The Twenty Five Doors ‘Keen Eye Pick’ for January

Every month, I cast my eye over the Twenty Five Doors wine club and nominates his ‘keen eye pick‘. These are unique offers directly from wineries that aren’t available anywhere else.

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2015 Yarra Yering No 2 Dry Red –Yarra Valley, Victoria $100 cellar door

Wine to Cellar 

Sarah Crowe has breathed new life into the late Dr Bailey Carrodus’s iconic winery with screwcaps in place and a few new wines. However, the Dry Red duo remains the cornerstone – the No 1 a Bordeaux blend and No 2 inspired by Cote Rotie. The 2015 No 2 is 95% shiraz with a small percentage of mourvèdre and viognier and a splash of marsanne. Its bouquet is of rich ripe plums and blackberries with a smoky lift from the stalks added back into the ferment. Oak plays a supporting role but it’s the purity of fruit that shines through with a slew of pumice-like tannins in support. Approachable now, better in 5 years, at its best in 10.

GT WINE Magazine, December/January 2018

2015 Bruno Giacosa Casa Vinicola Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC – Piedmont, Italy $97

Bruno Giacosa is part of the Piedmontese elite, his 20 hectares of vineyards under the Azienda Agricola Falletto in the best sites in Barolo and Barbaresco. These are stupendous wines with equally hefty price-tags. Giacosa also buys grapes from like-minded growers, the resultant wines echoing his attention to detail but are earlier drinking and much more affordable. The 2015 Nebbiolo d’Alba is exemplary with a classic ‘tar and roses’ bouquet, its tight almost sinewy opening out with some air to reveal layers of red berry fruits, earthy spices and a taut tannin structure. It needs food – a wild boar ragu would be prefect.

GT WINE Magazine, December/January 2018

2014 Domaine Rimbert Cousin Oscar – Languedoc Roussillon, France $28

Cinsault is a much overlooked grape, usually relegated to a support role to the dominant varieties grenache, syrah and mourvèdre. Jean-Marie Rimbert makes some very serious wines in the St. Chinian appellation, near the city of Beziers in the heart of the Languedoc region.  However, Rimbert has a cheeky side with his Cousin Oscar, a frivolous, juicy red made from 100% cinsault and labelled simply as Vin de France. It’s a light, bright garnet with smells of red cherries and fresh raspberries. Sweet fruit vies with a refreshing acidity and smack of tannin. Serve lightly chilled with an antipasti platter and lots of siblings, friends and cousins.

GT WINE Magazine, December/January 2018

2016 Philip Shaw No.8 Pinot Noir – Orange NSW $43

There’s been a generation change at Philip Shaw Wines with Diana and Philip’s sons now at the helm. Daniel makes the wines (and fabulous pizzas) while his brother Damian takes on the management and marketing tasks. The wines have taken on a new confidence with the talented Nadja Wallington handling the daily winemaking tasks. The 2016 No.8 is a vibrant, highly slurpable pinot with an underlying depth and complexity that will see it build over time in the bottle.   Aromas of crushed strawberries and red cherries with cinnamon and all-spice with gently persistent tannins and a vivid acidity adding thrust to the finish.

GT WINE Magazine, December/January 2018

2016 Four Winds Vineyard Shiraz – Canberra District, NSW $30 cellar door

Suzanne and Graeme Lunney planted their Four Winds Vineyard almost 20 years ago in the national rush to fuel Australia’s burgeoning export trade. The plan was to sell grapes but much has changed in the mercurial wine industry and the fruit from the now mature vineyard is being made and marketed under the Four Winds label.  However, these are no ordinary labels but a bright, breezy and fun-filled take on the typically boring packaging of their peers. Not only are the labels inspirational but the wines are too – with the lithe 2016 Shiraz a lightly framed, red fruit, spicy little number, it’s pure flavours unmarked by oak. Drink now with a smoky pizza from Graeme Lunney’s wood-fired oven.

GT WINE Magazine, December/January 2018

N.V. Azahara Sparkling- Victoria     $13

Azahara means ‘orange blossom’ in Spanish, a nod to the Ferrer family (of Freixenet fame) who own the Wingara Group, with includes Coonawarra’s esteemed  Katnook Estate, the value-for-money Deakin Estate and the easy-drinking Azahara range.  The Azahara sparklings form a triumvirate – a fruity moscato, a spicy sparkling shiraz and this classic chardonnay pinot noir blend. It shows surprising depth and complexity due to the solera of reserve still wines dating back 6 vintages. White stonefruit and warm bread aromas mingle with notes of almond meal and butterscotch. The palate is fresh and tight with a thread of grapefruit fresh acidity driving the finish.

GT WINE Magazine, December/January 2018