Welcome, Guest ( Login )

My Christmas holiday favourite drops

15 January 2015
Firstly my best wishes for a wonderful New Year.
Following are the best of the best of my festive season and holiday drinking.

Awesome Otago Pinot
The Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012 is as good a pinot I have tasted in years. Felton Road assistant winemaker Malcolm Rees-Francis joined Rockburn in 2005 ready for the 2006 vintage. Since he has crafted some of the finest pinot to come from the Otago area and this vintage is a classic, layered, complex beauty @ $39.95 a bottle and with quantity discounts a must for any pinotphile.
The 2012 vintage yielded beautiful fruit from each of their sites, which they have simply guided gently through to the bottle with minimal handling. Their “hands-off” approach delivers a pure expression of Central Otago to your glass; an expressive nose and deeply fruited palate displaying vibrant notes of boysenberry, black cherry and mocha, and supple, silky tannins leading into a very long finish. As always this wine shows classic Rockburn elegance, integrity and balance. Enjoy now or over the next 5-7 years.
Accolades to date:
#1 Wine 5 Stars Cuisine Magazine November 2014
Gold Medal, San Francisco International Wine Competition 2014
Gold medal, International Cool Climate Wine Show 2014
Gold Medal, Decanter World Wine Awards 2014 London
Double Gold, Easter Show Wine Awards 2014
Pure Gold, China Wine & Spirits Best Value Awards 2014
Blue-Gold, Romeo Bragato Awards 2013
Top 100 Sydney International Wine Competition 2014
5 Stars Winestate Magazine Nov/Dec 2013
Trophy & Gold Medal, Best Red Wine in Hong Kong below HK$ 200, Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Awards 2014

Exquisite Champagne
Over the Christmas and New Year period I indulged in a few bottles of Champagne. One stood out above the others, not only in my opinion but the others who imbibed with me. Champagne Canard Duchene Authentic Green Brut NV @ $99.00 is a knockout, it made a few of the other more expensive Champagnes we tasted taste rather forlorn.
This Champagne is a blend of 50% chardonnay, 40% pinot meunier and 10% pinot noir, from entirely organically grown grapes. The dosage is around 9g/litre.
This is a super lively Champagne, supported by oak, with subtle fruit notes pervading its impressive length. The freshness on the palate contrasts beautifully with its rounded, fruit-driven character and stewed fruit aromas. This is the quintessential aperitif, or drink with cray fish and asparagus roll ups with mayo and a squeeze of lemon juice as we did on Christmas Day.

Magic Alsace Riesling
Maybe it is my age but young many of our home grown riesling’s when young are just a little too acid with…. racy citrus flavours that need a number of years to age in the bottle to lose those sharp edges. Over my holiday break I took away a couple of bottles of Domaine Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 2012 an ever so slightly off dry wine at 1.3gr’s/l residual sugar. This wine is just a magical mouthful of riesling, luscious and clean. The colour is pale straw yellow with a green tinge. The nose is marked with fresh and fruity citrus fruit perfumes (grapefruit, lime - not sharp, mellow). On the palate this wine has pristine fruit flavours and the mouthfeel  is full and generous yet blossoms with a superb freshness. Simply scrummy.

Sensational Sauvignon Blanc
The Baby Doll Sauvignon Blanc 2013 was one of my biggest selling wines for good reason, it was the best value savvy going around. The new 2014 vintage has just landed, from an excellent 2014 Marlborough vintage. Parcels from the Awatere Valley and Wairau Valley have been combined to create a wine brimming with varietal character, balance and elegance.
I think this new vintage a better wine than the ’13 being distinctively a little more savoury with aromatic notes of blackcurrant, wet stone and crushed oyster shell all beautifully balanced by a flinty minerality. The fruit characters ate and fresh acidity combine to create an expressive, classy wine. The Baby Doll Sauvignon Blanc 2014 @ $16.99 a bottle is a steal and quantity discounts apply.

Bargain Gris
Also made by the Baby Doll people is their Pinot Gris 2013 @ $17.99 is a sensational wine and treat for the price a bargain. It is brimming with pear and nutty characters, leading to flavours of stone fruit and honey. The palate is full and shows wonderful balance between fruit sweetness and acidity, with a refreshing crisp finish.

Super Sherry  
The Toro Albala Oloroso NV 500ml @ $34.95 is one drop dead gorgeous wine. Do not miss out on trying this if you are sherry aficionado as there is very little left. From a solera approaching a century in age, this rich yet elegant dry Oloroso averages fifteen years old and displays a round, velvety texture and a long nutty finish. Non-fortified, the overall impression is one of harmonious depth and freshness. On the nose there are hints of caramel, toasted almonds, and apricots. The palate is mellow and super-complex, with lively acidity and balmy flavours of spice and quince. On a hot summers day serve it chilled.
Ripper Rose
The hot weather is going to be with us for a while and what better is there on a warm summer’s arvo than a cheeky, chilled, rose? The Mitolo 'Jester' Sangiovese Rose 2014 is just the ticket, a great wine and at $19.95 is exceptional value to boot. The wine displays a pale coral pink colour. The highly perfumed nose is reminiscent of a fresh spring garden with aromas of jasmine, rose, cherry blossom and freshly cut dill. Subtle orange peel aromas and a hint of spice add complexity and a savoury edge. The palate is full and luscious to begin with fresh flavours of cranberry and raspberry lollies. These beautiful fruit flavours are keenly balanced by fresh acidity and very fine tannin leading to an overall savoury impression and a long, dry finish.

A Summer Sipping Sensation
Weingut Sepp Moser is one of Austria's leading producers and he applies the most rigid biodynamic measures. His Sepp Moser Gruner Veltliner 2013 @ $23.99 is an awesome summer drinking wine. Great drinking on its own or as the perfect accompaniment to spicy Asian food.  
This white comes from the famous Kremstal region, situated directly on the Danube, 70 kilometres west of Vienna. The colour has yellow green brilliance and on the nose this wine has the aroma of fresh apple and citrus fruits, animating the olfactory senses. On the palate  there is lovely balance of fruit with a crisp fresh and clean finish.
A Chablis-esque New World Chardonnay
The Nanny Goat Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 @ $27.95 from Central Otago is very different from the normal New World chardonnay this is very like a Chablis and I think is a seriously outstanding drop. The chardonnay grapes from 20 year old vines were whole bunch pressed into stainless steel tanks for light settling. Roughly racked to maintain a higher turbidity before being inoculated with a cultured yeast strain chosen to retain aromatics. Fermented initially in stainless steel tank then transferred to 500 litre puncheons for a very light oak seasoning meaning the oak is nigh undiscernible.
The colour is a pale lemon. On the nose a core of yellow stone fruit, orange blossom and lemongrass surrounded by subtle savoury nutty notes. The palate is taut, opening with juicy grapefuit and lemon peel, joined in the mid palate by hints of toasted nuts and yeast derived freshness. The finish is tight and refreshing, showing and abundance of lime and beautiful minerality.

Stunning Shiraz
This is so, so good, do grab some before it disappears and @ $25 a bottle I think it is by far the best Australian shiraz available for the price.
The 2012 vintage in McLaren Vale was one out the box, and the Yangarra 2012 Shiraz showcases just how good it was. Winemaker Peter Fraser who has been with Yangarra since 2000 has made yet another classic McLaren Vale shiraz, a wine with elegance and amazing depth of flavour. On the palate there are bright black fruits and black peppercorn spice. There are layers of complexity with chocolate and charcuterie, woven together with fine grainy tannins.
“By any measure this wine falls safely into exceptional territory”. Campbell Mattinson.
My Great Reds $25 & Under, James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion, 1 September 2014.

Wonderful Drinking Aged Cabernet
From the Metala Vineyards at Langhorne Creek in South OZ hails the Formby and Adams 'Leading Horse' Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. Made by the Brothers in Arms people this is a super drinking cabernet (or safely keep yet for another two years) that won’t break the budget.
Deep crimson colour with garnet hues. Intense aromas of blackberry, mulberry and dark cherry with hints of fennel and leather supported by spice and tar notes. A generous, structured palate exhibits blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, a touch of mint and an earthy texture. Chewy, textured tannins ensure a finish of balance and great length, simply drinking beautifully. Cook yourself a steak and open a bottle of this @ $18.99 - heaven!

Cheers for now.
Michael @ Wineseek

0 Item(s)