An Australian Wine Blog

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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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Tahbilk Shiraz 2010


Yes! All soft black fruits, hints of oak, a touch of eucalypt, but approachable - so approachable. Damson, hints of blackcurrant and all up inviting brambly fruit.

Medium bodied, juicy, soft and fleshy - a little comfort factor, like sinking into a favourite cushion, the counter-point is a touch of acid and lip warming spice.

Fruit-tinged finish. A good, not great wine. Happy days and happy drinking. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 6th October, a Flower Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $24.80
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.tahbilk.com.au/

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Alkoomi Frankland River Chardonnay 2011


Having reviewed a variety of Alkoomi wines across different wines, varieties and vintages, I've got to say they consistently hit the mark at their respective price points. This Chardonnay is no exception.

Opens with the flinty, smokey character redolent of barrel fermentation; supplement this with the suggestion and grapefruit aromatics and you have a wine representative of region and the winemaker's hand.

The palate shows the creamy feel ahead of a flinty note, suggestive of battonage; grapefruit acidity backs this up. Acidity is toned a little through the techniques employed and also as a consequence of a warmer year. The finish is moderate, but there's plenty of interest here. 89

Tasted on: Sunday 6th October, a Flower Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $21.50
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://alkoomiwines.com.au

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[This post was edited at 07:37 on 13/10/2013 to correct the price to $21.50 from the previously stated $24]

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Nanny Goat Syrah 2012


Syrah from Central Otago is an interesting proposition. Generally a region considered cool, needs judicious site selection to work.

Black fruited, a little fruits of the forest; violets with a beefy  meaty hint. Notes of spicy oak, vanilla.

White pepper, fairly open and flacid, squarely medium bodied. Juicy, and yet again that meatiness comes through the middle too. Smooth and creamy with hints of chocolate. The parts work together to create an attractive drinking proposition. 88

Tasted on: Friday 4th October, a Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $?
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.nannygoatvineyard.co.nz/

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Tahbilk Eric Stevens Purbrick Cabernet Sauvignon 2008


Built for the long haul and the cellar - approachable now, but I do believe that Cabernet needs a good sleep before showing at its best.

Opens with flashes of oak, eucalypt and a dense core of black fruit: cassis, damson and their ilk. Cedary, hints of mocha and coffee oak - a good solid Cabernet core.

The palate shows spice, freshened up with good acid; tannin is drying, good and chewy - you just want to see how they'll look once softened. Finishes with a meaty twist, salumi-esque in some regards Well structured. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 2nd October, a Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $69.50
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.tahbilk.com.au

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Monday, 7 October 2013

Torzi Matthews Frost Dodger Riesling 2013

Complex aromatics here, a combination of fresh baked apple pie with spicy notes; a little cidery touch, Bickford's lime cordial and bath salts.

The palate is a little different too, not your razor Rizza that many of you may be familiar with, a little lees ageing has created a softer, fuller palate profile. Familiar lime still courses through the palate, providing the much sought refreshment that Riesling offers, yet it also comes with textural interest, notes of waxy lemons, powdery/ chalky phenolics. Interest plus.

The acid is inherent too, not immediately, towards the back palate - adding extra energy to the wine. Good persistence here. Like - a lot. 92

Tasted on: Sunday 6th October, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.torzimatthews.com.au/

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Lark Hill 'Eliza' Off-Dry Riesling 2013


Named after the 3rd generation of the Carpenter family, winemaker Chris' daughter. 

I wouldn't normally start a tasting note quoting numbers relating to acids and residual sugar, but such may be of interest in understanding a wine such as this. Possessing excellent balance, in true off-dry territory at 27g/l residual sugar, whilst sweet the acid inherent in the wine (TA 10.1g/L and a pH of 2.91) works with that sugar.

A wine of intensity: florals, asian influenced fragrance: hints of lemongrass, kaffir lime and even a slight note of fresh ginger inherent.

The additional sugar in the wine lends extra weight and 'flesh' to the palate. Mineral nuances intermingle with the sweetness of the palate against the aforementioned acids. It doesn't stop there, the finish is pretty intense too - a prominent feature of the wine from start to finish. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 2nd October, a Fruit Day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.larkhillwine.com.au

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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Turkey Flat Mourvédre 2010

Behold! Good gear here - Mataro Mourvédre in a somewhat lighter guise, without sacrificing any of the signature elements of the variety.

Opens with a sandy, earthen character; hints of rain on dry earth, a nutty touch, a little dried grass before dark plum and cherry start to gradually reveal themselves. Furtively lurking behind them, a little spice to top it off - lovely layered aromatics from the off.

Then, to the palate presence: medium-full bodied, yet possessing quite a lightness of touch for what is ostensibly a big lad. Richly spiced, the wine has Mataro's depth and length but in a somewhat lighter manner. Juiciness is big factor here, gives it that slurp-ability that has you yearning to come back, and fine tannin to add an extra dimension in the mouth. A winner! 93

Tasted on: Monday 30th September, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.turkeyflat.com.au/

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Bakkheia United and Undaunted Mourvédre Shiraz 2010

So named to commemorate 60 years of Navy divers - respect.

Dominant cherry and glossy plumminess; has a sheen, a polish to the fruit on display with little herbal tinges lurking in the background.

Full bodied, an immediate hit of fruit sweetness on entry, segueing to spice: Szechuan meets pepper with hints of anise. Lends a 'coolness' to the palate, all up good structure and balance.

Licorice on the finish, a finish of good length - nothing more. A good wine, if a little simple in construct - drinks easily, drinks well. Another I'd be happy to recommend given drinkability factor and price. 89

Tasted on: Tuesday 24th September, a Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bakkheia.com.au/

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