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Columbia Crest, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, 2012

Producer: Columbia Crest

Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 2014

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington

RRP: $28

ABV: 13.5%

 

APPEARANCE

  • Clarity: Clear
  • Intensity: Medium
  • Colour: Ruby
  • Other observations: Tawny rim, slow moving legs

NOSE

  • Condition: Clean
  • Intensity: Medium 
  • Aroma characteristics:

Dark bramble fruits, blackcurrant, black cherry, menthol, tar, liquorice and cocoa.  Bold oak, toasty with vanilla and spices. Distinctly chocolaty.

  • Development: This wine is developing

PALATE

  • Sweetness: Dry
  • Acidity: Medium (+)
  • Tannin: Medium
  • Alcohol: Medium
  • Body: Medium
  • Flavour intensity: Medium (+)
  • Flavour characteristics:

Sour cherries, cranberry, black plums, coffee, liquorice, molasses.  Nuttiness, baking spices and vanilla from the oak.

Other observations: Slightly unbalanced, palate doesn't match the nose of the wine, a slightly bitter aftertaste.  Supple ripe tannin and good acid balance make this wine easy to drink.  

  • Finish: Medium

CONCLUSIONS

  • Quality level: Good
  • Level of readiness: Drink now.  Suitable for short term aging (3 years) but probably won't improve too much with age.
columbia.jpg

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Obsidian, Montepulciano, Waiheke Island, 2014

Producer: Obsidian

Variety: Montepulciano

Vintage: 2014

Region: Waiheke Island

RRP: $35

ABV: 14%

 

APPEARANCE

  • Clarity: Clear
  • Intensity: Deep
  • Colour: Ruby
  • Other observations: Purple rim

NOSE

  • Condition: Clean
  • Intensity: Medium (+)
  • Aroma characteristics:

Ripe dark cherries, sweet baking spices, black tea leaves, dark chocolate, leathery notes, subtle french oak, slightly floral with hints of violets and dried flowers.

Development: This wine is developing

PALATE

  • Sweetness: Dry
  • Acidity: High
  • Tannin: Medium (+)
  • Alcohol: Medium
  • Body: Medium
  • Flavour intensity: Medium (+)
  • Flavour characteristics:

Sour cherries, red currants, black pepper and spices.  Hint of subtle oak.  Fresh flavours underlined by hints of savoury/gamey notes developing.

Other observations: Prominent tannins, high acidity and fresh fruit characteristics show that this is still a young wine.  Everything is well balanced, a good sign for the future.

  • Finish: Medium (+)

CONCLUSIONS

  • Quality level: Very good
  • Level of readiness: Drink now.  Suitable for medium-term aging (6-7 years).

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Craggy Range, Te Kahu, 2013, Hawkes Bay

Producer: Craggy Range

Variety: Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc

Vintage: 2013

Region: Hawkes Bay

RRP: $24

ABV: 13.5%

 

APPEARANCE

  • Clarity: Clear
  • Intensity: Medium (+)
  • Colour: Ruby
  • Other observations: Slow moving legs, pink rim.

NOSE

  • Condition: Clean
  • Intensity: Medium (+)
  • Aroma characteristics:

Rich bramble fruits, black plums, red cherries, cedar wood, cigar box and garrigues.

Development: This wine is developing

PALATE

  • Sweetness: Dry
  • Acidity: Medium (+)
  • Tannin: Medium
  • Alcohol: Medium
  • Body: Medium
  • Flavour intensity: Medium (+)
  • Flavour characteristics:

Notes of cherries and black plums are punctuated by more intense red fruits.  This wine also has a subtle bitterness with a hint of coffee and dark chocolate.  The finish is long and lingering.

  • Finish: Medium (+)

CONCLUSIONS

  • Quality level: Very good
  • Level of readiness: Drink now but this wine will cellar well up to 10 years.

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Went shopping today for Christmas wines!

May have gone slightly over board, but I was like a kid in a sweet shop.  I was very impressed with the selection and the knowledgeable staff at both Wine Direct in Parnell and Maison Vauron in Newmarket.  

Wine we have chosen:

  • Ernest Rapeneau, Brut, NV, Champagne, France
  • Prophets Rock, Dry Riesling, 2011, Central Otago, New Zealand
  • Vinoptima, Ormond Gewurztraminer, 2008, Gisborne, New Zealand
  • Vega-Sicilia-Oremus-Mandolas, Tokaji Dry (100% Furmint), 2012, Tokaj, Hungary
  • Raats, Chenin Blanc, 2009, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Domaine De Chalet Pouilly B.A Leger Plumet, Pouilly-Fuisse, 2013, Bourgogne, France
  • Kendall-Jackson, Vintners Reserve Chardonnay, 2013, Santa Rosa, California, USA
  • Domaine Chignard, Fleurie "Les Moriers", 2013, Fleurie, France
  • Earl Christian & Pascal Menaut, Pommard, 2009, Bourgogne, France
  • Raats, Dolomite Cabernet-Franc, 2012, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Chateau Fourcas Dupre, Listrac-Medoc, 2010, Bordeaux, France
  • Kirnbauer, Das Phantom, 2009, Burgenland, Austria
  • Domaine Lefage, "Tessellae" Carignan Vielles-Vignes, 2013, Cotes Catalanes, France
  • Alain Jaume & Fils, Domaine Grand Veneur, Cotes du Rhone, 2013, Les Champauvins, France
  • Domaine Lionnet, Cornas "Terre Brule", 2012, Cornas, France
  • Niepoort, Rotulo Tinto, 2013, Dao, Portugal
  • Bernard Boutinet, Pineau Des Charantes, NV, Breville, France

Tasting notes to come.

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Gemstone, Organic Merlot, South Australia, 2014

Producer: Gemstone

Variety: Merlot

Vintage: 2014

Region: South Australia

RRP: $17

ABV: 14%

 

APPEARANCE

  • Clarity: Clear
  • Intensity: Medium
  • Colour: Ruby
  • Other observations: Slow moving legs

NOSE

  • Condition: Clean
  • Intensity: Medium
  • Aroma characteristics:

A warm fruity aroma of blackcurrants, dark cherries, ripe bramble fruit and a slight confectionery note.  Some muted oak notes in the form of  baking spaces and liquorice.

Development: This wine is developing

PALATE

  • Sweetness: Dry
  • Acidity: Medium
  • Tannin: Medium
  • Alcohol: Medium (+)
  • Body: Medium (+)
  • Flavour intensity: Medium (+)
  • Flavour characteristics:

Similar to the nose, with blackcurrants, dark cherry, bramble fruits.  Some spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, liquorice.  Savory, meaty notes developing.  Finish with a lingering hint of eucalyptus.

Other observations: This wine is classic of South Australia, made with very ripe fruit, giving an intensity and warmth that can only belong to one place.  Well made, easy to drink.

  • Finish: Medium (+)

CONCLUSIONS

  • Quality level: Very good
  • Level of readiness: Drink now.  Not necessary to age this wine, but it could develop with some short term cellaring (2-3 years).

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Jules Taylor, Chardonnay, 2014, Gisborne

Producer: Jules Taylor

Variety: Chardonnay

Vintage: 2014

Region: Gisborne

RRP: $23

ABV: 14%

 

APPEARANCE

  • Clarity: Clear
  • Intensity: Pale
  • Colour: Lemon
  • Other observations: Thin and watery rim

NOSE

  • Condition: Clean
  • Intensity: Medium (-)
  • Aroma characteristics:

Fruity up-front with fresh stone-fruits - peach & nectarine - building to tropical notes of melon and pineapple. Light toasty oak notes and subtle vanilla and nutty characteristics.

  • Development: This wine is developing

PALATE

  • Sweetness: Dry
  • Acidity: Medium
  • Alcohhol: Medium
  • Body: Medium
  • Flavour intensity: Medium (+)
  • Flavour characteristics:

More citrus fruit than on the nose withlemon, grapefruit and candied lemon peel, peach notes develop slowly and are balanced with subtle french oak characteristics - grilled nuts and toasty notes.  As the wine warms up tropical notes become more prominent with pineapple, melon and banana in the background.

  • Other observations: This wine is well balanced and very well made, the acidity balances the sweet fruit characteristics and the finish is lingering and delicious.
  • Finish: Medium (+)

CONCLUSIONS

  • Quality level: Very good
  • Level of readiness: Drink now but has potential for aging.

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Congratulations to WSET Level 3 class of 2015!

We would like to congratulate the University of Auckland Wine Science students who have just completed their WSET Level 3 examinations.

The students took a 6 day intensive course where they learnt about viticulture and wine making, appellation laws, wine sales and marketing, social responsibility and wine and spirits of the world.

We tasted 82 different wines from the length and breadth of the wine making world, giving our students a great first hand experience of the diversity of wine.

The WSET Level 3 course is a fantastic stepping stone into a career in the wine industry offering a point of difference in a crowded employment market.

If you would like to be considered for the next WSET Level 3 course, then email us your details: info@thewineacademy.co.nz

- Ngarita and Tom

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