Closely following my post from earlier in the week, comes another assortment of holiday beverage tidbits – this time with bonus beers!￼
As with the last collection, these are broadbrush reviews rather than break-it-down detailed notes, but I think you’ll get this gist.
Clos St Jean Chateauneuf du Pape 2017
Poured from a Coravin accessed bottle (and in perfect health) this is a lovely wine – easy ripe fruits, delicious gravelly tannins, and a real sense of savoury purpose. More old school than new, and has a real sense of Grenachey, licoricey dark fruit and spice. Not overpowering either. What’s most surprising is that it doesn’t taste hot, or cooked – just cosseting in that fruit. It’s a drink now sort of style, despite the tannins though (and good). 18.5/20, 94/100. 16%, $100.
Dog Point Chardonnay 2019
Ahh, my precious. Probably not the most heralded vintage for this legendary Marlborough Chardonnay but gee there is an admirable depth of flavour. Golden colours, golden flavours the nod is nutty, wide and enveloping, with obvious sulphur based funk, golden Gaytime lees and oak, plus unquestioned ripe fruit. It threatens to be a chewy wine, but artfully held back by grapefruit acidity. A toss up between this wine, the one below, and the Hughes & Hughes for the 3 Brownlow points. 18.5/20, 94/100. 13.5%, $40.
Kumeu River Rays Road Chardonnay 2019
The Rays Road site is the latest addition to the Kumeu family, and honestly I was expecting more width, given that it’s Hawke’s Bay. But no, it’s a leaner wine of custard, custard apple and citrus. Formative, artfully crafted, delicious, but maybe not as forceful or enveloping as the other Kumeu wines. Still, a very enjoyable Chardonnay (and even better with some more bottle age). 18/20, 93/100. 13.5%, $45
Paringa Estate Estate Peninsula Pinot Noir 2020
I was expecting more, especially because I’ve had it blind and liked it. A light/medium bodied version of this Mornington favourite, and it feels a bit skittish – there is still that red fruit core, but it’s not strident and perfect like the usual Paringa mode. Drinkable, simple, a little washed out, but affable. 17/20, 90/100. 13%, $28.
Fresh hop IPA is a great limited edition category that I’m very here for. This has the almost vegetal fresh hop bites with such well integrated bitterness. The haze isn’t too soupy, and the overall effect is very good. 6.4%, 4.5 stars.
Moffat Beach Brewing Co. Best Coast IPA
Well this is a triumph. Most of the Sunshine Coast IPA is entirely forgettable, but this punchy, slightly firm West Coast IPA is such a winner. Big flavours, seriously bitter and excellent intensity it’s the best local beer I’ve had yet. 6.8%, 4.5 stars.
Boiling Pot Brewing Co. 22 Patels IPA
Gross, slightly sour and forgettable local IPA. I get the intention – low bitterness, more smashability – but this sour and sort of sweet brew just isn’t there. 6%, 3 stars.
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