May 2016 Wine Reviews Part 1

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

What have you been tasting?

From this batch my favourites are the:

  • NV Arlaux Champagne Premier Cru Brut
  • 2012 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay
  • 2013 Amistat Blanc
  • 2001 La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial
  • 2004 Old Vine Company Barossa Valley Shiraz
  • 2005 Bouchard Père & Fils Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot Domaine

The Wine Reviews


wdt_ID Wine Photo
1 Name: Arlaux Champagne Premier Cru Brut
Vintage: NV
Region: Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France
Varietal: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Bottle: Magnum
Alcohol: %
Colour: Pale straw
Bead: Fine persistent bubbles
Aroma: Bouquet of apple, baked pastry, honey and citrus aromas
Palate: Refreshing, dry
Finish: Medium

Comment: I am a fan of Arlaux, but even more so of it when served from a magnum. The fine persistent bubbles highlight the quality of this wine, the aroma and palate confirm it. Well worth giving this NV a go if you are looking for something new to try, will give some of the better known houses a run for the money!
2 Name: Leeuwin Estate Art Series
Vintage: 2012
Region: Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 14%
Colour: Golden straw
Aroma: Bouquet of peach, lime, toast and flint aromas
Palate: Medium-bodied, concentrated, balanced, fresh
Finish: Long

Comment: Another great Art Series Chardie. This is what all Aussie Chardonnay should be like, attractive golden straw, a bouquet of aromas that is just the start of it, then there is the palate and wonderfully long finish. Drinking very well now, but as I have already found, patience with an Art Series Chardie is worth it.
3 Name: Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard
Vintage: 1993
Region: Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: %
Colour: Deep golden straw

Comment: Unfortunately this bottle was corked, would have been a great wine. Aussie wines from this period have a higher incident of cork failure, around 1 bottle per dozen, guess this was the one bottle. A real shame
4 Name: Amistat Blanc
Vintage: 2013
Region: Roussillon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Varietal: 50% Grenache Blanc, 30% Grenache Gris, 20% Macabeu
Alcohol: %
Colour: Deep yellow straw
Aroma: Pleasant combo of peaches, citrus and almond aromas
Palate: Medium-bodied, balanced, rich
Finish: Medium - long

Comment: Very interesting wine, my first Amistat, believe it is also the first time I have tried Grenache Fris and Macabeo varietals. I enjoyed it, the palate is rich and balanced with a very pleasant aroma. IMHO, it is a food wine, good with flavoursome food, will be interesting to see how it will age.
5 Name: Ryme Las Brisas Vineyard "His"
Vintage: 2013
Region: Carneros, California, USA
Varietal: Vermentino
Alcohol: 12.8%
Colour: Yellow green straw
Aroma: Mixture of melon, apricot and white pepper aromas
Palate: Light / medium-bodied, austere
Finish: Short

Comment: Unfortunately this did not do it for me, felt something was missing. Would be interested in trying the Ryme Las Brisas Vineyard "Hers" which is made in the style of Sardinian wines which I expect will be more to my liking
6 Name: Château Petit-Village Pomerol
Vintage: 2010
Region: Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Varietal: 73% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc
Alcohol: %
Colour: Dark ruby red, youthful
Aroma: Mixture of plum, cherry and mocha aromas
Palate: Medium-bodied, balanced
Tannin: Smooth
Finish: Medium-long

Comment: Not a bad drink, I liked the mocha aromas and flavours, still evolving, so try to wait a few more years before drinking your last bottle.
7 Name: Pahlmeyer
Vintage: 2007
Region: Sonoma Coast, California, USA
Varietal: Pinot
Alcohol: 14.9%
Colour: Opaque deep ruby
Aroma: Pleasant mix of berries and cherry with subtle hints of chocolate and mint
Palate: Medium-bodied, balanced, smooth
Tannin: Savoury
Finish: Long

Comment: This was a better bottle than the previous bottle I tried. Both bottles were very enjoyable, smooth, balanced, just the right amount of fruit. The difference between this bottle and the previous one was that the tannins were more savoury. Have become a fan of Pahlmeyer wines, can't wait to try another or three!
8 Name: Bouchard Père & Fils Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot Domaine
Vintage: 2005
Region: Cote de Beaune - Volnay, Burgundy, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Alcohol: %
Colour: Deep garnet
Aroma: Complex mix of plum, cherry, spice and chocolate aromas
Palate: Medium-bodied, balanced, complex
Tannin: Soft
Finish: Long

Comment: A very enjoyable drop, liked the complex aromas and palate along with the long finish and soft tannins.
9 Name: Château La Serre Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé
Vintage: 2005
Region: Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France
Varietal: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
Alcohol: 14%
Colour: Deep ruby
Aroma: Combination of blackberry, plum, vanilla, and spice aromas
Palate: Medium to Full-bodied
Tannin: Savoury
Finish: Long

Comment: This wine has aged well. Drinking well now, good nose, medium to full bodied with an enjoyable long finish.
10 Name: Old Vine Company (Paul Lindner)
Vintage: 2004
Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz
Alcohol: 14.5%
Bottle: Magnum
Colour: Deep crimson
Aroma: Enjoyable combination of blackberry, blackcurrant, liquorice and spice aromas
Palate: Full-bodied, balanced, smooth
Tannin: Smooth
Finish: Long

Comment: Another great old vine wine from the Barossa. A great example of Barossa Valley Shiraz, great colour, enticing nose, bold, but not overpowering, with smooth tannins and long finish.

100% Shiraz, sourced from three Barossa Valley vineyards that are aged 109, 127, and 152 years.

Oz’s Wine Reviews

The Line Up


4 thoughts on “May 2016 Wine Reviews Part 1

  • May 28, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    great wines and oh the champagne!!!!!!!!!!

    • May 29, 2016 at 8:57 am

      Will bring you a magnum!

    • May 30, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Considering you were the guest of honor, I wonder who was the Imperial Majesty that this great selection was provided for?


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