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Father’s Day wine 2014

wineadvice
Father's Day wine 2014

You don’t have to buy Dad another tie. Wouldn’t he prefer wine?

Tired of ties? Worn out from from all those cheesy department store Father’s Day TV commercials? That’s what wine is for — to make Father’s Day 2014 more fun for everyone involved. Keep the blog’s wine gift-giving guidelines in mind throughout the process: “Don’t buy someone wine that you think they should like; buy them what they will like.”

Some wine to consider for Father’s Day 2014:

Juvé y Camps Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2008 ($14, purchased, 12%): Delicious and surprisingly sophisticated cava — sparkling wine from Spain — with all sorts of things going on, including honey in the back, some citrus in the front, and even a little minerality. Toast Dad with this one, and impress everyone.

Château du Donjon Minervois Rosé 2013 ($10, purchased, 12.5%): Look for sour cherry fruit and some minerality, though a bit thin in the middle. This is not so much a problem with the wine but with the quality of $10 rose, because the wine is quite tasty.

Robert Oatley Wild Oats Shiraz 2011 ($15, sample, 13.5%): Lots of spice to go with the fruity Australian style (berries?). This is a wine that shiraz lovers will enjoy, as well as those of us who don’t like the style. A fine value, and highly recommended.

Solena Pinot Gris 2012 ($17, sample, 13.5%) Top-notch Oregon pinot gris (apples, crispy, refreshing) that shows what the state can do with this grape. A bit pricey, but a fine gift for dads who like this kind of wine.

More about Father’s Day wine:
Father’s Day wine 2013
Father’s Day wine 2012
Expensive wine 51: Stags’ Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2010
Wine of the week: Errazuriz Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserva 2010

Expensive wine 52: d’Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2008

71117492That the best news for the Australian wine business in the past couple of years is the decline in the value of the Aussie dollar says everything anyone needs to know about the struggles the wine industry is enduring Down Under.

There are too many grapes, too many indifferently made cheap wines, and too many expensive wines made in the Parkerized style that is no longer popular.

Having said that, I’ve tasted several Australian wines in the past year that demonstrate that not everyone is at a loss about what to do next. Yalumba’s $10 wines are everything that most of the rest of the country’s $10 wines aren’t.

And The Dead Arm ($65, sample, 14.5%), like most of d’Arenberg’s products, does the same thing for expensive wine. It’s dark and interesting, with earthiness and spiciness up front and layers and layers and layers of black fruit flavors after that. It’s not so much that it’s well made; it should be for this price. The stunner is that it’s a value at $65, an absolutely amazing and complex wine that tastes of Australia ande the McLaren Vale region, but isn’t over-ripe or over-alcoholic.

Highly recommended. Drink now, or buy to age for a couple of years or even longer. It should become rounder and more integrated and that much more fun to drink. What more can we want from a wine?

Expensive wine 36: Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2008

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What's this? Has the Wine Curmudgeon gone soft on us? Two favorable reviews of Australian shiraz in the past month?

Indeed. Because, if nothing else, the Wine Curmudgeon believes in tasting the wine before judging it. And, even more than the Layer Cake wine of the week, the Two Hands ($30, sample) is an exemplary wine. Yes, I'm not a huge fan of this style, with its huge burst of fruit and high alcohol, and yes, wines made this way usually drive me crazy.

But you know what? This vintage of the Two Hands is full of rich, deep red fruit — but it's less overwhelming than it would have been a year ago. Plus, the tannins show a little more and most of the ashiness (the odd flavor that many of these kinds of wines have in the back) is gone. And the alcohol, for whatever reason, is more integrated into the wine and less annoying. All of this, I'm assuming, comes from letting the bottle age since I got it in 2009.

Highly recommended, especially as a gift for next week's holiday that must not be named. This is a beef wine, but it's a beef wine that will appeal to more people than you would think.

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