Sunday arvo sit down BBQ at Cheryl's (Oak Street, North Sydney): Aromas of cream, red berries and plums, coffee, slight leather notes and spice. In the mouth the spice is more to the fore - quite hot in fact, along with alcohol heat and flavours of sour red berries and herbaceous notes. Chalky tannins. Hmm. Quite rustic and robust. \
Birthday Celebration 2014 (Extra Space): Tasted blind. Slow-oxed in bottle for about an hour before drinking. Appearance is clear, medium intensity, ruby colour. Legs. Nose is clean, medium+ intensity, with aromas of toasted oak, mix of black and red fruits, licorice, and pepper. Developing. On the palate, dry, medium acidity, medium+ alcohol, fine medium+ tannins, medium body. Medium flavor intensity, with flavours of toasted oak, raspberry, cherry, blueberry, licorice, and pepper. Medium+ finish. Was thinking this was some sort of Rhone or Spanish Grenache. Good quality. Can drink now, and will probably only improve slightly over the next 2-3 years. Grenache with a bit of Syrah, Carignan, and Cinsault.
Very, very smart. Red and black fruits and candied mandarin peel on the nose with spice and smoke. Thick black fruits, sweet plum and spice, another lick of wood smoke. Licorice and stones. Dense tannin accentuates power in the mouth without being overdone and good length and some surprisingly fine-boned acidity. Finishes mostly in balance. Maybe a trifle hot.
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