An Australian Wine Blog

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Chateau Peybonhomme Les Tours Cotes de Blay 2012


I was first served this wine by a well known booze pimp in Brisbane, sufficiently interested by it that I sourced a bottle for further analysis.

Quite rare in Bordeaux, the grapes for this wine are grown following biodynamic practices.

I'd best describe it's intro as 'soft', with quince meeting kumquat meeting oxidative notes of bruised golden delicious apple, you know, the one that's been rummaging around in a kiddies backpack for a few days. It's delicate, subtle and intriguing.

In the mouth, it's at odds to that aromatic entrance: firm, mineral - a big mouthfeel with a phenolic edge, full and textural. Citrus lingers - a little suggestion of "driving over lemons". Concludes on a good length, yet not necessarily derived from flavour. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 12th November, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Retail, Wine Experience
Price: $37
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Cork
Importer Website: www.bibendum.com.au

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Meerea Park The Aunts Shiraz 2011

Found this one during a Cabinet reshuffle (read: samples fridge). Apologies for having overlooked you.

Interesting one this, good medium bodied wine, black and red fruits show initially before blocky oak prevents further expression.

Savoury, leathery, gamey - a touch mousey on the nose. Delightful talcum fine tannin abutted with sharp acids, segueing to reasonable length. But just doesn't feel like the parts are working in unison. 89

Tasted on: Wednesday 12th November, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.meereapark.com.au/

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S.C.Pannell by SCP Nebbiolo 2012

Excellent value at $25 direct from the producer or, for a few gold coins more, pick it up at an excellent independent retailer.

Lots going on here with a beautiful, fragrant introduction. One of cherry, amaro citrus, almond biscotti and a touch of rolling baccy.

Medium of body, chalky and drying of tannin. Touch of the savoury with licorice, backed up with a slap of tart red berry and a flash of acid to freshen things up. Good length, good wine. 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 11th November, a Flower day
Source: Retail, Cru Bar & Cellars
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.pannell.com.au

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Symphony Hill Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2013

It's quite possible that Symphony Hill can lay claim to the title of "Queensland's most successful exhibitor at wine shows", if anyone's counting and if such a title indeed existed.

However, their success has largely been off of the back of fruit drawn from outside of the Granite Belt region that the winery calls home, case in point being their 2014 Gewurztraminer which took home "Best Single Varietal White Wine" at the 2014 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.

As with that trophy winner, this Sauvignon Blanc sees the fruit drawn from New England, where winemaker Mike Hayes also makes wines for Topper's Mountain.

To the wine in question: lychee, papaya, green mango with a vanilla creme topping. Managing to successfully eschew the shrill aromatics that the Sauvignon can be known for, the barrel fermentation technique can tame sauvage notes.

The palates shows a good carry of flavour, initially devoid of texture - surprising given the techniques adopted - a suggestive toasty, brulee note introduces itself. A modicum of spice, creeping length and a waxy note on exit. 

Worked well with a Sunday helping of fish and chips. 91

Tasted on: Sunday 9th October, a Root day
Source: Gift
Price: $25
Alcohol: 11.65%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.symphonyhill.com.au/

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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Jean Foillard Morgon Côte du Py 2011

The importer of this wine is thankful that the producer doesn't live in Burgundy. So am I. I'd been keen to try this for a while, promptly securing a bottle when I finally found it at a retail store in Brisbane. Contrary to what other addicts may do, the thrill of securing a small piece of such a consumable product was enough, leaving this bottle to gently rest in the sanctity of the wine fridge. But there comes a time, a moment when such an item calls, its lure can be resisted no longer.

At a time when many wines receive glowing, effusive reviews - and scores in the mid-high 90s - I felt a curious combination of guilt and vulgarity at awarding this wine a mere 95 points. A wine attracting such an award should be considered world class, a claim I'd be happy to stand behind here. However, draw from my confession what you will.

Opens to funk, meat/charcuterie; earthen beetroot, florals, cherry pie and fresh cracked pepper. Possesses a velvet like entry, excellent dense cherry fruit; structured, moving to a mineral laden and firmer core, acid aiding and abetting length. 

And oh what length it has - so impressive in its sustain. A wine that straddles a line, a double-helix of firmness and elegance. 95


Tasted on: Saturday 25th October
Source: Retail, Craft Red Hill
Price: $60ish
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Cork
Importer Website: http://www.andrewguard.com.au/

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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Lark Hill Shiraz Viognier 2013


Opens with a leading aromatic lift, of bright red fruits; attractive, approachable. Medium bodied, peppery with exquisite silken tannins and a little Viognier slipperyness.

Savoury punctuation at the wine's conclusion, a point that just adds further to an already excellent wine. 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 4th November, a Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.larkhillwinery.com/

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Lowe Mudgee Blue Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2012


Cabernet leads here, front and centre - its cedary charms on offer. A sweeter edge pulls through on entry, then it's juicy - a little tart blue fruit with a nip of acid.

Lacks a bit of stuffing in the middle third, but offers reasonable length. It's a pleasure now and seems to suggest it has enough to reward over the short term, say 5-7years. 89

Tasted on: Monday 3rd November, a Flower transitioning to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.lowewine.com.au/

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Longhop Shiraz 2013


From the talented hands of Dom Torzi, of Torzi-Matthews.

Toasty, malty oak - uses a combination of American and French - on intro. At odds with itself, at turns it seems rich and lithe. There's black fruit, savoury aniseed twists - immediate savoury hits are delivered in tandem with enmeshed black fruit.

Persistent, swirling fruit and aniseed in a twin spiral dive towards a finish of decent length. 90

Tasted on: Monday 3rd November, a Flower transitioning to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.oldplains.com/

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Coriole Nero d'Avola 2014


Third bottling and second commercial release of Coriole's Nero d'Avola - a variety that is quietly going about getting itself established in a range of regions across South Australia.

Made in a drink now, very approachable style - a 'Joven' Nero if I can license that Spanish term for what is a variety of Italian origin. You'd expect to see the style morph and finesse over time as the vines become established.

Bright, forward, cherry and baked cherry pie; dried herb and aniseed add to the equation, but really it's all about the juicy red fruit freshness.

Medium bodied, a juicy crunch of acidity; jubey, a touch of spice, easy tannin and cracked pepper. I just found it so easy going, so refreshing - yet with a little savoury tail offering a nice contrast. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 30th October, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: GFWS
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.coriole.com/

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Lark Hill Wines Mr V Biodynamic Viognier Marsanne Roussanne 2013


White florals, peering around the corner a little mandarin and stonefruit and touch of a vanilla cream/custard.

Spice and textural rich offer a different experience for the introduction to the palate; spiced-honeyed-mead meets master stock backed up with a little phenolic bitterness. Savoury hints on the back palate - a wine of many parts, a wine of much interest. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 29th October, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.larkhillwinery.com/

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Ar Fion Field Blend 2012

Ar Fion (meaning "our wine" in Gaelic) is the brand of Dave Mackintosh, ex of Innocent Bystander/Giant Steps and also one part of 'Salo' along with current Ib/Giant Steps Chief wino Steve Flamsteed.

Not a true field blend - in the meaning as I understand it - as each part (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay) was harvested and vinified separately, then brought together. From a single vineyard in Gladysdale in the Upper Valley.

Honeysuckle, a honeyed note, touches of butterscotch popcorn and stonefruit. Citrus, cashew initially on entry - leading to toast leading to a wine that's fleshy and texturally alluring backed up with a big punch of flavour.

It's giving, oh so giving as a wine; there's a punch then a sting of flavour that gradually subsides on an excellent length of spice. 94

Tasted on: Tuesday 28th October, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Retail, Craft Red Hill
Price: $27-30
Alcohol: 13.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.arfion.com.au/

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Monday, 10 November 2014

View Road Wines 'Picked By My Wife' Arneis 2014

If any of you avid wine blog readers had been wondering where Josh Tuckfield had been between late January 2014 and late October, then this Arneis from View Road Wines might provide some insight.

Under the 'View Road Wines' label, Josh is releasing wines with fruit drawn from established wine regions in and around Adelaide. This Arneis is the first I've sampled, some earlier reviews are available at Andrew Graham's OzWineReview.com website.

Fresh, floral, touches of honey/suckle and stonefruit. I often think of good Arneis (ar-nace) as a walk through an Alpine glade - no disappointments here.

Nice weight, textural, fuller/forward, thr barest touch of grip. Concludes on a good length with good depth of flavour, a touch of spice here too.

Tasted on: Monday 27th October, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.viewroadwines.com.au/ [Under Construction]

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Tapanappa Picadilly Valley Chardonnay 2013

Sublime expression of Chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills. From a warmer year, but one largely free of heat spikes. 

Opens with a leesy, wheatgerm, cashew and oak introduction; it smells classy, expensive. Seeing no malo, the wine was fermented in barrel, 30% of it new Vosges oak barriques.

White peach, stonefruit expressions, generous and at turns subtle - beguiling. Textural, acidic freshness, touch of brine, citric hints.

It has much to say and there's much to like. Sublime. 94+

Tasted on: Sunday 26th October, a Flower transitioning to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $39
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: tapanappa.com.au

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Dodgy Bros GSM Rosé 2014

"I put a lot of thought into this wine so you don't have too. I'm trying to build texture in this wine with winemaking methods, use of full solids to for texture and mouthfeel without adding sugar. A Rosé for me is not necessarily meant to be complex, or have lots of depth; should be easy to easy to drink, versatile, goes well with food" - winemaker Wes Pearson.

Made from the Saignee method - bled off from the components used to make the GSM - 60 dozen produced.

Attractive light bery aromatics, akin to a diluted cordial. Tight, dry and savoury - touch of spice, lean - it sure quenches a thirst. Drying, touch of chalky pucker; pinches into a good finish, prick of acid and white pepper - good grip here. Smashing. 89

Tasted on: Sunday 12th October, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.dodgybrotherswines.com/

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Leaping Lizard Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Leaping Lizard is the entry level 'critter' brand of regarded Great Southern producer Ferngrove.

Pear, citrus and musk. Fresh with some tropical fruit fleshiness. Pear makes a reappearance, more about the texture here. Despite having less to say than about the Sauvignon Blanc stable mate, marginal preference for this wine. 86

Tasted on: Sunday 26th October, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://leapinglizard.com.au/

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Leaping Lizard Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Leaping Lizard is the entry level 'critter' brand of regarded Great Southern producer Ferngrove.

Clear tropicals, of passionfruit and kiwi fruit - actually shows some restraint for a variety that is known for its pungent, overt aromatics.

Open and generous, showing a little musk and spice; clean, a little zip of acidity about the palate. A little washy, but you'd be happy with this at the price point. 85

Tasted on: Sunday 26th October, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://leapinglizard.com.au/

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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Wirra Wirra Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Attractive presentation and what's within matches up.

Cassis, lighter cherry notes here, savoury elements waft too and with time you may see a little sage reveal its hand.

Damson, mulberry, mint and herb; excellent structure and lovely balance of elements that will ensure longevity. Flow and silken length to conclude. Smart 93+

Tasted on: Monday 13th October, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $70
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

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Monday, 3 November 2014

Dodgy Bros Shiraz 2013

From the warmest, southernmost part of McLaren Vale - the Sellicks Foot Hills. 

A black, nigh-impenetrable wine: choc and fudge, purple and black fruit, displays a little oak, dried grass and earth in its composite form.

Licoricey, cut square and big: a football player with shoulder pads, despite its size it holds itself well (a running back perhaps). In spite of that size it is nicely balanced, finishing well on a travelling line of licorice root. Well played. 91

Tasted on: Thursday 9th October, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 14.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.dodgybrotherswines.com/

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Saturday, 1 November 2014

Inkwell Perfect Day Shiraz 2012

I'm glad I spent it with you. In memory of Lou Reed.

Savoury: plum skins, blueberry and dusky violets. It's intense, there's a drive and verve to the wine, yet also - at odds to that - effortless.

The palate speaks of ultra-fine tannin, graphite; a never ending flow of flavour, problems all left alone. 

Effortless, perpetual and unforced. If you seek proof of winemaker Dudley Brown's many talents, look no further. 94

Tasted on: Wednesday 22nd October, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.inkwellwines.com/

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Angullong Fossil Hill Vermentino 2014

Angullong grafted over a small patch of their vineyard to Vermentino in 2011, with a larger graft occurring in 2012. Shows much promise.

Delightfully fresh, offering up citrus, pear, a tropical edge of some honeydew melon and a briny/ saline chalkiness to it.

Reminiscent of a little lemon barley on the middle, otherwise a pretty straight-up don't-mess-with-it first release, but it has something about it. Keen to see the style finessed as the variety becomes more established and the winemaker more familiar with it. Impressive debut. 89

Tasted on: Friday 31st October, a 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.angullong.com.au/

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