8. Wine Rally

February 7, 2008


Through my various blogger contacts, in this case it was Swetlana Kittke, who writes about food and wine and resides in Berlin (http://myexperience4u.blogspot.com), I was made aware of an interesting undertaking, called the wine rally.

I watched it from the sidelines for a while and finally decided to participate. In Jakarta I am six hours ahead of the European crowd. Except for morning wine drinkers or people who have an early lunch, I should be the first to open a bottle and enjoy it with a meal. However, as I cannot as easily go to a wine shop as my European colleagues, I decided instead to pay a visit to my own wine cellar and select from there the bottle with the most beautiful label for tonights dinner. Of course I excluded my own label of Two Hills Vineyard though I like it also very much.

But let me explain. The rumor is that the recent shipments of wine to Indonesia faced some kind of legal problems (related to licensing). Customs withheld the containers containing the wine and they were left for too long in the open and got too hot. Therefore, almost all wine that you currently can buy at the open market in Jakarta is off. This drop is not even good for cooking wine thats how bad it is. This is the reason why I restricted myself to existing stocks and went to my own ‘cellar’ only. I hope you can forgive me. I also wanted to write in two languages (English and German) but then time ran out. it is now 5 minutes to midnight and I have to load up the piece.

The theme of the 8th wine rally is “the label”, and is based on the question “is it alright to buy a wine just because we like the beauty of the label”? Of course beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but all of us might have bought wine because we liked the label, or at least the design of the label might have played a bigger part in the selection of the wine than other criteria. Thats how I understood the task.

Ok, so here I start.

I selected a bottle from Rees Miller Estate (www.reesmiller.com) in the Upper Goulburn Wine Region (www.uppergoulburnwine.org.au). It has the most beautiful wine label in my collection. It consists of an almost abstract painting of an Australian landscape as you can find in Central Victoria where the vineyard is located. If I am not mistaken the origin of the painting was explained in an earlier version of Rees Miller website. The original is displayed in their cellar door.

Sylke Rees and David Miller are certified biodynamic, organic grape growers and wine makers. Needless to say, their wines are superb! Their family-owned vineyard is located in the Upper Goulburn Wine Region, about three kilometers east of the charming country town of Yea, Victoria (about 1 1/2/ hours northeast of Melbourne).



Rees Miller ‘2004 Cotton’s Pinch Merlot’

We had in fact two bottles with our dinner and made this Wednesday so to speak to a Rees Miller day. Since tomorrow we are celebrating the Chinese spring festival (which is an official holiday in Indonesia) and the advent of the New Year (the year of the rat), one could argue that the last day of the year would deserve a special treat anyway.

Apart from the Rees Miller Estate ‘2004 Cotton’s Pinch Merlot’, we also tasted the ‘2006 Thousand Hills Reserve Shiraz’. I briefly describes the ‘Cooton’s Pinch Merlot’ in an earlier blog entry. Its a well rounded wine, dark red the colour and displays the typical aromas of blackberry and other forest fruit, mulberry and some spicy chocolate. The wine shows well balanced tannins and a good structure, its deep and complex and displays a long finish. Its alcohol is 14.4%.

The 2006 Shiraz has a little less alcohol (14% alc/Vol.) but what a firework of different aromas when you open the bottle. Flavours of licorice, blackberry, mocha, spice and leather hit your tastbuds. The colour is deep red. The wine is smooth and complex. Many wine critiques in Australia laud the distinctly European style which displays great elegance. The long finish is wonderful. I love the wine lingering on and on and on.

The 2004 vintage of this wine is holding position 19 on the list of the best Shiraz wines in the world. The 2006 vintage is not under cork anymore but the bottle comes with a stelvin cap.

The good news for all the Germans is that you can obtain Rees Miller wines from a wine distributer there. Please visit the website of Shiraz und Co (www.shiraz-und-co.de).

Rees Miller Estate
5355 Goulburn Valley Highway
Yea, Victoria 3717
Tel.: +631 5797 2101