Gold, but a lighter shade. It looks waxy when I swirl the glass, which bodes well for a dessert wine. On the nose it is sublime- apricots, honey, candied pineapple. On the palate this wine is super smooth, somewhat oily in texture and really delicious. I get yellow stone fruits- apricots, peach jam and some honey on the initial attack. The mid palate is silky but I just realized I sense no acidity whatsoever. Glycerin comes to mind when trying to describe the texture I feel on the mid palate. The finish is somewhat dry with a hint of tannins and now I see the emergence of some acidity. Well played Mr. Winemaker, it all comes together right at the end and makes sense. The finish has great fruit notes- in addition to the apricots, there are some almond hints, orange zest and a pineapple streak. Lovely. This is a generous dessert wine that has a nice unctuous texture, plenty of fruit, a nice mouthfeel and the ability to age for decades. It is young but really enjoyable now. Drink till 2035 easily. 95 points. I paid $28 for a half bottle – 5 stars. It was my dessert after grilling the most massive Tomahawk steaks ever. Salut….
It was three years ago that I reviewed the 2006 Piggott Range Syrah from Clarendon Hills. I was blown away and am continuing to enjoy their wines. I bought a bunch of different wines from the winery and have been watching their evolution for some time now.
This time around this wine still shows a nearly inky black color, with no signs of aging. On the nose I get -“Oh my”. Seriously, my first whiff was heavenly. Thick plums, blackberry syrup and a touch of oak. It’s making my mouth water before I have even tasted it.
On the first taste- super smooth introduction to some delightful plums, cassis and blackberry pie. This wine is powerful, yet not jammy. I have always said that Clarendon Hills does Aussie wines in a French style, hence the name Syrah versus Shiraz on the label. The latter from Downunda usually indicates a big jammy thing. The Syrah style is more elegant, less in your face, but they can still be powerful wines- like this one. The extraction is near perfect here with lots of fruit, but not overly done. The mid palate is more cassis but with a touch of enticing heat popping up. The finish is a continuation of the black fruits with a touch of tannins. This wine is 11 years young and shows no sign of letting up. The transformation has begun and there are tertiary flavors starting to evolve. This wine has the backbone and structure to last a fair while, probably till 2030 in my mind. I’m serving it up with Filet Mignons and grilled leeks plus a creamed Kale dish. It would certainly rock a leg of lamb grilled to a pink center with a charred edge. I think this wine has improved and I am giving it 95 points, my previous tasting being so different! The pros range this one from 92-98, an amazing score. It’s currently running $150, which is an astronomical price, but it is a holiday weekend and I am grilling Filets! 5 stars because this wine is just so awesome. Salut….
I have been sitting on this one for a long time. While setting up to cook some Steak au Poivre I decided I needed a heady Australian to accompany us, this one happened to be next in line in my kitchen chiller. Unfortunately the cork crumbled so I had to decant it through a wire mesh to filter out the bits.
At first glance, the wine has a certain amount of bricking and is not very clear. Age will do this to a wine, I hope it is still okay. The first whiff is incredible, very Bordeaux-like. Cassis, leather, plum and spicebox. I am intrigued as to what it beholds. Remember, this bottle is 13 years old…
Amazing, smooth, calculating. This wine is gorgeous! Plum, pepper, tobacco, a touch of oak and some violet. The mid palate is svelte, with extremely tight tannins swirling around the precise acidity, coupled with nuances of blueberry pie and more leather. The finish is great, mid length and a continuation of the story. This wine is drinking beautifully. A blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mataro and 20% Shiraz, it combines the finesse of a Rhone wine with the power of Aussie fruit. Beware the well hidden 14.5% Alcohol, which has probably been a key to why this wine has held together so well and been able to develop tertiary flavors. A gem. 95 points from me and I wish I had more. The critics were mixed about this wine on release, ranging from 89 to 93 points. Just goes to show you what a little time in a dark, cool room will do. I found it online for $50, well worth it for a big occasion. 5 stars from me, Salut….
Run, don’t walk to your local wine shop if you have any desire to taste a delicious Brunello. I don’t have notes on this wine as I drank it at a company hosted dinner and thought it would be rude to whip out the ole iPhone and ignore the boss for the sake of a review. I will say that I took away some main points- it is textbook Sangiovese that is drinking on pointe, the flavors are rich and balanced, the acidity and tannins are right where they need to be and the wine was a superb accompaniment to the Lamb chops with mint sauce.
Good Brunellos will evolve and in their evolution will take on Pinot Noir characteristics reminiscent of aged Burgundy. This wine is on the path and I am super excited for it- the trail is well marked and it has the backbone, stuffing and correct components to get there and provide years of pleasure. While it drinks beautifully now, it will no doubt be an amazing wine in another 10 years and more. The pro’s gave this one huge scores and I will do so as well. 96 was the highest and WS gave it 95. I concur and given its $40 price tag this wine is a steal and worthy of 5+ points. Salut….
The label says Decanter magazine gave it 97 points- that’s huge and worthy of the $35 entry fee. I was actually blown away once I opened this Rioja gem. Thick purple hues in the glass with a solid nose of bramble, blackberry, oak and ginger. Initial attack of super smooth fruits- blackberry, blue berries, orange peel and a dancing acidity that mingles around. Super duper smooth tannins grace the whole mouth and provide an amazing mouthfeel, not sumptuous, nor lean – just present. This is an amazing wine. Mid to back end is where I find some wood, lighter red fruits and as it airs out- more gripping tannins. Not exactly textbook Rioja, it’s a cross with Bordeaux and young Brunello. Simply amazeballs. 95 from me make this a 5 star wine with a long life ahead. 2025-2028. Salut….
Wowsa, this is a huge, delicious, complex, layered, smooth killer of a wine. I wrote that it was purply purple in the glass, can you picture it? Like really beautiful purple hues dancing in the Riedel. Initial nose of heat but then layered plums, blackberries and a hint of eucalyptus. Long, drawn out introduction of plums, blue fruits and raspberry coulis that are wrapped in gorgeous tannins and a hint of acidity. The mid palate is a seamless extension of the upfront fruit and it glides into a long finish. This is one complete wine that absolutely rocks. The combo of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon has never been my favorite but it works so well in this wine. The skillful way in which they have coaxed all this fruit and finesse while hiding the 16% alcohol is amazing. I served this bottle up with some charred/blackened Ribeyes, which was a perfect pairing. I would love to get more and sit on them for another 10 years or so. Pricy at $65, it is a treat to open one of these for a special occasion. 95 points from me and 5 stars, this one is on my radar. Yet another stellar Mollydooker wine from Mclaren Vale, Australia. Salut….
Last weekend I had a big tasting night planned. The Clarendon Hills Syrah was the opener. I was then planning on doing a mini vertical of this wine with a 2011. Problem is that I absolutely loved this bottle and ended up finishing it and saving the other one for another night. I laid out two cheeses to go along with the sweet dessert wines. They deserve their own blog posts- simply out of this world.The wine was poured into my Riedel dessert glass where it showed off a light golden color and had a nose of apricots, honey and almond chips. I made note of a classy smoothness with light botrytis in the initial attack. Honey and melon jam came to mind after letting the wine swirl a bit. The first sensation was of light acidity which became cutting on the mid palate. Apricot tart with a sweet minerality on the back end was a really nice way to tail it off but I was in for a surprise. I timed a rather long finish over 90 seconds which added some cloying sweetness and hazelnuts on the finale. Exquisite and worthy of 95 points from me. Here’s the bonus….. it’s only $20 and I’m buying all I can get in 375ml bottles. If you like sweet wines, this one is an absolute stunner. 5 stars for this sticky. Salut….
One of my many wine missions is to taste the finest of Chile’s Cabernet Sauvignons. I have had several high end wines from the region including Almaviva and my perennial favorite- Don Melchor. Wines like Montes Alpha M have crossed these lips yet that was before this blog existed and I owned a camera phone. The quality and complexity is amazing when you look at what the New World is capable of doing, taking their own terroir and adding it to the mix. Skilled winemakers and joint ventures with the likes of the Rothschilds, Mondavi’s and other world famous vintners has unleashed a slew of exceptional wines that should be tasted to be understood.
This particular wine was first founded by Robert Mondavi and Eduardo Chadwick. It is now in the capable hands of Vina Errazuriz, where they blend the noble Bordeaux grapes into this nectar. I paid $92 to sample this bottle, it was well worth it. Friday night, spring, warm weather and some dry rubbed steaks on the charcoal Weber- what more do I need to say.
On the nose I was attacked with Mulberry and Fig jam, gorgeous. The wine had an amazing smoothness of black berries and blueberry torte. At 3 years of bottle age, it is very round and the tannins are melding nicely giving an immediate drinking timeframe with another 10 years of cellaring potential. I could smell and taste the perfume of Cabernet Franc throughout the evening and made a comment that this wine was ‘sexy and perfumed’. A hint of the Chilean Eucalyptus edged in on the back end but the main profile was definitely a Bordeaux style claret with cassis and a touch of wood to add spice. It ends with a figgy component that I first got on the nose. Superb, in a word. Pricey- sure. 5 stars in my book because I believe this to be a 95 plus wine that I would put up against anything Napa and Bordeaux have got to offer. I know where to get more, I’ll be right back. Salut….
By far one of my favorite wines, Musar is elegant, soft, seductive and powerful all at the same time. I visited the winery several years ago and came away with 4 Magnums from 2 vintages that I am saving for the right occasion. This particular wine was served at a birthday dinner at the famous Peak Lookout Cafe on Hong Kong island, perched on top of the world. I don’t see Musar on many wine lists so I grab it when I can. I remember buying it in the Dubai Duty Free on arrival for $16 per bottle and drinking it with pizza. Nowadays it must run closer to $50.
The wine is mainly Cinsault, with Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon supporting. Pinkish red in the glass with some bricking on the edges leaves you wondering if the wine is too old. Alas, it is always this way and this wine is young and vibrant. A delicate nose evolves and cinnamon, earth and red fruits come wafting out. The first taste reminded me of all those bottles I have had in the years gone by. No two bottles, let alone vintages are exactly the same with this winery, yet they all have that unique Musar taste. One of my mates hated it, the others loved it. It’s just that way.
The red fruits and spices really melded well with the funk and earth of the wine and the silkiness was amazing. The wine was well balanced between acidity, underlying tannins and fruit. As you can tell I am passionate about this wine and look forward to every bottle with anticipation. 95 points for me and 5 stars for this beauty. We drank it with Lamb Chops and mint sauce, a perfect combination. Salut….