WTNs: Giaconda Nantua 05, Aeolia 05, Shiraz 04, McClay Shiraz 05

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WTNs: Giaconda Nantua 05, Aeolia 05, Shiraz 04, McClay Shiraz 05

Postby Cam Wheeler » Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:35 am

I had a chance to very briefly sample a few of the new mid-year release Giaconda wines earlier this evening. Giaconda from Beechworth in Victoria, Australia is famous for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which are released along with the Cabernet and Shiraz towards the end of the year, but they are selling two interesting white wines in the middle of year as well as a new release of the second tier "McClay Road" label from fruit that didn't make the cut for the Giaconda label.


The Nantua 'Les Deux' Chardonnay 2005 is comprised of 93% Chardonnay and 7% Roussanne. The nose has elements of stonefruits, peach, apple and roasted nuts to it. The palate has an interesting texture to it, but I also found some bitterness that caused disruption to the line and the focus. I've never really had much affection for previous vintages of this wine and my mind wasn't changed by this. At $45 a bottle, it isn't for me. 87/100

Next up was the Aeolia Roussanne 2005. The nose is waxy as well as showing ripe pear and lemon rind characters. There is an oily texture and luscious, viscous mouth-feel to the palate while still having focused acidity and avoiding being over the top. It finishes with a bit of a punch and with good lasting length. It's not really my style and at $75 I'm not tempted, but it is certainly interesting and I could see some people with different tastes getting excited about it. 90/100

McClay Road Shiraz 2005 is the second release of this second-tier Giaconda label, the first being the declassified, smoke-tainted 2003 vintage wines. I'm reminded a bit of the Castagna Sauvage 2003 Shiraz by this, although the McClay isn't quite as feral. The complex nose does display lovely savoury smoked meat characters and black pepper. The palate is balanced and while the depth and length are slightly lacking, the wine as a whole is going to be good to drink over the next couple of years. At around $35, it is just about at the right price for what it is. 90/100

Finally, I was able to try the "Warner Vineyard" Shiraz 2004 which has just been delivered in the past couple of months to customers who ordered it late last year. Deep set aromas of graphite, blackberry, spices and earth. It has powerful, deep fruit that is tightly coiled and hits the palate with precision, great length and superb balance. Completely seductive and the antithesis to the ripe, high alcohol, fruit and oak monster Australian Shiraz that seem to get all the attention overseas. An exceptional wine and I’m glad to have a couple of bottles put away to drink over the next 6-8 years. 94/100
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Re: WTNs: Giaconda Nantua 05, Aeolia 05, Shiraz 04, McClay Shiraz 05

Postby wrcstl » Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:09 pm

Cam,
Appreciate the notes. Have to admit to not buying OZ Shiraz anymore because of the hedonistic crap the get over to the USA. Certainly wish I could try the '04 Warner Vineyard as it sounds like a good drink and wines like that could put a few OZ wines back in my cellar. On another note, I have been enjoying roussanne lately but for $75???, you people in Australia must have lots of bucks. I have been trying $10-20 stuff and enjoying it.
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Re: WTNs: Giaconda Nantua 05, Aeolia 05, Shiraz 04, McClay Shiraz 05

Postby Cam Wheeler » Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:27 pm

wrcstl wrote:Cam,
Appreciate the notes. Have to admit to not buying OZ Shiraz anymore because of the hedonistic crap the get over to the USA. Certainly wish I could try the '04 Warner Vineyard as it sounds like a good drink and wines like that could put a few OZ wines back in my cellar. On another note, I have been enjoying roussanne lately but for $75???, you people in Australia must have lots of bucks. I have been trying $10-20 stuff and enjoying it.
Walt


Do you see any of our cool-climate Shiraz over there? Seppelt St Peters, Mount Langi Ghiran, Clonakilla etc? I appreciate that Barossa/McLarenVale/Heathcote Shiraz has a point of difference over the rest of the world of Shiraz, as a massive generalisation I can struggle to drink more than a glass of many of them and don't at all mind seeing it going overseas where it may be appreciated (with plenty of exceptions of course).

At $75, I'm sure that there is some brand premium being paid - the Chardonnay is $90 and it is probably in the top two wines of that varietal in Australia. It is pretty small production and I'm sure he has no problem selling it at that price, so I guess that economics-wise it is the "right price". You'd never catch me paying it though!
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Re: WTNs: Giaconda Nantua 05, Aeolia 05, Shiraz 04, McClay Shiraz 05

Postby Jenise » Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:57 pm

Cam, wow, a $75 Roussane and a $90 Chardonnay! Smart producer--there are those who have to prove that they have so much money they can afford quality at any cost, and someone has to provide it to them.

Interesting discussion--I'm a little surprised to see Heathcote grouped with McClaren Vale and Barossa. I thought, apparently wrongly, that it was a bit cooler there. But yes, we do get some cooler climate Aussie wines here. Mt. Langhi Ghiran, Bests, very little Seppelt in recent years at least in the places I've lived, and of course a number of Margaret River wines. And then the odd thing shows up even if one doesn't routinely see it, like the four bottles of Knight/Granite Hills shiraz I bought not long ago. I knew the winery from my last visit to Oz in 2000--though it's not far from Heathcote, surely the elevation makes the Macedon area cool climate?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTNs: Giaconda Nantua 05, Aeolia 05, Shiraz 04, McClay Shiraz 05

Postby Cam Wheeler » Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:18 pm

Jenise wrote:Cam, wow, a $75 Roussane and a $90 Chardonnay! Smart producer--there are those who have to prove that they have so much money they can afford quality at any cost, and someone has to provide it to them.

Interesting discussion--I'm a little surprised to see Heathcote grouped with McClaren Vale and Barossa. I thought, apparently wrongly, that it was a bit cooler there. But yes, we do get some cooler climate Aussie wines here. Mt. Langhi Ghiran, Bests, very little Seppelt in recent years at least in the places I've lived, and of course a number of Margaret River wines. And then the odd thing shows up even if one doesn't routinely see it, like the four bottles of Knight/Granite Hills shiraz I bought not long ago. I knew the winery from my last visit to Oz in 2000--though it's not far from Heathcote, surely the elevation makes the Macedon area cool climate?


I don't think $90 is too unfair for the Chardonnay, it is genuinely world-class and one of the very best we are making here. I would certainly take it anyday over Petaluma Tiers or Penfolds Yattarna which are around $150 - even Leeuwin Art Series is sneaking up to $85 at retail now.

Sorry yes Heathcote is a bit cooler than the Barossa, but it is still in the warm spectrum compared to Great Western, Beechworth, Canberra and so on. It got lumped in with the others because some of the producers there are chasing the monsterous wines that certain critics love.

Yes Macedon would be cool climate, there are some great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir based wines coming from there (Bindi, Curly Flat, Epis)
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