Monday, October 31, 2011

Wines of the Week - October 13th

This week we feature an Australian Riesling from the Eden Valley, and a couple of reds from recent tastings, one featuring some value wines from Bordeaux's 1995 vintage, and the other a look back at some great Zinfandels from Martinelli.

Rolf Binder Eden Valley Riesling 'Highness' 2010

The white wines at the winery formerly known as Veritas, are made by the late Rolf Binder senior's daughter Christa Deans and she continues to carve out a solid reputation in her own right with a series of excellent whites. While her brother Rolf may get many of the headlines for his Rhone-variety reds, Christa has also done remarkably well, especially with Semillon. However, the Riesling shouldn't be overlooked, and the 2010 was very good drinking with a little sweetness balancing out the high acidity. Probably a little muted a year on now, it still has some lovely lime and floral characters that suggests it will be OK to drink over the next year before it shuts down further. So either drink soonish or wait for its re-emergence around 2017.   

Ch√Ęteau de Fieuzal 1995

It was a good selection of wines that were tasted on the night, but this was my pick of the crop out of the 1995 Bordeaux on offer. Belying its lowly price tag, this Pessac-Leognan Cabernet-dominant blend showed plenty of character, and although probably at its peak right now, I would expect that it will be fine to enjoy over the next five years at least.

Martinelli Zinfandel Jackass Vineyard 2002

Martinelli make a number of Zinfandels, including the Jackass Vineyard, and we tasted a number from the middle of Helen Turley's period at the winery, as well as one of the 'Giuseppe and Luisa'. This was the youngest of the four Jackass Vineyard vintages we tried on the night, and it probably benefited from that, although even the oldest (1998) was still a pleasure to drink. The 2002 remains a very large full-bodied wine, but it's 16.5% alcohol doesn't really show, especially if the wine isn't allowed to get too warm. It's certainly very ripe and rich, but it doesn't really stray into Port-territory, remaining a very hedonistic and pleasurable drink.  

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