Altos Las Hormigas Clasico Malbec 2013

Altos Las Hormigas Clasico Malbec 2013
Altos Las Hormigas Clasico Malbec 2013

A clear, medium, ruby wine with tears evident. Medium intensity nose clean and developing with smoke and savoury aromas somewhat overpowering the blackberry fruit and plum.

Dry with medium+ acid, medium+ alcohol (14%) and medium silky tannins. A medium bodied wine with medium finish and flavours of plum and sour cherry, but hard to find under the smoke and tar nose. Not unpleasant, just different.

This is a good wine (90 points) but will benefit from decanting to lift the fruit a bit. Mid-priced and for drinking now, may improve until 2017.

The acid and tannin profile, in combination with the nose, will suit meat based dished from charcuterie through to hams and even heavier dishes like osso bucco.

Check out their range here.

Gipsie Jack Langhorne Creek Malbec 2014

Gipsie Jack Malbec 2014
Gipsie Jack Malbec 2014

A clear, deep, purple wine with a thick rim and tears. A clean, developing, medium intensity nose with plum, blueberry, hint of violet and subtle vanilla.

Dry on the palate with medium+ acid, medium+ alcohol (14.5%) and medium soft tannins. Medium+ bodied and finish. Medium flavour (perhaps slightly overshadowed by the alcohol) of black berry fruit (blackberry, blueberry) and touch of blackcurrant.

This is a very good wine (91 points), a creation from the partnership of John Glaetzer and Ben Potts. Can drink it now but it has the potential for aging up to 5 years. Displaying excellent value for money in the mid-priced category, at under $20 from your local retailer.

La Mechita Malbec 2014

La Mechita Malbec 2014
La Mechita Malbec 2014

A clear, medium to deep, purple wine with thin legs. Medium- intensity nose clean and youthful with raspberry, red cherry and vanilla.

Dry and slap bang medium on acid, alcohol (13.5%), tannins and finish with body just a tad under at medium-. The wine has a flat flavour profile of generalised red berries and on the whole, not a well-integrated wine.

This is an acceptable wine (87 points) but not a great example of Argentinian malbec. Although inexpensive at under $7 a bottle, what more could one expect! This wine is for drinking now, may improve with a year or two, but doesn’t really have the tannin or acid for aging beyond 2017.

I have tested this against my nephew, a tertiary student, and it falls into his drinkable category – so it’s better than student swill. Probably best kept for the barbecue or that bottle you bring out when everyone is too hammered to know any better!

Fox Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014

Fox Pinot Noir 2014

A clear, pale, ruby wine with some tears evident. Medium+ intensity nose clean and developing with red rose, red cherry and a hint of pepper (black).

Dry on the palate with medium+ acid, medium alcohol (13.5%) and medium fine tannins. Medium+ bodied, with medium+ flavour and finish. The palate complements the nose with red berries and some savoury spice.

This is a good to very good wine (91 points), made by John Belsham, and value for money in its mid-priced category. Can drink it now but it has the potential for aging up to 5 years. A good example of a new world burgundy – a perfect match for the roast chicken but would be equally at home with most meats, hot or cold.

Champagne Club March 2016

Another Saturday, another tasting! 34 aspiring sparkling wine aficionados gathered in the heat of a Perth autumn to bravely work their way through six sparkling wines. Our host, Sharlene, thoughtfully provided Bellini’s (in the sparkling theme) the get the show on the road and then it was straight into the Santa Margherita Prosecco, which turned out to be one of the crowd favourites.

Sparkling 201603

A light and fruity wine with peach, white blossom and apple, on both nose and palate. Clean finish (and cleanly finished!) and was generally agreed that it will make it onto future cheese and charcuterie menus.

Next up the Mauzac dominant Blanquette de Limoux that had the bargain hunters squabbling for more! One of the best value traditional method sparkling wines around this had deciduous fruit nose and lemon on the palate. Creamy with gentle autolytic characteristics -and clean finish.

The move to the lucky country was not with controversy. The Tasmanian Georg Jensen (a Heemskerk wine) divides the punters, many of whom thought it was over-priced and over rated. Once you knock $10 off for the elegant champagne stopper I believe it displays fair value for wonderfully restrained (chardonnay dominant) traditional method sparkling. 98 points it is not, but good acidity, citrus dominant with a soft, chalky feel I think that the crowd was a touch harsh…

The chardonnay only Charles Orban followed and judging by the level and pitch of conversation, things were getting well oiled. The champagne lovers enjoyed this one and generally agreed that we had made it into the adults only section of the event. From Troissy, this had all the hallmarks of a blanc de blanc, some peach, brioche, butter with a fine petillance.

Wrapping up the formal tasting was the sublime 2006 Moet, a favourite for the hardened Francophiles but not enjoyed by those who prefer a lighter touch. This was an excellent wine, ripened fruits with a hint of pepper on the nose, citrus on the palate (nectarine), maybe some elements of the pinot’s coming though too. Creamy mouthfeel, complex with many moving parts. Just awesome!

By this stage it was time to finish off with an old favourite, the Arras Brut Elite. But there was little point in tasting at this stage as most palates were well marinated!

All prices Dan Murphy’s in a six bottle pack.

Wine Varietal / Type Year Rating Cost
Santa Margherita Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene Glera NV 96  $14.90
Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Brut Mauzac NV 93  $13.90
Georg Jensen Hallmark Cuvée Chardonnay / Pinot Noir NV 98  $36.09
Champagne Charles Orban Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay NV 95  $38.90
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Chardonnay / Pinot Noir / Petit Meunier 2006 95  $74.95
Arras Brut Elite Chardonnay / Pinot Noir NV 96  $33.30