Terrific 2003 Tatiarra

Opened a bottle of 2003 Tatiarra Trademark Shiraz for dinner. 15.5% alcohol and a multi regional blend from Heathcote in Victoria and from McLaren Vale in South Australia. Winemaker Ben Riggs.

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Interesting Tatiarra Story

2003 Tatiarra Trademark Shiraz

2003 Tatiarra Trademark Shiraz

Well cellared. No wine travel on cork

The wine was perfectly cellared (as you can see from the lack of travel on the cork). 

It was very dumb on opening and needed a good 2 hours of decanting before reaching its best. Lovely brick red colour. Incredible rich and pungent nose full of bright red berries, pepper and spice, violets, marzipan, and fruit cake. A delighful nose full! Rich and creamy mouthfeel with lashings of pepper, spicy oak, berry fruit and cedar. Great structure and well integrated tannins. Very long finish. A true over the top hedonistic Aussie wine. Will keep easily for another 5+ years. Score 95/100. Purchase price $60.

A great way to enjoy a Thanksgiving Dinner. 

Other Wines Tasted this Week:

Bollinger Rose. A lovely summer wine! Creamy mousse. Nose of biscuit, brioche, green apple nectarine and pear. Nice acid lift on the palate and beautiful rich texture. A great summer wine and perfect with fresh strawberries, apricots and Compte cheese! Rating 91/100.

1998 Orlando Jacaranda Ridge Cabernet. From the Coonawarra region and grown in its famous Terra Rossa soils in South Australia. I remember buying a 6 pack of this wine in 2001 and stashing it away in the bowels of my cellar. It has aged brilliantly. On opening, a beautiful waft of dark friut, ribena blackcurrent juice, spicy oak and dusty cocoa. Brick red with a dark core. Smelt far fresher than a 15 year old wine had any right to!! Sensuous palate of soft berry fruit, moccha and cedar. Dusty well integrated tanins and a very long drying finish. Still fresh, clean and mouthcoating. Perfect accompaniment for a rare scotch fillet steak followed by St Agur cheese. Yum! Rating 96/100. Purchased $46.99 in 2001. (See photo)

1998 Jacaranda Ridge Cabernet

1998 Jacaranda Ridge Cabernet

After 15 years, perfect cork - perfect wine

After 15 years, perfect cork – perfect wine

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Food and Wine in Canada’s Capital

Beckta menu2008 Riesling

I was in Ottawa last week and got together with 2 sommelier buddies, Astrid and Perry to try some local wine and food. Naturally I had to bring some Aussie reds to compete. We selected the Beckta dining and wine restaurant on 226 Nepean Street, Ottawa. A great restaurant with great food and friendly service. We enjoyed sharing our wines with the Beckta’s sommelier.

We started the evening with a Riesling from Ontario – a 2008 Henry of Pelham, Speck Family Reserve. The wine opened with a soft nose with some secondary kerosene characters and soft apple and citrus on the nose. The palate was broad and flavoursome without that steely backbone evident in many top Aussie Rieslings. A very enjoyable wine that complemented my Root vegetable soup. A good pairing!

Aussie CabernetsNext we tried 2 aged Aussie cabernets from my cellar: a 2004 Balnaves from the Coonawarra district in South Australia that is famous for its cabernets and a 2005 Chapel Hill from McLaren Vale in South Australia that’s probably better known for its big shiraz reds. Both wines were stunning and were tasted after one hours decanting.

Quebec Duck Magret
The Balnaves colour was a dark plum with a purple hue and the nose was redolent with blackberry and blueberry fruit, earth, and cedar. The palate was soft and mouthfilling with spicy berry fruit, cedar and tobacco leaf. The tannins were nicely integrated and the wine would easily cellar for another 5+ years. I enjoyed the wine with the Quebec Magret Duck that was cooked medium rare to perfection and the flavours worked well with the wine.
The Chapel Hill was a monster wine with bid fruit, and big tannins. Even though only a year separated the two wines the difference was palpable. My view is that the stelvin enclosure on the Chapel made the difference. The wine was young and fresh and still quite primary, with rich spicy black fruits, anise, pepper and cedar. The palate had not integrated fully and the wine definitely needs more time in the cellar! However, Perry said it worked well with his Wellington county beef striploin that was most enjoyable.

My scores: Riesling 91/100, Balnaves cabernet 95/100, Chapel Hill 93/100.
The reds cost approx $35 each when purchased.