Happy Birthday L!
We held a quiet dinner party for a few friends for L’s birthday. Nothing too fancy on the food front, Lasagne, but good wine and cheer…
We enjoyed a few great bottles! Firstly I opened a bottle of Martinborough Vineyard Chardonnay 2012 (Decanter rated it most highly of New World Chardonnays) which showed an attractive reductive character (well, I like it anyway), then a Ch. Siaurac Pomerol 2010 that I bought en primeur a while ago, which was dense and rich. G bought a number of intriguing half bottles, including two Lakes Folly Cabernets 2009 and 2011, two very expressive Aussie cabernet blends, if a little angular in these vintages, and R and D brought over a fav – Elephant Hill Le Phant Rouge 2014. Yum!
I think there was another oaky Chardonnay in there somewhere as well, a bottle of my own beer for everyone to have a taste, and some coconut Vodka from Fiji for afters…
We didn’t finish everything, but I still felt a little dusty the next day…
Selaks Taste Collection Buttery Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2016 – $
13% alc. Gold colour.
L loves a good buttery Chard. This showed bold malo on the nose, generous apricot and peach aromas, oaky influence.
Smooth golden stonefruit flavours to taste. A big generous mouthfeel, and creamy, but not too heavy. A light touch for a heavy white, if you will, seeking balance with acidity on the mid-palate. Medium length. A cheery value winter white, and a welcome return for this expressive and bountiful style of Chardonnay.
L sez “far too drinkable”!
Recommended 88 points
Church Road McDonald Series Merlot Hawkes Bay 2013 – $$
14.5% alc. Deep carmine colour.
From the celebrated 2013 vintage in the Bay. Tasted over two nights.
First impression: complex and leafy on the nose, odd for a good year, brusqueness and drying tannin on palate, but with potential to age, the shortness on palate perhaps indicating the wine has stalled, with another 2-3 years needed to kick on to a stage when it will begin drinking really well.
Second look after a day open: dark fruits, roses, cedar and vanilla. Soft and aromatic. Unctuous and delicious in the mouth with rich flavours of dark plums, dark red roses, and tobacco to match bouquet. Balanced. Drying tannins offset by fresh acidity, and enveloped by the typical varietal softness of Merlot.
Highly Recommended 90 points
Off Topic: Bleeding Heart Shiraz Lower Murray McLaren Vale 2015 – $
13.5% alc. Deep ruby colour.
Bright fruit on aroma, red cherries. Dusty. Some spice.
Sweet attack, and a medium heavy bodied wine to srink. Meaty. Dusty and powdery tannins. A lean finish. Short, closed.
Commended 84 points
Off Topic: Anciano Crianza Tempranillo Valdepeñas 2012 – $
I have walked past these bottles, wrapped in their fine gold wire netting, many times in the supermarket without being tempted. As Monty Python said once, “this bottle has a message in it, and that that message is ……………”
But L had stocked up wine for the ski season, and we were up the club for our first ski weekend of the season when I opened up the ski locker and saw this wine, and went,” Si. Ole!”.
L had her go-to The Ned Pinot Gris, while I had this full malo wee beastie …
Old-world characterful flavours, with enough intensity and interest to be worthwhile. Red cherries. Bright in the mouth. Nothing startling. Red in regulation.
Commended 85 points