WSR Wine Blog

Wine tasting reviews, trips and stuff

Elderton Wine Tasting

This was an email from JFS from a tasting in January that was worth a post for others to review and possibly purchase if you can get your hands on them.

This article is only for serious wine collectors. If you are not a serious collector pleases delete this.

Now… I said this was only for serious collectors. Why are you still reading this? I am not going to continue until you log off.

I have all day.

Ok, now that we got them to go away.

Now, I want to talk about Elderton Winery. Elderton is located in the Barossa Valley in Southeastern Australia. It is without question one of the finest wineries in all of Australia. Recently, actually last night, I guess that is recent, I was able to taste 16 wines from the Elderton Winery at Mario’s Place in Riverside. It ranks as one of the great wine dinners I have attended.

The dinner began with the Elderton Chardonnay as the aperitif wine. This wine was fruit forward with a crisp finish. This wine showed daps of minerality and apple fruit. A very nice way to start the dinner.

We then moved into a pairing of Shiraz and a couple of Cabernet, Shiraz Merlot blends. The 2005 Shiraz was an elegant wine.  A mouth filling wine, with a great texture. The finish was long and very pleasing. The 2006 Shiraz was a bit more hedonistic. It is more in your face with ripe fruit.

We then had the 1999 CSM that stands for Cabernet, Shiraz and Merlot.  The wine is called Ode to Lorraine. Lorraine is the mother of the current winemaker.  As fate would have it this was either corked or oxidized. The worst part is this wine came from my cellar. Oh, the humanity!

The 2005 CSM was youthful, and complex. It had many layers of flavor and a very long finish. All of these wines had excellent finishes, a good sign for those who cellar wine. I really enjoyed this wine

Our next flight of wine was predominately Cabernet Sauvignon based wines.

Hey, I see you trying to open this email. You just don’t listen! Fine you can read, but don’t try to buy any of these wines and take them away from real collectors.

This is a Shiraz Cabernet blend. This is a very typical blend in Australia but is not done too often state side. It had the sweet cherry fruit of a Shiraz as it crossed the tongue the  black fruit nuances of cabernet dominated the finish.

The 2004 Estate Cabernet is lively and rich. It has some tobacco, sage and cedar elements on the palate. It has a long and pleasing finish. This is really a first class cab. The grapes come from 45 year old vines.

As good as the 2004 Estate Cabernet was the 2006 Ashmead Cabernet is spectacular! This is mammoth wine, yet not a tannic wine. The fruit flavors just want burst from this wine. The vines for this single vineyard wine were planted in 1944. If you like big, bold Cabernets, you will love this wine.

The last flight was the Command Shiraz. The Command is one of the great wines of Australia. If you go to Australia they talk about their Iconic wines. They would be Penfolds Grange, Henschke Hill of Grace, Jim Barry the Armgh and Eldertons Command. These are wines with a track record of greatness. This group of wines did not let us down.

We began with the 1997, a beautifully balanced wine. Delicious, ripe berry fruit slip across the palate and a cranberry flavor sneaks up in the finish. Next up was the 1999 vintage; this wine was chosen by a few as their favorite. It was a little more complex than the 1997. It did offer many of the same fruit flavors. The 2000 was a bit different in the nose then many of the other Command wines. It had notes of bacon and roasted meat, very Rhone in style. The 2002 offered some notes of sage and coriander. It had a rich berry fruit flavor on the finish. The 2004 was another outstanding wine in a group of stellar wines. It had layers of flavors, a touch of smoke and that long lasting finish. The 2005 is the current release of the Command Shiraz. It is a humongous wine. Rich and deep in flavor and a long lasting finish. It is rare to have a wine so young and structured but still eminently drinkable. In ten years this may turn out to be the best Command.

One member of our dinner party said the group of Command wines was the best group of wines he has ever drunk.

With our dessert we had the Botrytis Semillon from 2003 and 2007. I admit I have a sweet tooth. In my cellar I have more than my fill of sweet wines, actually the 2003 came from my cellar, and theses two hit the spot. A delicious finish to an amazing dinner.

You don’t see many of these wines available in a retail store. They are not in-expensive, these are world class wines and will age longer then some of us will live.

Below are the wines that are available and the pricing. And don’t think I did not notice the rest of you who read this; I will let it slide this time. In the future when I tell you not to read something I expect you to listen!

(Wine List removed due to availability, search for them at your local wine shops)



February 23, 2010 Posted by | Australia, Other Tasting Notes, Red Wines | 1 Comment

February WSR Mendoza Malbecs at Brinkerhoffs

TORRONTES, two, one Salta, one Mendoza, and one CHARDONNAY

A.  Colome,, WA 3 stars, ’09 Torrontes, Valle Calchaqui,  Salta, Alt.. 6500-7500’,
Alc 13.5.  One of the Hess Family Estates since 2001, others in Aus., CA, S. Africa     Hi-T $11.99

B.  Zolo, WA 3 stars, ’08 Torrontes, Mendoza.  P & B Fincas Patagonicas,
selected & shipped by Vino del Sol, “the best of Argentina.”  Alc. 13.6.    Winex $8.99  G 9.99

C.  Terra Buena ’06 Chardonnay, Mendoza, Alc. 13.5.  Vinted & Bottled by
Laurel Glen Vyd., Graton, CA.  Bob Kirkland’s “one cent sale”                           G 5.99

1.Tritono ’04.  Bastianich, Mayor, Clifton, Alc. 15.  Bastianich is a NY restaurateur;
  Mayor is a Mendoza vintner; Clifton, of Brewer-Clifton, is a Santa Barbara County
  winemaker.            G $35.99, G Disc. 32.99
2. Weinert ’04, Alc. 14.5.  Winex Stock Report, January, 2010, p. 21, states this wine
  was  aged in larger, older barrels, is the current release and “builds in intensity as it airs.
  Always a good sign.  Quite a show for the fare.”                                      Winex 18.99

3.  Catena Zapata Alta ’05, Alc. 13.9. WA 5 star, WG “powerful, rich and meaty red.”    Hi-T 46.99

4.  Catena Zapata Alta ’06, Alc. 13.9. WA 5 star                                        Hi-T 46.99

5.  Catena Zapata ’07, Alc. 13.5. WA 5 star.  WA 91+, WS 91, top 100 #69), “four
    separate vineyards 2,850 to 5,000 feet high.”  Hi-T $18.99, WC $19.99               Winex $17.99

6.  Navarro Correas ’07, Alc. 13.9. WA 3 stars,’05 Best Buy, Decanter Rec. ’06.         G Disc. 32.99

7.  Pascual Toso ’07 Rsv., Alc. 14.  WA 3 stars; Silver medal at ’09 Int’l. Wine
    Challenge.  Consultant, Paul Hobbsof CA                                             WC 17.99

8.  Kaiken ’07, Alc. 14.5.  WA 3 star, WG, “textbook Mendoza Malbec made by Chilean
    winemaker Aurelio Montes, this offers great character and value.”  WC & G 10.99.    G Disc. 9.99

9.  Luca ’07, named for her firstborn by owner Laura Catena, Alc.14.5.  WS ’08 top 100  WC 28.99

10.  Gascon ’08, Alc. 13.9.  Established in 1884.   Cost Plus 10.99, HI-T, G, & Trader Joe’s 9.99

11.  Layer Cake ’08 Alc. 14.9  Parker 91, “like a $30-50 bottle”                        Hi-T 12.99

12.  Alta Vista ’08, Alc. 14.  WA 5 stars “In addition to the single vineyard and Alta
     wines, they also produce two excellent value wines, a Malbec and a Torrontes.”     BevMo 11.99

13.  Clos de los Siete ’07 by Michel Rolland of Bordeaux, Alc. 14.5.  WA 91,
     Rec. WG.  48% Malbec, 28% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Syrah                 Winex 14.99

14.  Colome ‘07 (see A above), Alc. 15.   ws 92, top 100 #32.  85 % Malbec,
     8 % Tannat, 5 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Syrah.  WG, “fruit-forward red.”            Hi-T 24.99

(In case you forgot, Gerrards, hereafter G, means their buyer Bob Kirkland sells it in Redlands; Disc. indicates what we paid.  Hi-T stands for Hi-Time, Costa Mesa; WC equals the Wine Club, Santa Ana, and Winex refers to the Wine Exchange, Orange.  Descriptions and ratings come from: WA, Parker’s Wine Advocate, and number of stars from Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide No. 7 (2008), Decanter, WE=Wine Enthusiast, WG=Anthony Giglio, Wine Guide 2010 (Food & Wine Magazine), WS=Wine Spectator.)

February 4, 2010 Posted by | Group Tasting Notes, Red Wines, Uncategorized, White Wines | 2 Comments