Tag Archive | "shiraz"

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)

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)

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)