Sunday, 30 December 2012

Stoney Rise Grüner Veltliner 2012

Stoney Rise had the first commercial plantings of Grüner Veltliner in Australia, and whilst Lark Hill were first to market with their own release in 2009, the Stoney Grüner holds a special position viz the history of the variety in this country.

Opens musky with tropical hints - think lychee with some green banana - there's white pepper and a parsnip/ rooty note. Extra points for a hint of mineral - wet river pebbles.

Slightly fleshy palate, white pepper showing too. Textural, the wine is wild fermented on lees and stirred once a week to build just that. Clean and pure too - nigh crystalline.

Length is excellent, acid driven and of generous proportions.  92 - Very Good

Tasted on: Wednesday 26th December, a Root Day
Source: Winery Purchase
Price: $33 p/b (delivered)
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.stoneyrise.com/

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Schloss Schönborn Feinherb Riesling 2010

An off-dry Riesling, the term Feinherb has been permitted on wine labels in Germany since 2000 as an acceptable alternative to Halbtrocken. Halbtrocken wines are permitted to have 10-18 g/l residual sugar (subject to total acid - but that's a discussion for elsewhere).

I purposely sought this style out to work with a Thai dish, the additional sugar working well with the spice of the cuisine. Aromatically showing honeysuckle, orange blossom, lemon sherbet all intermingled with some over-ripe pear. Tropical edged - all up it smells a little sweeter too.

The palate is open, loose and very generous; citrus driven with hints of honeydew melon. Shows its swetness well - and the thing to point out here is that it is not overtly sweet, it just isn't totally dry compared to the more familiar Australian styles.

Fine finish, good quality - gentle persistent length, lingering honey notes.  90 - Good
  
Source: Retail, Grand Central Cellars
Price: $23
Alcohol: 9%
Closure: Screwcap
Importers Website: http://purefinewines.com.au/

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d'Arenberg Galvo Garage 2008

A nod to the garagistes of Bordeaux, with a 'Bordeaux' blend made in that most Australian of man-caves: the galvo shed.

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (72%), Merlot (13%), Cabernet Franc (9%) and Petit Verdot (6%), predominantly from McLaren Vale, with some supporting fruit from the Adelaide Hills.

Aromatic cues are there to the blend: leafy, cassis, cedar and hints of tapenade. Alluring, inviting - not aggressive or overt - with a feint hint of eucalypt.

Shows an acidic brightness early on, savoury and tarry. Feels a little hollow - dried out from the hot year - but with tapenade and earthen character present on the palate. Medium-firm tannin with moderate length. 

Pulls together a little better over 2-3 days, indicative of some cellaring potential, certainly requires a good decant.  89+ - Good  



Tasted on: Saturday 22nd December, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Friday, 28 December 2012

Atze's Corner The Renegade Mataro Grenache Graciano 2009

Atzes Corner The Renegade Mataro Grenache Graciano 2009
Earthen notes greet you, offering up some black cherry too - an appropriate welcome to this Mataro dominant blend.  

The palate shows licorice, szechuan spice - but really only gives mere glimpses as to what it could be without ever fully convincing.  The palate is rich and lush up front, yet seems to skip a beat before the finish.

Good length, the Graciano here no doubt giving the 'grace' to the wine as likely intended.  90 - Good 

Tasted on: Fridat 21st December, a Leaf Day
Source: Prize
Price: $22
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.atzescornerwines.com.au/

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Sunday, 23 December 2012

Mitchell Harris MGS 2011

I've enjoyed a fair few of the reds that have come out of that vintage.  Stylistically, there's more often than not a definite nod toward the Cotes du Rhone.  This cannot be seen as a universal statement, fruit ripeness still had to be there, along with the guiding hand of a winemaker who knew what to do with same.

Here the aromatic profile shows soft, squishy red fruits - pastille-esque if you will - with background spice of pepper and clove.  Of note was a sweeter element, demerara coated old barrel if you will.

Medium-full bodied, spicey with a hint of fruit on the palate.  Tannin is moderate - aiding a little length - and a little drying, however it is the acid structure here that provides the defining feature, again aiding length.

Simply structured - not a bad wine - lacking the complexity to age anything beyond the immediate short term.  Such a wine I found highly quaffable.  89 - Good    

Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol:13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://mitchellharris.com.au/

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Friday, 21 December 2012

Ballycroft Small Berrys Shiraz 2009

Rich, oak, choc and plum - reminded me a little of Plum Brandy - and that's a good thing.  Ably assisted by an assortment of black fruits, rich choc and christmas pudding, with a layered quality to the aromatics.

Early onset of peppery spice, smooth and full bodied.  Nicely weighted and dense, shows choc-mint-cum-spice too - quality.  The spice is an ever present aspect of the wine, tingling, teasing and testing the lips.  Good balance, staying power, persistence of flavour.  Immensely drinkable.   91 - Very Good

Tasted on: Monday 17th December, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $?
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.ballycroft.com/ (requires flash - ahah...)

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Cook's Lot Lot #689 Sauvignion Blanc 2012

Herb, nettle and citrus waft out of the glass here, supported by a little oak character.  And there you start to see the difference between this and this and those that went before it.

Shows texture on the palate - for winemaker Duncan Cook has opted to employ techniques such as battonage, stirring of the wine on its lees, and partial barrel fermentation, to add this extra dimension to the wine.

Technique alone does not make the wine, and cooler conditions of 2012 has resulted in cooler character showing itself.  Good length, lingering length and lasting flavour.  Citrus and herbaceous not conclude matters.  90 - Good

Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cookslot.com.au

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Yalumba Y Series Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Second of 4 SB's opened up and tasted.  Less overt than the first - good integrity of the variety: gooseberry and grass, subdued topicals, hints of lemon sherbet in the background.

Tropicals and citrus through the palate, slightly harsher acidic note presenting itself.  Finishing with citrus and sherbet character.  Offers consistent quality through the wine, yet compared to other wines in the range not a standout.  86 - Average
 
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yalumba.com

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Taylors Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Strong aromatics: nettle, grass, hints of tropical fruit by way of guava and lychee.  Drying in the mouth - phenolics and feel - with little else discernible.

Hard green apple character toward the finish.  Not particularly enjoyable for this individual.  84 - Poor 

Source: Sample
Price: $19
Alcohol:13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.taylorswines.com.au/

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Monday, 17 December 2012

Mitchell Harris Sauvignon Blanc Fumé 2012

Opened a swag of Sauvignon Blanc, and this was by far the best of the bunch - quite possibly as it is so far removed from what the general representation of the variety is.

Key lime with waxy hints, toasty and smoky on the palate.  It's lie in a combination of restraint compared to some of the overt examples tasted, and the texture imparted through oak barrel maturation.

Holds a generous acidic line that builds in the mouth and flares a little, adding extra width.  Just adored its textural feel and staying power.  93 - Very Good
   



Tasted on: Sunday 16th December, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://mitchellharris.com.au

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Thursday, 13 December 2012

Terres Dorées Moulin a Vent 2010

Moulin a Vent is one of Beaujolais's ten named crus, and Terres Dorées is the Estate of Jean-Paul Brun, a winemaker focussed on more traditional methods of wine production, against the prevailing use of cultured yeasts and chaptalization.

Wines from the cru are generally regarded as those that are expected to be the longest lived, the most concentrated - somewhat atypical of most Beaujolais the wine fancier may be familiar with.

Initially juice and fresh, berry fruit aromatics (cherry, and blueberry) with florals, hints of wood - sandalwood - and spice.  Think a used cinnamon stick, not the sweetness of the cinnamon, the woody latent spice instead.  Secondary deeper characters, meaty and savoury, make themselves known with time.

Light on entry - ethereal, at risk of incurring the wrath of the twitterati - a little earthen, berry fruit and yet savoury depth.  There's black fruit present, leafy character and pleasing drying mouthfeel.  Tannin is drying, leafy, providing generous length.  91 - Very Good

Tasted on: Thursday 13th December, a Leaf Day
Source: http://www.livingwines.com.au/
Price: $37
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Cork

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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz 2010

Blacker than black, a layered texture, progressive feel and movement on the palate.  Initially showed - to me - choc and hazelnut, a hint of chicory, latterly a good core of black and red fruits coming through.

The palate, in addition to that vin de mille-feuilles quality, showed black fruited depth, an almost tarry like quality.  Backed up by regional salted-choc character, it kept the depth over time.  Finished with good drying tannin, a lingering mouthfeel.  Memorable.  92 - Very Good

Tasted on: Monday 10th December, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.chapelhillwine.com.au

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Tscharke Only Son Tempranillo 2011

Dark and brooding, hints of molasses and coffee, black fruits, cola and spicy old wood.  Good entry into the mouth, showing depth and a dark fruited core.  Smooth with licorice, sarsparilla, a little hint of bitterness and tart towards the back end.

Falls a little short at its conclusion, but delivers a lasting hit of flavour.  Medium length, tannin firms up - all up very enjoyable.  90 - Good  

Tasted on: Monday 10th December, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.tscharke.com.au

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Monday, 10 December 2012

Dandelion Vineyards Legacy of the Barossa Pedro Ximenez


Fabulous wine, on approach there’s almond biscotti, candied peel along with hints of toffee and caramel.  Fresh on the palate, honeyed with intensity from citrus rind. 
Hints of orange liqueur, nutty and unctuous, a quality of both age – it is from a Solera with an average age of 30 years – and alcohol.  Finishes with hazelnut complexity, some liqueur warmth, treacly feel and tantalising length.  93 - Very Good
Source: Retail, Grand Central Cellars
Price: $24
Alcohol:19%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.dandelionvineyards.com.au

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Sunday, 9 December 2012

d’Arenberg DADD Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir Pinot Meunier NV


d’Arenberg’s first sparkling wine, released to coincide with their centenary celebrations and so named to honour the Osborn family pioneers who established the winery all those years ago.   
Shows bready, leesy characters, with hints of lemon crème pastry in the mix too. 
Lively palate with florals and nuts.  Zip and mineral character, bright acidity but all up a smooth aperitif-style sparkling wine with moderate length and finish.  90 – Good


Tasted on: Tuesday 4th December, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol:11.9%
Closure: Cork
Website: www.darenberg.com

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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Yalumba The Scribbler 2010

There's something inherently comforting about a "Great Aussie Red", and this example from Yalumba shows its Cabernet (57%) dominant composition with plum, mulberry and spice on approach.  

Good Cabernet structure on its medium bodied frame, charry oak and Shiraz generosity.  Initially a little raw, twiggy tannin resolves a little over time and that line of spice is the gift that keeps on giving.  Would love to see how it mellows - at the price a likely candidate to bob a few away for some time in solitary.  91 - Very Good

Tasted on: Sunday 2nd December, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $22.95
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yalumba.com

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Chapel Hill Parson's Nose Shiraz 2011

Parson's Nose always reminds me of growing up on London's District Line and the station Parson's Green.  There you go, an insight into my youth.

Dry leaf matter, hints of wood and spice over black-fruited goodness, add a smattering of regional chocolate into the mix and now we're talking.

Chocolate through the palate, smooth and black fruited with a hint of licorice.  Dusty tannins, good persistence of flavour- if not the most refined.  Who's quibbling for $16? 88 - Good

Tasted on: Saturday 1st December, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $16
Alcohol:14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.chapelhillwine.com.au/

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Monday, 3 December 2012

Clos Clare Watervale Riesling 2012

The Barry boys, Tom and Sam, have excellent familial heritage when it comes to making regarded Clare Valley Riesling.  They've set up shop in the corner of the renowned Florita Vineyard, and there they've crafted this stellar Riesling that I've gone long on as a birth-year wine for a child.

Citrus/ lemon, kaffir lime and bath salts out of the block.  The palate is generous and open with honeysuckle hints, a touch of tropical fruit is on show by way of guava and mango.  

Exquisitely structured, effortless to drink and a pleasure to behold, offers seemingly perpetual length.  Nicely pitched acid rounds the wine out.  93+ - Very Good 

Source: Retail, Grand Central Cellars
Price: $24 (CD Price)
Alcohol:12.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://closclare.com.au

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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Mitchell Harris Rosé 2012

Opened this up as one of a trio of Rosé and gave the remains of the open bottles to some friends.  This was the one they opted to drink, on the basis that it was the bottle that was least full.  Good taste those two.

Strawberry and cherry, with a creamy dried herb (rosemary and oregano if you're interested) character.  A touch of custard apple and floral hints complete the picture.

Generous quality to the palate, smooth yet with a distinct mouthfeel.  The quality here is apparent, it's not over-done and has this inherent balance to to it.  Savoury, dry and effortless.  Lovely blend of Sangiovese (65%) and Pinot Noir (35%) 91 - Very Good 

Tasted on: Friday 30th November, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol:12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://mitchellharris.com.au

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Saturday, 1 December 2012

Yalumba 2012 Y Series Sangiovese Rosé

Not the palest, not the most textural, nor savoury - it's dry and, for this author, a pleasure to drink.  That's what counts right?  You'll find it on shelves for anywhere between a tenner and its $15 RRP.

Good red fruit aromatics: cherry and strawberry in the main, cranberry in support.  Hints of boiled sweet (Strawberries and creams).  Smooth, lacks a little flavour in the middle but partly makes up for that with some spice.

Drying, a little astringent with further hints of spice. Drinks well, chill it down and enjoy as you wish.  88 - Good

Tasted on: Friday 30th November, a Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $14.95
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yalumba.com

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