Browse Tag


Saignée clause

[vine]Torbreck 2006 “Saignée” (Barossa Valley) – Raspberry firewater. Scaldingly hot. Rosés are legendary for their imbalance, but this is just searing. Maybe it could be used for aggressive dentistry… (7/07)

They Blewitt

[blewitt springs vineyard]Clarendon Hills 1998 “Old Vines” Grenache Blewitt Springs (Clarendon) – High-toned raspberry and bubblegum with a lash of volatile acidity (not actively unpleasant except to the sensitive). There’s obvious alcohol, but otherwise this is surprisingly shrill, as if age had narrowed it to a shrieking point. It’s interesting enough, but I wouldn’t exactly seek it out. (7/07)

Riesling rising

[bottle]Rosemount 2005 Riesling (South Eastern Australia) – Full of varietal character, and quite drinkable in a pinch, but there’s nothing else to add to that description. It’s basically dry, with the usual high Aussie acidity scraping any remaining sugar from every interior surface, and the finish is a bit abrupt. Still, one can do a lot worse in the Rosemount stable. (8/07)

Rough diamond

Rosemount 2005 Shiraz (South Eastern Australia) – This is the Diamond Label bottling. Bitter and somewhat rancid fruit in a synthetic key. Ugly. (8/07)

Star trek

[bottle]Voyager Estate 2003 Shiraz (Margaret River) – Flavorful, full-bodied and balanced, with affable dark berry and leather characters structured by soft tannin and a light winemaking hand. A solid performer, though there’s no complexity (at least not yet). (7/07)

TJ hooker

TJ Wines “Jonesy Old Tawny Port” (Australia) – Tastes like balsamic shiraz, minus the boisterous fruit; it’s heavy, it’s dark, it tastes of molasses and prune, and it demonstrates by counterpoint that, despite the brickbats, there’s some redeeming structure in pedro ximénez after all. (8/07)

TN: Janeway

[vineyard]Voyager Estate 2003 Shiraz (Margaret River) – Big and monolithic, with dark, chewy black and blue fruit in tight layers over a leather and concrete foundation. Smooth and modern, but by no means overworked, and in fact quite balanced and drinkable for a massive block of wine. This should age, and the inevitable calming will probably help. (6/07)

TN: Fresh pavement

Henry’s Drive 2004 “Pillar Box Red” (Padthaway) – Burnt, reduced essence of cola, with traces of charred espresso (reheated four or five times), a weedy, green tannic structure, and a lot of overpowering unpleasantness. The alcohol sticks out the instant one tries to pair anything…anything…with it. Heavy, tedious, and awfully sloppy. Bad wine. Bad wine. (6/07)

TN: The vatted calf

[bottle]Tyrrell’s 1994 Semillon “Vat 1” (Hunter Valley) – Salty, with mixed white and green melons, lime zest, and a sweet/saline backdrop hanging over a tannic and high-acid structure. The finish is nearly endless. Marvelous! Those who mistakenly think the entire vinous output of Australia runs from massive to gihuginormous should give this a try. It is – apologies to Jamie Goode – a world-class wine. (5/07)

TN: It’s me, Margaret

[bottle]Voyager Estate 2003 Shiraz (Margaret River) – Big, upfront blackberry, blueberry and black cherry with zingy bursts of leather-textured tapioca and a fruit-dominated structure. This is shiraz at its juiciest, yet it’s neither overdriven nor overoaked, and it carries its own fruity balance with confidence and even a little bit of aggression. Good stuff. (2/07)