Archive for November, 2005

Tasting: Austrlian Reds

Saturday, November 12th, 2005

The theme was Austrlian reds. Remeber I am averaging scores of all tasters so they may be slightly depressed, but if you were to see a 9 it would really mean something. (Think of a 5 as an average wine).

As the criticism (and praise) of Australian reds go, so went this tasting. The wines were good, especially for the money, and yet were not remarkable or very distinguishable from one another. Here are 2 highlights. 9 people attended, 8 wines tasted, scores shown are averages of the group rounded to nearest 0.5 (1-10 scale). 1) Pirrammam, McClaren Vale, Petite Verdot, 1999 (Score: 7, $19). Despite the face that no one could possibly order this wine due to an inability to pronounce it, for me it was the winner of the flight. Accused of being a little oaky, it was otherwise very nice. Showing aged characters of soy and aldehydes mixed with anise, raspberry licorice, vanilla, and caramel. Great concentration and balance in the mouth. 2) Peter Lehmann, clancey, Shiraz 2002 (socre: 7, $20). Some said ‘green’, some thought it was just hints of Cabernet character that was integrated well with dark berry jam , caramel, and black licorice. Very nice mouthfeel, subtle and finesse describe this wine.

I don’t have room to describe them all, so here are the rest with their scores and prices. Tintara, McClaren Vale, Shiraz 2003 (Score: 7, $19). d’Arenberg, Derelict Vineyard, mostly Grenache 2002 (Score: 7, $32). Zonte’s Footsteps, Shiraz Viognier 2004? (Score: 6, $16). Marquis Phillips, ‘Sarah’s Blend’, SE Austrlia 2004 (Score: 6, $15). Dominique Portet, Heathcote, Shiraz 2000 (Score: 4.5, price not know - tasted a little old and tired but did improve in glass). Torbreck. Cuvee Juveniles, Barossa Valley 2004 (Score: 4.5, $25).

Acetaldehyde production.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

Its true, we have a little acetaldehyde in one of our Merlots. Interestingly, in a search through my textbooks and the web, I found a brillant summary on acetaldehyde written by…me! I completely forgot that Dr. Waterhouse would be publishing a portion of our reports on the web. So much for my retention. Does anyone know if its true that just Acetic Acid bacteria and yeasts are the main producers? We are not prepared to sulfur yet because ML is not complete. Just trying to figure out what the spoilage might be, if any (the wine was not exposed to excess amounts of O2, though perhaps the headspace left after barreling down was large enough, for long enough, to introduce a little O2).

Malolacitc Time

Friday, November 4th, 2005

Its malo time for most of us, and don’t forget to consider your diacetyl? How do you like your butter? I never miss it when its not there, and often critcize when it is, so I like anaerobic conditions which reduce its prodcution all together. If some air is getting into the wine via racking, loose bungs, whatever; then don’t forget to wait a week to sulfur, ortherwise you may want popcorn with your Chardonnay. Here’s a good paper.