Monday, February 6, 2012

Cullen 2010 Cullen Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Read the winery's tasting notes and you'll find references to the beneficial effects of biodynamic viticulture that are almost guaranteed to create debate between enthusiasts and sceptics, but it's impossible to deny the presence of something special in this 12% alc/vol number.

Not knowing anything about such matters I'm probably better off leaving them alone, but I can't help feeling people who are going to go to the trouble of ensuring they're following Steiner's principles down to the impeccably crossed ts and immaculately dotted is are probably guaranteed to turn out a quality product regardless of whether biodynamics actually deliver. If you micromanage to this degree you're going to come out way ahead of the just bung some chemicals on the vines and hope for the best mob.

Check the available details closely and you see we're talking grapes  picked at various degrees of ripeness (between 9.7 and 12.2 baume) over a number of different days (picking for the flavour components rather than a well, it's sort of ready now, let's get it off) and you're going to end up with (and I'll admit I'm guessing here) a number of different parcel that are going to be micromanaged to within an inch of their vinous lives.

And if that process delivers something as good as this, that's absolutely fine with me. Loved this one and will be back for more.

Cullen 2010 Cullen Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (5* $35) 66% sauvignon blanc and 34% semillon combine to deliver a package that's almost seamlessly integrated and delivers plenty to savour and speculate about. A hint of this? A tad of that? among the herbal citrus on the nose and across the palate. Not, I think a wine for food since the food flavours will get in the way. Open it early, savour as an aperitif and then throw in the fresh seafood as you hit the end of the bottle. At 12% you're not going to be absolutely stonkered by that stage, but you'll be absolutely well disposed towards the world at large. A dozen oysters or a couple of fresh red spot prawns with the last glass would work well for me. Outstanding as long as your palate can handle subtle and you're not throwing in distractions in the food line.

Leconfield 2009 Cabernet Merlot

Inevitably, a period where you've built up the stocks will be followed by one where you're running them back down again, which largely accounts for the lack of recent blog action in these parts, though the cricket coverage over on the Little House of Concrete Sports Desk also impinges on the equation.

The summer of Riesling and Rose tends to take us away from heartier red styles, but we've also been experimenting with the slow cooker in the air-conditioned living area, which brings them right back into calculations, and in this particular case brings them back with rather alarming rapidity.

I'd availed myself of a couple of offers from Vinomofo, one of which was supposed to push this particular carton a little further down the pecking order so that the contents just might last through to the notional winter, and had just polished off the last of a box of Tahbilk Cellar Door Reds when I ordered the second of them (a Hay Shed Hill Pitchfork Cab Merlot) that would, I figured, do for everyday drinking and push this Leconfield onto slightly more special occasion status.

So, not to put too fine a point on it, I didn't head off to Tahbilk for a resupply, the Pitchfork met with logistical problems and we're almost half way through a case of wine that, as noted in the note, has definite issues with evaporation.

Leconfield 2009 Cabernet Merlot (4.5* $25) Bright crimson in the glass, with fragrant oaky chocolate and mint through the nostrils. Once it hits the taste buds Cabernet cassis and plummy Merlot combine to form a rounded style with refined silky tannins. Medium-bodied elegant wine that's easy to savour and brings a definite evaporation problem to the table. Excellent now, would go on for several years but unlikely to get the chance.