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Test Driving the Durand Corkscrew for Dodgy Corks in Old Bottles

6 Apr

The Durand Corkscrew Test Drive by Paul Kaan

Opening old bottles of wine with dodgy corks can be a challenge even for the most experienced wine hound. Good hardware can make a big difference. The Durand combines the Ah-So, prong opener, with the screw of a waiter’s friend. Check out the video review below. It’s not cheap, if you have a lot of old wine under cork it’ll make your life a bit easier.

Alternatively you can go the Power Drill or Coat Hanger (end of post) method of opening your bottles.

*I have no affiliation with Durand and paid in full for the corkscrew.

Waiter’s friend (top), Ah-So (middle) & Durand (bottom) with 1979 Laira Cabernet Malbec.

Three Corkscrews Waiters Friend Ah-So  Durand by Paul Kaan of Filthy Good Vino

13 Vintages of Gaja Barbaresco over 5 decades of Gaja with Anthony D’Anna

13 Mar

Gaja Barbaresco Dinner 2015 by Paul Kaan

13 Vintages of Gaja Barbaresco over 5 decades! An intriguing tasting. More twists than a series of House of Cards! Anthony D’Anna’s passion for Italian Vino and desire to learn, by tasting, the best, has driven him to travel to Italy to collect an incredible array of the unique wines. Sharing a table, plate and several glasses of these incredible wines with friends has earned him the status of Legend Wine Dinner curator.

13 Vintages of Gaja Barbaresco over 5 decades by Paul Kaan

It is a rare experience to taste the same wine from a single producer across 5 decades, let alone the wines of the much sort after Gaja. The Gaja wines were not exceptional, lacking the personality and expression of wines like those of Bartolo Mascarello. What was exception, was to see how a vigneron, has evolved, how their relationship with, site, has deepened over time. How their winemaking has shifted, to see that they had continued to push and the direction changes they had made was truly fascinating.

Four distinct phases were revealed through out the night. The first starting with the oldest wine of the night the 1967, continuing with the 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1977.

These were the rustic wines, wines that were often driven by searing acidity and refined natural grape tannin. The 1967, one of my top three wines of the night, was still bright with an excellent core of fruit, stunning secondary characters bricky, but, not brown. 1973 had searing acidity, but, unfortunately was past it’s prime and fell away quickly, brown in colour. The 1974 was beguiling, also in my top three wines of the night, without really jumping out of the glass and saying drink me, none of the wine really did. The 1975 was a victim of the FUCork Gods. 1977 was just outside my top 3. Again with searing acidity and edgy tannin.

Gaja Barbaresco 1967 1973 1974 1975 1977 by Paul Kaan

The second evolution, the oaky ones! A regression for me, included the 1987, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 1999. These wines were over oaked showing the hand of the winemaker, not, the potential of the site. Sappy, green, hard oak tannin dominating the mouthfeel to the point of detracting from the wine and masking the expression of fruit. This was the just past puberty, gangly, I’m not quite sure what to do with my limbs yet, or, how to extract the most puss from my zits phase. The 1996 was the second victim of the FUCork Gods. The oak a combination of French barriques and large Eastern European Botte. Some of these wines were, balanced, to a degree, by the stunning feed dished up by our host Maurico Sosta at Sosta Cucina.

Gaja Barbaresco Dinner 2015 by Paul Kaan

The third evolution 2004 & 2006. 2004 saw a shift to more restrained coffee / mocha oak.  2006 was an outlier, an overblown, OTT, oaf, clumsy, high alcohol wine with super ripe fruit, jammy almost porty fruit.

The lastest evolution, the 2011 finally saw the balance I was looking for! The hallmark searing acidity, backed by a core of fresh fruit and balance oak & grape tannin. Finally the oak was just a layer, enhancing the wine, not, dominating it!

2011 Gaja Barbaresco Nebiolo by Paul Kaan

Gaja’s wines are controversial, they don’t deliver great value for the dollars. I do love the fact that they continue to push to find the best expression of place & time! If they continue toward the style of the 2011, I’ll be heading back to take another look at future vintages of Gaja, but, not alone, by sharing the bottle with friends!

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FilthyGoodVino Wine Tip #1: The Wine Saver Smackdown Has Ended at a cost of $0 … Sorry Coravin!

12 Feb

FilthyGoodVino Wine Tip #1: The Wine Saver Smackdown Has Ended at a cost of $0 ... Sorry Coravin!

Filthy Good Vino wine tips are hear to help you get more from every bottle of Filth that you open. #1 is all about saving the leftovers at the end of a big night.

OK, gotta put the caveats on this statement. I’m talking about saving open bottles of wine at home, not, in a bar or restaurant. I’ve never tried a Coravin. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has.

As a winemaker, one of the ultimate rules is:

Make sure any vessel: tank, barrel, amphora, holding wine is full … no air in it … PERIOD!

Why?

Air Space = Oxygen

Oxygen = Oxidation

Oxidation =  Off Wine (Eventually)

No matter how hard you try to fill the air space in a tank with carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, if there’s a lot of air space in a tank oxygen will be in there. If the tanks full of wine there’s no room for air, and, therefore no room for oxygen.

Apply the same principle to your left over wine and you’re on a winner. Your leftovers will be in the best possible condition.

How? Simply collect a few small glass bottle: Airline wine bottles – 187ml, half wine bottles – 375ml, tonic water bottles – 330ml … tell me you don’t have any of those lying around by the time the G&T season hits, maple syrup bottles – 250ml, whatever you can get your hands on.

After you’ve cracked your bottle, carefully decant whatever your not going to drink straight into the appropriate sized bottle, filling it to the brim, seal it up with the lid and your done!

Even the most sensitive wine, like Pinot or old wines will benefit. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but, it’s not far from it!

I cracked this Roagna La Pira 1/2 bottle, chucked 1/2 in the glass & saved 1/2 for later! Took me a few days to get back to it and it was looking great!

The 2014 Year of Filthy Good Vino

8 Feb

The 2014 Year of Filthy Good Vino has been Grand! Thanks to all who have shared a table, plate & glass with me this year! Can’t wait to share more Filthy Good Vino with you next year!

A video posted by Paul Kaan (@paolovino) on

Devouring a decade of Bartolo Mascarello was undoubtedly the single greatest wine experience of the year! Extreme Filthy Good Vino from one of the world’s greatest guardians of the vine! Took a while, but, finally managed to taste these incredible wines. There was no stamp of a winemaker! The common thread was one of poise, elegance, finesse, seamless layering of flavours, incredible complexity, balance, refined texture, often with the kind of searing acidity that only works when the vineyard offers a core of quality fruit substantial enough to support it. A gentle hand was guiding fruit from the vineyard through to the bottle with the kind of intimate relationship & patience that can only be realised through the passage of many years & deep thought spent in the single minded pursuit of excellence! A big thanks to @anthdanna for organising yet another outstanding feast, Anth & Allison for looking after us @scopricarlton & @winematters for sharing her thoughts & insights into this very special part of the world.

A video posted by Paul Kaan (@paolovino) on

The Filthiest “FilthyGoodVino” from 2013!

29 Dec

1971 Mouton-Rothschild Filthy Good Vino by Paul Kaan

2013 was filled with a bucket of Filthy Good Vino! Here’s a quick snap of a few!

What were your 2013 Filthy Good Vino highlights?

The Filthiest of Filthy Good Vino ~ Yummiest wine of the year goes to: 1971 Mouton-Rothschild

There was a heap of Filthy Good Burgundy & Barolo, but, Bordeaux pipped ’em, this was such an incredible wine, hard to go past.

Refined, elegant, incredible supple texture, layers of Yumminess, enchanting, true harmony. A Filthy Old Vino Thanks Dad. For the art lovers the label is a Kadinsky.

Runner up: 1994 Yarra Yering Pinot Noir

Blast from the past! Probably a bit sentimental. Bring it! Fabulous beast, Peter Wilson, you absolutely killed it with 1994 Yarra Yering Pinot 19yrs young. Loving the animal. Patience required to comprehend just how much evolution & refinement occurs with Yarra Yering wine over time. As a winemaker it does my head in! You try something, look at the wine over to five years, think you’ve got it sorted make changes in the vineyard & winery, then on it’s 19th B’day it freaks you out tells you it’s become a sophisticated adult & the zits have gone. It’s no longer a gangle creature working out how to use it’s arms & legs. It’s moving gracefully, caressing & enchanting all who sit for a moment in it’s company. 20 years to complete an experiment is a long time!

Best gear to knock back any old time ~ Filthy Now Vino: Gran Sasso Montepuliciano D’Abruzzo & Pippoli Aglianico for around Naples

For $10 to $15 your not going to get much more fun than these two babies! Great to have a different set of flavours dancing on your tongue. Wicked food wines. Go the Gran Sasso for the Pizza and Pippoli with a steak!

 

Filthiest Good White: It’s a Viognier Smackdown! 2003 Cuilleron Les Chaillet, Condireu vs 2001 YarraYering, Yarra Valley

Love the unctuous texture funk & spice in the Cuilleron. So pure with incredible personality. Acid driven style from Yarra Yering.

Fizzy Moment: Bollinger NV.

There was plenty of good bubbles, heap of vintage yuminess and grower Champagne, Larmandier Bernier stood out again! For fun and day to day yumminess Bollinger NV is punching above it’s weight.

Filthy Sticky Good Vino: 2003 Chateau Y’quem

Incredible balance, so many layers of yumminess and a flavour that just lingered FOREVER!

Ouch! FUCork Moment: 1973 Baileys Bundarra Bin 62 Hermitage & 1997 Wendouree Cabernet Malbec

What can you do! Bring on the Stelvin!