What’s in the glass tonight May 25th – Shiraz


Sula Narshik Shiraz 2016

Off Topic: Sula Vineyards Shiraz Nashik India 2016 – $

I love tea from Assam and Darjeeling, and exclusively drink it, but Indian wine is a first for me.

Deep dark ruby. 13% alc.

Soft dark fruit aromas and minerals, white pepper, heavy spice, cinnamon, prunes and licorice.

Surprisingly lean and minerally in the mouth, with spicy plum and stewed fruit notes and a raspy tannic finish, but rough and lacking in grace and smoothness for a shiraz.

When opened the night before this wine showed more fruit and softness then, but clearly has hardened up and faded overnight.

Fair 80 points.

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What’s in the glass tonight January 1st – Crémant de Bourgogne


charles-ninot-cremant-de-bourgogne

Off Topic: Charles Ninot Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc Brut NV 

Cremant de Bourgogne is the appellation for the white and rose sparkling wines of Burgundy, made predominantly from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes in the methode traditionelle. Created in October 1975 to complement Bourgogne Mousseux (the title for sparkling red wines), the appellation is now applied to more than 13 million bottles of wine every vintage. I can’t find any information online about the producer.

Pale gold colour. 12% alc.

This was my first opportunity to taste this sparkling wine style. It showed a bready yeasty nose, quite lively, not so ripe. There were soft fine bubbles, with a strong line of citrus on the palate, with underlying bread notes. There was the expected sweet and fresh entry, but the balance and ripeness of the wine was spoiled somewhat by a bitter finish reminiscent of spoiled apple. To my taste not an aperitif wine, but could accompany shellfish.

Fair  – 80 points

What’s in the glass tonight August 23rd – Côtes du Rhône


Les Gemarelles CdR 2013

Off Topic: Les Gemarelles Famille Quiot Côtes du Rhône 2013 – $

A run-out special from RW. 13.5% alc. Bright carmine.

Subdued nose. Pepper and Vegemite.

Bright fruit entry with some pizzazz. Somewhat spiky, with crunchy tannins. There was softness on the mid-palate, with a dried-fruit finish. It died in the glass a little over time, so showed not much extract or concentration.

A low-price foreign quaffer that exhibited commensurate personality. Alas, it died in-bottle completely by the 2nd day.

80 points

What’s in the glass tonight August 9th – Chardonnay


Gibbston Gold River Chardonnay 2012

Gibbston Valley Gold River Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2012 – $

I am always a sucker when I see an older wine for sale on the shelves of my local supermarket. This one bore a 60% reduction in price, which indicated there may be a  problem here, but I took a punt on it nonetheless. The producer has a good reputation.

Golden yellow colour, looking developed. 12.5% alc.

It smelled like it was almost on the turn, with oxidation on the nose, and showing in the colour.

Some acid to taste, butterscotch and almonds, apricots and peaches and lemons. Perhaps a bit soft on attack, but it got leaner and crisper through the mid-palate and finish. Below average. I must avoid heavily discounted older wines…

80 points

What’s in the glass tonight July 16th – Pinot Noir


The Admiral PN 2013

The Admiral Reserve Estate Pinot Noir Central Otago 2013

Back to NZ Pinot’s…

Pinot Ruby. 13.2% alc.

A negociant’s wine, this Pinot Noir is produced for Paddy’s Wholesalers who hail from Seaview, an industrial section of Hutt City. Nary a vine in sight in that part of the world. And no vineyard or winemaker identified on the label either – I don’t like that at all. And what is a Reserve Estate? There are several paid-for glowing reviews on the label, mind, so let’s see if it’s any good…

I can’t see much on the nose. It’s quite dumb. There is a bit of light fruit, pepper and herbaceousness if I try hard, but little expression save a bit of green.

On palate it is light and thin and somewhat metallic. It’s not vibrant or fruity, and almost tastes sour. The fulsome reviews do not describe the wine I am drinking here. Perhaps this bottle was poorly stored.

80 points