Sunday, 19 June 2016

Cabernet Dinner - Margaret River V


The return of Cabernet?


18 June 2016


Following the from the Coonawarra V dinner it was time for Australia's 'other' Cabernet region to display its form.

In fairness to Margaret River, the versus line up was much stronger than the Coonawarra.

Some serious Bordeaux and a few high quality Coonawarra wines showed well.

Tasting notes courtesy of Chris Hammer and Malcolm short.

The venue was Scopri. Their food was excellent.

The complete line up



2007 Keller Hubacker Riesling



 Rich and drinking beautifully. Tropical fruits and citrus.

2005 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Leognan Bordeaux



Open for business, lovely cassis and cedar and tannins not too assertive despite its relative youth.

2006 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon



 Youthful again but relatively soft and balanced. Oak on the finish but not distracting.

1995 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon



Great vintage for Moss Wood and this bottle reflects it. Complex leafy cassis fruit beautifully balanced with quality oak.

2001 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon



Med red beautiful red black fruits medium tannins, some youthfulness, nice drop.

1995 Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon



 Smelly socks nuances (presumably Brett) reduces fruit impact.

1996 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon



 Should have been great but NQR.

2002 Cos D'Estournel Saint-Estephe Bordeaux



Soft tannic structure underpinning plum-cassis fruit. Elegant version of Cos. At the start of its drinking window.

2004 Houghton Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon



 Excellent quality as you'd expect from this marque, but the fruit is still quite primary. 

2000 Beychevelle Saint-Julien Bordeaux



Reflects the vintage with elegant ripeness of the fruit. Great balance and punching above its weight. Top drink.

1998 Katnook Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon



Still young. Powerful fruit and as usual, plenty of oak as well.

2001 Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet Merlot



Sweaty characters detract - possibly Brett again.

1998 Penfolds Bin 389



Stands out as different - fruit more in the vinous spectrum and obvious American oak.

2003 Fraser Gallop Cabernet Sauvignon



Drinking nicely. No detail in my notes by this stage of the evening (unsurprising being the 13th wine)

1976 Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon



My WOTN amongst some great wines. The cork had done a great job of preservation and it was young for its age.

2005 La Tour Blanche Sauternes



In a good place. Easy to drink, and nice complexity

1978 Yalumba 'Family of Man' Vintage Port





2011 Domaine Castagnier Morey-Saint-Denis

Public Holiday goodness.


12 June 2016


After a huge day at Hill Crest we skipped a wine on Saturday night.

A long weekend is certainly a reasonable excuse for a Sunday night wine.

Shell decided on Burgundy for a refreshing change of pace.

2011 Domaine Castagnier Morey-Saint-Denis



Concentrated dark cherries and sweet spice with dark chocolate and mushrooms.

Great balance and length.

Very good structure with fine integrated tannin.

A good wine with years ahead.

Drink 2020-2025.

No work tomorrow.

Hill Crest Vineyard Tasting

One of the great Yarra Valley vineyards.


11 June 2016


Once a year Hillcrest ope the winery for members.

Every vintage made since the Bryant's purchased the vineyard in 1999.

Attention to detail in the vineyard and minimal intervention in the winery.

Phillip Jones of Bass Phillip handed the reigns over completely in 2008.

The wines offer consistency and purity. While vintage conditions offer variation there in no denying the class of these wines.

A tank sample of the 2015 and a barrel sample of the 2016 show the wines continue to impress.

Chardonnay 2004-2014



Pinot Noir 2001-2014



Cabernet Sauvignon 2002-2014









Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Craiglee Vineyards Pinot Noir tasting

When your neighbour makes Pinot and you have no idea.


5 June 2016


Shell was sick of wine tasting.

We started the day planning to give this a miss.

After quite an argument in the car on the way to Castlemaine we turned around for home.

She must have felt guilty. Soon after she demanded to be taken to Craiglee. If I did not take her should would go on her own.

Its the small victories that count.....

The Craiglee open days are always good fun. Pat is a no nonsense character and I always enjoy his conversation.

I had no idea Craiglee ever made a Pinot.

First planted in the late 1970's by the Victorian Department of Agriculture.

Unfortunately they were the Davidson clone from the USA. A high yielding variety mainly used for sparkling wines.

Pat pulled the vines out in 2009 and planted Shiraz.

Its clear to see why. There is a lot of vintage variation. When on song it is a great wine. When it misses it does so badly.

The 1989 was drinking remarkably well as was the 2005.

I grabbed a few bottles of the '89 to take to the next MBSC dinner.


History in a bottle. Craiglee Pinot Noir vertical.



2009 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon

Is it possible to have had enough Pinot Noir?


4 June 2016


Pinot Noir the evening before.

A road trip today to Portsea with a picnic lunch at Point Nepean.

The trail home lead us through the Mornington Peninsula. Having been through this wine area before in search for Pinot I have been unimpressed.

Eldridge Estate provided some interest on the last trip. I picked up two wines from the same vineyard row that had bottled separately. One from the North end of the row, the other from the South. It was remarkable the difference in the two wines. 

The 2014 wines had just been released. I like what David Lloyd is doing here. His attention to detail and obsession with showing the subtle terrior variance in his small vineyard.

His 2014 reds seemed more like the usual Mornington stuff however. Over ripe fruit, heavy oak and a strong red cordial flavour.

I grabbed the North/South pack again, but at $75.00 a bottle I am not sure if I will continue to do so.


The red wine line up at Eldridge Estate cellar door.


A quick detour to Yabby Lake Wines, mainly to use the toilet. The wines were unremarkable to say the least.

One more stop before we headed home.

I had heard some good things about Moorooduc. 

I have a tendency to disregard what local wine writers have to say about Australian Pinot Noir. The platitudes for Moorooduc now seem to be international.

Credit where it is due. The McIntyre and Garden pinot's were some of the best I have tried from Mornington.

My most trustworthy Burgundy supplier has pointed me in the direction of a young wine maker doing some very good things with fruit sourced from Gippsland, Mornington and Yarra.

With this in mind I will limit my Australian Pinot regular purchases to Curly Flat, Hill Crest, Moorooduc and Dappled.


Tasting room at Moorooduc.



Winery at Moorooduc.



Pinot vines at Moorooduc.


Finally home and we are both a little over Pinot Noir, even Burgundy.

We picked these up at the Macedon Post Office. Always good value.

The slow cooker had been on all day. Beef ragu with orecchette pasta.

2009 Moss Wood Moss Wood Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon




Decanted an hour before drinking.

Took another hour to finally open up.

Blackberries, dark chocolate, fresh herbs and fennel dominate the nose.

Great balance and weight on the palate. Gripping integrated tannins with excellent length.

A classy wine that will improve further with time.

Drink 2020-2025.

Craiglee open day tomorrow featuring Pinot!

2011 Curly Flat Pinot Noir

Melbourne winter has finally arrived.


3 June 2016


Its cold and wet. Winter has finally arrived.

If it is not Burgundy it will inevitably be Curly Flat.

The weeks seem long, the weekends short.

Another great wine to finish the week.

Tasting notes are already up for this wine. It never fails to impress.

2011 Curly Flat Pinot Noir




2010 Francois Feuillet Morey-Saint-Denis Clos Sobre Premier Cru

Friday evening wind down.


27 May 2016


Term is coming to an end. Shell is exhausted. The only thing keeping her going is Friday night Burgundies.

2010 Francois Feuillet Morey-Saint-Denis Clos Sobre Premier Cru



Dark cherries and pretty floral notes on the nose. Some cedar nots and fresh herbs.

The palate is well structured. Balance with good length.

Very easy drinking though not exceptional.

Drink now - 2012