Wednesday 27 July 2011

Leave 'Nessie in the Depths of the Loch!!

2009 was a bloody hot year in the Barossa. Unfortunately this wine shows it! The Smith & Hay 2009 Barossa Cabernet.
Being a later ripening variety, Cabernet would have copped the full force of the second of the really bad heatwaves in recent vintages.

Putting your nose in a glass doesn’t often remind you of opening a bag of dried fruit, nor should it for most wines. This poor little Cab must have been picked looking like raisins! Underneath the raisins lurks a little bit of varietal greenness. Alas, not much to see here.

The wine tastes extremely disjointed. I daresay there were a few dilute acid additions along the way! Good old “Sky Wine”!

For the full effect, dig out Judas Priest’s “Angel of Retribution”. Listen to Track # 10 Lochness – all thirteen minutes and thirty seconds of it! I dare you! Brings a decent album to a very slow, somewhat painful close!

This wine is old and sad and tired before its time.
Available from The Wine Society, they’ve certainly been steered in an interesting direction with this one! One time to hope for “Limited Supply” I think!

On the other hand, you could look at this wine as capturing the” vintage that was” and just take it for what it is.... Up to you!

But for my money.... Sometimes fruit should never be picked...
Saturday 23 July 2011

Cherry Pie at Red Hill

Ahhh, Pinot. The Burgundian Beastie that (in my opinion) Australia is yet to tame. Not something I choose to drink a lot of; partly due to numerous disappointments, partly ignorance.
Though I am making a concerted effort to keep trying ‘til I find the ones I like...

The 2008 Red Hill Estate Mornington Pinot Noir – Lolly Pinot!
These guys have been around for some time, so I guess I expected something a little more daring.

It’s like stewy, cooked raspberries! Thin and pale-ruby colour, but not at all to the detriment. Thought I detected a hint of VA when it was first opened, but it wasn’t an issue. It was a little like drinking cherry cordial, so could be damn dangerous in Summer!
This one should be pretty easy to track down too...

Listen to Warrant Cherry Pie while drinking this wine! I know, I know! It’s more glam than metal! But hey....

Lolly wine deserves Lolly Metal!
Thursday 14 July 2011

Tempting Marquise was Bonded By Blood

Another white, just to mix things up a bit!

This one comes from Mount Gambier – not an area particularly known for its wine production (though in such close proximity to the whole Limestone Coast region, it could be one to watch!). The Marquise 2010 Chardonnay.

I’m matching this wine to Exodus “Bonded By Blood”. The wine, like the song, is nice and tight but still has melody. There’s a lot going on.

It took me awhile to get to like Exodus... they just seemed a little bit light and chirpy for me at the time! (Eventually came ‘round! Even snuck “Bonded By Blood” into our wedding vows! Hehehe \m/ Seriously!)

Similarly, it took me a few glasses to get my head around this wine. It’s not heavy like Chardy can be. I found the flavour to consist mainly of unripe white nectarines, nice natural acid, little bit of lemon zest leaving it crisp and refreshing. It was a little bit oaky and a little bit smoky.

These guys (Koonara) also do a Pinot Gris called “The Lady of the Lake”, which is much more to my taste and worth hunting down.
Thursday 7 July 2011

Side Tracked at Jacob's Creek Ministry

Ok, so they can’t all be good....

I just opened a 2006 Jacob’s Creek Grenache Shiraz..... my other half would say “serves you right” or “told you so”!

Jacob’s Creek, yes, I know the stigma attached, but I can give you the big tip, some of the Reserve JC stuff is actually really decent!

This one however, is well past its prime! Reminded me of a bruised, floury granny smith apple.... not something pleasant in a red wine! Over extracted and somewhat oxidised.

Much like my first listen of Ministry’s Side Trax... it was bitterly disappointing! (although not as horrifying as when I bought Ministry “With Sympathy” 12 inch as a teenager.... yikes!!) Though not strictly metal, kind of metal- industrial, I really expected more from Ministry. But to be fair, it is Ministry side projects, not Ministry.
There are a couple of gems on there, but they’re few and far between....

I say this as I pour myself another glass of the ugliest thing I’ve seen in bottle for some time.... We can't all be perfect.

No further comment!
Monday 4 July 2011

The Other-Worldly Battle of Medusa & Brujeria

A big-ass wine deserves a big-ass soundtrack!
Enter the Feudi Della Medusa Cannonau Di Sardegna and Brujeria’s Matando Güeros.

Any wine company with Medusa as their logo is ok by me! And seeing as Brujeria is the Spanish for Witchcraft, the two are made for each other!

I must have been around 16 years old when I first stumbled across Brujeria. It was one of the most FULL ON things I had ever heard, not to mention the album artwork (it is worth mentioning, the Medusa of Greek mythology was also beheaded)!

The Cannonau is also a little confronting. This is the Italian version of Grenache. Unlike most massive reds, this one doesn’t have any oak contact to smooth out some of the prickly edges. So what you get is a very savoury, very full bodied and quite tannic red. Be interesting to see how it ages. What fruit there was (which you did have to look for) was a bit plummy, but developed fairly quickly into prunes.

Matando Güeros could probably be described as being a bit prickly too! My Spanish isn’t up to deciphering the lyrics for fluent listening, which is possibly for the best! Nor can I read the entire label of the Cannonau. But sometimes there are benefits to being blissfully unaware!

This wine is like Chinotto for grown-ups!
Friday 1 July 2011

Mastodon in the Bay of Fires

There’s something lacking thus far on this here rant and rave otherwise known as a blog... Haven’t mentioned a white yet! That is a little strange, as I do very much enjoy a good white.

At a birthday recently, the host pulled out a bottle I had given them back in 2004. It was a Bay of Fires 1999 Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay

. I must say, it had held up extremely well. Wishing I had some left actually!

What better record for festivities than Mastodon’s Blood Mountain? Capillarian Crest coins it perfectly with “12 years of silence”. 1999! How time flies! You wouldn’t know this wine was 12 years young, though it had picked up a bit of honeyed straw in the colour.

Being from the north of the “Sleeping Giant” that is Tasmania, this wine was a prime example of why Tassie is the sparkling capital of Australia. It was only just starting to get those developed, calvados -type characters of an aged vintage sparkling.
One could almost be mistaken for thinking that “Circle of Cysquatch” IS Tasmania, with lyrics like “Fly through dreamscapes, of Valleys, Gullies and spires. Herd across suicidal slopes”

There was a little bit of appley aldehyde going on, but mostly grapefruit. Not overly yeasty, but a nice touch of bread to back up the lean fruit.
Beautiful streams of “Crystal Skull” bubbles, constant throughout.

The Bay of Fires (both place and wines) are well worth a look. Be sure to have Mastodon handy on your mp3 player!!