Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Wynn's Coonawarra Cab Shiraz Merlot 2005

I have already stated my love for this wine as the best thing under $13.00

This bottle did nothing to change my mind, smooth as silk and very nice spicy vanilla make this easily my favourite drinker. I can't fault it and now must get back and buy more at that price.

What else can I say? This rocks!!

Drinkability 92
Value 96
Price $13 (LiquorLand Toombul)

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Classic McLaren LaTesta Shiraz/Grenache/Cabernet Blend 2000

A lot of expectations riding on this cleanskin version of La Testa's Blend. For a start, it's advertised as costing $55 a bottle normally... hmm.. I have seen it advertised for half that...

Anyway, the Red Bigot advised to buy this and he wasn't wrong. Price not being an issue, this wine is very nice. Not with a WOW factor, but a very nice drinking wine. On the nose it's almost perfumed, but not sickly. It does drink very smooth and quite sweet with a lot of oak and tons of fruit. I think the grenache is quite prominent here.

It's almost like a port, but not as strong, if that make sense??

I like this, but it's not an everyday wine. No real punch. It would go well with food too, but I have no idea what food.


I'll know more after this weekend. My course and the Barrel tasting should help me make more sense of this.

(I just read that James Halliday gave this a 90, so did I.. spooky)

Drinkability 90
Value 91
Price $17.95 (Get wines direct)

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Devil's Lair 'Fifth Leg' Red 2005 (Margaret River)

Hmm... I blame this wine for my disintegration last night.. so tempted I was to drink it that I had half a bottle on top of the Dorrien... the rest is history and as I wrote this, I can say that I got back on the horse (albeit gingerly)
I do like this wine, it's not a patch on the Dorrien, but at $13 a bottle it is very drinkable.
Very approachable, I get the feeling they made this for the mass market and good for them. Not everyone likes to sit waiting ten years for a wine to be at it's peak.
Some of us need these wines to make the wait worthwhile :)
I can't really describe what I tasted, my head only just allowed me to open the bottle and thankfully it liked what it had, so onward I ventured. No, this wine is pretty good.
Drinkability 89/90
Value 95
Price $13 Royal Bottleshop Toombul (on special)

Dorrien Estate 'The Growers' Shiraz 2005 (Barossa)

I had been waiting for this to arrive for some time... I loved the 2004 and this vintage won Gold at the Sydney Wine Show this year. It arrived and I had planned the night well, Jean was away so I cooked myself Kangaroo Steaks with roasted asparagus, carrot and potato. Dinner was awesome and the wine wonderful.

Not particulary different from the 2004, medium body with the smoky vanilla that I like. The Dorrien is made by Neil Doddridge and it bears the signs of his work. It's slighty fruity but very easy to drink.

Unfortunately, too easy to drink and on such a small dinner I found myself well and truly toasted. (I will not describe the following events, but I swore I would never drink again) (I will explain next why... )
Drinkability 93
Value 97
Price $19.00 Cellarmasters (I got it a little cheaper for buying two cases)(I hope)

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Black Wattle Shiraz 2005 (Coonawarra/Padthaway)

Away from the cleanskins for a moment and onto a fairly decent drop from CellarMasters the wine club... This apparently won their 'Wine of the Year 07'

I didn't vote for it originally, but wasn't against it at all.

I got the case because I took part in the Wine of the Year pack thingy. Ended up being about $13 a bottle, so I couldn't refuse.

Ok, so have decided to crack one today and it took about an hour and a half in the bottle to show itself properly, but now it has I must say it's quite nice. A nice Chocolate tone with a hint of pepper. Quite Spicy too. (ok, I just read the proper tasting notes and they say 'lifted spices and integrated oak' - hope that makes more sense for you)

It feels a very smooth and medium to heavy bodied Shiraz. Made by my hero Neil Dodderidge too. :)
Drinkability 91
Value 95
Price $13 (on special) Cellarmasters

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Gotham Langhorne Ck/ Mclarenvale Shiraz 2006

Ok, this is the 4th bottle we have had of the Gotham Shiraz, but it hasn't really rated a mention until now. For all the hype that Get Wines Direct have put forward, this is nothing more than a $9.95 bottle of wine. Not great, not horrible.
Tonight Jean had it open for a couple of hours before we touched it. That seemed to help. It was light on the nose, smooth and strong vanilla tones.
It tasted better than previous bottles, but sadly, nothing out of the extremely ordinary.
It quickly turned into just another cheap wine...

It does however have the coolest label ever. Especially to those into Batman :)

Anyway, take it or leave it, I could find cheaper and better cleanskins or even normal wines (Chalk Hill for instance)

Drinkability 87
Value 89
Price $9.95 (Get Wines Direct)

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Cleanskin - Barossa Premium Old Vines Shiraz 2005

Well, this one came with a free copy of James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion and thankfully so... at $9.95 it was ok, but I have tasted cheaper cleanskins for better value.
Get Wines Direct are trying to tell me that it retails normally at $30 a bottle from a winery that has operated since 1837 *cough*

This wine came with absolutely no label at all. Nothing... Strange, but I'm sure it's not too unusual.

It was let breathe in the bottle for an hour and when I came to sniff the open bottle, it was not too bad... first glass was very smooth and warm. A good sign. But after that first glass it seemed to lose it's charm. It had a good generic flavour. Nothing stuck it's head out at me, but nothing made me recoil either.
I think that at $7.29 a bottle (including my free wine companion) it was not a bad drop. We had it with cheeses and that certainly helped.

Drinkability 87
Value 90
Price $9.95 (Get Wines Direct)

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Cleanskin - Barossa 'Single Vineyard' Shiraz 2002

Holy shit!! This is possibly the best cleanskin I've had thus far!! On opening it smelt nice and after only a short decant it was ready.
Light on the nose with spicy vanilla, it was smooth and fine.
Definite vanilla with, and dare I say it... plum. There is something strong for sure and at the end.

After a couple of hours, poured back in the bottle as we had to go out, it drank even better and was quite fruity as well as keeping the mild vanilla tones ending with Liquorice*.
I must be getting better at this.. I checked the notes and I had almost gotten all the flavours. I will admit that liquorice wasn't mine, but it really does finish with something like that. Since these entries are mainly for my records, I don't mind borrowing some terminology until I can identify these things for myself. Hope that's ok? :)

Get Wines Direct try to tell me that this is originally $45 a bottle.. hmm... Maybe, who knows.. but at $14.95 it is definitely something I would be interested in getting again. Cleanskin or not, this is a very nice wine.

Drinkability 91
Value 95
Price $14.95 (Get Wines Direct)

*How the hell do they get Liquorice out of a grape?....

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Chalk Hill Shiraz 2003 (McLarenvale)

Got my order from Get Wines Direct today. (well half of it, the second case is held up in Australia Post for some reason)

Unfortunately, they sent the wrong order and I recieved 4 bottles of La Testa Grenache instead of the La Testa Blend... so I have to wait for that to be sorted. They were very nice about it, so it was hard to be miffed.The rest of the order came through though and I decided to start with the Chalk Hill Shiraz @ $9.95 a bottle (I got 6, just to be sure)
The reveiws I had read were glowing and at the price it would be a very good quaffer.
Quite a strong nose and a rich but smooth feel with berries and a little vanilla.
I drank this without food, but i think it would be good with Steak (what isn't?) Let it breathe for about an hour in the bottle and checked intermittently, was good at about an hour and to the end of the bottle. Which lasted til Jean came home :)
Will definitely keep an eye out for more...
Drinkability 89
Value 95
Price $9.95 (Get Wines Direct)

Friday, 19 October 2007

Reds and my thoughts on them

This is my blog to chronicle my thoughts on the wines I drink and hopefully get opinions from everyone that shares my love of the Vino.

At the time of writing I have a few favourites in each price range, but next week I will be attending the Cellarmasters Barrel Tasting in Brisbane as well as partaking in a Wine Appreciation course the next day.

(the other way around would have been more appropriate, but it was not to be)(Doh)

In the <$15 range, my favourite would have to be Wynn's Coonawarra Cab Shiraz Merlot. I have only recently discovered this thanks to Kev bringing a bottle of the 2005 to my birthday dinner. Since then I have given it quite a good bashing. It hasn't failed to impress.

My favourite for now in the $15-$30 range is the Dorrien Estate 'The Growers' Shiraz. Something from Cellarmasters that I really like and apparently won Gold at the Sydney Wine show this year.

I have bought a few dozen at a good price (around the $20 mark) Been drinking the 04, but have the 05 coming. It's the 05 that won the Gold Medal in Sydney.

As my favourite $30+ wine it's very close between Penfolds Bin 389 and Tapestry 'The Vincent' Shiraz

I bought a case of 'The Vincent' at this years Brisbane Wine Show after having tried it at least 10 times (not because i was unsure, more because it was so good and the guys were happy to keep topping me up) :)

In the Premium price range I am yet to try anything at a plus $50 level. I want to learn more before I tackle the better wines. So bear with me...

So that's it for now, I look forward to more tastings and hopefully developing mu palate in the coming years... having hit 40 now, i think it's about time to kick back and enjoy this simple pleasure. (and write about it)

Cheers and thanks for reading,


The Red Pool