Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wine Tasting - Epicurean's Australian Wines Portfolio

EPICUREAN WINES PORTFOLIO TASTING - Liner & Elsen Wine Merchants, Portland, OR (4/25/2008)


3 flights of Australian/New Zealand wines from importer Epicurean Wines, put on by local Portland distributor The Merchant of Vino,and hosted at Liner & Elsen Wine Merchants, 2222 NW Quimby Street, Portland, OR 97210.


White wines from Australia and New Zealand


  • 2006 SlipStream Chardonnay - Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide Hills
    Nice wine, pear flavors with some citrus. Surprising sweetness. Very Good - 85 points. (85 pts.)

  • 2005 Glen Eldon Riesling Eden Valley - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
    Smooth, lovely citrus nose. Lots of citrus fruit, with sharp acidity on the finish. Good/Very Good - 84 points. (84 pts.)

  • 2005 Poonawatta Estate Riesling The Eden - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
    Zesty! Definite ZING on the tongue. Interesting grapefruit flavors. Some mineral on the finish. Good - 83 points. (83 pts.)

  • 2007 SlipStream Sauvignon Blanc - Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Pemberton
    Very young! Ugly nose, bitter with melon and sharp citrus. Not a style (or varietal) I like. Below Average - 72 points. (72 pts.)

  • 2006 Catalina Sounds Sauvignon Blanc - New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Again, lots of bitterness, melon and citrus, although better than the previous wine. Not a varietal I like. Average - 74 points. (74 pts.)


Lighter Australian/New Zealand Reds


  • 2006 Catalina Sounds Pinot Noir - New Zealand, South Island, Nelson
    Smooth, some raspberry and pepper with a short and bitter finish. Good - 82 points. (82 pts.)

  • 2006 Earthworks Shiraz - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Sour cherry, earthiness, some bitterness on the finish. tasty, but I've definitely had better Shiraz. Good - 84 points. (84 pts.)

  • 2006 Langmeil Three Gardens - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Nice GSM blend. Plummy, with some earthiness/minerality that I like. Bitter finish that goes on awhile. Also some alcohol heat. Very Good - 85 points. (85 pts.)

  • 2006 Charles Cimicky Shiraz Trumps - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Surprisingly bright. Woody flavors, perhaps the oak? Great fruit, but not as well integrated as it could be. Might need more time. Very Good - 85 points. (85 pts.)

  • 2005 Mr. Riggs Shiraz - Viognier - Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide Hills
    Beautiful nose! Just lovely to smell. If I could stick a glass of this under my nose all day, I'd be a happy man. Floral notes from the Viognier really make the nose shine. Dramatic taste as well, with some of the floral notes carrying through to the palate. Great fruit as well. Darker than you'd expect, with some white wine in there, but wine guy says that's what happens. Odd, that. Excellent - 88 points. (88 pts.)


Big Australian Reds and a Port


  • 2006 Langmeil Shiraz Valley Floor - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Deep flavors, seems like they go on forever, but not tasting too big or wild, as Aussie Shiraz often can. Great fruit flavors of blueberry and plum, with some vanilla in there. Solid integration. Excellent - 88 points. (88 pts.)

  • 2005 Kaesler Shiraz Stonehorse - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Lovely Shiraz! Nose is huge, with cherry and earth. Big fruit with lots of cherry and tar flavors. Not the alcohol heat you'd expect either. Very full-bodied. Finish lasts and lasts. Outstanding - 91 points. (91 pts.)

  • 2006 Epsilon Shiraz - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Very nice effort with great QPR. Blueberry, pepper, earth...delicious. Outstanding - 91 points. (91 pts.)

  • 2005 Glaetzer Shiraz The Bishop - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Excellent nose of blackberry and pepper. Big fruit, just gobs of flavors rolling around the tongue. Outstanding wine! Amazingly rich and elegant. Wine of the Tasting for me. Outstanding - 93 points. (93 pts.)

  • 2002 Gralyn Cabernet Sauvignon - Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River
    Although this is a 2002 vintage, still showing surprising youth. Tannins are huge and mouth-drying, and this is even after being open for almost 2 hours. Great fruit, very deep flavors of currant and cassis. Overshadowed by the tannins however. Excellent/Outstanding - 90 points. (90 pts.)

  • 2006 Tatiarra Shiraz Cambrian - Australia, Victoria, Central Victoria, Heathcote
    Very young. Big wine that definitely needs more time. Can still get huge, concentrated flavors of blueberry and blackberry coming through with a nice peppery finish. Tannins are big as well. 3-5 more years in bottle and this wine will blow your socks off. #2 wine of the tasting for me. Outstanding - 92 points. (92 pts.)

  • 2002 Kaesler Touriga Nacional - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Decided that I dislike fortified wines. Made the mistake of swirling this one in the glass and then taking a big sniff. I think I burned off all of my nose hair. LOTS of licorice aromas and flavors. Good - 83 points. (83 pts.)


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