Monday, July 01, 2013

July 2013 Wines - 14 Tasted of 14

Tauranga, NZ from the Shoals
Stay healthy! Drink at least 8 glasses of wine a day.



  • Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz 2011,  93a-3 -- V, Tanunda, South Australia, #167189  $20.95
  • Rutherglen Single Vineyard Petite Sirah 2008, 93-2  --  V, Victoria, Australia, #179127 $21.95
  • Marchesi di Barolo Maraia Barbera Monferrato 2011, 92a-3  --  V,  Barolo, Italy, #748277 $16.95 
  • Stoneleigh Latitude Pinot Noir 2011, 90-1  --  V, Marlborough, NZ, #325654 $24.95
  • Beringer Founders' Estate Syrah 2009, 89a-1  --  V, Napa, California, #919654 $18.95 
  • Romain Duvernay Cairanne 2010, 89-1  --  V, Rhône, France, #320465 $19.95
  • Pepperwood Grove Old Vine Zinfandel, 86-1  --  G, Napa, California, #308163  $13.85  
  • Brazin (B) Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi 2010, 85  --  V, Lodi, California, #256750 $19.95   
  • Domaine de la Tete Noire Vacqueyras 2010, 83a  --  V, Rhône, France, #323675  $22.95 

  • Mont'Albano Pinot Grigio 2012, 92-3  --  V, Fruili, Italy, #249532 $15.95
  • Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2012,  92-2  --  V,  Marlborough, NZ #324228 $21.95
  • Steve Bird Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2012, 90-2  --  V, Marlborough, NZ, #178319 $18.95 
  • Philippe Portier Quincy 2011, 89-1  --  V, Loire, France, #326876 $17.95   
  • Simonsig Chenin avec Chene Chenin Blanc 2009, 89a  --  V,  Stellenbosch, South Africa, #282772 $28.95
(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, NR - Not Rated)


PEPPERWOOD GROVE OLD VINE ZINFANDEL 2011, Napa, California, 14.0%  D  .2g/L,  #308163  $13.85  (Tasted July 29, 2013) 

A General listing.  My notes:  As well as the Pepperwood site two others, Everything Wine and Demystifiedvine, provide some detail about this wine from Don Sebestiani & Sons. The colour is a deep ruby and the nose has a scent of strawberry-raspberry jam. A viscous film coats the glass leaving a full rim that eventually drains through snail-slow legs. The first sip has a satin texture and bright acid filling the senses with fruit flavours then a milder fruit carries into a long finish ending extra dry and lightly herbal. Initially an intense medium-bodied sipper mellowing to reveal fruit. Pair with a meat lasagna, bbq'd back ribs or seared steaks. Cellaring for several years could maintain present level. A commercial drink now. 86

STONELEIGH LATITUDE PINOT NOIR  2011, Marlborough, NZ, 14.0% XD  5g/L,  #325654  $24.95  (Tasted July 1, 2013) 
Released by Vintages on June 22, 2013 and rated 4 out of 5 by Bob Campbell, MW (August 2012).  My notes:  Has a see through red cherry colour, light on pouring with a thinnish film leaving a fragmenting rim. The nose has a polite intensity and the taint of American oak, pleasing to sniff. On the way to being silky but for a sharp tang delaying a tad a red cherry and red currant flavouring that comes out in a long dry warm finish. I have to sniff periodically, delicious.  Have with a ham steak with raisins or roast turkey slices with cranberry sauce. Cellaring for several years may smoothe, quite bright now and likely at peak. 90

STONELEIGH LATITUDE SAUVIGNON BLANC  2012, Marlborough, NZ. 13.5%  XD  3g/L, #324228  $21.95  (Tasted July 1, 2013) 

Released by Vintages on June 22, 2013 and rated 5 out of 5 by Vic Harradine (December 4, 2012). My notes:  There's a freshness to the gooseberry scent that wakens the senses inviting the first sip. The film is firm leaving a lacy rim slow to accumulate and shed tears. The colour is a pale yellow. The first sip has a tang and intensity of crushed gooseberries then quickly fades to an extra dry 'green' fruit. A bright NZ style savvy  with less ripeness making a suitable pairing with flavourful grilled seafood dishes - wild Atlantic salmon, bacon wrapped scallops or battered halibut and chips - hold the vinegar. Cellaring several years may soften giving a fuller body with more depth - drinking well as a youngster now. Drink up! Doesn't keep when opened.  92

ROMAIN DUVERNAY CAIRANNE 2010, Rhône, France, 14.5%  D  6g/L, #320465  $19.95  (Tasted July 16, 2013)  CS

Released by Vintages on June 22, 2013 and rated 90 by James Molesworth  (September 30, 2012).  My notes: A soft aroma of damp mahogany warmed by the sun and a film that sticks leaving a smooth rim shedding long legs. The colour is charcoal tinged dense ruby and a first sip coats the tongue with furry velvet, a long tang to carry dark fruit and darker chocolate. A dry finish parches the palate while a thin tobacco says old world. Have with bacon based nibbles or liver pate on salt crackers - also grilled or roasted lamb chops and perhaps a raisin sauced ham steak. At peak now with a few more years cellaring left. 89

MARCHESI DI BAROLO MARÀIA BARBERA MONFERRATO 2011,  Barolo, Italy, 13.0% XD  5g/L, #748277  $16.95  (Tasted July 25, 2013)  CS

Released by Vintages on July 6, 2013 and rated 90 by Bruce Sanderson  (December 15, 2012).  My notes:  A touch of purple in the intense ruby adds a regal note to the glass. Freshly crushed blueberries give a freshness on top of the rich black fruit of the nose. A swirl leaves a firm film with a continuous rim accumulating then draining though snail slow tears and a sip confirms the full-bodied dimensions of a tangy texture as it revives every sensory ability. A tad metallic on the swallow and reason to pause between sips. Pair with grilled beef steaks, beef bourguignon, lamb shank or rack. Cellaring for several years may tone down some rawness as will aerating before serving now.  92a

DANDELION VINEYARDS LIONHEART OF THE BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2011, Tanunda, South Australia,  14.0%  XD 3g/L,  #167189  $20.95  (Tasted July 11, 2013)  CS

Released by Vintages on July 6, 2013 and rated 94 by James Halliday  (February 14, 2013).  My notes:  Must aerate or decant to bring fruit forward then an aroma of warm crushed blueberries, smoky edged for a politely nippy sniff. The film sticks then flows long legs from solid rim. The colour is opaque to the meniscus almost black with a underlying ruby richness. Full-bodied, satin textured, brightly accented with blueberries blended with redcurrant for an appealing sipper. The finish has a rawness countering a layer of thick tannins while retaining the brightness. A plus is a nicely balanced warmth.  Cellaring several years could mellow and integrate producing an outstanding red. Have with a pepper steak or Barbarian rubbed bbq'd beef ribs. 93aCellar

DOMAINE DE LA TÊTE NOIRE VACQUEYRAS 2010, Rhône, France, 14.0%  XD  3g/L, #323675   $22.95  (Tasted JUly 19, 2013)  CS
Released by Vintages on June 8, 2013 and rated 90-92 by Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, (January/February 2012).  My notes: A dense ruby colour with an intense, spicy blackberry and herbal nose. A thick film sticks then slowly builds a smooth rim draining through slow tears. Let air or decant for an hour to settle aromas and flavours. The first sip lays a 'fuzzy' carpet for a blackberry, raspberry and red currant medley, the 'fuzz' continuing long after flavours have faded ending with a bright dried berry taste. Too intense as a sipper but a buffet of spicy sweet appetizers may subdue the beast - or have with a pepper steak or plate of grilled Barberian's rubbed back ribs. Cellaring may mellow a robust fermentation process but not likely.  83a

SIMONSIG CHENIN AVEC CHÊNE CHENIN BLANC 2009,  Stellenbosch, South Africa, 14.5%  D  6g/L, #282772   $28.95  (Tasted August 7, 2013)  CS

Released by Vintages on September 29, 2012 and rated 93 by Neal Martin  (August 2011). My notes: A bright mid golden with aromas of honey, faint beeswax and pear. A moderate film leaves a solid rim flowing long legs. The first sip has two flavour aspects, one of dry citrus and grass, the other of nicely rounded honey and pear following the nose. These recombine lasting as a tangy, dry, silky finish. An odd flavour profile may be an acquired taste for some when served as a solitary sipper - reminded me new oak. This profile may also conflict with delicately seasoned entrées - have a backup. Cellaring for several years could bring the fruit forward or emphasize the dry grass - go year by year. Aerating resolves some issues and is recommended.  89a

STEVE BIRD WINERY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012, Marlborough, NZ, 13.5%  D  7g/L, #178319  $18.95  (Tasted August 8, 2013)  CS

Released by Vintages on July 6, 2013 and rated 95 by Bob Campbell, MW, Gourmet Traveller Wine (April/May 2013).  My notes:  A pale yellow leaving a thin film that quickly fragments from the rim. The nose has an aroma of young fruit crushed with stems giving an overall fruity rawness. This carries over to the first sip which adds more gooseberry fruit filling out both the texture and body for a refreshing mouthful. The finish is long, extra dry, ending with a penetrating rawness but building a sweet kiss on the lips. A drink now for NZ Savvy lovers or to pair with any seafood entrée. I'd cellar year by year to see where it's going. 90

PHILIPPE PORTIER QUINCY 2011, Loire, France, 12.5%  XD  4g/L, #326876  $17.95  (Tasted August 12, 2013) 

Released by Vintages on July 6, 2013 and made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes. My notes: I would have to say 'the nose has left the building' although there is a slight pear on pouring. The colour is a mid golden, crisp and clean and a swirl leaves an evenly thin film slowly receding from a lacy rim down to the meniscus. A sip senses a smooth pear, some Granny Smith apple, a tang to go with a touch of sweet then a delicate chalky mineral. Some of the fruit fades leaving mainly pear and the drying mineral on the palate. Serve with prosciutto wrapped asparagus, bruschetta , or garlic shrimp. Cellaring for a year or two should maintain current profile and several bottles kept on hand would meet unexpected social or dining needs. 89-1

RUTHERGLEN SINGLE VINEYARD PETITE SIRAH 2008, Victoria, Australia, 14.5% XD 6g/L,  #179127 $21.95  (Tasted July 22, 2013) 

Released by Vintages on July 6, 2013 and rated 91 by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW (June 2011)  My notes:  A deep purple cast ruby showing a thick film that drains a smooth rim through slow legs. Noticeable acid balances an intense blackberry, soaked prunes and a tinge of moist raisin and currant pudding. The first sip has a strong acid carried along with a moderate warmth and a background of black fruit finishing dry with a touch of raw steel. Pair with beef back ribs, a pepper steak or T-bone. Sipping in a soft leather chair, feet up with a classic mystery could finish the bottle. Five years now and cellaring several more years is likely with some mellowing expected. 93

BERINGER FOUNDERS' ESTATE SYRAH 2009, Napa, California, 13.9%  D  8g/L, #919654  $18.95  (Tasted July 12, 2013) 

Released by Vintages on July 6, 2013 and rated 89 by David Lawrason (March 16, 2011). A product of Treasury Wine Estates.  My notes: After an initial tasting I let this stay in the corked bottle overnight. The colour is a purple stained ruby with a tint of charcoal. The nose has a prominent pepper edge to aromas of black currant softened by cherry and a film that sticks then a rim dropping slow legs. Dry and bold with tang equal to the flavours leaving the tongue and throat fuzzy and warm. A sipper if you prefer intensity or have with bacon based finger foods. Rack of lamb, pepper steak or a lamb shank could compete. A drink now. 89a

MONT'ALBANO PINOT GRIGIO 2012,  Fruili, Italy, 12.0% XD  5g/L, #249532  $15.95  (Tasted July 25, 2013) 

Released by Vintages on July 6, 2013 and certified as an organic wine.  My notes:  There's a hint of copper to the polished mid yellow colour. A dusty pear adds to aromas of lemon and Gala apple, together prominent although each is delicate. A swirl leaves a mounded rim waiting to release slow tears. A sip welcomes tropical fruit with a lemon tartness and smooth texture, extra dry, not sharp, well balanced, medium-bodied. Wonderful by itself as a summer sipper. Would complement a range of seafood dishes including crab cakes, scallops or fresh oysters then as an after dinner refresher. A drink now with a few years cellaring potential - not longer.  92

BRAZIN (B)OLD VINE ZINFANDEL LODI 2010, Lodi, California, 15.0%  XD  8g/L,  #256750  $19.95  (Tasted July 27, 2013) 

Released by Vintages on July 6, 2013 and produced by Delicato Family Vineyards.  My notes:  A light viscosity fragments quickly on the glass leaving only bead clusters. The nose has an initial penetrating intensity followed by black fruit aromas, a combination of blackberries, black cherries and vanilla. A generous sip leaves a tannin layer with bright berry flavouring, an acid bite and warmth forms a long extra dry finish. A sipper for those preferring rawness in their beverage. We plan to pair with grilled lamb cubes and caramelized onion with sour cream in pitas. A commercial red and a drink now.  85

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