Wine for Dragons

Singapore Wine Blog... Wine Reviews and Tastings... Review of Wine bars and Wine accessories...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Wine Vineyard Visit : Swan Valley (Perth Australia)


This was great! Blue skies and warm weather in Perth, friendly & helpful wine cellar staff. They are very willing to share their knowledge as well as the wines available for tasting. No wonder I came back with a few nice bottles of wines and a smile on my face. Sandalford and Houghton’s wines are quite well known in Singapore. However, the range and variety is not as much. Not to mention also the price is about a third less than those found in Singapore. Probably due to the taxes than anything else. Another vineyard that I had visited was Sittella, they do not export wines to Singapore but their wine especially the Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon was very intriguing tasting of sweet dark chocolate then wine. Also the Portuguese varietal of Verdelho is made in the valley which is very refreshing, but tended to be very similar to taste.

They had all very comprehensive wine cellar door setup and even have attached restaurants. The view from the restaurants are usually very beautiful overlooking the vineyards or across a well-kept garden and lawn. These are vineyards that I would recommend anyone visiting the Swan Valley to go to.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wine Entry : Stonehouse Shiraz 2004 (Australian)


Okay okay, I don’t think this bottle is available in Singapore yet, but that does not stop me from reviewing it eh? This bottle was bought in Australia and the conversion makes it S$18, a screw-cap type which makes it very convenient. It was recommended by the store owner. He claimed that it has recently written in the newspapers and it was his last bottle. Medium body bright ruby colour atypical of strong vigorous Shiraz.

Smell : Woody scent followed by berry jammy smells.

Taste : Oak and cigar flavours are approached first followed by jammy black cherry fruit with no intense pepper or spice typical of Shiraz. Medium tannins.

After-taste : Lingering to a long light finish with some tannins.

Description at back of bottle :
Made from a small parcel of estate grown grapes in the Geographe region in the South West of Western Australia. The vines were shoot thinned by hand to maintain even sun exposure. After fermentation, the wine was matured in French Oak barrels. This wine has a spicy fruit bouquet with ripe fruit on the palate and silky tannins leading to a long finish. Truly a wine for all seasons crafted for your enjoyment now or over the next 3-5 years. PH 0429 000 477


Monday, October 23, 2006

Wine Entry : Swan Bay Geelong Pinot Noir 2004 (Australia)


Purchased this wine from my club at S$41, and is also the one that we opened during W&J’s wedding (see post below). The wine was a pale light garnet red in colour, typical of a Pinot Noir. Simple elegant design of the bottle with a screwcap makes it easy to re-cap and drink over a few days.

Smell : Light raspberry with a little oakyness

Taste : Light refreshing taste with a background of sarsaparilla flavour. Mild tannins.

After-Taste : Short oaky finish with a bitter end.

Description at back of bottle :
This fruit was selected from vineyards in the cool climate, maritime region of Geelong. It displays typical fresh, ripe red fruit and violet characters and is best enjoyed with lighter red meats, pasta and fish. This wine will benefit from careful cellaring for up to three years.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

William and Janice's Wedding : Wine Congrats!

It was a joyous day when William and Janice tied the knot on 21st Oct. Congratualations and all the best for the next journey of their lifes together! Coincidentally, this is also the 88th entry to this blog! how apt eh? It was also a wonderful time for us to catch up with old frens. The couple had quite a bit of novel ideas and performed on stage a live singing duet of a song they had composed themselves.
The red wine they had for the night was very pleasant, smooth and easy to drink from Australia.

Of cos, we brought our own bottle for the celebrations and it was an Australian Pinot Noir 2004, which we insisted that the happy couple specially finish a glass each for us. (As part of the sabo).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Wine Tasting Venue : The Wine Company at Evans Road (13 Oct 2006)

I need to get a new camera phone or use my actual digital camera. The pictures this time turned out really poorly (or is it the poor photographer’s skill). Anyway, CK and us paid a visit to the relatively new The Wine Company outlet at Evans Road. Actually it is situated at the corner of Evans Lodge itself, so it was sort of a café within a hostel. Just beside Mr Prata which is open 24 hours possibly for all those hungry young undergrads mugging away into the nite.

The place was nicely done up, very contemporary furnishings and they had quite number of sofas too. More spacious than the one at Dempsey Road but less air-conditioned floor area. The only thing we could not understand was the fish tank on top of the piano in the middle of the room with no fish in it?! It was pretty pack on a Friday nite, the crowd comprising mostly of working professionals and some middle-aged clientele.

The wines were really running out fast, our first choice of Alsace Riesling and second choice of New Zealand’s Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc were all sold out! We ended up with another New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blancs – Cable Bay Marlborough 2006 (super young, grapes just plucked off the vines)

Smell : Passionfruit, gooseberry and herbaceous.

Taste: Fruit burst of citrus lemons and lime interlaced with a distinct cucumber taste. I felt that it smelt better than it tasted.

After taste : Bitter pull in the lingering finish

Description at back of bottle : A combination of modern and traditional winemaking has produced a wine with intense fruit, crisp acidity, fine texture.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wine Entry : Wolf Blass Gold Label Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 (Australian)

Got this bottle at S$38 during my departure to Bangkok from the airport DFS, it was a screw-cap type, so thought it will help with the keeping when I was over there. Turned out that there were too many good things to eat and ended up bring the bottle back to Singapore. The wine has dark intense red colour typical of big aussie type cab savs.

Smell : Very profound, upon twisting the cap the scents were bursting out. Blackcurrents, berries, generous in fruit bouquet with a tinge of white pepper and cloves.

Taste : Big intense fruit akin to ripen berries, grape skins. Smooth tannins and well-strutured, has even an inviting buttery taste after the first sip.

After-taste : Begins with a light pull of tannins, then bursting of spice and oak lingering to a long finish.

Description at back of bottle :
Sourced from Coonawarra, know as one of Australia’s leading Cabernet Sauvignon regions. The 2003 vintage displays aromas of mint, licorice, fine dark chocolate with a hint of anise and blackcurrents. A fine complex bouquet typical of the Coonawarra region. The palate has blackcurrent and plum, is elegant, and silky textured, with dusty fine tannins and a long seamless finish. This wine will reward 6 to 8 years of careful cellaring.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Wine Guest Writer: KT

Hello Folks,

My cousin bought a lovely beautiful German Riesling Auslese wine called Hattenheimer Nussbrunnen from Parkway Parade Bottle & Bottles for 40 bucks and we guzzled it today at Wine Bar Lorong K.

My cousin went abit ku ku as usual and started yelling out " HAAAAATTENHAAAAAAAAAMER NUSSSSSSSSSSSSSBRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAANEN" the whole night ala a Bravarian Barmaid but it was really hilarious! hehehehe. ;)

This is a fantastic fantastic value for money great wine!! Its a less sweet version of the Trockenberrenauslese but extremely easy to drink and very very mellow.

Pale colour; minerally, green nut and citrus nose, high toned; amazingly sweet honey and peach flavours, concentrated, thick on the palate that moves from peach to a spicy, honeyed grapefruit flavour; hefty and soft; acid masked by the sweetness of the fruit.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Wine Tasting Event : Booze Austrian Wine at Capital Tower (29 Sept 2006)

I saw this advert in the Booze Wineshop website, for Austrian sweet wines. I have ever tasted it at the Wine for Asia and found them as heavenly as sweet nectar, wanted to compare with the TBA that we had tried previously at K.T’s housewarming. And the verdict is (drum roll….), the TBA still won. Somehow there was a vigour and intensity still unmatched in the TBA, coincidentally also Austrian. The location for the wine tasting was at the Booze Wine outlet at Capital Towers near Tanjong Pagar MRT. It was a nice cosy place, not very spacious though and had lots of honeycombed racks of wine. The staff were friendly and helpful, introducing their method of tasting which was 3 coupons for each of the wines and a final coupon for a refill of your favourite wine.

The wine we tasted was Alois Kracher’s No.8 Welschriesling Zwischen Den Seen vertical tastings from 2000 to 2002. Rated on a sweetness and concentration level from 1-15, only limited quantities of the nectar are produced each year. The same numbers, accentuated by the high demand, make each vintage highly sought after, especially for the sweeter wines.

2002 Tasting Notes (S$92.40) : Golden yellow colour, with a nose of canned longans/lychees, honey-lemon. No bitter orange peel scent. On the palate it was an extremely sweet smooth syrup with high viscosity. Light, delicate finish of low alcohol and sweet residue.

Winemaker’s comments - Features candied pineapple and quince jelly aromas. In the mouth, it is a rather Chenn-like essence of quince, with notes of orange liqueur, tangerine zest and fresh lemon. Sublime with chocolates. 91 points by Wine Advocate. 96 points by Wine Spectator.

2001 Tasting Notes (S$89.90) :Dark golden-brown colour, with a nose of light flora bouquet of rose, and delicate nectar scents. On the palate it was reminiscence of Chrysanthemums, honey and light citrus. Was of a lesser viscosity and smooth like maple syrup. The short finish was slightly acidity and bitter lemon.

Winemaker’s comments – The nose consists of attractive flora fruit blended with aromas of vanilla and peach. Compact and perfectly structured with great acidity, finesse and elegance. Good with desserts such a fruit tarts. 96 points by Wine Spectator.

2000 Tasting Notes (S$96.00) : Golden yellow in colour, with a nose of Flora-honey, lime and lychees. On the palate it was maple-like with honey-lemon dominance complexed with some cinnamon spice. The fascinating part was that the intensity starts off light and slowly increases towards the end. The finish was strong and lingering similar to toffee candy and nougat.

Winemaker’s comments – The nose exudes scents of smoky apricot, mango, botrytis-laden papaya and passion fruit. White pepper, associated exotic fruit and spice are found in its vicous, syrup like core immensely complex, dense and extremely concentrated, expect flavours seemingly endless in its finish. Wonderful with plain vanilla ice cream. 98 points by Wine Advocate. 95 points by wine Spectator.