Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wolf Blass Premium: Week #45

Helpful Husband and I are celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary today - isn't that special?  So far I've gone for a run, done two loads of laundry, gotten grocerie, and gone to a High School graduation.  Our life of glamour and romance never ceases to amaze me and drive all those who know me into a jealous rage.  (Sorry about that, by the way). 

The good news is we bought bacon and scallops at the grocery store!  The bad news is we have no babysitter, so it looks like an evening of drinking in the living room.  Luckily, since it is a special occasion, I feel it acceptable to spend $30 on a bottle of Shiraz!  Even better is that is is my favorite brand, you all know it - the good old, dependable, trustworthy, hugs you when you're feeling down friend, WB (we're close enough to be on a nickname basis).  The thing is, I mean, can you imagine Wolf Blass tasting BETTER than it already does to justify a $10 price hike?  It boggles the mind!  Needless to say, my expectations are high with this bottle.

Wolf Blass Premium Selection - Australia, 2008
14.5% alc./vol.
A word from the wine:
"Sourced from premium South Australian vineywards, the 2008 Premium Selection Shiraz is matured in a combination of American and French oak for sixteen months.  It delivers riper blueberry and plum characters while remaining well balanced, with supple fine tannins on the finish."
Wolf Blass is a class act.  It is all business on this label.  Don't mess around with the Wolf.

Oh Em Gee.  This is some seriously delicious wine.  There is just a hint of pepper on the finish, but just as the Yellow Label, its flavors melt together in a seamless transition.  But, this is a whole new level, the Premium goes down so incredibly easy...It's like silk, or velvet, or cashmere, or some other high-end textile.  And, let me tell you, it was effortless to drink - hence the empty bottle in the above photo.

Helpful Husband: "Holy Crap, that is smooth!"

Saturday, June 25, 2011

La Chamiza: Week #44

You know, I'm getting worried about this blog.  First of all, I neglect it something fierce.  I am really focused on drinking Mike's Hard Lemonade with my solid diet of BBQ.  There is just something about summer...

Secondly, I am really dwindling in my Shiraz supply.  I have one South African bottle left to review, maybe two or three Argentinians and perhaps one more Australian before I run out of options.  I don't think I have enough labels left to last to Week #52!  At least not ones I can afford.

La Chamiza - Argentina, 2010
14% alc./vol.
A word from the wine:
"La Chamiza was, long ago, land of polo horses.  Today, because of the excellent qualities of this land, it is the place where out vines grow.  This Shiraz, spontaneous and vivacious like the Amateur Polo, is intense, exotic and has character."
At least its name doesn't have an Aboriginal origin.

I wouldn't call this bottle "intense" or "exotic" but it was a solid choice.  I enjoyed it with a few dinners, and it gave a good hit, so I can give it props there.  It was a really nice deep purple, and it had some body and taste to it, but it wasn't rich or remarkable.  It didn't have a strong enough finish, the taste evaporated immediately off the tongue taking all my saliva with it... to which one of my guest testers replied "you mean like licking deodorant?" - who are these people I associate with anyway?

More Guest Tester Reviews:
"It smells like grapes.  And, I like the way it makes my throat feel warm... like whiskey"
"Smooth and Delicious"
"It's okay, drinkable, but its missing something...fullness"

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jindalee: Week #43

The title rhymes.

Well, here I am on a Sunday writing the blog.  Impressive.  I did consume this wine last night, fulfilling the Saturday Shiraz mandate.  I feel confident that I can proceed from here with fewer interruptions in service. 

I have to admit, the selection process is not as exciting as it used to be.  It really isn't so much a "choice" as it is a "process of elimination."  Truly, I feel bad for the next ten bottles.  I have passed them by at least 42 times.  They haven't interested or tempted me before, and now they are forcing my hand - like sad gangly teenagers being picked last for a game of baseball.

Jindalee - Australia, 2009
14% alc./vol.
A word from the wine:
"Representing the fruit of our labors, this wine bears the Jindalee 'circle' motif - an important symbol in local Aboriginal culture meaning 'fruit.'  Appropriately, these wines are intensely fruit driven, displaying rich, concentrated flavors and aromas."
Oh for the love of Aboriginals!  I don't think I can take nine more weeks of this.

This sad gangly kid isn't going to shock everyone by hitting a grand slam in the ninth inning and winning the game.  He isn't going to strike out either, but he is going to take four balls accept a walk.  So, to conclude this analogy, this wine doesn't suck, it is just lame.  Jindalee is not rich or smooth - in fact it is quite sharp, edging on bitter, and has little body. 

Helpful Husband Tip: "Not very good.  Drinkable, but young."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weeks #40, 41 & 42

Bad blogger.  I could make a list of all the excuses that have kept me from blogging, but that would be pretty lame.  So, here's the list:
1.  I have an iPhone4 - thus I have little desire to use my laptop.
2.  Once it was a sunny day after weeks of rain and I just wanted a Mike's Hard Lemonade.
3.  Babies with strep throat prevent you from doing pretty much anything.

So, today I make up for it by blogging about four wines (which, you'll notice, is actually one MORE than I owe myself- penance and all that.)  It is quite a mish-mash of Shiraz, and I hope I haven't deterred too many readers from checking in.

Homemade Shiraz-Cabernet
A few weeks ago, a friend gifted me a bottle of her dad's homemade Shiraz-Cabernet.  Normally, I try to avoid homemade wines, although there have been some I've enjoyed.  People often ask me why I don't make my own wine since I drink a lot, but I have zero interest.  I'd prefer to go to the store, pick out something with an interesting label and call it a day.  I don't need to be involved in the fermentation process.  Plus, what happens if you make a "batch" drink the first glass and declare it disgusting.  Then what?
I enjoyed a glass of this gifted wine with supper.  It was tasty enough.  And, it wasn't acidic or anything.  I found it to be much more Cabernet than Shiraz, but it was good (and free!).

Hardy's Shiraz-Cabernet-Sauvignon (Australia, 2010)
I had friends coming over for wine last night - one had bought me a bottle in the States (PS: Thanks! I'm loving all the gifted bottles.  Others take note).  But, we were having pasta for dinner and I wanted to have some Shiraz to go with, so I ran (figuratively) to the liquor store and found the cutest little plastic bottle of Shiraz-Cabernet-Sauvignon.  Like, seriously, look at it!  Isn't it sweet?

This little darling set me back $4.99 and is equal to about 2 glasses of wine.  When you twist the plastic covering, it turns into a classy plastic wine glass!  See?
I didn't drink out of it, but it would be great for camping or people who don't own dishwashers (or have helpful husbands).  The size would also be perfect for someone who is the lone wine-drinker in their home and can't polish off an entire bottle before it "turns" (I'm not friends with any people like that, but you never know who is reading).  Plus, I found it to be quite enjoyable.  I've reviewed a Hardy's wine before, but it was their more expensive label, Oomoo, and I just thought it was "okay" considering the price.  This blend was a better value for sure.  Of course, it didn't have any strong Shiraz characteristics, but it was a solid choice nonetheless.  And, with 14% alc./vol. I found my glass with dinner to pack a little punch!

Kanga Reserve (Australia, ????) 13% alc./vol.
How nice is it to have friends who, when they travel, seek out new and exciting Shiraz to donate to my worthy cause?  It's pretty nice.  Especially now that I'm down to the wire and the un-reviewed choices on the local liquor store shelves are dwindling. 
A word from the wine:
"Legend has it that explorers to Australia asked an Aborigine about the strange hopping animals they had seen.  He replied "kangaroo" meaning "I don't understand" your question, but thinking that was the animal's name, "kangaroo" came to be.
Legend has it that wine makers are obsessed with legends, animals and Aboriginal words. 

This was a drinkable wine.  It didn't really have any strong flavors, it's body was medium and it wasn't acidic.  The most I can say is that it was average.  Inoffensive, but nothing to write home (or on a blog) about.  But, when you consider the price of $3.99 (no, I didn't forget the 1) you can't really go wrong.  I will now draw your attention to the fact that I spent $4.99 on a tiny plastic bottle of wine in New Brunswick, while my friend spent a dollar less on an entire bottle in the States.  Seriously.  WTF?
Guest Tester #1: "It's nothing special"
Guest Tester #2: "It's like drinking grape juice, and it costs about the same too."

Billyrock Station (Australia, ????) 13.5% alc./vol.
My friend brought this interesting Shiraz to our girls' wine fest evening, and I'm glad she did - because the other bottle she brought was Banrock Station!  And she calls herself a devoted reader of this blog! (Maybe it was me that called her that).  But, really, I'm thinking this Billyrock Station must be the younger, hipper, cannier brother of the Banrock since the names are so similar.  I know you've all heard of wine in a box, but have you delved into the world of wine in a can?  If not, you're in for a special treat.  Check these puppies out:
A word from the wine:
"Billy says...'You will love the feel and smooth taste of this wine, with its lovely, deep rich red colour, it oozes opulence and style.  The wine is at its best served cool accompanying roast duck or chicken dishes.  It is also a good partner with strong, hard cheeses.'  Share with friends - but whatever."
Yes, style.  I can just see pulling out the cans of wine to accompany the roast duck at your next dinner party.

I have to admit, it was quite weird to crack open a can of wine.  I don't think wine should make that sound.  I did take two sips out of the can, but I just couldn't palate it that way.  It just seemed like something out of a can should be sweet and fizzy - of which this wine is neither (thankfully).  It was merely  psychological barrier, because once I poured it into a proper glass (and yes, it is a nice dark red!) it was actually very good.  I have to say it shocked me, but I really enjoyed this wine.  It was smooth and had just an edge of spice on the finish, but it wasn't overpowering or harsh.  Plus, it would travel well to pool parties.  Bonus.

Whoa.  Did anyone read all that mindless drivel?