An Australian Wine Blog

Monday, 31 March 2014

La Petite Mort Viognier 2012

La Petite Mort is a euphemism for the good old orgasm. It's also the 'experimental' arm of the Granite Belt's Bent Road Winery, the label where they can have play around with techniques or run up small batches of wines. It's also home to quite possibly the most stunning labels seen in the region, a region not known for its adventurous styling or packaging.

Sees a little extended skin contact for additional colour extraction, but you wouldn't call it an 'orange' wine on the basis of its colour.

Opens with citrus, creamy puff pastry, suggestion of florals - honeysuckle - and a little vanilla. A touch of smokiness, it's a textural, weighty beast - spice builds here, has phenolic grip. Good texture that develops, supported by a little acidity.

Drank well over two days, retention of a little vitality with textural grip. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 19th March, Root to Flower
Source: Retail, Craft Red Hill
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13.3%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://lapetitemort.com.au/

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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2012


The last of a quartet of viogniers from the varieties saviour in Australia, Yalumba. You can find the Y Series, Organic and Virgilius elsewhere on this site. 

There's a lime and cream aspect on opening, followed by peach skins, apricot kernel. Somewhat delicate, not overbearing.

Textural, spicy, rich - has a fair degree of presence. Touches of white pepper, brown spice and a many layered textural presence. Concludes with a little pickled ginger, length building, spice lingering. Will go another 2-3 years I reckon. 91

Tasted on: Wednesday 19th March, a Root transitioning to Flower Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yalumba.com/

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Kirrihill Clare Valley Sangiovese 2012


Dry red-ish, hints of plum skin. Medium bodied, acid juts out a little here - not unusual in the variety - but not in check against the fruit. 

Worked better with food - brought out the fruit a little more. Fine grained tannin, aids and abets giving a little length. 87

Tasted on: Tuesday 18th March, a Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 14.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://kirrihillwines.com.au/

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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Ridgemill Estate Pinot Noir 2013


Pinot Noir as a varietal isn't something you see that much of on the Granite Belt. Of the examples I have tried, they have tended to sit more in the generic 'dry red' camp. This effort from Ridgemill Estate is quite the opposite - and most of all, of its variety.

It's all lightness and soft red berries: raspberry, wild strawberry, touch of juicy cranberry - with suggestions of pansies and peonies adding a little floral lift.

Light and juicy with a touch of tangy, crunchy acidity. The faintest rub of tannin - not seeing much time on skins at all. Possesses good flavour, light colour, minimal extraction. It had me thinking on more than one occasion of that other great, but lesser known, Burgundian - Gamay. Finishes with a little tangy plum-skin after-taste.

It is a light and fresh wine, it's not a wine you'd come too looking for depth and structure, that's not where its strengths lie, for it's damn enjoyable. A difficult to rate 89

Tasted on: Friday 14th March, a Leaf transitioning to Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $25*
Alcohol: 10%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://ridgemillestate.com/

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{This post was edited on Saturday 29th March at 11:10 to amend the pricing to $25}

Friday, 28 March 2014

Yelland & Papps Second Take Roussanne 2013

The 2012 was quite possibly one of the best new releases from last year. The eagerly anticipated follow-up...

Greeted with the familiar cidery notes, you're also presented with apple, citrus, honeysuckle, frangipani and a little white spice/ ground ginger. 

Complexity is it's middle name, further elements of citrus with honeyed tinges. A slightly different bent this time around: nuts, citrus peel. A maelstrom of flavours I wrote in the notes I took when tasting, yet it handles itself well and drinks beautifully over two - even a third - day. Another spectacular release. 92


Tasted on: Monday 17th March, a Fruit transitioning to Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yellandandpapps.com/

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Stefano Lubiana Black Label Riesling 2012


Tasmania, the new frontier in cool climate grape growing and wine production. Or, if you're Steve Lubiana, where you've been growing grapes since 1991.

A Cellar Door only release, 100% barrel fermented - an important point in understanding a little about the texture of the wine - produced from grapes that are biodynamically farmed.

Captivating aromatics of florals, candied citrus, grapefruit and a suggestion of talcum. Part of its charm lies in its unyielding nature, it carries all these aromas without slapping you around the head with them. It has plenty to give, and does so in a gentle manner.

Again, the palate shows a wine of poise, exquisite balance; width and weight, sweetness pitched against the inherent acidic nature of Riesling with the cool climate factor added in. Citrus fresh against savoury lees character - it spends six months on lees - and chalky dryness. Simply superb. 93

Tasted on: Friday 14th March, a Leaf transitioning to Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.slw.com.au/

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Bakkheia United and Undaunted Mourvédre 2011

Borrowed from GrapeObserver.com
Deep, dark, black fruits on offer here, a touch of sandy earth, a little citrus. Really expressive on day two with cassis - and suggestive of some whole berry ferment.

Entry shows juicy, jubey fruits. It's medium bodied, soft and plush. Red fruits, citrus, very easy-going fruity goodness here. Tangy, tart - moreish - easy to enjoy. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 13th March, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bakkheia.com.au/

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Monday, 24 March 2014

Chapel Hill Mourvédre 2012


If I could nominate one reason alone for choosing to review a wine over a number of days, this 2012 Mourvédre from the excellent team at Chapel Hill would rank up there as the prime body of evidence submitted.

It was good from the off, gamey, small berries and blue fruits emanated from the glass on initial opening. It was speaking of its variety, but one sensed it had a little more to give.

Give it twenty-four hours, it was altogether a different story. Vibrant, expressive - blue fruits abound, florals, violets - it was truly singing.

Showing cherry, moving to a savoury expression on the palate, tannins were fine grained - easing from an initial firmness - and hints of cool espresso and chocolate made themselves known. It simply grew in stature with time, as such I would recommend either a serious decant or a good spell in the cellar for a few years. 92+

Tasted on: Wednesday 12th March, a Flower transitioning to Leaf Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: chapelhillwine.com.au

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Twisted Gum Shiraz 2011

Twisted Gum is located on the Eukey Road, just to the East of the township of Ballandean toward the Southern end of the Granite Belt region. All fruit is from their own estate - vineyards sitting at around 900m - no fruit is contracted in.

Vibrant, vivid purple rim to the wine, good colour and extraction from a vintage that was challenging. Opens with choc-malt, dark black fruits by way of black cherry and a touch of damson - black to its core. Give it a little time, it carries a little bonox/ stock character followed by florals. It's a curious and complex mix.

Medium bodied, it carries an elegance, delivering mouth-coating powdery tannin - tannin that seems a little forward in the mouth, before the onset of the fruit: blackcurrant, even suggestions of raspberry leaf.

Good length of finish, a little acidic flow and cherry-cola at its conclusion. I wouldn't be cellaring too long, drink to 2017. 89

Tasted on: Wednesday 12th March, a Flower transitioning to Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.twistedgum.com.au/

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Clovely Estate Left Field Sangiovese 2013

Opens with juicy aromatics, cherry and dried herbs. It's medium bodied, juicy and vibrant - and at a year old, you'd expect it to be in that mould.

Possesses a good tang with some drying tannin; vibrant acidity - all nicely in check and cuts through a tomato sauce nicely - works well with and without food, the former enhancing the fruit a little.

Concludes with powdery tannins. Commendable. 88

Tasted on: Tuesday 18th March, a Root Day
Source: Retail, Craft Red Hill
Price: $?
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.clovely.com.au/

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Saturday, 22 March 2014

Voyager Estate Girt by Sea Cabernet Merlot 2011


Tapenade, fresh earth, black plum and cassis. Medium bodied, ultra-fine tannin - excellent composure and structure for a wine at its price point.

Over the time I had the wine open it seemed to grow in stature, dusty tannin becoming more prominent, a boy growing into a man. You'd happily cellar this if you could keep your mitts off. 92

Tasted on: Monday 10th March, a Flower Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.voyagerestate.com.au/

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Friday, 21 March 2014

Wirra Wirra Church Block 2012


This release marks the 40th anniversary of the wine bearing the Church Block name. Whilst it may have undergone a few nips and tucks here and there over that period, it delivers against the house blueprint of a wine that: "balances the complexity sought by aficionados, with the approachability desired by those seeking pure drinking pleasure". And that you can have it for $20 is all the more impressive.

Cedar, plum, choc-mint - a dense dark heart with sweeter peripheral aromatics. 

Full bodied with soft/ plush blue and black fruit. Oak and alcohol here provide a slippery, glycerol feel - providing good presence and and an ease with which the wine can be consumed. Tannin is fine gained, overall adding to the generous persistence on offer. A birthday winner, hip hip hooray. 92

Tasted on: Monday 10th March, a Flower Day 
Source: Sample 
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

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Quinta Vallado Douro Tinto 2007


Having spent many a summer there as a child/ teen/ young adult, I've resolved to seek out more Portuguese wines. It is of course most famous in the wine making world for its fortified wines - Port. However, an increasing number of producers are producing table wines, many from grape varieties that are used in the production of those renowned fortifieds.

Opens a little 'medicinal' initially, needs a good decant to shake the shackles. Florals, intense red/black fruit fruit, a touch 'porty', hints of dried black earth and suggestions of hoi sin sauce.

Savoury, smooth - eighty percent of the wine is tank fermented - with woody spice, tobacco and plum. Continues to evolve over the time I had it open. Score possibly a touch conservative 89

Tasted on: Sunday March 2nd, a Flower to Leaf Day 
Source: Retail, Wine Experience
Price: $35
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.quintadovallado.com/default.aspx?idioma=pt1

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Twisted Gum White Blend 2012

Tim Coelli of Twisted Gum was savvy enough to send a few samples of his wines out for review ahead of Queensland Wine Week (disclosure: I am a part of the organisational team behind QWW). 

A 'bitsa' blend here - and one that largely works. Opens with citrus, cut grass and fresh green herbs - aromatically akin to a sem/sauv blanc on opening, with time underlying tropicals come forward.

Palate possesses razor sharp acidity; settling over time and delivering a thrust of citrus, stone fruit and suggestions of stony mineral. 

Bit of textural interest here too - all up fresh, hints of flesh and a wine that held up well over 2-3 days of tasting. 90

Tasted on: Monday 17th March, a Fruit to Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.twistedgum.com.au/

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Mitchell Harris Fumé Blanc 2013


A touch more forward than the 2012 instance, but you can see the family line inherent within.

Opens with citrus, moving to a little lime custard and a suggestion of tropical fruit. Subtlety, terroir and technique here serve to mute the inherently overt nature of the variety. A little green herb and asparagus in the mix here too.

Good balnce of acid and phenolics, the two combine to seek out the furthest reaches of the palate. There's a creamy/ milkiness here too, it is a wine of textural interest on the finish - waxy, rounded. 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 11th March, a Flower Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://mitchellharris.com.au/

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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Occhipinti SP68 Bianco 2009


Interesting to taste this so close to having tried the Brash Higgins Zibibbo - although this also contains some Albanello.

Arianna Occhipinti is the niece of Giusto Occhipinti, one-third of COS and whose 'Pithos' I wrote up here. It must be stated that Arianna is a grower and winemaker in her own right, having studied Oenology in Milan, though she does state her Uncle as an obvious inspiration.

Peach skin, stonefruit kernels, florals, hints of jasmine and beeswax. I detected a little underlying fresh herb here too. In short, fresh, floral and fragrant.

The palate shows hints of creme caramel cut with a little fresh citrus - mandarin segments. Carries a little phenolic raspiness too - the wine sees some skin contact, shown on both the palate and its colour. Deliciously dry - in fact just simply delicious. 92

You can read a little more about Arianna here.

Tasted on: Friday 28th February, a Root to Flower Day 
Source: Retail, Wine Experience
Price: $39.60
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: DIAM
Website: http://www.agricolaocchipinti.it/eng.html

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise Shiraz Cabernet Petit Verdot 2012



Wirra Wirra has launched a promotional campaign to coincide with the release of two wines from its 'Scrubby Rise' range. You can read more about the campaign online, but the basic premise is you take a 'selfie' (yoof speak for: "take a photo of one's self") and in return you could wine a trip to London. 

Well, I'm happy to pimp myself for such a chance - even though I suspect I am not eligible given I would be classified as "media". Both wines were supplied as samples for review.

I've previously written about the 'White' here, now it's the turn of the red.

A mix of Shiraz, Cabernet and Petit Verdot. Opens with plum, cedar and a little sweetness that one could describe as cola-cube. The palate displays a plushness; it's soft, easy-going with a mix of black and red fruits on offer. Adding to this is a little savoury weight by way of tapenade.

In the main though, i'd consider it juicy, pretty more-ish and definitely a wine for now. At this price point you'd certainly be happy. 89

Tasted on: Sunday 23rd February, a Leaf Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

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*This post was edited at 15:00 on 19/03/2014 to reflect that the prize on offer is a trip to London. The link to more info was also edited.

Leconfield Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Big - comes at you from the off. Has a mix of spice, red berries, chargrilled capsicum and a little eucalypt in the mix. 

Fairly ordinary palate profile - was expecting more given the aromatic intro. Perfectly accceptable to drink, just comes across as a 'medium bodied mildly fruited red'. 

Balanced, decent-ish length, acid tickles the teeth a little. Unremarkable otherwise. 87

Tasted on: Monday 24th February, 
Source: Own Cellar
Price: $?
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.leconfieldwines.com/

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Ravens Croft Pinotage 2011

I think I'd oft considered Pinotage the variety "only a Mother could love". Seemingly grown by and sold to South Africans. I'd heard bad things about the variety: variously gamey or smelling of rotten meat. It's certainly an interesting variety, being a cross between two very different parents, being Pinot Noir and Cinsault.

So, hearing good things about this example, and being familiar with some of the producer's other work - winemaker Mark Ravenscroft himself being a South African - I took a punt. I picked this up in April 2013, there it sat in the fridge - we often eyed each other up, but never quite sought the courage to talk....

Attractive berry fruit and floral aromatics - seems to take the lead from its Pinot Noir parentage here. There's a little spice and cocoa/ coffee/ mocha, latterly presenting cherry/ cola hints.

Soft and light on entry, segues to a savoury - slightly savoury - persuasion, offering up soft and powdery tannin. Lacks a little persistence on the finish. Is it varietal? I don't know. Is it pleasant to drink, absolutely. Would I buy it again? Yes. 88

For more information on the variety and indeed some information on it in Australia, head on over to:
http://www.pinotage.org/2011/12/australia-joins-pinotage-family.html

Tasted on: Saturday 22nd February, a Flower to Leaf Day
Source: Retail, Wine Experience
Price: $36
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.ravenscroftwines.com.au/

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Poonawatta The Eden Eden Valley Riesling 2009


Last tasted back in January 2011 - interestingly I gave this a 5 year cellaring window back then. It's just sitting in the transformational zone, taking on the aromas of age: waxy, preserved citrus, showing a little latent white florals.

The palate possesses a little Bickford's lime cordial - in dilute form. In a bit of a hole at present, lacks the verve and presence of youth, or the depth =/ complexity of further age. Still retains quartzy minerality.

Length a qualitative indicator - gentle, yet fulfilling in its promise. 91+

Tasted on: Monday 17th February, Fruit to Root Day 
Source: Own Cellar
Price: $25
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.poonawatta.com/

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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Damiano Ciolli Silene Cesanese Olevano Romano 2011

Image for 2010 Silene
The DOC of Olevano Romano permits wines to be made exclusively from the variety Cesanese, as we have here. Olevano is to the East of Rome, the variety is typically low yielding, but not particularly easy to grow - a late ripener, ripeness can be an issue.

Suggestive of brambles, hedgerow - spiciness and aromatics indicative of the inclusion of stems. Sweeter elements present themselves: florals and hints of black fruit.

The palate is woody, spicy - akin to Sangiovese but perhaps on steroids. Black pepper, hints of clove with delightful powdery tannins. Very much in a savoury groove, concluding with a good dark line at its conclusion. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 16th February, a Fruit Day 
Source: Retail, Prince Wine Store
Price: $32
Alcohol: 14
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.damianociolli.it/en/
Importer: http://www.trembathandtaylor.com.au/

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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Yelland & Papps 'Sete di Vino' 2012


In my opinion, Yelland & Papps are making some of the most interesting wines coming out of the Barossa. Not only with unique blends such as this Sete di Vino (literally 'thirst for wine', an affliction to which many of us can no doubt relate), but also with regards to faithful takes on traditional Barossan varieties with their Devote and Divine ranges. Then you consider the wines coming out under the Second Take range, for me some of the most exciting wines tasted lasted year. A portfolio and brand to watch.

Perhaps see this as the 'Italian' cousin to the Vin de Soif, bearing a somewhat familial similarity with brambly black fruits. Veers more towards the savoury with licorice, though carrying some of Dolcetto's sweetness. Florals, a mix of fruits and a hint of blue.

Smooth - incredibly so - glycerol, slippery feel to it. Possesses a dark underbelly, the swarthy cousin to the 'Soif', yet there is a polished edge to it. Light and shade. Concludes with a touch of grainy tannin, acid and red fruits - one for now. 88

Tasted on: Saturday 15th February, a Leaf to Fruit Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yellandandpapps.com/

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Voyager Estate Sauvignon Semillon Blanc 2013


Cracked this with some fish and chips - worked a treat I tell thee.

Lemon grass, grassy hints, tropical fruits and suggestions of sea breeze, or where my meal and surroundings had become highly suggestive.

Open, fleshy palate - tropical fruit feel and flow to proceedings. Suggestions of spice back it up and lend extra interest. Little length to remark on. One for now, a fresh and attractive proposition. 89

Tasted on: Friday 14th February, a Leaf Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.voyagerestate.com.au/

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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Woods Crampton Mataro 2012


Buy. I don't recall any other occasion where I've started a tasting note with a recommendation to part with your hard earned, but I feel here it's warranted.

A bit of history in regards to fruit source: drawn off of a single vineyard in the Vine Vale sub-region, vines in their eightieth or so year, organically grown. Normally that's marketing guff and back label talk for "expect to pay north of $40". Here you can have such a wine for around $20.

Yet, ignoring price and provenance for a moment, it's a remarkable wine standing up on its own. I saw it as a complex beast, opening with partially cured meat backed up with cherry and almond; hints of choc-hazelnut, apricot - offering something else at each re-appraisal.

More medium than full - using a boxer as metaphor you'd be thinking Muhammad Ali, a sure heavyweight but with a lightness of touch, a deftness. On the palate we see blue-black fruits, moving to a minerally/ ferrous feel. There seems a secondary phase beyond the initial lightness, where it steps up a gear, a little spice, moderate tannin, lasting grip; generosity of flavour, subtlety, guile. Simply superb. 94 

Tasted on: Saturday 1st February, Root to Flower day 
Source: Retail, Spiros Paddington
Price: $20-25
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://woods-crampton.com.au/

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Monday, 10 March 2014

Kirrihill Mount Lofty Montepulciano 2012


One of a handful of producers that have brought Montepulciano onto the market (you may also want to check out Waywood Wines and By Jingo! if you're particularly fond of the variety).

A delightful mix of savour imbued with a little sweet: touches of tobacco, with a little twiggy-note against a little sweeter element of cherry and red berry fruit.

On the palate it shows itself as a juicy little beast - a little dusty tannin, a mix of spice that creates an attractive drinking proposition. Again we see a little fruit here, more on the black spectrum with a little black cherry and black berry. Good finish, it is the middle movement that wins it for me. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 30th January, a Flower to Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 14.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.kirrihillwines.com.au/

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Bibi Graetz Casamatta IGT Rosso


My notes for this wine record it as a Non-vintage 'solera' style wine, where newer wines are added to an average pool - however I now cannot find the original source to back that up.

A varietal Sangiovese, it's savoury with meaty aromatics - hints of lamb and mint. Shows licorice with black fruit rounding the profile. This went down very well at my place, the good lady offering up "glurpy" as her descriptor of choice.

Worked better with food, without it appeared a little thin, with it gained in stature. Regardless it offered a common core of licorice tinged, woody, savoury character - yet with a freshness that enlivened the palate. Light on tannin, good on finish and emptied out of the glass quickly. 89

Tasted on: Saturday 1st February, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Retail, The Wine Experience
Price: $26
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Producer's Website: http://www.bibigraetz.com/en/index
Importer: http://addleyclarkfinewines.com.au/

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Thursday, 6 March 2014

Brash Higgins SM/R Semillon Riesling 2013

There are some wines that just strike a chord, that transport you somewhere else, invoke memories of happy times. As much as I try to look at each wine with fresh eyes, proclivities and experiences all add up to provide frames of reference with which one judges.

Smells chalky with a touch of root vegetable, forming to remind me of Spring days, of emerging from the cold of Winter to warmer days. Let it warm a little to reveal snow pea and fresh herbs (specifically a little continental parsley). 

Briny, sea spray - summer's on the coast - textural, with an inherent drinkability; citrus and a little lychee reveal themselves too. Generous length, has me thinking - yet yearning to drink. A good wine. 90 

Tasted on: Sunday 2nd February, a Flower Day 
Source: Retail, Cru Bar
Price: $37
Alcohol: 12.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.brashhiggins.com

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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Brash Higgins 'ZBO' Zibibbo 2013


One day, ZBO may well stand for Zombie Box Office - in my mind a cable channel dedicated to the zombie genre...welcome to my world.

For now, it's a contraction of Zibibbo, the name used for the grape variety Muscat of Alexandria in Sicily, the name that Brad Hickey has opted to use for the second of his amphorae fermented wines, a technique that is also used in Sicily - as it is elsewhere. Sicily, an island that - as you may guess - influences Hickey greatly.

Fruit is drawn from 70 year old bush vines, the resultant wine spends 150 days on skins in amphorae before being pressed off in to two 'old' French barriques. A mere 55 cases produced.

The wine itself needs to be tasted to be believed. It's fresh, fragrant - and these two adjectives only begin to convey the pronounced aromatics on display, aromatics of apricot nectar, lemon balm imbued with a little spice. It's a big aroma, certainly not subtle, yet not over-bearing.

The choice of grape and the fermentation vessel is no chasing a fashion. The choice of Zibibbo was such for its: "potential to develop length and complexity from longer skin contact", the amphorae is noted for its ability to enhance texture. Here we have a wine with a slippery quality, a textural raciness, the wine gliding around the palate. It finishes with a little gingery pinch, but your lasting memory is of texture, of the wine careering around the mouth, of silken movement across the tongue. Damn interesting, a good wine to boot. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 28th January, Leaf transitioning to Fruit day 
Source: Private purchase
Price: $37
Alcohol: 12.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.brashhiggins.com/

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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Meerea Park The Indie Shiraz Pinot 2011

The second release of the Indie for Meerea Park, the first opportunity I've had to try it. A Shiraz/ Pinot blend (70/30 respectively), a blend with a fair degree of history in the Hunter.

I think it fair to say that it's a work in progress for the team before they settle on a style and approach, for example the shift in bottle type - from an old Bordeaux high-shouldered number, to perhaps a more stylistically appropriate Burgundy style (see link below). The percentage of whole bunch has also changed, fifty percent here - although that could also be a vintage 'thing' given that 2011 is very highly regarded in the Hunter. Fruit source for the Shiraz has differed in this 201 release from that of 2010.

To the wine in question: shows a fair degree of fruit against a meaty, nigh gamey note. Medium bodied and juicy, little tannin to note - had a lightness and deftness to it. 

To be honest, I struggled to truly get my head around it, yet it kept tugging me back for more. I'd be keen to see where it goes, thinking it a decent mid-term cellaring proposition. 90

Tasted on: Monday 27th January, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: Meerea Park

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Monday, 3 March 2014

Out of Step Wine Co. 'Syme on Yarra' Chardonnay 2013

Tasted in amongst a bracket of other whites. Fairly rapid tasting - tasting note as written. 

I provided a bit of background to the two gents behind Out of Step on a note of their Sauvignon Blanc, thus I'll refrain from repeating myself too much here.


Aromatically it shows hints of lime brulee, caramel, melon. There's a bit of struck match complexity - complexity is a good word. There's much going on here to please.

Spice, minerality -  in the sense of a sparkling, dancing feel to the palate. Grapefruit acidity freshens and guides. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 2nd March, a Flower transitioning to Leaf day

Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13.1%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.outofstepwineco.com/

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Nanny Goat Chardonnay 2012

Tasted in amongst a bracket of other whites. Fairly rapid tasting - tasting note as written. 

Good aromatic introduction of creamy oak over stonefruit kernels, almond skins flecked with a little citrus. 


The palate is quite full, textural width gained from time on lees. Retains good acidity but I'd like to see some of that channelled into more preceise length - a stlyistic preference. Still, a good Chardonnay - one I went back to for a second glass post-tasting. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 2nd March, a Flower transitioning to Leaf day

Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.nannygoatvineyard.co.nz/

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Sunday, 2 March 2014

Grant Burge Moscato Frizzante 2013

Tasted in amongst a bracket of other whites. Fairly rapid tasting - tasting note as written. 

Rose water, turkish delight, crushed candies and sweet florals. You know what you're letting yourself in for as you soon as you introduce yourself to it.


A light spritz, cloying sweetness - akin to sugar syrup - with a chalky crunchy feel. It's not for me, but if you want low alcohol and like it sweet then it may be so for you. 85

Tasted on: Sunday 2nd March, a Flower transitioning to Leaf day

Source: Sample
Price: $15.95
Alcohol: 7.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.grantburgewines.com.au/

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Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise Sauvignon Blanc Blend 2013

Tasted in amongst a bracket of other whites. Fairly rapid tasting - tasting note as written. 

A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier from the 'Adelaide' super-region. Hints of citrus, melon and a flash of tropical fruit. Has an aromatic appeal, the Semillon and Viognier have reigned in the Sauvignon's natural up and at 'em tendency.

Still, it's unmistakably Sauvignon dominant - grassy meadow wafts up. On the palate we see grass, herb all carried by delightful citrus-fresh acidity with Viognier adding a little flesh. Even better at only $15. 89

Tasted on: Sunday 2nd March, a Flower transitioning to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

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Alkoomi Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Tasted in amongst a bracket of other whites. Fairly rapid tasting - tasting note as written. Grassy, hints of lemon/ lemon balm with faint tropicals offering support. The sort of Sauvignon Blanc that I find too 'spirited' with the alcohol vapours tickling the tops of my nostrils. 

Quite bitter and acidic on the palate, shows a bit more textural width than other examples. Spends a bit of time on skins to aid that - still i cannot escape the astringent elements on the palate. 86

Tasted on: Sunday 2nd March, a Flower transitioning to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $
Alcohol: 13.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://alkoomiwines.com.au/

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Thomson Estate Back Blocks Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Bottle image for 2008 Back
Blocks Cabernet Sauvignon
Three years on from what was, for many, a challenging vintage, I feel over the need to talk about the 2011 vintage.

Except, when you come across a wine, from a region where it was cool and wet, made from a grape variety - thick skinned and a late ripener - you feel the need to call it out, to make reference to it.

Here we have wine that is black fruited, dense, of tapenade and with an edge of cedar. Shows a hint of Clare with some eucalypt at the edges. No suggestions of unripeness or lacking in body.

On the palate, it's medium bodied with soft, powdery tannin; we see suggestions of plum, chocolate and choc-mint in an understated way. That in many respects is the joy of Clare Cabernet, layered and unforced. Finishes delicately persistent, not forced, a pleasure to drink. 91  

Tasted on: Monday 27th January, a Leaf Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.byrnevineyards.com.au/

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Rocland Estate 10 Years Tawny


It's often handy to have a fortified number to call on to pair with an appropriate dish - me, I love nothing more than a glass with some good quality dark chocolate.

Here we have sticky date/ toffee pudding - another great match - walnuts ad fruitcake with hints of spice in the mix. Touches of burnt orange dance around in the background.

Palate is plush, showing the richness of age, with a spiciness that lingers. The palate is rich with a good balance of fruit and spice character. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 26th January, Flower to Leaf Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 19.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.roclandestate.com/

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