On Friday March 9th, we tasted 8 wines from New Zealand
and Australia, plus had the Two Hands “Bella’s Garden”
Shiraz available at just $5 a half glass! The event was
huge fun, and here are the tasting notes:
SAINT CLAIR SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010
It was a grape variety called Sauvignon Blanc that first woke people up to the amazing potential of New Zealand wine. This one is “Wonderfully balanced with a smooth body and crisp acidity, showing ripe peach, pear and apple flavors. Floral and tropical details abound, with a fresh green herb note on the finish.” 89 points Wine Spectator. $12.97.
LEEUWINE ESTATE DRY RIESLING 2009
Often times, when people hear the word “Riesling,” they think “sweet.” Not necessarily! Riesling can be made in many styles. This one shows “vibrant aromas of lemon zest, pink grapefruit and wet stone. Very dry and precise, it offers tangy citrus fruit flavors and a deeper note of pear skin on the back half. Gains flesh with air while retaining vibrancy; this will age nicely.” 91 points James Halliday. $15.97.
DASHWOOD PINOT NOIR 2009
New Zealand has also become known for its Pinots. “This bright garnet wine shows lifted cherry fruit and mushroom notes on the nose. The palate exhibits ripe black cherry fruit flavors and has a soft tannin finish. This wine is made to drink young, and will show its best now and over the next few years.” 87 points Bill. $13.97.
PILLAR BOX RED 2008
Australia, of course, is most well-known for big, juicy reds like this one. This blend of Shiraz, Cabernet, and Merlot, “is purple-colored with an enticing nose of cherry blossom, cinnamon, blueberry, and licorice. Ripe and rich for its humble price, it has plenty of savory fruit, good balance, and a seamless, fruit-filled finish. “ 89 points Wine Advocate. $9.97.
ST. HALLET FAITH SHIRAZ 2006
We love discovering great deals. This bottle is $19.99 on wine.com. Our price is 12 bucks less! It’s “velvety, open-textured and appealing for its blackberry and tar flavors, hinting at tobacco. The finish sails on.” 89 points Wine Spectator. $7.97.
YALUMBA BUSH VINE GRENACHE 2008
While Shiraz made Australia famous, there’s pretty good Grenache being made as well. This is “bright and juicy, with appealing focus to the raspberry, red cherry and rhubarb fruit, sailing serenely over the polished texture of the open finish.” 90 points Wine Spectator. $14.97.
HAZYBLUR CABERNET 2006
There’s also some excellent Cab coming from Down Under. This one hails from the aptly named Kangaroo Island. “The aroma is of freshly ground coffee and warm freshly baked fruit cake. It is both fully ripe and concentrated. This intensity follows through on to the palate with the same mocha overtones and long fine grained tannins that are firmly structured.” 90 points Wine Enthusiast. $21.97.
TWO HANDS “GNARLY DUDES” SHIRAZ 2009
“Supple, fleshy, silky and generous with its fresh-tasting plum, blueberry and currant fruit, this red picks up welcome hints of roast meat and spice as the finish lingers easily. Shows intensity, integrity and length.” 93 points Wine Spectator. $25.97.
TWO HANDS “BELLA’S GARDEN” SHIRAZ 2009
As a bonus, we’re making this wine available for $5/half glass, $10/full glass. It is “complex, focused, fresh and distinctive for its mineral-accented cherry and plum flavors, hinting at licorice, bay leaf, black tea and pepper as the finish lingers against refined, mouthcaressing tannins. This has depth and lingers well.” 94 points Wine Spectator and #35 on the 2011 Top 100! $62.97.