Posts Tagged ‘White Wine’

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

Spitting: Optional

Yalumba FDW [7c] Chardonnay 2008

Vintage: 2008

Style: Dry white

Country: Australia

Region: Adelaide Hills

 

Overview: Some brands suffer from the opinion that they are ‘too commercial’, brands like Rosemount, Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Yalumba just to name a few. These brands may have a larger, commercial presence but they have all originated from humble beginnings and while ranges like Rosemount Diamond Label, Jacob’s Creek Regional Collection, Wolf Blass Red & Yellow Label, Penfolds Koonunga Hill and Yalumba Y Series seem to dominate bottleshop shelves it is easy to forget that these brands also produce some of the best ‘premium’ Australian wines in Australia as well. Case in point, Rosemount Show Reserve, Jacob’s Creek Steingarten, St Hugo and Johann, Wolf Blass Grey Label, Penfolds Bin Series and Grange and Yalumba have the FDW [7c] and a range of other wines e.g. the Octavius that keep them in favour with those who drink these wines.

Back in the early days of Australian wine production Chardonnay was often labelled as ‘Dry White’, the FDW stands for Fine Dry White, paying homage to those days. The 7c is Yalumba’s coding for the batch of Chardonnay used to make this fine wine.

 

Tasting note: A flinty nose, steely with a hint of struck match (struck match is a character that comes from complex sulphides; we’ll delve into that another day). The palate is of rich stonefruit, white nectarine almost bordering on peach. The oak is subtle and well integrated, neither overpowering nor lost in the fruit.

Final Say: A great wine to rekindle your love with a brand you may believe is ‘too commercial’. It sells for between $22-$27 and would love to compliment a cream based chicken dish.

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

Spitting: Optional

Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 2007

Vintage: 2007

Style: Dry White

Country: France

Region: Alsace

 

Overview: Schlumberger. I love saying that name, it’s probably half the reason I love this wine, it gives me a reason to say Schlumberger. You would be right to think that Schlumberger does not sound to be a French name. That is because Alsace has jumped countries over the past 141 years. While Alsace is a region in France it was in1871 that it became part of Germany during the Franco-Prussian war. After World War I Alsace became part of France for a short time until World War II when it became of German ownership once again. In 1945 Alsace was returned to France where it has remained…for now.

It’s hard to believe that between all this, time was found to make wine. Alsace’s primary varietals are Riesling, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Gris. The region is known for drier styles of Riesling whereas Germany is known for off-dry to sweet styles. Perhaps this is in defiance to the border tug-of-war?

Anyway, enough with the history lessons, let’s talk wine.

 

Tasting note: A nose of kerosene, that’s right, kerosene is a common descriptor for aged Rieslings (it’s a good thing, not a bad thing…unless it is present in a young wine), citrus and green apple. As per normal these characters join the palate and are complimented by mineral tones, talc, a rich mouth-feel and a soft acid.

Final Say: While some beginners might think that kerosene is an undesirable flavour in a wine it is very common in dry style Riesling. I was once told that I was a heinous human for using kerosene as a descriptor, (it was printed in a tasting note I had written and a ‘lady’ had a good mind to email the place selling the wine to tell them that I did not know what I was talking about) but guess what, it’s there and cannot be mistaken for anything else, it’s a good thing so shut up and drink it. It sells for around $35 a bottle.

 

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

Delatite Riesling 2011

Region: Central Victoria, Australia

Tasting Note:

 

Almost clear in colour, citrus on the nose. A palate of citrus, orange blossom, green apple and a delicate acid.

 

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

 

Wood Park Wines Sparkling Pinot Noir/Chardonnay 2009

Region: Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

 

Toasty nose. Yeasty characters on the palate, soft citrus fruit.

 

Score: 16.5 out of 20 (83 out of 100)

 

Wood Park Wines Meadow Creek Chardonnay 2010

Region: King Valley, Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

 

Older style, quite oaky with characters of butterscotch and peach.

 

Score: 16.5 out of 20 (83 out of 100)

 

Wood Park Wines Wild’s Gully Tempranillo 2010

 

Region: Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

 

Peppery nose with a palate of cherry and savoury spice. Lighter style

 

Score: 15.5 out of 20 (78 out of 100)

 

Wood Park Wines Kneebones’s Gap Shiraz 2006

 

Region: King Valley, Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

 

Nose and palate of plum and blackberry, softer tannins.

 

Score: 16 out of 20 (80 out of 100)

 

 

Wood Park Wines Cabernet Shiraz 2006

 

Region: King Valley, Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

 

Raspberry nose, red fruit on the palate. Nice tannin structure.

 

Score: 16.5 out of 20 (83 out of 100)

 

 

Brown Brothers Limited Release Prosecco 2011

 

Region: King Valley, Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

 

Light sparkling style. Apple and pear characters with a nice bead.

 

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

 

Brown Brothers Patricia Pinot Noir/Chardonnay Brut 2006

 

Region: King Valley, Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

Yeasty, brioche nose and palate with subtle citrus backbone.

 

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

 

Brown Brothers Limited Release Vermentino 2011

 

Region: Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

Talc nose, nice herbacousness, nice fresh style.

 

Score: 15.5 out of 20 (78 out of 100)

 

Brown Brothers Chenin Blanc 2011

 

Region: Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

Touch of sweetness, grassy and pear flavours.

 

Score: 16 out of 20 (80 out of 100)

 

Brown Brothers Limited Release Banksdale Chardonnay 2011

 

Region: King Valley, Victoria, Australia

 

Tasting Note:

Oaky nose, soft and complex. Quite Chablis like.

 

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 you the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spitting-Optional/314535381931908?sk=wall

Jack Davis

Spitting: Optional

San Vincenzo Anselmi Bianco 2010 I.G.T

Vintage: 2010

Country: Italy

Region: Veneto

 

Overview: Sauvignon Blanc is a variety that wine enthusiasts love to hate and everyday punters love to drink and even though our market is flooded with cheap Sauvy’s at the moment I do believe they play an important part in helping beginners understand wine. The main reason being that the characters are so easy to discern. If you tell somebody who is tasting a Shiraz for the first time that they should taste flavours of blackberry, pepper, tobacco and spice they generally look at you like your head just exploded from your body. However, if you tell someone who is tasting Sauvignon Blanc for the first time that they should pick up characters of passionfruit and cut grass they normally pick it up on the nose, even before they taste the wine simply because the flavours are simple and pungent not layered and complex. Cat’s piss and sweaty arm pits also sit in this category of pungent Sauvignon Blanc characters. Wine Educators teaching flavour association should try trading tinned passionfruit for novices to sniff next to a glass of Sauv Blanc for a vial of cat urine and a quick rub of their sweaty armpit on their student’s nose.

So I can hear you saying, what, in the name of sweet baby Jesus does sniffing cat’s piss and licking armpits have to do with the San Vincenzo Anselmi Biano? Well just like Sauvignon Blanc works as a bridging wine for wine amateurs so too does this wine ease beginners into Italian wines. It is a little bit more pungent and rich which would help accustom a novice’s palate who is not used to the subtle fruit and minerality of Italian whites.

Tasting note:  Upfront herbaceous aromas on the nose, cut grass, sandalwood and ripe citrus. These flavours follow through onto the palate joined by characters of pear and finishes with a fresh acidity.   

Final Say: This is a fun wine, while it doesn’t display the minerality and subtleness that I love about Italian whites I do see its merits and think it’s a great buy for around $20 a bottle. If you are curious about Italian whites but haven’t tried any before give the San Vincenzo a whirl.

 

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 you the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spitting-Optional/314535381931908?sk=wall

Jack Davis

Spitting: Optional

Spitting: Optional

Peter Lehmann Margaret Semillon 2006

Vintage: 2006

Country: Australia

Region: Barossa Valley, SA

 

Overview: Has Semillon fallen from grace with modern drinkers? Perhaps, but in a way this variety being a bit more esoteric has done wonders for the style. Why? Because it means that every man and his vineyard aren’t planting row after row of Semillon as they do with popular varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz and leave it to the people who make Semillon best, e.g. Tyrrells, McWilliams/Mount Pleasant, Peter Lehmann etc. While Semillon is still popular in blends of Sauvignon Blanc in Australia they are typically simple wines, unlike the origins of the blend from Bordeaux, France which are great wines that are complex and great food wines. Semillon as a single variety is one of the wines that Australia should be proud of and while most Semillon comes from the Hunter we mustn’t forget that the Barossa can produce a hell of a Semillon.

The Peter Lehmann Margaret Semillon has long been one of my favourite Australian wines and every time I put a bottle of this wine in the fridge I cannot wait to drink it.

 

Tasting note: A nose of straw and citrus, the palate is toasty with characters of straw, lime juice and a salty minerality. The acid helps this wine linger in the mouth and will help the wine cellar for a further 5-10 years. The ’06 is a touch riper then previous years but adds another element to this wine.  

 

Final Say: Nothing more to say, just buy it and drink it. It sells for around $24 and is released with six years age on it already, a nice headstart.

Score: 18.5 out of 20 (93 out of 100) Freakin’ awesome.

Tuck’s Ridge Turramurra Chardonnay 2009:

Region:Mornington Peninsula, Vic, Australia

Tasting note: A flinty nose with hints of line and subtle oak. Citrus, white nectarine and minerality on the palate. The oak is subtle and adds another dimension to the wine without being overpowering

Score: 18.5/20 (93 out of 100)

Querciabella Mongrana 2009 (Sangiovese/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon)

Region:Tuscany, Italy

Tasting note: Relatively simple and uncomplicated, nice red fruit characters and spice.

Score: 15.5/20 (77 out of 100)

Quiciabella Chianti Classico 2008

Region:Tuscany, Italy

Tasting note: Savoury spice, raspberry and delicate plum on the nose and palate. Quite floral.

Score: 17.5/20 (88 out of 100)

Querciabella Batar Chardonnay 2009

Region:Tuscany, Italy

Tasting note: Liberal oak contact, this oak dominates the nose. Very full on the palate with characters of peach and melon, the fruit notes are bold enough that the oak does not dominate the palate.

Score: 18/20 (90 out of 100)

Lungarotti Rosso di Torgiano DOC Rubesco 2007:

Region:Umbria, Italy

Tasting note: An elegant style, dusty on the palate and spicey.

Score: 16.5/20 (83 out of 100)

Lungarotti Rosso di Torgiano Riserva DOCG Rubesco 2005:

Region:Umbria, Italy

Tasting note: Aged characters are only just gracing the palate of this wine, smokey, tobacco palate with a great earthiness.

Score: 17.5/20 (88 out of 100)

Marchesi Alfieri La Tora Barbera d’Asti 2009:

Region: Piedmont, Italy

Tasting note: White pepper, blueberry complimented by soft tannins. Very floral

Score: 17.5/20 (88 out of 100)

Marchesi Alfieri ‘Alfiera’ Barbera d’Asti 2009:

Region: Piedmont, Italy

Tasting note: A little more brooding in style, it still has those lovely pepper tones but enters more the cherry and prune spectrum of fruit characters.

Score: 18.5/20 (93 out of 100)

Matteo Correggia Roero Arnies 2011:

Region: Piedmont, Italy

Tasting note: Lifted citrus tones on the nose and palate. Great texture and nutty flavours.

Score: 17/20 (85 out of 100)

Matteo Correggia Roero (Nebbiolo) 2009:

Region: Piedmont, Italy

Tasting note: Brambly characters, herbaceous with a good tannin structure.

Score: 16/20 (80 out of 100)

Matteo Correggia Barbera Bricco Marun 2009:

Region: Piedmont, Italy

Tasting note: Silky, velvety mouthfeel. Pepper, spice and sour cherry.

Score: 17/20 (85 out of 100)

Matteo Correggia Nebbiolo Val di Preti 2009:

Region: Piedmont, Italy

Tasting note: Raseberry, menthol, mint on the nose and palate, as expected with Nebbiolo it has a big tannin structure.

Score: 17.5/20 (88 out of 100)

Matteo Correggia Roche d’Ampsej (Nebbiolo) 2007:

Region: Piedmont, Italy

Tasting note: Vanillian oak on the nose, cherry and violets. Needs a good piece of salami to tone down the tannins.

Score: 18/20 (90 out of 100)

Forteto della Luja Loazzolo 2005:

Region: Piedmont, Italy

Tasting note: A dessert wine made from dried muscat grapes, very delicate, orange blossom and honey characters. Barely showing a hint of age.

Score: 19/20 (95 out of 100)

 

Knappstien Handpicked Riesling 2011:

Region:Clare Valley, SA, Australia

Tasting note: Straw, citrus, lime juice and racy acid. One of the better ’11’s I’ve tasted so far.

Score: 18/20 (90 out of 100)

Fowles Ladies Who Shoot their Lunch Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2011:

Region:Strathbogie, Vic, Australia

Tasting note: Funky nose, palate of citrus, white nectarine and subtle oak.

Score: 18.5/20 (93 out of 100)

Fowles Ladies Who Shoot their Lunch Merlot/Lagrein/Tempranillo 2010:

Region:Strathbogie, Vic, Australia

Tasting note: Mediterranean style, savoury spice and fine tannins.

Score: 17/20 (85 out of 100)

Fowles Ladies Who Shoot their Lunch Shiraz 2010:

Region:Strathbogie, Vic, Australia

Tasting note: Holy white pepper! White pepper on the palate and nose but nicely rounded out by soft blueberry characters.

Score: 18.5/20 (93 out of 100)