An Australian Wine Blog

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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