Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Charteris Wines Hunt Vineyard Riesling 2013

PJ Charteris, ex-Brokenwood winemaker, still of the Hunter Valley except when he's popping over the 'dutch' to make exceptional wines such as this.

Lovely aromatics: florals, citrus and zest - suggestive of a little chalkiness. Light, loose and open - zesty, lemon with a hint of apple.

A little retained sweetness provides inherent balance against the natural acidity, the perfect foil for the chilli prawns I smashed down with it. Excellent focus and shape on the finish. Prima! 93

Tasted on: Friday 26th September, a Root transitioning to Flower day
Source: Retail, Craft Red Hill
Price: $28
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://charteriswines.com/

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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Grant Burge Daly Road Shiraz Mourvédre 2012


Initially meaty, gamey - with air a fair whack of fruit reveals its hand. Good weight to it, smooth, flowing well. 

Earth and spice, a touch of licorice, powdery tannin. Not a lot to say. Solid, does the job well. 89

Tasted on: Thursday 25th September, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $24.75
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.grantburgewines.com.au/

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Hither & Yon Shiraz Cabernet 2013


A cheeky one here. Initially showed me some red berry freshness, jostling and jockeying for position with a darker edge. Ultimately it's that edge that wins out, with time black and blue fruits forming the wine's principal aromatic profile.

You'd have to like 'em big. It's a full, bold wine - initially the red fruit exerts its presence in an, ultimately futile, manner before it manifests itself as a wine of oak and bold tannin. Finishes with a faint hint of warmth, manages to handle itself well for its night 15%. 91

Tasted on: Thursday 25th September, a Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hitherandyon.com.au/

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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Newton Forrest Cornerstone Cabernet Merlot Malbec 2006

I'm so sorry I doubted you. There I was, prepared to give up on you, I popped you back in the fridge and forty-eight hours later, thankfully, we made up. Or, rather, I made amends.

I have previously written of the special place this wine holds in my heart, and on the occasion of the good lady's birthday I pulled this out of the wine fridge.

Initially leathery, chestnut and cedar, resinous almost. Touches of dried herb - rosemary perhaps - with a little spice. Seemed dried and stripped out, as if from a hot year.

Medium bodied, chocolate grain tannin, acid was out of balance in proportion to the fruit, that was sorely missing.

On that re-visit it was a different wine: the perfume, the elegance, harmony and balance. The components that I was missing on opening, that I fell in love with on that first occasion we met, many years before. 

The tannin had resolved to the graphite form so often seen in excellent Cabernet (and blends thereof, this wine being a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec at 45/32/23% respectively) wines. Integrated, it was on top form.

It just needed time. 93

Tasted on: Tuesday 23rd September, a Fruit Day
Source: Own Cellar
Price: $50ish
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.forrest.co.nz/collections/newtonforrest

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Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2012

One of the more sample offers I've received, based on the adoption of a plant based, zero carbon foot print enclosure. Suffice to say I was sufficiently interested in the wine to take a look.

An exclusive import of Melbourne's Enoteca Sileno, sample supplied.

Heralds its arrival with a bit of choc gateaux: black fruit meets milk chocolate sprinkles, florals, segueing to savoury notes. Acidic on entry, black fruit, savoury - dried leaf matter vibe - good grain of cold tea tannin.

Lovely accompaniment to a long-on-the-simmer ragu, a "legs under the table" wine. 90

Tasted on: Saturday 20th September, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Nomacorc Select Bio
Importer: https://www.enoteca.com.au/

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Willowbridge Estate Dragonfly Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2014

Paired this up with the fishcakes from the River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook, there a small insight into the trials and tribs of feeding an increasingly fussy and stubborn four year old.

Citrus, passionfruit and a suggestion of dried grass. Possesses an airiness, a lightness to the palate, yet with a racy nip of acid citrus acidity that zings around.

Cleans up the fishcakes nicely, generous length, moreish to boot. Happy here. Touch and go a point higher 90

Tasted on: Sunday 21st September, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 12.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.willowbridge.com.au/

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Friday, 26 September 2014

Yelland & Papps Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


Lovely packaging on the Y&P 'chalkboard' series.

Cabernet is not the Barossa's strength, here the Y&P team have produced a wine from their 1992 estate plantings that is neither going to offend nor set the world on fire.

Good varietal notes, black fruit cascading out. Good weight, good presence of that same fruit on the palate. Backs it up with a good rub of tannin, spice and chocolate. A good drinking option, sufficient length here to back up a qualitative claim, just misses the Cabernet mark for me. 87

Tasted on: Saturday 20th September, a Leaf Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yellandandpapps.com/

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