Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Fox Creek Red Baron Shiraz (Mclarenvale) 2006

Bit of a nice surprise... I bought this at Dan Murphy's last week as part of an exploratory half dozen. Stuff that I had heard of but never tried (under $15).
Turns out that this is actually pretty damn good. Quite sweet on the palate, fruity and a very vanilla oak feel. But smooth and there is a depth that is very alluring.
I must admit that for the price I am very pleased. This is a well constructed shiraz from my favourite region (McLarenvale) - Lolly on the nose, but red berries on the palate with a nice dose of oak to balance it out.
This is going straight to m favourites under $15 and I'm definitely going to buy more very soon.
Drinkabaility 92
Value 95
Price $14 (Dan Murphys)

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Winery - Ballandean Estate - Granite Belt QLD

It's been a long time since I have visited a winery - too long in fact. So it was my great fortune to have attended the wedding of our close friends Ngara and Adam held at the Ballandean Estate winery, just outside of Stanthorpe.
The wedding itself was exceptional with a fantastic selection of wines available (courtesy of the hosts who are very close to the happy couple). The food was simply astounding and the atmosphere second to none. I wish all weddings were held in Wineries...
The next day we were treated to an exclusive breakfast and quite educational winery tour by Ballandean Estate's very own Angelo Puglisi. You'd go a long way to meet a more accomodating host and his family run winery seems quite successful, something a lot of small businesses should take note of.
As for the wines, I'll definitely cover some of the individual wines over the coming weeks... My interest in QLD wines has certainly grown after today. I was quite impressed overall.
So if you are out in the Stanthorpe region, make sure you pop in to the Ballandean Estate winery. You definitely wont leave empty handed.
Street Address:
354 Sundown Road, Ballandean, Qld. 4382 AUSTRALIA
(07) 4684 1226

Friday, 18 April 2008

Rothbury Estate Brokenback Shiraz (Hunter Valley) 1998

Another great wine on our lazy Sunday afternoon... This followed the 707 and was outstanding.

Very different to the Cab Sav and a lot more to my personal liking as I'm a big fan of Shiraz. This had a little more zing to it than the 82 707 and was probably near it's prime. Another good reason for leaving bottles alone. There was a certain oomph that I don't think a young wine can muster.

I have not tried any other Rothbury Estate wines, but will definitely keep an eye out.

Again, time has passed since drinking this so i wont attempt to describe the actual flavours, just that it really was impressive and again, we were extremely fortunate to have shared this bottle.

Drinkability 94

Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon (Barossa Coonawarra) 1982

Time for something special and although this post is a little late, it still deserves mention.

A very pleasant surprise for Jean and I when we visited Stephen and Chris for lunch recently... easily the oldest vintage of anything I have tried. Bottle age really did make a difference and although our hosts seemed to think that it may have been better drinking maybe 10 years earlier, I was pretty impressed anyway.

Extremely smooth as you would expect from any top shelf Penfolds, but it was the fruit that gave it the distinct flavour. Memory fails me, but I do recall that it was reminiscent of my favourite "single vineyard' Barossa... but a few levels up in class.

You can see the amount of sediment on the sides of the bottle, it was full of it!!

I wont go on now, but I was extremely fortunate to share that bottle (and others) on a great afternoon. Hopefully I'll get to see a few of the bottles I've been collecting reach such maturity in time and be able to share them too.

Drinkability : 94
The afternoon : 100 :)

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Course - Wine Emporium (starter course part 2)

Part Two of the Wine Emporium Starter course and tonight was Reds.
Not a bad selection and we tried a good variety of wines from a Barossa Shiraz (John Duvall 'Entity' $50) which was ultimately my favourite, over a french Cabernet Merlot (Chateau Calon Segur 3rd Growth Saint Estephe Cabernet Merlot $110) (this needed a lot more time, either in the bottle or decanting. it was very classy indeed but the shiraz just pushed my buttons)

I didn't mind the straight Grenache or the Sangiovese. Both were not something I would buy, but could appreciate.

Again Travis led a great class and I really did learn a lot about the inner workings of wine and the industry. I thoroughly recommend this to anyone that either wants exposure to some quite decent wines or just wants to learn more about this creature we call wine.

Cheers Wine Emporium

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Course - Wine Emporium (starter course)

Quite an enjoyable evening drinking some quality white wine. Learning about the process and why cold climate wines are different to warmer climate wines.

The course was a good balance of tasting and comparing as well as a more informal 'school-like' learning. Smal group of around 12 people and a variety of about 10 wines from Australia, NZ and even one from France ($70 a bottle)

Now I'm not one for whites myself, but I did quite enjoy the 2006 Dog Point 'Section 94' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. One of the more prominent of the oaked whites we tried.

Next week is the reds selection...

Price $99 for two weeks