UOMSWS Wine Camp Intro to Australian Wines tasting

A cosy bunch of budding wine connoisseurs assembled over the weekend at BayPlay on Portsea for the inaugural University of Melbourne Student Wine Society wine camp. I was excited to be able to put together two short tasting sessions to kick-off the camp, and as a prelude to a Saturday of touring the Mornington Peninsula. Since there were quite a number of international exchange students, I went with an after-dinner 4-some to showcase the typical wine styles of some distinct wine producing regions. Here are my tasting notes, and I did pose the challenge for winecampers to sign up to this blog and post their most imaginative impressions of these wines. The best descriptive, most hilarious comment which channels Cards Against Humanity will get a $40-50 bottle of wine from my cellar.

Picaroon Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Margaret River Pemberton Great Southern WA Western Australia Simple Palates Seriously

Picaroon Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012, WA
$15 from Prince Wine Store. Produced by Domaines & Vineyards (est 2009) with fruit from Margaret River, Pemberton and Great Southern. Clear, pale straw colour. On the nose, the gooseberry aroma is striking, indicating a dominance of Sauvignon Blanc in this blend. Tacked on are herbaceous notes, blackcurrants and lemon. Good clean acidity that doesn’t tire out the mouth, clean flavours of lemon citrus and blackcurrants. The mouthfeel is quite broad contributed from the Semillon. There is also a Shiraz and a Cabernet Sauvignon in this range. Drink now. 87/100.

Rieslingfreak No.4 Eden Valley 2013 SA South Australia Simple Palates Seriously

Rieslingfreak No.4 Eden Valley 2013, SA
$22 from Prince Wine Store. Made by John Hughes with fruit from a unique vineyard located between Flaxman and Eden Valleys. The vineyard has vines facing both east-west and north-south aspects, with the E-W providing the fruit flavour and the N-S providing the acid balance. Pale, clear lemon yellow colour. Youthful aromas, but there appears to be a strong nose of kerosene suggesting an almost over-ripeness. There is dense lemon essence and orange melon aromas but I’m quite distracted by the kero notes. High fruity acidity, the fresh palate contains flavours of lemon, lime, pink grapefruit and ripe melon. Drink now, or stash for 8+ years – could be interesting… 90/100.

Wistmosa McLaren Vale Grenache 2012 SA South Australia Simple Palates Seriously

Wistmosa McLaren Vale Grenache 2012, SA
$30 from Prince Wine Store. This is a relatively new label to hit the market, with the 2010s being the first small batch to be put out for retail. There are 700 bottles of the 2012 Grenache. Wild yeast fermentation, twice daily plunging of the cap, transferred and aged in seasoned oak barrels for 12 months. Clear, medium ruby-crimson colour. Youthful aromas of fig, plum, dark berries and anise. A medium-bodied dry wine, acidity balanced nicely with the ripe flavours of sweet red plums and raspberry. Hint of plum skin bitterness combined with soft tannins. A subtle lingering finish. Drink now – 2017. 89-90/100.

Landhaus Estate The Saint Shiraz 2012 Barossa Valley SA South Australia Simple Palates Seriously

Landhaus Estate The Saint Shiraz 2012, Barossa Valley, SA
$20 from Prince Wine Store. One of the best-valued Shiraz on the market today. Fruit off low yielding, 65-75 year old vines were sourced from Ebenezer, Greenock, Stockwell, Koonunga Hill, Kalimna and Bethany. Matured for 14 months in 2-4 year old French oak barrels. Intense ruby-purple colour. Youthful lifted aromas of black cherry, black plums, chocolate, sweet spice. In the mouth, it is a med+ to full-bodied wine, dry, with high acidity and moderate dark chocolate-like tannins. Rich flavours of cherry, plum and spice, the solid aftertaste lingers for a reasonable time. Drink now – 2019. 90/100. Remember, after you’ve had the Saint, you’ve simply got to have the Sinner.

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Hophaus, German safehole on Southbank

The weather in Melbourne as been absolutely dismal of late. Cold fronts, cold winds, and from personal experience, painful rain bullets. If there is anything colder, it’s the success of the restaurants on Southbank. Their popular ratings are as cold as steel in a bucket of Yarra River water. However, if there’s one place to warm up and grab a nice drink, or kick-start your gut with hearty food, it’s got to be Hophaus.

Hophaus Southbank German pub Simple Palates Seriously

Let’s be frank. Southbank isn’t the first place you’d think of for chillin’ on a Friday evening. Heck, it shouldn’t even be the 10th place in your mind! But if you ever find yourself south of the CBD, headed towards the ex-Belgian Beer cafe (whatever it’s called now) perhaps, consider a stopover at Hophaus. The spacious layout offers little pockets of space suitable for small duos, friendly parties of 4s, or bigger groups for after-work drinks. The section to the left of the restaurant entrance is largely reserved for sit-down boisterous dinner. If you don’t have to strain to hear your conversation, you’re probably there at 11am.

Hophaus German pub bretzel pork knuckle bratwurst dunkel stein Southbank Simple Palates Seriously

The food is generally well-prepared, and the portion sizes are generous. The pork knuckle ($36) is slow cooked in apple cider with a small side of Bavarian red cabbage, sufficient to feed 3-4 diners. The bretzel is a perfect accompaniment which you can use to mop up the sticky juices from the pork knuckle. Washing that down with a Konig Ludwig Dunkel (560ml for $15) or a stein of Bitburger Pils ($16), carbo-load  for the weekend with the Knödel, soft potato dumplings which are pan fried in bier butter, served with bits of smoked hock, celery leaves and watercress ($14). I do find the Bratwurst rather pricey ($16.5), the sausage was grilled nicely, the sauerkraut and smoked cheese topping was nice, but as an overall package it’s too expensive.

Overall, Hophaus is probably the best joint on Southbank to gather for a casual sizeable drink, and which offers good dinner options should you so desire. The staff are friendly, the bar service turns over pretty quick so there aren’t annoyingly long waiting times. Remember to make a table reservation if you’re thinking of turning up on Friday, especially for bigger groups. A duo can hanging around with a drink waiting for a couple of seats to free up in the rear bar area (right next to the mulled wine).

Hophaus on Urbanspoon

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Lunch at The Grain Store

I’ve been to The Grain Store several times now, mostly on a weekend when there is always a waiting crowd. Weekday early lunches are the best thing to grab; along with a single origin long black. $18 for a sizeable roll with fresh salad might be a small purple note more expensive than most, but it does the trick and fills the tum!

The Grain Store Beef Pastrami sesame roll

The Grain Store Sweet capsicum pumpkin tart

The Grain Store on Urbanspoon

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UOMSWS Introduction to Wine Tasting Semester 1 2014

This is the slightly overdue write-up for the University of Melbourne Student Wine Society’s Introduction to Wine Tasting session held back in April. We ran two concurrent sessions with the same line-up of wines. One group was led stumbling down the path by yours truly, and we convened in the quiet confines of University House. This is where academics gather, and one is occasionally graced by the spirits of Nobel prize winners. I got word of wanton cross blendings of unfinished wine in the other session; there was to be none of that in my presence!

UoMSWS Introduction to Tasting lineup Simple Palates Seriously

I had selected a simple, straight-forward line-up with the intention of showcasing Australian interpretations of common international varietals. And it was only fitting that we included a Hunter Valley Semillon, it is truly an under-appreciated Australian wine. These wines are easily accessible and all purchased from DM. I think the wines were of sufficient quality to speak for themselves, within an affordable price range. They highlighted the more obvious wine-producing regions of Australia, and only TAS was left out (price was part of that decision). A couple of the wines had a story or two behind them; but I wasn’t revealing all my private gossip on the night. So without further ado, here are the wines.

Knappstein Riesling 2013 Clare Valley South Australia Simple Palates Seriously

Knappstein Riesling 2013, Clare Valley, SA
$17 from DM. This is Riesling, clear and simple. There is no subtlety to Australian Riesling. It is the thorny dragon in the Australian Outback. The weather does not permit small white flowers; for that head to Germany.

Closed initially, but opens into an intense lemon concentrate, spritzy, roughly grated lime fruit, notes of chalky talc and citrus florals. 12.5% alc. The acidity is bold, it hits you then gives way to the sweet citrus fruit, lemon candy, lime powder.  Nice clean finish. Drink now, or 2022-2025. 89-90/100. I’d have this with a cucumber/lettuce/poached chicken breast salad, or a melon-centric fruit salad.

Forester Estate 2011 Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia Simple Palates Seriously

Forester Estate Chardonnay 2011, Margaret River, WA
$25 from DM. Not from the best of vintages for Margaret River, but representative nonetheless. This might change your mind of oaked Chardonnays if that is your massive turn-off. Oak can work, as long as it is reined in by the fruit. This 2011 vintage is a fruit-driven wine that actually does well sitting on some oaky notes. A youthful nose of peach, lime, cand that touch of slightly toasted oak staves. A medium+ bodied wine, good acidity but it falls over slightly on the broader mouthfeel. Clean stone fruit flavours with that generous squeeze of lemon/lime. Probably better priced <$20. Drink now. 87/100. Would be nice with a prawn/capsicum/chorizo salad.

Tyrrell's Wines Stevens Vineyard Semilion 2009 Hunter Valley New South Wales Simple Palates Seriously

Tyrrell’s Single Vineyard Stevens Semillon 2009, Hunter Valley, NSW
$34 from DM. If you want to try Semillon in Australia, there is only one winery to go for: Tyrrell’s. 11.5% alc. Pale lemon colour with a green tinge. A developing nose, notes of lemon, mandarin rind, apple sprtiz and slight jasmine florals.  A medium-full bodied dry white wine, the sheer acidity is impressive, although a sense that it is softening slightly with age. Lovely rich citrus fruit flavours form an impenetrable core but should mellow out over the next 10 years. Drink now – 2025. 92/100.

One of the pioneer producers that put Hunter Valley on the map, Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillons are showcase material in the right vintages. The Hunter has suffered from poor vintage conditions which has decimated the bank accounts of many producers, but hopefully that is behind them, and a return to form is soon to follow. I would highly recommend checking out Tyrrell’s Vat 47 Chardonnay and Shiraz too. For another fine Semillon producer, check out McWilliam’s Mt Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon.

Kooyong Massale Pinot Noir 2011 Mornington Peninsula Victoria Simple Palates Seriously

Kooyong Massale Pinot Noir 2011, Mornington Peninsula, VIC
$28 from DM. The Massale is the 2nd tier Pinot Noir produced by Sandro Mosele under the Kooyong label. It is accompanied by the Clonale Chardonnay and Buerrot Pinot Gris. They also produce 2 single vineyard Chardonnays and 3 single vineyard Pinot Noirs. Lots of rain in the 2011 vintage, making it difficult to obtain good fruit ripeness and concentration. The 2011 Massale is a pale-medium ruby colour, with notes of red cherry, red currants and earthy undertones. It manages good acidity, with a low level of fine grained tannins. 13% alc, it has a lighter than usual body, with flavours of red berry tart and cherry fruit. Drink now. 87/100.

NB. Do not be put off by Victorian wines from the 2011 vintage. The 2012 are a huge step up in quality and fruit weight; and if still available, try the 2010 wines.

Chris Ringland Shiraz 2012 Barossa Valley South Australia Simple Palates Seriously

Chris Ringland CR shiraz 2012, Barossa Valley, SA
$25 from DM. Part of the Parkerisation movement of the late 90s – early naughties, Chris Ringland’s shiraz make for legendary stuff. I had the privilege of meeting this gentle giant of a Kiwi years ago, and the richness of his wines embody the his great passion for winemaking. The $25 CR shiraz is one of the most accessible, easy drinking wines you can find on the market. Fresh blackberry, red plum, purple fruit notes with oak vanillin and slight pepper hints. It’s medium+ to full-bodied, and despite the 15% alc, doesn’t burn out your throat if you have this with a slow-cooked lamb shank or a minced beef pie. Rather weighty on its own, rich dense dark berry fruit with plums, hint of dark chocolate. The fine dusty tannins work well, and persist into the finish. Drink now. 92/100.

Parker Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 South Australia Simple Palates Seriously

Parker Coonawarra Estate Coonawarra Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Coonawarra, SA
$23 from DM. This is the inaugural vintage of the Coonawarra Series Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruit comes off vines planted in the earlier ripening northern part of Coonawarra, fermented in static fermenters before maturation in French oak followed by final blending and bottling. Dark ruby-purple colour. Youthful aromas of blackcurrant liquor, dark chocolate, liquorice with flashes of cigar tobacco and violets. Dry, full-bodied wine, high acidity with dry grainy tannins. 14.6% alc. The fruit profile is typical, displaying varietal characteristics of blackcurrants, dark chocolate and spice. Good finish, although lacking that depth to sustain the initial power. Drink now – 2017. 89/100.

Seldom is Cabernet Sauvignon served with dessert, but it does work nicely with dark chocolate. Try this with the Madecasse Toasted Coconut 70% dark chocolate.
Madecasse Toasted coconut 70% dark chocolate Madagascar Simple Palates Seriously

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Rochelle Adonis rose petal barberry pistachio nougat

Rochelle Adonis rose petal barberry pistochio nougat WA Simple Palates Seriously Rochelle Adonis specialises in cakes, dessert and high tea based in Western Australia. They’ve got a good writeup here; this post is not about tea but their retail products, namely the nougat bars. They make a range of 6 flavours, and I purchased the rose petal, barberry and pistochio nougat. This single nougat bar retails for $16, but it bought it on a markdown at King & Godfrey’s store on Lygon St. I was looking for something to match the Telmo Rodriguez Moscatel, and this worked perfectly!

A single 100g bar comes in a simple, attractive slide-out box, and the bar is wrapped in plastic. I’ve sliced the bar in the picture above to show the 3 aspects of the bar. Sliding out the bar, the side presented is the visually pretty layer of organic rose petals. There is a generous use of pistachio nuts and barberry fruit in the nougat layer. The underside is layered with a film of rice paper. The nougat has a sweet floral aromas, is of a semi-soft firmess and is only slightly chewy through the white chocolate-based nougat. I found it placed on the sweeter side, with the sugars from the barberry fruit accentuated by lots of honey. Even the rose petals on their own have a sweet caramelised flavour. The petals do provide a nice touch of tannic dryness to the overall mouthfeel. The only distraction was the the layer of rice paper which I thought was much too thick.

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Telmo Rodriguez MR Moscatel 2008, Malaga, Spain

Telmo Rodriguez MR Mountain Wine Moscatel 2008 Malaga Spain Simple Palates Seriously

The 2008 MR is 100% Moscatel from vineyards at 900m altitude cut into very steep, schist rock slopes. The fruit is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks. Clear, lemon and sunflower gold colour, it has a fabulous feminine bouquet of stewed apricots, marmalade, sweet baking spice, nutmeg, tinned pineapple and a touch of botrytis. This sweet wine has medium acidity, and retains a softer fruit core albeit concentrated and rich with apricot, honey and kumquat flavours. Slightly dry, touch of bitterness on the finish. Drink now. 90/100.

This Spanish alternative to Sauternes would be comfortable with foie gras, but the penultimate bottle of Telmo Rodriguez MR moscatel in my cellar made for a wondering dessert course with some Rochelle Adonis nougat. This is the 2008 vintage; Dan Murphy’s has the 2009 vintage for $45, and the importer Spanish Acquisition has the 2010 marked as $49.

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What’s the Story, Rory Morning Glory? The Story Wines

I was intending to hang on to these other bottles of Story shiraz for longer, but there is a tasting coming up soon at B’Stilla with Rory Lane where there will be the opportunity to taste through 10 vintages. So it was only fair that I first got an impression of these wines while they are in their youthful state in order to better gauge how they tend to age. I have also included the summary links of the three wines I had previously posted below.

The Story Wines Westgate Blanc 2013, Grampians, VIC
$28 direct from winery. This is the other white in the portfolio. A Rhon-esque blend of Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier grown at the Westgate Vineyard, site of their best Shiraz grapes. The 3 rows of Marsanne and 1 each of … Continue reading

The Story Wines Riesling 2013, Henty, VIC
I just took delivery of these wines from The Story last week and will be posting my reviews over the next few days. This is a small operation established in 2004 by Rory Lane and his partner. They purchase parcels of … Continue reading

The Story Wines Henty Pinot Noir 2013, VIC
$28 direct from winery. This is a very tasty Pinot Noir, fruit forward, sweet, one that you can easily enjoy with your meal. Fruit from 2 vineyards in Warrnambool and Drumborg, fermented by wild yeasts in small, open fermenters, 10 months … Continue reading

The Story Wines Tinker Grampians Shiraz 2012 VIC Simple Palates Seriously
The Story Wines Tinkers Shiraz 2012, Grampians, VIC
$25 direct from winery. A multi-vineyard blend, combining fruit from the warmer  Jallukar Ridge Vineyard (38%), the cooler Westgate Vineyard (32%) and the remaining from Rice’s Vineyard (27%). There is also a very small amount of Grenache for extra lift. Like the other wines in the collection, wild yeast fermented, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Clear, dark ruby colour with shade of purple. Fresh youthful fragrance, very floral summer blooms, blackberry, red plums, raspberry cordial, faint hint of fine black pepper. A dry, medium-bodied wine, high acidity with soft chewy tannins. Ripe, juicy red berry fruit flavours with a thin overcoat of black pepper. 13.5% alc. Moderately long, even toned finish. Drink now – 2016. 89/100.

The Story Wines Henty Estate Vineyard Shiraz 2012 VIC Simple Palates Seriously
The Story Wines Henty Estate Vineyard Shiraz 2012, Henty, VIC
$45 direct from winery. Black ruby core with a slight purple rim. A fresh, youthful floral fragrance of blackberries, black cherry jam and oily antipasto. A dry, medium-bodied wine, it has a smooth velvet texture with high acidity. You can certainly feel the tannins left from the whole bunch ferment. The fruit is laden as a rich mix of blackberry, black cherry, with brown olives and a dash of fine pepper. However, the dry powdery/chewy tannins kick back in, and there is a residual bitterness on the finish. I’m sure that with sufficient time, the tannins will settle down but I do wonder how much fruit will be retained. Drink now, or 2020-2025. 91?/100.

The Story Wines Westgate Vineyard Shiraz 2012 Grampians VIC Simple Palates Seriously
The Story Wines Wetgate Vineyard Shiraz 2012, Grampians, VIC
$45 direct from winery. Dark black-ruby colour with a thin purple rim. This Westgate shiraz is so much more pretty than the Henty Shiraz. Fresh, youthful aromas of blackberries, blueberries, black cherry jam, hints of rose and lavender. A dry, medium-bodied wine, silky texture, high acidity, with a medium load of young, grippy tannins. The use of whole bunch ferment feels much toned down compared to the Henty shiraz, and that’s a good thing. I get a much more forward and better appreciation of the rich, pure fruit flavours. Blackberries, peppercorns, cherry, dark plums, hint of bay leaf. 14% alc. A well-framed wine that will drink well for quite awhile. Drink now – 2024+. 92/100.

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Domaine du Bois Mozé Crémant de Loire Rosé 2009, Loire Valley, France

Looking for an alternative to Champagne? Take my advice for this bang-for-buck excellent tasting Crémant from the Loire Valley. You can find it at PWS for $30, and wait till you hear what went into making this wine!

The Bois Mozé vineyards are located between Angers and Saumur, west of the towns of Chinon and Tours in the Loire Valley. The Loire being renown for Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc, but here’s something alternative. Here is a Cremant made from 95% Cabernet Franc and 5% black Grolleau grapes. The fruit is cold pressed, left for 12 hours on skins for the colour extraction, then a further 3 years ageing on lees before being disgorged. A lovely aromatic dry sparkling wine, notes of red currants, blackcurrants, rose and spice. The acidity is firm and crisp, nicely toned fruit on the palate. Clean, moderately weighted on the finish. A great drink for the cooler sunny days heading up to summer! Drink now – 2025. 90/100.

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Domaine La Roubine Gigondas 2010, Rhone Valley, France

 

Roubine Gigondas 2010 Rhone Valley France Simple Palates Seriously

Another delicious Rhone wine from the solid 2010 vintage. The Domaine la Roubine Gigondas 2010 is a blend of 65% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault and 10% Syrah. Dark ruby purple colour, youthful floral nose with aromas of blackberry jam, stewed plum, sweet spice and earthy oak staves. Still young, this medium+ bodied wine has fruity acidity, and a moderate level of chewey tannins. Ripe joocey blackberry, mulberry and red plum flavours. Nice clean finish. Drink now – 2020. 90/100. This would be nice with some char-grilled chicken with a beetroot and fetta salad.

I got a couple on the cheap off Langton’s but you can find these for $50 from PWS.

For an exploration of the region, check out the Roubine Vacqueyras 2010 which retails for $40.

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Oakridge Local Vineyard Series 2012, Yarra Valley

I dropped by Oakridge Wines in the Yarra Valley on the weekend while I was visiting Healesville Sanctuary. David Bicknell has a fantastic track record of turning out fine Chardonnays so no better time then the present to drop by and say ‘hi’ to the friendly cellardoor staff.

Oakridge Fumare 2012 864 Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Yarra Valley Simple Palates Seriously

Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Murramong Vineyard Arneis 2013
$26. This is a cellar door exclusive, and is the product of experimentations with different fermentation methods. Light, golden yellow colour. A pretty, feminine and aromatic wine. Notes of lemon zest, quince and poached pear in honey. A simple, straight-forward wine, great as a late afternoon drink, or to start off your dinner. Edgy acidity, firm structure and a long aftertaste. Would be nice with a pear, walnut rocket salad, or prosciutto-wrapped melon. Drink now – 2015. 88/100.

Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Fumare 2012
$32. A multi-vineyard blend from the Guerin, Oakridge and Syme vineyards, from different sites around the Yarra Valley. A barrel fermented blend of 71% Sauvignon Blanc, 19% Pinot Gris and 10% Semillion. Fruit was chilled down from the summer heat, then separately whole-bunch pressed into old 500L puncheons for natural fermentation till dry. Left on lees for 7 months prior to final blending and bottling. Clear, light straw yellow colour with a shade of green. Very expressive and aromatic, youthful notes of minerality, spice, white grapefruit, pear and a note of the fumé. Intriguing. It is complex, the citrus flavours are layered, mingled with acidity, and the structure holds up against all that. Medium-bodied for a dry white wine, clean and precise fruit flavours, impressive. Drink now – 2015. 90/100.

Oakridge Local Vineyard Series J&J D’Aloisio vineyard Chardonnay 2012
$36. Bright lemon yellow colour, this fresh, highly zesty charged wine exudes youthful aromas of lemon candy, mandarins, baked green apple and a touch of raw cashew. A medium-bodied dry white wine, feels fuller due to the tart acidity. Rich fruit flavours with lemon and mandarin flesh, green apple and it’s all retained on a softer, rounded finish. Drink now – 2020. Will be interesting to see how this evolves in the bottle. 90-92/100.

Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Guerin vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
$36. Whole berry fermentation in open vessels for two weeks, followed by a 10 month maturation in French oak barrels. Medium ruby coloured wine with crimson hues. Slightly reduced, earthy initially, then opens up with youthful aromas of sour cherry, red currants, pomegranate and baking spices. A medium-bodied wine, lovely fruity acidity, soft silky tannins. Ripe flavours of red currants, cherries, cranberries with a velvety slate of spice. Nice length for the finish. 519 cases produced. Drink now – 2019. 89-90/100.

Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Whitsend/Oakridge vineyards Shiraz 2012
Not on tasting at cellar door due to dwindling stocks. Only half a shelf left on sale at cellar door. Offered the Over The Shoulder Shiraz 2012 for tasting instead. I bought a bottle from a store later on the day.

$36. This wine is a blend from the west facing Whitsend (60%) and north Oakridge (40%) vineyards sited in the grey alluvial loams of Coldstream. The Whitsend fruit underwent whole berry ferment while the Oakridge fruit was whole bunch fermented, both in open vessels followed by 12 month maturation in 500L 20% new French oak puncheons. Clear, medium ruby colour with a shade of purple. Youthful aromas of white pepper, blackberries, mulberries and dried herbs. A medium-bodied wine, high acidity to keep the freshness going, moderate level of chewy tannins. Nice dark fruit flavours, blackberry, cherry, bit of black plum, and the lingering spice. Good length for the finish. Drink now – 2020. 89/100.

Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Oakridge vineyard Merlot 2012
$26. Not the biggest fan of Merlot. But this was an ok drink, fine dusty tannins, dark plummy fruit flavours. I with-hold my opinion on this.

Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Whitsend vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
$36. Quite the typical Cabernet Sauvignon characteristics, which was probably aided by the good-excellent ripening conditions of the 2012 vintage. Dark ruby with purple/crimson tinge. Youthful perfumed bouquet, think typical Cabernet characteristics – blackcurrants, violets, sweet peppercorns, pencil shavings. This is a well-structured medium to full-bodied wine, sufficient acidity and good level of tannins. Good fruit weight, ample roundness to the dark berry fruit, then finishing relatively well. Drink now – 2020. 91/100.

Oakridge 864 Oakridge Vineyard Winery Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
$75. Fruit comes off the Oakridge Vineyard which is in direct view from the winery. Planted on alluvial loam soil in 1996, mixed Clonal selection. Fruit is hand-harvested and sorted prior to destemming. 4 day cold maceration, pump-overs thrice a day, juice remained on skins for 3 weeks prior to pressing. 15 months ageing in French oak barrels. Dark ruby-purple colour. Fragrant, youthful notes of blackcurrants, crème de cassis, dark plums, cedar, touch of clove spice and faint hint of anise. Full-bodied wine with a bit of age to it now, very different from the Local Vineyard cabernets which are more typical. There is more elegance to this one. The acidity is fresh, the core acidity is retained all the way through till the finish. Medium level of fine tannins, prop up the rich dark berry, blackcurrant, plum fruit flavours, again bit of sweet spice lingering. Long finish. Drink now – 2025. 92/100.

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