Before I do, I'd like some tips as to what, if anything I should drink it with, what to possibly expect etc....
I'd appreciate your assistance!
Wine Regions - Port Phillip & Gippsland, VIC
The Port Phillip Zone produces some of the finest, cool climate wines from the regions around Melbourne. Winemakers in these regions pride themselves on their unique ability to produce very different wine styles. The main varieties making these regions famous are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Pinot Grigio, which was pioneered by T’Gallant in the Mornington Peninsula.
If we had to find descriptives for cool climate styles, they may be: elegant, (T: another term I just can't relate to wine....) light to medium bodied, fresh, austere and/or savoury with terrific acidity to ensure longevity in the cellar. Generally speaking, these are lighter styles, with many of the whites being unwooded, so as not to mask the delicacy of the fruit. In saying this, they are also amazingly complex with layers of freshness, rather than the full bodied, ripe characters of their warm climate cousins. According to James Halliday, they “achieve a European elegance and finesse".
These characters make them ideal food wines to complement a wide range of recipes. We are now able to look at enjoying a red wine with fish without overpowering the food.
This is what makes cool climate wines different – they’re food friendly!
Here's a list of the offerings for this quarter!
2004 Darling Park Shiraz
2001 Debortoli Shiraz
2002 Glenhope Cabernet Sauvignon
2004 Mornington Estate Pinot Noir
2004 Red Hill Shiraz
2004 T'Gallant Pinot Noir
2005 Fergusson 'Ned's Red' Cabernet Merlot
2004 Rochford V Merlot
2004 Roundstone Cabernet Merlot
2005 Scotchman's Hill ""Hill' Cabernet Shiraz
2005 Seville Estate "the Barber' Shiraz
2004 Sticks Merlot
I know some people think wine clubs are a waste of time, but I must admit I quite like that a dozen wines arrive on my doorstep every few months (with no effort at all) that I probably wouldn't buy myself on a whim. And it's pretty good value for me on a limited budget.
The extras that come with them are great too, I get a great magazine (just for the articles of course) and the tasting notes are good for a learner like me to have as a basis for my own tasting. Sometimes you can taste 'something' but you're not really sure what it is - a prompt is sometimes useful.
I'm not sure I will keep this up forever, because I am sure that once I become more confident, I will be able to choose my own wine!! OK that's probably a liitle ambitious! Wine reatilers are a lot like bookshops to me, I spend hours trying to find "just the right book/bottle".
BUT having a dozen sent to me means that I am building a collection of wines that I wouldnt' otherwise buy if I had to choose them.
NOW...all I need is to start checking out some of the international offerings...
If I'm going to get 'seriously' into wine and writing about it here on my little piece of the internet, do I make the investment of purchasing the correctly shaped glass for each variety of grape, or, do I continue to drink my wine from the same glasses that my few readers will be using every day (you know - the usual - I got these as a wedding present glasses)?
Riedel Vinum - Elegant Entertaining
For everyday enjoyment as well as the sophisticated dinner party or seasonal gathering, Riedel's award-winning Vinum collection ensures a perfectly balanced tasting experience. This pioneering series of glasses is based on the concept that, in order to truly appreciate a fine wine, it is essential to use a glass that has been technically designed for the particular type of wine. It is the first machine-made series of glasses tailored for grape varietal characteristics. The shape of the bowl determines the flow of wine and where it touches the tongues various taste zones.
Use these lead-crystal glasses everyday and for special occasions for the optimal appreciation of your wines."
The colour is deep red, with lifted leafy fruits and sweet oak aromas. It has a rich, complex palate and is a suitable accompaniement to full flavoured foods.
Low-cropping mature vine Shiraz grown in in the Yarra Valley produces a distinctly richly textured wine style. 2001 vintage was a cool dry season resulting in Shiraz that displays ripe berry fruit and spicy white pepper characters. The wine has high fruit concentration and will continue to develop both complexity and character with medium term cellaring.
A sweet-fruited Barossa Shiraz in the solid, traditional mould.
- Buying Guide now includes over three times the numberof wines included in previous years
- Import/Export wine cellar lists to/from computer - New data formats require 20% less space, support fastersearching and fully support memory cards - Full support for High resolution widescreen displays - Completely revised user interface with full support forone handed D-pad navigation - Improved searching and sorting - Vintage and harvest quality data expanded to 113regions/styles spanning 15 years - Quickly select wines by cost, rating, style, grape varietyand region - Authoritative up-to-date reviews, ratings and details forover 34,000 wines worldwide - Complete wine cellar and buying list management - Comprehensive wine glossary with over 1,400 terms and definitions - Interactive vintage chart with wine maturity and harvestquality ratings - Gain further wine knowledge with an in-depth Wine 101 course - Maintain personal tasting records and notes - Beam wine details to another handheld - Supports removable Palm OS memory cards - Sophisticated compression minimizes memory usage
Unsure whether I could use this any differently than I currently use my PDA, I'm still in tasting mode and trying something new every week...although I guess KNOWING what I've tasted already might be useful, so I don't waste precious time on a second bottle of something I've had already.......*hic*
Australia wins 'World Cup' of Beer
A World Cup-style competition to find the best beer has named an Australian made sparkling ale as the winner.
The competition, run by the UK publication Off Licence News, pitted beers from 32 countries that contested soccer's World Cup against each other. The drinks were placed in one of eight groups of four, to correspond with the World Cup, with the two top scoring beverages moving to the second round and knock out tastings.
Marks were awarded for taste, appearance, balance and drinkability, with a sparkling ale produced by South Australian brewer Coopers named the eventual winner.
Coopers marketing director and chairman Glenn Cooper said despite Australia's controversial elimination from the World Cup, he took comfort in the knowledge Australia had snared "the more important World Cup".
Pintculture also has a great website dedicated to their own World Cup of Beer so if you're a beer lover - spend a few hours cheering for your favourites and slumming it with the underdog beers! While you're there, check out the "Pub Etiquette Guide". funny, but probably truer than we care to admit.
The Coopers Website "News" has this to say and also has a couple of cool recipes to try!
Let me know if you try them and how they turn out.
For the story behind this wine we have to go back to d’Arry’s grandfather, Joseph Rowe Osborn. Born in 1852 he was a colourful character with a multitude of talents. Joe was a lay preacher, mining speculator, public servant, teetotaler and local politician. Although not a drinker, Joe joined the Thomas Hardy & Sons wine company in 1881, eventually becoming a partner and
director. Joe was an enthusiastic patron of the turf and became a well- respected racing identity under the nom-de-plume of Mr. J. Rowen. ‘Footbolt’ was a chestnut colt foaled in 1898 and bought for 400 guineas, a sum quickly recouped after only 6 races. These and other wins enabled Joe to purchase the already established Milton Vineyards for his son, Frank, d’Arry’s father, in 1912. This wine is still made from some of the grapes from the vines purchased by Joe almost a century ago.
As with all of our red wines, the Footbolt Shiraz undergoes crushing by the Demoisy crusher and gentle basket pressing by the 19th century ‘Coq’ and ‘Bromley & Tregoning’ presses into new but mainly older American and French oak barriques for up to 18 months maturation. The Footbolt Shiraz undergoes minimal processing and as such may throw a deposit in the bottle. This is a wine which will benefit from further bottle age, as will most of d’Arenberg’s reds.
Chester's Tasting Notes: The young Footbolt Shiraz has a deep red-purple, then the immediate hallmarks of spicy, lifted ripe peppery mulberry and blackberry fruit aromas. Richer chocolate, stewed plum mint and spicy, cedary pepper smells and often cinnamon follow the initial attack of primary fruit characters. d’Arenberg’s The Footbolt Shiraz palate is consistently well structured with terrific fruit and totally integrated oak tannin providing great texture to support plum, blackcurrant and rolling blackberry flavours especially on the mid-palate. Often dark chocolate characters are quite evident too. This is followed by a traditional, long, velvety, fine grained tannin finish.
The Footbolt Shiraz will gain complexity with age, as with all d’Arenberg red wines. The aromas slowly incorporate developed cedar, coffee and developed dark chocolate smells with leather, tobacco and earthy aromas while always maintaining great fruit characters from spicy through to very ripe, depending on the vintage... More often than not distinctive peppery-spicy characters come to the fore after a little time in bottle.On the tongue, the Footbolt Shiraz maintains a wonderfully textured palate with significant bottle age. Gentle, grainy black olive flavours balance the sweeter coffee, chocolate and occasional mint characters.
The hallmarks of McLaren Vale, d'Arenberg, and The Footbolt Shiraz; a soft, rich middle palate, terrific texture and a long rolling finish, can reside with this wine for a number of years, even decades, as more than four decades of previous vintages have shown.
Serving and Cellaring Suggestions: Serve at room temperature 16 – 24 ºC. now or cellar for the next 2- 20 years with many types of food, especially hearty stews, rich pasta dishes, roasted and grilled meats including poultry and other white meats. Also goes well with slightly hot or spicy dishes and with hard- pressed cheeses. Serve after decanting as an older wine.
Winemaking: Seven individual vineyard wines were selected for the final wine, and were fermented separately in stainless vats using isolate Bordeaux yeasts. After draining, the skins were pressed without pumping, retaining full fruit character and providing firm tannins. The final wine was aged in American oak barriques for two and a half years prior to bottling in March 2006.
Tasting Note: An explosion of ripe plummy/raspberry and cassis fruit aromas, with a good dose of spicy liquorice, nutmeg and secondary oak to finish the nose. The palate is at first fresh, astringent and powerful, but has a ripe fleshy mid palate weight that persists. This clearly indicates the wine is full bodied enough for aging, but is also ripe and fruit driven to accompany good food straight away.
Food Suggestion: Fresh pappadelle with a slow braised tomato, beef, and mushroom ragu.
- Silver Medal Rutherglen Wine Show 2003
- Bronze Medal Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2003
Wine Makers: Michael Cope-Williams & Shayne Cunningham
- pH 3.44
TA g/l 6.18
Total SO2 ppm 123
$23 direct from the winery.
Tasting Notes - 2001
‘Eight Songs’ was inspired by an operatic work about the madness of King George visually expressed by Rod Schubert. The eight paintings comprise part of the Peter and Margaret Lehmann collection of Australian fine art and were specially selected to represent this exceptional Shiraz.
The Barossa is home to some of the world’s greatest Shiraz vineyards, some as old as 150 years. 2000 was a low yielding year with the resulting Eight Songs showing colour of a stunning deep reddish purple with a dense black centre. The bouquet is overwhelmingly rich with a soft, dark berry fruit and well integrated French oak. On the palate, dark berries and chocolate are enveloped in fine grained oak and subtle tannins. The 2000 vintage is a superb wine of incredible softness and opulence.
The Barossa Valley was settled in the 1840’s by German speaking Lutherans and English migrants, many of whom planted vines. These vineyards have been tended over many generations and today, the Barossa is the custodian of some of the world’s oldest and greatest Shiraz vineyards. Peter Lehmann Wines has an intimate knowledge of these vineyards, still nurtured by the descendants of the early pioneers. With an understanding of the qualities of specific low yielding vineyards and the flavour subtleties of Barossa Shiraz, Peter Lehmann Wines has crafted an individual wine that is both regal and stylish.
- Colour: Deep black red. Bouquet: Dark brooding chocolate characters, underlying ripe fruits and smoky overtones.
- Palate: An unmistakable Barossa shiraz with delicious mouth-filling black berry fruits, a good structure and superb integration of French oak. It is a very soft and rich wine of breeding and distinction and is drinking superbly now.
Vineyards: Selected high quality, low yielding shiraz vineyards of the north western districts of the Barossa Valley.
- Oak: Fermented and thence matured for 18 months in new French oak hogsheads.
- Cellaring: Very approachable now, and will continue to develop in the bottle over the next 4-5 years.
- Alc/Vol: 14%
- Serving suggestions: Excellent with braised lamb shanks, rare beef, and richly flavoured casseroles. Naturally it is excellent with aged cheddar cheeses.
"This full bodied wine is dominated by black currant and earthy aromas with hints of dark berries and spice. On the palate the flavours are black currant and earthiness. This wine should age for up to 7 years under ideal storage conditions."
Exactly what I would have said.... :) A very drinkable shiraz, would be fabulous with something spicy!
$22.00 or thereabouts direct from the winery!