varieties are barrel selections of petit verdot, malbec along with the cabernet sauvingnon, matured in French oak with limited quantity. It’s synergy and blending is very important and is basically Vasse Felix’s signature wine. This vintage has 13% PV, 10% Malbec and the rest Cab Sav at 14.5% alc.

I aerated this into a decanter for about 30mins. Straight off the bat, it’s got a very thick massive nose full of oak and so much vanilla. There is also a lot of toasted cashew nuts. There sweetness is very jammy, like slow cooked fruits almost like warm quince paste. Nothing will distract you from that vanilla and buttered toast/brioche character.

The attach is a mix of sweet blue berries with a line of acidity lemon juice running through it. The mid palate is very very strong and powerful with extremely piercing and concentrated flavours of that jammy “overcooked” fruit and that line of lemon juice. There is also a thin layer of chalk on your tongue which gives a cedar note. The finish is floral and some steams, dried green leaf and tobacco leaf (think cigars) and then at the very end, some acidity.

Initially I didn’t like it. It had a very typical flavour profile, felt like an expensive version of a Barossa wine. The more I drank, the more the flavours came out and showed the layers of the wine and complexity. Its power is the main thing about the wine and gives it an almost regal feature. Defiantly not for the faint hearted, loved by those you want to drink wine on its lonesome and full of bang. I recommend aerating this into a decanter and let it sit for a full 2 hours. This will get you into the complexity of the wine without wasting a drop.

This wine goes for around $76. It’s not a bad wine, it’s actually very good and very impressive. Having said that, you can either spend a touch more and get a better wine, or, spend almost half and get a weaker version of this wine (of course with less complexity but still full in flavours and same general flavour profile). If it was $60, I think its  great value buy. At this price, I find it difficult to not spend the extra $20 and get a better wine. Please note i’m not saying don’t drink this, please do, it’s a great wine, but you gotta think monetary wise also.

Catch you next time

Kenny

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 😉

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