An Australian Wine Blog

Friday, 30 August 2013

Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2013


The Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc is made from fruit drawn off the same, close planted, vineyard as the Terre à Terre Sauvignon Blanc. 

The distinct difference is that this wine is fermented in stainless steel, with a small portion - 5% - fermented in a new Foudré, and that portion added back into the final blend.

Open and expressive: shows lemon balm, a little quince and touches of tropicals that 'flesh' out the aromatic profile further.

Hints of texture on the palate, a slight stony - nigh flinty - feel to the wine. Tropicals are present, a touch of banana and a fleshy guava-esque note. This wine's strengths paradoxically lie in its subtlety. It's no slap you around the face example. Good drinking. 89

Tasted on: Thursday 29th August, a Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://terreaterre.com.au/

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William Hardy Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Good Hills savvy here. Lemon, touches of banana, underlying tropicals with hints of grass/ herb.

Soft and lush in the mouth, quite a rounded palate feel. Acid has been softened too - comparatively so for other Sauvignon Blanc tasted. 

Tropical hints represented here, in amidst the textural feel. The acid presents itself a little more towards the wine's conclusion - all up fairly inoffensive and certainly representative of the style and region. 87

Tasted on: Thursday 29th August, a Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20.99
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hardys.com.au/

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Thursday, 29 August 2013

Torzi Matthews 2012 Old Vines Shiraz 1903 Single Vineyard of Domenico Martino

Long name, and with it comes a wine more than equal to the longevity of its title. I'm going to say it: I think it is under priced. That's not hyperbole. Given the age and provenance of the source material, the resultant quality of wine, compare that price to other wines you see in the market and that's the basis of my position.

Opens with a freshness, a lightness, an airy - superiority? - red fruits abound, accented with a little citrus. There are touches of blue/ black fruits here too - that lightness: floats like a butterfly.

The palate construct is somewhat at odds with an onset of spice early on - the sting like a bee. Oak here, it spends 16 months in 10% new French, is nothing more than a stable platform from which the ancient vines can shine. The wine has a subtle energy and vitality to itself. Acid nicely pitched, tannin fine, a touch of hazelnut bringing up the rear. Drinks excellently over 48 hours/ 3 nights of being open. 93 - Very Good

Tasted on: Tuesday 27th August, a Fruit Day

Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.torzimatthews.com.au/home/

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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Yalumba Y Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Soft, squishy red fruits sit atop an underlying woody, slightly mulchy undercurrent. Touch of herbal character, augmenting rather than detracting.

A little flat on the palate, touch of bitter tea tannin. Quibbles at the price I might add. Short and a little astringent. 86 - Average


Tasted on: Monday 13th May, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $15 RRP
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.yalumba.com

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Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2012

One that somehow slipped through the net, worth writing up.

Aromatics initially muted, showing a little citrus, tropicals and stonefruit. Fruit more pronounced on the palate: grapefruit and pineapple most noticeably, puckering acidity and even some spicy character. touch of texture present too - a bonus given it's unwooded. Finish shows more of that acidic line. Drinks alright for the $. 87 - Average

Tasted on: Saturday 27th April, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $15 RRP
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.yalumba.com

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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Teusner Dog Strangler Mataro 2010

At the conclusion of a beautiful Sunday in Brisbane, having been hard at work in the garden, coming off the back of a bout of sickness - only one thing for it: strangle the dog.

I first looked at this wine nigh on two years ago to the day, two years on its worth a revisit.

Plum, black cherry, touches of new leather. Has that familiar dark, damp, moist, almost 'Jamaican Ginger Cake' feel, it's spice tinged, shows a touch of creosote - no "waffer theen meents" though - and muscovado sugar. In summary: cracking Mataro.

Medium-full bodied, persistent szechhuan spice that provides a foundation for the core of the wine. Lighter touches here too with violets, spice and woody elements, hints of licorice root. It's at turns complex, yet also offers a delightfully easy-going, oh-so-moreish feel to itself. Tannin is pared back, a mere suggestion of pebbly mineral wraps things up. In a very good spot at present. 93 - Very Good

Tasted on: Sunday 25th August, a Leaf Day 
Source: Cellar
Price: $28
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.teusner.com.au/

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Monday, 26 August 2013

Matison Estate 'The Kirk' Pinot Noir 2010

Simon Curkovic is one of a number of Sommeliers who's turned his hand to making wine, formerly plying his trade at Catalina Rose Bay, former Gourmet Traveller Sommelier of the Year.

Fruit for this wine is drawn from a well regarded vineyard - the Forest Edge Vineyard - that must rank as one of the highest in Australia, perched high on the slopes of Mount Canobalas at 1040m.

Savoury aromatics, light and pretty she's not, take a stroll through an evergreen woodland, undergrowth, kicking your feet through the leafy matter. Stop, take in the aroma, a little resinous note and a touch of mushroom - can you smell it? Dark, earthen, wet stone - petrichor they say.

Light bodied, yet has a hint of darkness, a charcuterie edge. Spicy, touch spirited, weighs in at 14.5%, features heavily but doesn't dominate. Winds up with a little dark plum, silken - winding its way around the back palate, a fine silken cravat. 92 - Very Good

Tasted on: Sunday 18th August, a Fruit Day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.matisonestate.com.au/

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Sunday, 25 August 2013

Vincent Paris Granit 30 Cornas 2010


'Entry' level Cornas from rising star Vincent Paris. Made from fruit off of the lower part of the slope, thirty year old-ish vines, seeing 12 months in old oak.

Give this a little time to appreciate it, to be rewarded. Ripe fruit, brambly and berry driven; rounded out with graphite/ HB pencil.

Medium bodied, shows a little sour fruit - of raspberry, cassis; acidity here is pitch perfect, a delightful anchor around which to understand the wine, a segue to the tannin that arrives. 

Tannin is a little firm, gravelly - certainly persistent. Carries a line through the finish. A grower and a stayer. 92 - Very Good

Tasted on: Friday 9th August, a Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Cork
Importer: http://fourthwavewine.com.au/

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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Torzi Matthews Frost Dodger Shiraz 2012

This wine marks the tenth successive vintage of this remarkable wine for Dom Torzi and Tracey Matthews. Remarkable for, as its name suggests, it grows with the threat of frosts present at a time when the vines are at their most tender, remarkable for it is made in the 'appassimento' style, remarkable for the affect it had on me.

Immediately it smells concentrated, rich and ripe fruit - the appassimento technique sees the fruit dried on racks to concentrate the sugars and flavours - yet, it's not about the fruit. Whilst it exhibits a whole gamut of aromas, it is when you take it into your mouth that you might begin to understand how remarkable it is.

Rich and concentrated here. It shows licorice, pepper and even a touch of raisin. In many respects I found it a wine of contradiction: of power, yet also of finesse. It's a wine to sip and savour - behold its texture: nigh 'gossamer' like, velvety, fine tannin. 

As a wine, it had a real personal impact on me. As stated, it is one to savour, but also the texture and feel of the wine somewhat render the range of flavours associated with the wine null and void. Sure they contribute to the wine, but for me take second stage to its feel. I stand appreciative, lauding it. 95 - Outstanding

Tasted on: Monday 19th August, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.torzimatthews.com.au/home/

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Alkoomi Frankland River Riesling 2012


The familiar lemon sherbet over bath salt aromatics are present, yet the wine seems a little forward compared to recent vintages tasted. Seems more open, embracing - getting itself out there earlier.

Palate shows a touch of broader citrus flavour, a lemon butter-esque note, but don't think it creamy. This is cool region Riesling with a bitter lemon acidic tang. Good finish, but would like to have seen a little more focus - keen to see how it develops. 89+ Good

Tasted on: Wednesday 21st August, Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 12.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://alkoomiwines.com.au/

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Monday, 19 August 2013

Cooks Lot Lot #589 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2013


I've been impressed by the wines from Cooks Lot and this is no exception. A little slow out of the blocks initially then, unfurling like a bud at Spring, we get the fresh aromatics of the constituent parts. 

Grapefruit, hints of tropicals, melon. To me it showed a touch of texture, quite possibly just a marked improvement in quality with this wine in comparison to others tasted in the bracket. Finishes with a touch of phenolics, a bit of grip, good length. 90 - Good

Tasted on: Saturday 10th August, a Fruit Day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cookslot.com.au/

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Redbank The Long Paddock Sauvignon Blanc 2012

If you like Sauvignon Blanc that is presented in this style, you'll be happy with this wine, especially at a mere $12.95. Pungent - fighting it's way out of glass and bottle, shows tropicals and citrus with a strong nettle character.

Prickly acid sits front and square, acting as the doorman to an otherwise neutral palate of little redeeming character. Finishes short and sharp. 83 - Poor

Tasted on: Saturday 10th August, a Fruit Day
Source: Sample
Price: $12.95 
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.redbankwines.com/

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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Redbank Prosecco 2012

Fresh and delicate: stonefruit, hints of melon and a touch of apple blossom. Lively in the mouth, prominent hints of green apple, a little stony/ pebble touch.

Quite a freshening wine, easy drinking if lacking in a little finesse. Crunch and grip add to the wine's character. It's a wine I'd quite happily drink at any time of day. 89 - Good

Tasted on: Saturday 17th August, a Flower Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $24.95
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.redbankwines.com/

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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Port Phillip Estate Salasso Rosé 2012


The colour of the bottle shot is no guide to the contents within, the green bottle somewhat masking the vivacity of this 'salasso' (bleeding the juice) Rosé made from Mornington Peninsula Shiraz.

Fresh on approach, strawberries, cherry and cream and touches of florals. Light bodied, an elegance to it. Spice with nuances and apple and cinnamon here; tangy acidity and an edge mineral like in its presentation.

Good length and flow, another Rosé that I could quite happily get into. I do believe that the 2013 is now available. 92 - Very Good

Tasted on: Wednesday 14th August, a Flower Day 
Source: #RoseRev Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.portphillipestate.com.au/

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James Estate Rosé 2012

Pretty, floral - hints of musk, rose a touch of violet and a little black fruit lurking there in the background, betraying its source. Colour is quite a vivid pink, no shrinking violet, pasty-faced Rosé here.

Of a bracket of Roses opened, this showed the touch weightier, veering toward medium bodied. That said, it still showed a deftness, a lightness of touch and a delicious drying, savouring quality.

Length is generous, savoury and drying - still retains a freshness too. Of the bracket opened this was the one with the screwcap placed back on it, popped back in the fridge for further pleasurable consumption.

At the time of writing was on offer at some 30% discount to RRP. Worth a sniff. 92 - Very Good

Tasted on: Wednesday 14th August, a Flower Day 
Source: #RoseRev Sample
Price: $17 RRP
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Scewcap
Website: http://jamesestatewines.com.au

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Pepperilly Rose 2011

Free run juice and a composition of 70% Cabernet and 30% Shiraz. Hints of red fruits waft out immediately, primarily currants with a little raspberry and cherry. Hint of boiled lolly with a creamy/ custard/ vanilla note in the mix too.

Textural, has a bit of crunch, feel and grip to it. Good mouthfeel, very enjoyable. Finishes with a touch of savoury bitterness, with a hint of nutty/ shell character. Could do some damage to this. 90 - Good

Tasted on: Wednesday 14th August, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.pepperilly.com/

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House of Morande 2006

From the Maipo valley, near to Chile's capital Santiago. Takes its influence from Bordeaux, both in terms of composition (73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc and 9% Carignan - ignore the Carignan component for the purpose of this note, it is not permitted in Bordeaux) and vinification. Low-yielding in the region of 1KG per vine, sees an extended maceration of up to 5 weeks, 18 months in barrel and then 2 months in bottle unfiltered.

Can you smell elegance? Refined on approach, quite delicate - elegant if I am permitted to say - has settled with 7 years on it. Cedary, hints of bay, a little black fruit and a savoury twist of anise. Fades quickly mind, aromas taking a back seat.

Medium bodied, integrated and savoury. Residual oak slides into the body of the wine. Acid is stil noticeable and provides a little freshness; anise and black fruit present here also, the two working in tandem across the palate.

Tanin is ultra-fine, elegant, sustained - length is exemplary and memorable. I'd be quite happy drinking Cabernet like this all of the time - and time is what this example has. My only quibble here - and hence preventing a higher 'score' - is where it will go. Structurally it holds up brilliantly, just some wonder about fading aromatics. Maybe just a point in its development? 92+ - Very Good

Tasted on: Sunday 4th August, a Flower Day
Source: Gift
Price: $?
Alcohol: 14.1%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.morande.cl/

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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Redbank Gargenega 2011

Delightfully fresh intro with just a little savoury undertow. Opens with fresh pear, a little almond skin, fresh herb and a citrus current. There's a touch of chalkiness and some latent spice in the mix too.

The palate continues the theme: a hint of salinity, good punchy acid, spice is a recurrent element here, rounded out with a touch of pinchy phenolics. I could quite happily consume this in considerable quantities. 91 - Very Good

Tasted on: Saturday 3rd August, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $24.95
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.redbankwines.com/

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Friday, 9 August 2013

Taylors Estate Chardonnay 2012

Fairly pleasant aromatics of a little green papaya, citrus and a touch of stonefruit. 

Palate shows meal, worked texture and barrel ferment character atop full toasty oak. Good texture, rescues the wine I would suggest given the less than enticing aromatics. The finish is good: long, toasty with a savoury quality. 87 - Average 

Tasted on: Saturday 3rd August, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $18.95
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.taylorswines.com.au/

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Thursday, 8 August 2013

Teusner Family Shiraz 2012


A new offering in the Teusner line-up, smartly packaged with a proprietary bottle and adorned with artwork from a member of the family that the wine honours.

Got to respect Kym Teusner and Michael Page, they've been showing the love to, and recognising the contribution of their growers (Riebke Shiraz) and their own families (Albert Shiraz and Joshua GMS) from the beginning.

Now it's the turn of the Wark family, Barossa stalwarts, as the marketing spiel goes: "Whenever they have cause to be away, there is always a yearning to return. They love it for its people and their stories, its food, wine and the rituals of the seasons."

Layered, black cherry and satsuma plum with some chocolate aromatics overlaid. There's even a suggestion of almond/ marzipan lurking in the background, could be just me.

Dark, black, broody - lit up with a little blue fruit too. Pretty full on, hints of chocolate and twists of brown licorice. Alternately dense, yet also very approachable. Tannin here is fine, a little dusty, providing a powdery mouth-coating and tenacious finish. 90 - Good

Tasted on: Wednesday 7th August, a Leaf Day 
Source: Retail, Craft 
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.teusner.com.au/

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Chapel Hill Mourvèdre 2011


Third vintage of Chapel Hill's Mataro tasted (after the 2009 and 2010). Has that familiar damp and heady, plum and black cherry, spice-tinged nose. Shows a little oak too, just in support. Touch of herbal, woody character that has been evidenced in cooler vintages.

Lighter in body, spice and pepper laden; fine, powdery/ dusty tannin. Really enjoyed its sense of composure  smoothness, with an almost fluffy feel to the wine in mouth.

Finishes with a bitter, licorice and chocolate twist - sustained presence. Just lacks a bit of depth, a product of its time and place. 89 - Good 

Tasted on: Friday 2nd August, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $?
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.chapelhillwine.com.au/

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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Running With the Bulls Barossa Tempranillo 2012

My relationship with Australian Tempranillo is uneasy to say the least. 

Yet, here we have a wine that, for me, is at least varietal. Hints of choc-coffe-blueberries meets subtle violets too. A delightful aromatic expression of Tempranillo supported by a touch of malty oak.

It's medium bodied, there's a mix of red/ blue/ black fruits on show here, it is easy going, juicy and supple. Tannin is fine, backed up with a little bitter twist of cocoa at its conclusion. 

Length is good, generous and sustained. To my mind it is one of the better expressions of Tempranillo in Australia, at a good price point too. 

It has a twin, a Wrattonbully expression, and whilst I may consider that the *better* wine, this Barossa expression would likely bowl me over any day. A joy to drink, varietally correct, and food-friendly to boot. 91 - Very Good

Tasted on: Wednesday 31st July, a Fruit Day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13.5
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.runningwithbulls.com.au/

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Monday, 5 August 2013

Redbank The Anvil Shiraz 2009

I thought this kind of like someone had taken my berry compote and seen fit to serve it in some expensive French oak. It's all about Mulberries, blackcurrant and a little black cherry wafting out of the glass.

Medium bodied, and it's like the aromatic on repeat through the palate: tart damson, mulberry and cherry. It delivers an immediate hit of fruit, nicely pitched acid.

Tannin here is ultra-fine and the wine concludes with a generous tail of flavour. 91 - Very Good

Tasted on: Sunday 28th July, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $52
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.redbankwines.com/

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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Ridgemill Estate Riesling 2013


You don't see much Riesling in the Granite Belt, I know only of Felsberg, Witches Falls producing it, and now can add Ridgemill Estate to that list.

Riesling is quite possibly the white variety that best reflects terroir. It is said that Riesling on Granite tends to be fruitier, and that Riesling excels in well drained soils with poor fertility.

The fruit source here is eight year old vines from Somme Lane near Ballandean at the Southern end of the Granite Belt, and this is the first time that Ridgemill has used the fruit from this site, and is indeed their and winemaker Peter McGlashan's first Riesling.


The fruit was hand-picked on 7th February at about 11 baumè, transported back to the winery where it was de-stemmed/ crushed and basket pressed to tank to settle. The vineyard has about 3 hectares in total, here the winery opted to take 2 hectares at a total of about 2.5 tonnes of fruit. 

After settling, it was placed into a fermentation tank for 30 days for a long cool ferment. Post-fermentation it was racked off lees, sulphured  left on fine-lees for a period prior to bottling. Interestingly - something for the nerds - the yeast used was from a strain identified of Pinot Noir from Tyrrell's in the Hunter Valley.  

The Wine
Shows honey/ honeysuckle, white florals with hints of peachy stonefruit, gentle aromatics, attractive. Less 'in your face' than many may be used too. On the palate, again it's quite light, clean, hints of lime brulee. Acid here is nicely balanced to the pitch of the flavour. 

Shows a touch gin 'n' tonic mineral-esque with a lime twist. It's not about fullness of flavour, there's a delicate element of shape and texture here. 

The Future
I spoke at some length with winemaker Peter McGlashan about the wine, looking to understand a little about his approach. As it was his first attempt at Riesling, Peter wasn't shy in divulging in that he had sought opinion from regarded Riesling producers David Bowley and David O'Leary, that he was happy with how the wine had turned out, seeking floral character - yet did indicate he would have like to have seen greater lemon/ lime concentration in the resultant wine.

The fruit has been secured for 2014 and with that agreement in place McGlashan was looking to have greater input into the viticulture. Good first effort, 89 - Good

Tasted on: Saturday 27th July, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://ridgemillestate.com/ridgemill-estate-wines/

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Resources:
1) http://rieslingrules.com/the_book/vineyards-and-winemaking/
2) http://lovelygrapes.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/how-do-you-like-your-riesling.html

Friday, 2 August 2013

Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz 2011

Cool peppery twist over liquorice  shows plum and damson over choc-nut oak. It's medium bodied, lighter than McLaren Vale Shiraz you may be used too. 

Nicely pitched acid against the balance of fruit and oak. Brambly with good length of flavour. Persistent: black pepper, liquorice and fine tannin see you home here. 90 - Good

Tasted on: Friday 26th July, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.chapelhillwine.com.au/

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Galli Estate Adele Syrah 2011


Sees a fair portion (30%) of whole bunch, wild yeast fermented and bottled unfiltered. Gives a little insight into the inputs into the wine.

Initially opens quite closed, smoky with a little pepper, red fruits and charred capsicum. Given time, the whole bunch becomes more apparent - becoming the dominating character: herbal, a little vegetal.

Black pepper on the palate, a little spritz and acidic tang. Pastille and black fruits, straddles a fine line between elegance and vibrancy, a life and zest.

Good length, tannin present is rubbery/ chalky. I think it may challenge some, I preferred it with a little time and air. 89 - Good

Tasted on: Thursday 25th July, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $38
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.galliestate.com.au/

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Taylors Jarraman Riesling 2012

Fruit for this wine is drawn from both the Clare and Eden Valleys

Apple blossom over lime with lemon balm riding shotgun underneath, a little 'grassy' note present too.

Tangy lime, moderate acid, a little textural crunch. Flavour holds through the finish well, squeezes the palate a little. Drinks well. 90 - Good

Tasted on: Friday 26th July, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.taylorswines.com.au/wine-collection/jaraman/riesling/2012

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Thursday, 1 August 2013

Ballycroft Small Berry Mataro Fortified 2008

Unique in a modern context. Have not seen, or heard, of anything of its kind currently in either a local or international markets. Please chime-in if I'm wrong. Of course, if memory serves, Mataro was a major component of fortifieds in the early history of fortified production in Australia.  

Wonderful plum-liquer depth on the nose; floral - intense violets. Latterly some darker, molasses like character coming through.

Similarly on the palate there's an intense depth, the wine unctuous and backed up with fruit sweetness: kirsch and hints of blackberry. 

The finish shows black licorice and a touch of fennel. Unique. Paired this with some dark, 70% cocoa chocolate on a wintery Sunday night. 92 - Very Good

Tasted on: Sunday 14th July, a Fruit Day
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.ballycroft.com/

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