WSR Wine Blog

Wine tasting reviews, trips and stuff

March WSR Ries Lineup

David brought forth an interesting list of wines to present to the group this month.  The wines were from 4 continenents acompanied with appitzers and BBQ of sausage and flank steak and rice.  Below is the line-up… comments?

O1) NV ROEDERER ESTATE BRUT $16.95

O2) ALIMANT LAUGNER CREMANT ALSACE ROSE NV BRUT (100% PINOT NOIR) $19.99

1) ’05 SCHILD ESTATE BAROSSA UNWOODED SEMILLON $14.99
2) ’07 SAINT COSME COTES-DU-RHONE BLANC (GIGONDAS) $19.99
3) ’07 MADRONA RESERVE ESTATE ME’LANGE (56% MARSANNE, 22% ROUSSANNE, 22% VIOGNIER_EL DORADO COUNTY) $18.00
4) ’06 CRETA ROBLE (100% TEMPRANILLO_SPAIN) $10.99
5) ’08 BODEGA PRIVADA MALBEC_ARGENTINA $13.99
6) ’05 POMEROL CHRISTIAN MOUEIX (95% MERLOT, 5%CAB. FRANC_FRANCE) $23.99
7) ’07 TWO ANGELES CABERNET (NAPA, MAYACAMAS MOUNTAINS) $20.99

8) ’04 LE CIGARE VOLANT, BONNY DOON (38% GRENACHE, 35% SYRAH, 12% MORVEDRE, 8% CARRIGNANE, 7% CINSAULT) $24.99
9) ’04 VERGET COTES DU LUBERON, (GRENACHE, SYRAH, CARRIGNANE ?) $17.95
10)’06 ADELINA GRENACHE (CLARE VALLEY, AUSTRALIA) $22.99
11)’05 DOMAINE MALYS-ANNE RECITAL, MINERVOIS, FR. (GRENACHE, SYRAH, CARRIGNON_IMPORTED PERSONALLY BY: THE BEAR)
12)’06 SLIPSTREAM FASTBACK MCLAREN VALE, AUSTRALIA SHIRAZ $35.99
13)’03 REYNELLA BASKET PRESS SHIRAZ, MCLAREN VALE, AUSTRALIA $28.99
14)’07 VINA VON SIEBENTHAL CARMENE’RE (VALLE DE ACONCAGUA, CHILE) $14.99
15)’06 VINA VON SIEBENTHAL TOKNAR PETIT VERDOT (HAND PICKED, SINGLE VINEYARD, UNFILTERED, ACONCAGUA VALLEY, CHILE) $64.99

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Australia, Bubbly, France, Group Tasting Notes, Red Wines, White Wines | 1 Comment

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

Sharing our trip to Australia and New Zealand

At the risk of boring you, I am sharing the scrapbook of our recent trip to Australia and New Zealand.  After keeping you informed of the 6-week sojourn, I thought there might be bits and pieces some of you might enjoy, either to bring back memories of your own visits, or in case you don’t find your way there in the future.  The photos have captions which provide at least some explanation of what you see, and we hope they provide at least some measure of enjoyment. 
 

The link for the picasa website is:
 
http://picasaweb.google.com/ghillier1936/downunder2009compilation#
 
 

As we said at the outset, we went to places this time that we missed in our trip from 20 years ago.  Thus, no Sydney, Great Barrier Reef, south Island of NZ.  Also, as I put these together and did captions, I was reminded once again that we wished we’d spent more time in the Perth area, and wished we had taken more photos of the countryside in that region.  The only cross-over we had was in Adelaide and Victor Harbor.  Our Thanksgiving visit to Victor Harbor involved dinner and staying with Meredyth Cunningham who we had met 20 years ago on the Nindethana Sheep Station north of Mildura.  She and her husband sold the station, moved to a farm at Keith.  He subsequently died and Meredyth found a home in Victor Harbor, a delightful location, and at the same age as Judy, has returned to teaching school.  What a retirement!
 
For those who might have only passing subject matter interest, here is a breakdown by slide number
 
Koalas – 214, 216, 233-237
Kangaroos – 379, 404-407
Emu – 422-424, 441, 486-487
Dolphins – 459-470, 473-476
Ayers Rock (Uluru) and the Olgas – 342-359
Alice Springs (which I described as Barstow w/red soil) – 365-369, 334-340 (I never did take a shot of downtown, it’s really a nice place with about 25,000 population)
Wineries and vineyards:
-New Zealand 29, 32, 34-37
-Yarra 92-97
-Tasmania 140-146
-Coonawarra 280-287
-McLaren Vale 300-308
-Margaret River 381-403, 411-412
-Pemberton 426-429
 
The only places I had winery appointments were d’Arenberg in McLaren Vale SA and Leeuwin in Margaret River WA.  Both were excellent visits and a great insight into Australian culture and business.
 
Several have asked what we enjoyed the best.  For me, I loved the Hawkes Bay area of NZ, and driving the Great Ocean Road was a singular experience, akin to driving the Big Sur coast in CA.  We loved Port Fairy.  We also enjoyed the Southwest, but I must admit the flies did get to us a time or two.  Funny that we avoided them on the trip 20 years ago, but we sure discovered the “Aussie salute” this trip.  Finding Hillier Bay was also a singular treat for me.
 
I hope they don’t bore you to death, and if you decide to make your own trek, we can offer all sorts of hints and advice.  After we got home, Judy opined that it never seemed we’d been away from home.  Australia, moreso than NZ, has really become an almost carbon copy of the US, except for the driving on the left side and the funny accents, and the wonderful expressions, like “Good on ya, Mate,” when you do something well.
 
Gerry

January 29, 2010 Posted by | Australia, Road Trip, Wineries | Leave a comment