Posts belonging to Category Australia



Drinking Wines Before Their Time

properly aged

properly aged

A bracingly warm summer evening in SoCal and an assembly of tasting mavens. Heat driven visions for an epic evening celebrating accomplishments. All that was needed was a collection of wines to taste, discern
Orson Wine

Orson Wine

and discuss their mysteries. We had them… both. But where was the moon?

The wines that were opened showed kind of tight and NOT READY, excepting the Andre Robert champagne that was popped first. Champagne is always ready isn’t it? The wines most anticipated were just not there yet. What does it mean to be “not ready?” The wine needs more time to round out, integrate, come together, settle down, find its equilibrium, mature. Bartod-Chambolle-07WEBOr, if you are biodynamically literate the wine needs to be in harmony with the lunar cycle. Let’s face it. Astrology.

2007 Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Aux Beaux Bruns $111: Don’t do it they said as he pulled the cork. Big and brooding. Like a Beethoven portrait. Pinot fruit so deep it could not be fathomed. Tight. Weight without mass. A sleeping warlock. Never opened up. Now we will never see it again. 13%

coldstream-06WEB2006 Mac Forbes Coldstream Yarra Valley Pinot Noir $70: By contrast this dusty, leanish drink was fascinating. Definitely tasted like Pinot Noir. Had the Burgundian style with light middle weight liquid and dark Pinot flavors. Not exactly forest floor and definitely not from the cherry/strawberry clan. Savory flavors. Yarra Valley wine country is low (100′) and high (1500′). It is a cool region so Pinot Noir grows well. This bottle pleased almost everyone. The winery is Mac Forbes and they have a young crew. The great about tasting this wine at $70 was to have it near the Chambolle at $111. Neither is quite ready. Which would you rather open tonight? A treat to have them both on the same evening. 13.5%

Malvar-2011WEB2011 Viñas Ambiz Malvar (Maceración Carbónica) $24: We have been waiting to try this bottle of orange wine. Made from a white grape indigenous to the Madrid region. The story is in the winemaking. Fabio Bartolomei reveals his “greatest secrets” at this website. The back label is almost as striking as the wine color. YOU MUST READ IT. He presents a list of what is in the bottle – “fermented grape juice”, what he did and did not do to the wine, and what he did and did not add. How was the wine? Fascinating. Tasting like pure juice, acidic, lean, high flying, without peer. Don’t look for fruit. We decided to decant it! As my mother-in-law might have said “these guys are having too much fun!” As the website says “Practicing environmentally respectful, sustainable and chemical-free viticulture.” The vineards are head cut. The Malvar vineyard so so old nobody knows. If this was Sonoma or Napa the owner would have a geneticist out to the site immediately! This region near Madrid is a must visit for wine tourists. 12%

Here is a seven minute slide show with music of Diane Arbus’ fotos.

Surprise Tasting Produces Surprising Tastes Fun ‘n Games

carnevale-fotoWEBThe most popular Tasting Game played on the tBoW veranda is bag’n’guess. The tasters bring a couple three bottles and challenge the other tasters to guess (i) the varietal, (ii) New World or Old World, and (iii) the region. The bottles go in a bag before they are poured. The honor systems prevails. We try to avert our eyes from the seal, cork and label so we can make our guesses enthusiastically and with authenticity. A crew of experienced tasters played a classic game the other night. The befuddled chatter shows good as the wines sometimes can sometimes. Here are the highlights. (more…)

Decent Red Wines We’re Too Snobby to Write About

swirl the glass then sniff with gusto

We prefer to write about wines we favor which are generally Old World whites, reds and ros√©s. The tBoW tasting team clearly prefers Pinot Noir along with Italian varietals. However, we also have the occasional NoCal Cabernet Sauvignon or big Aussie Red [ed. there’s another kind of Aussie red?] put in front of us and without other choices we slurp. There is one exception: we would never turn down a Ridge Monte Bello. Here are the notes from an assortment of these exceptionable remarkably de trop red wines rarely covered here purely for selfish reasons. Hey…they weren’t so bad. Oh yes…also a nearly 30 year old Oporto and one very good and unusual white wine. (more…)

Rousanne: Seven Reviews From the Field! Know This Varietal!!

With the price of decent burgundy reaching a day’s pay some of us have started looking elsewhere for delicious white wine. Not a fan of the Macon, whose offerings always seem too steely, I search for two other varietals: Riesling and Roussanne. While Riesling is made well everywhere BUT California, Roussanne is more difficult to find. In fact, my favorite store here in Connecticut, Mt. Carmel Wine & Spirits in Hamden CT, has none. Neither does anyone else around here, for that matter. (more…)

How to taste wine at 100º, afternoon session

half bessa wine glass 7-09.jpgSummer afternoon tastings that morph into evening wine campaigns is what the hottest season is all about. Strategy, tactics and logistical controls are so very important especially when conditions are harsh as in really really H-O-T. And when the tasting theme, suggested by the regent Mouse is Riesling served cold, temperature management is vital. As the outside thermometer burns through 100 degrees the glasses get warm just sitting around. The treatment? Cold conditioning for stemware which means rinse the glass in ice water before each new pour. Wine buckets no more than a quick reach away replenished with ice throughout the day. But what about the taster? Keep a swimming pool nearby, wear trunks or a discrete one-piece and dip every 30 minutes. Throw a towel over the chair and return to the table. Assemble a crack team with the inevitable hangers-on. Tactics include having the requisite plonk for the lumpen. To summarize…keep cool and moist, stratify wine selections, and ensure the tasting cadre are kept refreshed.
This tasting proved to be especially interesting.
cadgalmoscato04.jpg (more…)