An Australian Wine Blog

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

La Linea Lenswood Mencia 2016

I've a curious soft spot for Mencia, after having been lured in to the variety via a magnificent example from Guimo. Of course, a few Aussies are now having a play with the variety, of which d'Arenberg's stab is also reviewed on these pages. Anyway, i'd long since give up hope of tasting this - long sold out - example from the Adelaide Hills, save for finding a bottle in the wonderful East End Cellars.


Admittedly tasted from the cheapest stemware in a hotel room. Has the florals mixed with a little savoury edge. 

What strikes me about the wine is this beautiful balance of fruit meets freshening-about-you acidity with a minerality. 

It's kind of akin to volcanic reds from Sicily in that regard. Just carries a tremendous lightness to, without sacrificing length. Joyous. 92


F: Generous length of savoury flavour. 92 
Tasted on: Friday 19th May, a Root to Flower day
Source: Retail, East End Cellars
Price: $28
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://lalinea.com.au/

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Thursday, 18 May 2017

d'Arenberg Darry's Original Shiraz Grenache 2014

Classic blend, nigh legendary wine from McLaren Vale's d'Arenberg.

Faintest whiff of a reductive note on show - certainly not an expressive beast on first showing. A little time reveals something of more a savoury bent: earthen, cedary, spiced, yet there's blackberry and suggestion of the Grenache in the background.

Slick, primary fruited palate certainly gives away more than its nose suggests. Dusty tannin, harder - forced - acid on show. it certainly doesn't want for length, although it needs to come together, for that fruit to come together in unison. 89

Tasted on: Saturday 13th May, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.darenbergwine.com.au/

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Friday, 12 May 2017

Mr. Riggs Montepulciano d'Adelaide Hills 2015

Alluring. Carries the Monte prettiness with purple florals, black fruit and eucalyptus over underlying vanillin oak. It's pretty, a sure fire hit on aromatics. 

Jam packed with black fruit, spice, in the main pepper. There's a freshening vanilla hit, back to blueberry. A little herbal, blue fruit, Mediterranean frame. It had me thinking of lamb, olives, oregano. 

It carries a subtle length, a richness, black fruited that grows in stature. 90 

Tasted on: Tuesday 21st February, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.mrriggs.com.au/

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Cush & Cush Wine Co 300 Grenache 2016

Just 300 bottles made, hence the name. 

Deep, earthy, beetroot-esque; black fruit starts to gently shine through against that altogether more serious proposition. There's a suggestion of stem inclusion, via the earth, but really with time it's the fruit that starts to unfurl.

Soft, velvet textured, fine-grained tannin - likely to become a hallmark of Cush & Cush wines. Concedes to a deep, earthen, ironstone presence. Again, sitting before a core of dark fruit. And oh the length, something you'd consider approaching with caution. Or at the least, consider a generous stint in the cellar. 93

Tasted on: Sunday 19th February, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cushandcush.com/

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Thursday, 11 May 2017

Yaldara Reserve GSM 2013

Stalwart blend from the Barossa, unsure of the specificities of the cepage. Draws a pristine, long Cork on opening.

Sweet black fruited nose: mulberry, blackberry, as you wish. Alluring, intoxicating, inviting. There's a little oak, providing a frame for what is the the primacy of fruit. 

Medium, veering to full. You'd suggest the latter, with delicate hands it seems the former. Bright, principally fruit driven (without being overtly fruity). Handles well. 


Latent earthen edge, but it drives home with fruit and a drying carriage of flavour. Tannin almost seems an afterthought. 92 

Tasted on: Tuesday 14th February, a Root day (appropriately, for the lovers out there)
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.7%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://1847wines.com/

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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Gartelmann Sarah Elizabeth Chardonnay 2015

Lemon sherbet dusted over a little oak seasoning. Significant portion of barrel fermentation that is communicated both aromatically and via the palate 


Minerally, spicy twists, both freshening and yet with an underlying depth. I've not always been the biggest fan of Hunter Valley, warmer climate Chardonnay - yet, the freshness here wins me over. It's not the most complex entity, but it's sorbet-like charms carry it off with conviction. 90 

Tasted on: Sunday 19th February, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol: 13.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.gartelmann.com.au

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Out of Step Wine Co, Lusatia Park D Block Sauvignon Blanc 2016

It's hard not to replicate what the Out of Step Crew post: 2016 (was) our 5th year of making wine. Along the way I feel we’ve transitioned from getting excited about varieties we’d like to make to really thinking about the vineyards we work with & what varieties will best express themselves, & why, on those sites. 

The one constant in all our explorations over these 5 years has been sauvignon blanc from Lusatia Park in the upper Yarra Valley, albeit from H block (the 2016 example will be released is due course) rather than D block, which is the wine in question here. But either way we’re adamant now that if treated with respect once it’s off the vine sauvignon blanc can deliver just as much excitement & deliciousness as the vast majority pinot noir & chardonnay from the same region.

There you go kids, block level Sauvy is where it's at these days.

Evokes a 'gold' response: florals, honeyed. Generous, quite opulent, expansive; slate and mineral, fan of acid that spreads across the kid-back palate. Hints of tropical fruit, delicate suggestions of citrus. 

It's less about flavour, a hard one to get your head around from a 'review' perspective, where the risk you run is to try and describe a gamut of flavours. I digress. It's more about feel, feeling, texture and an expansion in the mouth - a wonderful gentle phenolic style. 92


Tasted on: Monday 13th February, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample

Price: $28
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.outofstepwineco.com/

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