Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Yering Station

The cool climate region of the Yarra Valley is located around an hours drive from Melbourne south eastern Australia. Cool climate in that there is considerable variation in altitude and aspect that even the warmest sites of the Yarra Valley are comparatively cooler than the other Australian viticultural regions. In comparison to French growing regions the Yarra Valleys climate is slightly warmer than Burgundy, yet cooler than Bordeaux.

Yering Station Shiraz Viognier 2006
95% Shiraz, 5 % Viognier

Served after a 4 hour decant this deep garnet wine clinged to the glass with firm legs and immediately started to give off its pronounced aroma of dark and red fruit with blackcurrant, dark cheery, a little blueberry and a baked blackberry black current crumble fresh from the oven with spice, pepper and a smoky vanilla topping. Quite dry on the palate with some acidity the smooth body shows a very clean tannin structure, creamy but not in a full bodied round oaked thick kind of way. I feel some very northern Rhone tobacco notes to this well balanced wine. This wine was a great buy at around £10 and certainly gave a good imitation of some of the far more pricey Cote Rotie wines. 91/100

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Embryo Bunches at the Urban Vinyard

Its been nearlly a month since I last had time to visit the urban vineyard off the Twickenham Road at redless park London and so there is always a lot of growth progression everytime I make it there.

We have seen the emergance of shoots and foliage but now with the addition of embryo bunches. These mini green clusters are the vines flowers but they have yet to bloom. When they do, each successful blossom develops into a grape and are the first indication of the potential size of the crop

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Esk Valley Pinot Gris

Situated on the east coast of New Zealand’s north island Esk Valley is located in Hawkes Bay and is run as an independent winery with its own vineyards and wine making facilities where grapes are sourced exclusively from Hawkes Bay vineyards. The wine is made by Gordon Russell who first started as assistant winemaker in 1990 then achieved head winemaker in 1993. Gordon focuses on the balance and harmony of the wine together with the complexity and palate interest to reflect the terroir of the individual vineyards.

At first a worrying vintage for winemakers in Hawkes Bay the 2007 vintage yielded a memorable harvest despite the cool summer. The vineyards are all free draining and are trained using vertical shoot positioning. The vineyards are harvested at intervals to provide variances in brix levels for acidity and freshness as well as noble rot influences. The Pinot Gris grapes were hand picked at the Hawkes Bay vineyard sites located close to the warm coastline from the 15th of March until the 23rd of April.

Esk Valley - Hawkes Bay - Pinot Gris - 2007

Served chilled this wine has a clear and light appearance but right off the bat the aroma is really dominated by the juicy ripe pear component, really quite aromatic with floral honeysuckle, a little apricot and butter, baked apple and an almost spritzy pear cider nose. The palate is entertained by a great round balance of fruit meets tannin meets acidity again with the soft and juicy pear and honeysuckle flavors. At 14% alcohol this wine hides the heat astonishingly well and is integrated nicely to the smooth round body and acidity freshness, however to be clear this is an off dry wine with a certain moreish danger factor coupled with the alcohol level. I like it though and at around £9 a bottle its a good wine to bring out with friends or to enjoy yourself. 89/100

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