Random thoughts on the world of wine, presented in no particular order.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A wishful tasting...

Friday, Dr Vino (a blog I highly recommend, by the way) posted about an amazing tasting attended by James Halliday, including '55 and '71 Grange, '55 Wynns Coonawarra Shriaz, '62 Penfolds Bin 60A, some '85 Hill of Grace, and '96 Clarendon Hills Australis, amongst others.  The whole list is here.

This is, if you don't know it, a hitlist of the heavy-hitters of the Australian wine scene, and most of them were aged either to perfection (yeah, even after railing against aging wines... but these ones deserve a chance to develop!), or in fact were over the hill.

All in all, I'm highly jealous.  I've had some great Aussie wines -- a mid '90's Grange, back in 1999 (alas, I didn't make notes, and it was before I got into the wine business in a serious way), William Randall, Amon Ra, and The Gate, amongst others.  But never this many on one table.

So, in that vein, here's the tasting note for arguably the best Australian wine I've ever had -- 2006 Amon Ra, which I had about a year ago.  I can still see the brick-red color of the wine, smell it's toasted oak and fruit, and feel the velvet of it on my throat.  Truly a wine to remember, and one that I happily pulled out of my personal cellar for a friend's going-away party.

The color is a deep, brick-red, almost opaque. On the nose, a rush of blackcurrant and rich berries. The nose intensity is overwhelming; I poured less than half an ounce into a glass when decanting the wine, and it almost knocked me over taking a short sniff from over the rim of the glass; I didn't even try to put my nose into the bowl. On the palate, the wine is indeed overwhelming in flavor. Notes include distinct cedar and oak notes, an overarching flavor of dark chocolate, red fruit, coconut, spice, and espresso. The mouthfeel is velvety. There's a richness to the flavor that's hard to put into words; it's mouth-coating, intense (even in a 1/2 oz tasting pour). The wine sets up camp in your mouth and stays there for seemingly ever. Truly amazing.  99 points.

All in all, too intense to have on a regular basis, but wine like that is amazingly nice to have for a special occasion.

Photo from K&L Wines, where you can buy 2006 Amon-Ra, and who did not contribute in any way to this update.

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