Offcuts: as we approach Christmas

Although drinking season is upon us, I’ve been remiss in my note taking. No matter, the more interesting wines recently consumed tasted linger in my memory and are noted below.

Grosset Springvale Riesling 2012
To describe our dry Riesling styles as precise is a cliché, but more importantly it misses the point; the joy of this wine is in how its precision serves the most exuberant of flavour profiles. It’s expressively floral and shows a poise in the mouth that is surprising in such a young Riesling. Excellent.

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2009
I tasted this alongside a 2006 Pierre Amiot Clos de la Roche. Although the Burgundy showed greater complexity, this shone for the purity of its fruit and in some respects was the more delicious wine. Pure plum fruit, minerality, sap and a seamless line. Texture is especially fresh and fine. This is a wine of great sophistication.

Ridge Geyserville 2007
I love the Geyserville for its familiarity as much as anything else, so smelling this gave me much pleasure despite it seeming less focused than some vintages I remember. No matter; typical Zinfandel fruit cake and spice, cut with other purer fruit notes. Not too big in the mouth, this delivers lazy satisfaction and the cuddliest of flavours. A chesterfield lounge of a red wine.

Traversa Sori Ciabot Barbaresco 2007
I’m looking forward to my next bottle of this, as the first went down much too quickly. This has the sort of funky complexity I look for with this style; it’s not overtly challenging but has edges of savoury herbs alongside sweetly floral fruit, nuts and spice. It’s quite a flirtatious flavour profile. Structure is a highlight, the tannins fine and long. Not a blockbuster, but so pleasurable.

Clayfield Grampians Shiraz 2006
In the last few days I’ve tasted a few Clayfield wines; this one as well as the two 2010 premiums. The younger wines are somewhat unsettled and in need of air and patience, while the 2006 is starting to drink beautifully. Oak, often a feature of young Clayfield wines, has folded right back into the fruit, adding further dimensions to the fruit’s already spiced flavour profile. It’s prickly and bold and expressive.

Tyrrells 4 Acres Shiraz 2007
My first tasting since its release. This has barely moved in that time except to show a slight mellowing of acid. The flavour profile remains primary, which is in no way a bad thing. The wine’s depth of flavour was very much in evidence on this tasting, as was its fundamental prettiness and the seamlessness of its line. It remains a subtle, balanced wine that will provide rich rewards to those who grant it the benefit of patience.

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