Tempus Two Chardonnay 2010, Hunter Valley, Australia

October 21, 2012

2010 Tempus Two Chardonnay

The grapes for this wine are actually not coming from the Hunter valley but from the cool climate Adelaide Hills wine region. The wine is a modern product, harvested by machine, made in steel tanks and briefly kept in French oak barrels in order to get the spicy vanilla character.

The Tempus Two winery, founded by Lisa McGuigan, a member of the fourth generation dynasty of celebrated vintners, the McGuigans, is situated in the Hunter valley.

The cellar door, an ultra-modern building, is just outside Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales in the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges (a region with freezing cold winters). Fruit for the Tempus Two wines comes from many different vineyards wine regions all over Australia. The band was established in 1998 only.

Back label explaining what you taste

This mass produced wine, is something for easy, every-day drinking. Apart from the Chardonnay, the Varietal Range includes a Blanc de blanc, a Verdelho, a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, a Merlot, a Cabernet Merlot and a Shiraz.

The two premium brands are called the Pewter Range, which comes in distinctive bottle shapes, and the Copper Range, with more modern-style wines.

Since we were on a modified Dukan diet ( we made concessions for the alcohol), we had it with fish, a mackerel, which is a strongly-flavoured and oily fish. The wine coped well with the strong fishy taste. The citrus flavours and the high acidity were a great complement to the food.

Mackerel

I would have eaten another portion of the fish, and certainly could have had a second bottle of wine. My verdict: highly recommended.

PS: In Thailand, Siam Winery is the agent of Tempus Two.

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Wine of the day: Climbing Merlot by Cumulus Wines

February 20, 2010

Cumulus Climbing Merlot

I do not drink much wine from New South Wales, except maybe Semillon wines from the Hunter Valley. The other day some wines from Cumulus Wines, the largest producer (about 500 ha under vines, not a boutique producer), located in the Orange Region, appeared in our supermarket in Thonglor, Bangkok.

I bought a couple of bottles from the Climbing Series (Shiraz and Merlot). My children liked the label. The ‘2007 Climbing Merlot’ won gold, silver and plenty of bronze medals. It’s a cool climate (grown above 600 m), fruity wine, elegant with a good structure, a delight of a wine, even if one has to fork out about 20 Euro/30 A$ for the bottle here in Bangkok.


….and then came lunch!

April 28, 2008

Sunday lunch is always a treat. Especially now, that I have to travel so much, the four of us enjoy the little time together that we have, and Sunday is prime time.

After our “late” breakfast cum brunch, we sat down to a hearty meal of “Osso bucco in bianco” (oxtail/veal in white), gratinate potatoes, celery gratinated with cheese, a fresh tomato salad and some fresh bread.

For wine, I choose a Ross Estate Barossa Valley ‘2002 Semillion (unwooded)’ with 12 % alcohol (for US $ 11.20/bottle in my local wine shop). It was the perfect wine with the food. I do not drink much Semillon, I must admit.

But ever since my friend Alan Wall has pointed me to the Hunter Valley Semillon wines, I look out for this variety and buy a bottle here and there.

I love the golden colour of the wine and its full body. It had the typical fig, lemon and pear aromas, was creamy and “fat”, a great complement to our food.

Rod Chapman, the winemaker at Ross Estate, has extensive experience (including 18 years making Grange at Penfolds), and is committed to excellence. The Semillon vines at the estate are at least 35 years old and produce outstanding fruit.


Old Friends and Good Wine

April 6, 2007

According to Plato “only philosophers have what it takes to venture outside of the cave into the sunlight”. And what do they do there (apart from eating as we know from my last blog entry)?

They drink good wine of course!

When our friend Alan Wall came over from Canberra they other day, he brought with him, as usual, some bottles of good wine. Alan is one of these people who has forgotten more about wine then many of us will ever learn. He has a fine collection of about 3,000 bottles which are stored in his insulated garage.

We started with a single vineyard wine, a Mount Pleasant 2000 Lovedale, Hunter Valley Semillion. The bottle was decorated with five trophies of gold and top gold medal signs. What a wine this was. It displayed honeyed toast and hay aromas but it also showed some lemon and grapefruit character as many young wines do. It could have easily be cellared for much longer but when old friends meet, good wine has to flow. Of course we had food with it, a delicious seafood pasta.

The Hunter Valley, one of the oldest wine regions in Australia, is famous for its Semillions and its Shiraz. Whoever plans to visit Sydney should also include into their program a trip to the Hunter Valley just a 2 hours drive north of cosmopolitan Sydney.

The main dish was grilled beef (on my Weber) and with it we drank a Coonawarra Rymill Shiraz of 1996, a very well aged and harmonious wine of great depth and with a long finish. What a delight this was with it’s spicy peppery character and the blackcurrant flavours.

After the desert we continued with a wine from Sonoma County, a Chateau St. Jean Merlot of 2004 which displayed all the good Merlot charactereristics which we are looking for, deep cherry and plum aromas, with good texture, some weight in the mid-pallate and a long finish.

Of course the company was what really counted. Drinking wine we discussed about electoral systems, political party and democracy development and the future of the young Indonesian democracy. Life is just too short to drink bad wine.

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The Yarra Valley in Victoria