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Noble Wine Of The Week – J.Lohr Estates 2009 Wildflower Valdiguié

April 12th, 2011

Reviewed by Stewart Noble from WineWithoutBS.com.au for AdrianErdedi.com

Ever since my first trip to the USA last year, where I drank nothing but American wines the entire time, I started to wonder why so few American wines are available in Australia. This isn’t about being unpatriotic, it’s about access to whatever wine I wish. I can go to virtually any large retail outlet and easily pick up a wine from New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, Germany without having to look all that hard. However, if you want to get a wine made in the United States, and you take away the odd bottle of Oregon Pinot , you’ll have to look pretty carefully, unless you just happen to be lucky enough to live near one of the very few bottle shops that can boast some sort of USA wine selection.

I understand there are multiple reasons for this, not the least of which is the consideration from American wineries about whether Australia is a viable export market. California alone has a a population of just under 37 million, so why bother with a country on the other side of the world with just over 20 million?

Ian Lindsay, from USA Wines Direct, tells me that Australia exported over 25 million cases of Aussie wine to the US last year, yet we only imported  just over15, 000 cases of theirs! America may have a population 14 times larger than ours, but we are importing 1,666 times less wine than we are exporting. As Chris Rock would say, “That ain’t right!”

Thankfully, Ian is doing what he can to introduce American, and more specifically, Californian wines, into the Australia market and his portfolio currently boasts the biggest range of American wines in Australia. One of these wines is the J.Lohr 2009 Valdiguié, from Monterey on the Californian Coast, close to halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and just a few hours from the far more famous region of Napa Valley.

The Valdiguié grape was commonly referred to in California as ‘Napa Gamay’ and it was believed at one time that it actually was the Gamay grape, only to discover that this was not correct. Sounds a little like the recent fiasco in Australia with our Albariño turning out to be Savagnin!

This wine has a colour of deep purple and cherry red with an enticing aroma of ripe, red berry fruits. On my first sip of this completely new variety for me I thought “Wow… this is delicious!” Juicy fruit flavours and subtle natural sweetness make for an enjoyable wine that, when served slightly chilled, makes a fantastic, easy drinking summer red wine.

J.Lohr Estates 2009 Wildflower Valdiguié
Price -
$19.95 from www.usawinesdirect.com.au
Region – Monterey, California, USA
Final Sip -
A thoroughly enjoyable wine that, at $20 makes for the perfect entry level American wine experience.

www.WineWithoutBS.com.au

Noble Wine Of The Week – Amadio Wines – Rosso Festiva

November 23rd, 2010

Reviewed by Stewart Noble from WineWithoutBS.com.au for AdrianErdedi.com

I love sparkling red wines and I think that sparkling red wine could be slotted in amongst pizza and sex in the saying that suggests even when they are bad, they’re still good! Most of the sparkling red wines commercially available in Australia are made from shiraz, with a few other varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir also made into sparkling red wines.

Always on the lookout for something different I was pleasantly surprised when South Australia winery, Amadio Wines, said that their latest sparkling red wine, Rosso Festiva, is 100% Sangiovese. Danniel Amadio from Amadio wines informed me that by using the naturally sweeter, Italian grape variety, meant that no added sugar was required in the wine making process. The vast majority of sparkling wines require what is known as ‘dosage’, which is the addition of a mixture of mainly sugar and wine and often is just a liquered version of one of the wine varieties used in the final blend.

Rosso Festiva has a colour that is lighter than many sparkling reds, similar to Pinot in a way, but leans more towards a dark strawberry red. A very pleasant aroma is dominated by jammy fruit smells and while the flavour does showcase the sweet and fruity character of Sangiovese the finish is completely dry.

Amadio Wines – Rosso Festiva NV
Price - $18 from www.amadiowines.com Also available at selected stockists.
Region - Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Final Sip - At under $20 this is the perfect drop to enjoy with your summer BBQ and Christmas Turkey and I can definitely see the Rosso Festiva being a regular at my place this summer.

www.WineWithoutBS.com.au

Noble Wine Of The Week – Morandé 2007 Pinot Noir

September 27th, 2010

I am rather excited about introducing this wine to people. If I was to compile a list of the more fascinating wines of the world I have tried over the past few years this Chilean Pinot Noir is right up on that list. While Chile may not be a wine producing country that instantly comes to mind when looking at Pinot Noir, the Casablanca Valley is one of Chile’s coolest wine regions, making it far more suitable to a variety like Pinot Noir that requires a cooler temperature to thrive.

Using organically grown grapes, this particular vintage was limited to just 33 barrels making it somewhat rare and far from the type of wine you’ll find on the shelf of your larger retailers. I first experienced this wine at the 2010 Good Food and Wine Show in Sydney, which coincidentally led me to another weird and wonderful international wine just the year before.

We start off with the pretty standard Pinot Noir colour of cherry and ruby red, however this is about the only part of this wine many would suggest is ‘typical’ of the variety. A strong nose with multiple aromas of things like jammy fruit, flowers and spices instantly have you knowing this wine is a little different. On the palate there is a range of unique flavours, many of which I am happy to admit I find difficult to tie down to anything really specific. I also find myself realising where the commonly used, but largely unhelpful descriptor, of ‘complex’ possibly becomes acceptable. There are definitely some hints of things like vegetables and meaty-like flavours and there is a rather subtle saltiness that is in no way unpleasant.

An important thing to point out is that saying a wine is ‘interesting’ or ‘unique’ doesn’t necessarily mean it is good or enjoyable. To set the record straight this is a good wine and the few people I shared it with all gave positive feedback. However, it is not the style of wine that I expect many people will have again and again, yet at the same time the experience will be savoured by most.

Morandé Edición Limitada - 2007 Pinot Noir
Price: $30 from www.southerncrosswines.com.au
Region: Casablanca Valley, Chile
Recommended? Absolutely, this is a perfect example of the truly eclectic wines from around the world and for those wanting to try new things and expand their wine experiences the Morandé Edición Limitada Pinot Noir at just $30 could not come more highly recommended!

NOTE: This wine will be included in my next ‘No BS’ wine event, Pinot Fest, to be held in Sydney on October 20th at Fix St James wine bar and restaurant, located at 111 Elizabeth street, Sydney. A total of ten Pinot Noir based wines will be included and tickets are $95 a head and includes a four course meal and nine of the wines. A glass of Grand Cru Burgundy is being offered as an optional extra for $40 and will served in the beautiful Riedel ‘Grand Cru’ glass. This event is strictly limited to 30 places and anyone in Sydney on that date interested in attending should email me at stewart@winewithoutbs.com.au

www.WineWithoutBS.com.au