Below are my notes on the second batch of wines that I have been lucky enough to taste so far in March 2016.
From this batch my favourites are the:
- 1991 Lindermans Limestone Ridge Shiraz Cabernet
- 2007 Grosset Gaia Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Merlot
- 2007 Penfolds Bin A Chardonnay
|8||Name: Penfolds Bin A
Region: Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
Colour: Bright golden straw
Aroma: Elegant combination of peach, almond, lemon, lime and flint aromas
Palate: Balanced, refined and complex
Comment: Great wine, shows why Penfolds are one of the best wine makers in Australia and why the Adelaide Hills produces some of the best Chardonnays in Australia. Bin A wines are definitely worth a look!
|9||Name: Yabby Lake Single Vineyard
Region: Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
Colour: Pale straw
Aroma: Refreshing mixture of lychee, lemon, lime and flint aromas
Palate: Crisp with lychee and citrus flavours
Comment: Nice wine, not in the same class as the Bin A, but still a good Chardonnay
|10||Name: Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve
Region: Willamete Valley, Oregon, USA
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Colour: Bright light ruby
Aroma: Earthy, medium-bodied combination of cherry, spice and black-pepper
Palate: Balanced with cherry, spice, stone fruit and black-pepper flavours
Comment: Very enjoyable, lighter style of Pinot Noir. Nicely balanced, tannins were a little dry, like the finish.
|11||Name: Tempos Vega Sicilia Pintia
Region: Castilla y Leon, Spain
Colour: Rich, deep ruby
Aroma: Herbal, medium-bodied mix of wild-berry, cherry and spice aromas
Palate: Bold and balanced with layers of fruit
Comment: Really liked this wine, interesting and moreish mix of wild berries, cherries and spice with a balanced and bold palate. Worth a look, if not a few.
|12||Name: Grosset Gaia
Region: Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
Varietal: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot
Colour: Cloudy ruby
Aroma: Perfumed combo of blackcurrant cedar and spice aromas
Palate: Full-bodied complex and structured palate with blackcurrant, cedar, spice and tobacco flavours
Comment: Great wine, surprised everyone at the dinner, another star produced by Geoffrey Grosset. The various varietal characteristics are easily found. This was my wine for the wine options game.
|13||Name: Lindermans Limestone Ridge
Region: Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz Cabernet
Colour: Dusty garnet
Aroma: Very enjoyable mix of blackcurrant, cherry, liquorice and vanilla aromas
Palate: Elegant and balanced palate
Comment: What an amazing wine. At 25 years of age this wine has evolved and is still showing the characteristics of the Coonawarra and the varietals.
|14||Name: Seppelts Para Liqueur Port
Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia
Varietal: Tawny Port
Colour: Dull cloudy amber
Aroma: Volatile and funky, very unpleasant
Comment: Unfortunately the cork in this bottle had failed, first sign of trouble, Para Ports from this era had extremely short corks which are prone to failure.
Luckily for me this is the first of the Para Ports that I have purchased that this has happened to and I still have a few more, so hopefully it will be the last one.
The Options Game:
In addition to great wine another Australian contribution to the World of Wine is the Options Game. Len Evans, the Godfather of Australian Wine, is the person who invented it.
- Each participant brings a bottle of wine, ensuring that it is either decanted out of sight of the participants or that it is sufficiently disguised so that the others cannot determine what it is
- The person presenting the wine then asks around five multiple choice questions, the objective of the questions is to identify the wine, so if you are going to try this, a bit of planning is a good idea.
- Each question is to include up to three options to choose from, one of the options must be correct (sounds like someone bent the rules at some stage, guess that a lawyer or two were involved in the honing of the rules)
- Not sure I am a fan of the three option limitation.
- There are two exceptions to this the four major communes of Bordeaux and the communes of Haut Medoc.
- I believe that there may be other times when four options could be a good idea as there may be an obscure region that if added to the options would be easily identified, where if you throw in a couple it could increase the difficulty in identifying the wine. Just my opinion!!
- Only two questions can be asked about the vintage
- No restriction on the number of questions about the variety, region and / or maker
Options to the Options
The size of the group and knowledge (plus patience and or interest) of people participating may mean that you need to tailor the way you ask the answers, a few ideas are below, the first option is the traditional way, we use the third option usually at our dinners.
- If you are attending an event where there are a number of people who are going to participate the idea is to ask each person a couple of questions and then progress to the next person and so on until all of the questions are asked and then the entire group are asked to identify the wine
- With a large group another option is to make it a “knock-out” competition ask each question and “knock-out” the people who have answered incorrectly until there is only one left!
- A more casual style, which is what we do at dinners, is to ask the entire table all of the questions, providing the answers as you go.
Options Game Example Questions
- Old World or New World? A: Old World, B: New World
- Where is this wine from? A: Australia, B: South America, C: US
- Is it a blend or single varietal? A: Blend, B: Single
- What is the secondary varietal? A: Cabernet, B: Cabernet Franc, C: Merlot
- Which region of Australia is this from? A: Coonawarra, B: Great Southern, C: Clare Valley
- Which Vintage? A: 1997, B: 2003, C: 2007?
Answer: 2007 Grosset Gaia Clare Valley, South Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Cabernet Franc (20%) Merlot (5%)
Have you played this or a variation of the Options Game?