Tempus Two 2011 Pinot Gris

by Alex Prichard on 11 November 2013

 

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Pinot Gris is one of those grapes that tends to excite some discussion regarding style. In Italy you find some generally lightweight and inoffensive wines, labelled (in Italian, funnily enough) as Pinot Grigio. And in France (in the Alsace, one of my favourite regions and sadly one I’m yet to visit) it’s labelled as Pinot Gris and tends to be made in a slightly weightier, more complex style.

This latter is definitely my preference and there does seem to be some consistency with Australian producers using the French or Italian grape name in order to mark out the style of the wine in the bottle. Of course, this is tending towards a convention, rather than mandate, so it’s still very much a case of caveat emptor.

I picked up this Tempus Two 2011 Pinot Gris from the local bottle shop where it was marked down to $17 a bottle. Usual pricing is around $10 more and according to the internet, a retail price of around the $25-27 mark seems about right.

Tempus Two wines have the funky little pewter ‘labels’ that make them stand out on the shelf so this wine should be easy to spot.

In the glass, the wine was pale straw with just a hint of green to it. The nose was a little tight, not giving up too much, but there was a slightly spicy characteristic along with crisp pear and apple and a touch of lemon. Things looked promising.

In the mouth, the same pear and apple came through and the acidity was pretty good. Unfortunately, the wine came across as a touch unbalanced with the alcohol really dominating the finish along with some unripe pear.

The wine had good mouth feel and weight to it: it had the extra oomph that I’d expect from a Pinot Gris but overall I felt the palate just didn’t live up to the nose.

I won’t be rushing back to buy up the shop’s remaining discounted stock: the back label is quite explicit that this is a wine for drinking young and a tiny part of me also wonders if this bottle had been subjected to some slightly less than ideal storage at some point … Having said that, I will be keeping an eye out for the 2012 (current release) and giving that a go. There was enough of interest in this bottle to merit a look.

$17 from Cellarbrations, Flagstaff Hill.
Screwcap.
12.5% abv.

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Serafino 2007 Nebbiolo

by Alex Prichard on 16 October 2013

 

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We have some friends who married in early June and somehow we’ve managed to spend a good many of their anniversaries with them. Even though we all met in England, they married in the US and have since lived in the UK, Bermuda and now Sydney. One such anniversary was 2010 when they spent a few days in Adelaide. Our Entertainment Book paid for itself in one fell swoop that year!

One day that weekend we headed down to McLaren Vale, visited a few wineries, bought a few wines and found it next to impossible to buy lunch at 3pm. One wine we picked up was the Serafino 2007 Nebbiolo.

I could tell you all about Nebbiolo but I won’t because that kind of clinical wine geekery belongs in a review when there’s no back story bar “I bought a bottle of wine”. I’m sure it is an established scientific fact* that visiting a cellar door slightly bends our perception of the wines, but hopefully, after three and a bit years, I can bring some objectivity to the glass.

In the glass, the wine is garnet and brick in colour, but this illusion of age is not backed up by a nose surprisingly dominant in fresh red berry fruit, which also shows tar, licorice, spiciness, wet bitumen and some perfumed, floral characters like lavender.

The fresh fruit also shows up on the palate with plenty of pronounced fresh red cherries, even cherry jam. There is a slight savoury kick and some licorice, but the wine is still very bright. There’s good acidity and grippy tannins but they don’t dry out your mouth.

A wine we both very much enjoyed. It’s a shame that Serafino no longer appears to make this wine because I would certainly be tempted to seek out current releases. I can’t remember how much we paid for it, though I know it didn’t fall into the bargain basement category. I should also confess that it’s been stored in what might be described as less than ideal conditions.

And if you need more emotive context – the Serafino cellar door is both impressive and pretty. It sits in large grounds, with a lake, and boasts both a restaurant, function centre and accommodation.

* This may be not be available as peer reviewed research but it’s certainly a well discussed phenomenon.

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