2009 wine favourites … announced

I have short listed my favourite wines that I discovered in 2009 , these wines stood out as highlights from the many cellar doors I was fortunate to visit last year.  It has been noted that the list has a strong McLaren Vale presence, this is mainly due to the fact that most of my wine trips were to this region in 2009. In 2010 I would like to pay some more attantion to the boutique wineries in the Barossa.

Favourite Cellar Doors

Best Cellar Door experience & staff
Wirra Wirra

Favourite Red Wine
2007 Tempranillo (sold out) – Samuels Gorge

Favourite White Wine

Favourite Sparkling Wine

Favourite Sparkling Red
JOSEPH NV Sparkling Red Primo Estate

Favourite food/atmosphere at a winery

Favourite Overall Winery

Note worthy mentions

Mitchells – 2001 McNicol Shiraz
Kilikanoon2006 Oracle Shiraz, 2006 Blocks Road Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 Prodigal Grenache
Coriole -2009 Fiano, 2007 Sangiovese
Hentley Farm2007 “The Beast” Shiraz
Two HandsSophie’s Garden Padthaway Shiraz

Charles Melton2006 Richelieu


Wine Tasting tips – basics

There are a few basics to remember when tasting wine :

* Avoid wearing strong deodorant and perfume

* It is recommended to not brush your teeth before hand, mainly to let the plaque assist in protecting your teeth enamel from the acidity and of course the toothpaste will alter your taste buds.

* When drinking/tasting sparkling wine use good glasses but especially DO NOT clean with any detergents.  Instead rinse or soak with hot water and dry with a quality linen towel (regular tea towels can leave lint or residue which can flatten your bubbles)

* white wines should not be kept in the fridge for long periods of time as the taste will change (and an expensive bottle may end up tasting just like a $10 bottle).  Ideally up to 1 week is fine, chilling on ice or in the fridge for an hour prior to drinking is sufficient.

Sparkling Wine

Today I tried 7 sparkling wines (4 white and 3 red):

Tigress Pinot Noir Chardonnay (Tas) N.V

This wine had a good first impression as a fresh and cleansing sparkling wine, easy and light to drink.  This wine would be ideally suited to someone who is not a great lover of sparkling wine because of its mellow characteristics and very soft bubbles.  The taste was not lingering. An afternoon delight.

Bird in Hand Pinot Noir 2009 (Adelaide Hills)

This sparkling looks attractive and the rose colour is visually appealing and unique, as a  result of leaving the fruit in the skin for longer to add to the colour in the wine making process.  I found the smell very sweet and was intrigued…  this sparkling has a high level of bubbles (more than I prefer) with a young taste.  I can see this wine appealing to a large audience for its uniqueness and sweet qualities which can be rare for sparkling wines.

Janz Tasmanian Premium curvee N.V

This is a good popular all round wine and it retained its bubbles in the glass nicely – 10 mins after pouring.  A very enjoyable sparkling and can highly recommend it – a winner for a dinner party.

Blue Pyrenees “midnight” curvee Chardonnay 2002

A pleasant and refreshing sparkling

Crosser “Piccadilly Valley” pinot/chardonnay (2006 Adelaide Hills)

This was my favourite sparkling for the evening ! enough said

Fox Creek “Vixen” sparkling red ( McLaren Vale)

An old faithful and a good solid crowd pleaser.  A sweet appealing wine and a safe bet for a dinner party or special occasion.

Peter Rumball sparkling red

This is a classic sparkling and perhaps one of the originals which has definitely stood the test of time !

Majella sparkling shiraz (Coonawarra)

This wine has the aroma of a regular non sparkling Shiraz and with very subtle bubbles could almost fool you into thinking it is just a Shiraz… however pleasant to drink and enjoyable.