Freycinet Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011

I’m in Tasmania at the moment, enjoying as many local wines as I can. My hosts have arranged a big Pinot lineup tonight, but I’ve already sampled a couple, including this one from the east coast. In browsing the Freycinet Vineyard Web site, I was intrigued to see the winemaking notes indicate this, the winery’s premium Pinot, went through its primary fermentation in a rotary fermenter. Refreshingly new world.

To the wine itself, good varietal character on the nose, showing a prettiness of fruit alongside significant spice and forest floor. Getting those balances right is an obvious challenge but it’s amazing how often wines can seem slightly off in the interplay of these basic elements. This, by contrast, seems to elegantly move from bright fruit to black spice to sappy notes and back.

The palate, for now, is quite acidic and this overwhelms one’s impression of flavour a bit. There’s good flavour there, though, with reasonably intense red fruit and sap, backed up by spiced oak. Tannins take a back seat to acid, structurally, but they are prickly and textural when they make an appearance towards the back of the palate. Should the acid fold back into the wine, this may become a really elegant wine. The flavours are spot on.

Freycinet Vineyard
Price: $55
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Gift

Poderi Colla Dardi de Rose Bussia Barolo 2007

A very happy new year to all. To celebrate 2013, I’m in County Durham in the UK visiting a friend who happens to be an exceptionally talented cook. In between hearty English meals, I am tasting the occasional wine. I like to shop for wine in supermarkets while here, and this particular bottle was procured at Costco.

Young Barolo can be a bit forbidding, and this is certainly a very structured wine at present. However, after a couple of days’ tasting, I think I have the measure of it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem the most elegant example. The aroma was initially quite muted; a day’s air, though, sees it somewhat more expressive. There are some recognisable aromas, tea leaf and red fruits, though it’s far from coherent. More like a moderately crazy goldfish darting in and out of the strands of seaweed in its too-small tank.

The palate shows satisfyingly robust tannin and a set of flavours that provide more satisfaction than the nose. It’s bright and moderately intense, with a particularly clean middle palate. However, the elements never come close to expressing any sort of narrative, appearing to be placed randomly along the line. The tannins, too, while present, lack any sort of beauty of arrangement.

Will this come together? I’m not sure; for now, it offers only intermittent pleasures.

Poderi Colla
Price: £25
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

A new year for Full Pour

Seeing as it’s the season of good tidings and joy, I thought I’d give Full Pour the gift of more modern software and, if you can see this post, it means I’ve been successful in my efforts. Hopefully, migrating the site to WordPress will mean easier commenting, a more readable format and generally more awesomeness.

As ever, the site remains more about words than “look,” though I hope over the coming weeks and months it will gradually evolve in structure and appearance. In particular, I’m working my way through older posts to ensure correct formatting. Stay tuned for further tweaks.

A very happy new year to you all!

Nothing should have changed

Dear readers,

We’ve just migrated Full Pour to a new hosting account, which should increase the site’s performance and general awesomeness. Nothing should have changed otherwise, but if you do notice strange behaviour, please drop me a line!

I’m struggling with a cold at the moment, so tasting hasn’t been on the agenda. Hope to be back into it soon, though.


Who are those tossers?


I happened to be browsing through some photos the other day and came across this one of Chris and I, taken at the Wooing Tree cellar door in Central Otago. I missed it entirely at first; in the original photo, we are very much in the background, surreptitiously tasting our way through the range. Some judicious cropping brings out the full glory of our situation. If I recall correctly, we had been tasting all day and were quite tired; evidently not too tired to pull some pretty awesome wine wanker faces, however. 

Dribs and drabs

I (Julian) am currently in the enormous Goulburn Valley region — Dookie to be exact — kicking off what I hope will be an interesting part-time course of study (wine-related, of course). Forgive me if posts are few and far between these couple of weeks. On the plus side, some interesting wines are being tasted, including a most unexpected Semillon, made from fruit grown at the Dookie campus vineyard, twenty three years old and still singing.

More soon.

Salisbury Estate Block 14 Barnevelder 2010

A rich egg yolk yellow in the glass…

The backyard hens are finally laying, after being raised, with much care and amusement, from day old chicks. Wilhelmina, the Barnevelder, is an especially pretty bird, with gold flecks through her dark brown feathers and a quirky disposition. Narelle, the Australorp, is rather common-looking but a good layer. Daphne, the Light Sussex, is just fat and lazy and no less cool for it.
There were four birds at first, but Sheila, the Rhode Island Red, turned out a tad butch, and thus became the centrepiece of a marvellous roast dinner. The food chain can be so cruel. 
So for breakfast today, there is a batch of eggs of various sizes and shades boiling on the stove. Perhaps hens, like vines, take a while to produce predictable yields. I will have them plain, just sprinkled with salt perhaps, and savour the satisfaction of growing something myself.

Shameless self-promotion #1

The other day, the Courier Mail newspaper’s lovely food writer, Natascha Mirosch, asked Jeremy Pringle (of Wine Will Eat Itself) and I if we might provide a list of ten wines under $20 we thought to be suitable for consumption on Christmas day. As a normal, well-balanced person, I imagine Natascha was expecting a straightforward list plus, perhaps, a concise introduction.
Ah, but neither life, nor wine, is that simple. In response, we produced a dialogue fit to try anyone’s patience. To my great delight, Natascha has most generously published our missive in its entirety on her blog.
Jingle bells, jingle bells…

Ridge Zinfandel Paso Robles 2005

Look, I know you’re not really supposed to age Zinfandel, but I have a slight problem: Ridge keeps sending it, I keep not getting around to it, and years later I find myself opening a bottle that’s two or three years past its release date. Is that so wrong? Me, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea to wait so long, at least not with this particular wine.The nose smells simple to me: warm, jammy red fruits and not much else save for a very faint dill pickle note. Spice? Yeah, that too, but one of the lighter ones; bay leaf and allspice. In the mouth, it seems unexceptional: a little bit warm, slightly sweet in the alcoholic sense, with a straightforward finish of warm mulberry jam.Thankfully, however, I set the glass down, walked away, and came back to it an hour later – and that has made all the difference. With some time, the smells have coalesced into a very warm, Christmas pudding with overtones of hazelnut and allspice. Although the mid-palate is still frankly odd, with a spritziness that might be due to some VA here, it’s fairly good wine, certainly characterful, with a slow finish of warm red spicy fruit and surprising acidity. On the whole, this is far from my favorite Ridge wine, though, and I’m disappointed; I’ve had this one before, only younger, and was more impressed to then.Note to self: In the future, drink up, don’t hold.Ridge
Price: $28
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail