At 14 years of age this beauty is showing well in the glass. Dark purple, opaque and leggy. The cork was very soft so I had to pressurize it out, the corkscrew was going to crumble it otherwise. On the nose I get blackberries, cigar box, plum and black licorice. The initial palate is stunning- blue and blackberry ganache, cassis, leather, cedar and oregano. Sublime tannins are ever present but very integrated. The mid palate picks up some lapsang souchong tea, espresso and mocha. The finish is finely balanced between the great tannins and a beautiful acidity that makes my jaw water on the long finish. This is a sublime wine that has mellowed and matured to a great pinnacle. Drink this wine by itself or pair it with char-grilled steaks and garlic mash. 95 points and 4 stars for this $140 blend of Cab Sav, Carmenere, Cab Franc and Merlot. Drink till 2025. Salut….
If you look at my previous reviews of this amazing Bella’s Garden, you will see some differences, and some similarities over the years. This wine has evolved beautifully and the fact that I picked up extras is awesome, for me!
Nearly black in the glass and somewhat surprising with it’s lack of legs considering the monster 15.5% alcohol. On the nose it’s very rich with dark plums, black berries, cinnamon stick. The palate is lush, rich, layered and delightful. Dark fruits meld with extremely well integrated tannins, deft oak and syrupy cassis. The mid palate is gorgeous, bright dashes of those black fruits with a great mouthfeel which balances the tannins with a touch of acidity. This wine is young at 9 years. Primal fruit is still in full force with a great structure which will assure a long cellaring potential and the possibility of tertiary flavors evolving. The finish is long, filled with blackberry reduction and black tea. There’s a nice hint of vanilla on the back end. Great wine. 95 points. 5 stars for this $75 jewel. Drink till 2035. Salut….
You know you’re in for a bombastic treat when the label says Shiraz and the wine comes out inky in color and very dense. The nose is delightful- full of plum, espresso, cedar plank, elderberry syrup and a vanilla hint. On the palate it is more restrained than I was expecting, more silky, smoother, with much more depth. This is indeed a powerful wine, but in a more stately fashion. It shows the dark fruits I mentioned plus a really tight knit tannic structure that couples with the acidity to give an amazing mouthfeel. The elderberry syrup component really kicks in on the mid palate, it is so silky smooth. The finish is long, and full of fruit. The tannins are perfectly in sync and do not overpower the flavors. This is a delicious wine that has aged nicely and will continue to do so for many years. Drink with pretty much any grilled meat or all by itself. Beware the well hidden 15.5% alcohol, it may sneak up! The pros went big on this wine, which was WS #3 wine of the year in 2012, I can see why. 95 points and 5 stars for this treat that comes in at $75, if you can find it. Drink till 2024 at the least. Ps. I originally bought 2 bottles, and then another six afterwards. See my other two posts on Bella’s Garden. Salut….
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….