Archive for May, 2012

Spitting: Optional

Pierre Amadieu Roulepierre Côtes Du Rhône 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Medium to full bodied red

Country: France

Region: Rhône Valley

 

Overview: Winter is coming. Not only is this a line from a popular TV series/novel but it also speaks of my recent wine selections. There is nothing better than a hearty meal and a full bodied red as the temperature drops which is why I always find my hand closing around wines from the Rhône Valley at this time of year.

The Rhône Valley is broken into Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône. Northern Rhône is known for Syrah (Shiraz) and Syrah Viognier blends and Southern Rhône known for blends of Grenache, Syrah, Mouvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault. Grenache, Syrah and Mouvèdre being the predominate varieties, Carignan and Cinsault are added in smaller quantities. Both regions grow white varieties but we’ll save that for another blog.

The wine I am reviewing is a Southern Rhône wine which is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. This wine of velvety goodness represents one of the best value Rhône Valley wines I’ve tasted in a while. Fit for a King…

 

Tasting note: Aromas of raspberry, strawberry, violets and subtle pepper. This myriad of flavours joins the palate in balanced harmony with additional characters of blackberry and lifted spice. It’s velvety on the tongue and finishes with soft tannins.

Final Say: For $20 a bottle this wine is a must try, especially in the winter months. While I find the lifted, up-front characters this wine displays in its youth it will benefit from 3-4 years cellaring.

Score: 17.5 out of 20 (88 out of 100)

 

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

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Jack Davis

Spitting: Optional

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Spitting: Optional

Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2010

Country: New Zealand

Region: Central Otago

 

Overview: Welcome to volume 2 of the chronicles of Freddie Mercury the stinky, grumpy bunny. For volume 1 visit: https://spittingoptional.com/2012/03/22/cosmo-pinot-noir-2010/. As mentioned in my last Pinot Noir review some people struggle with Pinot Noir when they hear descriptors like game and forest floor. Truth is that Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile grape varieties; it can make a light, savoury, complex wine or a fuller, brooding style. It also one of the main varieties used for making sparkling wines and can make a great rosé.

It is also, I believe, the most romantic variety. Yeah, yeah, I can hear you groan and say ‘what a wanker’ but when you say the word Burgundy to even a wine novice they know of its greatness in the kingdom of wine. At least I hope that is the case, perhaps the reason their eyes light up is because they believe Burgundy is not the most famous wine made from Pinot Noir but the birth place of Jim Beam and Cola.

Taking cues from Burgundy, Central Otago have been making some highly commendable Pinot Noir in recent years and Mt Difficulty has been one of my favourite producers from the region.

Tasting note: Red fruit, game (aka smelly, grumpy bunny) and forest floor on the nose. A peppery palate supported by cherry characters, red fruit, game and finishes with a racy acid. Soft, silky tannins add to a velvety mouth-feel.

 

Final Say: Freddie Mercury the transgender bunny (she was bought as a he but turns out she’s a she) says buy this wine. It sells for around $30 a bottle. It’s a little bit lighter than the Estate Pinot Noir but great value.

 

Score: 18.5 out of 20 (93 out of 100)

 

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

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Jack Davis

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Delatite Riesling 2011

Region: Central Victoria, Australia

Tasting Note:

 

Almost clear in colour, citrus on the nose. A palate of citrus, orange blossom, green apple and a delicate acid.

 

Score: 17.5 out of 20 (88 out of 100)

 

Wood Park Wines Sparkling Pinot Noir/Chardonnay 2009

Region: Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

 

Toasty nose. Yeasty characters on the palate, soft citrus fruit.

 

Score: 16.5 out of 20 (83 out of 100)

 

Wood Park Wines Meadow Creek Chardonnay 2010

Region: King Valley, Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

 

Older style, quite oaky with characters of butterscotch and peach.

 

Score: 16.5 out of 20 (83 out of 100)

 

Wood Park Wines Wild’s Gully Tempranillo 2010

 

Region: Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

 

Peppery nose with a palate of cherry and savoury spice. Lighter style

 

Score: 15.5 out of 20 (78 out of 100)

 

Wood Park Wines Kneebones’s Gap Shiraz 2006

 

Region: King Valley, Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

 

Nose and palate of plum and blackberry, softer tannins.

 

Score: 16 out of 20 (80 out of 100)

 

 

Wood Park Wines Cabernet Shiraz 2006

 

Region: King Valley, Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

 

Raspberry nose, red fruit on the palate. Nice tannin structure.

 

Score: 16.5 out of 20 (83 out of 100)

 

 

Brown Brothers Limited Release Prosecco 2011

 

Region: King Valley, Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

 

Light sparkling style. Apple and pear characters with a nice bead.

 

Score: 17 out of 20 (85 out of 100)

 

Brown Brothers Patricia Pinot Noir/Chardonnay Brut 2006

 

Region: King Valley, Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

Yeasty, brioche nose and palate with subtle citrus backbone.

 

Score: 18 out of 20 (90 out of 100)

 

Brown Brothers Limited Release Vermentino 2011

 

Region: Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

Talc nose, nice herbacousness, nice fresh style.

 

Score: 15.5 out of 20 (78 out of 100)

 

Brown Brothers Chenin Blanc 2011

 

Region: Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

Touch of sweetness, grassy and pear flavours.

 

Score: 16 out of 20 (80 out of 100)

 

Brown Brothers Limited Release Banksdale Chardonnay 2011

 

Region: King Valley, Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

Oaky nose, soft and complex. Quite Chablis like.

 

Score: 17 out of 20 (85 out of 100)

 

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

Also, check you the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spitting-Optional/314535381931908?sk=wall

Jack Davis

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San Vincenzo Anselmi Bianco 2010 I.G.T

Vintage: 2010

Country: Italy

Region: Veneto

 

Overview: Sauvignon Blanc is a variety that wine enthusiasts love to hate and everyday punters love to drink and even though our market is flooded with cheap Sauvy’s at the moment I do believe they play an important part in helping beginners understand wine. The main reason being that the characters are so easy to discern. If you tell somebody who is tasting a Shiraz for the first time that they should taste flavours of blackberry, pepper, tobacco and spice they generally look at you like your head just exploded from your body. However, if you tell someone who is tasting Sauvignon Blanc for the first time that they should pick up characters of passionfruit and cut grass they normally pick it up on the nose, even before they taste the wine simply because the flavours are simple and pungent not layered and complex. Cat’s piss and sweaty arm pits also sit in this category of pungent Sauvignon Blanc characters. Wine Educators teaching flavour association should try trading tinned passionfruit for novices to sniff next to a glass of Sauv Blanc for a vial of cat urine and a quick rub of their sweaty armpit on their student’s nose.

So I can hear you saying, what, in the name of sweet baby Jesus does sniffing cat’s piss and licking armpits have to do with the San Vincenzo Anselmi Biano? Well just like Sauvignon Blanc works as a bridging wine for wine amateurs so too does this wine ease beginners into Italian wines. It is a little bit more pungent and rich which would help accustom a novice’s palate who is not used to the subtle fruit and minerality of Italian whites.

Tasting note:  Upfront herbaceous aromas on the nose, cut grass, sandalwood and ripe citrus. These flavours follow through onto the palate joined by characters of pear and finishes with a fresh acidity.   

Final Say: This is a fun wine, while it doesn’t display the minerality and subtleness that I love about Italian whites I do see its merits and think it’s a great buy for around $20 a bottle. If you are curious about Italian whites but haven’t tried any before give the San Vincenzo a whirl.

 

Score: 17 out of 20 (85 out of 100)

 

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

Also, check you the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spitting-Optional/314535381931908?sk=wall

Jack Davis

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Telmo Rodriguez Basa Blanco 2009

Region: Rueda, Spain

Tasting Note:

Straw and citrus on the nose. A palate of straw, citrus, chalky minerality, fennel. A rich mouthfeel and lingering acid.

Score: 18 out of 20 (90 out of 100)

 

Henri Bourgeois Sancerre 2010

Region: Loire Valley, France

Tasting Note:

Passionfruit nose, flinty with a steely minerality.

Score: 16 out of 20 (80 out of 100)

 

Sánchez Romate Cardenal Cisneros Pedro Ximenez NV

Region: Jerez, Spain

Tasting Note:

Lovely coffe nose, muscat fruit and raisins.

Score: 16.5 out of 20 (83 out of 100)

 

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

Also, check you the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spitting-Optional/314535381931908?sk=wall

Jack Davis

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Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2010

Vintage: 2010

Country: Australia

Region: Hilltops, NSW

 

Overview: Finally, a Shiraz has entered Spitting: Optional’s midst. It’s not that I don’t like Shiraz, I quite enjoy it. The reason why I don’t drink a whole lot of it is because Shiraz is, normally, consistently good. I know that sounds strange but whenever I’ve tasted in a blind tasting the Shiraz bracket is always the largest and always the most consistent and I believe it is the imperfect things in life that make for the most interesting objects. What I’m trying to say is that if a winemaker has good Shiraz fruit than that translates into a good wine but because of this a lot of winemakers use minimal winemaking techniques when handling Shiraz which means the winemakers personality does not shine through when we are presented with a finished product. The other reason why I don’t drink a whole lot of Shiraz is that it’s just so popular and I am known to pull against the tides of popularity. For example you will never catch me reading the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or watching Harry Potter movies.

The great thing about Shiraz is that it’s so expressive. It displays the characters of where it is grown without even trying. This is what I had in my head when I tried the Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz. Typically a Hilltops Shiraz shows vibrant blueberry characters and white pepper. This what was I was expecting with the Clonakilla but found it far more complex and brooding than anything I’ve come across from this region before.

Tasting note: A nose of vanilla, blueberry and white pepper. The palate is a brooding mix of blackberry, blueberry, white pepper, rich chocolate and a nice flint like character. The soft tannins give this wine a silky mouth-feel.

 

Final Say: I let this wine decant for 6 hours before drinking just because of its youth but the nose was very expressive even when I first opened the bottle. It sells for around $28 a bottle and will make a great addition to the cellar. I’m a big fan of this Canberra based producer and they keep kicking some great goals.

 

Score: 18 out of 20 (90 out of 100)

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

Also, check you the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spitting-Optional/314535381931908?sk=wall

Jack Davis

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Capel Vale Regional Series Cabernet 2009

Region: Margaret River, WA, Australia

Tasting Note:

A nose of coffee, plum and tobacco. The plum carries on to the palate joined with characters of menthol, mint and grainy tannins. Finishes a touch bitter.

Score: 16.5 out of 20 (83 out of 100)

 

Kooyong Clonale Chardonnay 2011

Region: Mornington Peninsula, VIC, Australia

Tasting Note:

Restrained nose, subtle stone fruit. Flavours of peach, soft citrus and minimal oak influence. Lacking some acid on the finish.

Score: 16 out of 20 (80 out of 100)

 

Sorrenberg Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2011

Region: Beechworth, VIC, Australia

Tasting Note:

Flinty nose with a touch of herbaceous characters. Sweet fruit on the palate, gooseberry and nice mineral tones. Lingering acid.

Score: 17 out of 20 (85 out of 100)

 

Cofield’s Muscat NV

Region: Rutherglen, VIC, Australia

Tasting Note:

Muscat grape nose (der) with spice and subtle raisin tones. Palate of spice, sultana, spice. Quite soft. A good young style muscat.

Score: 16.5 out of 20 (83 out of 100)

 

 

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

Also, check you the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spitting-Optional/314535381931908?sk=wall

Jack Davis

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