An Australian Wine Blog

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Grant Burge Daly Road Shiraz Mourvédre 2012


Initially meaty, gamey - with air a fair whack of fruit reveals its hand. Good weight to it, smooth, flowing well. 

Earth and spice, a touch of licorice, powdery tannin. Not a lot to say. Solid, does the job well. 89

Tasted on: Thursday 25th September, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $24.75
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.grantburgewines.com.au/

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Hither & Yon Shiraz Cabernet 2013


A cheeky one here. Initially showed me some red berry freshness, jostling and jockeying for position with a darker edge. Ultimately it's that edge that wins out, with time black and blue fruits forming the wine's principal aromatic profile.

You'd have to like 'em big. It's a full, bold wine - initially the red fruit exerts its presence in an, ultimately futile, manner before it manifests itself as a wine of oak and bold tannin. Finishes with a faint hint of warmth, manages to handle itself well for its night 15%. 91

Tasted on: Thursday 25th September, a Root Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hitherandyon.com.au/

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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Newton Forrest Cornerstone Cabernet Merlot Malbec 2006

I'm so sorry I doubted you. There I was, prepared to give up on you, I popped you back in the fridge and forty-eight hours later, thankfully, we made up. Or, rather, I made amends.

I have previously written of the special place this wine holds in my heart, and on the occasion of the good lady's birthday I pulled this out of the wine fridge.

Initially leathery, chestnut and cedar, resinous almost. Touches of dried herb - rosemary perhaps - with a little spice. Seemed dried and stripped out, as if from a hot year.

Medium bodied, chocolate grain tannin, acid was out of balance in proportion to the fruit, that was sorely missing.

On that re-visit it was a different wine: the perfume, the elegance, harmony and balance. The components that I was missing on opening, that I fell in love with on that first occasion we met, many years before. 

The tannin had resolved to the graphite form so often seen in excellent Cabernet (and blends thereof, this wine being a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec at 45/32/23% respectively) wines. Integrated, it was on top form.

It just needed time. 93

Tasted on: Tuesday 23rd September, a Fruit Day
Source: Own Cellar
Price: $50ish
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.forrest.co.nz/collections/newtonforrest

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Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2012

One of the more sample offers I've received, based on the adoption of a plant based, zero carbon foot print enclosure. Suffice to say I was sufficiently interested in the wine to take a look.

An exclusive import of Melbourne's Enoteca Sileno, sample supplied.

Heralds its arrival with a bit of choc gateaux: black fruit meets milk chocolate sprinkles, florals, segueing to savoury notes. Acidic on entry, black fruit, savoury - dried leaf matter vibe - good grain of cold tea tannin.

Lovely accompaniment to a long-on-the-simmer ragu, a "legs under the table" wine. 90

Tasted on: Saturday 20th September, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Nomacorc Select Bio
Importer: https://www.enoteca.com.au/

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Willow Bridge Estate Dragonfly Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2014

Paired this up with the fishcakes from the River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook, there a small insight into the trials and tribs of feeding an increasingly fussy and stubborn four year old.

Citrus, passionfruit and a suggestion of dried grass. Possesses an airiness, a lightness to the palate, yet with a racy nip of acid citrus acidity that zings around.

Cleans up the fishcakes nicely, generous length, moreish to boot. Happy here. Touch and go a point higher 90

Tasted on: Sunday 21st September, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 12.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.willowbridge.com.au/

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Friday, 26 September 2014

Yelland & Papps Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


Lovely packaging on the Y&P 'chalkboard' series.

Cabernet is not the Barossa's strength, here the Y&P team have produced a wine from their 1992 estate plantings that is neither going to offend nor set the world on fire.

Good varietal notes, black fruit cascading out. Good weight, good presence of that same fruit on the palate. Backs it up with a good rub of tannin, spice and chocolate. A good drinking option, sufficient length here to back up a qualitative claim, just misses the Cabernet mark for me. 87

Tasted on: Saturday 20th September, a Leaf Day 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yellandandpapps.com/

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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

K1 by Geoff Hardy Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

I must confess that my head has been turned in favour Hills Cabernet of late, a run of some good vintages and having seen some progression of the variety - admittedly notedly from K1. I opted to open the 2010 and 2012 side-by-side, sighted - that is not served 'blind'.

In unison with its older sibling, showing that attractive bouquet. The youth sees the fruit more dominant, residual herb, more oak and vanilla.


Doesn't seem to carry as much weight as the 2010, fruit presence here has greater intensity also. Tannin profile different, bearing the hallmarks of a quality wine from a highly regarded vintage, it's minerally/ graphite and drying with an almost chalky feel.

Length is excellent - a clear preference for this wine - will be excellent once it settles and all pulls together. 93

Tasted on: Saturday 20th September, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.k1.com.au/

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K1 by Geoff Hardy Cabernet Sauvigon 2010

I must confess that my head has been turned in favour Hills Cabernet of late, a run of some good vintages and having seen some progression of the variety - admittedly notedly from K1. I opted to open the 2010 and 2012 (here) side-by-side, sighted - that is not served 'blind'.

Attractive bouquet garni aromatics, herbal with floral elements by way of some violets. Toasty oak tickles the nasal cavity, choc-mint in the mix also.

Black fruits general - veering to defined blackcurrant - vanilla oak, firm of tannin. Acid still shows its hand. Length is somewhat generous, residual oak and toast. Solid. 91

Tasted on: Saturday 20th September, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.k1.com.au/

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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Bakkheia Triparte SGM 2013

A blend of Shiraz, Grenache and a splash of Mataro (50/40/10% respectively). Lovely rendition of the blend. Initially quite closed - give it some air - thereafter you'll be treated to lavender flroals, garrigue, sitting in front of some prime red fruit.

Seeing only old oak, 10 months in subsequent use French, it's all about the fruit. The palate is smooth, with a compote of cherry and blackberry allowed to shine through. Fruit and acid are nicely in balance, the two should work in tandem to allow a good stint in the cellar.

Length is good, holding up well over 2 days, delivering little licorice twists at its conclusion. Very good effort. 91

Tasted on: Friday 19th September
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bakkheia.com.au/

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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Guimaro Mencia 2012


It was a a beautiful piece on the wines of Ribeira Sacra in the first edition of alquimie that first brought the wines of Pedro Perez and Guimaro to my attention; it was a wonderful wine store in Brisbane - Craft - that allowed me the opportunity to find it on the shelf and to subsequently consume.

This is an entry level Mencia from Guimero, the single vineyard wines command much higher prices, made in the Joven style. You can get an appreciation for the level of inputs required to make the wines from the panorama above, steep terraced hillsides - reminiscent of Portugal's Douro. 

Rubber and decomposing florals soon blow off to reveal a bright floral perfume, wild strawberry over a little black forest fruit.

Medium bodied, smooth, nigh pastille-like entry; cherry, raspberry and acidic freshness complete the palate's make-up. A little savoury pitch on the back palate, a woody twist, with tannin barely noticeable. 91

Tasted on: Thursday 18th September, a Flower day
Source: Retail, Craft Red Hill
Price: $37 RRP
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.guimaro.es/
Importer: http://www.thespanishacquisition.com/

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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Willunga 100 'The Hundred' Grenache 2013

Dares to deceive - initially throws up a savoury intro, albeit with sweet accents. Soon making way for the floral (had me thinking pansies/peonies, a little rose) high notes, in many respects the calling card of Blewitt Springs, the sub-region from where the fruit is drawn.

Those sweeter accents make themselves known on the palate too: red fruit melange, augmented by a little spice. Although seeing no oak, it does have a little time sur lie, giving initially firm tannin with an underlying powdery feel.

It's all about balance, a nice touch background licorice, a nip of acid to give length a little boost. Nicely done. 91

Tasted on: Sunday 14th April, a Fruit transitioning to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://willunga100.com/

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Willunga 100 Grenache 2013


Sent by Grenache specialists Willunga 100 as a lead in to International Grenache Day 2014

The Vale does Grenache so well and they're getting pretty excited by IGD, with MC Halliday himself in attendance at an event at Serafino wines.

Ripper of an entry level example here: cherry, raspberry, suggestive of an earthen beetroot element too.

Soft, plush on entry - pillowy you might call it. Spice, bit of sanguineous vibe and ferrous edges to rough it up a bit. Decent length to conclude, more about the savoury than the fruit on the tail. Serves as an excellent gateway to the variety. 89

Tasted on: Sunday 14th September, a Fruit transitioning to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://willunga100.com/

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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Willow Bridge Estate Dragonfly Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013

We've a winner here folks, a wine that will appeal both to those looking for a wine at a particular price point and to those seeking a quality drinking proposition that drinks well now, and will offer a mid-term cellaring option. Shop well and you can find this under RRP.

Aromatics are spot-on, just pulls you in from the get-go: chocolate, moving to bay, plum and cedar. It speaks of its varieties, it's regional (served blind I'd called it a Margaret River wine - close, no cigar).

It offers more of the same on the palate, segueing to a little mocha and hazelnut. A wine of substance here - the Mrs called this at twice the price - finishes on a decent length, one that lingers in the mind. Possibly under pointed, score as reviewed 90+

Tasted on: Wednesday 10th September, a Flower to Leaf day  
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 13.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.willowbridge.com.au/

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Friday, 12 September 2014

Torzi Matthews Schist Rock Shiraz 2013

Another schist hot release from Dom Torzi and Tracy Matthews, albeit with a slightly different vibe to the 2012 - who said Australian wine was homogenous?

Smells like malty chocolate, touches of dough and vanilla oak - fruit wins out with time, being black fruit dominant.

Slick and slippery - a glycerol feel to things. Black fruit here, suggestion of some kalamata olive, peanut shells, chocolate and licorice root. It throws the shackles off with a bit of time and air (hence the + sign here).

Softer tannins than I recall from '12, length holds up well. 90+

Tasted on: Monday 8th September, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.torzimatthews.com.au/home/

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Thursday, 11 September 2014

Yelland & Papps Sete di Vino 2013


In my mind a significant improvement over the 2012 (caveat emptor: that could be me, vintage, earlier picking, appropriate food pairing, all of the above).

To the wine in question: initially savoury, woody, suggestions of caramel balsamic. I could continue to reel off lists of descriptors here. Suffice to say fruit and florals play their part too.

Goes well with food, here the acid laps up a rich tomato based sauce. Without, it does stand out a little. On a good length with a little rose water sweetness on exit. Happy days here. 91 

Tasted on: Sunday 7th September, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yellandandpapps.com/

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O'Leary Walker Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2014


Due for release shortly, '13 is still listed as current vintage via the winery website.

Fresh herb gently wafts of the glass, tropical hints too. Whilst it states its variety out, and origins, it does so calmly. Deft handling and viticulture has tamed the Sauvignon Blanc.

The tropicals referred to earlier are suggestive of a little green mango and passionfruit. The palate sees more of the same, with textural nuances fluffing up the palate. There's still a touch of acidic zing, a nice counterpoint to the mouthfeel, the latter suggestive of some work in the winery to nullify the acid a little.

Has enough of everything going on to make this an excellent drinking proposition - alone, with friends, as it is or perhaps paired with some white fillets simply grilled and paired with a little mango salsa. If you don't mind. 91 

Tasted on: Sunday 7th September, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://olearywalkerwines.com/

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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Down to Earth Wrattonbully Sauvignon Blanc 2014


The younger sibling to the Terre à Terre Sauvignon Blanc reviewed earlier this year.

This is the third Down to Earth release, it's fair to say that it remains a work in progress. No pejorative statement, merely a reflection on the tinkering and finessing that is taking place. For this release, a greater proportion (7%) of wine is racked off to a one-year old French oak foudré (5% in 2013).

Citrus, quince, tropical hints rounding out the profile. The proportion that sees a little wood also undergoes a little lees stirring, building the texture which is clearly evident in the mouth, without sacrificing vitality or flavour. Citrus, a lovely nip of acid and length to boot.

An excellent example, as good as I've ever seen it. See Australian Sauvignon Blanc through a different lens. 93

Tasted on: Sunday 7th September, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 12.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au/

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d'Arenberg Ironstone Pressings GSM 2010

d'Arenberg's Icon releases (Ironstone Pressings, Dead Arm, Coppermine Road) have all received a brand facelift with the 2010 releases. The trademark red sash is still front and centre, the label cleaner, a contrast to the inky-black contents within. The torn edge provides a departure from the previous narrower profile and arched edges seen on the range up until 2009. Better or not? Your call, I'm here to judge what's within.

The price seems to have come down on last year, unless I'm wrong (rare, not impossible). The vintage in question, 2010, was kinder to the vines from the heat of 2009, but that said the Grenache dominant here doesn't mind a touch of warmth.

Malty oak, chocolate, touch of fresh sod, herb and a volume of red fruits filling the olfactory organ as you take it in. Squarely full, perhaps a but four square; tannin initially powdery move to a lovely fine-grain.

The wine possesses excellent depth of flavour, persistent, exhibiting the structure, fruit and persistence to aid longevity. A very good release. 93

Tasted on: Friday 5th September, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 13.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Willunga 100 'The Tithing' Grenache 2010

Made only in exceptional vintages, the 'Tithing' in Saxon represented a sub-unit of the '100'. Whereas the '100' represented 100 households, the 'Tithing' was the next level down, representing around 10 households (I never knew they were into decimilisation so early...)

Grenache specialists Willunga 100 sent on a few samples for International Grenache Day, of all the 'insert grape variety' days that have - or still - exist, Grenache for me has always been the one that at least has its roots founded with serious intent, for the betterment of the variety, being born out of the International Grenache Symposium.

For 2014, there is an International Grenache Day, falling on 19th September, refer to Facebook if you're keen to find out more.

That's a rather long-winded preamble to get to the wine in question.

Red fruits familiar to the variety and the region, yet it eschews the overt raspberry jam that can curse some examples. In tandem with the lighter red fruit, it possesses a darker, savoury bent.

A wine medium of body, just veering toward fulness, the savoury and spice elements mesh together well and move toward notes of liquorice. Fine tannins, supple, a little char, it somehow belies its 14+% alcohol, with a deftness and elegance through the finish. An impressive example. 93

Tasted on: Monday 25th August, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://willunga100.com

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Saturday, 6 September 2014

Patina Riesling 2013

Shy, retiring, took a while to unfurl. Tight - and opening slowly it reveals citrus by way of a little mandarin, orange blossom, lime and a suggestive guava note.

The palate shows a little textural spread - acid nicely balanced against the retention of a little residual sugar.

Length is good, again it grows in stature, soft...gentle length - a pleasurable 89 pairing nicely with some chilli prawns.

Tasted on: Friday 5th September, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.patinawines.com.au

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Angullong Fossill Hill Shiraz Viognier 2012

Cassis, blueberry, touch of background spice and dustiness - the Viognier integration here is well handled, seen and not heard.

Flat profile, little of substance, acid shows a touch peaky - representative of the cool vintage from which it came. Little by way of length to recover it, not much to enthrall. 86

Tasted on: Thursday 4th September, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.angullong.com.au/

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Friday, 5 September 2014

Running With Bulls Barossa Tempranillo 2013


One of the most consistent and authentic Tempranillo in Australia, good value too. Listed here with RRP, but available sub-$20 via the website itself.

Florals, blue fruits carrying above that line with a savoury of undercarry of dried twigs. There's a little mocha/ café au lait line and cigar stub - in fact it morphed a bit and offered something new in the glass at each twist.

Medium to full, a bit of char, choc and licorice. Lovely little bitter pinch on the end too. Simply a delight to drink. 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 2nd September, a Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.runningwithbulls.com.au/

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Thursday, 4 September 2014

Longhop Rosé 2014

Love the colour of this, kind of reminds me of Irn Bru (some of you might know of that sugar laden Glaswegian staple?).

You'll be pleased to hear that it tastes nothing like it. Red berry fruit freshness from the off, more strawberry backed up with a little raspberry - gives a sense of chermoula freshness/

Berry sweetness on the front palate, possesses a bit of textural weight too, not dry, nonetheless refreshing.

Ok length, chill and chill I'd suggest. 89

Tasted on: Thursday 4th September, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.oldplains.com/News.htm

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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Mud House Pinot Gris 2013


Made by the highly regarded Ben Glover, the winery was recently purchased by Accolade Wines.

Expressely aromatic, lovely nuances of pear, stonefruit, citrus and even a suggestive note of nougat.

That doesn't quite carry through to the palate where there's a little tinned tropical fruit sweetness amidst a little interplay of texture. Not one to set the palate racing. 86

Tasted on: Sunday 31st August, a Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18.99
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.mudhouse.co.nz/

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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Yelland & Papps Devote Greenock Shiraz 2012

I think of 2012 as a Shiraz year and I'm more inclined to think that in 2013 Grenache has the edge. Just my view of course, mind.

Essence of Greenock: chocolate, blueberry, cherry, a little mocha/coffee too.

Full and smooth, with a sense of ease, a fluidity. So drinkable yet with a base of earth and a touch of spice. Has a lasting carry through the finish, and a frame of fine tannin before it. Prima! 93

Tasted on: Saturday 30th August,  
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yellandandpapps.com/

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Longhop Pinot Gris 2014


Long Hop is a partnership between old school buddies Dom Torzi (of torzi-Matthews) and Tim Freeland. Fruit is sourced from the Mount Lofty Ranges.

Fresh and fragrant, requisite pear with a little apple and spice cascading out of the glass.

Good balance, acid against a little swetness. Has a chalky feel to proceedings, a little like the crushed candies you could get as a kid (love hearts and the like). Surprisingly good length, not cloying. Happily go this. 88

Tasted on: Sunday 31st August, a Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.oldplains.com/News.htm

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Monday, 1 September 2014

Lowe Wines Nullo Mountain Pinot Gris 2013

Can't say that I've seen too many Gris logging in just shy of 15%.

Honey and pear aromatics, pleasant enough. The alcohol is noticeable, showing itself through a spike of heat that persists in hanging around.

Somewhat akin to ground ginger. Not something I'd recommend, especially at the not insignificant $30. 84

Tasted on: Sunday 31st August, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.lowewine.com.au/

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