Sep 052014

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Central NSW, past the colourful canola fields and through the elevated cool climate vineyards, today AWG found his way to the town of Orange on business; but naturally gravitated towards a wine related sidebar to enjoy some local wines.


Dinner this evening was generously hosted at the local restaurant eighteen70 which features a delectable menu and impressive wine list.

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Earlier in the evening, the tasting began with two glasses from local producer Belgravia of their 2011 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon.  This was an elegant cool climate red, still young and developing but already charming with a sweet bouquet and intricate body, even better after a few swirls in the glass.

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Fastforwarding to the dinner venue again, the restaurant was an impressive location, well appointed and cosy (particularly around the gas fireplace), but at the same time well laid out and spacious.  The menu was equally impressive which made meal selection even harder.

At dinner, paired to backstrap lamb with cherry tomatoes, polenta chips, mint pesto & shiraz jus, we continued the Orange wine journey with two bottles of Shiraz (2010) from another well regarded local label Bloodwood.  The selection was superlatve, the Shiraz (resembling a Hunter Shiraz to a degree) was well balanced and contained fine tannis after what would have mounted to a fairly short time spent maturing in the bottle.

The wine was delectable with a sweetly perfumed scent which induced the appetite making the lamb and accompaniments even better than they already were –  a fine pairing.

If you haven’t considered a trip to Orange to taste the local produce and wines, AWG highly recommends a visit.  This article on Gourmet Traveller does a brilliant job of capturing the experiences on offer here.

A huge thanks to Nick, Rod and Caroline plus our local hosts for an excellent evening out in Orange.

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This month we wrapped up selections for the Aussie Wine Guy anniversary wine for the years 2013 and 2014.

Due to budget constraints, we opted for a pair of 1855 classification wines from the Pauillac appelation in Bordeaux.  These vintages come from an estate which used to be part of a larger estate which was split in 1850.

It seemed apt to get a bottle from both Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron as a pair, given the estates’ shared heritage.

Notes: Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron 2011

Big tannins, smoky wood notes and prominent fruit mark this wine, along with acidity and freshness. It’s powerful, with the most gentle structure of concentrated dusty tannins and intensely-fresh blackberry-juice flavors.
Barrel Sample: 93-95 Points” – Wine Enthusiast : 95 Points

Notes: Château Pichon Longueville Lalande Pauillac Réserve de la Comtesse 2009

WS Tasting Note: Bright and sappy, with kirsch and damson plum notes streaking along, followed by tangy iron and floral notes alongside. There’s good zip and cut along the finish, with a lingering mineral edge. Best from 2013 through 2023. 21,665 cases made. – Wine Spectator Score: 91 points

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Aug 132014



Last month Ted had a stop over in Qatar on his way to France with his partner to attend a wedding.  On the way they ended up as guests in one of Qatar’s excellent business lounges.  Needless to say, the lounge had a delictable menu of wine..



“Extremely light, fruity almost. Very fresh on the palate; kiwi or summer fruit on nose. Acidic On palate”

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Aug 102014

IMG_4648.JPGI’m traveling to France this year via Qatar, and flying Qatar Airways on Business class. Their amazing wine list on the in flight menu had a Bordeaux wine just screaming to be tasted!

This Haut-Médoc wine takes its name from the commune of Saint-Estèphe, the northernmost of the six communal appellations in Médoc. Since 2003 Château Phélan Ségur has been listed as one of the nine Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels. This wine is an 8 year old Bordeaux, with a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend.

I chose to pair it with an in flight meal choice of lamb shanks and cheese for dessert. First off I had to try the wine up front without any food influencing the taste.

IMG_4651.JPGAfter a refreshing sparkling water, I took in the bouquet of a glass left sitting for 10mins and got an intense chocolate, cigar and tobacco highlight. This no doubt comes from the Cabernet Franc blended into this release. A second smell and I’m getting earthy boquet with hints of mint. A very complex nose!

Tasting this wine is a smooth almost dry/chalky sensation, however the smoothness of this wine is so apparent that one could drink this all day. Bitter chocolate and plum stand out as the main flavours, no doubt due to the merlot content.

Trying the qatar in flight lamb shank makes the palate much lighter and makes me think of a younger Shiraz. It’s amazing how matching this with a red meat changes the flavour of this left bank Bordeaux.

Moving on to the cheese, I had a platter of three cheeses as part of the in flight offerings. Blue, Brie and a semi hard cheese. The wine is overpowered by blue cheese and does nothing but intensify the moldy taste of the blue. I wouldn’t recommend to drink this with blue cheese.

Combining it with the Brie, and it makes for an acidic palate. Not really matching with soft cheeses. However the semi-hard cheese is much better. It highlights the original smoothness experienced when tasting this wine on it’s own. The fattiness of the cheese cuts through the previously experienced dryness of this wine on it’s own. The combination of the semi-hard cheese and this Bordeaux is recommended.

This wine would stand up in it’s own, match perfectly with red meat – particularly game (or even duck!) or go as a perfect accompaniment for a selection of hard and semi hard cheeses.

A great wine, and a very enjoyable tasting session was had with this single glass of Château Phélan Ségur. This 2006 vintage is perfectly placed to drink now, but will improve over another few years out to 2018.