Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Aspen Estate 2009 Cabernet Merlot

For our money this is one of the best budget reds available at the moment. Great BBQ wine and can hold it's head high in much more expensive company.

RRP: $????
Our Price: $5 a bottle by the dozen


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Staying at the VIC in Rutherglen

what happens when my passionate Richmond supporter sibling suggests we ALL go to Melbourne to contribute to the effort to achieve 100G at the G. Great idea to celebrate the club's centenary.
The response started at coach load, eased into a mini bus and ended up with just the two of us in a Barina called Chester.
Given that both the game and result were ugly, the undisputed highlight was our overnight stay in Rutherglen. What a top spot.
There are three pubs in Rutherglen and I was really pleased I booked at the Victoria. It's a 140 year old pub that's two years into a 10 year renovation project. Sarah and Sean have undertaken a huge enterprise along with the help of their mate Jim. The best part of all is that the end result will be a traditional old pub, not something glammed up to be something it never was. The rooms are basic and comfortable even though Sarah rather humbly calls the accommodation "like camping under a roof."
We'll be returning as soon as possible not only to see how the renovations proceed but to further the Rutherglen experience. It has to be one of the most welcoming, fascinating vineyard areas I've ever visited. We'll also try and plan the next visit to co-incide with one of the VIC's food and wine weekends. Sarah and Sean are planning six events each year and we suspect they might be rather special.
If you'd like to contact the Victoria Hotel:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Not so enthaicing wine descriptions

Back in 2006 we found ourselves overnighting at the Grand China Princess Hotel in Bangkok. Great hotel with one of those truly inspiring Asian breakfast buffets and a rooftop pool that let you soak in just how huge the city really is.
I borrowed one of their wine lists which I've just come across in an early spring clean.
At around $25 - $50 a bottle these were easy to resist:

Chenin Blanc White Wine 2003
"A medium sweet wine: deep colour, golden, mushroom and fungus on the nose. Enjoy with very hot and spicy seafood, Thai dishes or as a spicy aperitif. Serve well very chilled."

Chenin Blanc Extra Dry 2003
"With a fresh and fragrant bouquet. Typical aged Chenin characteristics on nose and clean fruit on the palate. Perfect with popular fish, seafood Thai dishes."

Shiraz Red Wine 2004
"Light, soft and sweet with a bitter after taste. Oak on the nose and palate with a very light middle palate match perfect with any meat dish or spicy one."

Sparkling Wine De Loei
"Honey nose, very rich on the palate, a very fine mousse on the palate. It is produced firstly by the traditional method " a bottle fermented" and aged nearly two years from the best selection of chenin blanc. Perfect for any occasion and with special house cocktail Thai ingredients (mango or lychee liqueur)"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Bolter 2005 Cabernet Merlot

A Quality Quaffer from Yarraman
Yarraman Estate may sound very Victorian but it's a quintessential part of upper Hunter winemaking history. In fact it contains the original Dalwood vineyard planted by Max Schubert and Perc McGuigan in 1958. That's right, Grange and Brian's dads!
They also have plantings at Jugiong near Gundagai.

The current owners are obsessed with things equine and have launched a very appealing range pitched at the $10 retail price point.

The pick of the bunch is the Cabernet Merlot. Unashamedly fruit driven it has plenty of power and spice. Highly recommended for mid-week quaffing.

RRP: $10
Our Price: $8 per bottle


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sevenhill 2005 "Inigo" Cabernet Sauvignon

Since Sevenhiil was established in 1851 there have been seven Jesuit winemakers. Each of them had a fair old shift at the helm which was taken over by Brother John May in 1972 - that's him pictured amongst the vines. John's now the Emeritus Winemaker [great title, that] with Liz Heidenreich joining up in 2005. I haven't seen John since my Summer Hill Wine Shop days of the 90s and this is the first Sevenhill wine I've tasted in way too long.

It came about during my recent search for cabernets that actually tasted like the grape from which they came. This was the pick of the bunch and is a welcome addition to the range. Rich and sumptuous it oozes blackcurrants and doesn't taste like a shiraz!

Our Price: $ 18 per bottle