The one with the mixed bag
I try to get around to as many tastings as I can and, where I can, write about them. But I also am treated to a circle of family and friends who like to drink good stuff too. So my tasting sessions aren’t always sit down, business-like affairs – they’re sometimes just a bottle and a chat, or a celebration of some sort. It’s those moments though – the ones where you don’t try to hard – that turn out, often, to give the best wine experiences. You aren’t trying to find the smallest little nuances in a wine, or to pull it apart to score it. You’re just there to drink and be merry. And with the burden of assessment taken away, you can enjoy or not enjoy until your heart’s content. These tasting notes are just as I have described – impromptu, non-blind, but with the added bonus of getting to spend a lot of time with the wine to really assess it. I hope these help you make a good buying decision, and maybe they might find their way to your Christmas table before the end of the season!
Bream Creek VGR Riesling 2012 - $35, 10.6% alc, screwcap, Marion Bay, Tasmania.
Pale straw gold. Smells of white flowers, lime juice and lime pith, touches of soft vanilla. Subtle autolysis. On the palate ginger, oyster juice, phenolic presence; citrus fruits like lime and lemon. The high residual sugar doesn’t make any impact on the smoothness of the flavour. Some slightly broad acids, but a line of fruit that is of great quality and a long finish. Has put on some weight in the past year and looks good for another while at least.
Bream Creek Sparkling 2009 Brut - $39, 12.5% alc, cork, Marion Bay, Tasmania.
Immaculate colour, so appealing. Some go for the solid gold, some go for the yellowish-gold hue that is a sign of slightly extra weight or maturity. This is still quite youthful in colour. The smell is totally in line with the taste – creamy, with a rich-ish complexity, with some notes of yeast lees and gentle citrus flavours under some fantastic winemaking skills. It’s the finish that made this wine the best of a recent Tasmania v France sparkling tasting, featuring vintage and Grand Cru French (see below). The finish goes for what seems like a millennium.
Champagne Duperrey 2008 Brut - $55 per bottle, 12% alc, cork, multi-regional, Champagne.
Similarly interesting colour to the Bream Creek, but with less shimmer. Smells of crème brulee, or a similar burnt sugary-caramel note – exciting from the go! Expansive and actually quite intense palate, the finish penetrating but not so lingering. There is a quality line of acidity, and from a great Champagne vintage, this wine well and truly goes above and beyond its call of duty.
Grand Cru vineyards in Bouzy, Champagne.
Champagne Paul Louis Martin Bouzy Grand Cru NV - $65, 12% ac, cork, Bouzy, Champagne.
Bouzy is known as one of the outstanding Champagne villages, and rightly so, not simply because of its Grand Cru status, but for the unique power of its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Richer and more gold in colour than the others – do wonder about the disgorgement date and amount of reserve wine in this. I previously tasted a 2007 vintage of this wine and was impressed, but noted a considerably maturity in the wine already. This is more penetrating, with a rich, strong palate, with a notable French funk. Good wine, though not great. Others are better at this price, though I would happily drink this with white meat.
Champagne Paul Louis Martin, Bouzy
Stefano Lubiana Grande Vintage 2007 - $55, alc unknown, cork, Granton, Tasmania.
Beautiful colour – like it was disgorged yesterday. So youthful. The nose shows equal exuberance and willingness to impress. The palate doesn’t quite soar to the heights of the nose, but it finishes strongly and shows an impressive resilience for a region not as noted for Tasmanian sparkling as, say, the Tamar Valley. It doesn’t mean it’s not high quality, though, and I have to appreciate the work that’s gone into making such a superb wine.
Well that’s it from me for another day – a mixed bag here, but it’s the drinking experience you should remember, not a stale tasting room.