Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wine Tasting - The Merchant of Vino @ Cork

Cork: A Bottle Shop
THE MERCHANT OF VINO'S AUSTRALIAN TASTING hosted by Cork: A Bottle Shop, Portland, OR (12/10/2008)

Rob from The Merchant of Vino and Darryl from Cork put on this special sit-down tasting at the Alberta Street Cork store. An incredible selection from some of Australia's top producers, all with a couple years (or more) of age on them.

Cool Weather Wines
The first two wines are from cooler regions in Australia. I don't know if this is because of the cooler temperatures, but both wines were VERY tannic. Hmm.
  • 2002 Gralyn Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River
    Having tasted this before, I wasn't surprised at the tannic grip on this wine. Color is a light ruby, going to clear at the rim. Very tight on the nose, giving up only a bit of earth. On the palate, bitter cherry fruit, with clay and LOTS of tannins. The finish is a long, tannic crush of sour cherry. This is from the "Bordeaux of Australia", the Margaret River region, where it is much cooler. I don't know if that explains the incredible tannins of this wine, but, there you go... (90 pts.)

  • 2004 Berry's Bridge Shiraz - Australia, Victoria, Western Victoria, Pyrenees
    Another cooler region, a semi-mountainous region called "The Pyrenees". Color is dark maroon. Much darker than the Gralyn cab. Very fragrant nose of blackberry and earth. On first sip, the one thing I immediately think of is "BIG". Totally coats the mouth with fruit and earth flavors, predominantly blackberries, and a loamy sort of earth. Lots of tannins in this wine also. From the nose, everyone thought this was co-fermented with Viognier, but it is, in fact, 100% Shiraz. Was originally going to go with 90 points, but tacked on another just for the incredible perfume. (91 pts.)


Kaesler Wines
The second two wines were both from Kaesler, and showcased the "right-up-to-the-line" style of winemaker Reid Bosward.
  • 2005 Kaesler Grenache The Fave - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Color is a lighter ruby. Nose is redolent of strawberries, with an odd cinnamon aroma...almost a candied smell. Spicy on the palate, with strawberries, cherry and spice (cinnamon?). Very smooth and easy to drink, but overshadowed by the other wines tonight. (87 pts.)

  • 2004 Kaesler W.O.M.S. - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Having tasted this before in an ideal setting (and with food) on my birthday, I was doubting this rating would be as high as last time (98/100), and I was right. Color is a dark ruby. Nose is all raspberry, with LOTS of yummy earth aromas. On the palate, you can instantly tell the wine has incredible integration. Big flavors of raspberry and earth mingle with chewy tannins, sharp acidity and a bit of oak. They all play together nicely, making the wine absolutely delicious! (95 pts.)


The Big Boys
Both of the final two wines needed to be decanted, and unfortunately we only got about 1 hour's worth. However, both wines still showed very well.
  • 2004 Charles Cimicky Shiraz Reserve - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Decanted 1 hour. Color is a thick, dark purple, almost black. Delicious nose of blue and black fruits, with a touch of earth and oak. On the palate, smoked meat, with the sweet taste of blueberry pie, and oaky vanilla on the finish. VERY nice wine! (95 pts.)

  • 2004 Torbreck Shiraz The Factor - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    My wine of the night, just ahead of the WOMS and Cimicky Reserve. Decanted 1 hour. Color is a very dark maroon, almost black. Very thick. 100% Shiraz from 4 vineyards. Nose of very sweet blackberry...maybe blackberry pie, following to the palate, with the addition of blueberries. Very jammy, and still quite young. This really needs another 2-3 years before it begins to shine. Lots of tannins on the finish, which seems to go on forever. An outstanding wine from David Powell! (96 pts.)


Thanks to Rob from The Merchant of Vino and Darryl from Cork for putting on this event!

Tasting notes posted from CellarTracker