An Australian Wine Blog

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Yalumba The Guardian Shiraz Viognier 2010


Initially little sign of the Viognier here - indeed it "should be seen and not heard" as someone once told me. Meaty, a little ferrous, florals start to come through with a little time.

Medium bodied, has a juicy, cola-ish feel mixed with delicious berry fruit. Offers up spice with an easy-going, slippery textural feel to it.

Concludes with a savoury edge after the juicy fruits that come before it. 89  

Tasted on: Tuesday 26th November, a Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $21.95
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.yalumba.com

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Rocland Estate Lot 147 Shiraz 2008

Has the slightly porty, leathery, raisined notes of dried out fruit. There's a fair whack of oak lain over the top. Given a little time, it settles itself - takes on a more subtle bent.

Thick, creamy oak, a slightly burnt edge; feels a little hollow in the middle, fleshes out a little with some aniseed, pepper. Again it's rawness on opening settles with time - seems a touch more balanced and altogether more pleasurable.

Finishes well - generous length - consistently comes together with a little time. 91

Tasted on: Tuesday 26th November, a Fruit Day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.roclandestate.com/

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Criminal Minds 'Miss Devine' Brut NV


Here we have a happy, bargain, entry-level sparkler that delivers above its pricepoint. Toasty on entry, backed up with some grilled stonefruits, citrus and red berries.

Toasty, bready entry; a little mid-palate sweetness is perfectly positioned against a touch of mineral and cream in the body. Acid provides a little freshness. Lacks the depth you'd get from a wine that spends additional time on lees, but that comes at a cost. For $15 this drinks perfectly well.

The finish sees a little red berry fruit sweetness pulled through. Length is moderate. A certain crowd pleaser. 87

Tasted on: Monday 25th November, a Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.byrnevineyards.com.au/

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Monday, 16 December 2013

Ferngrove Symbols Sauvignon Semillon 2013


Opens a touch sweaty with the presence of aromatic compounds known as 'mercaptans' present (specifically ethanethiol if you wish to get sexy on terminology). Hints of nettle here too - not altogether uncommon in cooler region sauvignon blanc.

The palate shows a light bodied, some freshness present here too: fruit backing up with a little chalky phenolics.

Length offers a little redemption from the aromatic introduction that wasn't quite my cup of tea. 85

Tasted on: Thursday 14th November 2013, a Leaf Day 

Source: Sample
Price: $16.50
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.ferngrove.com.au

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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Tahbilk Marsanne 2013


Opened this pair with 'Summer Pasta' (creme fraiche, garlic and lemon zest sauce; zucchini, yellow squash and some frozen peas) as I thought so many of the flavours and aromas would be complimentary. Winner.

Suggestions of honey and honeydew melon, florals and citrus zest. Fresh, fragrant and fulfilling. Price listed here is the full-tote price, get yourself signed up to the mailing list and avail of excellent discounts.

Entry shows a continuation of the aromatics, that freshness acting with excellent textural mouth feel and a lovely clip of acid acting as guide. It is that acid that provides a indication as to cellar-worthiness, plus also allows the wine to cut through the creamy sauce I paired it up with.

The texture just adds another level of enjoyment to the wine. Bravo. 91/92 - your choice.

Tasted on: Tuesday 26th November, a Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $ 18.80
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.tahbilk.com.au

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Meerea Park Terracotta Syrah 2011


The Meerea Park 'Terracotta' wines are so named for the red basalt/ clay soils of Pokolbin the fruit is nurtured on. That said, there is a highly-suggestive feel to the tannin in the wine, like drawing your tongue over a slightly coarse planter. Forgive me my proclivities.

Labelled as Syrah to denote a stylistic interpretation, the inclusion of 1.5% Viognier is handled exquisitely, the white partner is seen and not heard. Earthen with delightful brambly black fruits, oak is noticeable, not domineering.

Excellent intensity of fruit, the wine is medium -veering to full - bodied; the friut is backed up with judicious use of quality oak. Sandy/ fine-grained tannin, it's persistent and will cellar well over the medium term, 10-12 years my call. 92

Tasted on: Monday 18th November, a Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.meereapark.com.au

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Grant Burge Moscato Rosa Frizzante 2013


A few years back, I was in my local bottle-o when in walked a young lass, off to the races the next day, she requested of the store attendant: "what do you have that's good for drinking in the morning?". 

In the spirit of the responsible service of alcohol, he dutifully recommended some Moscato. This would have been perfect for her I reckon, a mere 7.5% and a little light and fragrant number.

Rose petal, turkish delight, touches of red fruits on opening. Frizzante: a mere tickle, rather than a sparkle; red berries through the palate, sweet and syrupy. Suggestions of being somewhat cordial like, or a least marginally diluted.

Aimed at a particular demographic this would work. A little too sweet and simple for me, but if fun, fruity and fresh is yours: Go! 86

Tasted on: Monday 25th November, a Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $15.95
Alcohol: 7.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.grantburgewines.com.au

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Chapel Hill Parson's Nose Shiraz 2012


Regional and varietal for $16 - happy days. Shows a bit beefy and oxo/ stock cube on opening, loosens up a little to give black fruit, chocolate and dried earth.

Full bodied, minerality in the body, oodles of dark fruit and raspy tannin to boot. Generous persistence of flavour. Delivers very well at the price point. I wrote 89-90 and having written the note up I'll happily opt for the higher of that small band. 90

Tasted on: Monday 18th November, a Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $16
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.chapelhillwine.com.au/

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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Teusner Righteous Mataro 2011


In a bottle that could double as a dumb-bell and with a punt so deep it'd no doubt have the cool kids scurrying to sup something orange from it.

Drawn from an old 'fruit-salad' vineyard planted in the 30's towards the northern end of the Barossa. Sits on red brown loam over clay. Handled pretty minimally: hand picked, open-fermenters, sees 2 years in wood of which 30% is new (50/50 French/ American).

Opens initially with a herbal, dried tea twang; give it some time reveal itself and Mataro's true colours. Savoury initially: soy, mushroom, leather; sweeter elements backing up with plum/ plum liqueur. Over a couple of days it settles into a liquid earth with sweet accents groove.

On the palate it's pretty thick, oak and fruit intertwined. Shows a little herbal tinge, tannin is good, settling over a day or two to a lovely fine grained sort.

Good-ish length, it seemed to grow in stature over the couple of days it was open. Settles into itself nicely with a savoury earthen and old leather body - indicative of its future. Ten years tops in the cellar. 91

Tasted on: Sunday 17th November, a Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $95
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: Cork

Yalumba The Strapper GSM 2012

Bloody delicious is how I'd characterise this. Joyous, juicy with bright bubbly aromatics. Full of red fruit - think raspberry and boysenberry - with a little savoury undercarriage.

Medium bodied, soft and juicy with red fruit in abundance. Some gentle spice only adds to its character, good fine weave of tannin enables it to spread through your palate. Bloody smashable. There, I said it. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 14th November, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $21.95
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yalumba.com/

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Monday, 18 November 2013

Yalumba Eden Valley Roussanne 2012


Quite subtle on introduction: florals, a little citrus, white peach and honeyed pear. Nicely textured, a little width that grabs your attention. Thread of acid through the wine guides you, for what it's worth I wrote "food friendly" - whatever the hell that means (but see above for a suggestion).

It's looking good now, it'll be better down the line and as the vines put down roots with age. It's difficult to call, in the sense that it has much going for it without any one factor making a dominant play - that in itself marks it out as a good wine. It's damn drinkable, yet has you pausing to consider it, not just smash it down. Loved it. 91

Tasted on: Wednesday 13th November, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $24.95
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.yalumba.com

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Toolangi Emanai 2013


A Chardonnay and Viognier blend, fruit drawn from Dixon's Creek in the Yarra Valey, wine made by the steady hand of Franco d'Anna of Hoddles Creek.

Despite Chardonnay taking lead billing on the wine, I saw more Viognier in it. Fleshy stonefruit leads backed up with hints of melon and a suggestion of butterscotch/ caramel.

Entry shows a wine of texture, of spice, of the fibrous feel of fresh ginger. Length is pretty generous and sustained. Flesh and feel, slippery and spicy. 89

Tasted on: Thursday 14th November, a Leaf Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.toolangi.com/

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Cook's Lot 'Lot 666' Pinot Gris 2013

"If you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy, and some taste". So, Lot 666 eh? Some may consider Pinot G the devil's juice, for its ubiquity, and - more so in its Grigio guise - it's temptation to consume and be consumed.

Here, Duncan Cook has taken on the grape and produced a Gris worthy of the name. Opening with poached pear, a little honey for sweetness. Partial barrel ferment has added weight and texture, the warmer vintage gives the fruit extra legs, and somehow a little acid seems to have been retained.

Mineral and spice all add to the picture, length is good and the presence of flavour is long lasting. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 14th November, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cookslot.com.au

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Friday, 15 November 2013

Howard Park Jeté Brut NV


The Brut NV younger sibling to the Grand Vintage reviewed earlier. Possesses a very lively bead with a little mousse  Aromas of a little apple skin with some suggestion of baked goods - aromatically shy compared to the big brother.

The palate shows a little more of the same, hints of baked apple, mineral here with a good line of acid. Moderate intensity of flavour, you'd be happy with this at $26 - as some dining companions suggested, a good aperitif style, offering ease of consumption, 'smashable' in the context of sparkling wine.

All up it lacks the obvious complexity of it's grander stablemate, but it's a good fizz, happy days indeed at $26. 89

Tasted on: Thursday 14th November, a Leaf Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.burchfamilywines.com.au

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Howard Park Jeté Grand Vintage 2009


The Burch family of Howard Park have released some sparklers before and from the looks of their website also some possible interests in Champagne. I've Natalie Burch to thank for a wee twitter conversation and for these samples that made there way across the threshold.

This Grand Vintage is produced from majority Chardonnay with a little Pinot in the mix - the fruit being drawn from vineyards in the Great Southern region. The wine is fermented in both tank and stainless steel, and being Méthode Traditionelle would see secondary fermentation in bottle.

Lively bead, fine mousse; a little autolysis derived character on the nose, fresh brioche and a little lemon butter. Fine aromas indeed, I was even picking up a little fresh sage too.

Entry shows a wine with delightful toastiness, lees derived depth - it spends 36 months on lees - and a mineral quality. Further, there's a little burnt butter, lemon rind and a delightful textural quality that reminds one of lime brulee.

Has the complexity that comes with age and time on lees, gives the wine depth and length of flavour. Excellent for the price I'd suggest. 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 12th November, a Flower Day 

Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.burchfamilywines.com.au

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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache 2012


Stewed fruits, crumble-esque; raspberry and hints of strawberry conserve - deliberately avoiding use of the word jam, lest you -dear reader - get the wrong gist. Once it gets going it adds a little woody spice into the frame. Good start.

Was expecting a little more from old bush vine material - still it offers a rewarding Grenache experience. Fruit and a little spice via aniseed vie for attention here. Tannin is fine, rewarding, length moderate. You'll be happy at full tote, overjoyed it you find it discounted further. 89

Tasted on: Thursday 7th November, a Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $21.95
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yalumba.com

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Rocland Estate Grenache 2012

Some good gear coming out of Rocland Estate, a Barossa winery hitherto unknown to me. They're ramping things up a little with a Cellar Door due to open soon.

Earth and leather initially, then sweeter notes: sugar plum, fruits of the forest - a good red/black fruit mix here without suffering from Grenache's tendency to be over done.

Baked raspberry, baking spices backing that up, licorice and hints of clove. Oak is present, considerate, tannin fine. Length is generous, but in many respects a little simple. Easy going wine, offering ease of consumption. One for now and up to five years, not really long-term in the cellar. Good drinking regardless. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 7th November, a Fruit Day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.roclandestate.com

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Kirrihill Grenache Sangiovese Tempranillo 2012


Opened this on a Saturday evening, pairing it with a chorizo and bean stew, thinking it would work. It didn't. It just exaggerated a bitterness that wasn't there when consumed on its own. Live and learn.

All sorts of aromas flying out here, initially more savoury but over time prettier with blueberry and raspberry flowing out.

Smooth entry, tannin was a little grainy/ sandy coming on early, gives a pretty long tail. Savoury hints here too: a little fennel; when it softens, it's a touch woody with blue fruits - fills out with a bit of flesh. Enjoyed this, just not with my chorizo stew. 91
Tasted on: Saturday 2nd November, Root moving to Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 14.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.kirrihillwines.com.au

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Friday, 8 November 2013

Torzi Matthews Vigna Cantina Sangiovese 2012

"The go to wine in our house when family & friends swarm to eat." ~ Dom Torzi

Opted to open this with a lazy bolognese, the kind where - as a family - we have to sneak in some veggies to increase the intake of same into our increasingly fussy 3 year old. I'm sure if she could get into this wine she'd be pounding the meal back.

Cherry pie-esque, not cherry per se, more of a jammy cherry topping, the kind found on a pie, or cheesecake. Sweet accents of dark fruit, think black fruit crumble - get the picture?

Rich and concentrated, a creaminess and sweetness with a minor savoury undertow. Of its place and latterly its variety. Offers a light rub of tannin, a tickle of acid towards the back end, carrying the flavour - caress of aniseed.

Concludes with a touch of drying tannin, coating the mouth, good flow across the tongue and toward a conclusion. I've sen it said that Sangiovese adapts to its surroundings, this speaks of them first, variety second. 91

Tasted on: Monday 4th November, Flower transitioning to Leaf
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.torzimatthews.com.au/home/

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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Tahbilk Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Mint, eucalypt with a little chocolate. Mulberry taking a back seat, but making itself known. Glossy and polished, tannin firm and grainy. 

Acid too high for my liking - eroding my enamel - that said it will aid longevity if the rest of the wine can hold its end up. 

Good length, go 5-10 in the cellar. A good wine, I just found the acid a little too challenging at this early juncture. 89

Tasted on: Saturday 2nd November, Root moving to Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $24.80
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.tahbilk.com.au/

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Cook's Lot Lot 9999 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

I've a limited frame of reference for Cabernet Sauvignon from Orange, and I am undecided here.

Opens dusty, a touch of plum and baked raspberry. Faint, hints of cedar and a touch of tapenade - something I am more used to seeing in Merlot. Still, it exhibits some depth to the palate with blood plum, damson/ mulberry. Sweet fruit and spice with rubbery tannin make up the composition - the latter giving a bit to chew on, added interest.

There's good length of flavour, fairly persistent. Lacks a final kick to see it home down the final straight, strays into dry red territory. Varietal at least, no quibbles given the price. 88

Tasted on: Saturday 2nd November, Root transitioning to Flower
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cookslot.com.au

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Saturday, 2 November 2013

Alkoomi Frankland River Cabernet Sauvignon 2011


Initially very aromatically expressive, pretty you might say, given a little time it takes on a more savoury bent. Core to the variety and the cooler expressions thus from the Frankland River region, the wine exhibited mineral and graphite with violets, lilac and dusky rose in support.

An elegant wine, it offered good drinking from the off, and maintained such over the time I had to open to suggest cellaring potential in the short to medium term, suggest 5-10 years. Tannin is fine-grained and persistent, the wine medium-bodied. Over time it took on a grace and elegance, a composure - the wine holding itself.

A wine of its place. Good drinking at the price. 91

Tasted on: Thursday 31st October, a Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://alkoomiwines.com.au/

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Chapel Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Vintage 2011 is not exactly the elephant in the room not talked of, but there is a tendency for the vintage to be written off with a broad stroke that covers all regions and producers. Following that English idiom, one must doff one's cap to the team at Chapel Hill for the considerately crafted range of reds out of the vintage. The cooler rendition of the Shiraz from McLaren Vale, the lighter touch of the Mourvédre - all are good drinking. Here to those we can add the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cedar, creamy oak, a touch dusty with hints of red fruit. Given some time to explore, we see a little more char, toasty, black fruit and hints of dark chocolate. Medium to full bodied, tannin is fine-grained. Slight hint of chicory bitterness initially, that makes way for creamy oak. 

Length is good. It's a wine that certainly grew in appeal as it settled into itself. It's a clean rendition, a touch chewy at times, something to get into. 89 - could happily go a point higher.
Tasted on: Thursday 31st October, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.chapelhillwine.com.au/

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Friday, 1 November 2013

Torzi Matthews Schist Rock Shiraz 2012

The son of Frost Dodger. Fruit comes off of Dom Torzi and Tracey Matthews Mount McKenzie (Eden Valley) vineyard, the majority of which goes into this wine, with a smaller portion reserved for the appasimento Frost Dodger.

Believe the high regard that that the wines of Torzi Matthews are held in by a wide circle of commentators, reviewers and scribes. They deliver.

Initially offers depth with alluring prettiness before the latter wins out. Touches of plum, lilac, violets but with a dark heart of fruit. There's mint, but you wouldn't say it is minty.

It shifts quite a bit over two days, yet it's so damn gluggable that one doubts whether it would last that long in the hands of one who imbibes. Initially its dark and spicy with a little warmth; dried herb even a touch of aniseed present too. 

Composed, layered - over time it settles to a 'fuller' wine, smooth with hints of chocolate. Its generous with fruit, you wouldn't say it is fruity. Gorgeous tannin, not domineering, aid and abet length. Balanced. How does they do it? 91

Tasted on: Wednesday 30th October, a Fruit Day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.torzimatthews.com.au

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Taylor's St Andrews Riesling 2013

Tasted single blind (the identity is known but is hidden when being poured) in a bracket of Rieslings: 3 2013 releases from Taylor's and a 10 year that was included for extra colour - literally


The most 'mute' of the three - took a while to open, slowly, hints of white pepper and a soapy character. By day three it got into its stride a little, florals and lime - well and truly opened up.

The palate the most intense three, a contrast to the aromatics. Strong lime over slatey mineral; a little texture initially, by day 2 possessed a piercing acidic line. 

This is one for the cellar, again by day 3 it was singing: tangy citrus, Bickford's cordial; punchy, bold and intense. Length is sustained, quality fruit on show: with time the finish became more subtle, still glorious in length but more of a fade into the distance. Not sure why it's released now - go 10-15 years in the cellar. 92+

Tasted on: Sunday 27th October, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.taylorswines.com.au/

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Taylor's Jaraman Riesling 2013

Tasted single blind (the identity is known but is hidden when being poured) in a bracket of Rieslings: 3 2013 releases from Taylor's and a 10 year that was included for extra colour - literally

Somewhat closed initially (comparatively to Wine #1), hints of celeriac/fennel, a more  'woody' aromatic profile. Opens up touches of bickfords lime present themselves, with time crushed candies. Day two sees pithy lemon, white florals, even a hint of stonefruit.

The palate shows lime, more than lemon, touch of marmalade - not oxidised - a little phenolic pinch. Day two sees the wine exhibit greater intensity, grapefruit acidity with mineral. The length is OK, not outstanding, but it more than stands up. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 27th October, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $24.50
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.taylorswines.com.au/

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Taylor's Estate Riesling 2013

Tasted single blind (the identity is known but is hidden when being poured) in a bracket of Rieslings: 3 2013 releases from Taylor's and a 10 year that was included for extra colour - literally

Aromatically pronounced - almost forward. Lemon, kumquat  faint salts, a touch of mandarin. Veering more towards the 'orange' citrus range. Day two sees the tropicals more pronounced.

Sherbetty, mineral, quite open - as compared to tight and coiled, lemon sherbet present throughout. Day two sees the wine lose its positive attributes from day 1, replaced with a bitter pinch, retaining a mineral note towards the back palate. Length is good. One for drinking now. 88

Tasted on: Sunday 27th October, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $18.95
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap 
Website: http://www.taylorswines.com.au/

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Monday, 28 October 2013

Yelland and Papps Delight Shiraz 2011

Opens with mocha, a little oak - sees 9% new and 63% old French, 14% new and 14% old American - and good fruit ripeness, a character missing in many reds from 2011.

Full in the mouth, tannin is fine with some good spicy detail - a hint of clove present - if overall it feels a little loose. Some grip through the back end, an extra level of interest. 89 - Good

Tasted on: Sunday 9th June, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $19.95
Alcohol: 13.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yellandandpapps.com/

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Friday, 25 October 2013

Vinteloper: a New Identity and New Releases

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a gathering in Brisbane's New Farm Park for the launch of two new wines, and the reveal of a new visual identity, from winemaker David Bowley of Vinteloper Wines.

Opting to go the way of the trend of creating a version of a word minus its vowels, the new identity is bold, punchy and starkly simple. Losing the former flourishes of the Vinteloper logo, the end result is akin to paring back the label to enable a better look at what's underneath.

Indications
The public had a little insight into the direction that the new visual identity might take with the release of David's 2012 Urban Winery Project Grenache (review here). That label, as with the newly released R1 2013 Watervale Riesling and 2013 PG Fleurieu Pinot Gris were designed by David's "future wife" - as he charmingly refers to her - Sharon Hong.

A member of the medical profession, and clearly a talented artist, I asked David if he had given Sharon a brief: "deliberately not, I wanted her interpretation of the wines to be represented in the design".

It could be said that David himself has always possessed an artistic mien. In 2011 he released his two Riesling (Watervale and Odeon) to wine critics with an accompanying release, drawing the distinction between the two under the heading Art (the Odeon) vs Science (the Watervale). The brand extension has also been taken further in the past with the released of Vinteloper skateboards. Innovation? Perhaps.

Not being an art critic, I best describe the new label's style as line drawings with watercolour overlaid. To me they draw some inspiration from 1960s artwork, with strong visual imagery and a mix of bold colours and some pastels. But I suggest that is one of the great things about art, for as with wine their appeal and interpretation is a very personal thing.

2013 R1 Watervale Riesling - $26, 11%, Screwcap
David's 'standard' Watervale Riesling, rebadged as the R1 (to denote it from the Odeon, or R2 as it may be?).

Exhibits the florals and possess the elegance that one often sees in wine's of the region. Pretty with some 'Asian' influence via jasmine, blossom and the citrus aromatics.

Strikes a balance between tightness and approach-ability  One thing is for sure, refreshment is guaranteed.


2013 PG Fleurieu Pinot Gris - $26, 13%, Screwcap
Showing the barest hint of colour, a slight hint of a peachy hue. Opens with a musky aroma, to taste sees a wine that's richly textured. 

Hints of mineral; generously layered finish. A touch "dirty" as one of my fellow attendees put it. This is a good Gris. 

Aside from the artist's medical background, make what you will of the ribcage design on the label.



The Future
David was fairly forthright, he announced that he would no longer be making a Sauvignon Blanc. Not that he didn't want to, rather the decision was more pragmatic in that he saw that particular market as sufficiently crowded already, that he felt his efforts were best directed elsewhere. Expect to see the extension of the new identity as new vintages come on board, expect to see new varieties being explored and played. David seems a man enjoying his craft.

Keep an eye out for more from this pretty exciting brand.
~
Tasted on: Sunday 29th September, a Leaf Day
Source: Winemaker Hosted Tasting
Price: R1 $26 and PG $26
Alcohol: R1 %11 and PG %13
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.vinteloper.com.au/

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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Tahbilk Viognier 2013


Plantings back to 1990, first vintage in 1996 marks this 2013 example as the 18th consecutive vintage of Viognier for Tahbilk.

Initially closed, then honeysuckle, citrus blossom, a little lemon sherbet and peach. The cool Nagambie Lakes region helps avoid the 'shrill apricot' that can be inflicted on the variety. 

Possesses a delicacy, not the fat and viscous Viognier, this is clearly a well crafted example. There's a little ginger present on the palate, it's nicely spiced, a small portion of the is matured on lees, adding a little texture, spice and aiding length. 91

Tasted on: Saturday 12th October, a Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20.50
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.tahbilk.com.au/

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Yalumba Virgilius 2010

The finest presentation of Viognier in Australia. A barrel selection, the wine possesses power and concentration, yet also shows a deft aromatic touch. Apricot, ground ginger, background citrus following up as part of its aromatic profile. 

Power packed palate; barrel ferment spice and the fibrous feel of fresh ginger give detail and layers, enhanced by skilled lees work - all up making this wine a stunning proposition. 

Exquisite length. Oh so drinkable now, history - and the wine - shows that the Virgilius is a worthy candidate for time in the cellar. 94

Tasted on: Saturday 19th October, a Fruit Day
Source: Sample
Price: $49.95
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yalumba.com

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Monday, 21 October 2013

Yalumba Organic Viognier 2012


Spring is such a magical season, blossom appearing, a visible sign of the awakening life within the trees. Here we have a wine from Australia's leading producer of the variety, a wine that shows honeysuckle with a little citrus and apricot blossom. 

It's not all sweetness and light, the wine carries a little savoury undercurrent, even some root vegetable notes providing a firmer edge.

Savoury palate, a little fennel and celeriac, providing a minerally/ white peppery base. Nice segue to a little fibrous/ gingery edge. 89 - Good

Tasted on: Monday 29th July, a Leaf Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18.95
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yalumba.com/

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Friday, 18 October 2013

Rocland Estate Chocolate Box Shiraz 2012

Second of the Rocland 'Chocolate Box' wines tasted, you can find the GSM note here. The wines are packaged with a look reminiscent of advertising from the late 50s and early 60s. Suggestive of chocolate packaging and featuring the words chocolate prominently. They are wines and not the chocolate/ wine hybrid products that can be found on the market.

Does open with chocolate-plum-black cherry character. The fruit for these wines is predominantly from the Northern Barossa where such rich and chocolatey characters are common. Further, there was hints of fennel picked up.

The palate shows a wine that fleshy, spice laden - a common thread to the GSM - with black pepper, all spice, a touch of clove and star anise. A touch lighter in stated alcohol than its sibling, its also pretty well balanced with fruit, spice and a touch of acid. Carries its volume well. 87

Tasted on: Monday 14th October, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.roclandestate.com

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Rocland Estate Chocolate Box GSM 2012

Possesses the lovely, plush, comforting nose of the lead player Grenache. Damp earth, cherry with hints of choc-raspberry. Background savoury components add extra weight, a touch of herb and spice completes the picture.

Thick, chewy and spicy, Soft and rounded - plush. Oak clearly present, not overbearing. The wine holds its form well; tannin is fine and grainy, spice a common thread throughout. Drinks well: good length, spice driven. 89

Tasted on: Monday 14th October, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.roclandestate.com

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Sunday, 13 October 2013

La Curio Reserve Bush Vine Grenache 2010

2009 Bottle Image

Initially clearly red fruited, with a slightly meaty edge; evolution, fairly rapidly, with a little rhubarb and the meatiness taking on a more beefy tone. Still accented with with red fruit, sweet perfume and fennel edge.

The palate is light-on initially, the onset of warmth and spice is fairly rapid. Baking and brown spice, a little residual red fruit and finishing towards a licorice twist.

Personally I was less keen on this varietal Grenache compared to Adam Hooper's Reserve Shiraz. A well made wine, the parts just never quite seemed to mesh or convince me - and comparatively not in the same league as the Shiraz. 88

Tasted on: Thursday 10th October, a Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.lacuriowines.com/

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Saturday, 12 October 2013

Two Hands Lily's Garden McLaren Vale Shiraz 2007


The Two Hands Garden Series, a series of regional wines each named after the child of one of the Two Hands - here Michael Twelftree's daughter Lily is honoured in the form of McLaren Vale Shiraz. For me, this represents a dip into the cellar, for something that I knew would appeal to the Mrs.

The veil of oak still hangs heavy here, yet soon the sweeter perfume slowly reveals itself: red and black fruits primarily (raspberry, black and red currants if you wish me to be specific). Smells a little spirited - a calling card from the hot year and high octane fruit with the wine weighing in at a stated 15.7%.

Spice laden on entry, it's a wine that's full bodied, unctuous, a 'big' wine if you'll permit reference to that descriptor no longer as common as it once was. Oak and spice swamp the fruit somewhat, a little chocolate and red fruit round out the palate.

Tannin is drying, long and grainy. There's a lick of anise on the finish, which is long and indicative of quality. Perhaps a little too overt in style for where my tastes presently lie. Still, there's another 5 where this came from. Hard to judge, but will have appeal for many for sure. 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 8th October, a Leaf Day 
Source: Cellar
Price: $60
Alcohol: 15.7%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.twohandswines.com/

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