Posts Tagged ‘red wine’

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

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Sensi Chianti

Spitting: Optional

Sensi Collezione Chianti 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Medium-bodied red

Country: Italy

Region: Tuscany

 

Overview: Sangiovese seems to be a bit of a ‘buzz’ wine at the moment. A hipster’s favourite tipple when visiting their funky local wine bar that no one has heard about with vintage bicycles hanging from the roof. Not that I’m complaining, Sangiovese is a great variety that has taken a while to gain some traction in the Australian wine market. Chianti is arguably the most recognised Italian wine growing region. Chianti must be at least 70% Sangiovese and other, approved red wines can be added to the mix, e.g. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Lately they have been playing with adding white varieties in small quantities in a Shiraz/Viognier fashion. This wine is a great, simple Chianti which is a fantastic introduction to the style.

 

Tasting note: Typical notes of cherry, cherry-cola and crushed rosemary on the nose. A pretty, juicy palate with characters of cherries, sweet spice and violets. A simple style but incredibly enjoyable.

Final Say: Buy a bottle and complain that you liked Sangiovese before it was cool. Fantastic value, sells for around $16-$20 a bottle.

 

Score: 16.5 out of 20

S.C. Pannell Syrah 2010

Posted: December 19, 2012 in Australia
Tags: , ,

Scp

Spitting: Optional

S.C. Pannell Syrah 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Medium bodied red

Country: Australia

Region: Adelaide Hills

 

Overview: This wine has funk and character. This wine is the kind of wine that breaks free of the, sometimes, boring monotony of Shiraz. This wine is the jazz saxophonist of the wine world. The funk comes from a winemaking practice where whole bunches are fermented rather than crushed and left in a soup of skin, pulp and juice. This lets the wine ferment inside the grape skins and adds an extra layer of complexity. This is known as carbonic maceration. In this wine the ‘funk’ is a strawberry yoghurt character with an under lying earthy aroma and flavour.

This is a medium bodied Shiraz, elegant, thus the French name for Shiraz is used, Syrah. S.C. Pannell wines have always displayed great finesse that this wine is no exception. Enjoy with good food, scat vocals and a scratchy Coltrane record.

 

Tasting note: Perfumed nose, with lifted white pepper, blueberry aromas upfront. These characters jump out of the glass at first but when left to develop the funky fragrance of strawberry yoghurt and earth become more evident. There is a touch of cedar from the superbly integrated oak. On the palate there are flavours of blackberry, strawberry and violets and finishes with fine tannins which complement but do not overpower.

 

Final Say: Scibbidy doo-woop. This is seriously one of the best Shiraz I’ve tried this year. $20-25 dollars a bottle.

 

Score: 19 out of 20 (95 out of 100)

Red Claw Pinot Noir 2010

Posted: December 5, 2012 in Australia
Tags: , ,

Yabby

Spitting: Optional

Red Claw Pinot Noir 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Light-mid bodied red

Country: Australia

Region: Mornington Peninsula  

Overview:   So a while ago I mentioned that people who are just starting to get into wine normally struggle with the variety Pinot Noir. My theory for this is that wine wankers, like myself, use descriptors such as game, mushroom and forest floor. While all these characters are typical of Pinot Noir when a beginner hears words like this strung together it would be difficult for them not think of a dead deer, rotting in a forest with toadstools growing around it.

I’ve been looking for a good Pinot Noir that displays the fresh, vibrant fruit characters of Pinot without these gamey, forest floor flavours to give newcomers to the world of wine an example of a simpler version of Pinot to ease them into falling in love with this great variety. As you recognize the simple characters of Pinot Noir you will come to appreciate the more complex. It’s like being attracted to someone for their good looks but falling for them for their subtleties and personality (I know, I know, I’m a massive tool).

This wine is made by the team at Yabby Lake, arguably one of the most recognized wineries out of the Mornington Peninsula.

Tasting note: Sour cherry on the nose, a touch of strawberry. On the palate the fruit characters are fresh and vibrant, cherry and violets.  Finishes with soft tannins. Simple but quite enjoyable.

Final Say:  Sells for around $20 a bottle and is sure to spark a Pinot love affair,

Score: 16.5 out of 20

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

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

Jack Davis

 

 

Spitting: Optional

Brand’s Laira Cabernet Merlot 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Full bodied red

Country: Australia 

Region: Coonawarra 

Overview: Cabernet Sauvignon is frequently referred to as a ‘doughnut’ variety. Why? It’s not because it’s sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon or because it is responsible for overweight men of authority but because when it is made into a single variety wine there is often something missing, a hole in the palate. This ‘hole’ needs to be filled in with something. In Bordeaux, France this is filled with the variety Merlot. On the left bank of Bordeaux Merlot is actually the dominate variety.

There is often the perception that Merlot is a one-dimensional, wishy-washy wine that’s good for nothing other than staining the drain with tannin and while this might be true for a lot of the cheap Merlot produced in Australia the fact is that any variety can be made as a one-dimensional, wishy-washy style. When made in a serious manner Merlot displays savoury spice and rich berry characters.

This Cabernet Merlot is quintessentially Australian in style, punchy, oaky, fruit driven and tannic enough to stain your teeth for a week. A good one to put in the cellar for 5 years or so.

Tasting note: Lifted aromas of dark cherry, plum and ground coffee tones. The more delicate cherry characters on the nose give way to plum and blackberries on the palate. Liberal contact with oak has imparted cedar flavours and finishes with a touch of menthol and chewy tannins.

Final Say: Normally sells for $17 a bottle, it’s probably a little young at the moment but will be looking good in 3-5 years’ time.

 

Score: 16.5 out of 20

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

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

Jack Davis

 

 

Spitting: Optional

Picante Grande Meseta Tempranillo Shiraz 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Medium bodied red

Country: Spain 

Region: Central Spain 

Overview When selecting this wine I was choosing something that I believed would be a simple drink. Nothing mind blowing or overly complex, just a nice drink that I could sit down, put my feet up and enjoy. It was probably the price tag that made me think this, $11.99 I think I bought it for. The wine in the glass, however punched well above its weight, floored me, put me down for the count and made me feel guilty that I was drinking this on my own and not sharing it. I should have seen it coming really, those Spaniards are notorious for making great, inexpensive red wines. Where I really discovered the great potential of this wine was when I matched it with food, the spice and fresh fruit came to life when paired with fennel seed and pepper crusted pork.

Tempranillo and Shiraz are great partners. I’ve seen many, great cheap wines of this blend out of both Spain and Italy. Both have different dimensions of fruit and spice that lend to one another. This wine does not see oak which adds vibrancy and freshness which can sometimes be missing in a red wine.

This wine has the Spitting:Optional guarantee. Try it and if you don’t like it I will not give you back any money but subject you to a stern talking to.

Tasting note: An attractive, floral nose with tones of strawberry, blueberry and white pepper these characters carry on to the palate with savoury spice, crushed rosemary and finishes with grainy tannins. It is reminiscent of a good, entry level Cote du Rhone.

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Final Say: Looking for an inexpensive wine to impress with? Look no further, pick it up for between $11 and $15 and enjoy.

 

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

Spitting: Optional

Prunotto Occhetti Nebbiolo d’Alba 2009

Vintage: 2009

Style: Full bodied red.

Country: Italy 

Region: Piedmont, d’Alba 

Overview: I have never imagined Nebbiolo as a pretty or elegant variety, it is a brute that requires manhandling to make it do what winemakers want it to do and even then it remains defiant. Nebbiolo is a variety that is lighter in colour but higher in tannins. It requires extended aging in oak for the tannins to soften. When young and unoaked these tannins would be far too aggressive to be a pleasurable drink. Imagine trying to drink a cup of black tea made from 20 teabags that had been left over night to infuse. When these tannins soften the spice and herbal characters of this grape shines but still Nebbiolo really needs a few years in the bottle to come into its own.

The most famous example of wines made from the Nebbiolo grape is Barolo. Barolo wines are produced in Piedmont of Italy and must be at least 90% Nebbiolo. Some Barolo can spend up to five years in oak and 3 years in the bottle aging. It has been said that a Barolo needs at least 10 years aging before it is approachable.

The wine in this review spent 1 year on oak but is from the d’Alba region which grows a more approachable style of Nebbiolo but in saying that I did find the tannins were quite powerful without food. With food where this wine really impresses. Tannin needs protein to bind to so have this with red meat, piles and piles of red meat. This wine is also a fraction of the price of most Barolo.

Tasting note: The brick colour of this wine could be unappealing to some but keep in mind that this is typical of Nebbiolo, it turns orange very quickly. A brambly, minty nose. This mint carries on to the palate. Pepper, chocolate and blackberry foremost on the palate which way to spicy cedar and dusty tannins.

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Final Say: Looking for a wine to throw in the cellar and forget about for a few years? Look no further. Give this brute five years in the cellar and you will be rewarded. It sells for around $45 a bottle.

 

Score: 17 out of 20

 

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

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

Jack Davis