Well, as some of you know, I am not a big fan of most Aussie wines. Being a third gen CA girl, I love and drink mostly CA wines. But I AM branching out.
I first visted Southern Latitudes wine shop/tasting in Carmel, CA last year, after a fellow Snoother asked for input on this shop. I had never been before, and had a pleasant intro into wines south of the Equator. That first time, I tasted a Torrontes from Argentina- a grape I wasn't familiar with. I liked what I had, and that opened me up to the world of Torrontes (which I adore). I also told the wonderful shop owners that I did not like any Aussie wines. Period. (this was a year ago.. don't forget!). I was brought a taste of Grant Burge 10yr Tawny Port... a young port, but DAMNED good and a GREAT value. Ok, so you converted me to the ports...
Flash forward to this weekend. I re-visited the shop and found it to be as I remembered. As I purused the list of tastings for the day, I saw many a red Aussie on there (was hoping for some Torrontes!). I was a bit disappointed at first, but NOT for long!! The owners REALLY have great palates, and can really match your taste/preference to a specific wine. I was told a cooler region Cab or Cab shiraz was prolly best for me. I tasted two, and was impressed with both. The first was a Cab, and I am sad to say, I lost my information on that wine when we got caught in a massive downpour/windstorm/thunder/lightening and my paper blew away from me :-( I did like this CAB, but did not purchase. Sorry I cannot review it. But I LOVED the second wine a LOT, which I bought and can write about!!! It was a 2006 Lake Breeze Bernoota Shiraz-Cabernet. Here is the wine shop's link: http://www.solawines.com/mm5/mercha...=
I picked up currant, pepper, blackberry, and a bit of woodsiness... It was a nice drinker, very smooth tannins with a bit of mint on the finish. Owner told me that it was best to drink soon... within the next year or so.
I also picked up my fav from last time, the Grant Burge 10 year old Tawny Port. there is some big alcohol here, but I let it sit a bit... I pick up butterscotch, dried cherry, and hazelnut. Not the top of the line, aged tawny here, but a damned good deal for the price:
I also bought a Torrontes, but haven't tasted yet: http://www.solawines.com/mm5/mercha...=
I just have to say, these ladies know what one might like. It is one of those wine shops that the owners have the knowledge and experience to recommend what YOU may like, even if you've never tasted wines from these regions before. For the second time, I am surprised to have found a wine that I like as much, if not more, than my CA regulars. Perhaps next time, they can change my mind on Chilean wines, of which I also have found none I care for :-) Then we can move on to South Africa...
I highly recommend this shop, especially in person, but if not, online, for wonderful wines from the New world..
Aussie wine and my second visit to Southern Latitudes wine shop...
- Reply by Richard Foxall, Dec 21, 2010.
The Chilean wine thing has largely passed me by, but they are the only ones making Carmenere in any amount. (Inama in Italy makes it, too.) And that's a wine I really like in winter. I don't spend much on it, usually getting the Castillero del Diablo at TJs (one of the few wines I buy there), but I love the slightly bitter chocolatey notes in the winter with a beef stew with cumin and coriander that I make and often eat over orzo. Not a Malbec fan, so that leaves a lot of the south of the equator stuff out.
Nice post, NG. It's something else to consider when I am next in Carmel.
- Reply by Stephen Harvey, Dec 21, 2010.
Glad to see you branching out from your Cali staples.
Another wine that might be worth a look at is Mr Riggs Shiraz Viognier. In fact there is some really pleasant wines using the Rhone blend coming on steam. Yering Station also do a nice one and they have a reserve wine in that style as well. The very best we do in this style is from Clonakilla but it is around AUD80 a bottle.
I am looking forward to my Cali mystery six pack I am getting after Christmas. I think we might have to do Cali wine night. When I get the wines I will seek advice on what food the Cali natives would have with them
- Reply by napagirl68, Dec 23, 2010.
Thanks for the Viognier suggestion, SH. I like viognier..and tend to drink CA from Paso Robles and Amador. Will have to look for this one. Let us/me know about your mystery 6pack. Can't wait!!
Foxall... I saw a few Carmenere's at the shop. The website shows three, but I have found that they sometimes have stuff not on the site.
BTW- I have had single varietal Carmenere made in CA... a winery in Livermore, Thomas Coyne, I believe, used to make a nice one. Also, a few wineries in Amador and Paso make it as welll....