Presented by Abigail
Our Summer Solstice tasting was a huge success with some clear favorites: Alkoomi Blackbutt Cabernet Sauvignon, Frankland, West Australia the #1 pick followed by Grosset Alea Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia. Here is the lineup from the tasting:
Dunes & Greene Pinot-Chardonnay Brut
Hightide Vineyard, Eden Valley, AustraliaEden Valley shares its western boundary with the Barossa Valley wine region and is well known for producing high quality Riesling and Shiraz wines. Within the Eden Valley region there is a sub-region called High Eden which is located higher in the Barossa Ranges, giving cooler temperatures.
This bottle of bubbles is made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir it shows delicate aromas of lemon zest, fresh strawberries and cream. On the palate, look for Chardonnay flavors of subtle citrus notes and fresh acidity. The Pinot Noir complements this by adding richness and texture. The result is a full flavoured sparkling wine with a refined finish. Enjoy with appetizers, seafood, Chinese takeout or just when you feel like some bubbles. $18.49
Flametree Embers Sauvignon Blanc
Margaret River, West Australia
Margaret River is the foremost wine growing region in the South West Australia Zone, with nearly 55 square kilometres (21 sq mi) under vine and over 138 wineries as at 2008. A Mediterranean-style climate, lacking extreme summer and winter temperatures, provides ideal growing conditions. The climate is described as similar to that of Bordeaux in a dry vintage.
This is a crisp, zingy and refreshing white wine is made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. It’s just what you want on a patio on a hot day, or enjoy as an aperitif at your next dinner party. And what’s a Flametree, you ask? It’s a type of tree that you can find in Australia, which blooms with bright orange, flame-like flowers. $23.99
Richmond Plains Blanc De Noir
Nelson, New Zealand
The Nelson Wine Region is located at the north end of the South island. Benefiting from a sunny, maritime climate, the picturesque valley vineyards of Nelson yield some of New Zealand’s most freshly scented, intensely flavoured Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, as well as vibrant, supple Pinot Noir.
Blanc de Noir is a white wine made from a red wine grape — in this case, Pinot Noir. This beauty comes from Richmond Plains, a well-respected New Zealand producer. It’s aromatic and lovely, with notes of citrus flowers, pears, nectarine and spice! Check it out! $29.99
Moss Wood Chardonnay
Margaret River, West Australia
Oh yes, such a lovely wine — and an impressive 93 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, too! The review: ”The 2014 Chardonnay, which saw 100% malolactic fermentation, has a pronounced and seductive, honeyed-peach and marzipan nose with a cinnamon toast and ginger undercurrent. Apple tart, as well as yeasty and toasty notes grace the silky palate, which has a long and savory finish. This Chardonnay has beautiful harmony and should age well for 5-7 years.” $57.99
Grosset Alea Riesling
Clare Valley, Australia
The Clare Valley wine region is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions, best known for Riesling wines. It lies in the mid north of South Australia, approximately 120 km north of Adelaide. The vineyards for Grosset Riesling grapes are certified organic.
The Alea comes from a narrow corridor of hard red rock with poor, orangey, red loam topsoil in the Grosset Rockwood Vineyard (ACO certified organic) at Watervale. The Grosset Alea 2016 has bright voluminous aromas of white flowers and kaffir lime and a generous, almost fleshy mid-palate with potent lemongrass and lime flavours. Almost dry, the palate is succulent and long with a tight fine structure and exhuberant sweeping acidity on a clean dry finish. TGreat choice for a range of Asian dishes, or as an aperitif. $39.99
Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir
Martinborough, New Zealand
Martinborough is located at the southern tip of the North Island. Martinborough has a warm micro-climate, with hills to the east and west. Almost all of the vineyards are in thin ribbons around the northern and eastern sides of the town, and on the Dry River to the south. It is famous for Pinot Noir. Ata Rangi, meaning “dawn sky” or “new beginning”, is a small New Zealand winery with a big reputation for serious Pinot Noir.
A terrific Pinot Noir from one of New Zealand’s wine-making pioneers, a guy who sets the benchmark for quality. Always a top scorer with the critics, too! “A winery that really needs no introduction for NZ Pinot lovers, there’s not much for me to add about the long-serving, dedicated team behind Ata Rangi – they just go from strength to strength,” according to Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. “The Pinots have always been great!” $43.99
Alkoomi Blackbutt Cabernet Sauvignon
Frankland, West Australia
Frankland River is one of the five subregions of the Great Southern in Western Australia. It is located in the northwestern corner of the region and it is the most northerly, inland subregion of Great Southern, still Mediterranean in terms of dominant winter-spring rainfall, but with greater continentality, thus favoring Riesling, Shiraz and Cabernet. Alkoomi Wines is one of WA’s largest family owned and operated wine producers. The winery’s name is an Aboriginal word meaning “watering place”.
The clear favorite! 89+ points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate for the 2008 vintage of this fantastic red blend from Western Australia! The review: “A blend of almost 50% of Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Malbec, the deep garnet-black colored 2008 Blackbutt opens with a complex nose of creme de cassis, mocha, aniseed, tobacco, sandalwood and smoked meat with whiffs of pencil shavings and eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, it offers just enough layered and evolving fruit complexity in the mouth, plus a medium level of velvety tannins and enlivening acid, before finishing a little abruptly. Drink it now through 2019.”$60.99