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Tag Archive | "australian wine"

Review: 2012 Kilikanoon Riesling

By Duane Pemberton
Winery website: http://www.kilikanoon.com.au/

Even though Australia is primarily known for its outstanding Shiraz, it’s also home to some very good white wines as well – like this 2012 Riesling from Kilikanoon. It’s dry, finishes very well and for sure plays along very well with various kinds of food.

Technical Data: 

  • Residual Sugar: 1.8g/L – dry
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Price: $20 (AUS)

On the nose: Green apple, mango, blood orange, grapefruit, pear and white peaches.

On the palate: Beautiful acidity going on here with notes of stone fruit, green apple and citrus which linger on in a superbly clean finish. A world-class Riesling but is a bit pricey for one from Australia – I think in the USA market it may have a tough time competing with the likes of Rieslings from Washington such as Poet’s Leap or Eroica. 

W.E.P. Rating: 95%

 

Posted in Australia Wines, Reviews, RieslingComments (0)

2006 d’Arenberg Sticks and Stones

Australian winery, d’Arenberg, has been producing wines in the McLaren Vale region for a long time and uses vines that are well over 100 years old. For many Aussies, they are a go-to brand that have and should continue to offer quality wines for generations.

One of its higher-end wines is the Sticks and Stones blend that incorporates Tempranillo, Grenache and two grapes I’m sure a lot of folks haven’t heard of – Tintacao and Souzao – both of which are Portuguese varietals.

  • Varietal Composition: Tempranillo 45%, Grenache 38%, Tinta Cao 10% & Souzao 7%
  • TA: 6.9g/L
  • pH: 3.44
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Fermentation: Cultivated yeast fermentation in cement and stainless steel vessels
  • Oak Maturation: 10 to 12 months in French and American oak
  • Price: $40

Nose: The smell of high-school pottery class while eating a handful of raspberries, gooseberries and cherries.

Taste: Tart rhubarb that’s been dusted with red dirt and modeling clay. The mid palate does have some of the nice red fruits I picked up in the smell, however, the finish on this wine is very jacked up for me – not feeling it at all. Yeah, hot finish, very bitter and too short – I’d avoid this wine like the plague right now. Sticks and Stones may only break bones but this finish is gonna kill me.

W.E.P Rating: 20%

Posted in Australia Wines, Grenache, Reviews, Souzao, Tempranillo, Tinta CaoComments (0)

2008 Plantagenet Riesling

Plantegenet Wines is located in the “Great Southern” region of Australia – where an English migrant named Tony Smith bought some land and planted grapes. He started off with Cab Sauv and Shiraz – later planting Riesling. While I know many folks don’t think about Australia for great Riesling, I can tell you that after my time with this bottle- I’m a believer.

Technical Details

  • Alcohol: 11.7%v/v
  • Total Acidity: 7.3 g/L
  • pH: 3.05
  • Residual sugar: 1.1 g/L
  • Brix at harvest: between 19-21.4
  • Price: $22

Nose: Green apples, tons of minerals – I’m getting some river-rock action, copper, and steel. I also get a nice touch of grapefruit as well.

Taste: Right off the bat, you could swear this wine was made in Alsace – the dry, mineral-driven aspects of this wine can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. It has a super-clean, palate-cleansing acidity that I’m willing to commit adultery with. The finish layers on tons of minerals, granny smith apples, grapefruit, kiwi and some hints of rhubarb. This is a kick-ass wine and one that really needs to be saught out by dry riesling lovers everywhere.

W.E.P. Rating: 120%

On the web: www.plantagenetwines.com

Posted in Australia Wines, Reviews, RieslingComments (0)

A pair of 2007 Reds from John Duval

There is perhaps no more well-known Australian winemaker, in America, than John Duval. The pedigree and fame he acquired back in the glory-days of Penfold’s Estate have been well-deserved and have continued to this day to follow John around. His approach to making world-class wines has clearly spoke for itself over the years – get out of the way, and let great grapes from great vineyards do the talking.

For those not too familiar with John, you should seek out his wines if you get the chance – you’ll most likely be glad you did.

Australian wines – as of late – have unfortunately developed a stereotype over being over-the-top fruit, lots of oak and basically wines that’ll rip your face off. Thankfully, however, there are many quality producers there now who are getting back to the basics of great winemaking and let the grapes do the work.

2007 Plexus – W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Technical Data:

  • Region: Barossa Valley
  • Varieties: Shiraz 51%, Grenache 28%, Mourvedre 21%
  • Shiraz was sourced from vineyards in the Stockwell, Light Pass, Krondorf and Marananga regions.
  • Grenache from old bush vines 50-60 years old from Stockwell, Light Pass and Krondorf regions.
  • Mourvedre from old bush vines, the oldest over 100 years old, from the Light Pass and Krondorf regions.
  • Winemaking: Fermentation with submerged cap in both traditional old open top tanks and small stainless steel fermenters
  • Oak Maturation: 100% barrel matured for 16 months. Some Shiraz finished fermentation in new oak. 10% new fine grain French oak hogsheads (300 litres), balance; 3 years and older mostly French oak.
  • Alcohol 14.5%
  • pH 3.55
  • TA 6.5g/l
  • Price: $40

Nose: Jammy raspberries, blueberries, boysenberry, chocolate, road-tar and elmer’s paste

Taste: Black cherry soda with a healthy amount of dark chocolate-covered blueberries and raspberries. An insane mouthfeel that’s like a piece of velvet slipping across the tongue. Excellent notes of cinnamon, clove and black licorice round-out the ever-lasting finish.

2007 Entity Shiraz – W.E.P. Rating: 100%

Technical Data:

  • Region: Barossa Valley
  • Variety: Shiraz: Sourced from old vineyards in the Krondorf, Marananga, Tanunda, Light Pass and Eden Valley regions of the Barossa Valley
  • Winemaking: Fermentation with submerged cap in both traditional old open and small stainless steel fermenters
  • Oak Maturation: 100% barrel maturation for 17 months with 30% new fine grain French oak and the balance; 2, 3 and 4 year-old French and American oak hogsheads (300 1itres). Some batches finished fermentation in new barrels
  • Alcohol 14.5%
  • pH 3.57
  • TA 6.6g/l
  • Price: $40

Nose: Black tar with wild game and black pepper – plum skin and chocolate.

Taste: Blackberry jam with crushed blueberries toss into the mix and then topped with pepper and spread over venison. A lush wine with great body and mouthfeel, tannin structure and one that should easily lay down for the next 5-10 years under ideal temps. The finish hangs around like a lost puppy at your doorstep and refuses to stop making your tongue its slave. A billiant effort from a winemaker that knows Shiraz like none other.

John Duval website: www.johnduvalwines.com

Posted in Australia Wines, Reviews, ShirazComments (0)

Brokenwood Semillon 3-way Review

As many Americans are discovering riesling as a wonderful white grape  – Austrailan wine producers are really ratcheting up their production of an often over-looked grape – Semillon. This grape is typically a very food-friendly wine with good acidty that leaves your mouth feeling very clean afterwards – it’s generally not a variety that folks who love a velvety mouthfeel would gravitate towards.

Brokenwood wines was established in 1970 and had its first vintage in 1973 – its been fully cemented as a premium Austrailian producer that has a razor-sharp focus on producing wines which not only reflect each vineyard’s unique terroir – but ones that they feel offer a good experience for the money and as you may know – I’m all about that.

2008 Cricket Pitch Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon Blend – W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Technical Data

  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Acidity: 6.60
  • pH: 3.35
  • Residual Sugar: 3.35
  • Price: $19

Nose: Honey, dill, limestone, kowi, mango and lemon.

Taste: Bright acidity coming through with nice layers of straw-laden citrus fruits with an ever-so-slight touch of honey. A very crisp and decently-long finish and a surprisingly great mouth-feel – a quintessential shellfish wine that should be near the top of your list.

2008 Hunter Valley Semillon – W.E.P. Rating: 95%

Technical Data:

  • Alcohol: 10.0%
  • Grapes:
  • Acidity: g/L
  • pH:
  • Residual Sugar: g/L
  • Price: $20

Nose: Honeydew, stone-fruit, chalk-dust, elmer’s paste and some flintiness.

Taste: Okay, so who’s the wiseguy that went and lit the match? A nice attack of citrus, lemon/lime zest, grapefruit pulp and kiwi combined with razor-sharp acidity make this wine a natural with all sorts of seafoods.

2005 Brycefield/Belford Vineyard Semillon – W.E.P. Rating: 100%

Technical Data:

  • Alcohol: 10%
  • Acidity: 6.6
  • pH: 3.03
  • Residual Sugar: 2.0 g/L
  • Cooperage: 100% Stainless
  • Price: $36

Nose: A massive attack of grass clippings, grapefruit, kiwi, lemon, lime and citrus peel. Baby powder-covered grandma’s locker from the attic.

Taste: Sparkly citrus action with a lawnmower-bag full of fresh grass clippings on top. Granny’s mildew-laden foot-locker with red delicious apple is in full effect and the sheer flavor, nose and finish on this wine make it – hands down – the best Semillon I’ve had from a “new world” producer. I’m feelin’ it, diggin’ it and would gladly recommend it. I know $30-plus dollars is a chunk for a lot of people these days, however, for me – this wine brings some nice complexities with it.

Winery website: www.brokenwood.com.au

Posted in Australia Wines, Reviews, SemillonComments (0)

2006 Oxford Landing Viognier

From the land of Austrailia comes this Viognier which proves to be rather light on the pocketbook at just under the $8 price and with it brings some interesting twists on the American Viogniers we’re more acustomed to.

There is absolutely no question that Austrailia really built its wine reputation with the wonderful Shiraz grape, however, there are other types of wine grapes which also do well in that part of the world. In this review we take a look at one of the more affordable Viognier offers from producer Oxford Landing.

Oxford Landing was established in 1958 near the Murray River in South Austrailia – this river breaths life into the clay-rich soils and helps make for a good growing environment since the annual rainfall is so low in the region.

Technical Data:
Winemaker Teresa Heuzenroeder
Region South Australia
Vintage 2006
13.5%
Harvested 21 February to 17 March 2006
Alc/Vol 13.5%
Total Acid 6 g/L
pH 3.39
Residual Sugar 2.8 g/L
Cellaring Now – 3 years

Nose: grass with pasture (like an old hay barn) smell backed up with crushed grapeseed, wet clay, passionfruit and magno notes and lavender buds.

Taste: Fresh cantelope and honeydew for days – some creamy butter components which are sharply followed by hints of straw and a flint-like finish which ends on a sour, bitter note for me – not a fan.

Overall Summary:
For $8, this isn’t a horrible effort yet it lacks the overall consistancy and structure across the palate which I like better. There’s no doubt that it does have some qualities which will cater to some folks, however, I’d rather shell out a few more dollars and get something from the likes of Maryhill or other Viognier producers which make better wines for only a bit more money.

If you’re at all curious about white wines from Austrailia, then you could easily use this wine as a cheap experiement and see what’s going on here.

W.E.P. Scale Rating: 80%

Posted in Australia Wines, Reviews, ViognierComments (0)

2006 2up Shiraz

Winery Link

I figured it was about time to head across the Pacific and pull in a couple of wines from Austrailia – you know- the land “down under”? Home of the “Crocodile Hunter”, Foster’s “It’s Austrailian for Beer”, Austrailian Rules Football and other famous things? Yeah, those folks – they really do make a crap load of wine down there.

There’s no question that Austrailia’s darling grape is Shiraz (or Syrah as it’s called here in America) – this Rhone grape caught on in with a fever here on the West Coast over the past few years, however, has slowed down a bit in favor of Bordeaux grapes.

Shiraz is really a yummy grape which has proven itself to have good cellaring potential when made with the proper care. I’ve had the taste of this grape be all over the map, depending on the producer and the land from which it was harvested.

2up Shiraz comes to us from Kangarilla Road Winery whose winemaker, Kevin O’Brien, has been producing award-winning wines for years now. Kevin and his wife, Helen, opened the winery back in 2002.

Technical Notes:

  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • pH: 3.50
  • TA: 6.9 g/L
  • Pressed at dryness and maturation in French and American oak for 12 months
  • McLaren Vale vineyards
  • Bottling Date: 02/2006
  • Price: $15

Nose: Skidmark-stained underwear with floods of black plum, black raspberry and fruitcake followed by cedar.

Taste: This wine tastes as if someone took cedar shavings from a wood mill and laced them over black plums and black cherries (think black cherry Cragmont Soad pop) then proceeded to douse it with black and white pepper. Good fruit-foward with a nice cedar-spice flavor going down the mid-back palate, however, it doesn’t linger for me and finishes a bit too soon.

Overall Summary:
The 2006 2up Shiraz is a very solid effort that would lend itself to be a very food-friendly wine and is one I could recommend to folks for well under the $20 price point. While the finish was a bit shorter than I’d hoped for, it’s overall flavor and aroma’s are still nice.

If you’re tired of the Yellowtail and Alice White and want to step up to see what a better Aussie wine can be like, or if you just want a solid Shiraz, then give this one a whirl.

-duane pemberton

W.E.P. Scale Rating: 100%

Posted in Australia Wines, Reviews, ShirazComments (0)