Friday, 15 October 2010

Magpie Estate and Rolf Binder

A tasting of the current release Magpie Estate wines as well as those by Rolf Binder, at Noel Young Wines in Trumpington. Tasted Friday, 15 Oct 2010. RB denotes Rolf Binder Wines; ME denotes Magpie Estate wines.

RB Highness Riesling 08

Really lively lifted white fruits, lime, citrus, tangy zing there. Apricot, nectarines, really fruity and rounded. Some residual sugar here (7g/l), slightly off dry, gives nice fatness to it. Really drinkable on its own and will go well with food. Seriously lively stuff, luscious and quite simply delightful. Sourced from high-altitude vineyards in Eden Valley.

ME 'The Salvation' Gewurztraminer 09

There is lively notes, but slightly greener on the nose, bit of lychee and ginger. Light, fresh, focused not flabby, straight running. Bit of semillon thrown in to fatten up back palate. Good acidity there, some mineral, drinks well on its own. Again, slightly off-dry at 7g/l residual sugar - feels drier than the Riesling though. Asian food or seafood.

RB Halcyon Cabernet Merlot 08

An interesting vintage, apparently very hot growing season. Stewed flavours, quite green/leafy, bit of cabbage? Raspberry, candy, menthol. Nice acid and tannin is fine. Drinks well now, need food.

ME 'The Fakir' Grenache 07

Quite light actually, not fully extracted. Crunchy acidity which is fat, fruit is wide and generous but not overly heavy. A soft wine and very attractive one too. Will partner any light dishes, apparently goes well with thai food. The lightness makes this an unusual wine and works very well.

RB 'Heinrich' Shiraz Mataro Grenache 06

More spice there, white pepper, bell peppers. Plenty of fruit, menthol, ripe red fruits, generous. Acidity is crunchy, really shows brilliantly, good balance. Nice, well made stuff; the blend obviously works, and drinks well now.

ME 'The Black Sock' Mourvedre 07

Spice, licorice, peppers. Fat red fruits, width on palate is admirable, bigger in flavour and character, nice acidity. Tannins still quite chunky, could soften with time. Its big, will keep and develop for a few years. Needs food.

ME 'The Sack' Shiraz 07

Proper shiraz nose, nice depth. Full palate, a lot of extracted fruit, but not over done, darker black fruits. For a run of the mill flag bearer, this is seriously good stuff, good acid running through out and well-balanced.

RB Heysen Shiraz 06

Good solid shiraz nose, mint and menthol more notable, pastilles, currants and some leafy greenness which is weird and unexpected - does have small addition of cabernet sauvignon. Quite savoury notes, really full on the palate. Tannins still chunky and grainy, plenty of acid to last a long long time. Serious length, will age with ease, would open up too, this still feels quite taut and strung.

ME The Election Shiraz 06

More serious stuff, immediately obvious; some woody, savoury notes on the nose, gamey. A touch of grenache thrown in. White peppers, some meaty, smokyness. Dark fruits, pastilles, some mint. Still plenty of acid and fruit, and again will age beautifully to open up and soften. Still chunky tannins, give it time.

ME The Malcolm Shiraz 06

Double new oak, french and american, with a properly heavy bottle (dont ask me why, the bottle felt like it was lead-lined). Lovely voluptuous, big wine, so generous on the nose. Plenty of the traditional shiraz flavours, dark fruits, menthol, peppers, vanilla from oak also shows on the nose. Palate is seriously extracted, rather astringent and taut at the moment, needs time to open and soften. Its the big parker style, but still enough acidity in the background, so I cant fault the balance. Honestly, this is almost undrinkable today despite the obvious quality, patience will be much rewarded, a wine for the long haul.

Overall, I really enjoyed the tasting. Ended up buying the RB Riesling (because I adore the style) and the ME Fakir Grenache (because its unusual lightness and fat acidity, weirdly, reminds me of a Chorey-les-Beaune). The last few Shiraz was impressive; particularly ME The Sack Shiraz, which at its price point is still relatively good value.

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