Tag Archives: Beaujolais

The Vincast with Sierra Reed Milne from Reed Wines

Growing up in Southern California presented an incredible opportunity to Sierra Reed Milne when she was scouted for a modelling career at a young age, which in turn gave her the chance to travel and experience other cultures. After gaining a following on the 18th season of Survivor, she dreamed of becoming a television travel program host, but couldn’t have imagined that it would be realised in New Zealand. It was here that she began her wine journey after working closely with the Family of Twelve, a journey that has led to her marrying an Australian, and making her own wine based in Victoria. Check out my Let’s Taste video of one of her wines here!

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Sierra Reed Milne from Reed Wines

Sierra Reed Milne from Reed Wines

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The Vincast with Tom Belford from Bobar Wines

Tom & Sally Belford are producing some of the most exciting small-batch wines in the Yarra Valley, under the moniker of Bobar. They met whilst studying viticulture at Charles Sturt University, and after gaining experience in vineyards & cellars in Australia and Europe, decided to craft their own expressions from fruit grown in Tom’s home region. Tom joined me on this episode of The Vincast to tell their story, and share some insight on their philosophy of elegant simplicity.

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Tom Belford of Bobar Wines

Tom Belford of Bobar Wines

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The Intrepid Wino drank things in 2014

Last year was a particularly good year for drinking for me, I have to admit it. Thanks to all the fantastic people I met and venues I discovered, who all work with some beautiful products, I got to both taste and drink (sometimes a bit too much) some amazing stuff. Some of these wines were tasted at events or trade tastings, some at my favourite bars & restaurants, and a few were tasted at wineries I visited (which was too rare in 2014). You’ll notice that many of these wines are Italian which very much reflects where I was at this year working for an importer of Italian wines, and also visiting Italy in June.

Let me know what you think, and tell me in the comments what were your highlight wines for 2014.


2014 was a momentous year as it was the first time I tasted Claret!

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Here endeth the lesson (Beaujolais, France)

Fourteen and some months after I left Australia I arrived at my last day visiting wineries, and it certainly has been quite a journey. As it turns out I am very glad to be finishing in Burgundy, partly because I generally love the wines and they are amongst my favourite in Europe, but also as Burgundy is such a diverse and often complicated region that I was glad to have had all the previous experience before visiting. Having already visited the Chablis and the Cote d’Or on my previous trip in 2010 there was very little that surprised me in these regions and it was more a question of familiarising myself further. South of the Cote de Beaune on the other hand was a different story, as not only did I know very little about these appelations but I had had almost no tasting experience with them. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to secure any appointments either in the Cote Challonaise or the Cote Maconnaise and had to be content with driving through parts of the area to see the type of landscape it is. One of the more famous appelations in the Cote Maconnaise is the village of Chardonnay, not because of the quality of the wines but because it is supposedly the birthplace of possibly my favourite white grape variety. Technically still part of Macon but a different appelation to the south is the famous Beaujolais which totally took me by surprise, and I was pretty happy to finish somewhere that did. The king of varieties here is gamay, and there are no other parts of the world that grow it in the quantity or quality they do here. There is a separate appelation for Beaujolais Blanc wines which are 100% chardonnay, but really it’s the gamay that makes this region what it is.

A cold day in Beaujolais

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Domaine du Vissoux – 13/12/2012

Beaujolais Blanc 2011
Nice bright fresh citrus and floral, crisp fruitiness, a little minerality but just nice and clean. Zingy zesty fresh not overly fruity or fat, extremely focused and fresh, clean mineralic acidity, lovely balance and extension on the palate, very complete, but clean and light. Great balance and harmony.

Les Griottes Beaujolais 2012
Lovely and bright and fresh, clean and straight, good acids but nice and short and fresh. Light and a little spicy with good fruit concentration. Cassis and myrtle.

Vielles Vigne 2011
A little stinky at first but blowing off and opening up, spicy and dark, good deep earth characters. Bright intense on the mid-palate, very fresh and great acidity, nice and savoury too, great concentration.

Les Griottes 2011
More closed and fresh, light and clean, more simple less concentrated fruit nose. Light fresh balanced good red fruits, a little earthy. A much more simple vintage, prefer the 2010 and 2012.

Cuvee Traditionelle 2011
Slightly closed and a bit reductive now, needs a little bit longer in the bottle to settle down, soft and subtle, nice dark fruits. Supple tannins with plenty of freshness and liveliness. More on the mid-palate with a little more extension. Integrated spice.

Couer de la Vendage 2011
The vintage isn’t expressing the different terroirs and styles well, bright intense, more tannins on the front but clean finish, very light but very tight, needs more time to open and express more. Very intense and quite concentrated.

Brouilly 2011
Deep dark spicy fruits with some dark salted chocolate and bramble. Soft and fuller, richer and heavier on the palate, intense full expressive tannins, tight and balanced, nice extension with potential for ageing. Lengthy tannins and tighter structure all around.

Fleurie Pensierre 2011
More whole bunch stalk maceration character, dark woody but crisp and intense. Soft and velvety, longer on the palate, fresh bright and light, nice dark red fruit characters, clean and appealing. Lovely and savoury spice.

Fleurie Les Garants 2011
Softer and fuller structure, more fruit less spice and savoury tannin. Round and long.

Moulin-a-Vent 2011
Dark full and round, denser and heavier in structure and darker in fruit, well managed maceration. For those liking fuller wines.

Moulin-a-Vent la Rochelle 2010
Really concentrated and spicy very floral as well, violets and dark marmalade. Deep intense masculine structured concentrated complex with some cassis sweetness on the back.

Extra Brut Cremant de Bourgogne
Crisp mineralic nose, nice lime and lemon aromas, a little autolysis but very fresh and light. Some spice and herb notes, quite complex and interesting, leesy and a little cheesy too. Some soy notes for complexity.

Domaine du Vissoux

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Paul Janin & Fils – 13/12/2012

Beaujolais Village 2011
Bright and spicy, dark red fruits, stalky, woody but not oaky, foresty. Full and soft, some structure and sweet tannins, some creaminess in the texture, round but still very fresh and not too full in fruit, good acid giving some brightness.

Moulin a Vent 2011
Darker fruit, earthier intensity, deeper more mature spice. Riper and fuller extension on the palate, still very light and fresh but deeper and longer. Still nice soft full tannins, certainly more savoury characters. Dark and stormy.

Clos du Tremblay Moulin a Vent 2011
Quite intense very mature and confident, subtle and aloof, distant almost. Serious fruit and minerality. Dense and very focused, really intense core of dark fruit, fine yet firm tannins, drive and extension with plenty of aging potential, tight and needing time for the more complex characters to develop.

Beaujolais Blanc 2011
Really lovely bright traditional English marmalade with some nice ripe florals. Carries through on the palate with just a little creaminess and some vanilla and lanolin texture.

Paul Janin & Fils

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Jacky Janodet – 13/12/2012

Beaujolais Blanc 2010
Very floral and fruity, bright pear and citrus cordial, quite intense and very fresh, very aromatic style. Bright crisp mineralic style, lots of apple and pear fruit, brisk clean limited oak or malolactic influence, perfectly fresh and crisp. Great aperitif but great with seafood as well.

Beaujolais Village 2010
Nice intense dark colour but quite light. Very quiet and delicate, fresh dark berries, cranberries and a little blood orange, also quite spicy. Very intense and fresh on the palate, spice comes through but is well integrated, expressive but bright crisp fruit, great acidity making it very food-friendly. Yes nice and peppery as well.

Chenas 2010
A little darker and more intense colour. Fuller earthier extraction, a little toasty and mushroomy, a little truffle influence. Quite fresh and wonderfully intense fruit, but great acidity and a very clean finish. Tannins are a little full at the moment for the structure, needs a little more time, very intense and concentrated. Maraschino cherry.

Moulin-a-vent 2011
Very rustic and stinky on the nose, somewhat oaky and perhaps a little bit over macerated, lacking brightness and freshness and fruit. Per haps even a little bit reductive. Very intense and tight on the palate, tannins are overwhelming things a lot, focused and intense through the middle palate with a touch of sweet dark fruit on the back, very spicy with acidity overwhelmed by tannin and fruit at the moment. Not alcoholic, just too young. Reduction blows away.

Jerome Janodet Saint-Amour 2010
Nice tight small dark berries, some pomegranates and even some dark radishes, quite fresh and spicy. Tight light and clean, very nice fresh fruits, cherries and strawberries, some good spice characters but showing some minerality as well. Clean and very light, might develop some complexity if given time in bottle. Very nicely balanced.

Jacky Janodet

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