Aug 312014

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This month we wrapped up selections for the Aussie Wine Guy anniversary wine for the years 2013 and 2014.

Due to budget constraints, we opted for a pair of 1855 classification wines from the Pauillac appelation in Bordeaux.  These vintages come from an estate which used to be part of a larger estate which was split in 1850.

It seemed apt to get a bottle from both Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron as a pair, given the estates’ shared heritage.

Notes: Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron 2011

Big tannins, smoky wood notes and prominent fruit mark this wine, along with acidity and freshness. It’s powerful, with the most gentle structure of concentrated dusty tannins and intensely-fresh blackberry-juice flavors.
Barrel Sample: 93-95 Points” – Wine Enthusiast : 95 Points

Notes: Château Pichon Longueville Lalande Pauillac Réserve de la Comtesse 2009

WS Tasting Note: Bright and sappy, with kirsch and damson plum notes streaking along, followed by tangy iron and floral notes alongside. There’s good zip and cut along the finish, with a lingering mineral edge. Best from 2013 through 2023. 21,665 cases made. – Wine Spectator Score: 91 points

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Aug 132014



Last month Ted had a stop over in Qatar on his way to France with his partner to attend a wedding.  On the way they ended up as guests in one of Qatar’s excellent business lounges.  Needless to say, the lounge had a delictable menu of wine..



“Extremely light, fruity almost. Very fresh on the palate; kiwi or summer fruit on nose. Acidic On palate”

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Aug 102014

IMG_4648.JPGI’m traveling to France this year via Qatar, and flying Qatar Airways on Business class. Their amazing wine list on the in flight menu had a Bordeaux wine just screaming to be tasted!

This Haut-Médoc wine takes its name from the commune of Saint-Estèphe, the northernmost of the six communal appellations in Médoc. Since 2003 Château Phélan Ségur has been listed as one of the nine Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels. This wine is an 8 year old Bordeaux, with a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend.

I chose to pair it with an in flight meal choice of lamb shanks and cheese for dessert. First off I had to try the wine up front without any food influencing the taste.

IMG_4651.JPGAfter a refreshing sparkling water, I took in the bouquet of a glass left sitting for 10mins and got an intense chocolate, cigar and tobacco highlight. This no doubt comes from the Cabernet Franc blended into this release. A second smell and I’m getting earthy boquet with hints of mint. A very complex nose!

Tasting this wine is a smooth almost dry/chalky sensation, however the smoothness of this wine is so apparent that one could drink this all day. Bitter chocolate and plum stand out as the main flavours, no doubt due to the merlot content.

Trying the qatar in flight lamb shank makes the palate much lighter and makes me think of a younger Shiraz. It’s amazing how matching this with a red meat changes the flavour of this left bank Bordeaux.

Moving on to the cheese, I had a platter of three cheeses as part of the in flight offerings. Blue, Brie and a semi hard cheese. The wine is overpowered by blue cheese and does nothing but intensify the moldy taste of the blue. I wouldn’t recommend to drink this with blue cheese.

Combining it with the Brie, and it makes for an acidic palate. Not really matching with soft cheeses. However the semi-hard cheese is much better. It highlights the original smoothness experienced when tasting this wine on it’s own. The fattiness of the cheese cuts through the previously experienced dryness of this wine on it’s own. The combination of the semi-hard cheese and this Bordeaux is recommended.

This wine would stand up in it’s own, match perfectly with red meat – particularly game (or even duck!) or go as a perfect accompaniment for a selection of hard and semi hard cheeses.

A great wine, and a very enjoyable tasting session was had with this single glass of Château Phélan Ségur. This 2006 vintage is perfectly placed to drink now, but will improve over another few years out to 2018.


Aug 032014


2011 Tatler Archie’s Paddock Shiraz, Hunter Valley, NSW

This wine was collected on a trip to the Hunter in 2012 and laid down at home until recently opened for dinner with the mother in law.  A good ruby coloured wine that had a very pleasant nose of berries and a fine touch of tannins. Having been aged for 15 months in French and American oak barrels, 

I expected the wine might be a little too strong for the ladies.  However, we were all pleasantly surprised by its smooth taste and gentle lingering on the palate.  Overall, this was a very pleasing wine which went well with a variety of dishes and was enjoyed by everyone. It should cellar well for another 5 years or so.

Vasse Felix

2008 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, WA

This wine was opened in April 2015, having been cellared in my wine fridge for 5 years.  A quite dark red colour in the glass, it had a slightly earthy taste which probably resulted from its 18 months maturation in French oak barrels. 

This also gave the wine a pleasing complexity with the strong berry and olive flavours and tannins remaining on the palate for some time.  I am inclined to consume this vintage now as I am not certain that it will cellar much longer.


2010 Saltram Mamre Brook Barossa Shiraz, Barossa Valley SA

Saltram shiraz has been one of my favourites over the years and was one of the first full bodied reds that I introduced by wife to may years ago.  This vintage did not disappoint either of us and we enjoyed it at a dinner of roast lamb. 

The deep red colour and full body of the wine is complimented by the dark berries and olives nose and fine tannins which reflect the aging in oak for 18 months.  Probably a more full bodied and stronger wine than I would normally serve to my female dinners but it was still a hit with them. It will probably cellar well for a few more years.

Barton Estate

2006 Barton Estate Georgia Shiraz, Canberra Region, ACT/NSW

Canberra’s cool region wines a winning a great deal of respect both in Australia and overseas. This wine is a good example of the region, with a good dark red colour and full bodied structure. 

It has peppery spice overtones and a hint of blackcurrants but does not overwhelm the palate with strong tannins.  Opened nearly 9 years after bottling and kept in a wine fridge most of the time, I feel it is at its peak now.


2005 Taylors Cabernet Sauvignon, Claire Valley, SA

Taylors generally produce wines of good quality at reasonable prices and wines that suit all occasions and tastes. This wine is one of those reliable wines that, aged in French oak, deliver full fruit flavours with interesting undertones of berries and spice.

A good ruby colour and light tannins complete a wine suitable for any meal. This bottle seemed to have cellared well enough but I would not leave it any longer.