Tag: Jamie Goode

Jun 06 2012

Don’t Overlook the ‘Wow Factor’ and Value of Magnums!

Posted on June 06, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Here’s a few interesting facts about magnum size bottles of wines:

1. They are perfect for dinner parties. They contain about 12 glasses of wine and come with that wow factor, as in, ‘you must really know your wine to have the confidence to splash out on a magnum’, or ‘you obviously have enough room in your cellar to accommodate magnum size bottles or, better still, you obviously store your wine in a professional wine storage facility!’ (Yes, I know, a shameless plug!)

2. Experts agree that they are the best format for ageing wines. This has do with the fact that the proportion of wine to air in a magnum is greater than in a regular 750 ml bottle and consequently the wine develops more slowly. Jamie Goode of the Wine Anorak goes so far as to say: “From many discussions with collectors and experts, I’m convinced that the optimal ageing trajectory for top wines is achieved with a combination of a sound cork, a magnum bottle, and horizontal storage at a constant 11 ºC at high humidity. The wineanorak guide to storing wine at home, wineanorak.com)

3. Typically, wine producers only bottle their top drops in magnums, and are inclined to give the bottling another level of oomph by going all out in terms of presentation. Today, for example, I received an email from Clonakilla. They have just released magnums of their flagship Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2010.  Each magnum comes packed in a pine box imprinted with the Clonakilla logo and vintage year!

I’ve often wondered why magnums aren’t more popular. The Wall Street Journal’s Lettie Teague pondered this question in a wonderfully titled article, Magnum Force: Big Bottles for Big Bashes. Here’s a few of her interesting insights:

 

  • Women, in general, don’t buy
Read the rest
Apr 04 2012

Wendouree: The Collector’s Wine

Posted on April 04, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

When I was researching this post on Wendouree, I came across an article in the Wine Spectator about a very successful Houston heart surgeon who had built an impressive wine collection. Of particular pride for the collector was a substantial vertical collection of Wendouree reds – 90 bottles from 1990 to 2003. (The Pulse of a Collector: A surgeon builds a cellar that would get anyone’s heart racing by Jennifer Fielder, Wine Spectator, 30 June 2007)

The article brought back memories of a collection I once inventoried for another doctor. He also had a passion for Wendouree verticals.  Both doctors created their cellars for long-term drinking pleasure. As the heart surgeon explained, “There’s no wine I buy for investment purposes. They are made to enjoy, not just to look at like trophies on the wall.”

The decision to buy multiple vintages of the Wendouree range may also have a little bit to do with keeping your place on the winery’s coveted mailing list. (No easy task!) Wendouree proprietors Tony and Lity Brady only sell wine via their mailing list. Allocations are strictly limited and prices are deliberately kept at reasonable levels. Few customers pass up the opportunity to take what’s on offer!

The Bradys see themselves as custodians of a priceless treasure. Many of the vines on the 28 acre Clare Valley property date back to 1892. The beautiful historic stone winery is also over 100 years old.

The Bradys purchased “A.P. Birks Wendouree” (the full name, as it still appears on the label) in 1974 and have limited production to straight varietals or blends of shiraz, malbec, mataro, cabernet sauvignon, and a dessert muscat of Alexander.

The wines are meant for the cellar – one of the main reasons why collectors hold onto their verticals.  As wine writer … Read the rest

May 05 2011

Tasting Highlights: From New Zealand to the South of France

Posted on May 05, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The Cellarit Wine Blog took a bit of a hiatus over the Easter break due to family and other pressing work commitments. But that didn’t mean I didn’t have time to sample some great wines! Here are a few that recently impressed.

My love affair with New Zealand pinot noir continues. The best that I’ve tasted recently have a bit of age and a hint of that savoury earthiness that I think probably all the best makers of pinot noir strive for. A couple of highlights:

Te Kairanga Runholder Pinot Noir 2007

Te Kairanga was one of Martinborough’s founding vineyards. Martinborough is at the foot of the South Island where the soils of the ancient river “Martinborough” terraces and the climatic conditions are remarkably similar to Burgundy. In less than thirty years, Martinborough has established an enviable reputation as one of the world’s best places to grow pinot noir, with Ata Rangi and Dry River, for example, attaining world class reputations.

Gary Walsh of The Wine Front scored the Te Kairanga Runholder Pinot Noir 2007 90 points:  “Has an attractive earthy beetroot character, dry herbs, rose oil and plum/cherry fruit with a good clip of quality oak. It’s fresh and medium bodied with an attractive Chinotto like bitterness and a good finish. It’s a style I like and one I enjoyed drinking – interesting and not too fruity.” (The Wine Front, 31 March 2010). Also affordable!  Vaucluse Cellars, where I bought my bottle, has this wine for a mixed case price of $28 a bottle.

 

Amisfield Pinot Noir 2007

I tried the Amisfield Pinot Noir 2007 at a friend’s home. They are passionate wine collectors, who obviously know what they’re doing! This wine was superb.  A slightly riper style than the Te Kairanga Runholder but … Read the rest

Apr 04 2011

Domaine A: Tasmania’s Finest Cabernet Sauvignons!

Posted on April 04, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

More Tasmanian Wines from our Hobart trip

After attending  Wild Rice’s excellent production of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, we headed down to Hobart’s City Hall to listen to Haitian-American composer and violinist DBR, Elan Vytal aka Dj Scientific, and the queen of Haitian song, Emeline Michel. Our friend James couldn’t believe his luck when the bar at the venue was selling Domaine A’s Stoney Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 for $35 a bottle. The wine is actually a classic Bordeaux blend with 4% cabernet franc, 4% merlot and 2% petit verdot. It is a deliciously aromatic, finely structured wine with a wonderfully long finish.  Yet another great example of how Tasmania is excelling at making cool-climate, elegant European-style reds!

Domaine A has established a very strong reputation for its Bordeaux blends. James Halliday described the Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 as by far the best [cabernet sauvignon] in Tasmania, and here’s the Decanter’s Andrew Jefford’s reaction to an earlier vintage of the Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon:

This wine gave me the shock of my tasting-note life on May 12th 2005, when Andrew Caillard brought 114 wines from the Langtons Classification pool over to the UK and served them blind. This was my pick of the Cabernets and Cabernet blends (I gave it half a point more than Cullens Cab-Merlot), yet it was so different to the rest of its peers.

As the Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown explained, since Domaine A’s Swiss born Peter Althaus first started making wine in Tasmania in 1990, he has produced “cabernet blends as though they were French classified growths.”(Wine Advocate # 189 June 2010)

Shortly after emigrating from Europe, Peter and wife Ruth purchased the Stoney Vineyard, a one acre block in the picturesque Coal River Valley about 20 minutes out of Hobart. The … Read the rest