Sunday, 19 January 2014

Chateau Routas

Chateau Routas Murray Family Wines from Provence, France
Trio tasting

Chateau Routas Couteaux Varois En Provence 2012 13%
This is a rose wine that displays a salmon oil/peach/apricot hue

Sweet scented with light red florals and light red fruits; it's not a complex wine, but it is enticing with its sandy, chalky mineral suggestions. On the palate the wine is poised, balanced fresh and alive with flavor. Again not complex, but crisp and with exotic and interesting flavors to keep me interested. Balanced with medium length and medium- complexity.
Serve chilled
3.75 Stars

Chateau Routas 'Infernet' Coteaux Varois En Provence 2009 14.8%
38% Grenache, 38% Syrah & 24% Cab Sav

An integrated bouquet with a mix of brown spices, earthy chalk-like textures and flavors. Plums, sweet black berries, and mild raspberry & pepper notes. Overall a dry, earthy Old World styled wine.
Will please many who try, but I would suggest it's best enjoyed along side your favorite meaty, earthy dish.
3.5 Stars

Chateau Routas 'Cyrano' Vin De Pays Du Var 2008 14.5%
100% Syrah
earthy with aromas of spiced meats, mushrooms and wild raspberry. Black fruits, violets and pepper notes. On the palate a balanced, dry wine that is still integrating yet tasty; Plenty of red fruits and earthy flavors, a little spicier on the palate than the nose first suggested - the use of oak emphasizing these qualities; Medium to medium + tannins, brown spices, oak textures and flavors. Balanced with medium length and medium(+) complexity. Well made and highly recommended.
4 Stars

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Brick Bay

Brick Bay 
Trio Tasting

Merlot 2010 13%
Medium+ intensity with a bouquet that reflects plums and dark berries, brown spices, a potpourri of aged violets, baking spices and a nudge of leather; plenty of oak too, but most of all - harmony!
On the palate - the flavors immediately reflect what the nose suggests along with medium+ acidity, medium+ tannins which have a youthful grasp - not so tight and poised that I would say 'cellar this wine' but if you do - not for too long (2-3 years). The softer side of this wine is yet to emerge, but will. 
Decant for service and enjoy today or cellar for a short time.
Balanced, Medium++ length and Medium+ complexity
4.5 Stars

Martello Rock 2010 13%
61% Merlot, 18% Cab Sav, 14% Cab Franc & 7$ Malbec
Violets, plums and blackberry laced red fruits, cacao chocolate, well positioned oak. On the palate I like the initial grip of the tannins and acidity - this abates quickly to reveal the mix of spices, red fruits and oak flavors that are  - this wine. A youthful expression with medium+ acidity and a longish dry finish. Balanced, medium+ length and medium+ complexity.
Decant and drink now or cellar for 3-5 years.
Overall a very nice and highly recommended example.
4.75 Stars
The previous vintage of this wine (2009) was a different blend and therefore a different expression - 40% Malbec, 37% Merlot, 23% Cab Franc. Also a very nice wine, but one that I would suggest is enjoyed sooner or cellared for a further 1- 2 years.

Pharos 2010 13.5%
Dusty chocolate, powdered cocoa, brown spices and a medium+ toasty oak hit on the nose; this is followed by fresh, wild and cooked red berry fruits, violets and a hint of the exotic from currants aromas*. There's no doubting this wine also has complexity.
The palate reveals the flavors, complexity and concentration that the nose suggests along with medium+ youthfully grippy tannins, medium+ acidity, red fruits concentration and flavors of milk and dark chocolate, mild violets and earthy qualities.
Balanced, long finish and a medium+ complexity.
4.95 Stars

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Hawkdun Rise

Hawkdun Rise Pinots Noir Tasting - Five Vintages

2008 - A very special wine from a challenging vintage. Gentle ruby red hues with garnet nuances.
Now that this wine has had five years in bottle it is ready - gentle mature bouquet of lite red fruits and a little plum with a light savory edge and a touch of mushroom. On the palate a wine that is quite light on its feet with an equally gentle flavor profile - that said there is complexity as well as the combination of bottle age, moderate tannins, medium acidity, quality fruit and smart wine making. Balanced, medium length and medium complexity.
4 Stars

2009 - Garnet with Burgundy hues.
A fragrant and fruity bouquet with Old Rose , mushroom and cinnamon spiced cherry plus light red fruits; overall a medium+ complexity.
On the palate - quite a youthful wine still with a tart edge to the fruit flavors especially the cherry; savory flavors with medium+ brown spices; the oak is still integrating into this wine - that said the tannins show a fineness giving a layer of texture and length. Balanced, medium+ length and complexity. Still the charmer.
5 Stars

2010 - Youthful red, plum red hues, bright.
A very youthful and bright bouquet with a mix of light red fruits, medium+ oak - sweet vanillin; fine almost exotic light savory edge.
Palate follows what the nose suggests - with a lush edge to the fruits, persistent medium+ acidity; youthfully firm yet fine medium+ tannins. The fruit flavors suggest Central Otago but also a lightly tart edge with a plum note. Balanced with medium to medium+ length and complexity.
4 Stars

2011 - Youthful and raspberry red hues, day bright appearance
A vibrant and expressive bouquet with savory dried herb layers alongside some 'classic' Pinot Noir fruits of raspberry and cherry then a little English Breakfast Tea and even a light Cola suggestion.
The palate follows the nose well with an emphasis on the savory side (today) highlighting the integrating oak. There is plenty of fruit concentration here as well; medium dusty fine tannins, medium+ acidity; Balanced with medium+ length and medium+ complexity.
One to keep.
5 Stars

2012 - Ruby pink hues, very bright.
Lots of raspberry and sweet plum fruit alongside a vibrant youthful lick of oak; crisp acidity with medium+ tannins that carry a fine chalky note; Balanced with medium length and complexity.
A wine that is overall very good and will easily stand up to a few more years in bottle (2-3); I can see this example working well on wine lists as a by the glass option.
3.5 Stars