Wine for Dragons

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

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wine Entry :Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne and Blason D’issan 1996 (French)

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! And best wishes for the Year of the Pig. May it be prosperous and bountiful for everyone, including all the wine lovers! Had these two bottles of wine for the New Year. Champagne for celebratory purposes and the rich Margaux wine for auspicious meaning. Here are my tasting notes for them.

Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne

Overall a nutty, buttery Champagne with slight oak. Aromas of toasted bread and roasted almonds. Overall refreshing omitting the bitterness.

Blason D’issan Margaux 1996

This is the second wine of Château d'Issan, or Second Vin du Château d'Issan.

Smell : Raspberry, scented oak and pepper.

Taste : Intense currents and cassis. Chewy oak, spice and tannins slowly express themselves after sometime in the mouth.

After-taste : Good length of oak and tannins, pretty impressive for a 1996 vintage


Friday, February 16, 2007

Wine Entry : Black Opal Barossa Shiraz 2000 (Australian)

This bottle was purchased from DFS, still have 2 bottles of the 2000 and 1 bottle of the 2001. It’s our fav to purchase especially when traveling. Now I have seen it less around. Remembered it costs about S$36. The colour of the wine is an opaque dark garnet despite a few years of cellaring.

Smell : Strong alcoholic legs. Dark currents, chewy cassis, mixed with an oaky smoky backdrop.
Taste : Burst of fruit and alcohol which slowly transcends to the spicy pepperish layer. The tannins have somewhat mellowed over the years.

After-taste : Detectable nutmeg spice and black pepper with a medium finish.

Description at back of bottle :

The limited release Black Opal Barossa wines have been produced to showcase the best regional characteristics of the varieties for which this most famous of Australian wine making regions is renowned. Sourced predominately from our own Tolley’s vineyard, this is a richly textured wine that exemplifies the robust red wine characteristics of the Barossa Valley. The Shiraz vines in this vineyard grow in low fertile red/brown soils over limestone and have an average age of 60 years. As a consequence the berries tend to be smaller and have greater intensity of colour and flavour. Following fermentation in traditional fermenters, this Shiraz was gently pressed and allowed to mature in small American and French oak for 20 months. This wine is a rich, concentrated Shiraz that displays intense plum, blackberry and pepper characters with hints of licorice. Rich and robust Shiraz flavours are supported by spice and vanilla oak characters and fine softly textured tannins. This wine will continue to improve with cellaring over the next ten years.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Wine Tasting : Aussie Shiraz at Sage Restaurant organized by WineKakis (Part B)

This is the follow up list of wines for the Aussie Shiraz tasting session at Sage Restaurant at Robertson Walk on 27th Jan.

Schild Estate Barossa Shiraz 2004

Crystal Wines are now offering this wine at S$61.20, but not sure if it has been sold out.

Smell : Ripen rotting fruit with red flora scents.

Taste : Femininely soft and quite elegant. But somewhat over-cooked, too light for a typical Shiraz.

After-Taste : Vanilla and oak with a short finish.Description at back of bottle : The Schild family established their Barossa vineyard in 1952, and have since developed a reputation for consistency and quality in their approach to viticulture. Through careful selection of the best fruit from our extensive holdings, this Barossa Shiraz, harvested at optimum ripeness, is a classic full style showing why the Barossa is the home of Australian Shiraz. This wine shows a nose of ripe cherries, rich spices and licorice with some vanilla undertones derived from the extended maturation in select new and old American oak. On the palate the flavours explode in a fusion of complex oak and well-integrated tannins with a backbone of rich ripe black plums. A focus on quality rewards the consumer with a wine showing the best of Barossa Shiraz.

St Hallett Blackwell 2001
I understand that Brix is selling the 2004 vintage of this wine at S$52.87. (with VIP discount)

Smell : Delicate nose of dark currents and strawberries.

Taste : Expressive fruit dark cherries, blackcurrent, well-balanced & structrured.

After-Taste : Smooth, no tannins with a medium finish.

Description at back of bottle : As one of Barossa’s renowned Shiraz winemakers, St Hallett sources premium fruit from a number of mature vineyard sites in the Barossa. Stuart Blackwell winemaker since 1974, works with his team of dedicated Shiraz growers in selecting exceptional parcels of fruit from their low yielding vineyards for each release as Blackwell Shiraz. Each parcel is kept separate during crushing fermentation, and throughout oak maturation which equips Stuart with the blending options required in the crafting of wine with great intensity and complexity.

Two Hands Bella’s Garden Barossa Valley Shiraz 2005

Smell : Flora and alcoholic bouquet

Taste : Sweetish concentrated ripe fruit. Highly tasty with mild tannins and slight oak.

After-Taste : Smooth quick finish.

Description at back of bottle : The Two Hands are Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz. This wine is named after Richard’s daughter, Bella born 28th July 2002.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Wine Tasting : Aussie Shiraz at Sage Restaurant organized by WineKakis (Part A)

Dan and PenDragon from Winekakis organized an Aussie Shiraz tasting session at Sage Restaurant at Robertson Walk on 27th Jan. The food was great, wines delectable and company very enjoyable. Here are my tasting notes for the list of Shiraz that we had.

Coriole Shiraz Lella Rookh 2003

Smell : Vanilla & Flora scents.

Taste : Cherry and plums. Typical of an aussie fruit bomb, mildly sweet. Non-detectable spice unlike usual Shiraz.

After-Taste : A little weak in the finish. Mild tannins.

Description at back of bottle : The “Lalla Rookh” vineyard is a 50 year old bush vine Grenache property named after the heroine of an 1817 Thomas Moore Poem. This fruit along with Shiraz selected from our estate, are melded together to create a wine with sweet lifted berry fruit, liquorice, rose and black pepper all rolled up into a juicy mouth filling wine.

Brown Brothers Patricia Shiraz 2002

Smell : Nose a little closed. Detectable vanilla and slight chocolate scents.

Taste : Strong intense over-ripen plums and blackcurrents. Smooth and similarly no significant pepper or spice. One of the strong performers for the evening.

After-Taste : A medium finish. Mild tannins.

Description at back of bottle : The Patricia name is a dedication for Patricia Brown’s hard work and the love she has given her family. Her contribution has made Brown Brothers the success it is today.

Langmeil Valley Floor Shiraz Barossa Valley 2004

This is now selling at Moonba for S$56 a bottle.
“The dark ruby/purple-hued 2005 Shiraz Valley Floor (which sees all American oak) reveals more spice, vanillin, and toasty characteristics without the complexity of its less expensive sibling. It is a straightforward yet impressively deep, rich, pure Shiraz to consume over the following 3-5 years.” - 90 Points Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #167 (Oct 2006)

Smell : Somewhat closed, scents of blackcurrents and white pepper.

Taste : Round and mellow fruits & cassis.

After-Taste : A short finish. No tannins involved.

Description at back of bottle : The Valley Floor, like other premium wines of the Barossa, is a regional blended wine. Grapes are sourced from specially selected vineyards across all the sub regions of the Barossa from a range of different aged vines, select parcels of which are then open fermented and basket pressed to make this classic example of honest, hand-made Barossa Valley Shiraz. Enjoy now or over the next ten years.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Wine Entry : Arrow Field Cabernet Sauvignon Show Reserve 2000 (Australia)

I was fortunate to get this bottle from Wine for Asia 2004, I believe. Very nice gentleman from Arrow Field vineyards convinced me of the potential of this wine and even gave us breadsticks with the purchase. Unfortunately, I have not seen the vineyard participating in the 2005 and 2006 event. Not seen this wine around much in Singapore shops. The colour in the glass was an inviting dark ruby red.

Smell : Rose interlaced with dark cherries and some spice. Fumes of alcohol detected.

Taste : Burst of fruity ripen cherries and blackcurrants. Smooth and mild with no tannins but has a good oak structure.

After-Taste : Slightly cheesy end with cheery pips. Overall a short-medium finish.

Description at back of bottle :
Arrowfield is a highly respected name in the famous Hunter Valley wine region of New South Wales dating back to 1824. The Show Reserve label represents a selection of the highest quality fruit sourced from premium vineyards around Australia. These finely crafted wines of elegance are highly acclaimed on both the Australian wine circuit and Internationally. This deep red coloured wine has a complex aroma showing ripe fruit with cedary oak overtones. The palate is rich and full flavoured with tastes of cinnamon and chocolate, balanced with fine integrated oak. The wine has a nice length of flavour with a soft finish. Enjoy this Cabernet Sauvignon with red meats particularly beef and lamb. This classic wine may also accompany venison and the more mature cheeses.