Tag: Marlborough

A vinous round up

Here is a vinous round up of wine notes that I, for one reason or another, have not been quick enough to type out individual posts on, but nonetheless ought to be commented upon.  There are some very good wines among these.  In re-reading them, it is a bit of vinous Noah’s Ark which, more or less, tracks my own obsession with good wine, no matter where it’s from.

As a brief aside, sometimes I wonder whether short lists such as these are the best way to communicate tasting notes, rather than individual posts per wine.  Feel free to chime in.  They do become harder to search though in this format.

Highlights

Meerea Park Alexander Munro Semillon 2010, Hunter Valley
Pale intensity, lemon-green in colour.  Floral, lemon aromatics.  Bone dry, high acid with a light to medium body.  Lemon, yellow grapefruit and hints of toast and honey.  A delicious Hunter Valley semillon just starting to edge towards maturity.  I need more semillon in my cellar.  Rating: Very Good

Ten Minutes by Tractor Judd Chardonnay 2013, Mornington Peninsula
Benchmark territory here.  Nectarine, peach, cashew and clove aromatics.  Long length, fullish body, all in exquisite balance with a stone fruit overlay.  Delicious and first rate wine.  Rating: Very Good to Outstanding

Ten Minutes by Tractor McCutcheon Chardonnay 2013, Mornington Peninsula
More obvious in style than the Judd.  Still delicious though.  Butter, cashew, vanilla and green mango aromatics.  Palate with between medium and long length and terrifically balanced.  Rating: Very Good

Whites

Clos Clare Watervale Riesling 2015, Clare Valley
Lemon-green in colour.  Steely, lemon and lime, very Clare Valley.  Dry, high acid palate.  Lovely riesling.  I’d buy this.  Rating: Good

Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay 2013, Margaret River
A delicious wine, but evident winemaking oak influence.  Lemon in colour.  Quite aromatic expressions of nectarine, organs peel, cedar and smoke.  The palate is dry with prodigiously long length on the finish, coupled with cedar and stone fruit characters.  Rating: Very Good

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2013, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Quite a developed wine, with hints only of lemon and cashew.  The palate is quite subtle too and almost a little neutral.  Subtle length and balance.  Seemed to be missing some spark.  Rating: Good

3 Tales Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough
Soundly made Marlborough sauvignon blanc.  Grass, gooseberry, grapefruit.  Pronounced intensity aromatics and high acid palate.  Exactly what you might expect from a Marlborough SB, a style that is what it is.  Rating: Good

Reds

Burn Cottage Pinot Noir 2013, Central Otago, New Zealand
This wine evolved and improved considerably in the glass.  Residual impression of “not convinced”.  Deeply coloured for pinot noir.  Aromatics of caramel, toffee (the first two unusual for pinot), dark cherry and autumn with time.  The palate reminds of cedar, cherry and plum with good length on the finish.  Complex.  Rating: Good

Balnaves Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Coonawarra
This is a good wine.  Mint, eucalyptus, earth and dark olive aromatics.  Palate with considerable tannin and a full bodied expression of blackcurrant and dark olives.  One for the cellar.  Obvious mint  its only query.  Rating: Good to Very Good.

Chateau Plince Pomerol 2012, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Pleasant wine.  Not ambitiously priced for a Pomerol in Australia.  Cedar, typical merlot characters of plum and fruit cake.  Balanced palate.  Rating: Good

Angullong Crossing Reserve Shiraz 2013, Orange
A lovely wine.  Aromatics of clove,vanilla, plum and wood spice.  Balanced mid weight wine on the palate with good length.  Rating: Good

Marchesi di Barolo Cannubi 2010, Barolo, Italy
2010 is a great vintage in Barolo.  This wine is classic nebbiolo tar and roses although lacking the intensity and structure of some.  Rating: Good

Sparkling

Capella Prosecco NV, Conegliano Valdobbiadene, Italy
Here’s a good Prosecco.  Not all of them are, but this one is.  Apple skins, apple and apricot blossom. Palate somewhere between dry and off dry.  Creamy mousse and pleasant length.  Rating: Good

Torre Blanca Cava NV, Cava, Spain
Lemon and grapefruit aromatics.  Dry palate with a creamy mousse, and minerally after taste.  Fine, but not a style I search for.  Rating: Acceptable

Domaine Pichot Vouvray Brut 2011, Vouvray, France
Golden in colour.  Aromatics of grapefruit, biscuit, almonds and green mango.  Something ever so slightly socky.  Dry, high acid palate.  Delicate.  Rating: Good

Louis Roederer Vintage 2008, Champagne, France
Yeast, biscuit and strawberry aromatics.  High acid palate, racy, resolutely dry and lemon and yellow grapefruited expression.  Second bottle had more charm.  Rating: Good to Very Good

Dessert Wine

Chateau Coutet 2009, Sauternes-Barsac, France
Marmalade, orange peel, long length and pure expression of Sauternes.  Delicious.  Rating: Very Good

Note: some of these wines were samples.

Ten Minutes by Tractor 10X Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Ten Minutes by Tractor have succeeded here with sauvignon blanc from the the Mornington Peninsula.  The grapes were whole bunch pressed, fermented with wild yeasts and saw ~9 months in old French oak.  More Pouilly-Fumé than Marlborough in style, the 2014 10X sauvignon blanc has stoney, saline aromatics.  The palate is fresh with notes of lemon and hints of cashew.  I like the suggestion of a fresh goat’s cheese salad to accompany.

Rating: Good to Very Good
Abv: 13.5%
Price: $28
Source: sample
Vendors and website: http://tenminutesbytractor.com.au
Tasted: 2016

Mud House Pinot Gris 2013

The Mudhouse Pinot Gris from the 2013 vintage has aromatics of pear, pear skin, spice, florals and reminds, more or less, of poivre eau-de-vie.  The palate straddles dry and off dry and is quite a full bodied and thick expression of pinot gris.  Heat, lemon peel and pear flavours fill out the remainder of the palate.  It’s better with food.

Rating: Acceptable, Abv: 13.5%, Price: $18.99, Source: sample, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://mudhousewines.co.nz, Tasted: 2014

Forrest Estate Chardonnay 2004

This 2004 vintage chardonnay from Forrest Estate in Marlborough has some age on it.  It has pungent aromatics of musk, florals, dried tropical fruit and even gooseberry.  (I tasted the wine blind, so this latter character was not an leap of logic based on the taste profile of the region’s more ubiquitious grape variety.)  On the palate, there is medium acidity, coupled with some breadth and length of yellow peach flavours.  Overall, there’s some interest here.  Acceptable to Good

Abv: 13%
Price: around $20
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.forrest.co.nz
Region: Marlborough
Tasted: 2013
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Mud House Sauvignon Blanc 2012

If Marlborough sauvignon blanc has a spectrum of flavour – let’s call it bright clean passionfruit fruit to slightly dank tinned vegetables – then this wine sits squarely in the middle as a melange of the two.  It opens to aromatics of mild asparagus and passionfruit.   Its palate continues this duality of expression with high acidity and expressions of tangy passionfruit, grass and notes reminding of tinned peas.  Overall, I was left slightly underwhelmed although not alarmingly so, thinking this to be an acceptable wine in terms of quality with a mostly balanced expression of sauvignon blanc in its Marlborough guise that is ready to drink now.  It was perhaps, however, slightly too tangy in terms of fruit expression and had a persistent and somewhat troubling vegetal line.  Acceptable

Abv: 13%
Price: $22
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://mudhousewines.co.nz
Tasted: 2013
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Giesen Riesling 2012

I like those “dry-medium dry-medium sweet-sweet” diagrams that now appear on a lot of riesling bottles.  That said, I have probably made more mistakes of the “oh my God it’s sweet kind” with German riesling than with Australian or across the Tasman pond versions.  In this case, the arrow is pointed at the lower end of “medium sweet”, and that’s what’s in the bottle.   I liked this wine.  Pale intensity, and a lemon-white in colour, it has an aroma of vibrant lemon and lime in quite a fulsome expression.  On the palate, it’s medium sweet(!) and the high acid effortlessly balances the youthful, exhuberent and pure lemon and lime flavours.  While not the most complex wine in the world (you need to pay more than $15 if you want that…), I found it enjoyable due to its balance and purity of fruit flavours.  Good

Abv: 10%
Price: $15
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.giesen.co.nz
Tasted: 2013
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Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2012

I liked Giesen’s 2011 sauvignon blanc, but I found the 2012 a less appealing drink.  A pale intensity yellow in colour, it has aromatics of tinned asparagus, herbs and lemon.  The asparagus character softens a bit with time in the glass.   On the palate, asparagus, lemon, herbs, short length and high acid contributed a certain balance, but lemon and passionfruit pith flavours led to some sourness too.  With time in the glass, this proved to be a balanced and acceptable wine for its price and style, although its herbal and asparagus characters are too pronounced for my preference.  Acceptable

Abv: 13%
Price: $15
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.giesen.co.nz
Tasted: 2013
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Babich Sauvignon Blanc 2012

This Marlborough sauvignon blanc from the 2012 vintage from Babich is fairly typical of the style.  It is a pale intensity lemon-white in colour and has pronounced aromatics of gooseberry, with lesser notes of tinned asparagus, peas and lemons.  Asparagus and peas don’t appeal overly to me in wine, but it’s not there so much on the palate, is typical of the genre and happily is in the backdrop rather than on stage.  The palate is balanced with passionfruit and lemon citrus, high acid, between short and medium length and a tropical fruit “rinse” remaining in the mouth.  Overall, this is a perfectly fine sauvignon blanc that does what it is meant to do at a competitive price.  Acceptable

Abv: 13%
Price: $20 (but you can find it for as low as $13.55 at the date of writing)
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.babichwines.co.nz
Tasted: 2013
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Giesen The Brothers Sauvignon Blanc 2011

I don’t drink a lot of Marlborough sauvignon blanc, but equally I don’t hold a faddish stance against it.  The grape variety simply works in Marlborough, it having defined the region much as certain grape varieties have defined the classic wine regions of France, Germany, Italy and Spain.  I think this is no small achievement.

This particular sauvignon blanc from Giesen from the 2011 vintage reminded me of a hypothetical blend of a Marlborough sauvignon blanc and a Sancerre.  It is lemon-white in colour with a pale intensity of expression.  The wine opens to medium intensity aromatics of straw, hay and stones.  Softer gooseberry notes voice in the background together with some lemon pith, and a sprinkling of crushed up passionfruit.  The palate is high in acidity, and lemon citrus pith dominant.  I found this wine to be a quite enjoyable and balanced expression of Marlborough sauvignon blanc.  Good

Abv: 13%
Price: $23
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.giesen.co.nz
Tasted: 2013
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Giesen The Brothers Chardonnay 2011

This wine stood out in a line up with some chardonnays from Victoria, because you could almost taste its cooler latitude.  Intensely perfumed, its aromatics speak of flint, flowers, stones, pears and apples.  On the palate, its racy acidity is met with carry through flavours of pears and apples, and some lemon pith.  There’s some length and bready nuances there too, and the acidity of the wine is in balance.  Enjoyable drinking without being overly challenging.  Good

Abv: 13.5%
Price: $25.99
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.giesen.co.nz
Tasted: 2012