Category Archives: Buy Wine Ideas

Apr 04 2015

A Wine to Put on Your Radar: DCB Wine Pinot Noir 2013

Posted on April 04, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

You may recall that not long ago I raved about a bottle of Hoddles Creek 1er Cru Pinot Noir 2013 we enjoyed over dinner. The Wine Front’s Gary Walsh remarked that at $45 per bottle the wine was a bargain, arguing that “To get quality like this out of Burgundy, you’d be looking at up to $150+”. (Hoddles Creek 1er Cru Pinot Noir 2013, The Wine Front 14 January 2015)

Consequently I was very intrigued to read Mike Bennie’s impressive review of the DCB Wine Pinot Noir Yarra Valley 2013 (rrp $20) in this month’s Gourmet Traveller Wine. It’s the first release for a new label by Chris Bendle, one of the members of the winemaking crew at the Yarra Valley’s Hoddles Creek. According to Bennie, this wine and its sibling, the 2013 DCB Wine Chardonnay, will undoubtedly make the list of Australia’s best-value wines. (From Big Things by Mike Bennie, Gourmet Traveller Wine, April/May 2015)

Bendle has been making wine at Hoddles Creek since 2010. He told Bennie that “The D’Anna family [owners of Hoddles Creek have had a big influence on me. I’ve learned that people seek out value in wine, and that wine can be about pleasure, enjoyment as well as accessibility.”

In 2013 Bendle was fortunate to secure some pinot noir and chardonnay from a vineyard halfway between Healesville and Woori Yallock. Usually most of the fruit is reserved for Hoddles Creek. The wines, made at Hoddles Creek, are unfiltered and unfined.

Here’s Bennie’s review:

2013 DCB Wine Pinot Noir ($20) is packed with plush, red berry flavours and just a faint hint of dusty wood from older oak barrels. It’s easy drinking, yet stylish in its own way, punching well about its weight”

by Merrill Witt, Editor

The wine is still … Read the rest

Aug 08 2011

Sparkling Shiraz: Australia’s unique take on Bubbly!

Posted on August 08, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Australia has made a few significant contributions to the world of wine: the shiraz cabernet/cabernet shiraz blend, the stelvin screw cap and a new take on bubbly with the sparkling shiraz.

While most people tend to drink sparkling wines as an aperitif, the spicy aromas, fine beading and complex flavours of sparkling shiraz make it a perfect accompaniment with dinner.

Seppelt’s Great Western Winery in Victoria has been making sparkling shiraz almost continuously since the 1890s. The highly rated Seppelt Show Sparkling Shiraz is made from 60+ year old grapes from the St. Peter’s and Imperial vineyards, using the traditional methodé Champenoise.  After a break in production, the 1982 Seppelt Show Sparkling Burgundy (as it was then known) was relaunched in 1990. Today, renowned wine critic James Halliday rates Seppelt’s as the best producer of Australian sparkling shiraz. (James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2011)

 

 

Peter Lehmann released its first sparkling shiraz in 1999. It was made from the 1994 vintage and spent five years cellaring in the bottle on tirage. Halliday awarded 94 points to the Peter Lehmann Black Queen Sparkling Shiraz 2005. Sourced from small Barossa Valley vineyards, including one owned by Peter and Margaret Lehmann, chief winemaker Andrew Wigan, who created the wine for Peter Lehmann, offered the following tasting notes:

Beautifully deep in colour with a persistent fine bead. The nose is an enticing melange of chocolate, dark cherry, hints of spice, a touch of vanilla. A beautifully integrated and fully harmonious wine offering an explosion of flavour balanced by the complexity resulting from its time in the bottle. (Seppelt website)

Wild Duck Creek makes the dry style, non vintage Sparkling Duck Sparkling Shiraz NV every three vintages. Only 1200 bottles of the wine are produced from a 50% blend of … Read the rest

Jul 07 2011

Buy Wine Ideas: Aged Australian Riesling – Beautiful Expressions of Terroir

Posted on July 07, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

As the Wine Spectator’s Harvey Steiman notes “Australia makes a unique style of Riesling that shows off the lovely stone fruit character of the grape, often weaving in floral, citrus and mineral flavors, hanging them all on a dry frame.” (Tasting Highlights: Australian Riesling by Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator, 23 February 2005)

Australia’s reputation as a great producer of dry riesling was forged in the 1980s and 90s with the emergence of wonderful rieslings from the Clare and Eden Valley, produced by top names including Grosset, Henschke, Annie’s Lane Jim Barry, Tim Adams, Petaluma and Pewsey Vale. But in recent years, excellent riesling has also been made in Victoria (Crawford River, Jasper Hill), the Great Southern region of Western Australia (Larry Cherubino, Howard Park, Abbey Creek Vineyard) and the Canberra District (Helm Wines, Clonakilla).

More than any other white wine, the best rieslings benefit from bottle age. Some will last 25 to 50 years! Over time, the primary fruit flavours are complemented by toasty, honeyed tones and accented by a waxy, minerally range of flavours that impart a richness and taste complexity not evident when the wine is in its youth.

In 2000, the Clare Valley riesling producers became the first in the world to bottle their rieslings under screwcaps. (Now almost all of Australia’s white wines are bottled under screwcap). By all accounts these wines have aged beautifully, with the screwcap protecting the freshness and delicacy of the wine.

Another hallmark of riesling is its ability to transmit its terroir. Well-made riesling distinctly expresses the characteristics of its place. At Grosset’s Spingvale vineyard, for example, rich red soil over limestone produces sturdy vines, big berries, chunky bunches and a lime green … Read the rest

Jul 07 2011

Buy Wine Ideas: Boutique Barossa Shiraz on the Cellarit Wine Market

Posted on July 07, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Some of my friends are wary of buying the big, rich, full-bodied style of shiraz that is typically associated with the Barossa region. They are afraid that the typically high alcohol levels will dominate the taste of the wine. But as the Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown explained in a recent article on Greenock Creek’s sublime 2004 Roennfeldt Road Shiraz, alcohol is not an issue if the wine is in balance: “you need serious flavor concentration and a firm backbone of ripe tannins with a good amount of natural acid (and judicious use of the added kind if necessary) to pull it off – and that’s rare.” Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road 2004s by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate March 2011

Indeed! But when the balance is right, few wines can match the complexity of aromas and depth of flavours of Barossa shiraz, especially the best examples, which are typically made from the grapes of 100+ year old vines.  In my opinion, they are the perfect accompaniment to a hearty winter’s meal of osso bucco or succulent roast duck.

Here are a few highlights at various prices points of spectacular Barossa shiraz from boutique winemakers that are currently listed on the wine market. I’ve noted the alcohol percentages on the label when available – surprisingly not a high as you might think!

Kalleske Greenock Basket Pressed Shiraz 2003 $48

The Kalleske family have been farming and growing grapes since 1853 near the village of Greenock. Since the first wine release in 2004, Kalleske has rapidly gained a reputation for producing top-quality hand crafted wines from its 120 acre vineyard where the oldest vines date back to 1875. The vineyard is low yielding with grapes grown organically and biodynamically.

The Kalleske Greenock Basket Press Shiraz 2003 is a single vineyard wine sourced from … Read the rest