Friday, September 19, 2014

Radio Boca 2013 Valencia Tempranillo

I love spending time with people who know more about wine than I do. Last Saturday I spent an enriching couple of hours with a young mate who gave me the tip about this wine. I'd lost contact with Tom for awhile and I wonder how I could have been so careless because he has found us all a beauty with this one. Yes, all the way from the casa of naranjas comes this very funky red with an equally funky label. Produced from 20-50 year old vines I can tell you unreservedly that THIS IS NOT THE RED FOR EVERYONE. It's savoury, it's subtle, it's at the light end of medium bodied and it is DRY. If you understand Tempranillo then jump in the deep end and grab a dozen - you'll love it. It's a brilliant red but if you're uncertain pick a few in a mixed dozen.
Our Price: $15 per bottle by the dozen


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tyrrell's Wines 2012 Vat 94 Dry Red

A Tyrrell's VAT Red for just $20????
You better believe it and this is a definite candidate for "Buy of the Year".

The lovely Helen from Tyrrell's paid me a visit last week with a tasting bottle under her arm. Each rep had been given an allocation of 20 dozen at this absurd price. I was the sixth call of the day and everyone had bought from her so far - a dozen each.
I apologised for breaking the pattern, I'll take the fifteen dozen left.
Good luck to those other 5 retailers. They'll whack their dozen on their racks at $50+ a bottle, maybe take a year or two to sell it and enjoy a pretty good margin. It will be interesting to see how long my 15 dozen last.
 This is THE iconic Tyrrell's Vat label. All those fonts, all those italics and that lovely "nil magnum nisi bonum established 1858" logo. It was the label of my youth, along with the sadly subsequently mistreated Lindemans HR wines. Thankfully, under family stewardship, the Tyrrell's has survived to be the label of my late middle age.

The wine? Oh yes, the wine.

It's outstanding in a subtle, elegant, slightly mysterious way. So many wines give their all on the first sip and there are no exciting surprises throughout the bottle. This is about as far removed from a McLaren Vale blockbuster as you could get and yet that's where 25% of the blend comes from. Bruce Tyrrell describes it as a tribute to the multi regional, multi varietal styles they were making in the mid 1900's.

The blend is 75% Hunter Shiraz, 15% McLaren Vale Grenache and 10% McLaren Vale Malbec. All the juice was aged in old French oak of varying sizes before final blending. Alcohol is just 13% and I reckon this has definite mid to long term cellaring potential.

Is the style old fashioned? Definitely. Is it outdated? Definitely not.
Our Price: $ 20 per bottle by the dozen


Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge

Rarely do I succumb to fads, crazes or general Facebook foolishness.
But when your daughter-in-law issues a challenge from the balmy extremes of an English summer how can you refuse?
Even though it's 7pm, late winter in Sydney and a lazy wind is blowing.
Raised a few dollars for our one and only charity Bailey's Childhood Cancer Appeal affiliated with Westmead Children's Hospital

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Melba "Mimi" Yarra Valley 2010

Cabernet Sauvignon 85% Nebbiolo 9%, Shiraz 6% 12.5% a/v

Ditto everything I wrote about Lucia and here's what a couple of othere thought about it:

"93 Points, Delightfully complex, balanced and full of character, with an earthy, dusty bouquet of sweet raspberries, cassis, dark plums and cedary oak lifted by spicy, leather notes and a hint of meatiness. It's long, fine and elegant, with sweet, juicy flavours of blackcurrant, raspberries and dark plums underpinned by fine, powdery tannins, finishing with earthy, savoury aspects and meaty pinot-like notes." Jeremy Oliver, The Australian Wine Annual 2014, November 2013

"93 Points, Bright, clear light crimson; an example of the 'different drum' style that Steven Webber seeks to make; very fine and elegant, freshness and balance prized more than depth of flavour. Here cassis, red cherry and spice rule the roost, oak and tannins barely perceptible." James Halliday, Australian Wine
Companion 2013, July 2012

Our Price: $16 per bottle by the dozen


Melba "Lucia" Yarra Valley 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon 88% Sangiovese 12%, 13.5% a/v
For some strange reason Australia's biggest liquor wholesaler has this lurking on its website well below regular wholesale price. Is it an experiment to see if anyone trawls through the commercial rubbish? Or are they trying to shift volumes through another channel? Don't know and don't care as I'd already tasted the wines some months ago. So my eyes lit up and the first load has just arrived

While the names and the back label justification nonsense make me laugh, this is a serious red that reflects Chief Winemaker Steve Webber's desire to experiment. It's elegant, spicy, cool climate cabernet based and in fact could have been labelled as just cabernet sauvignon. There's medium weight that offer a touch of rusticity so please don't expect high alcohol fruit driven blockbusters.

"Wines made from the Sangiovese/Cabernet blend in Italy are called Super-Tuscans. So by definition Lucia must be a Super-Yarra wine, and guess what, on the palate, it certainly has a super flavour. With Sangiovese providing the sour cherry tang and Cabernet bringing a strict blackcurrant core, this wine has intriguing fruit notes making it a compelling proposition. I am a huge critic of both Italian and Spanish grape varieties in Australia because most fall short of the mark; but this 2008 vintage release is a stunner made all the more beautiful by its five years in bottle which has mellowed this wild child into an irresistible diva." Matthew Jukes,, September 2013
"This is an elegant long wine with the refinement that the Yarra can deliver mouth watering balance of savoury fruit finely grippy tannin and acidity put them a different class to most of their ilk. Very good food wine sangio sings here even if in the chorus. Needs five years cellaring before introducing to friends."   Rob Geddes, Australian Wine Vintages, July 2013

Our Price $16 per bottle by the dozen


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Karri Oak 2012 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

It's the classic WA blend that works so well.
This one is from Ferngrove in WA's Frankland River district and is just about everything you'd expect. There's a mix of tropical and herbaceous fruit as well as a little bit of palate weight with bottle age.
This is developing into a serious complex dry white and is offered at a bargain basement price.

Our Price: $10 per bottle by the dozen


Driftwood 2009 Margaret River Shiraz

Sometimes labels just don't do justice to the wine inside the bottle.
And while Margaret River is more famously renowned for its cabernet sauvignon there are some extraordinary bargains to be found amongst the Shiraz. Like this one.
At least they got it right on the back label describing a seriously underpriced wine:
"Dark purple red with a strong underpinning of blueberry and blood plum on the nose. Full fruit flavours of dark berries, liquorice and chocolate are borne by soft velvety tannins through the long and voluptuous finish"

A/V 14.5%

Our Price: $15 per bottle by the dozen


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Massoni 2008 Pyrenees Ranges Merlot

This is a truly outstanding mature red with all the cellaring done for you. It's rich and complex with really fascinating feral twists.
The back label nails it:
"Low rainfall in 2008 produced small berries which resulted in a rich concentrated wine with deep red colour. Matured in French and American oak for 18 month, this generous full-bodied wine combines spice, berries and dark chocolate, integrating into a lingering savoury finish".

It's drinking superbly now and I see no reason why it won't hold at this level for another 3-5 years. Very highly recommended.

Our Price: $19 per bottle by the dozen


Quarram Rocks 2009 Cabernet Shiraz

This one comes from Denmark in the deep south of
Western Australia and it's the first bargain
bin end of 2014 .

We're constantly receiving samples of wines in the post and last week two arrived from WA under the Quarram Rocks label. Many of you would remember the big, bold gutsy 2010 Pinot Noir with the beach scene label from the same winery. These two samples were both cabernet shiraz blends: 2008 and 2009.

On opening both wines were pretty impressive with the 2008 just having the edge. The next day though, the decision was really easy and tasting over the next two days just confirmed that the 2009 was the star.

The deal was we had to buy a lot to get the right price but it means we can offer this at near half price at just $10 a bottle. Best of all this is a genuine reduction with the wine not being offered at an inflated starting price to enhance the perceived bargain [sadly that happens a lot]. It also means that you can order a dozen, try it and order more if you agree. This is a lovely mid weight red that would appeal to just about everyone. It's offered at a quaffing price but has the quality for more special occasions. This is the perfect red for whacking on your most accessible wine rack so you're not tempted to raid the more expensive wines in the cellar.

RRP: $18
Our Price: $10 per bottle by the dozen




Thursday, February 20, 2014

Stolen Block 2014 Clare Valley Riesling

We were impressed with both the 2012 and 2013 releases of this but this is a step up in quality that easily qualifies it as BEST ENTRY LEVEL RIESLING we know.
The back label nails it:
"lifted floral bouquet of blossom and honeysuckle. With flavours of crunchy green apple, fresh lime and lemon, this wine is finished with crisp balanced acid."
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and a star at this price.

Dave agrees! Visiting from South Australia, he and his riesling fanatic wife bought a couple of bottles to share with friends at the local Thai. This photo is Dave returning for more.

Our Price: $9 per bottle by the dozen


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What's the collective noun for a group of wine tasters?

In the middle of a post Christmas 2013 clean up I just came across a battered old Ginger Meggs cartoon by the late great James Kemsley [aka Skeeter]. Now I have no idea why he thought Ginger would contemplate such a question but "What's the collective noun for a group of wine tasters?"


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Charles Melton 2011 La Belle Mere Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre

The story is that the Barossa Valley's Charlie Melton didn't think the 2011 juice earmarked for Nine Popes was quite up to scratch. So he created a new label that he probably hopes will be a one off called La Belle Mere.

Nine Popes is a label that's reached iconic status in its nearly 30 year history. It was conceived as a tribute to the wines of Chateauneuf de Pape in south eastern France. Eight hundred years ago the Papacy was relocated to the region and consequently we have the "New Castle of the Popes". But neuf can also mean nine so we have Nine Popes. LOL as they say in the abbreviated world of texting and social media.

As with all French appellations there are strict guidelines. There are thirteen permitted varieties and surprise, surprise Charlie's Nine Popes combination of grenache, shiraz and mataro [aka mourvedre] are three of them.
 Nine Popes retails for around the $60 mark and believe me this is way better than a third of the quality. Most of us think Charlie was a bit hard on himself but a few of you can enjoy one of the premium red bargains of the year. Obviously there's not much as there's never much Nine Popes.

Our Price: $20 per bottle by the mixed or straight dozen


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Taylors 2011 SA/WA Estate Range Pinot Noir

For this current release one of the Clare Valley's giants have ventured west and combined WA fruit with their locally grown stuff. It works and it's on special all the time!

Our Price: $14 per bottle by the dozen


Monday, January 6, 2014

Jacobs Creek Reserve 2012 Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir

The Jacobs Creek Reserve range has been around for awhile now but my suspicions regarding range extensions remain.
I suspect the people who drink the original Jacobs Creek aren't prepared to experiment and spend a few dollars more while the quality drinkers, who would really enjoy the stuff, look down their nose at the label.
Just a thought. This is very fine pinot noir for the price.

Our Price: $12 per bottle by the dozen


Richland 2013 King Valley Pinot Noir

Those crazy Calabrias have done it again with the latest addition to their Richland range. They defined entry level sauvignon blanc, rewrote the record books with their multi award winning pinot grigio and now they have a King Valley Pinot Noir which is quite remarkable for the price.
Just don't tell anyone how little you paid for it.

Our Price: $9 per bottle  by the dozen


Walnut Block 2010 Marlborough Pinot Noir

Here's another one of those great wines that is riddled with the curse of the geographic name syndrome. The front label doesn't help and the back label is totally devoted to justifying the front label. I kid you not. Nowhere is there any description of the wine.

But fortunately I can assure you that this is another cracker NZ Pinot Noir that easily justifies its regular $30 price tag.

Our Price: $20 per bottle by the dozen


De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate Grown 2011 Pinot Noir

This was a wine earmarked to sell in the mid $30 realm and offers the quality to justify that.
But a temporary price reduction last year was deemed necessary to clear some stock and we have a small quantity left.
We couldn't buy the wine for this price anymore so grab a bargain while you can.

Our Price: $20 per bottle by the dozen