Monday, June 15, 2009

Kiwi's and Koala's like Wine too.

What the world has come to rely on from Australia is bold, fruit forward power-packed-punch reds. The country made its wine debut with the crowd pleasing shiraz varietal: full of the spice and big fruit of their hot, dry climate. Oh my, how they have grown! Let me tell you, with the level of finesse I experienced in this recent tasting, Australia and New Zealand are definitely grabbing France by the shirt and giving them a good shaking. Margaret River, Aussie reds were reminiscent of high quality Bordeaux. Shiraz from the Barossa Valley (Aus)nudging up to Cote du Rhone complexity. And of course, a crisp, tart, subtle New Zealand white tipping it's hat to the Loire Valley's (Fr) finest sauvignon blanc. Here are the notes:

Spy Valley - Marlborough, New Zealand - Sauvignon Blanc - $22

Nose - light floral, almonds, oil. Palette - dry, high acid, mineral, lemons with a long finish. Excellent quality, summer sipper, pair with pears.

Babich - Gisborne, New Zealand - Pinot Noir - $21

Nose - red cherry, pepper. Palette - high acid, med tannins, soft cherry, white pepper, a lovely light red at an amazing price.

Felton - Central Otago,New Zealand Pinot Noir - $80

Nose - caramel, cassis, lavender. Palette - High acid, low tannin, cherry, vanilla, pencil shavings, excellent wine and the complexity came through, but is it worth $80, I don't think so.

Bethany - Barossa Valley, Auz - Grenache - $28

Nose - sweet blackberries, vanilla, plum. Palette - black cherry vanilla spice, this one was definitely one of my favourites.

DeBortoli - Yarra Valley, Auz - Shiraz - $14

Nose - med intensity cassis, flint, distinctive floral notes. Palette - med+ greenish tannins, med+body, high acid, earthy black fruity bomb. The best value of the night.

Elderton - Barossa Valley, Auz - Shiraz - $40

Nose - caramel, cherry pie, orange zest. Palette - High acid, med+ green tannins, med+ body, rich vanilla, sweet cherry and cedar made this one a real crowd pleaser.

Clairault - Margaret River, Auz - Cab/Merlot - $33
Nose - Buttery, smooth, strawberries and cloves. Palette - High acid, med+ tannins, intense boysenberry, cedar and lemons, we have a winner but you may want to let this one sit in your cellar for a few years to get even better. Reminded me of the wonders of a good Bordeaux. Pair with manchego and quince paste and you will fall in love.

I loved them all, you'll have to pick based on your pocket book and personal preferences. You can get them at Liberty Wine Merchants in Vancity.

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