Archive for the 'australia' Category

Cat Amongst the Pigeons 2007 “Nine Lives” Shiraz

Winemaker: Cat Amongst the Pigeonscat amongst the pigeons nine lives shiraz 2007

Name: Nine Lives

Type: Shiraz

Origin: Barossa Valley Australia

Year: 2007

Cost: $16.99

Rating: 9/10

Value: 9/10

Alcohol: 14.5%

Our opinion:

For a special occasion we went all out and chose a random but pricier (not by much though..) bottle of red wine to enjoy along side a delicious meal of grilled lamb loin chops and a mezze of various finger foods and salads. This was a random selection from a local liquor store, and we probably chose it because the bottle looked neat and the points rating was high.. but still we went in blind.Cat amongst the pigeons shiraz with lamb loin chops

Naturally we aerated the wine before enjoying it but man was it good. The shiraz was complex, inky, rich, with hints of berry and oak. We raved about it the entire meal and were so sad when it was gone. Although the price tag placed it out of our everyday wine range, we would buy it again in a heartbeat for any small occasion if we could think of one. I’d easily say it was twice as good as many half as expensive wines, if not more.

We highly recommend this wine, and not only for the cute little cat silhouette on the bottle.

Others Say:

Wine Library: “The red wine lineup begins with the 2007 Shiraz. Opaque purple-colored, it has an enticing perfume of spice box, blue fruits, and smoked meat. This leads to a savory, ripe, full-flavored wine with layered fruit, excellent balance, and a lengthy close. Drink it over the next four years.”

Cellar Tracker comments:

Dark purple,knock you over scents and flavors, long finish, with a cheese plate of stinky rind washed cheeses it was the equivalent of the fruit on the side

“dark colored. the nose is lush with blackberries, chocolate and black plums. well-structured, this is not a flabby, hi-c, weak-kneed shiraz, rich fruit is balanced by strong tannins, medium acid and secondary flavors of pepper, bacon and chocolate. not overly alcoholic. a silky, fruity finish. nice qpr for sure.”

The Bottle Says:

Drink in moderation – then have a catnap!

Nassau Valley Vineyards 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard Select

Type: Cabernet SauvignonNassau Valley 2006 Cabernet Suavignon Vineyard Select

Origin: Delaware

Year: 2006

Cost: $23.00

Rating: 8.5/10

Value: 7.5/10

Alcohol: 12.9%

Our opinion:

We visited Nassau Valley Vineyards in Lewes, Delaware during a weekend in good old Ocean City Maryland.  We were allowed to try 6 different wines from a list of about 12.  Both of us chose to try a few whites and reds, keeping primarily with the dry- and semi-dry-labeled wines.  This vineyard turns out a large number of very sweet vintages, which we don’t generally enjoy.

Unfortunately for us, this bottle was one of the most expensive ones they sold by a margin of about $10 over the standard, but rightfully so.  The bottle that we tasted in the store had a very distinct oak flavor to it, much more so than the 2005 bottle priced at $17.

The Cabernet Sauvignon tasted structured, smoky, and bold with a medium mouth feel and none of those harsh tannins that generally turns me off from the grape.  It was delicious and so we bought a bottle and drank it at home.

In the end it was nice to try a local wine that we thought competed with many of the California wines.  We really enjoyed the bottle we brought home with us.  In the end we do recommend this wine, but then again, for $23 there are probably a few we’d really enjoy in this price range.

Winemaker’s Notes:
Our 2006 Vineyard Select Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot.  100% of the grapes used to make this wine come from the estate vineyard here in Lewes, DE.

Others Say:

Not much, at least that we could find.  If you’ve tasted this wine please share your opinion with us!

Tin Shed Melting Pot Shiraz (2005??)

Wine: Tin Shed “Melting Pot”

Type: Shiraz

Origin: Australia

Year: 2005 (????)

Cost: $35.99 ??

Rating: 10/10

Value: 8/10

Alcohol: ??%

Our opinion:

This wine probably shouldn’t be on a cheapo wino blog, but every now and then you have to treat yourself, to see what you’re missing. We went to the Antrim 1844 for a dinner the other evening and each had a ($15) glass (!!) of this wine before we ate. It was amazing! Honestly I cannot remember a Shiraz this delicious and balanced and perfect tasting. Nothing was too strong, nothing was weak, it wasn’t too heavy or light or spicy or fruity or sweet or dry. Everything just seemed right. Every sip was delicious and exciting. If you want to splurge, you need to know what on. We were told that there were no more of these bottles available for purchase anywhere; the Antrim had bought them all out. However, I see it on both Corridor and Total Wine & More websites. Corridor in Laurel seems to carry it, but if anyone goes there and looks for it, let us know if they have it in stock!

We unfortunately don’t know the year, but all the years have great reviews and > 90 points for their ratings, so my guess is you can’t go wrong.

Merchant Reviews:

Barossa Valley, Australia- The Melting Pot Shiraz offers wonderful aromas of cassis, black pepper and licorice. This rich and full-bodied Shiraz encompasses remarkable flavor intensity and a lengthy finish. {Intense, Licorice, Currant, Full-bodied}”

Others Say:

Bright and aromatic with lovely fruit characters. The palate is smooth with spice and fruits.

“A stunning offering, the 2005 Shiraz Melting Pot reveals flamboyant aromas of cassis, black pepper, licorice, and espresso roast. This medium to full-bodied, pure, rich Shiraz offers another example of the seamlessness of this vintage.”
– Wine Advocate (#167, Oct 2006), 91-94 pts

Pacific Peak Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine: Pacific Peak

Type: Cabernet Sauvignon

Origin: California, USA

Year: cannot find a year on this bottle! 1814??

Cost: $2.99

Rating: 5/10

Value: 6/10

Alcohol: 12.5%

Our opinion:

We bought this a while ago and thought it was a great value for the price, so we bought more. The next few bottles were pretty difficult to choke down. I don’t know what happened….

So today when we had an opportunity to try our Vinturi Wine Aerator, we decided to revisit our last bottle of this confusing wine. You want to love it, because it’s so cheap. Well at least we want to love it for that reason. After opening the bottle we poured a little directly into one glass with one of these nifty items which prevents drips and red ring-shaped stains on your table:

The other we poured through our new aerator:

Let me just say that Bernoulli’s law never mentioned anything about a swooshing sound. But it’s kind of cool to hear as you pour your wine through this little bubble into your glass.

Then came a taste-test. On the first sip neither tasted that great. In fact we were both initially disappointed at how bad the pacific peak was tasting. A few more sips and we decided that you could tell that one was a bit better than the other, though I admitted that in a blind taste test I’d be somewhat stumped. It was just very acidic and ..well.. cheap-tasting. Then again I’m not a big Cabernet Sauvignon fan, so that probably didn’t help.

I had an idea.. if the aerator improves the taste by a factor of X, then wouldn’t pouring the wine back through the aerator N times increase the drinkability of the wine by NX? I know what you’re thinking, you can’t do it too many times or you’ll be aerating INXS. We wouldn’t want that. So I just did it 2 times. Better!

Actually by the end of dinner, it was palatable and decent. On the second glass, I admit I did N = 3 aerations on poor pacific peak. Even better. I don’t want to wear it out, I mean we just got it… but, it’s doing its job!

I suppose in summary, if you want to drink this cheap wine, you better get the aerator, because it certainly does it make it taste better! I don’t know how to describe it, but I guess I would say it went from being heavy and tart to a bit lighter (hence the aeration???) and sweeter. Less tang. Or you could cook with this wine, because it’s cheap enough you won’t feel guilty not drinking it.

One last point I want to make. Or maybe a question… Where is the date on this wine?!? Why would they hide it?? What else are they trying to hide….

Winemakers Notes:

California- Deeply colored and full flavored with essence of dark cherries, cassis and blackberry, this wine eliminates thoughts that quality must be sacrificed for value. Strong, firm tannins and explosive fruit flavors make this wine a natural friend of food. {Intense, Dark Cherry, Cassis, Full-bodied}

Others Say:
Surprisingly very good things… with the exception of a few.
From Total Wine:

“This wine is excellent; great bouquet, nice clean taste, and excellent dry cherry finish. That’s about as haute wine as I will get. Those high class reviewers who didn’t know if they would use it for cooking, can go on paying $30-40 or more per bottle, I’ll be happy with Pacific Peak. Come to think of it… I also used it for an excellent sauce of mushrooms and artichoke hearts.”

“Best everyday wine I have found to date. Good taste and extremely low price. This is a medium body wine with a very soft finish. It receives a higher rating because of the price. Of course it’s not as good as a $10+ wine, but at $3.99 it’s an amazing value. If you’re looking for something you can easily afford to enjoy every day, this is a good one.”

“I believe that wine doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. But this isn’t good. I’d rate it no better than a cooking wine – and I’m not sure what your food would pick up from it.”

Twin Wells Shiraz 2005

Wine: Twin Wells

Type: Shiraz

Origin: South Eastern Australia

Year: 2005

Cost: $7.00

Alcohol: 14%

Purchased: Corridor Wine & Spirits, Laurel, MD

Rating: 4/10

Value: 4/10

Our opinion:

Eeengh. That’s about all we have to say on this one. We drank it… but there was a glass left on the table, which means it couldn’t have been that good. Cheap price, cheap wine. Not worth it either way. Move on!

Others Say:

Winemaker Review: “South East, Australia- Fresh fruit and ripe tannins surround this medium-bodied, smooth and spicy Shiraz. Aromas of dark ripe fruit, chocolate and vanilla are supported by a palate of spicy plum, blackberry flavors and a velvety smooth finish. Enjoy with BBQ, hamburgers, or kebobs. {Fresh, Plum, Medium-bodied}”

From Total Wine:

Undrinkable; had to pour it down the sink. :-(“

“Skip it”

One person liked it though:

“If I had read the previous reviews, I probably would have missed this gem. Unbelievable for $7. Very smooth.”

Silverwing 2005 Shiraz Grenache Mclaren Vale

Wine: Silverwing

Type: Shiraz Grenache

Origin: Australia

Year: 2005

Cost: $9.99

Alcohol: 14.5%

Rating: 7/10

Value: 7/10

Our opinion:

Yum! A good blend of shiraz and grenache for a decent price. Certainly not too light, but with a good amount of flavor. We also promise that while this wine is good, it clocks in at 14.5% alcohol and will indeed get you drunk without you knowing it! Let it sit a bit before drinking, it has a few years behind it already! Recommended.

Others Say:

“McLaren Vale, Australia- Interesting blend of Shiraz and Grenache full of dark fruits. Explosive flavors of blackberry, plum, perfumed raspberries and hints of pepper and spice lead to a generous finish with some earthy tones. Enjoy with spicy dishes, pork chops or hearty stews. {Intense Fruit, Berry, Medium-bodied}”