An Australian Wine Blog

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Redbank Fighting Flat Shiraz 2009

It's fair to say that you have to like your oak to get into this wine. Oak, pepper, a full-on presentation of black fruits, hints of coal tar and liquorice root.


Medium bodied, pepper and clovey spice; says something that liquorice adds a certain elegance to the wine. Tanning is ultra-fine, lending structure to the wine. Ultimately a good wine, but some odd choices: unusual these days to see cork on a wine at this price-point. 89 - Good

Tasted on: Sunday 14th July, a Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $ 25
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.redbankwines.com/

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Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Grigio 2012

Expressly aromatic, plenty of ripe pear and white florals with some elements of melon as part of its aromatic equation.

On the palate it is green, clean and crisp - with perky acid highlighting a little phenolic pinch and touch of spice. Moderate length of finish which does add extra appeal.

Personally for a Grigio I prefer clean and cheap, whereas a Gris at this price point I would expect to see a more worked, textural profile. That said, it's a solid 89 - Good

Tasted on: Saturday 13th July
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.montalto.com.au/wine.html

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Monday, 29 July 2013

Tapanappa Cabernet Shiraz 2009

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (84%) and Shiraz (16%), the fruit is dazzling, framed up by some exquisite oak treatment.

It's fairly loaded up with cassis, plum, and beyond that to underlying cedary notes, hints of violet. Multi-faceted, the fruit is very prominent, but return each time to find a little extra something, the wine revealing itself further.

Silken smooth on the plate, nigh effortless. Abundance of cassis here too, with peppery hints and eucalypt, supported with good acid set against a savoury edge. Tannin is ultra-fine, classy one could say. Seems a pleasure to drink now, yet cellaring well will certainly reward the patient. 94 - Outstanding

Tasted on: Friday 19th July, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.tapanappawines.com.au/

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Terre à Terre Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Terre à Terre is the label of Xavier Bizot and Lucy Croser, husband and wife team, each coming from respected winemaking familes, he as one of the families behind the Bollinger name and Lucy being the daughter of Brian and Ann Croser.

Their Terre à Terre label was started in 2004 with the planting of 3 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon and 2 of Sauvignon Blanc, just across the road from the Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard. This vintage saw a mere 450 bottles produced.

Out of the blocks the wine shows graphite and HB pencil aromas; dusty, savoury, with a hint of violet, plum and dusky rose. Settling into itself, it's mineral tinged and offering up plenty of alluring cassis.

Mineral-strewn with a touch of spice - barely noticeable at first, building. The wine's structure has you here, firm, yet not overdone. Tannin is chalky, drying and fine. You suspect you're in the presence of class when savouring it. Finishes long and savoury. 93 - Very Good

Tasted on: Sunday 14th July, a Fruit Day
Source: Sample
Price: $33
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://terreaterre.com.au/

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Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz 2011

I reviewed the 2008 of this only last year. So it seems it is released as a 2 year-old, and not a 5 year old as I thirst thought.

Lush, rich, 'polished' oak over background spice. The oak makes way - or certainly the olfactory organ gets used to it - a good perfume of fruit, spice with choc-vanilla-coconut layers.

Plum and florals on the palate, good acid thrust; tannin soft and chalky. Acid high, in balance against the oak and fruit - a coup given the cooler than usual vintage. Touch of salinity, choc-coffee, a punch of flavour...then a tail. 

Good length, fairly generous, with spice and zing. An indecisive 91/ 92 (as you wish) - Very Good


Tasted on: Monday 8th July, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $70
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.foxcreekwines.com/

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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Michael Hall Roussanne 2011


Michael Hall is a producer to watch. This Roussanne spends 11 months in French oak, 1200 bottles produced in this vintage. Fruit is drawn from the Barossa, predominantly Marananga sub-district with a little additional fruit from Greenock.

Shows excellent varietal character with honeysuckle, white florals, creamy citrus and a little pine-nut added complexity.

The palate is a full-on textural assault, the creamy hints evident on the nose also present on the palate. Citrus-tinged, it shows an excellent acid structure, if initially seeming a little closed. Drinks very well now, but if you're lucky enough to have a stash, it will certainly reward cellaring and consumption in around 5 years time. Putting my nuts on the line here, with a deserved: 94 - Excellent

Tasted on: Monday 1st July, a Leaf Day
Source: Retail, Grand Central Cellars
Price: $35
Alcohol: 12.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.michaelhallwines.com/

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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Giorgi Canneto Pavese Sangue di Giuda 2012

One of the more unusual samples received for a PR tie-in, sent to coincide with the Australian run of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Sangue di Giuda - literally 'Blood of Judas' - is said to be so named by Friars who disapproved of the wine's aphrodisiac effects. It's made in Oltrepo Pavese zone of Lombardy and is a DOC wine.

Impenetrably dark in colour, it opens with a juicy, nigh grapey, aroma. Fresh, fruity and vibrant - what we often miss with wine is intent, or context, and here the wine is made in a deliberately low alcohol style - for 'casual' consumption if you wish. 

This particular example sees only 3 days on skins, enough for colour and flavour, but little tannin. Tank fermented, its style is lightly pettillant. The palate is simply fruity, almost cordial like with its 85 g/l residual sugar. 86 - Average, if a score matters. 

Tasted on: Saturday 29th June, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $?
Alcohol: 7%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://giorgi-wines.it/en/vini-dolci/sangue-di-giuda/
Imported By: http://www.italiquore.com.au/

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Friday, 26 July 2013

Pertaringa Wines 'Scarecrow' Sauvignon Blanc 2013


Four years ago on a road-trip across some of Southern Australia's wine producing states, Pertaringa's 'Scarecrow' was a favourite for the crew, pairing well with various fruits de la mer enjoyed.


Roll forward a few years to this latest release and it's fair to say the wine has altered form a little in that intervening period. It still carries its hallmark tropicals, with hints of creamy lemon and a little underlying herbal note.

However its on the palate where the difference is most marked. It shows itself with a little edginess, with an acidic line jabbing about the place, the textural nuances here are the marked differentiator - a natural evolution in style to soften some of the acid the variety is known for and also to enhance feel in the mouth. Still works for me. 89 - Good

Tasted on: Thursday 25th July, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.pertaringa.com.au/

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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Caillard Mataro 2009

In the early days of Project Mataro, this piece by Andrew Caillard MW - auctioneer, educator, writer, artist - was a great inspiration and background resource. Subsequently it was pleasing to find that Caillard puts his money where his mouth is and chooses to apply his name to the production of the variety.

Black cherry, plum, a little sandalwood. Lovely perfume to the wine - exhibiting a mix of the three. However, give this time in the decanter and its a very different proposition altogether.

Spicy, velvety, layered - waves of spice and fruit attack in relentless assaults, cascade through the palate. Fine tannin backs up the wine's profile, and each contributes to a length of focus and purity. 94 - Outstanding

Tasted on: Sunday 30th June, a Leaf Day
Source: Gift
Price: $45
Alcohol: 13.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.caillardwine.com/

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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Pertaringa Over The Top Shiraz 2010

Rich, dense and heavy. Would suggest there's some very good quality fruit in this beast, able to soak up the oak and show little sign of its muscular 15% alcohol.

That only tells half the story, there's plum and softer red berry notes on offer here too - good perfume on show, secondary to the dense layered oak and black fruits.

Palate shows fine, drying tannin. Black pepper, hints of mint and black licorice. Viscous and textural, a depth that had me on more than one occasion thinking of Mataro. Licorice forms a core component to the wine's conclusion, providing the predominant line and length, the finish tailing away subtly. 93 - Very Good

Tasted on: Saturday 29th June, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.pertaringa.com.au

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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Witches Falls Syrah 2010

Tasted originally as part of an unofficial 'Queensland Wine Week' and then subsequently some two months later.

From the off the wine shows its hand. Rich oak and fruit straight up, minty hint in there too, plum along with dense black fruits.

Medium bodied, fruit is the dominant factor here. Black fruits and plum again; spice, pepper and a touch of chewy and drying tannin. Strikes me as being squarely about fruit and oak, the two working together well.  

The finish is long and drying, derived from oak tannin. 90 - Good

Tasted on: Friday 14th June, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.witchesfalls.com.au/

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2010 Syrahmi Mourvédre

Adam Foster is the man behind Syrahmi - focussing on wines from the Heathcote region; l'Imposteur - wines made by Foster in France; Foster e Rocco - wines made by Foster in conjunction with Sommelier Lincoln Riley; and La La - a tribute to Guigal’s famous La Mouline, La Turque and La Landonne. 
Made from the Greenstone vineyard in Heathcote, close-planted at 4545 v/ph, opens a little reductive - as can often be Mataro's way - closed, yielding little. Seeing 25% whole bunch, as the wine opens up, it shows a little herbal/ boucquet garni character.

Slowly, unfurling, revealing itself further: boysenbery, mulberry; so much more expressive on day two, open, embracing, seemingly juicy, touch of satsuma plum - a lighter guise of Mataro.

Velvet smooth entry, a little charcuterie and spice, savoury notes working in tandem with a defined fruit quality. A complex wine, a mineral edge provides additional character, tannin is fine, carrying a line that is seemingly perpetual. Concluding, it's long and sustained. Generous graphite/mineral. 92+ Very Good

Tasted on: Thursday 13th June, a Leaf Day
Source: Gift
Price: $45
Alcohol: 14.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://syrahmi.com.au

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Jim Barry 'The Cover Drive' 2010

Enjoyment of a wine can often be as much about the context in which it is enjoyed, in addition to any inherent qualities that the wine may posess.

For me, this wine will forever be linked to the fact that it was bought and consumed for the sole purpose of marking the commencement of the 2013 Ashes series in England.


Good Cabernet-icity - if that's such a term - soft, cedary oak backed up with juniper, herbal tinges filling out the profile.  A smooth, soft introduction, dusty tannins, a hint of choc-mocha. Made very much in a drink now style, good flavour with minimal tannin extraction.

That said the finish shows well, a little eucalypt here, good-ish length and drinking well over two days. 89 - Good

Tasted on: Wednesday 10th July, a Leaf Day
Source: Retail
Price: $20
Alcohol:14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://jimbarry.com/

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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Taylors Estate Merlot 2012

Shows good varietal character. Leafy, bay a bit dusty. Seems more savoury - less about fruit, although that said, plummy spice does show and reveal itself.

Palate lets it down a bit: thin, yet smooth, touch of drying and chalky tannin. Not out of place, just lacking presence. 87 - Average

Tasted on: Thursday 27th June, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $18.95
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.taylorswines.com.au/

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Taylors Jarraman Shiraz 2012

The Jarraman range draws fruit two selected regions, in this case Shiraz from McLaren Vale and Clare Valley.

Mix of plummy, violet, dusty notes - but found the choc-nut oak a little obtrusive here. Palate shows black fruits, silken and smooth - fairly easy going.

Finishes with fruit, oak and a hint of bitter-choc-chicory. Personally I preferred the 2012 Estate Shiraz, others disagree. 86 - Average

Tasted on: Thursday 27th June, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.taylorswines.com.au/

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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Terres Dorées l'Ancien Le Buissy 2009

We're talking Beaujolais here, so fruit is drawn from the Beaujolais area, but not from within one of the ten named Crus (as with this Morgon from producer Jean-Paul Brun, owner of the Terres Dorées domain).

This wine is produced from fruit off of 70-odd year old vines - good going - and elevage is in five year old barriques, it's about letting that old vine character shine through.

Shows a cherry, a little blackberry and florals on the nose, however it is the palate where the wine's character is best exhibited. Citrussy tang on first introduction, then chalky tannin and a little mineral early; the wine shows a complex mix of texture, acod and fruit - somewhat at odds with what many see as the easy going nature of Beaujolais.

The finish is sustained, a little almond in the mix over time, but simply put the wine is a joy to savour and drink. 91 - Very Good
 
Tasted on: Sunday 16th June, a Fruit Day
Source: http://www.livingwines.com.au
Price: $33
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Cork

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Sunday, 7 July 2013

Yelland & Papps Divine Grenache 2010

From 130 year old vines on the outskirts of Greenock in the Barossa's North-West. Minimal cropping at a mere 0.35t/ acre, significantly down on 2009 when it was in at 1t/acre.

An inky mass of black fruit; concentrated: plum, blackberry - yet there are sweeter accents here. Initially closed, dense, quite hard to get past. Needs a little time to come out of its shell.

Gently spiced, growing in stature over the course of the duration that it's open. Hints of clove, some muscovado motes too. Good feel, densely layered, woven with fine tannin segueing to generous length. 

Not over-powering, continuous form, seemingly perpetual. Personally I have a preference for the 2009 version, I think the warmer year served Grenache well, the warmer year reflected in respective declared ABVs. 92 - Very Good


Tasted on: Monday 1st July, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $75
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com

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Yelland & Papps Devote Grenache 2011

This had me a little off guard. Don't ask me how I know this, but on opening this smelled a little of cosmetics, in particularly of a ladies powder tray. There, I said it. 

Backs it up with cherry, a little doughy, meaty - light charcuterie. Violets, dusky, cranberry, redcurrants and a splash of raspberry. Medium bodied, peppery with a chalky tannin feel. Fluid - open and light, and towards its finish shows a distinct Szechuan spice note. Shows a little of everything and it works well together,

Over the two days I had it open, I pointed anywhere from 88-91, opting for the mid here: 89/90 - Good

Tasted on: Wednesday 12th June, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com

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