Archive for August, 2013

Gs RDC

Spitting: Optional

Greenstone Vineyard Rosso Di Colbo Sangiovese 2012

Vintage: 2012

Style: Medium bodied red

Country: Australia 

Region: Heathcote, VIC

Overview: Sangiovese, suddenly fashionable? It’s gone from a variety that people could barely say to being on every wine list in most bars and restaurants. Not that this is a complaint, it’s great that Sangiovese is getting out and about, too long its lived in the shadows of the colossi Shiraz and Cabernet (in Australia, abroad it has been mostly respected for its Italian heritage). It could be coincidence but it seems that the increased popularity of Sangiovese coincides with the introduction of more Sangiovese clones to Australia. I find it difficult to explain clones so here’s a quote I prepared earlier. A clone is:  “a population of vines all derived by vegetative propagation from cuttings or buds from a single ‘mother vine.’” (J. Robinson, Oxford Companion to Wine).  In other words cuttings can be taken from a ‘mother vine’ to replicate certain characteristics. For instance if a Sangiovese vine mutates in the vineyard and starts producing thicker skinned grapes that are more resistant to disease you can take cuttings from that vine to propagate and replicate the thick skin to aid in combating disease. Its Viticulturists playing God, creating patchwork grape vines, Frankengrape’s monster if you will, however I’ve never heard of a grape variety clone murdering its creator’s family like poor old Victor…yet. Any-who, these days growers  seem to be playing with more of these new clones that may add more colour or intensity but essentially using it to compliment the old workhouse (and arguably most sort after) Brunello clone.

Tasting note: A lifted, pretty nose of violets and cherry with subtle yet powerful meaty undertones. Typical cherry characters on the palate with some wild, gamey flavours and savoury spice. Despite the meaty and gamey characters the wine finishes fresh and clean. The lingering acidity suggests that this wine might need a couple of years in bottle to reach its full potential.

Final Say: Jump on the bandwagon, grab your latest accessory to set off your handbag and give this wine a crack. Sells for $25-30 a bottle.

 

Score: 16.5 out of 20

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

Jack Davis

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Ant Moore

Spitting: Optional

Ant Moore Pinot Gris 2012

Vintage: 2012

Style: Dry White

Country: New Zealand 

Region: Marlborough

The Diary of a blog obsessed Wine Wanker

Overview: 8:30 pm Tuesday night: I’m in Sydney for work and realise that I’ve not yet tasted a suitable wine to blog about. I’m in the city, it’s dark and cold and I feel suddenly vulnerable and alone.

8.31 pm: Minor panic attack as I contemplate skipping this week’s blog. This thought is fleeting for the blog is part of my weekly routine, should I skip it my life may begin to spiral.

8.34 pm: The glowing vista of a corner bottle shop calms my hectic heart.

8.40 pm: I have a bottle in hand; I think I bought it simply because of the pretty colours on the label.

8.45pm: I am back in the hotel room, breathing into the paper bag the bottle was packaged in. My entire routine lies in the balance; this wine needs to be up to standard for me to keep my life on the straight and narrow.

8.46 pm: The moment of truth (surprisingly the hotel wine glasses are quite good).

8.47 pm: I forgot my wine diary (yes, I have a wine diary). I find a piece of paper to scrawl some tasting note on.

9 pm: I fall asleep.

5.30 am: I wake up to find that I have fallen asleep on the complimentary bed mint. Bed mint? Yeah, I don’t know either. Mints are for after dinner, if you’re making my bed with them hidden in the sheets you’re asking for trouble.

5.31 am: I’m barely awake yet feel the need to write a letter explaining myself to the cleaner: ‘Dear cleaner, it’s not poo. Have a sniff for yourself.’ I now have a lovely, chocolate and mint coated shoulder.

5.35 am: I discover exhibit A:

Ant Moore notes

6 am: Allow me to decipher this horrible, panicked left handers scrawl for you.

 

Tasting note: If you can’t read the above I hardly blame you, I have a hard time reading my own hand writing at the best of times. It reads: A fresh nose of pear and apple, these characters are also found on the palate joined by lychee and subtle characters of custard apple. A crisp acidity and subtle grassy notes (phenolics). It toes the line between Pinot Gris with some residual sugar and Pinot Grigio, crisp and simple, thus becoming the Pinot G hybrid.

 

Final Say: Now that you’ve had some insight into my mind you probably need a drink, I know I do. Sells for between $16 and $20 a bottle.  

 

Score: 15.5 out of 20

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

Jack Davis

Artigiano

Spitting: Optional

Artigiano Primitivo  2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Medium-full bodied red

Country: Italy

Region: Puglia

Overview: The urge to write ‘Primitivo is a variety steeped in controversy’ overcomes me but then I remember that in this instance the word ‘controversy’ maybe synonymous with ‘incredibly, and blindingly mundane’ to the average wine drinker. Long story short, Primitivo is an Italian variety that was grown for a long time in California as Zinfandel. It was believed that Zinfandel was unique to America but DNA testing was performed on Zinfandel in 1993 and ermahgerd! Zinfandel turned out to be Primitivo. So there is your controversy. Its also a b#@$%&d to grow due to its large bunches that ripen unevenly. This means that there can be under ripe grapes as well as very ripe on the same bunch. Some producers let the entire bunch ripen which means that by the time the under ripe grapes reach the right baumé (sugar level) the already ripe berries have a higher concentration of sugar which often translates to higher alcohol levels. This method eliminates the chance of harvesting under ripe berries that would add bitterness to the finished wine.  Others hand pick the bunches to discard of the under ripe berries so they can achieve the right baumé.  This wine has actually achieved a nice balance between big, juicy and powerful and lean and restrained, probably due to larger scale harvesting.

Tasting note: A nice blend of sweet and savoury on the nose, plum, five-spice and cedar. The palate is quiet full and dense with characters of plum and subtle blackberry with under lying notes of white pepper and grainy tannins.

Final Say: Fantastic value, you can pick it up for $15-20 a bottle.

Score: 16 out of 20

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

Willsdomain

Spitting: Optional

Wills Domain Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Vintage: 2012

Style: Dry white

Country: Australia

Region: Margaret River

 

Overview: Winemaking is not all about what happens in the winery once the grapes come off the vines, winemaking starts in the vineyard. A winemaker needs good quality fruit to be able to make good wine. If the vintage is tough and the fruit is subpar then winemaking becomes more about fighting the ‘undesirable’ characters of fruit that has perhaps been harvested a bit early due to rain events or over-ripe fruit or affected by disease. So it is the viticulturist’s job to battle an impossible and fickle war with the forces of nature to bring to the winemaker the very best fruit they can grow. This is the case even more so in these modern styles of Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends. Because these styles of wine are all about the fruit and have minimal winemaking intervention e.g oak, lees stirring etc. the winemaking is done in the vineyard to get the balance between tropical fruit flavours, herbaceous grassiness and acidity. Too often these simple blends are over-ripe and have lovely tropical characters but lack the grassiness and acid. There’s the flipside as well where they lack fruit and can be like drinking chilled battery acid. So big-ups (or whatever the kids are saying these days) to Wills Domain, this is a great example of getting the balance right.

 

Tasting note: Everything you expect from this style of wine on the nose, lime, cut grass and a touch of lychee these characters are directly duplicated on the palate with pristine citrus, a cleansing acidity with a nice phenolic grip.

 

Final Say: A great back veranda drink. You can pick it up for between $16-20, great value.

 

Score: 17 out of 20

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