Archive for May, 2013

piano piano reviews 2013

Posted: May 29, 2013 in Australia
Tags: ,

sophies-block

Spitting: Optional

piano piano

Country: Australia

Region: Beechworth & King Valley, VIC

 

Overview: Piano piano is not a name inspired by someone who really likes the piano and is forever demanding that it be played after having a few too many drinks. Piano piano in Italian means Slowly, slowly. Slowly, slowly catch the monkey if you will or, all good things come with time. This philosophy has applied to these wines out of North East Victoria (Beechworth and King Valley). Piano piano is a small family set up that are making some cracking wines, most notably Chardonnay.

 

piano piano ‘Sophie’s Block’ Chardonnay 2011: The grapes for this wine come from piano piano’s vineyards in Beechworth. It displays a toasty nose, a little more restrained on fruit aromas. On the palate there are subtle flavours of nectarine and grapefruit. The oak is nicely integrated and works in harmony with the elegant fruit and acid structure.

Score: 16.5/20

 

piano piano ‘Mario’s Blend’ Tempranillo/Touriga Nacional 2011: This is a great take on a traditional Portuguese blend. It’s lighter in style with nice pepper aromas. The palate consists hallmark Tempranillo characters, cherry and crushed rosemary. A nice acidic backbone to round it all off.

Score: 16/20

piano piano ‘Oliver’s Blend’ Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2010: Now we take a leap to Bordeaux with this blend. Lifted red berries on the nose with a stony undertone. Raspberry, blueberry and crushed herbs initially on the palate, a touch of subtle plum, supported by chalky tannins.

Score: 16/20

 

Final Say: Buy these, great value wines direct. Small production and limited stocks so don’t dawdle: http://pianopiano.com.au

 

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

Advertisements

Oakridge 864 Charlie's Block

Spitting: Optional

Region: Yarra Valley, Victoria  

 

Overview: Chard freaks and pinophiles all love the Yarra Valley, the self-proclaimed Burgundy of Australia. During a recent visit to the Yarra I found the diversity in Chardonnay styles quite impressive. Thus I have compiled a list that could be seen as a veritable best of the best of Yarra Valley Chardonnay (that is if anyone takes what I write to be serious of course).

Tasting notes:

 

Innocent Bystander Chardonnay 2011: A fresh, uncomplicated Chardonnay that displays nice stone fruit characters and subtle oak. A good every day Chardonnay.

Score: 16/20

$20/bottle

 

Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2011: A complex, flinty nose with a party-in-your-mouth palate of nectarine, peach, underlying citrus and lovely oak tones.

Score: 18/20

$40/bottle

 

Giant Steps Tarraford Vineyard Chardonnay 2011: A more restrained style, toasty oak and citrus on the nose. Elegant grapefruit characters, mouth filling and classy.

Score: 17.5/20

$40/bottle

Colstream Hills Chardonnay 2011: Nice stone fruit on the nose supported by subtle oak, lingering grapefruit on the palate and great acidity.

Score: 17.5/20

$35/bottle

 

Coldstream Hills Deer Farm Chardonnay 2011: Flinty, toasty nose with a fantastic minerality, citrus and stone fruit with a great, creamy mouth feel.

Score: 18/20

$45/bottle

 

Coldstream Hills Rising Vineyard Chardonnay 2011: Awesome nose (the wine not mine) complex notes of struck match with a fresh palate of honeydew melon and citrus. Well integrated oak and great acidity.

Score: 18/20

$45/bottle

 

Yeringberg Chardonnay 2011: Toasty nose with a salty, austere palate with nectarine characters, zippy citrus and lingering finish.

Score: 18.5/20

$50/bottle

 

Yeringberg Chardonnay 2009: Oak more evident on the nose, toasty and nutty with a creamy mouth feel and grapefruit flavours.

Score: 18/20

$60/bottle

 

Oakridge 864 Charlie’s Block Chardonnay 2011: This wine displays layers of complexity, subtle, complex sulphides, toasty oak, elegant minerality, grapefruit and nutty characters. A real winner, probably my favourite overall.

Score: 18.5/20

$72/bottle

 

Oakridge Denton Vineyard Chardonnay 2011: So funky this wine could play jazz sax, flinty nose, citrus and white-fleshed nectarine characters with a fresh, clean acidity.

Score: 18/20

$38/bottle

 

 

Oakridge Guerin Vineyard Chardonnay 2011: More Chablis in style, restrained citrus and grapefruit with a mouth-watering minerality.

Score: 17.5/20

$38/bottle

 

Final Say: Sorry pinophiles, Chard freaks won this week.

 

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

 

OOSSB

Spitting: Optional

Out of Step Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Vintage: 2012

Style: Lightly oaked, dry white

Country: Australia

Region: Yarra Valley, VIC

 

Overview Ask a wine wanker to try a Sauvignon Blanc and they will groan and writhe in disgust. Like children they will turn around from the proffered glass and screw their face up shouting, ‘No! Yucky!’ Ask a wine wanker to taste a barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc and they will clap their hands together with glee, more than happy to oblige. For a long time now, in Australia and Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc has been made into a fresh simple style but as popularity in Sauv Blanc drops winemakers are forced to try something different, something to win the wine wankers back. This wine does just that, oak contact, wild yeast fermentation and partial malolactic fermentation makes this wine a cut above the one-dimensional Sauv Blancs that flood the market.

Sauvignon Blanc is the grape primarily used for the wines of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé in France. Some but not all of the wines from these regions are fermented in oak. The wines from Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are generally more complex and aromatic, something that winemakers in Australia are now trying to replicate.

 

Tasting note: Lifted aromatics of capsicum, cut grass and slight passionfruit initially on the nose but given time in the glass an elegant flintiness and toasty characters become more apparent. A lean, citrus driven palate with a nice, soft mouth-feel from that partial MLF and subtle tropical flavours of pineapple. A great acid structure leaves the wine lingering on the palate leaving it fresh and clean for the next sip.

 

Final Say: Wine wankers rejoice! Here is a great, complex and elegant Sauv Blanc that will complement food, not overpower it with pungent B.O. $20 a bottle.

 

Score: 17 out of 20

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

KVW_logo

Spitting: Optional

Region: King Valley, Victoria  

 

Overview: Italian and Spanish varieties are relatively new to Australia and while some regions are still finding their feet with how to handle these varieties the King Valley has well and truly mastered, conquered and are the trail blazers of traditional Italian style wines here in Australia. Below are some of the highlights that I recently tasted while visiting the King Valley:

 

Tasting notes:

 

Chrismont La Zona Prosecco NV: Fresh nose and fruit driven palate, a lovely powdery texture with characters of almond and fennel.  17.5/20

$22/bottle

 

Chrismont La Zona Pinot Gris 2012: Chrismont have a crack at making both styles from this variety, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris, what I like is that both are definitely in the traditional styles. This Gris has a nice custard apple characters on both the nose and palate, a great creamy mouth feel and clean acid. 16.5/20

$26/bottle

 

Chrismont La Zona Tempranillo 2011: Soft, medium bodied wine, lovey notes of cherry cola and white pepper. Gentle tannins round out this wine. 16/20

$26/bottle

 

Sam Miranda Sparkling Shiraz/Durif 2008: Some aged tones and aldehyde on the nose. A palate of spice and plum. A nice juiciness, this would make a great BBQ wine. 16/20

$35/bottle

 

Sam Miranda Riesling 2008: A good aged Riesling to be had here. Quite toasty on the nose with characters of lemon and kerosene on the palate. 16/20

$20/bottle

 

Sam Miranda Mothers Little Helper Sangiovese/Shiraz 2010: An interesting blend, smoky overtones with characters of black olive and crushed herbs. 16.5/20

$25/bottle

 

Dal Zotto Pucino Prosecco NV: Super dry and elegant. Talc and white flower characters with a clean, finish and linear acidity. 17.5/20

$18.50/bottle

 

Dal Zotto Pinot Grigio 2012: Custard apple on the nose and palate with additional flavours of pear and almonds. Lovely freshness and texture with a lingering acidity. 16/20

$22/bottle

 

Dal Zotto L’immigrante Barbera 2008: This wine just about wins me over by default just  it retains those distinct varietal characters of Barbera whilst also showcasing the winemaker’s finesse. Violets, blueberry and cola upfront and in your face but supported by vanillin oak. 17.5/20

$85/bottle

 

Pizzini Verduzzo 2012: Creamy, apple characters with an interesting flintiness and talc on the finish. 16.5/20

$22/bottle

 

Pizzini Rosetta 2012: This rosé has lifted characters of raspberries and confectionary but crisp and dry on the finish. 16/20

$17.50/bottle.

 

Pizzini Il Barone 2009: Quite juicy for the age, cassis, plum, blackberry, black olives and crushed herbs with nice oak tones of pencil shavings and cedar. 18/20

$45/bottle

 

Final Say: Forget Game of Thrones, make yourself King and give this great region a visit.

 

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

 

Peel

Spitting: Optional

Peel Estate Chenin Blanc 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Off-dry, oaked white

Country: Australia

Region: Western Australia

 

Overview I will keep it brief this week, no waffling on or wine wanker angst. Chenin Blanc is a versatile grape that can be used to make a dry wine, an off-dry wine or a sparkling wine. This wine falls into the category of off-dry meaning that there’s a touch of residual sugar left in the wine. This touch of sweetness helps tame spicy food while the acid will keep it fresh and clean. Matured in oak, this wine has an added level of complexity which will aid in cellaring. Despite the higher alcohol level (14.5%) the wine is elegant and refined on the palate.

 

Tasting note: Flinty characters on the nose due to complex sulphides as well as aromas of straw and jasmine flowers. There’s a lot happening palate wise, green apple, custard apple, citrus and white flower nuances. A creamy mouth-feel with good acid balance and subtle oak.

 

Final Say: $25 a bottle and a great addition to spicy food. Caution: don’t touch yourself downstairs after handling the chillies, the wine does nothing in this case.

 

Score: 17.5 out of 20

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