Archive for category ‘Wine Tasting’

Oz tasting notes

Posted by Martin Field on 4 May 2006 in Wine Tasting

by Martin Field

James Squire Hop Thief Ale – up to $18 the six-pack of stubbies
Hue of weak black tea. Sweetish nose of hops and malt. A mellow, full-flavoured hoppy mouthful with a firm, not too bitter, pour-me-another-as-soon-as-you-like, finish.

Yellow Tail Riesling 2005 – under $10
Rather tropical fruit nose with a hint of lime. Easy to drink style with plenty of ripeness, a touch of lemon sherbet, slight sweetness and mild acidity.

Read the rest of this entry

VVV: a Very Vinous Vaucluse evening

Posted by Mike Tommasi on 4 April 2006 in Wine Tasting

A few weeks my friend Jean Philippe Héaumé had mentioned an evening with a few friends and winemakers, tasting good wine. This sort of get-together had already happened a year ago, again instigated by Jean Philippe, the pretext being to taste a bottle of 1955 Château Rayas white sweet wine; at least 20 wines were served as “apéritif ” back then… Jean Philippe is an online French wine merchant who… delivers!, each stop in his regular Tour de France becomes a “happening”. His site is Absoluvins (in french).

Lucien Biolatto contemplates his Clos du Mont Olivet Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Add to this the fact that the event is to be held at La Martelière, the wonderful bed and breakfast of our friends Patrick et Annick Laget, at Le Thor in the beautiful Provençal countryside of Vaucluse; impossible to resist, I reserved without hesitating.

Read the rest of this entry

Desert Island Wines

Posted by Martin Field on 31 March 2006 in Food and Wine, Wine Tasting

by Martin Field

Len Evans is reported to have once said that he’d hate to be marooned on a desert island with nothing but goats’ cheese to eat and sauvignon blanc to drink. With that in mind I conducted a straw poll of Australian wine writers (and one cheesemaker), based on the premise used by the BBC’s Radio 4 show, Desert Island Discs. That’s the long-running program where celebrities are invited to choose music to take with them in the event that they are about to be marooned on a desert island.

The hypothetical situation set for the writers was that they were about to be stranded on a desert island and they could only take with them two currently available Australian wines, a dozen of any one red and a dozen of one white (including bubbly).

Here’s what they said.

Read the rest of this entry

Picks of the mostly Oz bunch

Posted by Martin Field on 31 March 2006 in Food and Wine, Wine Tasting

by Martin Field

Caves de Beblenheim Pinot Blanc 2004 – Around $17 to $18
Appellation Alsace Contrôlée. Juicy aromas of ripe pears. Lovely mouth-filling style with flavours of pears and Granny Smith apples leading to a firm zesty finish. Excellent aperitif and solid entrée accompaniment.

Brown Brothers Vermentino 2005 (cellar door release) – $16-ish
Very pale, edge of green. Distinct citrussy fragrances on the nose. Quite a dry style with lots of mouth-watering, acid tang and noticeable alcohol (14.5%) warmth. Flavours are of citrus and maybe hay – not unlike a good semillon.

Read the rest of this entry

Australian Tasting Notes

Posted by Martin Field on 1 March 2006 in Wine Tasting

by Martin Field

Chapel Hill Unwooded Chardonnay 2005 – around $14 (Australian dollars)
Fresh grapey juicy nose. Youthful and refreshing in the mouth, showing bags of ripe fruit – dried pears? and zingy acidity. Excellent as a chilled luncheon aperitif.

Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2004 – around $20
Compôte of stone fruits and hints of toasty oak lift the nose of this one. Soft and rich in the mouth, flavours of apricot conserve are dominant while the finish is firm enough to suggest entrée style accompaniments.

Read the rest of this entry

Recommended Australian wines – by Martin Field

Posted by Martin Field on 2 January 2006 in Wine Tasting

Jansz 2001 – up to $37
Pipers Brook. Tasmania. Chardonnay and pinot noir. Pale straw, fine to medium bead. Delicate floral nose with hints of brioche and lime. I’ve always enjoyed the Jansz style and this maintains the line: elegant, light and dry with an edge of cool climate zing to inspire the tastebuds.

Palandri Riesling 2004 – around $18
Frankland River, Western Australia. Light gold, hint of green. Attractive nose of lime sherbet. More of the zippy lime character along with a smidgin of Granny Smith apple comes through in the palate of this well-weighted white.

Read the rest of this entry

Tastings from Australia

Posted by Martin Field on 22 November 2005 in Wine Tasting

by Martin Field

Four Emus Chardonnay 2005 – $8 and under
South Australia. Attractive fruity nose full of peaches and pears. Off-dry palate with flavours of tropical fruits makes for a very pleasing summery style.

Barwite Riesling 2004 – around $14
Mansfield, Victoria. Delicate nose of lime and lemon flowers. Light dryish style in the mouth with lovely citrus character. Fine aperitif or entrée accompaniment. Will drink well for five years and more.

Read the rest of this entry

Tastings from Australia

Posted by Martin Field on 1 October 2005 in Wine Tasting

Coldstream Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2005 – up to $25
Yarra Valley, Victoria. Green-tinged, extra pale. Voluminous nose of lychee and asparagus. Beautifully made wine, just bursting with varietal elements including lychee, passionfruit and citrus. The citrus zing at the finish completes the pleasure of drinking this.

Read the rest of this entry

Recommended wines from Australia and New Zealand

Posted by Martin Field on 1 September 2005 in Wine Tasting

Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Rosé 2005 – under $10
Paleish pink. Sweetish raspberry nose. Light dryish and refreshing, shows delicate raspberry fruit and easy on the palate acidity. Delightful Spring luncheon style.

Yellowglen Perle 2001 – around $23
Pinot noir, Chardonnay and pinot meunier. Three years on yeast lees. Vigorous small bead. Bouquet is lifted, with apple blossoms and biscuity yeast. Medium dry on the palate, mid-weighted with dried apples and apricots and citrus zest to the finish.

Cloudy Bay Gewürztraminer 2003 – about $30+
New Zealand. Pale straw. Heady aromatics of nuts, dried apricots, figs and faint toasty oak make for a complex nose. The palate is rich and long with Turkish delight and marmalade notes leading to a quite firm finish. A beautifully constructed, perfumed white.

Jim Barry Clare Valley The Florita Riesling 2004 – about $40
Green to light gold. Essence of lime and lemon on the nose. Dry steely style with pervasive citrus throughout. This classic Clare dry white has a very low pH of 2.99 but the high acid supports rather than dominates the fruit. Finishes long and lean. Drink at any point in the meal. Cellar if you wish to 2020.

William Downie Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2004 – $40+
Unfiltered unfined. Mid-ruby hues. Intense pinot characters of strawberries and dark cherries on the nose. Powerful and elegant, very dry, showing subtle and spicy French oak. Pronounced acid tang leads to a food-demanding firm finish. Will drink well to 2009.

Yalumba The Signature ‘Geoff Linton’ Cabernet / Shiraz 2001 – $40ish
Dense purple. Cedar and dark berries on the nose. Thick solid and chewy on the palate with blackcurrants and dark chocolate (think Lindt 85%). A great wine with a long lineage – I fondly remember some of these from years ago – particularly the ‘Rudi Kronberger’ of 1967 and the ‘Christobel’ of 1974.

Hewitson Ned & Henry’s Barossa Valley Shiraz 2004 – mid $20sBlended with 10% Mourvedre. Darkish red. Plummy, aniseed nose. Warm and spicy in the mouth with berries, undergrowth and a sub-structure of subtle wood.

d’Arenberg McLaren Vale d’Arry’s Original Shiraz Grenache 2003 – $20 and below
Youthful crimson. Nose of dusty oak and preserved cherries. Medium drying tannins support flavours that remind one of Black Forest cake – i.e. berry conserve and mocha. Solid finish of acidity and tannins will suit main course fare.

Note: Prices in Australian dollars.


Posted by Martin Field on 2 August 2005 in Wine Tasting

Keo VSOP 12 year old Brandy – around $30. From Cyprus. Higher in alcohol (40%) and bigger in bottle (750ml) than most entry level brandies around. Tea-hued, warm sweetish nose, faint oak. Generously flavoured, nice aged spirity characters with maybe raisin like fruit and integrated barrel notes. Most enjoyable.

Read the rest of this entry