Bardinet Rhum Negrita – $30
A French blend of dark rum from the islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and Réunion. Light tea hues. Aromatic nose, molasses predominant. A smooth, medium-weighted style; not as medicinal as some dark rums. Well suited to mixin’ rather than sippin’ straight.
d’Arenberg The Noble Botrytotinia F*ckeliana 2010 – $20 – ****
Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale, South Australia; Semillon / sauvignon blanc blend; 8% alcohol. Sounds more like something itchy you’d go to the clinic for than a sweet white wine. Bright gold. Nose of passionfruit and zest of Seville oranges. Palate is smooth and viscous, laden with flavours of marmalade and rich apricot sauce. At first it tastes indulgently sweet but any hint of cloying is offset by upfront citric acidity. (Re net censors – insert *U above.) Continue reading
Champagne Duperrey Premier Cru Brut NV – up to $50 – ***
A chardonnay and pinot noir blend from the house of Martel. Pale gold in colour with the slightest pink tinge; flowers and subtle notes of brioche on the nose. A fuller style, with apricot and dried apple flavours in the mouth along with a hint of citrus. Opens with fruit sweetness and firms up towards the finish.
Hollick Coonawarra Savagnin 2010 – $21 – **
Juicy, fresh nose. Zesty, tangy palate with hints of lime and sherbet. Dryish flavoursome finish. Good entrée style. Continue reading
Queen Adelaide Brut NV – under $10 – ** – Pale gold, small bead. Nose of dried apples and pears. Soft and full in the mouth with a hint of lemon acidity. Will please people who don’t enjoy bone dry bubbly.
Yering Station Yarra Valley Fumé Blanc 2010 – $26 – *** – Barrel fermented sauvignon blanc. In this wine, barrel-fermentation has softened much of the herbaceous pungency we expect in unwooded versions. Nevertheless there is still a hint of edgy tomato leaf over the faint woody overtones on the nose. The palate is full and rich and interwoven with sherbet-like acidity.
d’Arenberg McLaren Vale The Dry Dam Riesling 2010 – $15 – *** Ripe lemon, new season pear and some floral notes on the nose. A generous mouth filling style permeated with lemon and lime intensity. There is a hint of apple pie at the finish. Good aperitif or entrée wine.
Waipara Hills Brut – $22 – ** – Sparkling riesling from Waipara, New Zealand. Light straw, medium bead. Pears, water melon and floral notes on the nose. Smooth texture on the palate shows hints of dried pears, ripe apples and mild acidity. Finishes off-dry.
Nepenthe Pinot Gris 2010 – $19 – **- Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Pale, hint of green. Subdued sherbet-like bouquet. Fruity ripe citrus in the mouth. Soft acidity to finish. Continue reading
Moondah Brook Verdelho 2009 – up to $18 – **
Gingin, Swan Valley and Pemberton, Western Australia. Pale straw. Bright aromas of tropical fruit salad. Medium weighted juicy palate continues with young pineapple and paw paw along with soft acidity.
Mount Langhi Ghiran Cliff Edge Riesling 2009 – up to $25 – **
Western Victoria. Pale with light green edge. Lemon zesty nose. Fresh lime, Granny Smith apples and dried pear on the palate lead to a slightly off-dry finish. Continue reading
Taltarni ‘T’ NV Sparkling – $15 – ** – A non-vintage blend of chardonnay and pinot noir. Medium bead, with the faintest blush – from the pinot component? Peachy nose has a hint of strawberry fruit. The strawberry is also apparent on the palate and the wine finishes just off-dry.
De Bortoli Windy Peak Pinot Grigio 2009 – $14 – ** – Very pale with a green apple, sherbet-like nose. Clean, fresh, grapey flavours are enhanced by soft citric undertones and a mildly acidic finish. Continue reading
Peter Lehmann Princess Moscato 2009 – 500ml – up to $18 – ** – Red frontignac, carbonated, low (7.5%) alcohol. Faintest onion skin tinge of colour. Pleasing raisiny nose and palate in a mid-sweet, spritzy style.
Yellowglen Bella Bianco 2009 – up to $20 – ** – Low (8%) alcohol bubbly. A blend of white frontignac and riesling. Bouquet of ripe pears and apricots. Notably sweet palate continues the fruity pear theme with maybe a hint of oranges and lemons at the finish. Pleasant luncheon or picnic style. Continue reading
Two kinds of Tofu
Gary Hounsell, owner of Toolangi Vineyards in the Yarra Valley recently hosted a lunch at Urbane in Brisbane to celebrate Toolangi’s 10th anniversary; your itinerant reporter was there.
Gary showed guests a selection of his estate and reserve chardonnays and pinots dating back to the 2001 vintage. In an unusual approach to winemaking he explained that in its short existence, Toolangi wines were made by different winemakers at a number of wineries, among them Giaconda, Shadowfax and Yering Station.
Yarra Burn Blanc de Blancs 2004 – $45 – ****
100% Chardonnay. Very pale yellow with an edge of green, fine bead. White flower petals, light biscuity yeast and a hint of green apple on the nose. Youthful, dry and elegant in the mouth with delicate Apple Danish flavours against a background of beautifully integrated lime acidity at the finish.
De Bortoli Rococo Yarra Valley Rosé NV – $22 – ***
A sparkling blend of chardonnay, pinot meunier and pinot noir. The colour is a pale, just off-white, candy pink. Lively fragrant nose of rose water and strawberries. Shows a dry, clean palate of new season summer berries with a tang of lemon zest at the finish. Ideal summer luncheon fizz.
Holey Dollar Over Proof Rum – seen around at $55 to $65 ***
This is a powerful drop at 57.2 per cent alcohol, but the power is smooth and constrained in its rich mouthfeel. Flavours are reminiscent of molasses, vanilla, walnuts, chocolate, toffee and warm spices. It goes down very well on its own, with ice, or with a splash of water. Try also as a fine mixer. For a Dark ‘n Stormy, pour one measure of rum over ice and add about four times that amount of dry ginger ale, garnish with a wedge of lime.
Chandon Vintage Brut 2006 – up to $40 ****
Yarra Valley, Victoria. Pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot meunier blend. This bubbly spent two and half years on yeast lees and the lees contact is evident in the aromatic, bakery oven nose. The palate shows brioche like flavours along with new season white peaches and a hint of lime juice. It finishes with lip-smacking zest. Continue reading