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Syrah/Shiraz, some Zin and others


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Notes from a dinner tasting with some wine fanatics from Sydney:

1998 Brick House ‘Les Dijonnais’ Pinot Noir – from the Willamette Valley, this Oregon Pinot was actually quite Burgundian, although the colour was darker than most Burgs. I got mostly black cherry in the nose and the tannins were soft, and the acid a bit higher than usual in an Oregon Pinot. Over all quite a good impression, and it went well with the salmon poached in pinot.

2000 Vino Con Brio Matzin Old Vines Zinfandel (Lodi) – hmm – the nose had the stink of a Burgundy and a bit of volatile acidity. It went on from there to take on a plasticene element – wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Not much tannin despite the young age, and an annoying spritz on the end that wasn’t visible as the usual tiny bubbles (apologies to Don Ho), but was definitely felt on the tongue. The wine had some good points, but I don’t think it would be fair to judge it based on a possibly off bottle.

1997 Turley Old Vines Zinfandel – a much more structured wine still with reasonably firm tannins, but a similar VA thing happening when opened. The rrest of the nose was better – very ripe and jammy, and although the youthful blackberries have abated a bit, the raspberries were still out in full force. A tad hot, I thought (15.2%) and with good length, it presented well but didn’t really knock me out, although I think I like it a bit more than the 96 Old Vines.

Served with duck and wild boar ravioli in burnt butter sauce.

1999 Greenock Creek Seven Acre Shiraz (Barossa) – nice sweet nose of blackberry and cocoa and just a bit of mint. Sweet entry, then it tightened up a little. The wine has good structure, excellent length and will age well.

2002 Neyers Hudson Vineyard Syrah (Napa) – a warm spicy inviting nose with a hint of mint, warm and toasty, and in the mouth, big sweet and smooth with soft tannins . Interesting to compare the two styles. While younger, the Napa wine will not have the life that the Barossa wine will experience.

With mushroom risotto.

2002 Syncline Reserve Syrah (Columbia Valley) – warm big sweet nose with red fruit and a bit of espresso. Smooth rich feel and a nuttiness on the finish, which had good length. One to watch! Blended with 5% Grenache and 1% Viognier.

2002 Noon Reserve Shiraz (McLaren Vale) – lots of oak on the nose, this wine was big and near black, but surprisingly nimble – it was nowhere near the clumsy awkward oak monsters you get with this much extraction – it was already showing some interesting secondary characteristics and was long and smooth, finishing sweet. I’d love to try this one in 5 years! Very well integrated flavours for this sort of wine at this stage of development.

With bison rib (Flintstone special?)

1986 Jim Barry ‘Madeira’ – this was a barrel aged Muscat de Frontignan, and I’d have to admit that it was a bit more like a Madeira than many of the dessert wines I’ve seen, made from this grape. Done up in brandy barrels and aged for 13 years at which point half of the wine has evaporated. A little VA and a little sulphur at first in the nose, which had great intensity and heat and a very long finish. Not a Madeira, but pretty darned interesting in its own right.

With cheeses.

Edited by bills (log)
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