Thursday, January 30, 2014

Drinking My Own Words



Hell may as well freeze over because the unimaginable has happened – I’m actually excited about Sauv Blanc… (Pause for grasps). 

I have always been very open and expressive about how I feel about Sauv Blanc, especially the NZ ones. I find them very boring, generic and simply un-exciting. But things changed when I tried Sidewood Estate's Sauv Blanc from Adelaide Hills. This Sauvy may even be good enough to woo the biggest Sauv hater into a fan!

2013 Sidewood Sauv Blanc
My first experience of Sidewood Estate was just before Christmas when I tried their Vintage Isabella Sparkling Rose (which will feature in a line up of Adelaide Hills Fizz later). It Caught me by surprise and all I could muster was a "Whoa! Where did these guys come from?" So you can imagine how skeptical, yet hopeful, I was when when the Sauv Blanc delivery arrived.

I found out it scored 94pts from wine writer James Halliday. I thought, “that's a big score,” so I gave it a crack, seeing as I did love the fizz. And boy did it deliver the goods. This Adelaide Hills winery is knocking out some wonderful wines.
  
Notes:
Light yellow in the glass, with a green hue. Very herbaceous on the nose giving way to citrus and ripe passion fruit behind. On the palate you get a crisp acid hit followed by lime and lemon showing good fruit and acid balance. Long finish with lime all the way and a little bit of oiliness.

Show Stopping Sauv Blanc!
The key to this wine is it's balance of fruit and acid, It has depth and complexity. I'm going to score this one a solid 92pts. This has defiantly put Sauv Blanc back on the map for me and has opened my eyes again as how good Sauv Blanc can be when done right.

It has gone onto win a plethora of gold medals and awards around the country. Quite frankly it deserves everyone of them but if you're still a skeptic. I'd suggest picking one up yourself to try, as this wine more than speaks for its self.

For now Ciao,

B

Friday, December 13, 2013

What Were They Thinking!?!?

A few months ago was the Royal Adelaide Wine Show and as a self confessed wine nerd I found myself eagerly awaiting the results to be published. I did have an opportunity to go to the tasting but unfortunately my paying day job once again got in the way! A mate of mine did attend however and brought back with him a book of results. Browsing through the results for each class showed some interesting outcomes to say the least.

Jacobs Creek 2012 & 2013 Classic Riesling
One that peaked my interest in particular was Section 1 (Still Wine), Class 5 (2013 Riesling) and 6 (2012 Riesling). Where the 2012 Jacobs Creek Classic Riesling had taken a gold medal in class 6 and the 2013 picked up a silver medal in class 5. In fact the 2012 Riesling was the highest point scoring Riesling in its class!  Now as it often does, curiosity had got the better of me and I decided to take a look at these two wines.




2012 Jacobs Creek Classic Riesling

The Jacobs Creek Classic Range retails for around $11ish and is the entry level wine range for the Jacobs Creek label. They are a regional blend and the fruit parcels come from all over South Eastern Australia. The Classic range Riesling's are a dry style Riesling.

The 2012 scored a whopping 18.7pts out of a maximum 20 and was the highest point scoring Riesling in its class. These are my notes on the wine.

Pale straw in color. lemon rind on the nose little bit of minerality behind that. Right up front you get a tart zingy granny smith green apple acid hit, that fades away to reveal ripe lemon juice.
No great length and finishes with minerals and lime rind. 86pts



2013 Jacobs Creek Classic Riesling

The 2013 scored a respectable 17.7 points out of 20 and was only 1.1pts away form the top score. The crazies at the Royal Melbourne Show awarded it a "Best Riesling on Show' Trophy!! These are my notes.

Pale straw in color, mineral nose revealing some slight floral notes. On the palate you first get Intense crisp acid followed by lime flavors. Very short finish disappearing with lemon hints. lacks depth and structure 85pts




So are these wines worthy of their point scores, medals and tropthys???

Quite simply NO! These wines lack the depth, structure and complexity to be show medal winning wines! They are simple and lack balance. There were far more "worthy" wines in the same classes I'd grab off the shelf before these.

Does this mean they are bad wines? By all means no, they are great wines to drink on a Tuesday that you don't have to think about and are not going to break the bank. They are user friendly, easy to drink and un-offensive.

Unfortunately these were not the only results I failed to understand from the Royal Adelaide Wine Show. Which really left me thinking, what were the judges looking for? What were they thinking!?!?

For now Ciao,

B







Sunday, December 1, 2013

So What Does a Wine Nerd Drink?

Hey All, It's your boy B!

It's been a long time between blog post / drinks. In this time I have been really exploring my inner wine nerd. Yes that's right I'll admit it, I'm a full on wine nerd and proud! lately I've been drinking some of the wines that I LOVE to drink. These wines aren't particularly easy to talk about, hence the activity of the blog dropping off. 

My Work Jacket, Wine Nerd and Proud


One of the most common questions people ask me when they find out I'm into wine is "what's your favorite wine?". Well that's not a particularly easy question to answer. It's like being asked "Which one of your children is your favorite?". I don't have one particular favorite wine, but I'm going to share some of the wines with you that I enjoy the most.






"We all know, All Roads Lead To Burgundy!"

That's a direct quote from a winemaker, when discussing favorite wines and region. It's true though the more you find yourself getting into wine, the more fascinating Burgundy becomes as a region. Now I can already hear everyone going WTF is Burgundy!?!? Burgundy is a Appellation (region) in Eastern France, like the Barossa or Margaret River.

Burgundy is known for two things Pinot Noir (Red Burgundy) and Chardonnay (White Burgundy). It's also home to some of the worlds most expensive wines. A bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (AKA DRC), La Tache is going to run you around $4,500! But boy is it BLOODY good though!

The first of my many favorites



2011, Leflaive, Macon-Verze
Domaine Laflaive, Macon-Verze. This is my go to white Burgundy and a great place to start. You can pick this star up for a humble $40ish. This is highly regarded as the best Quality to Price Ratio (QPR) Burgundy on the market. I've taken notes on this wine twice for the 2011 vintage, completely forgetting about taking the first set of notes. This is what I had to say.

Pale yellow straw in color. Citrus zest and some minerals with great acid structure through the middle. Quite a simple wine and a little young but great value for money. 89pts

This is probably one of the best value white burgundy's going. Pale straw color, lemon rind bit of lime zestiness and some minerality coming through. It is a simple wine but just great for the money. Only thing wrong with this is, it's still a little young. 89pts

An outsider looking in



Timo Mayer "The Doktor" Riesling 2010

I LOVE German Riesling! No wait that didn't come off right, lets try that again. I LOVE German Riesling, not sure how I can portray how much I love it in text..... In fact I beg you to try a German Riesling before the years out. This one is from wine maker Timo Mayer out of the Yarra Vally in Victoria. Timo has sourced the fruit from Remstal, near Stuttgart in the southern Germany. Again you can pick this up for around the $40 mark. This is a dry style Riesling and perfect for the upcoming summer.

These are my notes.

This is a "Big Riesling", great acid structure. I get lemon curd, lime cordial and hints of granny smith green apples on the palate. Good structure and mouth feel with a long finish. 92pts

 See it all leads back to Burgundy



2007 Domaine Henri Gouges, Nuits St. Georges,
1er Cru Clos des Porrets St. Georges
This is where I always end up and where most of my money ends up too I must confess. One of my favorite Sub Appellation's is Nutis St George in Northern Burgundy. This is also one of my favorite producers, Domaine Henri Gouges. 

This wine is 2007 Domaine Henri Gouges, Nuits St. Georges, 1er Cru Clos des Porrets - St. Georges. This one is going to set you back about $125ish.

Okay I'm going to break this down for you because that will confuse the best of us. First "Domaine Henri Gouges" is simply the producer. Next "Nuits St. Georges" this is the sub region of burgundy of which the wine comes from. Lastly "1er Cru, Clos des Porrets - St. Georges". The "1er Cru" designates its a "Premier Cru" wine which is a vineyard quality classification system. The "Clos des Porrets - St. Georges" tells you what Premier Cru Vineyard the wine comes from. I'll cover and explain the Appellation and Cru systems in more depth in a upcoming blog post.

Enough with that jargon B, So what does it taste like? I hear you say, these are my notes.

In the glass the color is more Maroon and lightens towards the edge. This was quite aromatic and the nose had a "old word" and barn yard about it, quite floral I got rose, cherry and a little bit of oak behind it. Medium weight on the palate, tart cherry with quite a big but smooth acid structure straight through the middle. It wasn't overly long but the length was acceptable. This Pinot is drinking super well at the moment and I'm totally digging Henri's vibe and style. 92pts
  
Well that covers a few of my favorites and you get a little idea on what us wine nerds drink.

For Now Ciao,

B



Friday, April 5, 2013

Taste, Taste, Taste!

Tastings, I like to go to as many tasting as possible.

I think it's a great way to introduce diversity into your "wine life". I find they work best if you go with an open mind, try that wine you aren't familiar with, go to that winery's stand you've never heard of.

I though it would be nice to give you all a lil heads up on some of the tastings I will be going to over the next few weeks / months that I think are worth while attending.

#1 - EastEndWineDown - $30 - Sunday 7th of April, 12pm to 5pm - Vardon Ave, East End, Adelaide

This is put on by East End Cellars and a few other people. There are few interesting winery's at this one I'm keen to checkout, see what they are doing and have out. Alpha Box & Dice one winery I consider "ahead of the curve" when it comes to the direction wine is headed in, in Australia. Oliver's Taranga and Golding just to name a few others I'm also keen on.

There's a heap of winery's that will be there for more details / tickets follow the link below

EastEndWineDown

#2 Mont Redon Chateauneuf du Pape Masterclass - $25 - Wednesday 10th April, 6:30pm to 8pm - Edinburgh Cellars, Mitcham, Adelaide

Being a huge fan of Chateauneuf du Pape this is a must for me especially since there is a chance to taste all the way back to the 1978 vintage. With those unfamiliar with Chateauneuf du Pape, it's an appellation (aka region) in France known for growing Grenache and making blends. Think GSM, Grenache, Shriaz, Mourvèdre.

For more info check out the link below or to book call 8373 2753

Edinburgh Cellars

#3 - Fassina SA & NZ Boutique Wine Tasting - $15 ($10 refunded on purchase) - Wednesday 17th April, 7:30pm onwards - Fassina, 37 Oaklands Rd, Somerton Park, Adelaide

A tasting put on by Fassina Liquor showcasing Muster Wine Co's portfolio. Muster Wine Co's portfolio contains a few of my favorite wines. Dalzotto who make an awesome Prosecco, Kangarilla Rd who are growing some awesome Italian varietals that are starting to get popular in Australia. Huia wines from NZ and a few other International winery's.

This is defiantly a worth while tasting to sus out. To book call Fassina Somerton Park on 8376 1848

#4 Game of Rhones - $45 - Friday 26th July - Ormond Hall, 557 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

A tasting showcasing the varietals grown in the Rhone Valley from France. These include Shriaz, Grenache, Mourvèdre and some cool grapes you may not be so familiar with Carignan, Cinsault, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. There will be producers from all over the world such as Australia, America, NZ and France showing their wine. The Rhone Valley style's of wine is very up and coming in Australia and this is a great chance to get familiar with them and with a trailer like this who can resist?


For more info check out the following links

Facebook Page and Website

So that's it for the moment, I hope to see you at some of these events trying something new!

For now Ciao!

B

Monday, April 1, 2013

Grüner Veltliner Show Down







                       VS




Does Australia have what it takes to produce an Austrian classic?

A couple of years ago I was looking for a bottle of white, feeling pretty open minded and bored of the usual's I stumbled across something I couldn't even pronounce at the time! This was a bottle of Grüner Veltliner, and a start to a whole new wine journey for me.

Grüner Veltliner (It's pronounced Grooner) is a white wine grape verity best known for growing in Austria. In 2006 it first made its way to Australia with the Hahndorf Hill Winery bringing in the vines. 2009 saw the first bottle produced in Australia by Lark Hill in Canberra.

I have come to fall in love with Grüner's over the years they suit our drinking climate very well, as they have light acid tones and a nice little hint of white pepper on the back palate. It's that wine you want to be drinking with a nice Antipasto dish sitting out the back with friends, or it's just as well suited to the Roast Chicken your mum cooks on a Sunday night!

Last vintage saw 3 producers in Australia make a Grüner Veltliner, and this 2013 vintage is set to shoot up to around 10 or so. This is defiantly a variety starting to take off in Australia. 

Today I'm going to mix things up a bit and bring you a side by side tasting of three Grüner Veltliner's. Two of them from Australia and one from Austria. So without further adieu I would like to introduce the 2012 Hahndorf Hill Grüner Veltliner, The 2011 K1 by Geoff Hardy Grüner Veltliner and finally all the way from Austria the 2009 Fred Loimer Grüner Veltliner.

Hahndorf Hill, K1 and Loimer Grüner Veltliner's

The side by side tasting is going to be done via video and I'm not going to lie I was a little nervous but I think it came out alright for my first one, check it out below.


Click This Link To View Video

There's always 1,000,001 things I'd like to say but, didnt get a chance too. If you have any thoughts or questions feel free to send them in.

So for now as always Ciao,

B

Sunday, March 24, 2013

365 Days Of Wine and Food, Sounds just like my kind of thing!



Today I thought I'd write a quick blog to give everyone a bit of a heads up on some cool things going on in Adelaide.

The South Australian Wine Industry Association and the South Australian Government have launched a new initiative called 365 Days of Wine and Food. The idea is that there is a food and wine event on every day of the year. To help promote these events they have created an iPhone and Android app available to be downloaded for free via your mobiles app store.

You can browse day by day to see what events are going on. You can even add events that you would like to go to on a planner.

It's at this point I would like to say that in no way or form am I associated with this event or app at all. I just think its a brilliant idea and a great way to showcase the food and wine culture in Adelaide.

Friday night I wondered down to a free tasting they held on Leigh St in the CBD. It was great to see so many winery's big and small attending. It was also great to see despite the weather the amount of people that turned out. I tasted at Elderton Wines of the Barossa, Pennalane from the Clare Valley, Oliver's Taranga and Beach Rd Wines from McLaren Vale. For me the highlight was Beach Rd, they are doing some really different things and its good to see. The Greco and Nero D'Avola is a must try for the serious wine lover!

So download the app like the Facebook page and get along to a few events I know I will.

P.S. This works even better if you keep an open mind, go somewhere you haven't, try something you haven't heard of. You never know you might find a new favorite!

For now Ciao,

B


365 Days of Food and Wine Facebook Link