Wednesday, May 8, 2019

TAYLORS WINES, CLARE VALLEY SOUTH AUSTRALIA

If you're planning a visit to a wine area make sure you visit one of the big producers. They set a benchmark against which the smaller winemakers can be evaluated. Sometimes the big guys surprise you and often they disappoint. Which is why we had to visit Taylors and we are so glad we did. This family owned winery has achieved so much in 50 years and with what we tasted the future looks outstanding. 

Most wine drinkers would be familiar with their Estate Label featuring the sea horse logo. Sadly it's become a  label at the mercy of the volume retailers who manipulate the market with huge variations in price. Their Jaraman range is far more obscure but even that is currently on some retail shelves for 60% of their cellar door price. The vintages we tasted were outstanding.

Our Cellar Door visit highlight was tasting their two ranges that aren't on retail shelves: the TWP and Taylor Made Range. Contact the winery for these on 08 8849 1118 or email cdsales@taylorswines.com.au.

We tasted a lot of wines. Here are the ones that scored the 5/5 rating from us. It's a long list  with their cellar door prices. Be careful of the vintages, the ones listed are what we tasted. Insist on those.

ESTATE RANGE [$20]  lowest I've seen in the last 12 months is $11
2018 Sauvignon Blanc [Adelaide Hills] 
2018 Tempranillo

JARAMAN RANGE [$25 for chardonnay, $32 for reds] Currently $20 to $23 at Dan Murphy, but check the vintages.
2017 Chardonnay
2017 Pinot Noir [Yarra Valley]
2017 Shiraz 
2016 Cabernet Sauvignon [Coonawarra/Clare Valley]

TAYLORS WINEMAKER'S PROJECT
2017 Riesling $25
2015 Tasmania Pinot Noir $40
2017 Shiraz $25
2017 Cabernet Sauvignon $25

TAYLOR MADE [$25]
2016 Pinot Noir [Adelaide Hills]
2017 Malbec
2017 Shiraz
2017 BDX [Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Franc blend]

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Nobody says it better than Bill

Even though it was the middle of vintage we were fortunate enough to score a private tasting with owner Bill Shrapnel [thank you Leigh]
The passion he has for his block of paradise a kilometer above sea level is best expressed in his own words:

https://www.colmarestate.com.au/the-inspiration/

We tasted nine wines and I scored eight of them at my maximum score. I'd recommend them as "must tastes" to everyone. The star is probably his riesling but then again his gewurztraminer is possibly the most perfectly balanced I've ever tasted. Then there's his Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc which are all outstanding.

Colmar Estate is at 790 Pinnacle Rd, Orange NSW
Ph 0419 977 270
contact@colmarestate.com.au
Cellar door 1030 to 1700 Sat and Sun. Other times by appointment 

A MUST visit Cellar Door in Orange NSW

Rowlee produce a small range of outstanding premium wines at high altitude in Orange. As dazzling as their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay are, their 2018 Arneis really stood out for me. It's as good as I've tasted anywhere in the world. It's a delicate, yet powerful dry white with a tantalising perfumed nose that follows through on the palate. 

I'm not a huge fan of the Fume Blanc style but Rowlee's 2017 is talented winemaking with the perfect marriage of fruit and oak which raises it well above a mere wooded sauvignon blanc. On top of that you'll love the cellar door experience. Wonderful hosts who are passionate about their contribution to establishing Orange as one of the premium wine regions in Australia.


Check for cellar door opening times plus they do lunch by prior arrangement
19 Lake Canobolas Rd Orange NSW 2800
info@rowleewines.com.au
ph 02 6365 3047

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

BROUGHT TO YOU BY MARKETING


19 CRIMES 2017 RED BLEND

I first saw this label in the UK, earlier this year, dismissing it as a standard stereotype that was only missing a kangaroo. It was considerably more expensive than the $10 I've just paid, which was a low enough cost to tempt me. 
It was a pleasant surprise with a jammy mid weight palate in perfect balance. The wine is so much better than the silly nonsense on the label.
GRAPE VARIETIES: Not specified
REGION: Not specified but probably some Barossa
A/V: 13.5% 
PRICE: $9.90
FROM: Dan Murphy
RATING: 4.5/5 from me at this price

IT'S JUST A BIT TIRED



YALLINGUP  2017 SEMILLON SAUVIGNON BLANC
The problem with so many wines like this is that they need to be drunk in their year of vintage. It's perfectly drinkable, dry and austere and really starting to show it's age. It may morph into something complex but that's the risk you take.

GRAPE VARIETIES: Blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc
REGION: Clare Valley, South Australia
A/V: 12.5% 
PRICE: $8.90
FROM: Dan Murphy
RATING: 3/5 from me

DAN MURPHY'S "SECRET SELECTION" NUMBER ONE



CLAYMORE "GOD IS A DJ" 2017 RIESLING 

I recently placed my first on line order with Dan Murphy. It was an interesting experience. The 4 dozen order was split over two deliveries which partly explains the 18 emails I received advising the evolving status of my request.
I ordered a number of their "Secret Selection" wines available on line. They tell you the vintage, the area and the grape varieties as well as a vastly inflated original price. That's unfortunate because overall the wines have been quality drinking at a very reasonable price. They're just not the huge bargains that Woolworths would like you to believe.
This is a very drinkable riesling. Crisp and dry with a little bit of age creeping into the palate. Enjoy at this price.
GRAPE VARIETIES: Riesling
REGION: Clare Valley, South Australia
A/V: 12% 
PRICE: $8.90
FROM: Dan Murphy
RATING: 4/5 from me

Sunday, December 23, 2018

ANOTHER OUTSTANDING BARGAIN FROM ALDI



FREYA & JULES 2018 WATERVALE RIESLING
This is the best budget riesling buy in Australia that we've seen in a long time. It's understandably fresh and lively as it's one of the few 2018 wines on retail shelves. [and we're just about to hit the end of the year!] Yes, there could be a wine glut out there!
The label is a bit whacky and could be confusing. Watervale is an area within South Australia's famed Clare Valley. It's renowned for Riesling. 
If you're looking for a low cost alternative to the ubiquitous sauvignon blanc this is the wine for you
.
REGION: Clare Valley, South Australia
A/V: 12% 
PRICE: $7.99
FROM: Aldi, Australia
RATING: 5/5 from me 

A CHARDY FOR THE TRUE BELIEVERS

 AC BYRNE 2018 CHARDONNAY


For a budget priced chardonnay this ticks all the boxes. The wood is there without dominating while the fruit is well rounded with an added dash of zing. The palate weight is satisfying and there's absolutely no doubt it's chardonnay. This deserves a try.

REGION: Margaret River, Western Australia
A/V: 13.2% 
PRICE: $8.99
FROM: Aldi, Australia
RATING: 4.5/5 from me 

I'M STRUGGLING WITH THIS WINE

ANNIE'S LANE 2017 SHIRAZ
When this first came onto the market back in the mid 1990s it was positioned as a premium label. This isn't. It gives the distinct impression of being made to a price point. So while I can understand the excitement of seeing it at this price, it's hardly a bargain if it's not worth its perceived value.
The problem with this wine is it's so one dimensional. It opens hot and charry and stays that way. We've had two bottles open over 4 and 2 days. There's been no bottle variation and sadly no evolution of the wine. There's nothing subtle, no nuances and certainly no charm. I'm sure this style must appeal otherwise it wouldn't sell in such volume. My rating is based on the current price. Much more and it would slip down to a 2.

GRAPE VARIETIES: Shiraz
REGION: Clare Valley, South Australia
A/V: 14.5% 
PRICE: $9.40
FROM: Dan Murphy
RATING: 3/5

Thursday, December 13, 2018

A TRIFECTA OF SAUVIGNON BLANCS



TANGAROA $8.55  RATING: 4/5 from me

AMIRI $6.90   RATING: 4.5/5 from me

SILVER MOKI $6.65   RATING: 4/5 from me


They are all from Marlborough's 2017  vintage, they are all sauvignon blancs weighing in around the 12% a/v mark and they are all to be found on Dan Murphy's shelves. I suspect they've all come from the same marketing thinktank - ''Let's do a label design based on a Maori word and then explain it all on the back label". Read them and you'll see what I mean
Thankfully they are all very drinkable and exactly what you're hoping for from a budget priced NZ savvy. Don't laugh but the most important thing to remember is to drink them quickly. We tend to road test wines over at least two days, often more, and these all fell apart on day two. The Tangeroa and Amiri opened brilliantly but were really flat the next day. The Tangeroa had the most palate weight but the Amiri starred with it's zing. The Silver Moki won't disappoint but the others are better.