Six nations tasting

Pyrmont

Tasted October 9, 2014 by chatters with 555 views

Introduction

Another year…another six nations. I'll often write about elbows at dawn and perfumed ladies but this is the pinnacle of those types of events…self pour and every man (and woman) for themselves. This is my third year. Don't get me wrong I love this tasting but I'm still honing my plan of attack. A step closer this year with a fully printed out list of wines to try...As usual apologies apply for these most perfunctory of notes. They are based on first impressions and list what I smell (in order) and, if applicable, notes on the taste and palate feel. More of a record for myself than anything else.

Flight 1 - Bracket 1 - Chardonnay (45 notes)

Yes, there are plenty of aromatic wines at this tasting but I love Chardonnay, that most plasticine of grapes, time at the tasting is restrictive and it is here, consequently, that I commence my tasting.

The Vasse Felix Heytesbury was my winner with callouts for the Neudorf, Rustenburg, Clos du Val and Sonoma Cutrer

White
2012 Bodega Atamisque Chardonnay Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco, Tupungato
muted stone fruit, residual sugar. Nah
White
2012 Bodega Catena Zapata Chardonnay Catena Alta Argentina, Mendoza
slight oxidation, mint, peach. Hmm
White
2008 Doña Paula Chardonnay Selección de Bodega Argentina, Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo
medium minus aromas of confected fruit…flabby on the palate…nah
White
2013 Monteviejo Chardonnay Lindaflor Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco
sweet biscuits, perfumes, cream…more cream on palate, bitter, lacks fruit…nah
White
2012 Coldstream Hills Chardonnay Reserve Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Yarra Valley
Cream, peach, toast, oak…old school nose…tangy and more savoury on the palate but a bit flabby. Hmm
White
2012 Dexter Chardonnay Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Mornington Peninsula
Cream, peach, more of same on palate…a little anonymous
White
2012 Freycinet Vineyard Chardonnay Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
Medium minus intensity aromas of citrus and stone fruit…medium plus acid, cream citrus, stone fruit, phenolic grip. Lots going on but a bit out of whack
White
2012 Hardys Chardonnay Eileen Hardy Australia, Tasmania
Cream, toast, rich peach with herb notes as well. Juicy with a citric tang, cream, butter, oak…time required
White
2012 Heemskerk Chardonnay Abel's Tempest Australia, Tasmania
Medium minus aromas of cream, vanilla, peach…citric and tangy, juicy then creamy with phenolic grip. Meh
White
2012 Heemskerk Chardonnay Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
slight herbs and chicken meat, perfumed…lemon, very citrus, slight farty, meh.
White
2012 Marchand and Burch Chardonnay Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Great Southern
good quality oak, stone fruit…quite tart, citrus notes, long, needs time. Hmm
White
2013 Seville Estate Chardonnay Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Yarra Valley
slight toast, cream, slight eucalyptus…broad, savoury with slight tanginess. Lacks fruit. Meh
White
2012 Seville Estate Chardonnay Reserve Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Yarra Valley
Medium minus intensity aromas of cream, vanilla, slight cedar, peach….tangy, savoury on the palate. Hmm.
White
2012 Shadowfax Chardonnay Black Label Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Geelong
Slightly funky and cheesy, muted stone fruit…quite tart, bit meh
White
2012 Vasse Felix Chardonnay Heytesbury Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River
Lemon, peach, toast, sl.butter great quality oak…on the mouth the wine is rich with lemon, peach, toast, cream, slight bitterness on the finish - young - needs time but very nice
White
2012 Voyager Estate Chardonnay Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River
Juicy and peachy, long with very slight bitterness on the end of the finish. Lovely
White
2010 Viña Aquitania Chardonnay Sol de Sol Chile, Malleco Valley
flawed
mouldy, soggy herbs…FLAW
White
2012 Viña Cono Sur Chardonnay 20 Barrels Chile, Casablanca Valley
glue, ripe peach, residual sugar, tannic grip, ugh
White
2011 Maycas Del Limari Chardonnay Quebrada Seca Chile, Limarí Valley
Stone fruit, slight oxidation, cheese, savoury, buttery notes on the palate, encroaching bitterness on the finish and lacks fruit in the mouth. Nah.
White
2012 Ventisquero Chardonnay Grey Chile, Casablanca Valley
flawed
Corked - FLAW
White
2012 Viña William Fèvre Chardonnay Gran Cuvée Chile, Maipo Valley
medium minus intensity aromas of stone fruit; nectarine, medium plus acid on the palate - there is fruit here but also slightly burnt notes. Hmm
White
2011 Giesen Chardonnay The Fuder Clayvin Vineyard New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
Toast, butter, slight fruit, spritz on the palate…out of whack, nah
White
2010 Greywacke Chardonnay New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
Toasty with peach notes, vanilla and coconut…very oaky. Hmm
White
2011 Kumeu River Chardonnay Maté's Vineyard New Zealand, North Island, Auckland, Kumeu
Medium minus aromas of spice, stone fruit, butter, cream. Juicy and tangy and a touch warm on the finish. Hmm.
White
2012 Martinborough Vineyard Chardonnay New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
Peach, cream, butter…well made, balanced, slight warmth on the finish though. Nice but, perhaps, a bit anonymous.
White
2012 Neudorf Chardonnay Moutere New Zealand, South Island, Nelson, Moutere
herbs, peach…more of same on palate, tangy, front of mouth tannic grip. Long. Nice.
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White
2012 Palliser Estate Chardonnay New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
Vibrant stone fruits, spice, cream and toast on the nose…little buttery notes join on the palate. Plentiful tannic grip on the front of the mouth. Structured, needs time. Hmm.
White
2012 Villa Maria Chardonnay Single Vineyard Keltern New Zealand, North Island, Hawke's Bay
medium plus intensity aromas of toast, slight spice and funky farmyards….medium plus intensity acidity, some citrus flavours, butter, vanilla out of whack. Meh
White
2012 Villa Maria Chardonnay Single Vineyard Taylors Pass New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough, Awatere Valley
Polished oak is married to stone fruit with plentiful tannic grip but the fruit is quite short. Meh.
White
2013 Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve South Africa, Coastal Region, Franschhoek Valley
Herbs especially thyme, quite green, touches of wet stone and chalk…touch of spritz in the mouth, tangy, front of mouth phenolic grip. Hmm
White
2013 Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay South Africa, Cape South Coast, Walker Bay, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
aromas of butter, cream, toast and slight citrus over stone fruit translate to a citric tang with butter and slight astringency on the palate. Hmm
White
2013 Iona Chardonnay Elgin South Africa, Cape South Coast, Elgin
Perfume, cream, peach, toast, medium plus acid then bitter and astringent. Meh.
White
2013 Jordan Winery (Jardin) Chardonnay Nine Yards South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
peachy notes over cream, butter and slight toast, tangy but the fruit drops quickly and all one is left with is a certain bitterness
White
2013 Mulderbosch Chardonnay South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
On the nose it's floral with stone fruit and toast but in the mouth the acidity is so searing it distracts from everything else. Ugh.
White
2013 Paul Cluver Chardonnay South Africa, Cape South Coast, Elgin
biscuit and slight thyme, muted fruit…quite anonymous. Meh
White
2011 Rustenberg Chardonnay Five Soldiers South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
ripe peach, stone fruit and fig even, toast. Tiny bit flabby on the palate otherwise quite nice.
White
2012 Acacia Chardonnay Carneros USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
Slightly meaty, with stone fruit notes, herbs…quite fleshy on the palate but a little warm with plentiful grip and an astringent note on the finish.
White
2012 Baileyana Chardonnay Firepeak USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
Medium minus intensity aromas of initially a quite metallic note then cream and slight stone fruit. There is also a closed, almost reductive note here. Nah
White
2012 Beringer Vineyards Chardonnay Luminus USA, California, Napa Valley, Oak Knoll District
Medium minus intensity aromas of stone fruit, cream, peach but quite flabby and unfocused on the palate. Nah.
White
2011 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay Robert Young Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Medium minus intensity aromas of peaches, cream, butter and vanilla. Perfectly acceptable if not a little anonymous.
White
2011 Clos du Val Chardonnay Single Vineyard Lone Cypress Ranch USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
highly perfumed, cream, butterscotch, slight peach, tangy, beautifully balanced and harmonious. Lovely.
White
2012 Davis Bynum Chardonnay River West Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Very toasty initially with stone fruit butter and spice…more of the same on the palate. Okay
White
2011 Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay Les Pierres USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
Butterscotch dominates the nose with slight vanilla and peach notes…more of the same on the palate. I know I shouldn't but I rather like it.
White
2012 Trefethen Chardonnay USA, California, Napa Valley, Oak Knoll District
peach fruit, slight butter notes on the nose….initial spritz on the palate, then the wine is quite tangy with alcohol warmth intruding on the long finish. Hmm.
White
2013 Baleia Bay Chardonnay South Africa, Coastal Region
Medium minus intensity aromas of stone fruit, cream, slight spice, more of the same on the palate with some tannic grip. Balanced. Okay

Flight 2 - Bracket 2 - Cab Sav and blends (35 notes)

After the Chardonnay onto the Cab Savs - Should have been the Pinot and the Syrah first but I wanted to blitz the cab savs first as these tend to be very popular

callouts for the Trapiche, Babich wines, Diemersdal, Mulderbosch, Louis Martini...

Red
2012 Bodega El Esteco Cabernet Sauvignon Serie Fincas Notables Argentina, Salta, Cafayate
Graphite, pencil shavings, cream over slight black fruit. More of the same on the palate
Red
2012 Fabre Montmayou Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva Argentina, Mendoza
tending to cherry fruit. Meh
Red
2011 Casarena Ramanegra Reserva Argentina, Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo, Agrelo
herbaceous but ripe on the nose but lacks weight and depth on the palate
Red
2012 Finca Decero Cabernet Sauvignon Remolinos Vineyard Argentina, Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo, Agrelo
Ripe, sweet, black fruit…Meh.
Red
2012 Finca Sophenia Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco, Tupungato
Slight jammy fruit, slight graphite, chewy tannins. Hmm.
Red
2011 Trapiche Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva Finca Las Palmas Argentina, Mendoza
ripe black currant, plentiful chewy tannin, juicy though. Good weight. Rather nice
Red
2010 Hardys Cabernet Sauvignon Thomas Hardy Australia, South Australia, Limestone Coast, Coonawarra
herbaceous notes and pencil shavings over quite jammy fruit with slightly minty top notes. The palate is a little muted after the nose. Hmm.
Red
2009 Calcu Futa Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley
flawed
Corked - FLAW
Red
2011 De Martino Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyard Las Águilas Chile, Maipo Valley, Isla de Maipo
sweaty blackcurrant, spice, graphite…off dry, plenty of alcohol heat, fair tannic heft. Meh
Red
2012 Errazuriz Cabernet Sauvignon Max Reserva Chile, Aconcagua Valley
Cream, graphite, slight black currant…Dry, very dry - massive tannic grip, coffee notes. Needs a lot of time.
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Red
2011 MontGras Cabernet Sauvignon Intriga Chile, Maipo Valley
Slight burnt, ripe fruit…prickly, tannic grip, some residual sugar. Meh.
Red
2011 Ventisquero Cabernet Sauvignon Enclave Chile, Maipo Valley, Pirque
Sweaty Ribena, slight chocolate…A bit flat on the palate with plentiful tannic grip. It's a little flabby.
Red
2010 Vinedos Puertas Icon Wine Chile, Curico Valley
Slight cork taint over jammy plummy fruit on the nose. In the mouth the wine is quite sour. Sigh
Red
2010 Miguel Torres Cabernet Sauvignon Manso de Velasco Viejas Vinas Curico Valley Chile, Curico Valley
Ripe black currant, herbaceous notes…more of the same on the palate. Okay.
Red
2011 Babich Cabernet Sauvignon The Patriarch New Zealand, North Island, Hawke's Bay, Gimblett Gravels
Perfumed top notes, with black fruit and herbaceous almost minty notes. Tight tannins, fruit is still present and persistent. Needs times and quite pleasant
Red
2010 Esk Valley Winemaker's Reserve Merlot Malbec Cabernet Hawke's Bay New Zealand, North Island, Hawke's Bay
Jammy fruit but also rhubarb notes…more of the same on the plate
Red
2010 Man O' War Vineyards Ironclad New Zealand, North Island, Auckland, Waiheke Island
Over ripe black fruit, herbaceous notes, meh
Red
2010 Obsidian Vineyard The Obsidian New Zealand, North Island, Auckland, Waiheke Island
flawed
Corked - FLAW
Red
2010 Vidal Estate Legacy Series New Zealand, North Island, Hawke's Bay, Gimblett Gravels
Slight funky with wet bacon. Meh
Red
2012 Cederberg Cabernet Sauvignon Five Generations South Africa, Olifants River, Citrusdal
Ripe fruit, cream, chocolate and also, oddly, slight red currant notes. In the mouth the wine is quite jammy with some coffee notes.
Red
2012 Diemersdal Cabernet Sauvignon South Africa, Coastal Region, Paarl
Slightly jammy black fruit, cedar and minty notes. More of the same in the mouth. It's all rather well balanced. Nice
Red
2012 Eikendal Vineyards Classique South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
slightly confected and anonymous black fruit, dusty…very very cloying…not all right
Red
2011 Jordan Winery (Jardin) Cobblers Hill South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
black currant and spice on the nose and palate though joined by firm mid palate grip in the mouth. Hmm
Red
2011 Mulderbosch Faithful Hound South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
perfumed red and black fruit…juicy then tannic heft, fruit persists, long, nice
Red
2011 Rustenberg John X Merriman South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
graphite, and slightly jammy back fruit…juicy and surprisingly fresh on the palate then the fruit persists under plentiful tannin. Okay
Red
2011 Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
tannic heft, ripe black fruit…hmm
Red
2010 Broken Earth Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
Concentrated and dense, herbaceous notes, blackcurrant, slight sweet, mid palate tannic grip. Hmm
Red
2011 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Indian Wells USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Blackcurrant jam notes…vanilla and coconut…worked…time? Bit 'Meh'
Red
2010 Jordan Vineyard & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
ripe red currants, cedar, slight mint…in the mouth the wine is a little sour and very chewy tannins
Red
2010 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
Sweet, ripe, blackcurrant fruit, herbaceous notes…long, fair structure here as well. Nice
Red
2009 Robert Sinskey Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon SLD Estate USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Cream, ripe fruit, nice nose….Hmm
Red
2010 St. Clement Cabernet Sauvignon Oroppas USA, California, Napa Valley
slight herbaceous notes, ripe black fruit…juicy, nice, perhaps a little tart but doesn't suffer from it, tough tannic grip.
Red
2011 Maryhill Cabernet Franc USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Slight herbaceous notes but ripe, wet and sweet on the palate. A bit all over the place. Meh
Red
2010 Robert Sinskey Vineyards Cabernet Franc Vandal Vineyard USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
Pencil shavings, graphite, herbaceous…lacks fruit - too herbaceous this year for me.
Red
2007 Robert Sinskey Vineyards Marcien USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
Jammy blackcurrant, spice, mint almost eucalyptus…a little jubey on the palate. Bit off dry. Hmm

Flight 3 - Bracket 3 - Pinot Noir (17 notes)

A quick bite to eat post the cab savs and plenty of water and off to the pinots (which were few and far between)…I went straight to the US and faired well there but by the time I got to Australia there were only a couple and Kiwi's were completely depleted…

callouts for the Au bon Climat, Drew and Dutton Goldfield

Red
2012 Casarena Pinot Noir Ramanegra Argentina, Mendoza
Toast, red berries, cream, spice, more of the same on the palate, okay
Red
2012 Marcelo Miras Pinot Noir Üdwe Argentina, Patagonia, Río Negro
slightly burnt and slightly corky, muted off dry fruit, meh
Red
2012 Freycinet Vineyard Pinot Noir Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
Funky, tangy, a little warm and a touch sour
Red
2012 Hardys Pinot Noir Eileen Hardy Australia, Tasmania
initial impression of savoury bonfires doesn't really dissipate. disappointing. Meh
Red
2012 Tapanappa Pinot Noir Foggy Hill Vineyard Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu
stalky herbaceousness, red berries, perfumed…fruit doesn't carry to palate where herbaceous notes rule. time?
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Red
2012 Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir Galpin Peak South Africa, Cape South Coast, Walker Bay, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
aromas of cherry, spice, liquorice notes and a touch funky…it's a bit sour on the palate. Hmm.
Red
2012 Meerlust Pinot Noir South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
flawed
Corked - FLAW
Red
2012 Newton Johnson Pinot Noir Family Vineyards South Africa, Cape South Coast, Walker Bay, Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
Slight sour cherry fruits…almost off dry on the palate, out of whack. Nah.
Red
2010 Alysian Wines Pinot Noir Floodgate Vineyards Rock Hill USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Muted cherry, slight spice…tight but juicy, fruit persists. Hmm
Red
2011 Alysian Wines Pinot Noir Hallberg Vineyard Crossroads USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
ripe cherry, spice, slight leather...bit thin on the palate though. Meh
Red
2011 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Isabelle USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
cherry fruit, spice, slight leather notes…more of the same on the palate with a juicy, mouth-watering edge and persistent fruit. Nice
Red
2012 Drew Family Cellars Pinot Noir Balo Vineyard USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
Ripe cherry and berry, perfumed notes, tangy, long, lovely
Red
2011 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Devil's Gulch USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Marin County
tending to black berries - quite jammy in fact. The ripeness of the fruit is balanced with some acidity though and it's all surprisingly harmonious.
Red
2011 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch Freestone Hill Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
ripe stalks, slight bonfire notes, cherry. The wine is juicy with medium plus front of mouth grip which fine and silky textured. The fruit persists under this and carries long on the palate. Nice
Red
2011 Francis Ford Coppola Pinot Noir Reserve Kylah's Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
funky farmyard, muted fruit but juicy and fresh on the palate, quaffable.
Red
2012 Kendall-Jackson Pinot Noir Jackson Estate Outland Ridge Anderson Valley USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
Meh, bit anonymous…nothing here for me.
Red
2010 Navarro Vineyards Pinot Noir USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
Spirituous with muted fruit, a bit dull and a bit out of whack

Flight 4 - Bracket 4 - Shiraz (10 notes)

Again by the time I got to the tables, wines were few and far between - the South African one looked like a plague of drunken locusts had been through it! A touch disappointing as I 'd been looking forward to trying quite a few of these.

callouts for the Luca Wines, Levantine Hill, Goldie Wines, Amapola and Reustle

Red
2012 Luca Syrah Laborde Double Select Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco
Dirty liquorice, leather, pepper…in the mouth funky and chewy, warming but rather nice.
Red
2010 Henry's Drive Shiraz Magnus Australia, South Australia, Limestone Coast, Padthaway
Slightly burnt, a little blackcurrant…Juicy, tight, flavours of cream, slight black fruit on the palate, a little too hot. Meh.
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Red
2012 Levantine Hill Estate Syrah Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Yarra Valley
Aromas of cream, ripe black fruits, very slight spice…on the palate the fruit is a little tart - perhaps a touch of balsamic here - but overall it's quite nice.
Red
2011 Casa Lapostolle Syrah Cuvée Alexandre Las Kuras Vineyard Chile, Rapel Valley, Cachapoal Valley
ripe green peppercorns, toast, nowt much else other than tough tannin. Nah
Red
2011 Polkura Syrah G & I Vineyard Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley
Sweaty Ribena (with the associated sweetness). Awful.
Red
2013 Goldie Estate Syrah New Zealand, North Island, Auckland, Waiheke Island
On the nose cream, ripe blackberry fruit, spice and slight black peppercorn. On the palate it gives and impression of off dry with more of the same of the nose here…the tannins are firm but still silky. In a good spot but will stand some time. Nice
Red
2009 Vidal Estate Syrah Legacy Series New Zealand, North Island, Hawke's Bay, Gimblett Gravels
peppery and plummy with blackberry notes and tannic grip. Okay
Red
2010 Villa Maria Syrah Reserve New Zealand, North Island, Hawke's Bay, Gimblett Gravels
confected and perfumed black fruit…in the mouth it's quite sour. Meh
Red
2011 Reustle Syrah Prayer Rock Vineyards USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Umpqua Valley
Peppery, juicy with grippy tannins. Balanced. Very easy drinking.
Red
2011 Amapola Creek Cuvée Alis Estate USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
Perfumed red berry and green peppercorns with slight sour notes that lend juiciness to the palate. Rather lovely with a fair tannic heft.

Flight 5 - Bracket 5 - other bits and pieces (2 notes)

Just a couple of wines I tried at other peoples recommendation

Red
2012 Rosemount Estate Nursery Project Graciano/Mataro/Grenache Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
Cream spice, red over black fruit…more of the same on the palate, juicy and peppery, front of mouth tannic grip. Hmm
Red
2012 Grey Sands The Mattock Australia, Tasmania
blackcurrant, herbaceous, pencil shavings, graphite, spice and leather…spice dominates the palate

Closing

Lots of highs and lows for this tasting…High points were all vinious but the lowest point was watching an absolute arsehole empty a full bottle into four glasses and then when I asked for a taste he slurred "Oopsh, ish all gone".

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