Monthly Archives: October 2017

Castagna “Genesis” Beechworth Syrah 2014

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This is the current release of Castagna’s flagship wine.

There’s not a lot of it about and ratings are hard to come by, in fact at this point in time, I can only find one rating and that is by Campbell Mattinson of The Wine Front (see the promo below).

Here’s what Halliday says about the winery:

“Winemakers Julian Castagna and Adam Castagna. Established 1997, producing 1800 dozen p.a. Julian Castagna is an erudite and totally committed disciple of biodynamic grapegrowing and winemaking. While he acknowledges that at least part of the belief in biodynamics has it to be intuitive, he also seeks to understand how the principles and practices enunciated by Rudolph Steiner in 1924 actually work. He purchased two egg-shaped, food-grade, concrete tanks, each holding 900 litres. They are, he says, ‘the most perfect shape in physics’, and in the winery reduce pressure on lees and deposit lees over a larger surface area, which he believes will eliminate the need for batonnage. He has been joind by son Adam, who is responsible for the 400 dozen or so of Adam’s Rib made each year, complementing the production of Castagna.” – Halliday Wine Companion 2017

Biodynamic and only 12.5%. What’s not to like?

Well it’s not cheap here at S$99 but it’s not cheap in Australia either, retailing at A$75.

The Castagna Genesis Syrah is listed as “Excellent” in Langton’s Classification.

Enjoy!

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You might also like to try, purchased direct from Castagna just this month:

2010 Genesis Syrah – 3 bottles – S$108 – Jeremy Oliver 96, Halliday 95, Campbell Mattinson 95
2012 Genesis Syrah – 3 bottles – S$105 – Jeremy Oliver 95, Campbell Mattinson 94+, Jancis Robinson 17.5, Halliday 95

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Mayer Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2014

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The review by Gary Walsh in the promo attached talks about leaving this wine open for a day, or leaving it alone for a year or two.

Given that his rating was made in May 2015, that “year or two” has now passed and this wine should be nicley aged. I bought it in August 2015 so it’s been quietly ageing since then in my Victoria coolroom where my commercial wines are held at around 14C.

But let’s get back to the “leave it open for a day”.

Many consumers believe a wine should be drunk immediately upon opening otherwise there is a fear that the wine will deteriorate (i.e oxidise) and become less enjoyable, even undrinkable in a relatively short period of time. I think this certainly holds true for some wines like Sauvignon Blanc that needs that zippy freshness to remain, or on some older, perhaps fragile wines that can fade very quickly in the glass. Most natural wines have very little protection against oxidation (i.e very little or no sulphur) so consuming them early is safest.

But I’m in the camp that that likes to decant everything, and I’m more than happy to carry a wine over to the next day if I think it will improve with more airing. From my experience, many Rieslings drink better the day after opening, and can reward even several days later. Apsley Gorge Pinot can disappoint if “popped and poured” but give it a long decant, or better still a whole day open, and it’s a different wine.

Ditto with the Mayer Pinots. Decanting and patience will be rewarded.

And perhaps still with this Chardonnay.

Enjoy!

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NEW ARRIVALS

HOME HILL “Kelly’s Reserve” Tasmania Pinot Noir 2016 – 60 btls – $77 – not yet rated
LA VIOLETTA “Le Rayon V” Great Southern Cabernet Malbec 2015 – 12 btls – $77 – Mike Bennie 94+
MEWSTONE D’Entrecasteaux Channel Tasmania Riesling – 12 btls – S$63 – Halliday 95

2014 Chardonnay

Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard “Trueman” McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

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So many ratings!

No lack of information on this wine and all of it good. Maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise as Chris Carpenter plays a hand in the making of this wine and he’s got a few 99 & 100 point Robert Parker Cabernets up his sleeve already at Jackson Family Wine’s Lokoya and Cardinale vineyards.

Richard Hemming of jancisrobinson.com gives it 17/20. From robertparker.com, Lisa Perotti-Brown gives it 90. Sells in the US at US$75. See below for the ratings of Huon Hooke (96), Gary Walsh (94), Halliday (94) and James Suckling (94).

In stock and ready to go. Enjoy!

David Boxall

2014 Trueman

Stefano Lubiana “Estate” Tasmania Chardonnay 2014

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It came as a surprise to me that the last Stefano Lubiana Estate Chardonnay that I did a formal promotion on was for the 2008 vintage.

Why is this so? Well, one of the reasons is that Stefano Lubiana’s Estate Chardonnay often sells out before it gets a promotion done on it by me.

For this vintage, the 2014, I brought up a little more than usual for a proposed event that didn’t eventuate. Such are a retailer’s risks.

But, it’s the way it sold out downunder that also accounted for the fact that I can find no rating on this wine. Except one that matters. Although not strictly a rating in the normal sense, this wine was awared Gold Trophy at the 2016 International Organic Wine competition in Germany. That makes it the equivalent of 95 points in their score. Stefano Lubiana’s Pinot Noir from the same vintage was given “best biodynamic wine in the world” at the same show.

So, a special wine and a personal favourite.

2014 Estate Chardonnay