Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz 2007 (Australia)

April 9, 2010

If you’ve not tried Australian Shiraz, I’m surprised you’re even reading a blog about wine to be honest! Incredibly popular in the last 10-15 years, it’s undoubtedly one of the best-selling styles of wine in the UK, and for good reason. Reliably good quality, good value, and great flavours are very typical when it comes to these big reds from Down Under. Almost always spicy or peppery to some extent as a result of a good whack of oak during the aging period, they are usually full of dark fruits and vanilla too, and almost always bring super-supple, silky smooth tannins to the table, softening the edges of what can otherwise be immense and intense wines.

The likes of Hardy’s, Yellow Tail and Jacob’s Creek may dominate at the supermarket (and to be fair, offer very good value for money given the rock-bottom prices they achieve these days), but spend a couple of extra quid, and you can get some storming wines for your money. Push the boat out to £10+ and you’re onto another planet entirely, reaching up towards some of the best wines in the world at the very top, and stumbling over some absolute corkers in between.

This weekend’s bottle brings all of the classic Aussie Shiraz qualities to the fore, at a very affordable price. The colour is a lovely deep red with a vibrant purple rim, and the aromas immediately grab your nostrils and suck you in. Deep and rich scents of blackberries, plums and cedar are quickly followed up by flavours of dark cherries and juicy plums in the mouth. Intense and full-bodied, spicy and warm, smooth and supple. The finish is persistent and thoroughly enjoyable. Great value for money at £7.49.

This was another wine I tweeted about live as I tasted (See here, here, and here). If you want to know more about this wine, the technical sheet is available here. We’ve opened a bottle for you to try this weekend, and while it’s open, you get 10% off 2 or more bottles, and 15% off 6 or more.

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De Bortoli VAT 1 Petite Sirah 2006 (Australia)

April 3, 2010

Petite Sirah, also known as Durif in Australia, is a little-known red grape variety that’s starting to crop up in all sorts of interesting places (Mexico for example; L.A.Cetto produces a fascinating wine that we also stock). It’s probably originally best-known as one of the grapes sometimes used in Bordeaux as part of the world-famous red blends the region produces, but has been showing it’s potential as a single varietal in other climates for a while now.

This award-winning example from De Bortoli exudes powerful, intense dark fruit flavours and aromas. In the glass it is an inky purple colour, and on the nose shows some fabulous spicy cedary chocolatey aromas. After just one whiff of this beauty, my mouth was watering and I knew I was going to love it. Absolutely gorgeous stuff! I tweeted my thoughts live as I tasted (see here) and the flavours didn’t disappoint. “Warm brambly blackberry fruits, nice lick of spice and oak giving it great depth and character.” (Quoted from this Tweet of mine)

This is a really top-drawer full-bodied red, and offers a stunning QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) with bags of flavour and complexity. A new and very firm favourite for me, that falls wonderfully into my own budget for wine at £8.99 a bottle (special offers running this weekend whilst it’s open for you to try for free: 2/4/2010 – 5/4/2010).

Come and see us at the shop if you’d like to taste this wine for yourself, and bring your wallet because you’ll want to stock up if you do. The wine suggests an aging potential of up to 5 years, but as you might have guessed, it is already drinking very well indeed.

Norfolk Rise Shiraz 2006 (Mount Benson, Australia)

March 25, 2010
Norfolk Rise Shiraz 2006 (Mount Benson, Australia)

Norfolk Rise Shiraz 2006 (Mount Benson, Australia)

For tonight’s tasting I’ve been getting you guys to vote today for which wine I tried, as the previous blog entry details. The Aussie Shiraz just pipped the Argentine white, so without further ado, here’s what I and a few friends thought of it:

A fantastic nose with a real smokiness and dark berry fruit about it. The aromas were by far the best thing about it for one of us. The palate was incredibly rich, full of dark berry fruit and a sweet-sour edge that a couple of us really enjoyed, and a couple were not so excited about. We all got slightly different flavours in the mouth, with some getting cherry, others grapefruit, and myself finding chocolatey blackberry notes. Everyone agreed that the wine was very smooth, with supple soft tannins (a quality Australian Shiraz is known for) giving it a velvety mouthfeel, and we all picked up the pepperiness and warmth that the producer described on the back label. The finish is pretty persistent too, with some nice fruit flavours sticking around for some time.

All in all, I’d happily recommend this to fans of Aussie Shiraz as an excellent quality full-bodied red (the 14.5% alcohol was fairly evident). Another Australian Shiraz that we also stock, which has also been written about on this blog, is the Billi Billi Shiraz 2005 (Mount Langhi Ghiran, Australia), which has less chocolatey peppery notes, and much more damson plum, violets and vanilla in the mouth. Both are cracking wines, although for my own palate, I prefer the Billi Billi style, with less sweet-sour flavours and more upfront fruit.

If you’re interested in getting me to review any particular wines in the weeks and months ahead, get in touch and let me know what you enjoy and I’ll be sure to include an example of a style/grape/region in a write-up soon. You can also follow me on Twitter to see what I’m drinking on any given night, and what I think of it (it’s almost always something new I’ve never tried before, and I love suggestions for what to try next).

De Bortoli Sacred Hill Chardonnay 2007

January 29, 2010


De Bortoli Sacred Hill Chardonnay 2007

Originally uploaded by The Wineyard

De Bortoli Sacred Hill Chardonnay 2007: Very clean, vibrant golden colour. Crisp, fresh tropical fruit aromas of peaches & nectarines. No oak, very concentrated fruit, melon, mandarins, apricots, peaches, nectarines. Should be really good with a simple chicken dish.

De Bortoli Windy Peak Sangiovese 2005

January 29, 2010


De Bortoli Windy Peak Sangiovese 2005

Originally uploaded by The Wineyard

De Bortoli Windy Peak Sangiovese 2005: Wonderfully rich brick-red colour. Fantastic nose; what I usually imagine classic old-world reds like Chianti and Rioja to be like – plenty of cherries and vanilla (definitely got some oak in this one), but also full of fascinating aromas that I still struggle to identify (maybe you guys will have some better ideas?). In the mouth, it’s light and fruity stuff. Cherries dominate but some lovely spicy warmth and vanilla notes coming from the oak ageing. Very similar to Italian Chianti (which mostly uses the Sangiovese grape, so no surprise there). Really tasty stuff, and a more unusual and interesting bottle to get from Australia. Definitely a great food wine – pasta/pizza should be great with this.

Billi Billi Shiraz 2005

December 28, 2009



Billi Billi Shiraz

Originally uploaded by The Wineyard

Super duper, big fat silky smooth Shiraz from Australia. Plenty of kick at 14.5%, but full of delicious violet flavour, mixed with spice and plums and plenty of dark berry fruits. A real treat for £8.79.