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What I drank last weekend...and you?


PCL
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Over the weekend, it was a pleasant surprise to discover something I don’t believe has been on everyone’s radar, at least not the majority of the population. In my humble opinion, it is apparent that Cote du Rhone style Shiraz is alive and well in a country where most people are mindlessly reaching for petroleum charged, big bold brick wall wines.

The winemaker is called Gallaghers, and they’re in Canberra, surprise number 2. Greg Gallagher told me he’d been making wines for people like Taltarni for quite a while and decided he wanted to do his own thing. More and more winemakers are doing the same and I believe, fantastic. We as a country should learn some subtlety. Of course I’m over generalising, but hey, the big bold Aussie wine is as cliché’d as Ken Done, Neighbours, etc.

The 2001 Shiraz is a fine drop. Admittedly my nose wasn’t working well, due to being caught in the big storm in Melbourne over the weekend, but I chanced upon King & Godfree’s (Carlton) and popped in for a bottle or two to take home and from what I tasted, it was enough to convince me it warranted closer attention. It was soft at first on the palate, tannins quite lively but never stringent. You could say it was fruity but I never know which fruit it is really, and this one was very interesting, rolling from one fruit type sensation to another. Full bodied, yet pliable, and mate, what a finish.

We were having veal shanks for dinner (also bought in Carlton, from Excell Meat Supplies, next to Readings on Lygon St), and mate, it worked. The shiraz lifted the entire ensemble of unctous shanks, deep shallots and demi-glaze to a sensational level, given that I hadn’t given the shanks enough time in the oven to langour, and thus was not as soft and pliable as they should have been….

…or maybe it was the riesling… a 2004 vintage, also from the G-man… of which I’d quaffed with a few servings of sauteed mushrooms with butter and parsley and mmm… garlic. I never drink riesling, but I ventured forth here and it didn’t once remind me of weird Alsatian numbers and stood up to my cynicism just fine.

In short, do give it a go. The website is http://www.gallagherwines.com.au/ and it is definitely stocked at King & Godfree’s. It was $15 for the riesling and $20 for the shiraz.

What did you drink last weekend?

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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  • 1 year later...

PCL

New one on me. Have you tried this more recently?

Some of the most interesting North Rhone style wines are coming out of this area - in particular Tim Kirk's Clonakilla Shiraz/Viognier

Are you able to compare?

Seems very well priced....

"The purpose of a cookery book is one & unmistakable. Its object can conceivably be no other than to increase the happiness of mankind - Joseph Conrad"

www.booksforcooks.com.au

new & old books about wine, food & the culinary arts bought & sold

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A few months ago, some friends brought over a bottle of 2004 Pillarbox Red. It's a cabernet shiraz merlot and it went down very well with the chocolate souff....um....mousse....that we had for dessert. It says something that I still think of that wine. I can't remember much of the bouquet, but the flavour! Plenty of chocolate-coffee flavour (which I adore), but it was very smooth.

I just took a peak of what's left of my collection. 10 bottles made up of the following:

'96 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz

'97 Joseph Cab-Sav-Merlot

2 x '98 Penfolds Bin 128 Shiraz

'98 Knappstein Shiraz

'98 Blue Pyrennes Cab-Sav-Merlot

'99 Henschke Kyneton Estate Cab-Sav-Merlot

'00 Tahbilk Cab-Sav

'02 Brown Brothers Cienna

'02 Honeytree Estate Cab-Sav

I think I need to have a BBQ soon.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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drink up Shin! the st henri is drinking well now, and the kyneton estate really should be boffed good and hard with some SAHA stuff... last time i had this wine, it was with turkish... yah!!

and Tim, I've had the Gallaghers shiraz a couple times now, and prices vary depending on where you go. each bottle has been consistent.

as for clonakilla, it's something i haven't done, despite travelling to canberra just about every fortnight this year. my cousin's bringing back a stack of 'em, so will have a go.

nice area though, and given the sun and cool climate, there's no reason why they shouldn't get better over coming years.

something that's been drinking well now is the 2001 Train Trak pinot noir from Yarra Valley. bought a case. 8 bottles left. good with roast chicken and asparagus. like a friend said, soft on the nose, big on the palate, fresh on the finish.... isn't that what good aussie pinot is supposed to be??

Edited by PCL (log)

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Haven't got the hang of quotes quite yet so...

Shinboners PCL is absolutely right both need to be sacrificed. However, don't drink the CIENA whatever you do...it could turn you off wine for ever

PCL - I'll have a look at the Gallaghers. Don't know Train Trak but I'd like a bit of fine tannins and subtlety if I was going to spend more than say $15 on a Yarra Pinot - current tip seems to be Hoddles Creek Pinot for $15 a bottle. Halliday lists it in his top 100 in the Australian last week. If you interested in Pinot - have a look at what Sandro Mosele is doing on the Mornington Peninsula - Kooyong Estate have a number of interesting single vineyard block wild ferments that are showing some lovely expressions (pity about the prices....!)

As for what I'm putting in my cellar? At the moment - Ridgeline from Gruyere in the Yarra Valley - check out the Yarra Valley Wine Hub

Edited by Tim White (log)

"The purpose of a cookery book is one & unmistakable. Its object can conceivably be no other than to increase the happiness of mankind - Joseph Conrad"

www.booksforcooks.com.au

new & old books about wine, food & the culinary arts bought & sold

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Shinboners PCL is absolutely right both need to be sacrificed.  However, don't drink the CIENA whatever you do...it could turn you off wine for ever

PCL should probably give his butchers a call to see what cuts he can rustle up for a BBQ.

As for the Ciena, I'll have to defend myself and say that someone gave that one to me.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Ahhh, Sandro... Kooyong... everytime I consider one of their wines, I hear 'kerchink'... but yes, they are sooooooooo good. I think they are starting to rival the Farrs (Bannockburn, By Farr, Farr Rising).

the Moselle (hope I got that right!) bottlings are good too, and they are currently producing a Pinot Gris for The Wine Shop on Spring St. Had that for lunch yesterday, with an omelette.

If you're interested in the Train Trak, there's like, 4 cases left at K&G's on Lygon. Make that 3, one of 'em has my name on it :biggrin:

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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I got given a bottle of Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc (2005 Adelaide Hills). I suppose the intention was to drink it on a lazy afternoon, but I think it would have been better with food. The wine had quite a pale colour, it was almost clear with the slightest tinge of yellow. I can't remember much of the bouquet, but the flavour was sharp with plenty of citrus flavour, and it was very dry. It's definitely not a wine for the afternoon, but I think it would have gone wonderfully well with the roast chicken we had during the week (or indeed, the seafood salad I made up on Saturday). It not only needed food, but the right food.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Eastern Peak... where's that from? I'm too lazy to google. Seems like its time to un-plug the '96, 10 years on... prime time.

Good weekend for wine, the one just gone:

- more Train Trak '01

- Charles Melton 'Laura' Shiraz 2000... not grown by Mr Melton in the Barossa, but sourced from special contract growers up in the hills somewhere. A floral style, without the turbo-push-you-back-in-your-seat punch. Great integration, smooth as silk, a winner for a quality set of barbie kebabs involving chicken or lamb. Refined is one way to put it.

And I just received the following in my email, from Charles Melton Wines:

Hi folks,

'tis that time again!

The jolly fellow is just about coming down the chimney,

with a big thirst for sparkling red!

Just to let you know that our 2005 disgorgement Sparkling Red

is available for the usual limited time.

Awesome, serious, shiraz bubbles, perfect for the holiday season!

Let me know if you would like some sent to you, 

delivered to your door in time for chrissy!

oops, have you forgotten a present for your Father in Law?

We are doing gift packs of the 2003 Father in Law Shiraz (complete with jocks and socks!)

gift boxed for the man of the house!

Just what every dad needs, at least there's a good bottle of red!

Give us a buzz on 08 8563 3606 fax 08 8563 3422

or just reply by email!

Cheers,

Tracy

their email address is: cmw@charlesmeltonwines.com.au

and no, i'm not affiliated with them :raz:

Edited by PCL (log)

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Must compliment you on your wine list PCL...

Charlie Melton is a longstanding favourite - Matteo's and Rathdowne Cellars often have Charlie Melton dinners - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

As for the wine....some of the more idiosyncratic, interesting, personal wines from the Barossa floor. It seems Krondorf Rd breeds quirky winemakers - neighbours include Bob McLean @ St Hallets & Bob OÇallaghan at Rockford. A great supporter of old vine wine particularly grenache. Favourites of mine include:

Sotto di Ferro - a vin santo style wine - hard to get but worthe the wait

Nine Popes - Rhonesque (if that's a word) - great

Rose of Virginia - a grenache rose - very like Tavel - can drink all summer

Now that I think of it - apart from the sweet white (in halves) I haven't tried a Charles Melton white wine.....

Perhaps now that Shinboners is a dad - he'll get the Dad's pack.... :wink:

"The purpose of a cookery book is one & unmistakable. Its object can conceivably be no other than to increase the happiness of mankind - Joseph Conrad"

www.booksforcooks.com.au

new & old books about wine, food & the culinary arts bought & sold

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hmmmm, i don't think they do a white???

Nine Popes...mmmmmmmmmm

His Cab Sauv is DIVINE... SO GOOD... YEAH YEAH YEAH... 5 bottles left... must call Tracy to secure another case, will re-finance to pay for it...

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Perhaps now that Shinboners is a dad - he'll get the Dad's pack.... :wink:

Baby Shinboners spent ages looking at the wine bottles sitting on the window sills at the Court House. Hopefully she was just memorising them so that she'd know what wines to get daddy for Christmas.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Some nice gear over the week-end:

1994 Tyrrells Vat 1 Semillon Mid yellow. Nice rich straw nose but not nuts or lime etc. Quite a rich palate and just tending to broadness. if you have some I would drink over the next couple of years. Very nice for a hottish year hunter.

1998 Franco Martinetti Minaia, Gavi [Piedmonte] Superb green/pale gold colour. Lifted french oak nose with some fruit hints (cross between chardonnay and semillon - although the actual grape is cortese). Fresh fairly full palate with very good length and richness. Nice acid. needs a couple of years for the oak to fully integrate. Very good today, possibly excellent in future.

1996 Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep rich red colour. Big wine and for the first hour lacked both variety and any regionality. Just a big oz red. The fruit richness seemd to have smothered any typicity. Thankfully with more airing some cassis and blaclberry fruits. Lacked though any Coonawarra minitness or minerality. For my palate too big for a Coonawarra. Nice as an oz red. Disappointing for a Coonawarra.

1998 Felton Road Pinot Noir Very lifted nose. Lots of crushed geranium leaves and red berries. Some foresty noted but no earth. Palate not the fireworks of the nose. A bit short intially, but lengthened somewhat with air. Fruit was waning and just lacked a bit of silkiness and complexity. Excellent for nose but justgood for palate. proabably atits peak a couple of years ago. Oh well.

1997 Produttori Del Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo, Barbaresco [Piedmont] My first from a recent auction buy. Mid red . Much more ethereal nose than the Felton Road. Lots of soft rose perfume with hints of black cherry. Lovely just mid weight palate. Very linear palate with great length and persistence. Still some tannins and nice fruit to ensure it will be hitting its straps in 2007 and beyond. Lovely with a mushroom rissotto. Excellent.

2003 Nugan Estate KLN Vineyard Botrytis Semillon [Riverina] Palish to mid yellow. Heaps of apricot on the nose and palate. Lots oflength and thankfully no VA burn on either the nose ofr palate. Yummy now and for a couple of years -- but drink before the fruit flattens. Not thatcomplex but lots of fun. Very good to excellent.

Cheers

Paul

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Paul,

Very interested in the Felton Rd Pinot. Can you tell us the region??

cheers!

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Eastern Peak... where's that from? I'm too lazy to google. Seems like its time to un-plug the '96, 10 years on... prime time.

Good weekend for wine, the one just gone:

- more Train Trak '01

- Charles Melton 'Laura' Shiraz 2000... not grown by Mr Melton in the Barossa, but sourced from special contract growers up in the hills somewhere. A floral style, without the turbo-push-you-back-in-your-seat punch. Great integration, smooth as silk, a winner for a quality set of barbie kebabs involving chicken or lamb. Refined is one way to put it.

And I just received the following in my email, from Charles Melton Wines:

Hi folks,

'tis that time again!

The jolly fellow is just about coming down the chimney,

with a big thirst for sparkling red!

Just to let you know that our 2005 disgorgement Sparkling Red

is available for the usual limited time.

Awesome, serious, shiraz bubbles, perfect for the holiday season!

Let me know if you would like some sent to you, 

delivered to your door in time for chrissy!

oops, have you forgotten a present for your Father in Law?

We are doing gift packs of the 2003 Father in Law Shiraz (complete with jocks and socks!)

gift boxed for the man of the house!

Just what every dad needs, at least there's a good bottle of red!

Give us a buzz on 08 8563 3606 fax 08 8563 3422

or just reply by email!

Cheers,

Tracy

their email address is: cmw@charlesmeltonwines.com.au

and no, i'm not affiliated with them :raz:

Eastern Peak is from the Ballarat region - not that Ballarat is technically a wine region as there is not enough wineries of the required size. Moving away from the Ballarat area if you are looking for a very good inexpensive Pinot I would recommend the Mount McLeod which is the second label of Caledonia Australis.

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Paul,

Very interested in the Felton Rd Pinot. Can you tell us the region??

cheers!

Just guessing - but I'm fairly sure Felton Rd is Otago Sth Island NZ Pinot and pretty damn good from memory - certainly the price suggests so.

Did anyone attend the Bledislow Cup at the Point Restaurant earlier this year. Apparently NZ wines went head to head with Oz wines....

Edited by Tim White (log)

"The purpose of a cookery book is one & unmistakable. Its object can conceivably be no other than to increase the happiness of mankind - Joseph Conrad"

www.booksforcooks.com.au

new & old books about wine, food & the culinary arts bought & sold

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yeah, and on the weekend, The Point went head to head with Interlude... more on that in the kicking lumps thread to come...

I don't know about the pricing of NZ pinots. Otago, Marlborough. They don't get out of bed for less than $35 usually, and really, most times, I find them a little formulaic, but then I probably need to spend quality time with some of them to fully get to the bottom of it all.

Interestingly, we slurped on Charlie Melton's Rose of Virginia 2005 last night. Aromatic on the nose, suggesting ripe sweet cherries and even a bit of lychee. And it tasted just like that, slightly syrupy on touchdown, then smoothing out. For me, it's sweeter than I'd expected given several decent sessions last year with gee, I can't remember the vintage. But it worked well with dry-rubbed baked spare ribs and a simple salad.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Last night we cracked open a bottle of something a little from left field

Sparkling Marsanne 2001!

Friends have a vineyard near Nagambie and make some very nice limited release Hermitage style shiraz and Bourgogne style chardonnay

Given that Nagambie is the home in the antipodes for Marsanne, and its ageing potential is well known, this was a very interesting wine. :biggrin:

2+ years on lees, this was a crisp, slightly citrus sparkler with a lot of potential - would love to see this with some real bottle age

Goulburn Terrace - available from the Gertrude St Enoteca

Has anyone heard of a marsanne - methode champenoise?

"The purpose of a cookery book is one & unmistakable. Its object can conceivably be no other than to increase the happiness of mankind - Joseph Conrad"

www.booksforcooks.com.au

new & old books about wine, food & the culinary arts bought & sold

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I drank beer, specifically James Squire Amber Ale. I think it's made by a small brewry in Sydney (no doubt if it's owned by someone like Fosters, someone will point that out soon enough). It's not a bad either. It's very easy to drink, very smooth, a wheaty taste that isn't overpowering, and it has a nice finish (it says "nutty finish" on the bottle, and that's pretty apt). It went very well with the Thai grilled chicken wings last night.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Last night had a 1998 Brands Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. What an enigmatic wine. Started out your archetypical Coonawarra with mint and black berries, though with quite a bit of coconut oak still overlaying the fruit - not offensive but a bit obtrusive. Rich middle palate but a slightly shortish finish.

An hour later this wine had fallen apart. Rather than a nicely balanced wine we now had all three components - very spiky acid, thinning fruit and coarse american oak- all competing with each other. The worst was the hard biting acidity - must have had a heap of tartaric acid added during the winemaking. Not a good sign. By the morning an absolute mess. Major disappointment. Have a couple more so will see how they turn out. Noticed this wine won a gold at this year''s National wine show.

A 2004 Clonakilla riesling from the Canberra district [bloody cool climate] was also nothing above average - lacked intensity and any minerality - maybe going into its dumb phase. Haven't been that impressed with the 2004.

Must try some of the superb , from whati've read 2005 rieslings from Clare and Eden Valleys.

Cheers

Paul

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  • 3 months later...

Time to bump this thread up.

Had the Vasse Felix 2001 Chardonnay over the weekend. It's aged very very well and seems to be at its peak. Soft, buttery, integrated. Didn't expect it at all. The peachiness simply oozed. Wouldn't last much longer though. Damn good thing I found the case in dad's cellar.

Anyone else with good aged Aussie chardy experiences??

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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  • 2 weeks later...

We opened a bottle of 1997 Joseph Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. The winemaker uses a technique called the Amargne method to produce the wine. This involves drying the grapes before crushing them.

The bouquet made little impact on me. It just smelled, well, like wine...albeit a very smooth one. Nothing overpowering, just a nice little pleasant aroma. The taste however....oh, it was like sipping velvet. Again, it wasn't about power, just rich, but strangely soft, flavours of dark berries, chocolate, and coffee. There were no tannins to speak of.

We kept half of the bottle back for tonight when we're going to tuck into some braised lamb shanks. I think they'll be a treat together.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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  • 3 weeks later...

To celebrate our first year in our new home, we opened the bottle of 1996 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz to go along with our slow roasted rib of beef (we got the beef from Excel butchers and used Neil Perry's recipe). Ah, it was heaven.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Nice one Shin.

Finally got my hands on By Farr Pinot Noir 2004.

Verdict? Superlative. The man's got balls and the wine's got class. Too bad it's so rare...

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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