Ermita Veracruz Verdejo 2006

Posted January 13, 2009 by winedome
Categories: Rueda, Spain, Tasting Notes, Variety, Verdejo, Wine

img_5260The prolonged period of hot weather here in Perth screams out for fresh summer whites, like this lovely Verdejo. From an area where great fluctuations between day and night temperatures help the grapes to retain their acidity, it offers tons of  fruit and vibrancy. And with the further addition of proper viticultural practices, modern wine making and a healthy level of  ambition, the Benito brothers are bringing this variety to the next level. Aromas of citrus peel, ripe melon, white flowers and minty herbaceousness on the nose, the wine has a succulent, fruit driven palate balanced with crisp and minerally acid. Nice labelling and screwtop closure finish the deal. 88 points

Source: Swanbourne Cellars /Must Winebar  Price: $25  Drink: Now

Cellers Fuentes Priorat Finca El Puig 2002

Posted January 9, 2009 by winedome
Categories: Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Grenache (blends), Merlot, Priorat, Spain, Syrah, Tasting Notes, Variety, Wine

img_52361The revival of Priorat is repeatedly embodied in wineries as Cellers Fuentes: founded in the ’90s, backed by foreign capital, lead by the passion of a young winemaker playing around with mouthwatering old-vine material. This approach has clearly paid off, with the Gran Clos and Finca El Puig having conquered their place between some of the region’s greatest wines as L’Ermita and Clos Mogador. The 2002 El Puig is a blend of 45% Garnacha, 23% Cariñena, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 2% Syrah, aged between 12 and 16 months in predominantly French oak. Deep crimson in the glass the nose unveils its origins straight away, with an amalgam of  fragrant berry fruit, herbs, liquorice and hints of leafs and leather, following through to a full-bodied palate with ripe fruit, some earthiness and ample minerality adding freshness and balance. This wine actually showed much better the day after opening, proving the point that most big and bold Priorats deserve serious decanting. 90 points

Source: Vintage Cellars  Price: $50  Drink: Now-2011

Web: www.granclos.com

Borie de Maurel Minervois la Liviniere “La Feline” 2005

Posted January 8, 2009 by winedome
Categories: France, Grenache (blends), Languedoc-Roussillon, Minervois La Liviniere, Syrah, Tasting Notes, Variety, Wine

img_5241The young appellation of Minervois La Livinière is considered to produce some of Languedoc’s best wines. From its leading producer comes La Féline, a deep crimson coloured blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache. Where the wines from the Southern Rhône already offer the distinctive characters of garrigue and Herbes de Provence, to this one the ripeness and fulness of sun-drenched grapes is added, however, balancing acidity is always in sight due to the relatively high altitude of the AOC’s vineyards. On the nose aromas of cherry, blackberry, plum, herbs, pepper and exotic spice seem to grow more complex with some time in the glass, perfectly balancing the fragrance of primary fruit with spicy-savoury notes. The palate is smooth, round, ripe and powerful with grippy tannins building towards the finish. Its austerity suggests it can easily be cellared for 5 years or more. This is actually a quite fantastic wine at this price. 90 points

Source: Vintage Cellars  Price: $26  Drink: Now-2014

Web: www.boriedemaurel.fr

Yann Chave Crozes-Hermitage 2006

Posted December 22, 2008 by winedome
Categories: Crozes-Hermitage, France, Rhône-valley, Syrah, Tasting Notes, Variety, Wine

img_50932The story of Domaine Yann Chave is similar to that of many wineries in this appellation: an ambitious young son joins his father in the family business, stops selling grapes to the local cooperation in Tain while improving viticultural practices by using organic standards and drastically cutting back yields. The new approach has clearly paid off, resulting in impressive wines from both Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage and making this domaine one of the northern Rhône’s fastest rising stars. Chave’s standard Crozes-Hermitage is all about maximum expression of fruit with basically no oak  used. Fragrant and intense aromes of violets, blackberries and spices follow through to a medium-bodied palate with a round and supple mouthfeel, grainy tannins, bags of ripe fruit and very well balanced acidity. The peppery finish gives this wine plenty of regional personality. 89 points

Source: The Prince/Swanbourne Cellars  Price: $60  Drink: Now-2011

Palacio de Fefinanes Albarino 2007

Posted December 15, 2008 by winedome
Categories: Albarino, Rias Baixas, Tasting Notes, Variety, Wine

img_5102Since the foundation of the Galician DO of Rías Baixas in 1988, the demand for Albariño has skyrocketed. In fact, it has risen so much that two more sub-zones have been added to the original three. However, the Val do Salnés in the northern end of the appellation is still the most important one with ideal cool – but wet – growing conditions. This Albariño is from Palacio de Fefiñanes, based in the centre of this area and the oldest winery in the DO. It has gained a steady following since its introduction in Australia by Xavier Grau about 5 years ago, a classic that nowadays can be found in any good restaurant or shop. Not bad for a variety that was struggling to survive three decades ago! Straw yellow in the glass, it has an intense, classic perfume of flowers backed by notes of citrus peel, grapefruit, apple and apricot, leading onto a layered, succulent palate that shows taut acidity and ample peach flavours towards the long finish. This is exactly the wine you’d wish to drink with good seafood on a warm summer day. 90 points

Source: Toro Wines  Price: $45  Drink: Now-2011

Web: www.fefinanes.com

Capcanes Lasendal 2005

Posted December 13, 2008 by winedome
Categories: Carignan, Grenache (blends), Montsant, Spain, Tasting Notes, Variety, Wine

img_5109Although the history of Celler de Capçanes goes back to its foundation in 1933, the real success story started when Flor de Primavera – a Kosher wine made on request by the Jewish community of Barcelona – was scored 95 points by Spanish critic Jose Peñin after its release in 1995. Rated as Spain’s third best wine, it placed this cooperation firmly on the map as a producer of high quality wines. The combination of huge old vine resources, modernisation of the cellar and the rise of Montsant as one of Spain’s fashionable DO’s, has further consolidated its reputation. The s0lid range is mainly based on the local stars Garnacha and Cariñena, in most wines supplemented by smaller amounts of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The 2005 Lasendal is a perfect example with Garnacha (85%) and Syrah (15%) featuring in this exciting wine, both allowed to shine by sensible use of oak. Deep purple in colour, its nose shows fragrant aromas of blackberry, raspberry, redcurrant, pepper and herbs, following through to a palate driven by juicy fruit and velvety tannins, with vibrant acidity adding intensity, balance and nerve. This delicious wine amply demonstrates Capçanes is a producer to watch, even more so now wines from this emerging region are still reasonably priced. 88 points

Source: The Spanish Acquisition  Price: $40  Drink: Now-2011

Web: www.cellercapcanes.com

M2 de Matallana 2005

Posted December 10, 2008 by winedome
Categories: Ribera del Duero, Spain, Tasting Notes, Tempranillo, Variety, Wine

The M2 de Matallana is Telmo Rodriguez’s second Ribero del Duero wine. From a region where sheer physical weight seems to have become the final goal for many winemakers, M2 de Matallana offers a welcome variation. Although this deep purple coloured wine has still seen 50% new French barriques for 14 months, it effortless combines power with elegance. The nose offers intense aromas of cherry, raspberry, blackcurrant, spice, leather, tobacco and smoky minerality, following through to a medium to full-bodied palate with subtle fruit, smooth tannins and ample acidity. This wine shows refinement, balance and complexity, and regarding its quality and friendly price I would put some aside to drink over the next 7-8 years or so. 92 points

Source: The Spanish Acquisition  Price: $75  Drink: Now-2015+