What’s in the glass tonight April 13th



Framingham Marlborough Montepulciano 2009 – $$$

The wheels came off this one I fear. I have no experience with this variety so it’s difficult to know what to expect. I had high hopes though…

The colour looked promising. Black plum colour. 13%. But there was no enticing aroma from the glass.

The wine was thin and watery in the mouth. Even after sitting it a while to open up it remained lifeless and metallic. No richness. No ripeness.

I kept the bottle for a few days and it wasn’t until the third day that it started showing some of the cherries, tar and spice it claimed on the tin. Too little too late. 2

What’s in the glass tonight Dec 4th

Babich Merlot Cabernet 2012

Babich Gimblett Gravels Merlot Cabernet 2012 – $

I think a cheap red should err on the side of chainsaw rather than big fat red pillow, if you get my analogy. It should be the kind of ‘mouth-drying’ wine that prevents you from being able to spit afterwards, or win a Eat Dry Weetbix And Try To Whistle race.

I don’t know when I last drank a Babich wine. This is partly why I bought this bottle, the price being another reason. It is a cheapie for a Gimblett red: the standard ‘Classics’ label. Deep ruby. 13%. Not a big nose, but some red plums and a touch of vanilla. The fruit is ripe and soft, but not complex or tannic enough to arouse much interest with me. Very merlot-dominant I guess.

It’s an approachable party quaffer, for a party where B-52s music is playing: Love shack, baby, love shack… Will suit some people; a disappointment for me (see above). 2

Babich have been producing wine since 1916, so they know how to do it. I expect their single vineyard and reserve wines would be much better that this. I will report back in due course.

What’s in the glass tonight Aug 20th

Julicher Martinborough PN 2007

From the cellar: Julicher Martinborough Pinot Noir 2007 – $$$

Hmmm, this is an odd one to taste. I opened the bottle at dinner, poured a bit into the xl5, paired it with some slow cooked beef, and recorded my impressions (alongside cajoling LG into eating some of her dinner, and talking to the olds on the phone).

I then did some volunteer work for my childcare service. I put LG to bed, folded some laundry, and started a powerpoint presentation for my company. That led to me idly surfing the net, so then I thought, hey, better blog on that wine, and so I poured another serve into the xl5. It seemed not the same wine at all…

…it is dark carmine in colour, no doubt after the 4-5 day maceration. First off it was quite fruity on the nose, with toffee and dried fruit. Nothing ethereal or elegant about this punchy pinot. It was strong and full in the mouth, fruit-packed, black currants and marzipan. There was a good level of complexity. It went well with the beef. So far so great…

..On the second go round, I smelt more of the forest floor funk, and boiled potatoes. Is that second thing a good thing? Not sure. I’ll give it the benefit for now. Then I swear I taste more pencil shavings (again!) or am I confusing this with that odd ‘soapy’ taste I get at the death? I have seen this with some pinots before. Don’t know if it is a fault with this bottle, lack of fruit ripeness, bad cellaring, the age, or the presentation in the glass.

It is not poison, but at this point I am leaning towards FAIL. On account of it being pricey and hand-made. 2

..Not that I’ll tip it out just yet. I’ll see if the wine mellows overnight and then recalibrate.

Aug 21st: A fellow blogger suggested that my wine went through a rapid aging process after opening, due to it being under a screw cap. Interesting.  After trying the wine again today I see it has settled down a lot. It’s smoother, less affected with the soap, more of the fruit is showing through around the edges, but it is still kind of weird. Makes me think I may be keeping some of my pinots a bit too long. But then, the 2005 Palliser I had with L a while back was superb…I’ll relent and give it 2.5

What’s in the glass tonight July 30th

Sacred Hill Marlb Pinot Noir 2011

Sacred Hill Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 – $

My experience should tell me that any pinot noir on special for less that $10 has to be suspect…

But it sez Sacred Hill on the tin. They make Rifleman, Deerstalker and Helmsman, so it has gotta be good, right?

Hmmm…the colour is raspberry cordial. The nose is very light, with only hints of typical pinot savouriness, and candle wax. It tastes thin, slightly bitter, perhaps the grapes were under-ripe or overcropped. Not good enough.

I have been feeling underwhelmed by the orange label wines I have been drinking from this producer recently. I am a big fan of their top Chardonnay, and have an ‘09 Helmsman under the house that I bought en primeur, but they are risking devaluing their name with me if this keeps up. More FLAVOUR please. 2