Saturday, April 01, 2017

April 2017 wines

April 2017 wines – 12 tasted of 12

Alaska Travels

LINEUP  Reds, Whites and Rosés:
  • Shoofly Pinot Noir 2015, 91-2 -- V, Victoria, South Australia, #477067 $16.95
  • Luccarelli Primitivo Puglia IGT 2015, 90a-3 -- G, Puglia, Italy, #253856 $10.95
  • Dramatis Personae Selecto Reserva 2010, 89-2 -- V, San Rafael, Argentina, #450650 $14.95
  • Dandelion Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014, 87  --  V, McLaren Vale, Australia, #357475 $18.95 
  • La Posta Pizzella Malbec 2015, 85a -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #166298 $15.95
  • Wakefield Promised Land Shiraz 2015, 84 -- G, Auburn, South Australia, #441543 $14.95
  • Carmen Reserva 1850 Premier Carmenère, 84 -- G, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #169052 $10.95  

  • Apothic White Winemakers Blend 2015, 88-1 -- G, Modesto. California, #419978 $14.95*
  • Alamos Chardonnay 2014, 87-1 -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #448761 $14.95
  • End of Days
  • Wakefield Promised Land Unwooded Chardonnay 2015, 87-1 -- G, Auburn, South Australia, #441550 $14.95
  • Matua Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2016, 86 -- G, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, 12.5% XD 5g/L, #619452 $14.95

  • Gérard Bertrand Côte des Rosés 2015, 86 -- V, Languedoc, France, #373985 $18.95
  (V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar,
NR - Not Recommended)


ALAMOS CHARDONNAY 2014, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.5% XD 4g/L, #448761 $14.95 (Tasted March 30, 2017)

Released by Vintages on May 28, 2016. Rated 88 by Luis Guitierrez August 2015 . My notes: A mid yellow with a crinkled edge slowly forming a fragmented covering on the bowl. The nose is a light vanilla tainted grapefruit pleasing as a lite sniffer with an appealing fullness. Serve at 10oC and allow to warm ‘til 14oC to observe changes, then chill.\. A grassy edge layers a slight tang. A medium-bodied blend of fruit and texture offers some interest as a solo sipper especially when a long warm finish adds a delicate tang. We had with salmon filet and greens. Pair with natural flavours of salmon trout or chicken breast. Not for cellaring. 87

APOTHIC WHITE WINEMAKERS BLEND 2015, Modesto. California, 12.5% D 13g/L, #419978 $14.95* (Tasted April 9, 2017)

Reduced from $16.95 until March 26, 2017.
My notes:An E. & J. Gallo wine. At 9oC this white is slightly viscous with a peach fuzz aroma.  An E. & J. Gallo . At 9oC this white is slightly viscous with a peach fuzz aroma . A swirl coats the glass and quickly forms
a crinkled rim. The colour is crystal crisp making it appealing on the dining table or served socially. The taste has a sweet edge leaving a roundness on the tongue. The flavour isn’t distinct fruit but a blend of unoaked Chardonnay, Riesling and Muscato. The label refers to this as ‘a truly unique wine experience’. Once acquired may come to be a patio white for summer sipping. I would prefer to partner it with white fish – halibut, cod or tilapia – and shellfish to balance its noticeable sugar. A drink now. 88

GÉRARD BERTRAND CÔTE DES ROSES Rosé 2015, Languedoc, France, 12.5% D 2g/L, #373985 $18.95 (Tasted April 5, 2017)

Released by Vintages on February 4, 2017.  My notes: Put the bottle in a bag and a rosé easily becomes a wine with a broad appeal. This blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah modestly this fills the spectrum. Beppi Crosariol at release rated this an 89 and Rod Philips in his column (Winepointer Newsletter, November 2016) a rating of 4 of 5. A peach blush glistens in the glass adding delicacy to a table set with grilled rainbow trout or chicken breast on risotto. At 10-15oC the nose does lack a strong presence offering some grass and mild apricot. Quaff to increase a faint lemon honey and an acerbic touch to balance a delicate silkiness. More of a drink now than a meal companion.  86 

WAKEFIELD PROMISED LAND UNWOODED CHARDONNAY 2015, South Australia, 13.0% XD 2g/L, #441550 $14.95 (Tasted April 2, 2017)

A General listing. My notes:  Is it my imagination or is that a touch of sweet in the first sip? The colour is a faint straw and a delicate film wrinkles the rim then quickly vanishes. A crisp edge with lemon/lime, grapefruit and a balanced pineapple carries through to a lip drying finish. Pair with salty popcorn or have with cod on rice or chicken cordon bleu, grilled scallops or mussels in a white wine sauce. Quaff for a fuller focus on fruit that fades slowly with a smooth centre. A social starter.   87

CARMEN RESERVA 1850 PREMIER CARMENERE, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 13.5% D 8g/L, #169052  $10.95  (Tasted April 20, 2017)

A General listing. My notes: A deep purple lightens with a tilt of the glass. The softness of a plum nose entices the first sip while a subtle bite brightens cherry cranberry fruit. A bold tannin spreads each element over a long finish. Quaff or sip the effect is the same: penetrating, flavourful and young. We served before the mains as a contrast with peppery grilled west coast salmon served with an Alsace Riesling. Bridging the contrast was a green salad, topped with slivers of carrot and cucumber in a balsamic dressing. May show more depth with a few years cellaring. 84    

LUCCARELLI PRIMITIVO PUGLIA IGT 2015, Puglia, Italy, 13.5% D 10g/L, #253856 $10.95 (Tasted April 2, 2017)

A General listing produced by Farnese. My notes: Last tasted on August 31, 2014 and rated 89a at the same price. A charcoal ruby, dense with a patterned fringe separating quickly on the glass. Blackberry aroma blended with plum and currant with a noticeable sting to the olfactory system. I recommend aerating. Smooth and a touch silky on first sip shifting swiftly into a drying tannin a bright fruit and a long finish. From Beppi’s part of Italy where sipping would be a given or pairing with anything barbecued, chili sauce hot or anchovy/caper/tomato sauce focussed. 90a

DANDELION LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2014, McLaren Vale, Australia, 14.5% XD 2g/L, #357475 $18.95 (Tasted April 13, 2017)

Release by Vintages on February 18, 2017. My notes: Rated 91 by Josh Raynolds  March 2016… also labeled with several Medals awarded 91 to 95 points. There’s a light aroma of plum and raspberry with an earthy brightness added. An initial swirl tops the film with a ring of tears showing a pleasing viscosity. Dark raspberry in colour, drying to the palate with a modest bite at first sustained then building a long warm finish. Missing some freshness that may have been in earlier vintages. A full flavoured quaffer. Medium- bodied and extra dry as a sipper. Pair with beef Wellington, liver & onions and rich stews. Empty bottle weight is 1.5lbs. 87  

MATUA HAWKE'S BAY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, 12.5% XD 5g/L, #619452 $14.95 (Tasted April 6, 2017)

Released by Vintages on February 18, 2017.  My notes:There’s a green pea edge to the straight gooseberry scent of Hawke’s Bay. Without food the intensity shines as a tart layer wakens the buds like a brass band in a silent church. Quaff to savour its warm, long brightness as flavours assert themselves. Serve chilled (10oC) then, as the nose fades and the fullness builds, pair with hard cheeses, fresh crab or lobster pieces, cooled quiche or grilled side bacon. Beautifully long, dry and intense but not sharp. Enjoy now. 85

WAKEFIELD PROMISED LAND SHIRAZ 2015, Auburn, South Australia 14.0% XD 2g/L, #441543 $14.95 (Tasted April 8, 2017)

A General listing. My notes:The colour is a charcoal ruby, deep but clear against a strong light. The nose bites with a sharp shiraz intro to a cautious sipper, woody with blackberry notes. A warm layer envelops the fruit carrying its berry blend to an extra dry flat finish. Pairing with savoury roasts or juicy rubbed ribs would reward a guest. Hold over for a cooler afternoon beside a fresh pool. Cellaring a year or two may mellow ‘the beast within’ otherwise still youthfully coarse with moderate tannin.  84

SHOOFLY PINOT NOIR 2015, Victoria, Australia, 13.5% XD 2g/L, #477067 $16.95 (Tasted March 31, 2017)

Released by Vintages on February 18, 2017. My notes: This is a clean clear ruby with an inviting warmth of wood and cherries. The film casts a rim that immediately drops a screen populated with shrinking islands. A tilted swirl runs a pleasing arch.  XD for sure with a soft acid and there’s a slight silk and long unexaggerated herbal edge. Easy to quaff as well as a polite complement with smoked salmon pizza or crab cakes - modest and balanced. Fruit is there, partly masked by a natural spice. Overall a pleasing sipper possibly to be served with a slight chill. 91

LA POSTA PIZZELLA MALBEC 2015, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.5% XD 2g/L, #166298 $15.95 (Tasted April 6, 2017)

Released by Vintages on November 12, 2016. My notes: A black cherry/berry blend that tickles the nose with a soft touch although there’s a noticeable sharp thread until aerated (recommended). A swallow may slow the first sip until a woody intensity settles. The colour is a deep ruby forming a rim that swells then recedes. Somewhat coarse with enough acid to overpower the fruit then coating for an extra dry finish. Match with seasonal fruit cake injected with Pusser’s rum and Courvosier (40/60). Cellar two years to allow some mellowing (hopefully). A meal red to be aerated. 85a

DRAMATIS PERSONAE SELECTO 2010, San Rafael, Argentina, 14.2% XD 4g/L, #450650  $14.95 (Tasted April 14, 2017)

Released by Vintages on June 11, 2016. My notes: The Wine Enthusiast Importer Connection rated 90 on October 15, 2012. A deep charcoal ruby, some purple at the meniscus. The film is moderate crackling at the rim and leaving a few long slow tears each side of a clean arch. A burnt ember aroma softened by a silky sweetness that shows itself before ending each swallow. A long smoke envelops the black- blueberry fruit for an enjoyable solo sip. Full enough for pairing with bbq ribs, chili con carne or rich mushroom soup. Seven years in the cellar has given this balance to this blend (40% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah) producing a smooth, full meal red. Enjoy! 89