Friday, 30 January 2015

O'Leary Walker Watervale Riesling 2014


Expressive little number here: bath salts, kaffir lime, citrus blossom.

Has the focus and precision, the lazer-beam acidity cutting a clinical line through the palate. Yet, for all that, it has an easy-going moreishness to it.

Citrus derived length, proportions generous. A perennial winner. 93

Tasted on: Thursday 8th January, a Leaf to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://olearywalkerwines.com/

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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2011

Has that stonefruit, citrus, seasoned oak and a sprinkle of vanilla bean thing going on. One of the most alluring combinations known, and the hallmarks of good quality Chardonnay.

Cut of grapefruit acidity, well integrated seasoned oak on the palate. It was a wine I preferred more as it warmed a little: textural nuances highlighted further, all round a balanced and well rounded proposition. 91

Tasted on: Tuesday 6th January, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 13.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.voyagerestate.com.au/

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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Willow Bridge Estate Solana Tempranillo 2013


Tempranillo for me, when executed well, is a thing of beauty. I have laid bare my issues against Australian Tempranillo in the past, not so here with this offering from Willow Bridge Estate in Western Australia's Geographe region.

Coffee bean, chocolate and blueberry - little tart bundles of juicy goodness and a background of vanilla bean.

The palate shows what is so good about the better examples of the variety: blue fruits, even suggestions of stonefruit, it's a wine that straddles tart and juicy with soft aromatics. Tannin is fine grained and powdery, an excellent vehicle for the wine's flavour. We see a little anise on the back palate and overall a dark cherry manifestation.

For what is an in-depth wine, it yields an incredible freshness - in tandem just downright smashable, and yet also serious, contemplative. Bravo Mr Burnell! 93

Tasted on: Sunday 4th January, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.willowbridge.com.au

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View Road Wines 'Picked by My Wife' Tempranillo 2013

The specs: wild ferment, plunged twice a day for five and a half weeks, twelve months in old French oak. From Yakka Paddock vineyard in Kuitpo (southern end of the Adelaide Hills), planted in 2001.

Good aromatics here, blue fruits in the main initially. Doesn't quite flow through on the palate. Big wine - impact statement - manages to avoid the heat, but cannot shake the stewed fruit character.

No issues with balance - just devoid of the character I expect, somewhat truncated finish. 87

Tasted on: Sunday 4th January, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol: 15.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.viewroadwines.com.au/ {Under Construction}

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Monday, 26 January 2015

Wirra Wirra Lost Watch Adelaide Hills Riesling 2014

Riesling from the Adelaide Hills tends to be a little overlooked. As a variety it is overshadowed by those two classic Riesling producing regions to the north: Clare and Eden Valleys; within its own region it doesn't get much of a guernsey compared to the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc produced there.

Apple, a touch of blossom and bath salts. A very Spring like aromatic profile - refreshing the olfactory organ long before you've taken your first sip.

Loaded with lemon and lime, a punchy acidic line, beautiful aromatics, clean-up-your-palate acidity and a decent enough length to have you refreshed and yearning for at least a second glass. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 4th January, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 12.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

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Sunday, 25 January 2015

d'Arenberg The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2010


I'm not prone to call favourites - but if I were, amongst the d'Arenberg icons, then the Coppermine Road could possibly hold the position of first amongst equals.

Plum, damson and notes of damp earth. Heady you might say. Chocolate and wafery oak only add to what is an already inviting package.

It needs a little time, opening up to reveal spice: clove and a touch of pepper; leaf - savoury notes, licorice twists - fruit, present, but secondary. That chocolate - some might say, regionality - depth comes on more over a second day at the expense of licorice and spice.

Excellent bassy resonance, enveloping you in a warm and wintery fuzziness. Top drawer. 94

Tasted on: Saturday 3rd January, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 14.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Saturday, 24 January 2015

Knappstein Enterprise Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


Winemaker Glenn Barry is achieving some great things at Knappstein, pushing the envelope a little with with varieties like Riesling, whilst at the same time over-delivering on classics like this Cabernet, a snip at $20.

Closed initially - give it some time, air and slowly it starts to reveal a savoury, woody core at its very heart. Cedar, chocolate, gum leaf and latterly tobacco mark this out to be classically structured Cabernet.

Initially it delivers some soft red fruit character; woody, savoury notes, licorice and grippy tannin soon take over. Drying, long chains of tannin that link through the palate, the vehicle for carrying flavour, the structure for providing growth ahead of it.

Long on the finish, there is excellent value here. 92

Tasted on: Saturday 3rd January, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.knappstein.com.au

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