It’s been a long week.
A long week, punctuated by a shedload of interesting wines, but also by a distinct lack of note taking on my behalf.
The following notes then are some all too brief impressions on a few wines tried this week.
Dalwhinnie Chardonnay 2006: No alarms, no surprises. Typically good, elegant, slightly gummy cool climate Chardonnay. Not a brilliant vintage for it though. 17.5+
Heggies Riesling 2009: Very pretty, quite opulent and drinking perfectly already. Wonderful and fresh, its a ripe, drink me now vintage that rates sky high on drinkability, even if it might not be particularly long lived. I could be underrating this actually (and will drink a few more just to check :)). 18.1
Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2008: I think this is the best release yet under this label. Textural and rich, like a Viognier should be, but with an excellent acid backbone. Brilliant. 18.3
Dalwhinnie Shiraz 2007: A beautiful release under this label, its sexy smooth, rich and classy stuff. Really the epitome of elegant cool climate Shiraz, this is a feminine, yet quietly powerful wine of enormous appeal. 18.5
Martinborough Vineyard Te Tera Pinot Noir 2008 – Mixed. Loved the nose, beautifully perfumed with classic Martinborough Pinosity. Palate though feels just a bit hollow. I’m calling for a retaste. 16.5
Howard Park Leston Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 – Glowing with the health of the season, this had a classic Cabernet aroma and a very tight, powerful and delicious palate. Excellent, should get even better when it settles into the bottle more. 18.1+
Picardy Tete du Cuvee Pinot Noir 2005 – At first I found this to be too minty, lean and assertive, but as the wine opened up, the meaty mid palate richness and rather beautiful fragrance won me over, even if the acidity pokes out a little. Dry and sophisticated, this commands a decant and then match it with duck or pork (I only did the match with pork bit, which worked superbly). 17.5
Lazy Ballerina Viognier 2009: Sadly I wasn’t a fan. A very lean style of Viognier with a sweet expression of fruit but a quite hollow, simple and occasionally blowsy palate that lacked acidity. Everyone else in my drinking party however loved it. 14.5
Blue Poles Viognier 2009: Another quite lean Viognier, this interpretation however had the acidity to match. Far too young at present, this could be a good drink in 6 months time. 16.5
Atlas Riesling 2009: From a very old dry grown Clare Valley vineyard, this again showed how approachable and marvellously drinkable the 09 Clare and Eden Riesling’s are. Loved the citrussy acid backbone too. Winner. 18.3
Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2007: I find myself less attracted to Sancerre every time I drink it. This Jolivet however is a very good example, so I put my prejudices aside, even if I struggle to get past the weedy savvy characters. Went very well with a salmon and sorrel dish however. 17.0
Blue Poles Allouran 2005 vs 2006: Interesting to see these together as they show the expression of their seasons particularly well. The 05 is meatier, firmer, richer and more powerful but is also a tad bulky and inelegant. I actually found myself more attracted to the 06, which is sappy, leafy and light, with awkward acidity but also enough fragrance and freshness to make for a more convincing drink. 16 & 16.2
Canon De Brem Canon Fronsac 2003: Looks to have survived the heat wave conditions well. What i particularly like here was the chewy tannins and Cab Franc perfume. 17.5
Blue Poles Allouran 2007: A big step up from the two previous vintages, I thought this perfumed and savoury blend had plenty of sappy appeal. Very good. 17.5
Blue Poles Reserve Merlot 2007: Surprisingly rich given the rest of the range, this had a lovely textural generosity, matched with the sinews of proper Merlot structure. Bloody good Australian Merlot with an air of sophistication to match. 17.9
Grand Pontet 2005: Classy stuff, this medium weight, suitably tannic red was very tight but also deliciously powerful, modern even in its fruit expression. I found myself unconsciously drinking this and now want more. 18.3