Archive for February, 2014

Spitting: Optionalcorbieres

Abbotts & Delaunay Corbières Reserve Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre 2011

Style: Full bodied red

Country: France

Region: Languedoc-Roussillon  

 Overview: There is no question that it can be daunting for a person who has not been schooled in French wine to know what they are buying just by looking at the label. Take Burgundy labels for instance, first you need to understand the acronym A.O.C, Appellation d’origine controlee, which essentially mean controlled designation of origin. So for Burgundy to have A.O.C on the label the grapes need to be Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. You then have terms such Bourgogne, Village, Premier Cru & Grand Cru and Sub-Regions such as Hautes-Côtes de Beaune, Hautes-Côtes de Nuits and Mâcon-Villages.  For most wine drinkers outside of France a wine labelled as ‘Beaune Premier Cru Appellation Beaune Premier Cru controlee’ could well mean that the grapes were grown by a one legged goat next door to a one-hundred year-old snail and made by a wizard. Which brings me to this wine and the Languedoc-Roussillon region. This region seems to be shadowed by other French Regions such as Burgundy, Champagne, Bordeaux and Rhone and because of this they have been forced to implement clever ‘marketing’, a term that French wine producers do not believe in. This has seen more stylish and simplistic labelling put forward by the Languedoc-Roussillon region, the biggest wine producing region in the world.
This wine comes from the Corbières region within Languedoc-Roussillon which is renowned for their red wines. The labelling is simple, readable and elegant. Combined with the premium, shoulder style bottle this wine presents as a wine that should sell for much more than the asking price.

Tasting note: A sexy, spicy blend of Syrah (Shiraz), Grenache and Mourvedre. Very aromatic with notes of strawberry and white pepper with underlying hints of smokey ham bone. Silky, soft palate with robust characters of plum and cedar complimenting the elegant strawberry and spice. Finishes velvety, thanks to the Grenache goodness.

Final Say: I cannot confirm or deny whether this wine was made from grapes grown by a one legged goat (it wasn’t on the label) but I can say that it is bloody good value. $23-$25 a bottle

Score: 16.5 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on

Spitting: OptionalDeviation Road Pinot Gris

Deviation Road Pinot Gris 2013

Style: Dry white

Country: Australia

Region: Adelaide Hills  


Tasting note: The road less travelled deviates to the path well-trodden as we witness this once ‘alternate’ variety rise in popularity. This wine, for me, sits more in the Pinot Grigio spectrum then Pinot Gris with nice citrus aromas, cut pear and subtle spice. It is dry and crisp with good acidity and texture.

Final Say: Like most Pinot Gris/Grigio this wine definitely requires food to really shine. $20-$25 a bottle

Score: 15.5 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on

Rosenthal The Naomi Cabernet Shiraz 2012Rosenthal

Style: Full-bodied red

Region: Western Australia

Overview: If the blending of Cabernet and Shiraz was a person, he’d wear board shorts and thongs; he’d be weather beaten yet never beaten, a battler. He’d have a dry, laconic sense of humour and be generous. And when asked how he was he’d say ‘Not bad, mate. How’s yourself’.  He’d be an Aussie, through and through. Cabernet Shiraz blends excite me because no wine is more quintessentially Australian. Outside of Australia it’s rare to find a blend such as this but the two varieties complement each other so well. We’re a race of clever pioneers, you know.  The only thing that disappoints me about this style of wine is that it is not seen more often.

This wine is 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Shiraz and 100% everything I love about this blend.

Tasting note: An intense and generous nose, notes of cassis, plum and blackberry, which are also found on the palate, complemented by the more complex characters of Cabernet Sauvignon: raspberry and kalamata olives. The tannins are chalky and cling to the palate granting this wine fantastic length.          

Final Say: This bloody, flaming, cracker of a wine will benefit from careful cellaring. $22.99 a bottle.

Score: 18 out of 20

Molly’s Cradle Vignerons Selection Shiraz 2011Cradle

Style: Full-bodied red

Region: McLaren Vale, SA

Tasting note: Dense and brooding, certainly a feat in a tough year like 2011. The oak definitely owns the nose with notes of pencil shavings with tentative tendrils of plum reaching upwards out of the glass. Plum, blackberry and golden rough on the palate.

Final Say: If you like oak, this wine is for you, though at times it can be a little overbearing. $16.99 a bottle.

Score: 15.5 out of 20

Margan Chardonnay 2013Margan

Style: Dry, oaked white

Region: Hunter Valley, NSW

Tasting note: A subtle nose consisting of citrus and vanillin oak. Soft flavours of stone fruit on the palate. Clean and fresh this wine is a nice, easy-drinking wine with a good acid structure.

Final Say: A fantastic deckchair white. $14.99 a bottle.

Score: 15.5 out of 20

The Wilson Vineyard Watervale Riesling 2013Wilson

Style: Dry white

Region: Clare Valley, SA

Tasting note: New, modern packaging blinds with its bright ‘LOOK AT ME NOW’ colours. Zesty lime notes, this wine is pure and clean, grassy with a savoury edge. It’s got all you could ever want from a Clare Valley Riesling.

Final Say: One of the better value Rieslings going around, not to mention difficult to get hold of. $18.99.

Score: 17.5 out of 20

Château Vieux Manor Bordeaux 2009Manor

Style: Mid-full bodied red

Region: Bordeaux, France

Tasting note: A nose that is typically earthy with spicy aged notes mingling with truffle. Fruit characters of blackcurrant and delicate strawberry with notes of cinnamon on the palate, granted length by a mouth-coating texture.

Final Say: A good, current drinking Bordeaux; forget cellaring. $14.99 a bottle.

Score: 15.5 out of 20

TWSSociety Premium Selection Barton & Guestier Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Style: Dry white

Region: Côtes de Gascogne, France

Tasting note: A pungent nose of cut grass and dare I say, cat’s piss (trust me, somehow it’s a good thing). The palate is truly a cut above the Savvy Blancs that have now flooded our retail shelves. No cloying, tropical sweetness this with is clean, crisp lemon with mouth-watering herbaceous notes and savoury spice.

Final Say: A slurpable wine that will also match with simple seafood dishes. $16.99 a bottle.

Score: 17 out of 20