Tag: Matthew Jukes

Sep 09 2011

Jansz Tasmania: The Poor Man’s Krug!

Posted on September 09, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

At the Tasmania Unbottled tasting I bumped into a friend who’s in charge of buying wine for his wine society. I really value his opinion, and he thought the pick of the show was the Jansz Tasmania Vintage Cuvée 2006. I also thought this sparkling was a standout. It was a deliciously textural wine with a finely beaded mousse and a vibrant complex nose of citrus, biscuits, honeysuckle and toasted almonds.

I’m always excited when my impression of a wine is confirmed by a seasoned critic. British wine critic Matthew Jukes said that the 2006 Jansz Tasmania Vintage Cuvée was the finest offering from this specialist producer to date. Tyson Stelzer, author of the Champagne Guide 2011, referred to the Premium Vintage Rosé 2007, which I also enjoyed, as a poor man’s Krug Rosé. (Matthew Jukes, 100 Best Australian Wines – 2011)

The comparison to one of the greatest names in Champagne seems apt given that Jansz was originally launched in 1986 as a specialist sparkling producer by Graham Wiltshire and Bill Fesq of the Tamar Valley’s Heemskerk Winery and the famous Champagne House of Louis Roederer. The head of Louis Roederer, Jean-Claude Rouzard, was personally involved in establishing the vineyard, planting it with the classic varieties of chardonnay and pinot noir. Today Jansz is owned by Yalumba’s Hill Smith family, and since 2001 Natalie Fryar has served as Winemaker.

Heemskerk and Louis Roederer were the first to recognise that the ultra-cool climate of Northern Tasmania’s Tamar Valley was ideal for growing grapes for sparkling wines. The maritime influence of Bass Strait keeps temperatures low and creates enough humidity for a long and gentle ripening period, enabling the wines to develop intense, delicate and refined flavours and a lingering, mouthwatering juicy acidity that is essential … Read the rest

Jul 07 2011

S.C. Pannell Nebbiolo 2007: An Aussie Wine to Put up Against a Top Barolo!

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

I always enjoy the opportunity to attend the annual Chef of the Year Dinner of the Wine & Food Society of New South Wales. Not only does the evening showcase the food of last year’s Chef of the Year but, as might be expected, a lot of thought goes into matching the food with the wine.

One of the most interesting pairings was the filet de porc a la creme de sauge with a 2002 Damillano Barolo and a 2007 S. C. Pannell Nebbiolo. The deliciously succulent roasted pork fillets in a light sage flavoured cream sauce worked beautifully with the nebbiolo offerings. But while the Damillano displayed some nice savoury notes and had more body than its pale colour would have suggested, the aromatic and delicately fruit-flavoured S.C. Pannell Nebbiolo 2007 was the winning wine of the pair.

Granted, the 2002 vintage was a shocker in Piedmont – the Northern Italian home of Barolo. Rain and hail decimated the crops and many of the top producers made no wine at all that year. No surprise then that the S.C. Pannell Nebbiolo stood out in comparison, although I’m sure this elegant, medium bodied nebbiolo would also look good against more worthy counterparts. In fact, British wine critic Matthew Jukes offered the following assessment of how the wine fared in another taste test: “Served blind, against three top Barolos and another extremely expensive rival Aussie Nebbiolo, this wine trounced the lot of them with its devastating truffle and blackberrry aromas and finely judged, refreshing tannins.” (S.C. Pannell website)

The 2007 vintage is Steve Pannell’s third release of the wine. It is a blend of five different clones from Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills. It was hand harvested, crushed and vinified for 20 days in small open top fermenters, with … Read the rest

Jun 06 2011

Aussie Wine Icons: Reviews for Penfolds Grange 2006

Posted on June 06, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The annual release in May of the latest vintage of Penfolds Grange is always greeted with a great deal of anticipation. Most retailers’ allocations are sold out even before the reviews are written!

Now the reviews are beginning to trickle in and by all accounts the 2006 vintage is one of the best to date. Andrew Caillard MW of Langton’s gave the wine a perfect score of 100 points, rating the 2006 Grange as the best vintage since 2004. (2011 Penfolds Grange “luxury & icon” wine release Andrew Caillard MW)

James Halliday, who scored the wine 98 points, pronounced 2006 as best vintage in the past 10 years, giving it a drinking window to 2050! (Sweet Release by James Halliday, The Australian, 30 April 2010).

Campbell Mattinson of The Wine Front scored the 2006 Grange 97 points. Here’s a brief excerpt from his review:

It’s not a particularly heralded vintage, in general terms, but the way this release presents in the glass is, to me, what Grange is all about. Impeccable winemaking, pure fruit, clasps of uncompromising tannin, smokin’ barrels, and thrust. It will live for a very long time, because it’s so well designed, and because it does its thing so well. (The Wine Front, 26 April 2011)

Respected British wine critic and Daily Mail wine correspondent Matthew Jukes has published an annual list of the best 100 Australian wines available in the UK market since 2004. He declared the 2006 Grange “a 20/20, perfect wine.” It is only the third wine to receive a perfect score since his 100 Best began. Here’s a brief excerpt from his glowing review:

2006 Grange is perfect in every way – density, tannins, balance, energy, volume, aroma, weight, control, oak and length. It also has style and Read the rest

May 05 2011

British Wine Critic gives Jim Barry Wines The Armagh Shiraz 2006 a rare perfect score!

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

First Press reported this morning that Jim Barry Wines The Armagh Shiraz 2006 has received a rare 20/20 score from British wine critic Matthew Jukes: “With more truffles and well-hung game than a Piemontese banquet and so much latent power that it makes me feel bashful to even type its name, 2006 The Armagh is a perfect expression of its site and it is also an awe-inspiring encapsulation of the paradise that is the Clare Valley. For me this means that it is a rare 20/20 wine,” Jukes said.
 (Jim Barry’s Armagh Wins a Perfect Score for Australia in the UK, FirstPress, 18 May 2011).

Jukes tastes more than 15,000 wines a year, and since 2004 has published an annual list of the best 100 Australian Wines available in the UK.  Since the list’s inception, only three wines have received a perfect score. This year The Armagh shares the honours with the 2006 Penfolds Grange. (100 Best Australian Wines – 2011 by Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com 17 May 2011, Note: you can download the tasting notes on the website).

The Armagh is sourced from a 45 year-old vineyards on hills west of Clare, named after County Armagh in Ireland by the original Irish settlers. Matured in new French and American oak for 17 months prior to bottling, the wine the bottled without fining or filtration.

The family-run winery, started by Jim Barry in 1959, is now run by Jim’s son Peter and his two sons.

Read the rest