Thursday, June 13, 2019

One for the red wine drinking dog lovers.

THE LAB 2014 LISBOA RED BLEND

This is a Liquorland own label that I found last week in their Broome store. The vintage, price and origin surprised me. The fact that it was a multi blend didn't - those Portuguese just can't help themselves.

It's a medium weight red in perfect condition with the promise of further cellaring rewards. It may be a little feral barnyardy for some tastes which is why I scored it a 4. I suggest grabbing a bottle and tasting it over 3 days. See what you think. You may be rushing back for more.

GRAPE VARIETIES: A quadruple blend of Castelao, Tempranillo, Shiraz and Touriga Nacional
REGION: Lisboa, Portugal
A/V: 13%
PRICE: $9
FROM: Liquorland
RATING: 4/5 from me

Two Outstanding Bargains from Zilzie

These two are currently on offer from Liquorland at a mere $8. And since I reckon anything under $12 for these is good value, $8 must be a bargain worth having a look at.

Both are medium weight reds in perfect balance. The shiraz shows a little more charry oak than I'd prefer but that hasn't stopped it from picking up a gold and silver medal. The cabernet shows plenty of cassis fruit and will probably find more admirers. 

ZILZIE ESTATE 2017 SHIRAZ
REGION: Karadoc, NW Victoria
A/V: 13.5%
PRICE: $8
FROM: Liquorland
RATING: 4.5/5 from me


ZILZIE ESTATE 2018 CABERNET SAUVIGNON
REGION: Karadoc, NW Victoria
A/V: 14%
PRICE: $8
FROM: Liquorland
RATING: 5/5 from me

What would Dr Lindeman have thought of this nonsense?

LINDEMAN'S 2018 GENTLEMAN'S SELECTION RULE NO. 10 LISTEN UP BATCH N0. 5 2018 SHIRAZ

I hope I've put everything in the right order but this is a wine you need to drink with an iPhone rather than a glass. Turn to the back label and do this, scan that and experience something or other.

The front label is an absolute nonsense but then so many are nowadays. They're coming from big producers who need to keep their marketing staff occupied. And despite the addition of fortified wine it's an OK drink at $12. It's chunky and solid with absolutely no dazzle. You may enjoy it but don't pay anymore than this.

GRAPE VARIETIES: Shiraz
REGION: South Eastern Australia
A/V: 14.5%
PRICE: $12 discounted from $22
FROM: Liquorland
RATING: 3/5 from me at $12

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

This wine is an absolute crime

19 CRIMES "THE UPRISING" 2018 RED WINE

This aberration is on a heavily reduced price promotion this week at Liquorland. Don't be tempted. 

The big hook on the label is that its been "Aged 30 days in rum barrels". Now who thought that was a good idea? The back label reveals that "a portion"copped that treatment and that's the only detail about the wine that appears.

Now I regularly bang on about balance in a wine. It's important. The only reason to buy this is to see what I'm not looking for. It's one dimensional with jammy sweetness that made me think of McGuigan's Black Label on steriods.

GRAPE VARIETIES: Who knows? Who cares?
REGION: South Eastern Australia
A/V: 12%
PRICE: $12 marked down from $18
FROM: Liquorland
RATING: 1/5 from me

Another Outstanding Winner from Taylors

TAYLORS 2017 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Like the others in this range this wine suffers from huge price fluctuations. It's also a strong buy recommendation at this price and below.
And like the Shiraz it's a beautifully balanced mid weight red but featuring French oak instead of American.

REGION: Clare Valley, South Australia
A/V: 14%
PRICE: $15
FROM: Liquorland
RATING: 5/5 from me at this price

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

JIM BARRY WINES, CLARE VALLEY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The Jim Barry Cellar Door is an absolute MUST to visit. For me they are to Riesling in the Clare Valley, like Tyrrells are to Semillon in the Hunter. Their tasting lineup is more a priceless education than an enticement to buy. With extraordinary generosity they offer the opportunity to taste their current vintages, from a variety of diverse riesling vineyards, with old vintages from the same vineyards. 

Their reds are equally impressive with a $40 offer on the McCrae Wood impossible to resist. You''ll also be offered a taste of back vintages. It really is a WOW experience

You'll have no trouble finding their 2018 Watervale Riesling pretty much everywhere. It's the one with the distintictive W label and the 2018 features a substantial amount of gold bling



GRAPE VARIETIES: Riesling, 2018 vintage
REGION: Watervale,Clare Valley, South Australia
A/V: 12.5%
PRICE: $20 maximum
FROM: just about everywhere
RATING: 5/5 from me

AT THIS PRICE IT GETS TOP MARKS

TAYLORS 2017 SHIRAZ
The severe market price variations of this wine distract from how good it really is. The cellar door price is $20 and I've seen it as low as $11 in the last year. Dan Woolworths have it at $16 at the moment while Liquorland pip them by a dollar.
At $15 this is a very worthy red to either drink now or cellar. There's lashings of flavour on a rich mid weight palate. The slightly overt American oak can be forgiven at this price plus it will settle down with time. Well worth a try.

GRAPE VARIETIES: Shiraz
REGION: Clare Valley, South Australia
A/V: 14%
PRICE: $15
FROM: Liquorland
RATING: 5/5 from me

HALF PRICE SPECIAL! ... REALLY?

ATIRU 2018 MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC
Liquorland have this on their shelves marked down from $22* to $11. Is it worth $22? No way. Is it worth $11? Definitely but only if you like the style which is far removed from the popular mainstream Marlborough taste.

This is quite textural and full bodied with the palate weight you're more likely to find in New Zealand Pinot Gris. If you like those you'll rate this much higher than I do. 

GRAPE VARIETIES: Sauvignon Blanc
REGION: Marlborough, New Zealand
A/V: 12.5% 
PRICE: $11
FROM: Liquorland
RATING: 3/5

* What annoys me about this most of all is that this is a Liquorland controlled label. So they are determining, what appears to me to be, a vastly inflated regular shelf price. The market isn't setting the price, they are. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Our first taste of 2019 and it's a beauty

                                          JACOB'S CREEK 2019 RIESLING

This is a dazzling little crisp dry white that I picked this up at Liquorland in Broome for just $8. I then did a search and discovered Dan Murphy have it and the range on at a mere $5,95. That really is ridiculous but make sure you are buying the new vintage. It's very possible they may still have the 2018 on their shelves. I haven't tasted that but it would be unlikely it's better than this.

A/V: 11.7% 
PRICE: $5.95 - $8
FROM: Dan Murphy/ Liquorland
RATING: 5/5 from me at anything under $10

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