The wines of New Zealand and Australia are a bit like Rodney Dangerfield – they’re getting no respect these days! That’s a shame, and I think a lot of that can be attributed to the awful, factory made wines that you see in the big chain stores.
I promise you we won’t be sampling anything like that this Friday at our first Winedown of December. Instead, we’ll sample six real-deal, highly rated, hand crafted wines that will make you forget about critter labels. Join us from 4 to 7 p.m. this Friday, December 1 – the cost is $5 per person or free if you’re a Grape Nut.
Here’s the lineup:
1. 2010 Walnut Block Sauvignon Blanc – From a single vineyard located in the Wairau River Valley of Marlborough, this is textbook Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc at a great price. Strong aromas of grapefruit and tropical fruits lead into an exotic palate of grapefruit zest, kiwi and pineapple.
89 points – Stephen Tanzer
2. 2010 Milton Park Chardonnay – Milton Park is the entry level label from Thorn-Clarke – that’s the same family that makes the big liter of Shiraz that we sell tons of. The Wine Advocatesaid that “for $13, it is harder to find a better Chardonnay”. See what you think.
3. 2008 Amisfield Pinot Noir – Established in just 1999, this is one of New Zealand’s hottest young producers. Located in the Otago district on New Zealand’s south island, they specialize in Pinot Noir, and they are all ready winning lots of awards and getting great press.
93 points – Wine Spectator – Highly Recommended
4. 2007 Small Gully Cab/Shiraz “The Formula” – This is 100% classic Barossa – big, rich and spicy, it is a blend of 51% Cab and 49% Shiraz. There is nothing shy, subtle or understated about this wine, and I love it all the more for it’s overt personality.
5. 2007 Shinas Estate Cabernet Sauvignon “The Verdict” – George Shinas used to be a judge, but now he makes wine from his vineyards located in Australia’s Victoria region. Do you have a lawyer friend or family member whom you’d like to buy a bottle of wine for? This is the one – it’s big, rich, high octane juice aged in French oak for a whopping 30 months, and it’s guaranteed to please.
6. 2009 Shinas Estate Shiraz “The Guilty” – How could we not finish up with a big, rich Shiraz? From a single vineyard owned by George Shinas, this is always one of the winery’s first wines to sell out. The vines date back to 1898 (that’s old!) and the wine is all voluptuous blueberry, raspberry, spice and smoke. Yum!