Saturday, June 5, 2010

Old wines, new reviews and other news!

Now, while I am on a roll, on the writing front, I will add an entry on two fabulous recent reviews we received, plus another snippet that is wine-related. One review is from Julian Coldrey, the other from Jeremy Pringle (both Brisbane-ites) and the final person to rate a mention, is Sydney-sider, Andrew Graham. All three of these fellows have been mentioned by me before, and again, I thank them for not only being great advocates for the wine industry, but also for their support and encouragement of small wineries. Sometimes when you are so small, as we are, it is hard to get people in the media world to try your wines, let alone get a response out of them. These three guys are totally awesome and on behalf of the entire Australian wine industry, I thank them all for their passion and integrity.

The first review was published on Julian's website, Full Pour, and featured our 2005 Karra Yerta Wines Bullfrog Flat Shiraz:

Karra Yerta Wines 2005 Bullfrog Flat Shiraz

There's a reason why I've not posted recently, and it's not entirely related to a lack of time. I have indeed tasted several wines this week. And they were all crap. Which does wear one down after a while. The point of my drinking, or so I have convinced myself, is to enjoy moments of abstract sensual pleasure. I drink wine for the same reason I listen to music; to hear, feel, disagree, discover. In other words, I drink to experience beauty. So a series of ugly wines gives me absolutely nothing to write other than tiresomely self-reflective introductions like this.

Anyway, it's Saturday night and I'm worth a good wine. So out popped this sample from my tasting pile, a wine that has been waiting a few months to be experienced. I tasted the companion Barossa Shiraz a few weeks ago and found it intensely pleasurable. So it was with pleasure that my first smells and tastes of this wine revealed a similarly characterful, regionally-driven wine. Which you prefer may simply come down to your passion for one region's flavour profile over another.

Fabulous aromas of dirt roads and crushed stone, along with warm blackberries and well-judged, nutty oak. This is one to smell through the course of an entire evening, and to watch duck and weave through its full range of expressions, including the merest hint of aged leather. To be sure, there's a lot in here, yet it's not a self-consciously difficult wine. It just is, with a sense of easy, natural vibrancy that speaks both of its origins and its intent.

Entry brings dense, liqueur-like fruit into focus at the temporary expense of some minerality, but the latter is flung back into the picture on the mid-palate, which is the wine's high point of complexity. The structure is notable at this point, with firm underlying acidity and plush tannins keeping things in shape without ever seeming like the main event. A bit of vanillan oak pokes out its head through the after palate, but this wine is and remains all about spectacular fruit character; squashed blackberries and stones and dusty summers.

What a treat. This is easily a $40 wine.

Price: $A25
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample
The second review was published on Jeremy's website, Wine Will Eat Itself, and featured our (Museum stock left only) 2005 Karra Yerta Wines Barossa Shiraz:

Karra Yerta Wines 2005 Barossa Shiraz

Barossa 14.6% Screwcap $25 Source: Sample

I've been known to swoon over Karra Yerta, so I'll warn you now; I'm going to do it again. This is precisely the sort of wine that reminds me exactly why I do what I do. A wine that created a palpable sense of excitement as I drank it.

The amount of evolution that it underwent over the course of 5 hours in a flat bottomed decanter was stunning. I enjoy the fact that wine is a living thing. It's the subtle movement of a bottle's attributes which create so much of the interest and joy I derive from this strange and entrancing liquid.

Sweet blackberry & red cherry berry fruit along with earthy notes and bottle age leather & truffle. Soft and plush yet detailed, with a velvet entry quickly being pulled into a formation of real conviction. There's a fair bit of
coffeed tannin ready to see the fruit through a few years yet. More plum and red cherry than raspberry with savoury dark chocolate adding another distinct layer of rich flavour. Some rusticity with a slightly ferrous edge. The finish seems to linger for an eternity. This is simply, seriously gorgeous stuff. The acidity is integrated but still fresh and I loved the tannin presence and chewiness. As it breathed, the wine loosened up, adding a sexy hint of liqueur cherry that offset the earthy depth perfectly, and all the complex components came together into one cohesive and beguiling identity.

It was a privilege to drink, especially given that very little museum stock of the original 64 cases remains. Look out for the next release. I can hardly wait.

Winery Website-

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Finally, not a review, but still a terrific snippet of news is that my new business, Collective Barossa, featured in an article written by Andrew Graham, in the current edition (June/July 2010) of Gourmet Wine Traveller. It's a wonderful article and describes just what the Collective Barossa shop is all about. Grab a copy tomorrow, turn to page 15 and see what Andrew so kindly wrote about us. In the same edition, there is also a fabulous article on Riesling which is one thing I always like to see:)

Cheers for now, it's time for my final effort at writing for the day - our first ever newsletter for Collective Barossa:)

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