Saturday, September 30, 2006

There has to be more to life!

There has to be more to life than dealing with Dividend Streaming, Capital Gains Tax and advising clients on the correct application of GST and the Margin Scheme. This is a thought I have often at this time of year, when I begin dreaming of ways to earn money from wine tasting and experimenting in the kitchen!

I have discovered there IS more to life than these things, however these 'things' help pay for the things that make life that little bit more enjoyable.

By the way, a little bit of interesting(sic) tax information (I can't help myself) for my dear non-resident readers, recently the Government introduced a Bill into the Parliament that, if passed, will essentially allow non-residents who own shares in companies (or units in Managed Funds) in Australia to be exempt from any capital gains tax here in the land of OZ (therefore all gains will be tax free and all dividends will only be taxed at the relevant non-resident withholding rate). The same exemption will not apply to real property. The Government is obviously trying to attract foreign investment (I would guess from large UK and US pension funds and other internationl fund managers).

Whilst pondering the important questions of life such as 'should I get up from my seat in front of the TV to get the remote that the kids left on the floor because I hate this program?', 'where do all the other socks go?', I received a telephone call from one of my brothers.

I have two brothers, who both live in Canberra with their families (but we still like them), and one sister. Through a confluence of events, an alignment of the planets, or more accurately an overlapping of school vacation periods between Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory, both brothers and their families will be making the prilgimage north to the best city in the world - Brisbane (sorry Ed, Cam, GW, Murray, Mike, TWC and everyone else) or here.

One brother, together with his wife and 4 of his 5 kids, is coming to stay with our little family for a week. It promises to be a great time! We will be eating and drinking ourselves silly - at least I hope so!

To celebrate we opened with Sunday night roast dinner a Lindeman's 'St George' 1997 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon (picture from Lindeman's website).

Here is what the wine maker says.

Here is what I reckon:

There was 13.5% alcohol and it was a dark brick red in appearance. The nose was sensational filled with loads of chocolate, some cigar, plums and maybe a touch of aniseed or fennel. It was medium to full bodied with big fruit flavours, firm tannins, good length and a long dry finish that had you panting for more. This is a very nice wine with still a few more years to go. Drinking well now and should continue to do so for 3 or 4 more years yet.

I gave it an overall score of 92-94/100

After scoring the individual components I came up with 18.5-19/20.

Would I buy it again? - yep! I hope to find some more as that was my last bottle (key sad music)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Maglieri Shiraz 2004 (McLaren Vale)

The better-half and I have been busy managing trips to doctors and the hospital as our two year old (turns two this coming Thursday) had to have his tonsils and adenoids taken out. In his two years he has had at least 15 bouts of tonsilitis with the last one being one continuous bout since May this year. As soon as any antibiotics are finished his temperature has usually been up to 41C within 24 hours. Enough is enough!

On Friday last week he went in and had his operation. I have been surprised by his recovery. Within 2-3 hours of the operation he was sitting up in bed and scoffing down as much food as we could give him - not mushy stuff either! He was having crusty garlic bread, rice crackers and other 'normal' food. What a champion. I think he has been so used to eating with a sore throat that this was no real hurdle and he was starving because he had to fast before the op. He and mum stayed in overnight on Friday while I took B1 home.

After I put B1 to bed I felt I needed a glass (or more) of wine so I pulled out a guzzler and drank, by myself, in the lounge room with lights turned low and just some music on in the back ground. After the first glass, being relaxed enough, I turned on the TV as the football was on and watched one of the qualifying finals.

This wine was a massive 15% alcohol. It was dark red with just a tinge of purple. There were blackberries and pepper/spices on the nose and you could get a slight burning of the alcohol (or so I believe - I hope I haven't talked myself into it) .

It was a true McLaren Vale with big berry flavours but again I think you can taste the alcohol a little. I think the 15% alcohol causes this medium bodied wine to be slightly out of balance.

For $10 per bottle the
Maglieri is a nice 'guzzler'. I wouldn't pay much more for it though. From memory, some of the earlier vintages were much better.

My overall rating of


was, as usual, made before I rated the individual components at


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Penfold's Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2002

We tasted this wine on 27 August 2006. This was the third wine tasted at Rob's.

What another cracker!! A BIG wine! Dark red/purple and full bodied this wine exhibited a nose of berries, blackfruit with a hint of chocolate and a hint of tobacco. There were strong blackfruits and berries on the palate and a hint of 'butteriness' - is this malolactics??? Is there supposed to be a malolactic fermentation in a Bin 389??

There was really good length and intensity.

I gave it an overall rating of


and when I rated each of the components


The wine maker's tasting notes are here. (I have used Penfold's photo from their website)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Cornas Domaine Vincent Paris 2003

We drank this at Rob's on Saturday night (as per previous post).

I picked this up on a whim (and the recommendation of Tony Harper at the Wine Emporium). It is my first ever French Shiraz.

It was a very dark red/purple and had a whopping 14.9% alcohol but you couldn't tell - or I couldn't anyway.

It was very very stinky. It had a very rustic nose and shouted leafy, vegetal, earthy, cabbage, mossy.

There was an amazing intensity of flavour and very good length with the flavour highlighted by black fruits of some description, that escaped me.

This was a big wine but at the same time elegant and well structured and will last another 10 years at least. It cost $65 - and to follow Murray's lead at Winetastic - Would I buy it again? Absolutely!

My overall rating was


(Rob was arguing for a 95 - possibly it was! Rob went as far as to say it was the best French wine he had tasted of the ones I have purchased recently)

Scoring the individual components I gave it


Friday, September 01, 2006

Dinner with Rob of the Up-punt

You have heard of (if you have read or heard any classic Australian poetry) Clancy of the Overflow, the Man from Snowy River and the Man from Ironbark. Well Rob of the up-punt is none of these! Remember Rob?? He is my brother-in-law and wine buddy and the originator of Robbie's Rule of Thumb. He has been 'up-punting' for some time and he had good reason to last weekend.

Rob and Lisa invited us over for a lamb roast on Saturday night, and I remembered Dr Ed's sage advice and decided we needed a good Sangiovese to go with the lamb. He suggests it is a good combination because the acidity of the Sangiovese helps cut through the fattiness of the lamb.

The first Sangiovese I tried was a Coriole (McLaren Vale) and it tasted much like a McLaren
Vale Shiraz. Later, at an introductory Wine Course run by The Wine Emporium, I tried a 2003 Mazzei 'Badiola' from Tuscany. Ed commented that this is the type of Sangiovese he had had in mind when he advised me earlier. I loved the 2003 Badiola!

Armed with the great memory of the 2003 Badiola I ventured to the Wine Emporium last Saturday to try and 'kill two birds with one stone' by picking up my 2003 Bordeauxs and a bottle of Badiola for dinner that night. I succeeded, but the Badiola was a 2004, and along the way I also succeeded in killing a few brain cells at the Southern Rhone tasting and in denting the wallet with a purchase of a Northern Rhone Syrah -
Cornas 2003 Vincent Paris (or here).

I ended up taking both to Rob's and he added a Penfold's 2002 Bin 389. Yep, it was a pretty good night!

We started with the 2004 Badiola. It was dark red with a tinge of purple. The nose was earthy with hints of licorice, musty leather and oak and a trace of cherries. There were firm tannins and decent length but the intensity of flavour that was present in the 2003, simply was not there in this wine. It certainly had character but when the wine first hits the tongue there is almost no flavour at all, it is almost like water. The flavour builds very slowly and not very far. I was a little disappointed in the 2004 after such a good 2003.

Robbie's and my overall score


and when we scored the individual components we came up with


Rob was disappointed because the wine promised so much - it had a decent sized punt.

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