Zeepaard ~ Australia Wines Are Superbly Fun…

I know I am… Besides loving wine, I’m an animal lover, and I’m passionate about art. Tie it all together… and people like me just get drawn in. It reminds me of the days when music was recorded on vinyl, and we flocked to music stores to see what new psychedelic cover just outdid the last favorite artwork.

So, along comes this adorable little seahorse, which in Dutch is called “Zeepaard.” (Shame on me for liking a good back label story… not!)

Screwcaps… the best innovation in wine since sliced bread met its first cut in a bakery…

The following West Cape Howe, Western Australian wines were sent to me to enjoy and write about, which I’ve found quite easy to do. Also, they are what is referred to as “line Priced.” This means that each wine is the same price as the others, at $12 per bottle. These wines are all extreme value wines, and highly recommended. I wouldn’t think of scoring them with any less than a 90 score. They’re well deserving.

2009 Zeepaard Sauvignon Blanc ~ West Cape Howe, Western Australia

COLOR: Light straw, pristine image. It held the promise of a beautifully refreshing wine.

AROMA: As soon as I twisted off the cap, the room filled with aromas of lemon tart. The nose had about two of five claws of the meow factor… Just enough to make me salivate, and not enough to overpower all the other aromas of grapefruit, lemon and lime.

FLAVOR: Very tart lemons, and lingering star fruit.

FINISH: The finish is refreshing and very clean, just as I thought it might be, based on the nose.

FOOD: I’d pair this one with a big cheese, like a Vella Dry Jack from Sonoma County. It’s Number 1 in the image below. This photo was taken at a Wine and Cheese class that I took, offered by Charles Creek Vineyard. For all of the other cheese names and the wines they were paired with, Click Here.

This is a really beautiful wine, Score 91.

2009 Zeepaard Chardonnay ~ West Cape Howe, Western Australia

COLOR: Another Light straw, crystal clean image. I began to salivate.

AROMA: As I did the nose, I was reminded of something I recently read, and I wish I could remember the source, which said, minerals don’t have aromas. I write this, because I instantly smelled minerality. Now what am I to do? Perhaps minerality means clean earth? I just don’t know; but, what I do know is that it had that stainless steel fermentation aroma, versus barrels and toast and oak and such…. It had the aroma of something I’d be able to simply enjoy and not get all cerebral over: Yellow golden delicious apples, tropical fruits and coconut, ripe luscious fruit.

FLAVOR: Creamy, but not malolacticity… just smooth with perhaps a tiny bit of residual sugar… the same kind of RS that made Jess Jackson a billionaire. More pineapples and Meyer lemons…. star fruit. Yummy. After I made my own assessment, I read the tasting notes, and discovered the creaminess’s origin.  (Post fermentation the wine was blended, given a light skim milk fining and filtered prior to bottling. The entire process takes place in stainless steel tanks to preserve and enhance the fresh varietal Chardonnay characters.)

FINISH: The finish is refreshing and also clean. A simple wine that’s got a bit more character as it evolves on your palate.

FOOD: I’d pair this one with my chicken soup. I boil a chicken carcass left over from a roasted chicken dinner. I throw in an onion and bouillon cubes to taste. About 20 minutes before serving, I throw in some rice. Let that simmer for 20 minutes. About 10 minutes into that, add carrots, celery, Swiss chard, other veggies that might be around. Add a half can of canned diced tomatoes, unless you want to blanch a couple for complete “I did it from scratch to finish.”

This is another really beautiful wine, Score 90.

2009 Zeepaard Rosé ~ West Cape Howe, Western Australia

COLOR: Dark strawberry, ruby rosé image. A lot more rich than most roses, so I was expecting lots of flavors. Considering this blend, the reason for the color is clear. Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon 77%, Pinot Noir 19%, Shiraz 4%.

NOSE: Exquisite… I was ready for sipping.

FLAVOR: Delivered the strawberry flavors that I hoped for, which also continued with plums and raspberries. The residual sugar – a bit ~ .o6 grams per liter – allows this wine to be a great accompaniment to Asian dishes

FINISH: Long and lingering with strawberry short cake notes.

2009 Zeepaard Shiraz ~ West Cape Howe, Western Australia

COLOR: Ruby slippers meets inky blackberry jam.

NOSE: Bramble berries, lots of dark fruit, a slight pepper spice on the nose… just pure fruit.

FLAVOR: Rich dark berries, touch of toasty oak, plums with a slight tobacco flooded my palate. This is one big wine on the palate for flavor.

FINISH: A simple finish that left me wanting more of the wine. This is a great ribs wine… makes me hungry.

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