Tag Archives: shiraz

Reviewed: Wolf Blass Gold Label Shiraz Viognier (2005)

13 Apr

The iconic producer Wolf Blass has been making some of Australia’s best, and most-awarded, wines since its inception in 1973.  Early on, Wolf Blass recognized the marketing value of a range of wines in distinct tiers, from everyday to luxury.  Right in the middle of the 8-tier range lies the Gold Label:

The wines created for the Gold Label range are an ever-evolving proposition: emerging varieties, groundbreaking techniques, and the most progressive regional styles are incorporated into the range as they become available. All vineyard parcels are kept separate until final blending and bottling and production levels are dictated by vintage quality. [1]

I recently tasted the 2005 Adelaide Hills Shiraz Viognier from the Wolf Blass Gold Label series of wines:

Wolf Blass Wines
Gold Label Shiraz Viognier 2005

Adelaide Hills, Australia
15% alcohol/volume
$33.99 at Everything Wine (not available at BCLS)

Beautifully bold colour in the glass with a black cherry core and a ruby/violet meniscus.

The nose is intense and Shiraz-dominated, with big, bold blackberry pie filling, cassis, wood smoke, and cured meat. The Viognier offers only a touch of a violet/floral component and hints of dried peach and apricot jam.

The palate is full-bodied and lively, with brambly berry jam, spicy sausage, cherry cola, anise, menthol and white pepper. The finish is long and sweet, with subtle tannins and good acidity. It has the structure to age longer, but must be very near its peak at this point.

I greatly enjoyed this wine with wild mushroom, herb and sherry soup, but it would also be delicious with lamb dishes, duck sausage, and other earthy, rustic fare.

For more information on Shiraz/Viognier blends, from Côte-Rôtie to Australia, check out the new post by Bitch Casserole‘s Ruby Bricks.

An $1,100 Flight to Flavour Country

19 Nov

my first Grange!

While I wasn’t lucky enough to enjoy the wisdom of host Chris Sharpe, working late last night did result in the reward of sampling the heels of the wines from his Ultra Premium Tasting.  If you happen to have $1,100 you need to dispose of, these five wines will do the trick nicely. All are available at Everything Wine and prices listed are current retail.

Quinta do Vale Meao 2005
Douro, Portugal

Touriga Nacional (40%), Touriga Franca (25%), Tinta Roriz (25%)

This wine’s nose is charming and gorgeous, with concentrated ripe red berries, pretty floral notes, earth and tar.  The palate is bright and lush, with red raspberry, sweet cherry and peppery spice. Complex, exotic and hugely appealing, I would gladly drink this wine daily – and with just about any fare. This doesn’t strike me as a wine that would fare well in the cellar, but with luscious fruit like this, who wants to wait anyway? $109.99

~

Achaval Ferrer Finca Mirador 2006
Medrano, Mendoza, Argentina
Malbec (100%)

From a 12 acre vineyard at 2400′ asl harvested to 0.75 tons per acre. The colour and aroma seemed to indicate a wine with some maturity, with it’s slightly brick-hued rim and subtle earth scents.  That illusion was soon shattered, as the palate bursted with bright red and black fruits, fresh and ripe with mouthwatering acidity.  Suprising, but delicious nonetheless.  I’d definitely leave this one in the cellar another half-dozen years. $119.99

~

Numanthia Termanthia 2005
Toro, Spain
Tinto de Toro (100%)

From an 11 acre plot, 2600 feet above sea level, planted with 100+ year old ungrafted vines, the yields were well under 1 ton of fruit per acre. The wine was barrel fermented and received the ‘200% new oak’ treatment for 20 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. It is big, tannic and extremely ageworthy. ~ erobertparker.com

A wonderfully complex nose, with layers of black cherry, sweet cassis, blackberry, caramel, licorice, mineral, toast and tar.  I went back two or three times to take it all in before taking a sip.  When I did, I received a powerul mouthful of rich black fruits, baking spices and a mess of fine tannins. Structured enough for a decade or more of cellaring, but a wonderfully unique and enjoyable wine now. Maybe the best Tempranillo I have tasted. Fantastic. $259.99

~

Shafer Hillside Select 2004
Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
Cabernet Sauvignon (100%)

Incredibly rich, from the sweet cassis and vanilla-oak nose to the silky mouthfeel and super-long and textured finish.  The Hillside exhibits opulent black cherry, chocolate, graphite and oak.  32 months in 100% new French oak lends a silky, sexy, layered palate and a flawless finish. This wine is beautifully intense – one of the most pleasurable sips I’ve had in a long, long while. $325.99

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Penfolds Grange Bin 95 2004
South Australia
Shiraz (96%), Cabernet Sauvignon (4%)

…grown to very special vineyards in the Barossa and McLaren Vale, with a component from the distinguished Magill Estate site in the Adealide Hills. Grange remains as Australia’s most famous wine, a peerless wine of historical significance, officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Above-average winter rainfall led into a promising vintage, characterised by mild conditions up until February, followed by warmer weather conditions throughout March and April. Penfolds South Australian vineyards fared well, producing wines of elegance and intensity. Matured for sixteen months in exclusively new American oak hogsheads. Alcohol 14.3% ~ PenfoldsGrangeForSale.com

My first Grange!  Tauted as one of the greatest vintages of Australia’s most prestigious wine, the 2004 Grange might never have had a chance at living up to its $600AUD pre-release price. Concentrated ripe black fruits, cherry cola, smoked meat. The palate is very concentrated, but still bright.  I expected more – more tannin, more acid, more fruit, more alcohol.  But this wine is not for drinking now – it is all about 10 years from now. $424.99

congrats on the retirement, dave. enjoy!

4 Jun

cristia renaissanceanaperennaalpha syrah

Big congratulations to Dave on his recent retirement.  I was more than happy to help put together a package for him.  Now I’m terribly envious of his personal wine library! This is a killer group of wines that can be enjoyed for the next decade and beyond.  Keep reading for details on Dave’s 12 new friends.

Cheers, Dave!

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Bunnell Family Cellar Boushey-McPherson Vineyard Syrah (2006)

17 May


Rattlesnake Mountain, Yakima Valey AVA

Rattlesnake Mountain, Yakima Valley AVA

Yakima Valley Syrah
The first Syrah grapes in Washington were planted in the Yakima Valley in 1986. National recognition for Yakima Valley Syrah, together with wide consumer appeal has lead to a substantial increase in Syrah plantings in the past few years. Syrah is just one of the Rhône varieties sparking new interest in Washington State. A spicy, rich, complex varietal, Syrah grapes turn into big, dark, intensely concentrated wines with aromas and flavors of blackberries, black currants, roasted coffee and leather.

Boushey Vineyards
Boushey Vineyards, owned by Richard (Dick) and Luanne Boushey, are located in the Yakima Valley five miles north of the town of Grandview on the southern slopes of the Rattlesnake Mountains. The vineyards are planted on several sites within a two mile radius; generally south facing slopes varying from 700 to 1200 ft. elevation. The first blocks of grapes were planted in 1980 and the youngest were recently planted in 2003. Dick’s philosophy of grape growing is to compliment mother nature. Occasionally he tries to fool her into thinking she is in control but most of time it is the other way around. Varietals currently grown include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Sangiovese.

thanks to Wine Yakima Valley

The Bunnell Family Cellar
Boushey-McPherson Vineyard Syrah 2006

Yakima Valley, Washington
$42.00 (USD) Winery direct

After stints at Beringer, Kendall-Jackson and Chateau St. Michelle, Ron Bunnell, along with his wife Susan, created Bunnel Family Cellar, specializing in small bunnellBousheyMcPSyrahhandmade lots of wine from Rhône Valley grape varieties. The Boushey-McPherson Vineyard, at 1200 ft. elevation, is one of the highest in the Yakima Valley. It is farmed by Dick Boushey, whose reputation for producing world-class Syrah is already well established. Dick’s expert water management produces uncommonly small berries for Syrah, concentrating the flavor and colour in the wine. This fruit is usually the last Syrah harvested for Bunnell. Extended hang time produces a wine of exceptional complexity, depth and substance. The ’06 offering boasts intense aromas of blackberry, blueberry smoke and cured meat, with pickling spice, licorice and mineral notes. The palate is silky smooth, with creamy vanilla oak framing crème de cassis, cherry cola, peppery spice, rose petal, tar and perfectly integrated tannins and acid. 94 points

V I N O | V A L O R E {issue 4}

20 Feb
domaine-gauby-roussillion

in this issue: Domaine Gauby Cotes du Rousillon Rouges 2006 - 90 points

download issue 4.pdf

Issue four is the biggest vino valore yet, with seven great wines reviewed and a report from the first IVSA tasting of the new year. Cheers!

~Joe Corkscrew

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Cellar Selection: Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Shiraz 2004

31 Jan

Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Shiraz 2004mhferes06_shiraz
VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

$21.99 (current vintage) widely available in BC

I pulled the ’04 Mission Hill Shiraz from my collection to see how some mid-term cellaring affected a good-quality BC Shiraz. The appearance shows a bit of age, with a wide clear meniscus and a brick-cherry colour, faded from its original purple-black. The nose is mature too, with rich, soft aromas of dried berries, vanilla, smoke, leather and tar. The medium-bodied palate, however, is still bright and youthful, with red plum, raspberry, black pepper, licorice and pickling spice. It opened up in the glass, revealing a softer, sweeter side, with cherry pie, cinnanmon and caramel, but the fresh acidity remained. Great example of the fruity, Okanagan-style Shiraz; a grape that’s not easy to pull off in BC. 88 points – Very Good

Kilikanoon Tasting

15 Jan

Recently, I had the opportunity to taste a fine selection of wines from Clare Valley producer Kilikanoon with Director/Winemaker Kevin Mitchell. Here are a few notes:

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Blacket’s Vineyard Riesling 2004

Eden Valley, Australia

$29.99 Everything Wine, BC Liquor Stores

I’ve never been a big advocate of Aussie Riesling. Most are too fat or too alcoholic and lack the finesse of the best from other regions of the world. With nearly four years in the bottle, I expected this Kilikanoon offering to be fat, unbalanced and lacking in fruit. Boy, was I wrong! The intense nose leaps out of the glass with lots of lime, flinty-stone, honey and petrol aromas. The palate is bright and crisp, with limeade, orange marmalade and a touch of mature-Riesling kerosene. A very nice, well-balanced Aussie Riesling that drinks younger than it’s age. 89 points – Very Good

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prodigal_grenache_nv283

Prodigal Grenache 2004

Clare Valley, Australia

$35.99 Everything Wine, BC Liquor Stores

The ’04 Prodigal is a rich, mature Grenache with a lovely brick-red hue in the glass. Aromas of red berries, both fresh and dried, dominate the nose, but notes of earth, licorice and strawberry hard candy all add to the complexity. The mouthfeel is rich and soft with sweet cherry, perfume and peppery spice. A long, warm finish reveals mild tannins and moderate acidity. Bigger and richer than I expected, and the 15% alcohol is well integrated. 91 points – Excellent

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Medley GSM 2004

Clare Valley, Australia

$35.99 Everything Wine, BC Liquor Stores

The proprietary blend of Grenache (50%), Syrah (40%) and Mourvedre (10%) displays an intense nose of black fruits, fruit leather, and smoky meat. The palate is rich and full with blackberry, herbs, chocolate and spice. Great balance of fruit, acid, soft tannins and integrated 15% alcohol. 90 points – Excellent

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Killerman’s Run Shiraz 2005

Clare Valley, Australia

$24.99 Everything Wine, BC Liquor Stores

The largest-production of the Kilikanoon portfolio has a super-intense nose with tons of cassis and licorice spice. The voluptuous palate has concentrated black fruits and silky tannins. Classic Aussie fruit bomb with finesse. 89 points – Good Value

V I N O | V A L O R E | {issue 1}

9 Jan
download issue 1.pdf

Welcome to the inaugaural issue of vino valore, a new bi-weekly wine rag that highlights my great-value finds from around the world. My motivation stems from a persistent desire to discover wines that over-deliver at their respective price points. This humble newsletter is my way of sharing those discoveries with adventuresome wine lovers like you.

Cheers!

~Joe Corkscrew

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