Rise Vineyards Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Coonawarra, SA)
$22, Screwcap, 14%
After some initial indecision (noted here) I have finally decided that the 2008 vintage was a pretty average one in Coonawarra. That's a terribly broad, sweeping generalisation I know, but I just don't really care (ie I've made my mind up). There are of course exceptions, but not enough to warrant a change in heart. This was confirmed tonight by not only this wine, but two further less than stunning wines in the 08 Katnook Cabernet (short, a little dull, lacking delineation 16/87) and the 08 Rymill Cabernet (thin, green edges, mixed ripeness and a lack of real tannins 15.3/86).
This wine though was actually the pick of the three - a little volatile on the nose, if cast firm and just a bit burnt, with scorched blackcurrant, warm year Coonawarra fruit characters. It's a nose that's a bit volatile and flat but still with some fruit weight. The palate then has subdued, lightly cooked cassis fruit and a big moccha oak mid palate before finishing with grippy tannins. There is a hardness though to said tannins, an almost metallic astringency and finishing with sappy acid. It tastes like some hard work has been done in the winery, but it's not going to cover the freshness-lacking fruit. 16.3/87
Golding Wines Block 2 Chardonnay 2008 (Adelaide Hills, SA)
$25, Screwcap, 12.7%
I hate to be negative, but I've got to say that this is a disappointment.
Why? Well, because this really does smell lovely, with a rice pudding and peach wildness and sweet vanillan oak nose that is really very attractive. But it just doesn't deliver on the palate. Actually, the palate starts quite nicely, until the gritty resinous oak comes, delivering in a form that some may call spicy but I'm just calling intrusive. Through the finish it's oak tannins too, with an oxidative sweatiness that doesn't help with the freshness either, even given the natural acidity.
Just not quite there really. 16.3/87
Riorret Merricks Grove Pinot Noir 2009 (Mornington Peninsula, Vic)
The latest instalment for this Steve Webber project and again it's a very smart, affable and pure wine. After the other wines above in fact this was something of a breath of fresh air, built in a style that is almost natural wine like in it's purity of fruit (and that's the intent apparently). The key here is just the rounded mid palate of juicy red Mornington Peninsula Pinot goodness, with the only real criticism being a bit too much sweetness and a slightly diffuse finish. Regardless, I really rather enjoyed drinking this and can fully understand (and appreciate) the style.
Good one. 17.8/92
Moppity Shiraz 2009 (Hilltops, NSW)
I have to admit that the (typically) super ripe style that Moppity is known for doesn't sit perfectly well with me, so I wasn't really expecting to like this. And I didn't. Actually, I thought it tasted like 'prune juice' (thanks GW) with a fruit profile that is confected and unnatural (with a splash of Viognier perhaps), and topped off with heat and sharp added acid. It's a style that will impress show judges (note the medals) but doesn't actually drink all that well.
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