Wow, this is one bright purple wine, it almost looks like Ribena. The nose offers up gorgeous aromas of black cherry, blackberry, a hint of oak and some figs. On the palate it is very smooth with blackberry notes, a sour cherry kicker, some tobacco and smoke. The wine reminds me of Lapsang Souchong tea- smoky and earthy yet somehow mild and alluring. An acquired taste for sure. The wine have very integrated tannins and relatively low acidity. I would drink now till 2020 and pair with lighter fare. It begs for Moussaka, roast chicken or even a thick Reuben sandwich. 90 points and 4 stars for this $22 effort. Salut….
Dark blackish purple in the glass. An interesting nose of sweet dark plums, sasparilla, oak and ginger. On the palate I get very precise flavors of plum ganache, dark chocolate, violets and the beginnings of some very fine grained tannins. The mid palate shows a bitterness I can’t figure out. The tannins however really kick in. The finish is a really strange compilation of blueberry pie, oak, astringent tannins and that odd bitterness. It detracts from the full potential of this wine and makes it an 88 point wine IMHO. I paid $12 and give it 4 stars. I would like to re-taste in a few years, perhaps it will mellow out and gain some balance whilst losing the bitterness. Salut….
Very bright purple in the glass. The nose has blackcurrants, oak and cherry reduction. Intriguing. On the palate I get a very delicious attack of black fruits- berry, plum, cherry. The tannic structure is good, bracing yet not too dry. The mouthfeel is really refreshing with some sharp acidity. The mid palate has yet more of the dark fruits plus a mocha component. The winemaker has skillfully managed to hide the 14.5% alcohol and slides some deft tannins in that really grip on the back end. The finish is very dry, with black cherry and cassis. The oak that I got on the nose has seemed to disappear up till the very end. This is a very easy drinking wine that is ready to go right now and will last for another 3-4years. I would pair it with lamb chops, roasted veg and perhaps Beef Ribs slow cooked in a wine reduction. I’m going 90 points and 5 stars for this $13 wine. Buy it by the case. (One critic went 94 points, but then again he always rates high.) Salut….
I splurged, $25 a bottle for Jacobs Creek. It’s not just any JC though. In the glass it is dark, brooding and enticing. Rich, ripe plums on the nose with port wine accent. It smells the business. On the palate, it is super smooth and exhibits rich blackberries, plum extract, caramel, vanilla and a nice toast. The midpalate transition is seamless and the wine continues on to a very long finish. I’m astounded at the depth and purity of this wine. The balance is good but there are barely detectable tannins to go up against the slight acidity. That’s what gives this wine a great mouthfeel, yet detracts from its cellaring potential. It is the style of wine that I would use to introduce a novice red-wine drinker to. Easy on the tannins, the dryness and the acidity. This wine drinks beautifully now and will run well for another 5 years, till 2022. I would serve it with a rich stew, grilled lamb chops or perhaps a very well seasoned Cornish Hen. I’m going 91 points and 4 stars. 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….
The last time I had an Australian Port was in 1999, in Sydney. It never really dawned on me to search them out. I recently got back into Port drinking and just ordered 10 different bottles to try out. This is the first of them and I am looking forward to this adventure.
In the glass it resembles it’s style-tawny… It has a brownish, purply tinge to the see-through base. The nose is nutty, with plum reduction and a hint of oak. There is a certain youth to go along with the mellowed out nuances in the nose of this aged wine. On the palate- orange marmalade, raisins and hazelnut mingle with a plum base. The wine is slightly syrupy and shows nice legs in the glass. The 18% alcohol is well masked and there is a trace of very fine grained tannins running through the mid palate and on to the long finish. Speaking of which, the finish has more of the orange notes I got on the opening as well as some oak, almond and raisin. It lasts a while, with not much sign of the alcohol at all. Overall this is a very tasty dessert wine that has aged nicely and is ready for business. I’m going with 90 points and for $19 this is a 4 star effort. Salut….
One of my favorite Aussie Shiraz is the bigger brother to this wine, but I have not been able to find the McRae Wood anywhere. The Lodge Hill is their entry level Shiraz, the McRae Wood being the $50 effort while their top cuvee is the Armagh, priced around $250.
This one looks decent in the glass, a good solid purple that is ever so see-through. The nose is plum, cedar shavings and Ribena. On the palate is where this wine shines. Not overly extracted or jammy, it offers more plums, dark cherry and herbs. The mid palate continues the theme and ramps up the tannins which are in full force by the time the finish rolls around. The tannic component is very smooth, yet gripping. They leave my upper gums thoroughly dry for a short period. This is a decent wine that is not jammy yet offers lots of flavor. I am serving it with some roast beef, it would pair beautifully with Shish Kebabs and Basmati rice. 89 points from me make this $18 offering a 3 star wine. Salut…..
It was Moxie’s 50th birthday last week so we have been celebrating all month. Her mother took us out for a really nice dinner last night. The very first wine listed was the Schild Shiraz 2014. It was priced right at $30, which is not even double retail, so I took the plunge and ordered it even though the mother-in-law was footing the bill. I just had to try it. You see, I have been chasing this elusive wine for a few years now. Back in 2010 I read a stunning review of their ’08 Shiraz, it got 94 points from WS. I was dying to try it. I then read another, more damning article a year later that put me off- they had ‘made more’ when they ran low. I was stunned and saddened. Yep, read it here. http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/44637
Anyway, I am over it now and the mere sighting of this wine was my nod to go for it. If you look at their earlier vintages, there were a string of 92-94 point years, followed by a slight decline. This wine unfortunately was not in that realm of quality.
Dark purple hues. Nose of black berries, leather and earth. On the palate I get more dark berries, some coffee, chocolate dust and a touch of oak. The mid palate has more dark fruits and a sinewy set of tannins. The finish is quite long and dry with the tannins really kicking in. There is an austerity I cannot put my finger on which detracts from an otherwise very pleasant wine. I drank it with braised Lamb Shank. 89 points and 3 stars for this $16 (retail) effort. In hindsight, I am glad I came across this wine and look forward to future vintages that perhaps will reinstate it to a level it is capable of. 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….