Monday, 29 November 2010

Linda Domas - The Shot Bull

On the weekend I finally managed to open a bottle I had bought a while ago and had wanted to try for months - The Shot Bull by Linda Domas Wines. Linda Domas is one of the up and coming stars of the Australian wine scene. I have already tried the Boy Cat (see post 30 Jan. 2010) which was a really good wine, so I was really looking forward to trying this one. I had heard a lot of good things about this wine, so I was interested to see if the wine lived up to all the hype.

Linda Domas Wines, The Shot Bull, Shiraz, 2005, Southerm Heurieu, Australia.

This wine grabs you as soon as you open the bottle. The nose is full of dark cherry, raspberry and some plummy aromas. There are also some hints of sweet violets, clove, white pepper and edges of cedar. The palate maintains the dark fruit characteristics along with the pepper; however there is a bit more of a spciy edge to the pepper on the palate compared to the nose. There are also hints of dark chocolate (probably coming from the French oak). This wine has a great length and remains balanced throughout. The lovely soft tannins make this wine very drinkable. I will be keeping an eye out for this wine. 4.2/5 (13.5% abv) Oddbins

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Turkey on the Butcher's block - part 2

Yesterday was freezing cold - winter is well and truly on its way! So, I opened a bottled of chilled white wine. Granted, it was a bit of a bizzare choice on such a cold day; but I am so glad I did. I lovely Turkey Flat wines and this one certainly did not disappoint. I have tried the red wine in this range too (see post 10 Nov. 2009) both wines are great. I can't remember how much I paid for these wines but they were not expensive; so well worth keeping a few around the house ready for when people pop over.

Turkey Flat, Butchers Block, Marsanne Viognier Roussanne, 2008, Barossa Valley, Australia.

This is a lovely wine right from the start. The nose is full of aromas of stone fruit and apricots. There is some sweet lime in there too. You get a few oily notes on the nose which is accompanied with scents of summer meadows and orchards. There is a distinct floral edge to this wine too. The palate is soft and honeyed (almost resembling honeycomb). The lime and stone fruit carry over to the palate; which is silky in texture. The acidity is balanced perfectly. This is a lovely poised wine with a lingering length. This would be a great picnic wine and would go well with fish and possibly even some mildly spiced dishes. I will definately get some more of this. 4/5 (14% abv) Oddbins.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Last Minute Albarino

Last night we popped over to my parents house. We decided to get in some Chinese food and it was my job to get the wine sorted. As I sifted through the wine that my father had, I stumbled upon this bottle of Martin Codax Albarino. This is a wine I had had my eye on for some time. I have heard some great things about this wine and was very keen to have a slurp. As soon as I realised that my father had a bottle laying around - it was a done deal for me, there was no further debate over what we would be drinking.

Martin Coadx, Albarino, 2008, Raix Baixas, Spain.

This is a lovely wine right from the get go. The nose is full of peach and apricot with aromas of orchards and slight hints of stewed apple. There is a distinct floral edge to this wine too. The palate is rich and honeyed with more of that lovely peach carrying over from the nose. This is a balanced but yet delicate wine with good acidity. This is a lovely wine; the sweet soft stone friut aromas coupled with the slightly honeyed palate and the floral edge made this a great match with the Chinese food we had last night. Now that I have polished up my father's bottle - I will need to go and get some of my own! 4.2/5 (12.5% abv) Majestic Wine.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Leyda Sauvignon Blanc

Yesterday was a good day. I had some time owing to me from work, so took my TOIL in the afternoon. This meant I had the whole afternoon and evening to spend with my wife - so it was a really nice, relaxed and chilled day. In the evening I decided to open a bottle which I have had around for a while - I am quite impressed by my restraint in not opening it sooner! This is a really good bottle of wine. I had heard a lot about this wine and was wondering if it would live up to all the hype that had surrounded it. In my opinion it does!

Leyda, Garuma Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc, 2007, Leyda Valley, Chile.

This wine immediately hits you as soon as you pick up the glass. This wine really awakens your senses. It is so fresh and vibrant. The nose is full of lime and grapefruit aromas and some hints of banana. The palate has nicely balanced acidity and has some structure to it. The palate is also full of lime and grapefruit but also has some grassy notes to it. This is a great, fresh, zingy, vibrant wine that is a pleasure to drink. This wine would be great chilled down in the summer; enjoyed with a picnic, at the beach, so just in the garden on a summers evening relaxing with friends. This is a wine I will definately buy again. 4.3/5 (13.5% abv) Waitrose Wine.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Easy Drinking Paul Mas

I love Paul Mas' wines. Paul Mas creates great complex wines which always deliver above their price point. The added benefit of Paul Mas' wines is that because they are wines from the South of France - they tend to be cheaper and that means there is often a bargain to be had! This particular wine was a very easy drinking wine and perfect for a relaxing Friday evening.

Paul Mas, Vignobles, Grenache Syrah, 2009, Languedoc, France.

This wines comes from the Aude and Herault valley within the Languedoc. The wine is made from 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah; this wine is aged in both stainless steel and oak barrels. The nose is full of lovely, dark, velvety fruits with prominent black cherry aromas. There is some nice spiciness to this wine; along with hints of cedar and liquorice. The nose is fairly complex, inviting and brooding. The palate is really soft and the dark fruit flavours (especially the dark cherry) carry over. The tannins are quite supple - which is impressive considering the age of the wine (2009). This is a well balanced wine with a good length. All in all this is a lovely wine and would be great with grilled meats, game or a fancy BBQ with friends. 4.2/5 (13.5 abv) Waitrose Wine.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Renato Ratti Nebbiolo

Renato Ratti, Nebbiolo, 2007, Piedmonte, Italy.

This wine has some lovely rustic aromas to it; with deep, dark cherry and thick raspberry. There are also some fine hints of leather here too. The palate remains full of dark fruit; also with flavours of leather, There is almost a dusty flavour to it. The palate has hints of tobacco and darker fruit than the nose. This wine has fine tannins, good length and is well balanced. 3.9/5 (14% abv) Marks & Spencer £8.99

Vergelegen & Longueville

Last Friday Pinot Guy and his wife came over. We havent seen those guys in ages - so it promised to be a great night. It was so good to catch up with those guys and just chill out together. As Pinot Guy is South African we started with a South African white (which we had with food). As the evening progressed we opened a bottle I have been holding onto for a while - alas, I could no longer resist; the bottle had to be opened.

Vergelegen, Sauvignon Blanc, 2008, South Africa.

This wine has a lovely fresh, zingy nose. It had aromas of gooseberry, grass and hints of lime. The palate was fresh and vibrant. It carried the gooseberry and lime flavours but with some hints of granny smith apples - which added to the acidity on the palate. The palate was alive and yet remained balanced. This wine had good length and was so fresh it kept me wanting more. 3.8/5 (13.5% abv) Majestic Wines

Les Tourelles de Longueville, Pauillac, 2004, Bordeaux, France.

This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. I had wanted to open this wine for some time but was waiting for the right occasion to do it. This wine has beautiful, perfumed aromas of dark cherry, concentrated raspberry and juicy red fruits. There are some hints of black wine gums here too. The nose also has mild hints of tobacco and old soft leather. The palate was so delicate, velvety and super soft. The red fruit carried over from the nose. There were soft subtle tannins. This wine was well balanced with great length. This was such a good wine; great for a Friday night. This wine is drinking really well now. 4.2/5 (13.5% abv) Majestic Wines.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Tasmanian Pinot

Whirlpool Reach, Pinot Noir, 2008, Tamar River, Tasmania, Australia.

This is a lovely fragrant wine. The nose has beautiful light red fruits with huge dark cherry notes with the absolute mildest hints of fresh black pepper. There is great purity of fruit in this wine. The palate is covered with soft red fruits and the dark cherry carries it's dominance over from the nose. The tannins are fine and grainy. This wine has a good structure with good length, poise and balance. My friend the 'Pinot Guy' would really like this wine. It is a great food wine and would be good to settle down with for an evening. 4/5 (14% abv) Oddbins.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Barossa Shiraz

This wine was actually selected for me by my wife. As a rule she refuses to buy wine for me; stating that she doesn't know anything about and she will probably buy the 'wrong' bottle. Well, as a surprise (and it certainly was) she came home from a quick shop at Waitrose the other day with a bottle of Barossa Shiraz. This wine is actually made by St Hallett (in partnership with Waitrose). On all accounts, my wife did a good job choosing this wine (I think the fact that it was on offer at the time helped!)

St Hallett (Waitrose) Barossa Shiraz, Shiraz, 2008 Reserve, Australia.

This is a typical Aussie Shiraz - Big, mouth filling, peppery fruit. The nose has dark berry fruit. full of blackcurrant, plum and dark cherries. After a bit of air it releases some softer red fruit overlaid with hints of violet. The palate imitates the palate beautifully; the dark fruits carries over as does the violet. This is lovely perfumed wine with a good length and finish. The wine is well balanced and while there are some obvious tannins in this wine (as you would expect with an Aussie Shiraz) they are not too grippy. This is a nice wine and would be great with a BBQ (like the one we are having on Sunday - shame i didn't keep it until the weekend!). 4/5 (14.5% abv) Waitrose.

Friday, 4 June 2010

ONA on-a Friday

Anakena Ona, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Syrah, 2007, Rapel Valley, Chile.

Beautiful, velvety aromas of blackberry, blackcurrants with hints of violets. There are also some menthol and mint notes here too. The nose is full of warm juicy fruits. Soft palate with well constructed tannins. Dark fruit carries over. Palate is not as dense and thick as I was expecting. Nice wine but needs food. Would go well with a good beef dish (as it did with the grilled steaks we had tonight). Nice length and balance. 3.8/5 (13.5% abv) Oddbins £10.99

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Back in Business

After a shockingly long dry spell it looks likes the blog is back in business! Life has somewhat calmed down again now to the point where I have time to think about what I am drinking - long may it last! So tonight I decided to break back into the routine with an easy drinking style wine - what a great start to a short work week.

Musica en el Camino, Rioja, 2007, Spain.

This wine is made from 100% Tempranillo and is produced by Bodegas Martin Codax - who incidentally also make a lovely Albarino. This wine is a great, vibrant, fruit forward wine full of plum and dark cherry aromas. The fruit is alive and supple. This wine has aromas of summer red fruits. When I smell this wine I automatically picture sitting in the garden on a summers day, eating BBQ'd lamb. There are some mild woody characters and hints of vanilla. The palate is soft and velvety. The fruit carries over. There are some oak characters coming through which provides structure. However, this is subtly oaked unlike a lot of heavily oaked Spanish wines. The palate also has some red currant flavours, wild raspberry and hints of mint. This is really good easy drinking Rioja. This will be ideal in the summer....when it finally comes! 4/5 (13.5% abv) Oddbins £8.99

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Severe lack of posts

Sorry for the awful lack of post recently. Things have been quite hectic to say the least! When things calm down and return to some sort of normality, the posts will return!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Villa Wolf Silvaner

Villa Wolf, Silvaner, 2007, Pfalz, Germany.

Villa Wolf is owned the Dr Loosen group. As I love Loosen wine, I had high expectations for this wine - it did not disappoint! This wine is full of tart, green, granny smith apples; it's almost like a really dry cider, with hints of apricot. The palate is much softer with a really smooth, almost creamy texture. The cider notes are again evident on the palate, as is the apricot but with more stone fruits like nectarine and some tangerine too. The acidity is well balanced and not as sharp as some of the fruit characters that are represented in the wine. Amazingly well integrated oak. I can't remember having a Silvaner before - I really like this. This would be ideal to have in the garden in the summer! 4.2/5 (11.5% abv)

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Great Spanish Syrah

Today was a better day. Had a very productive day at work and was so ready to open a bottle when I got home. I reviewed the sister wine to this wine on 26 October 2009. This was a great wine with a great label.

Bodegas Carchelo, 'A' Altico, Syrah, 2007, Jumilla, Spain.

Beautiful, expressive wine. Rich, concentrated blackcurrant and dark cherry with tar and spicy pepper. There are also subtle edges of rose petal. Smooth, velvety texture. The tannins are firm but don't overtake the wine. Great length, well balanced. There is some oak character but thankfully unlike a lot of Spanish wine it remains understated in the background, allowing the wild, dark brambly fruit to come to the forefront. Great wine. Definitely will be getting some more of this wine. 4.3/5 (14.5% abv) £11.99 Oddbins

Monday, 8 February 2010

Chilean Carmenere

This morning I woke up feeling like I needed a weekend! It was a long day at work - couldn't wait to get home and crack open a bottle.

Casillero del Diablo, Carmenere Reserva, 2008, Rapel Valley, Chile.

Out of the big branded wines - this one is really good and actually delivers decent tasting wine. I am quite partial to some Casillero del Diablo! Lovely big ripe raspberry and blackberry fruit with hints of plum and sweet cherry. There is a certain chocolatey-ness to this wine too. Nice, smooth texture to this wine with a bit of structure. Soft, supple tannins. There is some spice on the palate and edges of coffee. Lovely Monday night wine, great with the grilled lamb I am having tonight. This wine delivers well above its price point. This would be a great wine with a BBQ in the summer. 3.9/5 (13.5% abv)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Hand Picked Riesling

Knappstein, Hand Picked Riesling, 2007, Clare Valley, Australia.

The nose is full of oily lime and citrus fruits. This is all besides plenty of blossom, floral and meadow aromas. There is a clean, crispness to this wine. You can get some honeyed notes on the nose too. The oil, petrol, and citrus flavours are very present on the palate. Nice, steely minerality. This wine has good acidity, balance and length. This would be great, chilled down in the summer with a BBQ or a picnic. 4/5 (13.5% abv) £8.99 Majestic Wine

Monday, 1 February 2010

Penalolen Cabernet Sauvignon

I really feel like I need a weekend already - and it's only Monday! So, tonight I decided to open a bottle I have tried before. This is a comforting, re-assuring sort of wine - exactly what I was after.

Penalolen, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007, Maipo Valley, Chile.

Lush, rich, opulent nose full of fresh cassis, blackberry and crushed raspberry. You can almost get blackcurrant jam on the nose too. The palate has lovely, soft tannins and a silky, smooth texture. The palate has fairly complex, dark fruit flavours. There is some well integrated oak adding some structure to this wine. The palate also contains hints of leather, mint and mild edges of tobacco. 3.8/5 (14% abv) £9.99 Oddbins.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

The Boycat

I have just come back from a leadership day that our church had in Tonbridge. It was an early start and a long drive but it was so worth it. It was a very inspiring day. Once home, It was straight into the cellar to get a bottle to start relaxing.

Linda Domas Wines, 'Boycat' Merlot, 2008, McLaren Vale, Australia.

This has a vibrant, perfumed nose; full of juicy, ripe plums, raspberries and violets. There is a big presence of summer fruits here. Silky, smooth texture and big tannins. I think these tannins will mellow quite a big with some bottle age - this wine is still quite young. The big red fruits carry over to the palate and remain dominant. Good balance and length. The aftertaste has a slight smokey, dark chocolate edge to it. This is still quite a tightly wound wine, which will relax with a bit more age. 4/5 (13.5% abv) £8.99 Marks & Spencer.

Friday, Friends and Les Jalets

Pinot Guy and his wife have just moved into a new apartment. So, last night we headed over to their new pad to 'officially' be the first people that they have over for dinner. It was a great night; it was so good see their new place, catch up and unwind after a busy week. We laughed a lot last night! As well as good food, Pinot Guy also pulled out a bottle of 'Les Jalets'.

Paul Jaboulet Aine, 'Les Jalets' Crozes Hermitage, 2006, Tain L'Hermitage, France.

This was a dark, sultry wine. The nose was full of blackcurrant and spicy cherry. There were also elements of brambles, nettles, leather and cigar box.The palate was quite softer. Beautifully smooth with great length. The palate had more brambles and blackcurrant with a dusting of white pepper. 4.2/5 (12.5% abv)

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Crown in Playhatch

Not a wine post tonight but a food one instead. Tonight my wife and I had a great evening out with some friends at The Crown in Playhatch (nr Reading). Visit their website for more information ( We met with friends that we haven't seen since before Christmas. These are some of our really good friends, who have been in our lives for years. These friends were the ones who introduced us to the Crown many years ago. So it was nice to back to this restaurant together; the weird thing was that they sat us at the same table that we were at the first time we went!

The menu is well put together; offering a good array of gastro pub food.
To start I had the:

Tian of locally smoked salmon, fresh crab, shrimp and crayfish tails - infused with chilli, coriander, ginger and basil.

This was a lovely, well presented started with all the flavours working well together.
For the main course I had (pictured above) the:

Baked Fillet of Cod - served on creamy mashed potato with green pea sauce and crispy prosciutto ham.

This really was a great dish and so well put together. The pea sauce was lovely and a perfect compliment to the cod. The pea sauce did not overpower the fish at all. The fish itself was cooked to perfection. The fillet kept its form and remained meaty but just melted in the mouth.
This was a good dish for me as my wife hates peas, so I don't get them at home (I quite like them!) Our friend's wife hates peas as well - so he had the same main course as me! I must admit that after two courses I did somewhat fail and have to pass on a pudding. The service was excellent. The waitress was very attentive without being overbearing.

I would highly recommend the Crown to anyone. All I have to do now is to find an excuse to plan another trip to go back there!