April 2016 Wine Reviews Part 3

Below are my notes on the third batch of wines that I have been lucky enough to taste so far in April 2016.

What have you been tasting?

From this batch my favourites are the:

  •  NV Yalumba Museum Reserve 50 Year Old Tawny
  • 2001 Henschke Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Merlot
  • 2002 Howard Park Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2013 Giant Steps Tarraford Vineyard Chardonnay

The Wine Reviews

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1 Name: Perrier-Jouët Champagne Grand Brut
Vintage: NV
Region: Epernay, Champagne, France
Varietal: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier
Alcohol: 12%
Colour: Bright pale yellow
Bead: Tiny persistent bubbles
Aroma: Bouquet of apple, grapefruit, citrus and vanilla aromas
Palate: Crisp, balanced, fresh
Finish: Medium-long

Comment: A good dry style NV Champagne at an affordable price. Refreshing, just drop to start a dinner or an afternoon
2 Name: Giant Steps Tarraford Vineyard
Vintage: 2013
Region: Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13%
Colour: Bright pale straw
Aroma: A fragrant combination of nectarine, grapefruit, with subtle oak and flint / mineral aromas
Palate: Balanced, complex, fun!
Finish: Medium-long

Comment: A great example of Yarra Valley Chardonnay at its best, can see why people rave about this wine. MORE please!
3 Name: Warrenmang Black Puma
Vintage: 2005
Region: Moonambel, Victoria, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz
Alcohol: 15.5%
Bottle: Magnum
Colour: Deep dark crimson
Aroma: Complex combination of plum, blackberry, dark chocolate, spice aromas
Palate: Full-bodied, not overpowering, smooth palate
Tannin: Savoury
Finish: Long

Comment: Another one of my favourites, especially when it is in a magnum. Aging nicely, IMHO still improving. Great wine!
4 Name: Brokenwood Graveyard
Vintage: 2011
Region: Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz
Alcohol: 13.5%
Colour: Dark purple
Aroma: Earthy mix of blackberry, cherry and spice aromas
Palate: Full-bodied, intense
Tannin: Firm
Finish: Long

Comment: It is almost a crime to drink this wine at such a young age. If this wine is to be drunk at such a young age it needs to be opened and decanted hours in advance of drinking to give it a chance to open up. Starting show the characteristics of a very good Shiraz, IMHO should be left for a few more years.
5 Name: MSV Benno
Vintage: 2006
Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia
Varietal: 51% Shiraz 49% Mataro
Alcohol: 15%
Colour: Dark crimson
Aroma: Fragrant combo of blackberry, dark chocolate, spice aromas.
Palate: Full-bodied, smooth, rich, enjoyable
Tannin: Smooth / silky
Finish: Long

Comment: Always a good wine, love the long finish, rich palate. Drinking well now!
6 Name: Howard Park Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2002
Region: Western Australia, Australia
Varietal: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc
Alcohol: 13.5%
Bottle: Magnum
Colour: Deep crimson
Aroma: Pleasant mix of blackberry, blackcurrant, mocha aromas
Palate: Full-bodied, balanced, lush
Tannin: Smooth
Finish: Long

Comment: Another good example of Western Australian Cabernet Sauvignon. Howard Park's Cabernet Sauvignons are usually wines that are interesting and of a high quality and this was no different. The Magnum effect is clearly evident as the wine is improving even after 14 years.

68% of the fruit is sourced from the Great Southern Wine Region of Western Australia, 32% from the Margaret River.
7 Name: Henschke Cyril Henschke
Vintage: 2001
Region: Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia
Varietal: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot
Alcohol: 14%
Colour: Deep dark brick
Aroma: Fragrant combination of blackcurrant, cedar and spice aromas
Palate: Full, lush, balanced, YUM
Tannin: Silky
Finish: Long

Comment: Great wine, elegant, refined, aging nicely. Really enjoyed this, IMHO lived up to the hype. One to add to the wine bucket list
8 Name: Hewitson Private Cellar
Vintage: 2008
Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz Mourvèdre
Alcohol: 14.5%
Bottle: Magnum
Colour: Deep crimson
Aroma: Bouquet of plum, blackberry and spice aromas with a hint of chocolate
Palate: Full-bodied, balanced, smooth
Tannin: Savoury
Finish: Long

Comment: Another good bottle, well worth a try or two.
9 Name: Hewitson Baby Bush
Vintage: 2012
Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia
Varietal: Mourvèdre
Alcohol: 14.2%
Colour: Deep purple
Aroma: Earthy mix of blackberry, cherry, pepper and cigar aromas
Palate: Medium-bodied, balanced, smooth
Tannin: Structured
Finish: Medium

Comment: An interesting wine, still developing. One to try again in a year or so.
10 Name: Yalumba Antique Rare Tawny Port
Age: 50 Years
Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz, Grenache, Dolcetto, Mourvèdre and Muscadelle
Alcohol: 21.5%
Colour: Deep golden amber
Aroma: Bouquet of toffee, maple syrup and caramel aromas
Flavour: Full, luscious, balanced, not overly sweet
Finish: Extremely long, very enjoyable

Comment: Very lucky to get the opportunity to taste this Port. A great example of a Barossa Valley fortified, something that is very Australian. Another for the wine bucket list!

The 50 year old antique tawny was made shortly after World War II and is the oldest to ever be released by Yalumba, only 20 cases were released.


The Line Up

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