Posts Tagged ‘White Wine’

Spitting: Optional

De Bortoli Windy Peak Chardonnay 2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Dry, oaked white

Country: Australia 

Region: Yarra Valley 

Overview:

A little goes a long, long way. Less is more. Brilliance in simplicity. KISS: Keep it simple, stupid. This wine shows the truth in all these sayings. We all know that the more we try to dress something up the worse it can end up. The same can be said about winemaking. If you have great fruit then you don’t have to do much to it to make a great wine. Each time a winemaker practices a winemaking technique like oak contact or lees stirring etc it effects the natural fruit of a wine. This wine has just enough oak to give it complexity and just enough minerality to make it elegant. The key word is balance. This wine stands in the middle of the see-saw without tipping too far over into either side.

Are we seeing a resurgence in popularity of Chardonnay? To an extent yes but I do not believe that Chardonnay will ever steal the top spot from varieties like Sauvignon Blanc. This is not a bad thing. You see, Chardonnay is a diverse variety and echoes climate and winemaking more so than those simple fruit-driven styles which means each Chardonnay you drink will be different. This is great for serious wine drinkers but for those drinkers who like Sauv Blanc like the fact that they can buy two different Sauv Blanc’s and they will display similar characters. What is great to know is that there are wines like this one that are priced to appeal to a wider market  and show how great Chardonnay can be without costing the earth.

Tasting note:

            Freshly cut grapefruit aromas mingle with subtle, toasty oak. Nice level of ripeness on the palate, peach, grapefruit and honeydew melon with a lingering saltiness. Clean and fresh.

 

Final Say: Great value, great wine. A steal at $14, on special it gets as low as $11.

 

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

Advertisements

Spitting: Optional

Yalumba ‘Y’ Series Vermentino 2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Dry White

Country: Australia 

Region: South Australia 

Overview:

Welcome to part 2 of the odyssey into grape varieties starting with ‘V’. I’m sure part 1(http://spittingoptional.com/2012/07/17/martinsancho-verdejo-2010/) had your head swimming with plot twists and elaborate storytelling.

There are only around 50 Australian wineries that grow and produce Vermentino making it relatively unknown in Australia. It’s an Italian variety that can sometimes be a little bland. I haven’t tried too many Australian examples of this wine (Brown Brothers, Serafino and Fox Creek to name a few) and this wine, the Yalumba ‘Y’ Series Vermentino, is probably the best example I’ve seen of Australian’s handling this grape, and guess what? It’s the cheapest as well. I was actually taken aback by how good this wine is and how little it cost.

It has the elegance and varietal character of a wine three times its price. Sadly, the price point may mean that it is overlooked by many serious wine drinkers but trust me on this, flip yourself the ‘V’ tonight and give this wine ago. You won’t even notice the money is missing and there’s a fair chance you’ll buy some more.

 

Tasting note: An herbaceous nose with hints of stone fruit. A fresh, lively palate. Rich with nuances of stone fruit, jasmine flowers and talc. It finishes with a salty, briny acid. Begs to be enjoyed with seafood.

 

Final Say: I’ve said it all already all that is left is for you to try it. It sells for $11-$15

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

Spitting: Optional

KWV Classic Collection Chenin Blanc 2012

Vintage: 2012

Style: Dry – Just off-dry white

Country: South Africa 

Region: South Africa

 

Overview: Chenin Blanc, sounds like the stage name of a transvestite, right? It’s a variety that is high in acid and ripens with higher sugar levels. It’s a diverse variety and can blended with other white varieties, made into a sparkling wine and even desert wines. The variety is most famous for the French Wine Vouvray from the Loire Valley. Vouvray is typically off-dry with honey characters and ages very well.

Chenin Blanc was introduced to South Africa in the 16th century where also known as Steen, no wonder, Chenin Blanc would be a nightmare to say with a South African accent. Much like Argentina and Chile, South Africa can produce wine very economically which means it hits our shores at ridiculously cheap prices. You can pick up the wines of the KWV Classic Collection Range (formally known as Lifestyle range) for around $11 a bottle.

The touch of sweetness in this wine will help match it with Asian dishes with a bit of spice. The sugar helps tone down the ‘heat’ from food laced with chili; this is good if you’re a wimp like me who feels like they’re on the verge of spontaneous combustion when they simply look at a chili.

 

Tasting note: The nose brings aromas of Granny Smith apples, lanolin, custard apple and lime. On the palate there are nuances of the green apple found on the nose, pear peel, rich yet balanced by delicate talc and jasmine characters and fine acid. There is a touch of Ester still present from the fermentation process (a character of banana) but this will dissipate over time.

 

Final Say: It’s cheap, it’s classy and it’s different. Buy it.

Score: 17.5 out of 20 (88 out of 100)

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

Coriole Fiano 2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Dry White

Country: Australia 

Region: Mclaren Vale

 

Overview: In Australia the white wines considered to be ‘serious’ wines are Chardonnay, Riesling and Semillon. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and blends of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, while popular, are not considered ‘serious’ merely necessary for more people are looking for an ‘everyday drink’ rather than a ‘serious’ drink. I am generalizing here; this is not always the case. So we’ve got a handful of white wines that make up the volume of bottled table wine in Australia  but what about those other varieties that are planted here that make ‘serious’ wines in their home countries and barely get a look in here? Varieties such as Viognier, Rousanne, Marsanne, Pinot Blanc, Gruner Veltliner, Savagnin, Verdelho, Chenin Blanc and Fiano. Do they get a fair go? No, they get called ‘alternate’ varieties and suffer low sales figures. Do they get a fair look in at wine shows? Up until 5 years ago I would say no. Do these varieties require a champion? Yes! Should it be me? No, it’s too much work… Just kidding, I’ll champion these wines to anyone who will listen to me.

I’m here to tell you that these wines can be seriously good, if they are made the right way. If they are made as the way they are traditionally treated they’ll achieve greatness. If, instead they are manhandled and forced into an Australian style of wine then, well, they’re going to make a pretty shit wine.

Fiano is an Italian variety and roughly 33 vineyards have it planted in Australia and fewer still make it into a straight, varietal wine. The Coriole Fiano is probably the most recognized Australian Fiano, and has won a trophy at the Mclaren Vale wine show.

Had I tasted this wine in a blind line up I would have thought it was Italian, through and through, even knowing that it was from Australia I had my doubts that it was local… Thus the final comments of my tasting notes read “F@#King classy”.

 

Tasting note: Straw, stone fruit and subtle perfumed nuances on the nose. A palate that is rich yet delicate, sandalwood, nectarine, spice, talc and perfumed white flower characters. Good texture and acid. F@#king classy.

 

Final Say: Stop my rant and just buy it, a truly great wine for $20. I will now step off my soapbox before someone throws a bucket of water over me like a yowling, feral cat.

 

Score: 18.5 out of 20 (93 out of 100)

 

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

Pieropan Soave 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Dry white

Country: Italy 

Region: Veneto

 

Overview: “How soave”, drum roll and a dry cough, tumbleweed tracking across the keyboard. Sorry, couldn’t help myself there, puns are like bad jokes, they sound so good as they are leaving your lips but once they are out there, spoken and free there are always followed by a cringe and a moan.

Soave is an Italian white wine that is produced in the Veneto region of Italy. Soave is made from a grape variety called Garganega. The name sounds like an evil Transformer. Soave is made up of 70-100% of this variety but other varieties can be blended in small quantities. These varieties include Trebbiano and Chardonnay. Never heard of the variety before? I’m not surprised, there is only one producer that I know of in Australia that produces Garganega, Domain Day in the Barossa Valley (If there are more I’d love to know about them, email below).

The wine in this review is probably the most recognized Soave outside of Italy, it’s made up of 85% Garganega (Michael Bay, I’m watching you. You’ve ruined my favourite childhood cartoon and I will not let you do the same to poor old Garganega) and 15% Trebbiano.  Soave Classico means that the fruit comes from a specific area within Veneto. This fruit comes from the hillsides around Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone.

 

Tasting note: Aromas of straw, lime juice and underlying mineral tones. A palate of spice, rich pineapple, melon and elegant citrus. Well integrated acid helps the wine linger.

 

Final Say: This is a benchmark Soave, elegant and rich. It will match well with seafood and delicate pre-dinner dishes. If you’re familiar with other Italian styles such as Pinot Grigio and Arneis but want to try something new give this wine a go. It sells for between $30-$40 a bottle.     

 

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

 

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

Martinsancho Verdejo 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Dry White

Country: Spain

Region: Rueda

 

Overview: I was once told that any variety beginning with ‘V’ is a hard sell. This was about five years ago, I disagreed then and disagree now. While I admit this may have been true in Australia 15 years ago and while I agree varieties like Viognier, Verdelho and Verduzzo will never sell the volume that Sauv Blanc, Shiraz and Chardonnay do I believe as we become more educated about these ‘strange’ varieties we learn exactly where they will fit in our wine collections. After all the are almost as many varieties starting with ‘V’ then there are starting with any other letter (this may be an exaggeration but there are around 27 varieties that start with ‘V’).

Verdejo is a variety that is typically grown to make an oxidised, Sherry-like wine. In Rueda, Spain they use the variety to make a great table wine which is slowly gaining popularity. When made as a table wine Verdejo herbaceous and has lovely tropical characters. I have read that it ages quite well but I have never had a chance to taste a cellared Verdejo.

 

Tasting note: A tropical nose, white nectarine and pineapple. White stone fruit on the palate, rich and full initially yet delicate and elegant on the finish. A great food wine.

 

Final Say: The Martinsancho Verdejo is often used referred to as a benchmark Verdejo, I agree wholeheartedly. Eat with seafood of creamy chicken dishes and you’ll appreciate this variety all the more. It sells for approx. $35 a bottle.

 

Score: 17 out of 20 (85 out of 100)

 

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

Delatite Riesling 2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Dry white

Country: Australia

Region: Central Victoria

 

Overview: What are Biodynamic wines? This is a question I am often asked. It is a question that is harder to answer than you would believe. Biodynamic agriculture is a method of organic farming that relies upon the relationship between soil, plant, animals and sustainable farming.

For a winery to label their wines as Biodynamic they must follow guidelines that were defined by Rudolf Steiner in 1924. These guidelines seem archaic but have had great benefits for those who follow them. Biodynamic wineries do not spray chemicals such as Fungicides and Insecticides. Fertilizers must be from organic origins. Instead they follow the practices set by Rudolf Steiner which include burying cow manure in a cow’s horn in soil over winter. The horn is dug up after winter and the manure is mixed with water and sprayed on the vineyard soil as a liquid fertilizer. They also advise that Chamomile flowers must be sheathed in a cow’s intestine, hung in the summer sun and then buried in the ground over winter and then dug up in spring. The flowers are to be extracted from the intestines and incorporated into compost used for fertilizing. No I’m not joking. Google the guidelines, they’re fascinating.

Delatite are a Biodynamic producer that also believe in minimalistic winemaking practices to ensure that their fruit and the wines they make display the most pure characteristics they can.

 

Tasting note: Pale in colour. A nose of delicate citrus. The palate speaks of citrus, orange blossom and green apple. There is a tiny touch of sweetness on the palate also but this balances the racy acid on the finish.

 

Final Say: I guess you could sum up Biodynamic farming as a holistic approach to the production of wine. One that leaves the winemaker with fruit that is untouched by chemicals. Fruit in its most pristine form? I’ll let you judge that one. This Riesling sells for around $20 a bottle and is one of my favourite Aussie Rieslings.  

 

Score: 17.5 out of 20 (88 out of 100) Freakin’ Awesome

 

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