This is a delicious pinot noir from Curly Flat in the Macedon Ranges and the 2017 vintage. It has an attractive aroma of black currant, cherry and bacon. The palate has great length, cedar, considerable balance and a savoury, enjoyable mid palate. It actually reminds of a Côte de Nuits villages wine from a warmer vintage such as 2015. In terms of comparative pricing, it presents as a bargain and will suit drinking over the next 5 years. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13.3%. Price: $52. Website: https://www.curlyflat.com. Source: Sample.
This is a lovely wine from Royal Tokaji in Hungary. Sweet, but with a firm backbone of acidity, it has great length and a clean expression of honey and orange zest. Ready to drink now, I expect this wine will continue to evolve over the next decade and beyond. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 11%. Price: $35 (250ml). Website: http://royal-tokaji.com.
This is a rather delicious Barolo from Mauro Veglio. Aired for at least an hour, it opens to powerful aromatics of licorice and florals. The palate has firm acidity, very firm tannins and great length on the finish. This wine can be approached now, but will be best in a decade or more. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $85. Website: http://www.mauroveglio.com.
The Delle Venezie DOC was created in 2017, and I have read market reports of mixed welcome. This article from the Drinks Business summarises its aspirations well enough. In the glass, this particular pinot grigio has aromas of pear and lemon, a crisp medium body and short length on the finish. Pleasant, typical and suitable for uncritical drinking. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 12.5%. Price: <$20. Website: https://kriswine.com.
Deeply coloured in the glass, the 2017 vintage of d’Arenberg’s Footbolt McLaren Vale shiraz has brooding aromas of dark plums and licorice. The palate is full bodied, with approachable tannins, a slightly bitter finish and is ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $20. Website: darenberg.com.au. Source: Sample.
This is a delicious grand cru riesling from Domaines Schlumberger in Alsace. Towards gold in colour, its aroma reminds of steel and lemon zest. The palate is firm with a rich body, racy acidity and good length on the finish. You can approach it now, but this wine has years of cellaring ahead of it. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $50. Website: https://www.domaines-schlumberger.com.
This is a lovely Provençal rosé from St Sagnol. It has a saline aroma, reminding of red fruits and typical of the region. The palate is dry, fresh and pleasant. Suitable for current drinking. Rating: Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $22. Website: NA.
A few updates in no particular order:
1. Studying for the upcoming Master of Wine exams continues at pace. I have resisted posting on some more obscure wines, a Canadian cabernet franc ice wine comes to mind here, but I must say it has been a brilliant and broadening experience.
2. Wine Geelong was kind enough to get in touch with me to republish an article I wrote some years ago for wine magazine Alquimie on the Geelong wine region. You can now read it here: https://winegeelong.com.au/history/.
3. You may have seen that I recently updated the website platform of grapeobserver.com. Specifically I moved it over to WordPress which, looking at the results, is something I should have done along time ago. It has made the website more secure, searchable and presentable on multiple platforms. And frankly it’s easier to use. Please let me know if you spot anything awry.
From the Ventoux in the southern Rhône valley, this is a delicious grenache and syrah blend. It reminds of soft red fruits and has a plush, moreish palate. Ready to drink now, this is great value at $19. Rating: Good. Abv: 14%. Price: $19. Website: delas.com.
This a pleasant carignan and syrah blend from the south of France. It is soft and fruity, providing simple drinking at a fair price. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $15. Website: NA.