Wine Tasting # 136 August 30, 2012 12:00 P.M. Da Domenico

Tasting 136   August  30,  2012   12:00 PM Da Domenico Ristorant Italiano

Contents of this post:
1. Wines from Australia and N. Zealand, Presenters, Birthdays of August and Confirmed Participants.
2. Wines and Menu of the Tasting # 136
3. Wines Descriptors and critique
4. Club Members Evaluation of the Wines, by Hugo Benito
5. The Region of Production of the Wines: Australia and N. Zealand by G. Zincke & L. Barreto

1.      Wines from  Australia:   Coonawarra and Barossa Valley, and  New Zealand:    Marlborough  and Hawkes Bay.

Presenters:  German Zincke and Leonor Barreto

Leonor Barreto

German Zincke

Aniversariantes del mes de Agosto:  Alfonso Caycedo, dia 3, Ginger Smart, dia 6, Juan Luis Colaiacovo, dia 9 y Jorge Beruff, dia 11. Congratulaciones y muchos años de vida!

Participantes confirmados– hasta 26 de agosto:    Mario Aguilar, Italo Mirkow, Orlando Mason, Cecilio-Augusto Berndsen, Alfonso Sanchez, Jorge O. Rodriguez,  German Zincke, Leonor Barreto, Hugo Benito, Juan Luis Colaiacovo, Miguel Segovia, Alfonso Caycedo, Ricardo Zavaleta, Rene Meza, Jairo Sanchez, Emilio Labrada, Ginger Smart, Ruth Connolly,   Raul Sanguinetti, Edwin Armendaris(invitado de Raul Sanguinetti), Clara Estrada, Luis Carlos Danin Lobo (Lula), Marcello Averbug.

2. Wines and Menu

1. Aperitif:  2011 Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc,   New Zealand, APV:  13%  with

2. Red One:    2010 Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Merlot (blend), Hawkes Bay, New Zealand,  APV 13.5% with:

Cozze Ligurian Style          Mussel with garlic, Italian parsley and lemon white wine sauce

3. Red Two:   2009 Jim Barry The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, Australia, APV 14.1% with:

Gnocchi Pomodoro      Potato Dumpling with olive oil, fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil sauce)

4. Red Three:    2007 Penfolds Bin 138 GSM Grenache – Shiraz – Mourvedre,  Barossa Valley, Australia,  APV % 14.5 with:

Scaloppine di Vitello Porcini      Veal scaloppe with porcini mushrooms brandy cream sauce

Petto di Pollo Toscana     Breast of chicken with fresh herbs, balsamic demiglaza sauce

Dessert:    Cream Brulee   or  Cheese Cake


3. The Wines

♦    2011 Whitehaven  Sauvignon Blanc,   Marlborough, New Zealand, APV:  13%, $ 21 Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, DC.

From the Winemaker website:  Accolades:  Best White Wine Buy of the Year – Michael Cooper’s NZ Guide to Wine 2012,      Blue-Gold Medal and Top 100 Wine – Sydney International Wine Show 2011,     Gold Medal  – Selections Mondiales Des Vins – Canada 2012,     Gold Medal – International Aromatic Wine Competition 2011.                                                                                                           TASTING NOTE:  Colour/Appearance:  Mid-straw, with a bright clarity.    Aroma/Bouquet:  Vibrant white-currant, nettle, and gooseberry aromas, with a grapefruit core, underpinned by some pungent herbaceous and jalapeño flavours.  Palate:  The palate is full and vibrant. Fresh nettle, gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours abound and linger on the long, clean acid finish. Cellaring:    We recommend drinking while young and fresh, but the wine is capable of developing nicely over the next three to five years.    Food Match:    Summer salads, poultry and shellfish, such as Marlborough’s famous green lipped mussels, lobster and white fish.   Serve:   Lightly chilled.

Cellar Tracker: 88.3 from 52 evaluators.

♦    2010 Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Merlot (blend)    86% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec,  Hawker Bay, N. Zealand. APV: 13.5% ,  $ 20 Calvert Woodley, DC

Winemaker notes  The warm, gravelly soils are perfect for the production of Merlot and the moderate heat allows the wine to retain freshness and structure without showing over-ripe characters.    The result is a rich, ripe wine with ample ‘dusty’ tannins and a lush, warm texture similar to other wines made in the area.               Tasting Notes: Very dark colour. A brooding bouquet of dark plums and blackberry. Wild thyme, rose-like florals and nutmeg nuances contribute to a lifted complexity. The silken texture unveils an intense fruit core with characters of cocoa and fresh tobacco. This wine is very rich, yet tempered by balanced tannins and fresh acidity.

The Wine Advocate , November 2011:   90 Points
“Deep garnet-purple colored, it offers aromas of warm plums and blueberries with some spice cake, figs and kirsch in the background. Medium-full bodied and generously fruited in the mouth, it presents firm grainy tannins, invigorating acid and a long finish.”      Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW.

Wine Enthusiast    90: “For a wine that’s akin to a Pomerol in varietal composition, with 80% Merlot and most of the rest Cabernet Franc, this is surprisingly muscular in style, with dusty tannins framing dark fruit and hints of vanilla, mocha and cinnamon. Drink 2013–2018.”

 ♦   2009 Jim Barry The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, Australia. APV 14.1%, $ 19 Calvert Woodley

Winemaking notes      This wine is bright plum in colour with purple tints. The nose shows intensely complex characters of blackcurrant and cedar spice. This is followed on the palate by an eruption of fruit flavours -primarily dark cherry and blackberry, with a distinctive Coonawarra cassis character.      The tannins are fine grained and supple and the wine has a long, integrated finish.        As with previous releases of ‘The Cover Drive’, the wine displays harmonious balance and can be enjoyed now or will reward cellaring for 2-3 years.

The Wine Advocate:  90 Points     “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2009 The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon presents intense cassis and blackberries aromas with hints of pencil shavings, cloves and bay leaf. Medium-full bodied, it has a medium level of grainy tannins, lively acidity and mouth-filling, very pure berry flavors, finishing long. Drink it now through 2016. ”

♦  2007 Penfolds Bin 138 GSM Grenache – Shiraz – Mourvedre, (Grenache 66 %, Mourvèdre 21%, Shiraz 13%), Barossa Valley, Australia,  APV % 14.5, $ 26, Calvert  Woodley, DC

Winemaking notes      Unusually for Penfolds, all three varieties are matured independently, owing to their tendency to mature at different times on the vine and the need to mature under different conditions in the barrel.

Mourvèdre will often contribute a unique combination of violet-like floral notes and a range of earthy, savoury complexities. Structurally it can be lean and sinewy, providing a worthy frame upon which shiraz and grenache can sit. Grenache is typically lighter in colour and body, presenting the perfume of the wine and is often the first component noticed when the wine is poured. Shiraz provides the body and shape of the wine.            Bin 138 is more of a fruit-driven style than the other Bin wines and displays a chalkier tannin texture. Its rich, earthy nature becomes more nuanced with age.

Ripe, generous and focused, with a veil of fine tannins around a pulsing core of cherry, blackberry and roasted meat flavors that linger easily on the open finish. Drink now through 2015.

90, Wine Spectator (Jun 2010)       88, Jeb Dunnuck, The Rhone Report (Issue # 4 – May 2010)          90, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Dec 2009) that writes this review: Penfold’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape look alike, the 2007 Penfolds Bin 138 is a blend of 66% Grenache, 21% Mourvèdre and 13% Shiraz. It offers up kirsch and blackberry fruit, garrigue, licorice and earthy aromas on the nose. These carry into a medium bodied palate where the wine showcases a soft, flesh style, impressive fruit and a clean, long and surprisingly tannic finish. A touch soft, this is still very enjoyable and a solid bottle of wine.


4.  Club Members Evaluation of the Wines

By Hugo Benito
HugoBenitoSe repatieron 21 formularios de evaluacion ,uno por cada persona presente, y se recibieron 17.
Como es norma  para los calculos no se consideraron valores muy extremos.

Vino Numero 1- White Haven Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Malborough –  Nueva Zelandia.Alcohol 13% – Precio $31 -Ch.Chase Wine & Spirits-Calificaron este vino 16 personas con un promedio de 89.6 puntos..Hubo una concentracion ( 11 pers.)entre 89 y 90 con un promedio de 89.4.Los valores oscilaron entre 88 y 92 puntos , hubo poca dispersion.  Comentarios:  Color amarillo verdoso brillante, aromas herbaceos y flores, acidez balanceada,buen final, agradable aftertaste, alcohol suave. Elegante .Facil de tomar.

Vino Numero 2- Craggy Range – Hawkes Bay-Nueva Zelandia 2010-Merlot 80%-Cabernet Franc 8%-Cabernet Sauvignon 8%-Malbec 4%-CW . Alcohol 13.5%-Precio $20.Evaluaron este vino  15 personas con un promedio de 87.9. Cuatro personas le diero 90 puntos. Comentarios: Color dark burgundi,aroma afrutas,vainilla,sabor suave sedoso al paladar (glicerina ?),taninos suaves,  buen cuerpo,sobresale el merlot.No hubo uniformidad en la evaluacio con extremos enre 82 y 92 puntos.

Vino Numero 3- The Cover Drive 2009-Cabernet Sauvignon – Conawara-Australia.Alcohol 14.1%- Precio $19- CW.  Evaluaron este vino 16 personas con un promedio de 88.2 puntos.Hubo una concentracion (10 per.) ente 88 y 89 puntos con un promedio de 88.6 Comentarios: Color rojo vivo a purpura,buen aroma , pero no muy marcado, a fruta,franbuesa,menta, sabor frutal, madera chocolate, azucar, poco cuerpo,final corto.

Vino Numero 4- Penfolds Bin 138– Grenache 66%- Mourvedre  21%,Shirah 13%. Alcohol 14.5 – Precio $27 -CW. Evaluaron este vino 16 personas.Hubo una concentracion bien manifiesta ( 12 per.)entre los 89 y 91 puntos con un promedio de 89.8 .Dos socios le dieron 94 y 95 puntos y uno 85. Si consideramos todos los valores se tiene un promedio de 90 puntos.Comentarios: color rojo brillante, atractivo, aroma mediano a frutos rojos, buen sabor y texura, poco cuerpo, taninos suaves, balanceado, long finish , excelente.Baja relacion calidad-precio.


5. Information on the Producing Regions

by German Zincke and Leonor Barreto

Selección de Vinos

De acuerdo a la programación anual, en esta oportunidad se degustarán vinos del Australia y de Nueva Zelandia  (o Zelanda) de zonas preseleccionadas. Las regiones de Australia son: Coonawarra y Barrosa Valley. De Nueva Zelandia las regiones son: Marlborough y Hawkes Bay. Leonor Barreto y Germán Zincke son los encargados de la selección  y de la presentación de los vinos.

Nombre del vino


Alcohol %

Precio $

Lugar de compra


 Marlborough, Nueva Zelandia  White Haven Sauvignon Blanc




Chevy Chase Wine & SpiritsDC


Hawkes Bay, Nueva Zelandia Craggy Range (Merlot 80 %, Cabernet Franc 8 %, Cabernet Saugvinon 8%, Malbec 4%)




Calvert & Woodley



Coonawarra, Australia The Cover Drive (Cabernet Saugvinon)




Calvert & Woodley



Barossa Valley, Australia Penfolds  BIN 138(Grenache 66 %, Mourveère 21%, Shiraz 13%)




Calvert & Woodley




Australia & its Wines


The Australian Wine export market was worth 2.9 billion US dollars  a year in June 2007, and was growing at 9% pa. Of this about US$2.1 billion is accounted for by North America and the UK, and in this key latter market Australia is now the largest supplier of still wines. 2007 statistics for the North American market show that Australian wine accounted for a 17% share of the total value of U.S. imported wine, behind France with 31% and Italy with 28%.

New marketing strategies developed for the key UK market encouraged customers to explore premium Australian brands, while maintaining sales of the lower-margin high-volume brands, following research that indicated a celebratory dinner was more likely to be accompanied by an inferior French wine than a premium Australian wine. This is partly due to exchange rate fluctuations, making Australian wines appear much cheaper than French wines in the UK and hence perceived as being of poorer quality. While this situation may be somewhat mitigated by the continued rise in the Australian dollar during 2010.

Australian Wine Regions

The Australian wine industry is the world’s fourth largest exporter of wine with approximately 750 million liters a year to the international export market with only about 40% of production consumed domestically. The wine industry is a significant contributor to the Australian economy through production, employment, export and tourism. There is a US$2.93 billion domestic market for Australian wines, with Australians consuming over 530 million liters annually with a per capita consumption of about 30 liters – 50% white table wine, 35% red table wine. Norfolk Islanders are the second biggest per capita wine consumers in the world with 54 liters. Only 16.6% of wine sold domestically is imported. Wine is produced in every state, with more than 60 designated wine regions totaling approximately 160,000 hectares; however Australia’s wine regions are mainly in the southern, cooler parts of the country, with vineyards located in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. The wine regions in each of these states produce different wine varieties and styles that take advantage of the particular terroir such as: climatic differences, topography and soil types. With the major varieties being predominantly Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Semillon, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.

New Zealand and its Wines

New Zealand Wine Regions

Wine making and vine growing go back to colonial times in New Zealand. In 1851 New Zealand’s oldest existing vineyard was established by French Roman Catholic missionaries at Mission Estate in Hawke’s Bay. Due to economic (the importance of animal agriculture and the protein export industry), legislative (prohibition and the temperance) and cultural
factors (the overwhelming predominance of beer and spirit drinking British immigrants), wine was for many years a marginal activity in terms of economic importance. Dalmatian immigrants arriving in New Zealand at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century brought with them viticultural knowledge and planted vineyards in West and North Auckland. Typically, their vineyards produced sherry and port for the palates of New Zealanders of the time, and table wine for their own community.

The three factors that held back the development of the industry simultaneously underwent subtle but historic changes in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1973, Britain entered the European Economic Community, which required the ending of historic trade terms for New Zealand meat and dairy products. This led ultimately to a dramatic restructuring of the agricultural economy. Before this restructuring was fully implemented, diversification away from traditional protein products to products with potentially higher economic returns was explored. Vines, which produce best in low moisture and low soil fertility environments, were seen as suitable for areas that had previously been marginal pasture. The end of the 1960s saw the end of the New Zealand institution of the “six o’clock swill”, where pubs were open for only an hour after the end of the working day and closed all Sunday. The same legislative reform saw the introduction of BYO (bring your own) licences for restaurants. This had a profound and unexpected effect on New Zealanders’ cultural approach to wine.  Finally the late 1960s and early 1970s noted the rise of the “overseas experience,” where young New Zealanders traveled and lived and worked overseas, predominantly in Europe. As a cultural phenomenon, the overseas experience predates the rise of New Zealand’s premium wine industry, but by the 1960s a distinctly Kiwi (New Zealand) identity had developed and the passenger jet made the overseas experience possible for a large numbers of New Zealanders who experienced first-hand the premium wine cultures of Europe.

The wine regions in New Zealand stretch from latitudes 36°S (comparable in latitude to Jerez, Spain), to 45°S (comparable in latitude to Bordeaux, France). The climate in New Zealand is maritime, meaning that the sea moderates the weather producing cooler summers and milder winters than would be expected at similar latitudes in Europe and North America.

New Zealand wine production by grape variety (hectares)

Year                           2003    2004    2005    2006    2007    2008

Sauvignon Blanc         4,516   5,897   7,043   8,860   10,491 13,988

Chardonnay                3,515   3,617   3,731   3,779   3,918   3,881

Pinot Noir                    2,624   3,239   3,623   4,063   4,441   4,650

Merlot                          1,249   1,487   1,492   1,420   1,447   1,363

Riesling                         653      666      806      853      868      917

Cabernet Sauvignon     741      687      678      531      524      516

The Selected Regions

 1.1.   Marlborough, New Zealand

Located on the east coast with mountains to the west, Marlborough is one of New Zealand’s sunniest and driest areas.  In these bright, but relatively ‘cool’ climate conditions, the grapes have the advantage of a long slow, flavour-intensifying ripening period.  The average daily temperature during summer is nearly 24 degrees C but clear cool nights keep acid levels high in the grapes.

Within the region, viticulture has been developed primarily on sites with moderate low fertility and a noticeably stony, sandy loam top soil overlying deep layers of free-draining shingle, as found in the viticulturally developed areas of the Wairau and Awatere Valleys.  These shallow, fast draining, low fertility soils help to produce a lush, aromatic ripe wine because they reduce the vines vigour.

Sauvignon Blanc is a white-wine grape variety from western France which is now successfully grown in emerging and established wine regions all over the world. While the grape may be more readily associated with the Loire Valley it is more likely to have originated from Bordeaux.

Marlborough produced roughly 65% of New Zealand’s total wine output, 75% of which was Sauvignon Blanc.

In the 1970s, Montana in Marlborough started producing wines which were labelled by year of production (vintage) and grape variety (in the style of wine producers in Australia). The first production of a Sauvignon Blanc of great note appears to have occurred in 1977. Also produced in that year were superior quality wines of Muller Thurgau, Riesling and Pinotage.

In the 1980s, wineries in New Zealand, especially in the Marlborough region, began producing outstanding, some critics said unforgettable, Sauvignon Blanc. “New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is like a child who inherits the best of both parents—exotic aromas found in certain Sauvignon Blancs from the New World and the pungency and limy acidity of an Old World Sauvignon Blanc like Sancerre from the Loire Valley. “No other region in the world can match Marlborough, the northeastern corner of New Zealand’s South Island, which seems to be the best place in the world to grow Sauvignon Blanc grapes”

1. 2.     Hawkes Bay, New Zealand


Gannets at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay, N. Zealand

Hawke’s Bay, along with Marlborough, is the center of gravity for the New Zealand wine industry; it is New Zealand’s oldest wine producing area and is the country’s second largest wine production region. The premiere area for Bordeaux blend reds in New Zealand and the region is rapidly developing a reputation for quality Syrah. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are produced and lately Viognier. Specialist high quality small producers include Bilancia and Bridge Pa. Other well-known producers include Brookfields Estate, Clearview Estate, Esk Valley, Villa Maria, Vidal, Trinity Hill, Craggy Range, Newton Forrest Estate, Te Mata Estate, Moana Park Estate, Mission Estate, Sileni, Sacred Hill, CJ Pask, and Babich.

Early success in Hawkes Bay in the 1960s by McWilliams, and in the 1980s by Te Mata Estate, led to red wine grape planting and production concentrating on Cabernet Sauvignon by Corbans, McWilliams, and Mission Estate, among many others. As viticultural techniques were improved and tailored to New Zealand’s maritime climate, more Merlot and other Bordeaux-style grapes were planted, with quality and quantity increasing. This trend continues and can be seen in the New Zealand Wine Institute statistics indicating that plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Syrah now account for 2,496 hectares

 1.3.     Coonawarra, Australia

Coonawarra is a wine region, on the Limestone Coast of South Australia, that is known for the Cabernet Sauvignon wines produced on its “terra rossa” soil. Coonawarra is an Aboriginal word meaning “Honeysuckle”. It is about 380 km southeast of Adelaide, close to the border with Victoria.

Tasting wine in Coonawarra

The first vines were planted by John Riddoch at Yallum, South Australia in 1890. Only the Redman family of Rouge Homme continued to produce table wine during this period, during which Shiraz was the main grape variety grown.

Fortunes changed when Samuel Wynn recognized the potential of the strip of terra rossa soil, and bought the original Riddoch cellars in 1951. Led by Wynns and Penfolds, Coonawarra was to play a leading role in the transformation of the Australian wine industry as it changed from making fortified wines to conventional table wines.

Coonawarra’s terra rossa soil is one of the most famous terroirs in the New World, covering an area of just 15 km x 2 km north of Penola. This special bright red soil is clearly visible on an aerial photo.

Being just 60 km from the sea, Coonawarra has a somewhat maritime climate not dissimilar to Bordeaux. During the growing season, there is just 219mm rainfall (Oct-Apr), out of 585mm annually. Extensive cloud cover keeps the temperature down to 19.1°C in January.

Coonawarra is synonymous with classy Cabernet Sauvignon, full of plum and blackcurrant fruit.

1.4.     Barossa Valley, Australia

The Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions. Located in South Australia, the Barossa Valley is about 56km (35 miles) northeast of the city of Adelaide. Unlike most of Australia whose wine industry was heavily influenced by the British, the wine industry of the Barossa Valley was founded by German settlers fleeing persecution from the Prussian province of Silesia (in what is now modern day Poland). The hot continental climate of the region promoted the production of very ripe grapes that was the linchpin of the early

Barossa Valley

Australian fortified wine industry. As the modern Australian wine industry shifted towards red table wines (particularly those made by the prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon) in the mid-20th century, the Barossa Valley fell out of favor due to its reputation for being largely a Shiraz producers whose grapes were destined for blending. During this period the name “Barossa Valley” rarely appeared on wine labels. In the 1980s, the emergence of several boutique family specializing in old vine Shiraz wines began to capture international attention for the distinctive style of Barossa Shiraz, a full bodied red wine with rich chocolate and spice notes. This led to a renaissance in the Barossa which catapulted the region to the forefront of the Australian wine industry.

Many of Australia’s largest and most notable wineries are either headquartered or own extensive holdings in the Barossa Valley. These include such wineries as Penfolds, Peter Lehmann, Orlando Wines, Seppeltsfield, Wolf Blass and Yalumba. Many Shiraz vines in the Barossa Valley are several decades old, with some vineyards planted with old vines that are 100-150 years old. Other grape varieties grown in the Barossa include Grenache, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay and Semillon.


About Cecilio Augusto Berndsen

Information Technology, Management, Project Management and Public Administration are areas I am familiar with. I am also interested in photography, wine, sailing, politics, economics, and economic development.
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