Friday, February 18, 2005

Just another visit to the wine store
Dropped by my favorite wine store (Vintage Wines) last night to do a tasting of “Super Italians”. Very nice line-up of eight wines plus a ringer but at $50-110USD/btl just a little too expensive for what was in the glass so I wandered around the shop to see if there were any bargains. Penfold’s Bin 389 2002 was there at $19USD so I grabbed a bottle to see if all the hype is just that. The Bin 28 Kalimna was there as well but it’s the 2001!!! Its $17USD/btl and will be on the wine bar this week so I’ll wait until I come in for the Saturday Zinfandel tasting before I try it. What this! Trevor Jones 2003 Virgin Chardonnay at $15USD/btl in screwcap – must have a few of these. Goundrey Offspring 2002 Shiraz, $11USD/btl. Hmm, haven’t tried it. Better get a bottle. Killibinbin 2002 Shiraz, $32USD/btl. Love Killibinbin, but I got just the one bottle to try because if its not as good as some of the other 2002s I have then I don’t really need more. Ah, Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Private Bin, $8USD/btl, always try that because it can be great value. OK I was pretty much done. But while I’m waiting to pay I asked about what will be in the Aussie Tasting next month. Burge’s Draycott , Elderton’s Command, and maybe Penfold’s Grange! That brings up the current hype about the recent Penfold’s releases, which leads on to other new releases that they have. Something called Old Vines at $150USD/btl! “Never heard of it, no thanks”. Red Nectar. “You have Red Nectar?”. Sure, the Stonewall. They have a six pack and when I see the bottle I know its Red Nectar. But there is some confusion by the shop staff. They don’t think this is the wine described as Kalleske Red Nectar that was recently rated by Parker. No, it’s the 2003 Stonewall Shiraz. Well, OK maybe they are correct but I thought there was just one Red Nectar and the bottle says that Tammy Pfeiffer is the vigneron and the winemaker is Troy Kalleske. A bottle had been opened for a customer to try but he turned the wine down in favor of some big point wine that cost $80USD/btl that he never even tasted! The open bottle is pulled from behind the counter and I get a pour. Day and a half old Aussie Shiraz. Not shy about being forward! All the right notes – chocolate, blueberry, licorice, and more. The palate is just as expressive but not as jarring as the Barolos I’d just tasted. Its all so well integrated, no tannins that rip at your cheeks on the finish. OK so it might not live for decades like a couple of the Italians probably will. But I swear that as I was driving to work this morning I could still taste that wine! I could hardly remember most of the Barolos. Anyway I got the rest of the six-pack at $40USD/btl. When I got it back to the counter the guy ringing up my bill tells me how I was doing so well on QPR. So I said “Well if it turns out to be crap I can always say I was drunk when I bought it.” Checked out the Red Nectar site this morning and its the wine that Parker rated 95 points. There is no Kalleske Red Nectar. I knew that. Its just that Barolo clouds the mind. I feel for the poor guy that spent $80 on other wines because he thought the Stonewall hadn’t been rated. Nah I don’t. If he couldn’t taste how good a wine the 2003 Red Nectar Shiraz is then he deserves to waste his money.

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