Wine Review – Clarendon Hills Liandra Syrah 2006

Clarendon Hills “Liandra” Syrah 2006 [Clarendon Hills] [Wine-Searcher]

Country: Australia
Region: Clarendon
Grape: Syrah/Shiraz
ABV: 16%


Colour: Dark purple core, lighter on the rim.

Nose: Ripe black fruits (blueberry, blackberry, plum, blackcurrant jam), chocolate, raisin, bacon fat, touch of herbal, spice.

Palate: Full bodied, medium acidity, medium well-integrated smooth tannins. Plum, blackberry, metallic (iron), vanilla, clove, pepper.

Finish: Long finish, lingering metallic and spicy notes. Well-integrated alcohol.

Score: 87/100


The wine is showing very well, all the components fully integrated with one and other.

The nose was very intense, with concentrated black fruits, chocolate, raisin, bacon fat, a touch of herbal tone that I associate with aged Syrah/Shiraz, and touch of pepper. The nose overall is very balanced, allowing each component to shine through the waves of black fruits, showing a great deal of complexity.

Moving onto the taste, a wonderfully aged, full bodied Syrah. Despite the 16% alcohol, it is very well integrated, drinking more like a 14-14.5%. Aside from the abundance of black fruits, there is this metallic, iron note showing throughout the palate, with a touch of vanilla, clove, and pepper forming a long and lingering finish.

This is a very good wine, with some unusual note going on (the metallic note on the palate), overall a very pleasant tasting experience. The wine is ready, drink before 2020.

Macallan 12 Double Cask 40%

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Macallan 12 Double Cask 40%


Region: Speyside
ABV: 40%
E150: Yes
Chill-filtered: Yes
Cask Type: ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry.

 

Colour: Gold

Nose: Rich stewed red fruits, raisin, plum, bosc pear, icing sugar, soft oak, touch of mineral and wax.

Palate: Syrup, red grape, honey, malt, sugar, oak, cereal, pepper, baking spice.

Finish: Medium+ finish, ginger, pepper, caramel.

Score: 81/100


I went into this dram with very low expectation, since recent years we’ve been drowned with crappy NAS expression that I didn’t even bother writing up the review, despite trying everything from the Amber to Rare Cask. Here in America-Lite (Canada), we get the 40% expression instead of the 43% of our neighboring country.

Anyway, the 12 Year Double Cask performed surprisingly well. As I’ve been drinking mostly cask strength releases lately, and slowly tightening my scoring after trying more higher-end drams than I have previously. I expect this to be another watery release that I’ve come to expect from a 40%.

The nose is sherry dominant, fairly rich, full of stewed fruits, raisins notes that you expect from a sherry influenced whisky, with a touch of bourbon cask influence. Promising so far. The palate is also a big surprise, syrupy, the bourbon cask is showing more of its strength here, leading up to a spicy finish.

This is by no means very complex, but overall as a package is rather satisfying, crowd pleasing dram.

Tullibardine 20

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Tullibardine 20


Region: Highland
ABV: 43%
E150: Yes
Chill-filtered: Yes
Cask Type: First-fill bourbon

 

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: Honey, melon, orange, peach, marzipan, sweet cereal, vanilla, ginger.

Palate: Honey, pepper, malt, bitter oak, herbal, orange peel, dark chocolate, melon.

Finish: Medium+ finish, pepper, oak, mineral.

Score: 78/100


Overall, the Tullibardine 20 year old is a rather simple whisky. Very classic bourbon cask influence, personally I think the 43% ABV is a bit too watered-down, would hope to see this expression at cask strength. Especially the given price here in Ontario, Canada from the LCBO, which cost a whopping $300CAD (~$235USD), which is insanity for something that cost 1/3 of the price over in Europe. As usual pricing does not affect my scoring.

Villa San-Juliette Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

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Villa San-Juliette Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


Colour: Medium+ ruby core

Nose: Cassis, red cherry, vanilla.

Palate: Dry, medium+ body, medium+ tannins, medium+ acidity. Tart red cherry, cassis, cocoa, liquorice.

Finish: Medium finish, cherry, touch of mineral.

Score: 77+/100


Fairly well-made for the price, still youthful, classic Cabernet Sauvignon, on the simple side, tannins still grippy. Would recomming 2 more years in the cellar. Drink now or hold.

Caol Ila 11 Year Old 2004 (Gordon & Macphail Cask Strength Bottled 2016)

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Caol Ila 11 Year Old 2004 (Gordon & Macphail Cask Strength Bottled 2016)


Region: Islay

ABV: 59.3%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Refill Sherry Cask 306615, 306620, 306621, 306622.

 

Colour: Gold

Nose: Sweet smoke, brine, rubber, ashy peat, cherry syrup, orange, almond.

Palate: Lemon oil, malt, salt, ash, pepper, red fruit jam, cola, ginger.

Finish: Long finish, earthy, salt, oily, chili flakes.

Score: 87/100


Always enjoy a cask strength, youthful Caol Ila, and this is no exception.

Welcoming sweet, smoky, and salty nose to greet, the sherry influence isn’t as strong as other refill Caol Ila I’ve had, but it lets a lot more of the Caol Ila spirit shine through.

On the palate you get an oily mouth feel, most of the notes from the nose are present, with a slam jam of peppery spice, carries onto a long, earthy and salty finish, with a kick of chili flakes in the end.
Overall, a rather enjoyable dram, glad to have bought a bottle.

Domaine de la Denante Les Maillettes Saint-Veran 2014

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Domaine de la Denante Les Maillettes Saint-Veran 2014


Colour: Pale straw

Nose: Honey, peach, melon, stone, grass, white flower, light citrus, touch of oak.

Palate: Dry, medium+ body, medium acidity. Melon, citrus, mineral, honey.

Finish: Long finish, crushed stone, salt, faint nuts.

Score: 77+/100


First time having a wine from Saint-Veran, and it was a pleasant surprise. The wine throughout gives me a very rounded impression.

The nose was youthful, but rather complex, showing various concentrated stone fruits and touch of floral and grassiness, alongside a touch of oak.

It feels very rounded on the palate, but falls short on complexity, wouldn’t describe it as elegant either, just rather simple. Followed by a mineral driven finish with a touch of warm nuttiness in the very end.

Even though on the back label it says “Drink by 2020”, I would say this wine will definitely evolve with 1-2 more years of age. Drinking well now despite falling short on the palate, would hold.

I brought this wine to a blind tasting, since one of my whisky friend said him and his wife doesn’t enjoy chardonnay, and I went on a mission to find one that they will enjoy. I assumed he didn’t enjoy the new world, bold style, buttery Sonoma/Napa chard. This wine was a great success, it was a lot more to his liking and it feels good to re-introduce someone to a grape.

BenRiach 14 Year Old Single Cask Virgin American Oak Finish (Cask 2828)

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BenRiach 14 Year Old Single Cask Virgin American Oak Finish (Cask 2828)


Region: Speyside
ABV: 55.9%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: ex-Bourbon, finish in Virgin American Oak.

Colour: Chestnut

Nose: Cocoa, apple, orange peel, caramel, oak, icing sugar, ash, oily honey, floral vanilla, mineral, pepper, faint cinnamon.

Palate: Pink bubblegum, malt, strong oak, banana, pineapple, almond, smoke, black tea, apricot.

Finish: Long tannic finish, salt, tropical fruit, oak, caramel.

Score: 88/100


I would describe this as best of both worlds, perfect balance between ex-bourbon cask notes, and strong powerful influence of virgin American oak. The previous virgin oak I had were frankly too oaky, bites your tongue off. This is very complex which is unusual for just virgin oak.

Fruity and malty notes, along with cocoa powder, icing sugar, ash, honey, vanilla, spices, goes on and on. The virgin oak is very apparent on the palate, smack of oak, bubblegum, tropical fruits, smoky black tea, with a long oak tannic finish. Exceptional.

Auchentoshan 20 Year Old (Whiskybroker)

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Auchentoshan 20 Year Old (Whiskybroker)


Region: Lowland

ABV: 52.6%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: ex-Bourbon

Colour: Pale straw

Nose: White flower, mint bubblegum, malty cereal, citrus peel, fruitloop, eucalyptus, honey, pleasant herbal funk, green apple.

Palate: Cedar, oak, floral, stone fruit, green apple, grassy, honey, mint.

Finish: Medium+ finish, eucalyptus, oak, drying cocoa, pepper.

Score: 86/100


Quintessential lowland, floral notes dominates all the way. Lots of green apples, malt, cedar/oaky notes on the nose and palate; with a nice touch of minty, eucalyptus notes, the finish is drying on the palate, with touch of cocoa and peppery spice to round things off. After the glass is empty, leave it for 10 minutes, the glass semlls like rich raisins! Simply the best Auchentoshan I’ve tried, captures the essence of lowland profile!

Diemersfontein Pinotage 2015

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Diemersfontein Pinotage 2015


Colour: Clear dark purple core

Nose: Strong whiff of cured game meat, espresso, with undertone of blackcurrants, and green peppercorn.

Palate: Dry, medium acidity, medium+, cured meat, coffee powder, juicy blackberry, touch of mineral and oak.

Finish: Long finish, blackberry and smoke.

Score:79/100

Rather unusual for a Pinotage, very dominant smoky, meaty nose, which follows through onto the palate. This wine is very rustic, would need some rustic food such as curry to go with it! Drinking well now!

The Lane Vineyard Block 5 Shiraz 2014

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The Lane Vineyard Block 5 Shiraz 2014


 

Colour: Clear dark purple core

Nose: Mint chocolate(After 8), vanilla custard, blueberry, liquorice, faint plum puree, baking spice.

Palate: Dry, medium-full bodied, medium acidity, medium fine tannins. Ripe cherry, spice box, faint mint, vanilla.

Finish: Long finish, plums, pepper, and baking spice.

Score: 79/100

 

Overall pretty well-made Shiraz from The Lane Vineyard. Very inviting dessert-like nose. On the palate it shows fine grainy tannins, red fruits, touch of mint, and spices. The finish is long and well rounded. Easy drinking but not too complex. Drinking well now, and would do so for at least 5 more years.