Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oh my gosh oh my gosh my favourite wine

This is my favorite Saltram wine. A taste of this stuff is inevitably followed by a "OOooooooH!!!" from the customers at the cellar door.
Most people have heard of, tried, or are converted to Pepperjack Shiraz. It's an easy-drinking classic made by Richard Mattner. This, my friends, is the grown-up big brother.
Full-bodied, fruity, and with enough tannic backbone to deal with Porterhouse steak, this Langhorne Creek sourced shiraz will tickle your fancy. Oooh yes.

Pepperjack (Saltram) Barossa
2012 Shiraz (Porterhouse Matched)
Langhorne Creek
Deep ruby
Medium-pronounced intensity
Cherry brandy
Toasty (American oak)
High acid
Low-med tannin
Full body
Sour cherries
Slight star anise on finish
Black tea on finish
Jammy fruit
Medium length finish
We tasted this wine after two days of opening, an indication of its' long cellaring potential; the juicy fruit and acidity were still there. I love the fruit, mouthfeel and density of this wine. It's powerful yet still not overpowering. Seriously, this stuff sells itself! Nic finds it too "in yer face", however this is my blog and I'll rave if I want to. Hahaha.


Hentley Farm (Barossa) 2012 Viognier

A new friend kindly gave this bottle of wine to Nic for a birthday present recently. The Barossa is strange; everyone is linked in some way. Some people describe it as 'incestuous', but I wouldn't go that far. :) For example, our neighbour across the road was born at Hentley Farm and spent some early years of his life there. He has a family history book with b&w photos and everything. Nowadays it is a successful winery and restaurant. Now our friend's fiance is one of the winemakers (not naming names :P). So, we are all connected in this nice little nest of Barossan love. Aww. (Still get that warm fuzzy feeling when I spot Maggie Beer out doing her grocery shopping at the markets.. hehehehehe nervous awe).

I had expected some classic viognier varietal stuff in this bottle, which we didn't get. Don't get me wrong, it is a lovely wine to drink, however in a blind tasting I would struggle to name its varietal correctly. That might just be my palate, but hey. Because of the viognier I described to the man in the Smelly Cheese stall at Adelaide market, the cheese match (some version of reggiano which is slightly softer and very nice), doesn't quite go.

Hentley Farm
2012 Viognier 
Barossa Valley

pale lemon

medium intensity
lemon blossom

high acid
medium bodied (:( )
juicy mandarin to begin with
then bitter grapefruits or bitter lemon
towards the end- a tiny tiny bit of fresh apricot- if I close my eyes and imagine hard enough and click my little red sparkly shoes together...

*there is a weird petrolly flavour usually associated with aged riesling-- curiouser and curiouser...

Overall a nice, easy drinking white, just not the medium-full bodied full on apricot type of drop you might expect. With age? Who knows what might happen in the future? Interesting....


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Saltram Assorted

Saltram Estate is a major wine producer of the Barossa Valley, South Australia. It is part of the global Treasury Wine Estates group (formerly Fosters), along with such labels as Wolf Blass, Penfolds and Rosemount. They have three winemakers who produce quality sparkling pinot noir, riesling, chardonnays, fiano, semillon, grenache, sangiovese, shiraz blends, shirazes, cabernet sauvignon, tawny, moscato and a beer. *phew. Depending on which wine you are sampling, the grapes generally come from the Barossa Valley, as well as Eden Valley (whites, cooler climate), Adelaide Hills (pinot), and McLarenVale (fancy).

I had the opportunity to try some of the abovementioned wines, notes as follows:)

Saltram Mamre Brook Chardonnay
2011, 12% alcohol

Clear pale lemon

Clean, pronounced oak (vanilla)
Orange blossom
White peach

Off-dry with medium acidity
Medium to full-bodied
Stone fruit (peach)
Tropical fruit (melon, banana)
Vanilla/toasty oak characters

If you like oaked chardonnays, but without the cloying thick sickly taste that seems to come with them, you might like this one. The acidity isn't too high, but it is still refreshing. Personally I get disturbed by waking up the next day with the aftertaste of heavy oak in my mouth, but that's only because I have had it too much in the past. Some people really like American oak; for me, though, it masks some of the other flavours. To each their own!

Had it with Greek baked beans and bread, it was a nice match.


Mamre Brook Eden Valley Riesling 2013
11% alch

clear pale lemon

Medium intensity
lemon & lime
lemon blossom

High acid
Light-medium body
lemon barley water
bath salts/soap
zippy medium length finish

This is an interesting riesling, and if you like 'em young, without the petrolly characteristics, you'll probably like this. The aromas of lime and lemon blossom are very nice, though not so pronounced (you have to stick your nose in a fair way). The acid is high but that is to be expected in a young wine. It would be oh so fine with oysters, or any seafood or fish. It has some guts and a good finish. Will develop into something quite nice over time.
Be sure to serve COLD; it is 40 degrees here at the moment and mine has gone warm :S

Happy drinking!!!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lazy Ballerina Shiraz, McLaren Vale 2005

Ooh what a treat. Nic's boss at Small Gully Wines gave us 3/4 of a bottle of this to taste and it was lovely.

With 15% alcohol one might misjudge this as one of those big boring shirazzes. However, the fruit was smooth, and the tannins as supple as the ballerina on the bottle (ha ha ha).

Garnet in colour

On the nose were cherries, anise, violets, and a woody, minty, forest floor type of aroma.

The palate featured well-balanced medium acid and tannin (smooth, smooth smooth but still there and enough to stand up against some meat), a sweet spice like nutmeg, and on sitting, prunes and slight oaky vanilla.

Lucky us! We had with some pizza with a little spice, went ok. Recommended and drinking well now.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Quilty Patchwork 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot: MUDGEE

My goodness it has been a while! I've been drinking without thinking!

Last weekend we went to Mudgee ( 20 hour drive :S ) for a wedding, and made time to squeeze in a teeny weeny tasting at the Mudgee Small Winemakers' centre. Going down the sandstone steps into the cool cellar was refreshing, and as it turns out the nice Brazilian lady working cellar door once studied at the English school I used to teach at. Small world!

However, the range was rather confusing. I was unimpressed by the heavy sale of 'Rolling' wines (a gross mass produced wine in my opinion since I once had some on a plane once and felt ill), and they seemed to have these strange cocktail mixers and what looked like Henshke knock-offs. However, hubby tasted something he liked and bought it. Being on my Ps I only get to taste it now, so here goes!

Quilty Patchwork 2011 Cab Sauv Petit Verdot
Mudgee NSW
$25 at cellar door



Ripe red fruit
Something perfumey? Could be the violets
Meaty: Salami or something from the delicatessen

Full bodied
Medium acid
Medium tannin

Bitterness: salty, black olives
Dark berries
Spicy herbal bitterness, pepperiness, from the petit verdot?
A little bit chocolatey
Black cherries on the finish which is long.

Warming and light but still full-bodied, this wine is ok. There's not a whole lot of fruit, but there are a lot of things going on in there that aren't fruit, which is kind of nice for a change. There is sweetness, balanced by bitterness rather than acidity. The petit verdot adds weight and I think without it this wouldn't be as smooth. We have been drinking a lot of Barossa shiraz for obvious reasons and it's good to bring the balance back to our palates! Heaven forbid we become those wine wankers who drink the same wine from the same region forever! NOOO!

Here is a picture of the clock tower/roundabout we got lost around. I'd like to go back to Mudgee and go to some real cellar doors!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

An interesting read

Check this out:

Someone wants to be Hemingway much?


Freezing cold in the Barossa, Riesling from a mountain spring

BRRRRRR!! 10 degrees celsius!
Whatever possessed me to drink a nice cold glass of Riesling on a day like this? Well, it was given to me by a lovely elderly couple who are completely beautiful, and it's local. So I had to try it.
Dandelion Vineyards Wonderland Riesling 750mL 2012

Dandelion Vineyards- Eden Valley
Riesling 2012

Clear pale lemon


Mineral, stone, metallic
Green apple
Honeydew melon


Light to medium body
High acid
Low tannin
Boy choy (Nic reckons there's bok choy in everything that tastes slightly bitter, I think it might be more like grapefruit)
Mineral- water from a mountain spring (granite)

Like a cool refreshing zippy nude swim in a mountain pool. A bit crazy on a winter's day but nice with some Barossa Valley Cheese Company cheese (the Princessa), some mushroom risotto, and a rug.

xo G