Wine Blog

08 Freeman Keefer Ranch ($46) ☺☺☺☺

When you blend a skilful winemaker with a great vineyard then the results can be outstanding. In this case Freeman goes to work on Keefer Ranch and the results are definitely a wine worth searching for. This is a ripe concentrated wine which gives off some great oaked cherries on the nose with a hint of the 'not so sweet' cranberries. I think its a keeper as the tannins were still well balanced and the fruit level high. Time will tell but even so young it held its own  with a T-Bone Steak. 

06 Inman Russian River Pinot Noir ☺☺☺

Kathleen Inman has always made very delicate Pinot Noir and I have to say I'm a big fan of hers. This Pinot is exceptional in its structure with balanced tannins and that complex fruit mix on the tongue. It has everything, cherries, black tea, red fruit and lots more. It has a great long finish and you would be rewarded by early opening. We opened this about 1 hour before dinner and it was just at its peak. It went very well with the famous Perry's Pork Chop. Highly recommended.

Stone Hill Cream Sherry ($16) ☺

A Cream Sherry out of Missouri? Well this certainly was a pleasant surprise. The initial smell was of deep raisins and what I thought was sweet roses ! The structure of the wine is very good and it has a good balance of acidity and fruit. The taste was reminiscent of caramelised toffee and nuts with a beautiful raison base. Its not your typical sweet sherry as in my opinion it borders on the Oloroso style. The alcohol content is 19% with residual sugar at just 9% which probably explains the style observations. I liked this Sherry and it went really with cheeses and slightly chilled, good value.

09 Fontanella Portmanteau ($32) ☺☺☺

Jeff Fontanella certainly has got great blending skills. This blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Petitie Syrah hits all the right spots. In my opinion the Syrah is dominant on the nose with its spicy, almost meaty, style and then you have the blackberries of the Zinfandel at the core of the taste. The tannin base is smooth and this didn't need much time to open up, in fact it was just decanted then drunk almost immediately. Presently this wine is only available to wine club members but we can only hope it becomes a permanent feature of their repertoire. At $32 it represents good value as well.

10 Long Meadow Ranch Sauvignon Blanc ($19) ☺☺☺

What a great value wine!  The LMR Sauvignon Blanc is pale straw in colour but this disguises its really great flavours which lend themselves to classic Sauvignon Blanc. Cut grass, grapefruit and citrus all blend well into this wine that is great with any seafood dish but especially salmon steaks where the oilier fish is cut beautifully by the citrus in the wine. This is a great summer wine, great for the early evening on the deck and livens the palate for the evening ahead. 


03 Chimney Rock Cabernet Reserve ($85) ☺☺☺☺

When I first tasted this wine back in 07 it was obvious it was going to be a sleeper. it was a beautiful balance of tannins, acid and fruit. A pure 100% Cabernet which has matured into a fine wine. On the nose it is Cassis and Blackberries with that wonderful chocolate underneath. When you taste this wine it is like velvet on the tongue and has a long long finish. I estimate that this wine still has some years left in it and will reward further patience. For those of you dying to try it out, all I can say is that it is a treat !

09 MacPhail Family Wines Home Girl ($30) ☺☺☺☺

I thought it was appropriate to start off the blog with a review of one of my favourite wine producers in California, James MacPhail The 09 James MacPhail Home Girl Pinot Noir is his first release as his second label wine. I have not normally been attracted to second labels, but given the passion and feeling James and his assistant Thomas Brocker put into their wines this was a very pleasant tasting experience. The wine was named after James' bride to be Kerry and was dedicated to her on the back of the label. On the nose it is lush strawberries with a hint of ripe  cherry I also detected some mineral undertones. On tasting the wine, the full flavours really come forward. This wine is a full blast of ripe strawberry and cherry with a hint of vanilla. Great value so look out for the next 2nd Label Offering

© John Holmes 2014