Sunday, November 18, 2012

Session 19 - Grampians Shiraz

This month we will taste a range of Shiraz wines from the best producers in the Grampians. From the traditional wines of Best's and Seppelt to the modern classics of Langi and Clayfield, we will see a diversity of expressions of this heritage style. We will also taste exciting, modern reinterpretations of Grampians Shiraz by producers The Story Wines and Jamsheed that are pushing the boundaries of the region's accepted style. It is no exaggeration to suggest that this tasting contains some of the region’s, and therefore Australia's, best wines.
Joining us to facilitate the tasting we have Julian Coldrey of and Jeremy Pringle of www.winewilleatitself.

Bracket 1

Mt Langi Cliff Edge Shiraz 2010 @MountLangi
Jamsheed Garden Gully Shiraz 2010 @JamsheedWines

Bracket 2

The Story Wines Westgate Vineyard Shiraz  2009 @StoryWines
Clayfield Ton Up Shiraz 2010

Bracket 3

Clayfield Shiraz Grampians Shiraz 2010
Seppelt St Peters Shiraz 2008
Best's Great Western Bin 0 Shiraz 2010 @BestsWines

Bracket 4

Mt Langi Ghiran Langi Shiraz 2010 @MountLangi
Mt Langi Ghiran Langi Shiraz 1999 @MountLangi

Bracket 5

Seppelt Silverband Sparkling Shiraz NV (2010 release)
Best's Great Western Sparkling Shiraz 2010 @BestsWines

Monday, October 15, 2012

Swirl, Sniff, Spit – Session 18 – Mornington Peninsula

If ever there was a place perfectly set up for the wine lover’s ideal long weekend, then this would have to be it.  In addition to vineyards producing compelling pinot noir and chardonnay, it boasts rugged bushwalking, spectacular surf beaches, the country’s most prized coastal real estate and fantastic regional dining. All this is no more than an hour’s drive from Melbourne. 

This region has been producing wine since 1886, when Dromana wines won an honorable mention at the Royal Exhibition in London. It wasn’t until 1972 until vignerons in the region realised the potential for cool climate varieties – the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that today are the region’s focus. The maritime climate combined with rainfall in winter and spring provide a long,  gentle ripening period producing wines with fruit flavours, high natural acidity and fine tannins. With volcanic soils in Red Hill and Main Ridge to sandy soils in Moorooduc and Merricks, let’s explore what this beautiful region has to offer.

Bracket 1 – Pinot Gris  

1.       Ocean Eight Pinot Gris  2011 @OceanEight

2.       Beurrot by Kooyong Pinot Gris 2011 @TessaLBrown

Bracket 2 – Chardonnay

1.       Circe Red Hill South Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 @DanBuckle

2.       Ocean Eight Verve Chardonnay 2010   @OceanEight

Bracket 3 – Chardonnay

3.       Ten Minutes By Tractor Estate Chardonnay 2010  @10XTractor

4.       Eldridge Estate Chardonnay 2010 @EldridgeEstate

Bracket 4 – Pinot Noir

1.       Circe Red Hill South Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 @DanBuckle

2.       Eldridge Estate Pinot Noir 2010 @EldridgeEstate

Bracket 5 – Pinot Noir

3.       Moorooduc Estate Pinot Noir 2010 @KateandPX

4.       Kooyong Estate Pinot Noir 2010 @TessaLBrown

Bracket 6 – Pinot Noir

5.       Stonier Pinot Noir 2010

6.       Port Philip Estate Noir 2010 @TessaLBrown

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Swirl Sniff Spit with Tom Carson

On 18th September, Swirl Sniff Spit is excited to bring you another opportunity to taste with, and learn from, one of Australia's leading winemakers.

Tom Carson, General Manager and Chief Winemaker Yabby Lake  is one of Australia's leading lights when it comes to the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varieties, and with this tasting comes the opportunity to taste not only the latest Yabby Lake releases, but also to taste them alongside a comparable range of French wines hand selected by Tom.  

You can read more about Tom and the 2010 Yabby Lake releases here.

This will be a paid for event, with ticket prices solely to cover the costs of buying in the benchmark wines.  Ticket prices are $30 plus a ticketing site admin fee of $2.79.  With the wines tasted totalling over $1400 that's a fair bargain.  Tickets will be made available shortly.

This is a fantastic opportunity, and one that is sure to fill fast.


Bracket 1
Patrick Piuze Terroir de Courgis Chablis 2011
Red Claw Chardonnay 2010

Bracket 2
Pierre Yves Colin Morey Meursault Narvaux 2010
Yabby Lake Single Vineyard 2010

Bracket 3
Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne Montrachet Baudines 2010 1er
Yabby Lake Block 6 Chardonnay 2010

Pinot Noir

Bracket 4
Domaine de Bellene Bourgogne Rouge 2010
Red Claw Pinot Noir 2010

Bracket 5
Domaine Stephane Magnien Morey St Denis 2009
Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

Bracket 6
Domaine de Bellene Beaune Clos du Roi Vieilles Vignes 2010 1er
Yabby Lake Block 2 Pinot Noir 2010

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Barossa Shiraz: An Exploration of its Sub-Regions

I’d be really happy if we could celebrate wine for what it is and not what it “should be”. Grapevines can be manipulated to an extent, but if we keep insisting that alcohol levels should be this, and tannins should be that (etc.) we will continue down the line of homogenised bland wine that will take the interest out of what is a remarkable product and can provide emotional experiences to the consumer. Let’s appreciate the natural tendencies of regionality and worry less about “the market place”. 

~ Andrew Seppelt, Winemaker & Partner at Murray Street Vineyards

Swirl, Sniff, Spit's next outing will be exploring the sub-regionality of the Barossa Valley through arguably its most famous grape variety - Shiraz - using the knowledge and insight of one of its favourite sons: Murray Street Vineyards Andrew Seppelt.

If you are wondering what sub-regionality is, we like to think of it thus: instead of being one singular entity, the Barossa is a complex patchwork of micro, or sub-regions.  Each of these sub-regions display its own unique character, and through this tasting we are looking to explore - and hopefully understand - those unique characters.

The wines are a mix of vintages and wineries so we will see some variation there, but the consistent element should always be the underlying notion of 'terroir' or the sense of place, the dirt from whence a wine came.

Western Ridge
Murray Street Vineyards 'Gomersal' Shiraz 2008 (VF) Twitter: @MSVWine

South Barossa
TeAro Estate 'Charred Door' Shiraz 2008 (VF) Twitter: @TeAroEstate

South Central

Cirillo 'Steingarten Vineyard' Shiraz 2010 (VF) Twitter: @n/a

Eden Valley
Sons of Eden 'Remus' Eden Valley Shiraz 2009 Twitter: @SonsOfEden
Yalumba 'Swingbridge Vineyard' Craneford Shiraz 2007 (VF) Twitter: @Yalumba

Valley Floor

Northern Barossa
Westlake Vineyards 'Eleazar' Shiraz 2009 (VF) Twitter: @WestlakeWine

Murray Street Vineyards 'Greenock' Shiraz 2008 (VF) Twitter: @MSVWine
Yelland  & Papps 'Devote' Shiraz 2010 (VF) Twitter: @YellandAndPapps

Central West
Whistler Wines tbc Twitter: @WhistlerWines

The tasting on 21st August and spaces open up 9am on 13th August on a first-come-first-served basis.

(VF) = Vegan Friendly

Monday, July 2, 2012

Session 15 - The Granite Belt - 17th July

Swirl, Sniff, Spit has been a proud supporter of Queensland wines along the way and is grateful for the support it has received from wine lovers in Queensland.

We've been gearing up for this one for a while, looking to put together a fantastic representation of wine from the Granite Belt.  Home to a wide range of alternative varieties, as well as some old friends, this line-up is a fantastic introduction to the region, its wines and its winemakers.

Flight 1:
Bent Road Marsanne 2011 @WinemakerGlen
Cypress Post Viognier Marsanne 2011 @CypressPostWines & @PeterScudMW

Flight 2:
Ridgemill Estate Chardonnay 2011 @RidgemillEstate & @GraniteGravels
Ravens Croft Chardonnay 2011 @RavensCroftWine

Flight 3:
Ridgemill Estate Tempranillo 2009 @RidgemillEstate & @GraniteGravels
Hidden Creek Tempranillo 2009 @HCWinemaker

Flight 4:
Boireann La Cima Barbera 2008 @BoireannWinery
Summit Estate Queensland Cabernets 2009 @SummitEstate

Flight 5:
Witches Falls Prophecy Syrah 2008 @TheWineryWitch
Bent Road Syrah Cabernets 2009 @WinemakerGlen

Flight 6:
Golden Grove Durif 2010 n/a
Pyramids Road Wines Mourvedre 2011 @SuePyramidsRoad

Flight 7:
Ballandean Estate Sylvaner 2005 @BallandeanWines
Witches Falls Botrytis 2008 @TheWineryWitch

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

McLaren Vale Shiraz Tasting - 18th June

The team have secured an opportunity for Swirl, Sniff, Spitters to taste some rather special McLaren Vale Shiraz with gun winemaker Michael Fragos of Chapel Hill Wine.

The wines to be tasted are all from single vineyards, and most from small blocks within a vineyard, all designed to show the subtlety of the 'terroir' of McLaren Vale.

These wines are very rare indeed, they're not due for release until August and even then will only be available through the respective Cellar Doors.

To reserve a place, simply drop us an eMail or send a 'tweet' to @SwirlSniffSpit - the tasting is at Story Bridge Hotel Cellars, 5.30pm on Monday 18th June.

1) Bosworth Wines Chanticleer Single Vineyard Shiraz 2010 @BosworthWines
2) Chapel Hill Scarce Earth House Block 2010 @ChapelHillWine
3) Chapel Hill Scarce Earth Road Block 2010 @ChapelHillWine
4) d'Arenberg Blind Tiger 2010 @Darenberg
5) Hugh Hamilton Black Blood I 2010 n/a
6) Kangarilla Road Scarce Earth Project 2010 @Kangarilla

For more information on the 'Scarce Earth' initiative, see:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Session 13 - Autumn of Marsanne et al - White Rhône varieties and blends

Our May tasting will be looking at white Rhone varieties and blends - Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier. We'll be joined by special guests Rory Lane from Story Wines and Jeremy Pringle of Wine Will Eat Itself who both have a special interest in these wines. These are great wines with food and we'll be looking at a range of styles and blends culminating with a tasting of the very special Giaconda Aeolia Roussanne 2009.

Wines are subject to change, and vintage subject to confirmation.

Bracket 1
Tahbilk Marsanne 2011 Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria @tahbilkwinery
Tahbilk 1927 Vines 2007 Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria @tahbilkwinery

Bracket 2
Collector Lamp Lit Marsanne 2011 Canberra District, NSW
Ben Haines Marsanne 2011 Yarra Valley, VIC @bhexplore
All Saints Estate Marsanne 2010 Rutherglen, North East Victoria @allsaintsestate

Bracket 3
The Story Wines Westgate Vineyard Blanc 2011 Grampians, Western Victoria @storywines
Ravensworth ‘The Grainery’ Marsanne Roussanne (Viognier) 2011 Canberra District, NSW @RavenswortWine @bjmart8

Bracket 4
d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab MVR 2010 McLaren Vale, South Australia @darenberg  

Mitchelton Air Strip MVR 2010 Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria @MitcheltonWines

Bracket 5
Torbreck Woodcutters RVM 2010 Barossa Valley, South Australia @torbreckbarossa
All Saints Estate 'Family Cellar' Marsanne 2009 Rutherglen, North East Victoria @allsaintsestate

Bracket 6
Jamsheed Roussanne 2011 Beechworth, Victoria @jamsheedwines
Bird On A Wire Marsanne 2010 Yarra Valley, Victoria @Birdonawirewine

Bracket 7
Dard & Ribo Hermitage Blanc (Roussanne) 2009 Hermitage, France @fourthwavewine
Giaconda Aeolia Roussanne 2009 Beechworth, North East Victoria @misterterroir

RSVPs open at 9am on Monday 7 May and will be taken via Twitter @swirlsniffspit

Monday, April 9, 2012

Swirl, Sniff, Spit - Authentic, Natural, Organic and Biodynamic

What does it all mean?  With Swirl, Sniff, Spit's tasting on the 17th April we'll be looking to explore the and understand some of these terms.  Plus we'll discuss some of the characteristics of these wines and see what makes these terms some of the most polarising in the wine industry.

Wines are subject to change, and vintage subject to confirmation.

Bracket 1
1. Mitchell Riesling 2010, Clare Valley, SA. Twitter: @MitchellWinery
2. Shobbrook Riesling 2011, Eden Valley, SA. @nakedbunchwines

Bracket 2
1. Cullen Sem Sauv Blanc, Margaret River, WA. Twitter: n/a
2. Dog Point Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ. Twitter: @DogPointWines

Bracket 3
1. Holly's Garden Pinot Gris 2010, Gippsland, VIC. Twitter: @moondarra
2. Domaine Lucci Riesling Gris, Adelaide Hills, SA. Twitter: n/a

Bracket 4
1. Hochkirch Pinot Noir @nakedbunchwines
2. Shobbrook Nouveau Mourvedre 2011, Barossa Valley, SA. @nakedbunchwines

Bracket 5
1. 'Mule' Sangiovese, Innocent Bystander, Mclaren Vale, SA. Twitter: @IBWine
2. tbc

Bracket 6
1. Gemtree Obsidian Shiraz, McLaren Vale, SA. @MikesGems
2. Battle of Bosworth Puritan Shiraz, McLaren Vale, SA. Twitter: @BosworthWines
3. Blind Corner Shiraz 2010, Margaret River, WA. @blindcorner

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How It Works

As Swirl, Sniff, Spit becomes rather popular (our last tasting filled up in 15 minutes) we thought we'd clarify how it all works.  The page in the header above 'How It Works' just captures a few principles, nothing serious, just something we should have done a while ago surrounding the when, where and what etc.

Happy tasting

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 20th - Alternative Varietals Session

March 20th sees Swirl, Sniff, Spit host an alternative varietals tasting.  Some of these grape varieties are rather well established in Australia, some grown by a mere handful of wineries.  They may represent the future, they may be a passing fad.  

Spaces open up for the tasting at 9am on the 12th March: first-in-best-dressed!

Running order and vintage subject to change

Bracket 1
1) Yalumba Y Series Vermentino 2011
2) Fox Gordon 'Princess' Fiano 2011

Bracket 2
3) Holm Oak Wines Arneis 2010
4) Lark Hill Wines GrünerVeltliner 2011

Bracket 3
5) 919 Wines Petit Manseng 2011
6) Crittenden Wines Los Hermanos Tributo 2010

Bracket 4
7) Brash Haggins Nero d'Avola 2011
8) Madeleine's Wine Nangkita Primitivo 2008

Bracket 5
9) Mont Majura Graciano
10) Olivers Taranga Sagrantino

Bracket 6
11) Chalmer's Wines Aglianico 2005
12) tbc

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

#SwirlSniffSpit - Margaret River Tasting - 21st February

Swirl, Sniff, Spit's Margaret River tasting is set for the 21st February - places open up from 9am on 13th February (you can email us, tweet us or leave us a message on facebook) - and the provisional line-up is shown below.

As soon as the full line-up (names, vintages) is confirmed, we will update this post.  Look forward to seeing you there.

Wine by Brad 
Cape Mentelle

Fraser Gallop

Other White: 
Ipso Facto Chenin 
Blue Poles ’10 Viognier

Cape Mentelle

Bordeaux Blend: 
Blue Poles 08 Allouran – 
Three Hills Charles Andreas

Cab Sauvignon: 
Fraser Gallop