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Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s Feb. 1 Release – Tasting Notes

I decided to tackle the drive to London despite the “Polar Vortex” encompassing this part of the world to taste some of the wines in the upcoming release this Saturday, February 1st. This release focuses on wines from Australia, of which I must confess I have not had too many lately. But there are a couple worth picking up and waiting for the weather to warm and enjoy with a spring time Barbie.  (CLICK LABEL IMAGES TO ENLARGE)

357517 CHÂTEAU TANUNDA GRAND BAROSSA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011 Barossa, South Australia $19.95
A plush wine, showing good density of Cassis with a backdrop of forest leaves, dried mint and floral aromas. Tasty palate, not too ripe, good structure nice currant based acids and the blackcurrant flavours linger long. Find this wine

357491 ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES PINOT NOIR 2012 Yarra Valley, Victoria $18.95
This Oatley is not remotely like the Pinot that I know and love. It is sweet, having medicinal cough candy notes on both the nose and palate. Some cherry notes are found on the finish, but overall quite disappointing. Find this wine

116574 HEARTLAND STICKLEBACK RED 2010 South Australia $13.95
A good value quaffer loaded with lively blackcurrant plum, dried herb and chocolate aromas, showing good concentration, soft tannins and a juicy texture. Made to drink now, it offers a pleasing mouthful of zippy fruit combined with chocolate and dried herbs. Find this wine

262105 CHAPEL HILL BUSH VINE GRENACHE 2011 McLaren Vale, South Australia $26.95
A twist of white pepper couples nicely with the ripe fruit, tar, red berry and even a hint of apple aromas. It has a dusty note; the fruit on the palate is surrounded by a veil of gentle tannin, nice creamy texture, albeit a touch sweet on the finish. Find this wine

673897 JIP JIP ROCKS SHIRAZ 2011 Padthaway, South Australia $16.95
Imagine rolling up a bouquet garni laden with sage and thyme then adding it to a black fruit coulis. Well this is not too far off that and I should add I do like it. The palate has fruit purity, there is complexity and balance. Some tannins, but nothing a slow braised lamb shank wouldn’t deal with. Find this wine

There are two Dandelion wines in this release. Both are very good, but I feel this is the more multi-layered of the two. It is deeper in all factions than its mate; it has a pleasing sweetness, a layer of clay soil on the nose while hints of dark chocolate peek through. Its palate is tasty and chewy, has controlled sweetness and lively acidity on the finish. I should mention the listed price is for a 375 ml bottle, which to find a half bottle of this quality is a rarity in the LCBO. Find this wine

357475 DANDELION LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2011 McLaren Vale, South Australia $19.95
Not to be undermined, this is also quite tasty, bursting with red fruit, plum, blackberry and pepper. Not as intense on the palate as its brother, but balance is in tune, it is well rounded and carries a long finish of blackberry and red licorice flavours. Find this wine

Nice perfume, some subtle floral notes with mixed fruits and a touch of mocha. The palate has an elegant structure; it has a gentle sweetness, clean acidity and decent length. Find this wine



368837 OXLEY CABERNET FRANC 2011 VQA Ontario $19.15
Such a light hue, liken to Pinot showing notes of strawberry, raspberry, cherry and a bale of hay. Its palate is light, elegant, with a clean structure, but far far away from any Cab Francs I am familiar with. Find this wine

367318 KEW VINEYARDS SOLDIER’S GRANT 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula $18.95
This relatively new addition to the Niagara wine scene is making some truly tasty stuff. Soldier’s Grant is a Cabernet blend boasting aromas of green tea, lilac, cherry liqueur, blackcurrant and a hint of weed. Nice chewy fruit, some tannin, but gentle, with plenty of clean red fruit on the finish. I was recently involved in a dinner at Niagara College where Southern France’s Soupe de Poission was the first course. I poured Kew’s blend of Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier with it. It proved to be a winner. Find this wine


673798 RAVENSWOOD OLD VINE ZINFANDEL 2010 Sonoma County $21.95
Clearly a step up from the crowd pleasing blend of Zin that goes under the Vintner’s Cuvee label, this old vine wine is loaded with sweet aromas of dark fruit, cola, mineral and leather. The palate is tight and needs some time in the glass, the fruit pours forth slowly, there is some tannin and the only downside is some heat on the finish. Find this wine


640979 CRIOS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012, Mendoza $13.95
A mix of coffee crisp candy bar, plum, currant, dark chocolate and vanilla. Juicy palate offers dark fruit, a touch of citrus, integrated tannin and a long finish for the buck. Find this wine

355560 ZUCCARDI SERIE A BONARDA 2011 Santa Rosa, Mendoza $15.95
The dense aromas of slate, mineral and boggy water soon give way to layers of dark ripe fruit and a touch of walnut shell. Tight chewy toffee like texture does show good fruit and structure and there is good length to the finish. Find this wine


366526 QUASAR LIMITED EDITION PINOT NOIR 2011 Casablanca Valley 17.95
Earthy notes along with rotting rhubarb, corkboard, cat litter box and lots of volatile acidity. Stale dried mint on the palate with rubbery fruit and cola flavours. Find this wine


140012 CHÂTEAU DE LAFAURIE-MONBADON 2010 Côtes de Bordeaux – Castillon $15.95
Very fruit forward, offering up both red and black berries, while iron; slate, thyme and tarragon make their way to centre stage creating an enticing nose. The palate has solid fruit flavours, hefty tannins- which should subside in a year or two- lively acidity and pleasing touch of vanilla and oak on the finish. Find this wine

356592 CHÂTEAU HAUT METHÉE 2009 Bordeaux $15.95
A less complex nose, albeit pretty, showing blackcurrant, black raspberry, plum and cardamom. Clean palate, nice fruit flavours, tannins are gentle and the finish is decent. Find this wine

357343 SYROUSSE 2011 Côtes du Roussillon Villages $16.95
Hallo! This dark and inky juice is full of blackberry, currant, mineral, wet forest floor and a touch of iodine. It is a controlled powerhouse, laden with superbly ripe fruit. Gentle, but discernable tannins create a creamy cola texture and the peppery spice on the finish is lip smacking. Bring on the summer. Find this wine


Seriously tasty Chianti, whiffs of nutshell, dried flowers; coffee grounds, dried tomato, black licorice and black cherry emerge on the nose. A solid core of fruit takes centre stage on the rich and wonderfully balanced palate, supported well by hints of cola, olive and leather. Somewhat tannic, but give it a year or two and it should be delicious. Find this wine

Quite a spicy wine, showing notes of arugula, damson, blackberry and a “pleasingly odd” musty note. It is medium bodied, with plenty of ripe fruit, a touch of coffee grounds, good acids and a nice currant based finish. Find this wine


363168 TOM DE BATON 2011 Douro $14.95
New World plushness, sweet cake spice, lots of dried cherry, blueberry and black raspberry aromas. Not showing the typicity of Portuguese wine, the fruit is substantial on the palate, but the finish is thin. Find this wine


165621 CASA CASTILLO MONASTRELL 2011 Jumilla $14.95
An oceanic note of oyster shell, wet cave, wet earth, anise and layers of pure dark fruit abound the nose. It has a light structure, but the flavours of blueberry, black raspberry, black licorice and dark chocolate are really tasty. Find this wine

A very prominent nose of funk, earth, cinnamon, ink and coal dust miserly releases hints of plum and black fruit. Its palate is quite lively with chewy flavours of plum, chocolate and mineral. Tannins are tight, but it should be interesting to taste in a year or two once the disjointed nose settles down and the tannin subsides. Find this wine

Related posts:

  1. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s January 21st Release – Tasting Notes
  2. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s May 28 Release – Tasting Notes
  3. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s January 8th Release – Tasting Notes
  4. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s June 11 Release – Tasting Notes
  5. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s June 25 Release – Tasting Notes

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