A deep purple wine with medium opacity. On the nose it is lush, full of ripe plums, graced by a deft hand of oak and blackberries. On the palate I get a more licorice and coffee initial attack. The dark fruits appear on the mid palate. There is not as much plum as I had been led to believe, but the juicy acidity makes me forget quickly. The tannins are lithe, making this a drink-now wine. The finish is more tart blueberry than blackberry. Somewhat short in the backend. A tasty wine that merits 88 points from me. For $20 it gets 3 stars. Drink till 2021 with some burgers, pizza or lasagna. Salut….
Very dark in the glass. Nose of black jam, eucalyptus and charcoal. On the palate there’s a rich warm black currant note with lithe tannins and a fruitcake hint. The mid palate is very smooth with a tannic bite that kicks in. The finish is gentler, mid length and chock full of black jam, cedar and a touch of vanilla bean. 91 points and 4 stars for this $29 effort. Drink till 2030. Salut….
In the glass this Merlot shows a slightly paler purple than I was expecting. The nose, after I performed the ‘Shake‘ exhibits gorgeous black berry and cinnamon notes. On the palate I am greeted with a really smooth dose of Ribena, some meaty notes, and a fresh ensemble of tannins that are ever present but not cloying. The wine is full flavored, make no mistake- but it does so with a very gentle build-up. Extraction is at its fullest and with that comes a well hidden 14.5% alcohol. The mid palate is somewhat muted after the initial uptake, the finish is where it’s at. More dark berries emerge as well as a blueberry pie component. I hate to say it, but this wine needs a touch more oak. Yup, I said it. Not lashings, but a tiny more vanilla, perhaps a little more tannic bite. At one point I’m sure the wine had plenty of it, perhaps just fading at this point. The structure is good though and the wine is balanced. I would drink up as the wine is at peak and there is not much in the way of tertiary flavors. It is relatively easy-going and will do well with a variety of dishes. I am going with 90 points and 4 stars for this $28 effort. Salut….
I have written about the Mollydooker Two Left Feet 2012 vintage before. I sat on this bottle for an eternity and since we are moving house, it’s time to drink up. I have not read my old review so as not to taint this one.
I must say, all Mollydooker red wines appear dark and very purply in the glass. This one is no exception. Extraction is the key to their success methinks. It has a nose of plums, sarsaparilla, fig. I already performed the Mollydooker Shake in case you were wondering. The palate gives up super smooth flavors of blue fruits. Blueberry, plum, currant jam, that root beer thing again and some super ingrained tannins. Like, so smooth and barely detectable. The astringency hits on the finish, but the wine drinks beautifully with nice, if somewhat restrained acidity. The mouthfeel on this wine is sublime, extracted, rich and smooth. The finish shows a faint trace of the well hidden, monstrous 16% alcohol. Beware…
I am pairing it with pan seared Flat-Iron steak that I coated with Santa Maria rub, plus some sautéed mushrooms, a tomato salad and edamame to boot. 91 points from me for this $25 offering. 5 stars for this blend of 69% Shiraz, 16% Cabernet, 15% Merlot. Salut….
I drank the 2011 Parson’s Nose a while back, enjoying it so much that I saw this vintage and had to try it. It is inky black in the glass. It smells of coffee, anise and plums. It tastes of black berries, anise and espresso. The coffee flavors are really hitting me today. The wine has a great mouthfeel, very smooth, inviting and it hides the 14.5% alcohol very deftly. The mid palate has more berries, but now more on the blue side, with ever so slight tannins making an entrance. They build into the finish and leave me with a nice dryness on the gums, not too much. The whole package is really tasty, not over-extracted like so many Aussie Shiraz’s can be. I paid $18 for it but it looks to be on sale for under $14 online. Folks- this is a 91 point wine in my books and for that price, they may not have much left after I get done. 5 stars. Salut….
This was the second Sigston Swift bottle at our tasting, the other being the Aunt Prissy Tempranillo. This Reserve Shiraz has a bit of bottle age on it and is drinking well. A nice purple color that leaves a sexy set of legs on the glass and introduces you to a nose of gorgeous black and blue currants. I’m missing the telltale white pepper notes associated with Mclaren Vale Shiraz, but they are replaced with some vanilla that I’m really liking. On the initial attack I get black berry torte, some blueberry pie and a touch of cinnamon. Mid palate wise it just flows on from the front end. The wine finishes with perfume, some slight tannins and black cherries. I think this wine is worthy of 87 points and 3 stars for its $15 price point. Drink now-2018. Salut….
A friend brought this to the tasting, and I was impressed. I was not expecting a Tempranillo from Australia, nor one that was this delicious.
Dark purple, with lots of extraction. A full on nose of black currants, a hint of earth/dust and possibly some eucalyptus. A super smooth intro of Ribena, black olive and spice on the palate. The tannins are very integrated and there is a nice touch of acidity. The mid palate gives black fruit and an interesting note of bell peppers. This wine drinks well now and will drink nicely all by itself or perhaps with some charcuterie. It may have some cellaring capacity but the structure calls for pop-n-pour. It closes with a sour cherry note and a mid length finish that I enjoyed. I’m not sure if much oak influenced this wine but the relatively low 13% alcohol makes it a treat to drink. I really like this wine and look forward to it becoming more widely available. A very respectable 88 points from me and 4 stars for its $15 price point. Salut….
I have had the 2008 Dead Arm from Mclaren Vale before and thoroughly enjoyed it. This bottle has been sitting longer in the cellar and comes with very lofty ratings from the pros. I decided it was just what I needed with the Sunday Roast. It was a perfect pairing. I found myself wondering about this wine and how best to describe it. My thoughts are this- it is pubescent. Not young and primal anymore, yet not fully blossomed into that full blown creature it has the potential for. It is at a crossroads in its evolution. Stick with me…
A hazy purple in the glass with a nose of mature plum, star anise and cocoa.
Super smooth entry with blueberry, damson and oak. Levels of flavor lead to a somewhat complex wine that is primarily fruit driven right now but I could see evolution into secondary flavors. Still quite tannic with opposing acidity make this a young and balanced wine that will age gracefully. 92 points, 2014-2025 and for $50 make this a 4 star wine worthy of cellaring. Here’s the kick: RP gave it 95 points with a drinking window of 2018-2036 while on the other side of the fence WS gave it 91 points with a drinking window of 2009-2016. Very opposing views of aging capacity and technical merits. Five years after their initial write-ups and I am in the middle of both parties as to the ratings and aging potential. Perhaps provenance and cellar conditions will be the greatest influence from here on in. Either way, bang for the buck you can’t go wrong with this polished Shiraz from down under. Salut….
If you have read any of my Clarendon posts you will know that I love this winery and can’t get enough of their subtle yet complex Syrahs, Cabernets and Grenaches. This particular Mclaren Vale offering was opened to go along with my new favorite grilled meat- Chorizo. I loaded up two giant Ribeye steaks (the butcher had labelled them Delmonico’s, all hoity toity) some onions and a half dozen of the Mexican sausages on the charcoal grill and opened this beauty to sip while I got the rest of dinner ready.
Thick purple color is always a good start for Cabernet Sauvignon. Fresh blue fruits with some mint greeted my flaring nostrils- perhaps a touch of alcohol was coming off the glass. Unique plum compote and blueberry coulis flavors were my initial impression but I began to think the wine is still primal with full fruit and a whiff of heat attacking the mid palate. Moderate tannins and cutting acidity belie a still young wine waiting to mature. Eucalyptus and mulberry came into being on the back end with cassis and red fruits adding to the long finish. The 14.5% alcohol was hidden after a while, blown off from it’s early attack. The wine is structured, balanced and a joy to drink. I would imagine it could cellar for another 15 years easily. $75 and 94 points from me make this a treat of a wine that gets 5 stars for a special occasion. Salut….
Every once in a while I come across a score that I totally disagree with. This one is definitely in that camp. The wine was a dark purple in the glass which was a good start. On the nose I coaxed fruits of blue and red currants by swirling like crazy. Once I tasted the wine I wrote ‘Picture blue plums’. That’s all I could muster. Bracing acidity with mild tannins made for a rather boring drink that I was trying to pair with some Hanger steak. Two of the reviews gave this McLaren Vale Shiraz 93 points and WS gave it 88. I’m going with 87 personally and for the $20 retail price, it gets 2 stars. Salut….