An Australian Wine Blog

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Yelland & Papps Second Take Grenache 2014

This post represents a significant milestone for this little blog, for it marks the 1,000th published piece of content on the site. 

I think it fitting that Yelland & Papps' Second Take Grenache takes that accolade, a producer I have come to know well from reviewing their growing portfolio over three and a half years, and a variety that seems to excel in their hands - one that often seems on the cusp of greatness in the Australian wine hierarchy.

Inviting, leading red fruit, grenadine/pomegranate, raspberry, topped with a little seasoning from adroitly handled oak. Light entry, medium bodied, elegance personified with a silken thread that weaves its way slowly across the palate.

Cherry and berry goodness deliver here, acidity: pitch perfect and a little rub of grainy tannin. A savoury segue delivers on an otherwise fruity palate.

The finish is delivered effortlessly, a subtlety consistent throughout, length and a gentle flow of flavour. The Australian wine world is brighter for its presence. 94 

Tasted on: Wednesday 24th June, a Fruit transitioning to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 13.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Saturday, 25 July 2015

O'Leary Walker Polish Hill River Riesling 2014

I've generally considered the Polish Hill River Riesling from O'Leary Walker the more austere of the two (viz the 2014 Watervale Riesling) Clare Rieslings produced.

Florals, blossom, a distinct suggestion of lavender. To the palate: tangy lime, cut citrus peel and a suggestion of tropicals adding some fat to the glorious spine of acid that drives, propels the wine to an ultra-fresh conclusion.

Spot-on. 94

Tasted on: Saturday 26th June, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://olearywalkerwines.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Hahndorf Hill "The Bluebood" Blaufränkisch 2013

"Blue, I've got a question every time I hold you
Yeah, Blue, I've got a question every time I swallow you it's true"
~ 'Blue', The Verve

Still blue: blueberries, purple florals and blueberry compote. This Blaufränkisch from leading Adelaide Hills winery, Hahndorf Hill, evokes a very blue 'response', as I commented back on the 2010 instance.

Medium bodied, Pinot-esque in some respects, yet the fruit profile is very different, its own signature. Fine tannins and a pitch of acid give this wine excellent carry of flavour - versatile food wine. 93

Tasted on: Sunday 14th June, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hahndorfhillwinery.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Murray Street Vineyards Greenock Shiraz 2012

This single vineyard Shiraz from Murray Street Vineyards comes from the Greenock sub-region in the Barossa Valley's central North, a region said to give rise to some of the region's longest lived wines.

Tight, closed, oak - difficult to get your head around initially - then, slowly, unfurling like a cat in front of a fire, a little fruit starts to show its hand. Essentially dark and deep, earthen - unusually some herb here too: mint, dill even. That herbal edge becomes a little more prominent with time.

Dark chocolate and licorice bullets greet the drinker, a briny tang; tannin is present, powder fine - the wine, an assured freshness in conjunction with dark chocolate bitterness.

Feels quite reserved, reticent event, excellent carry of flavour, just not of intensity. For the cellar. 92+

Tasted on: http://www.murraystreet.com.au/
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.murraystreet.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Angullong Fossil Hill Barbera 2013

"Went to a dance
Looking for romance
Saw Barbera-ann
So I thought I'd take a chance..."

Savoury intro: woody, herbal, but look deeper to see red fruit, rose florals as this Barbera from Orange opens up.

Fruit more prominent on the palate, a little cherry augmented by the savoury notes. Medium bodied, fine tannin and perky acid. Carries fruit well through to the back - juicy little thing. 89

Tasted on: Sunday 7th June, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.angullong.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Yelland and Papps Divine Grenache 2012

Knowing of the Papps' fondness for a good Chateauneuf-du-Pape, it's easy to start to understand their pursuit of making some of the Barossa's stand-out examples of Grenache.

Oak, coffee-grounds, mocha - red fruit slowly provides glimpses, a little blue fruit in the mix too. Savoury notes, latterly a little soy.

Good fruit presence on the palate: blue/black fruit mix, acid for freshness and fine structure. Give it a little time and the fruit presence really makes itself known, gentle and unforced presence.

There's an excellent carry of flavour at the wine's conclusion, yet it's balanced, all without being overdone. It's been said before no doubt: Divine!

Tasted on: Wednesday 3rd June, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $75
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Monday, 20 July 2015

Waywood Cabernet Sauvignon Sangiovese 2012

Here Sommelier turned winemaker Andrew Wood provides his own take on a Super Tuscan, with a McLaren Vale twist.

Comfortable bedfellows the Cabernet Sauvignon (55%) and Sangiovese (45%); immediately savoury, background cherry, blackcurrant and cedary oak pulling it together.

Good intensity to the fore, with licorice twists, a fine mesh of powdery tannin. Flavour carries well: black fruit, framed up with sensitive oak inputs.

A drying woody feel, a wine that has enough plenty to give it good grace and ageing potential, yet one to enjoy now too. Bravo! 92

Tasted on: Monday 1st June, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.waywoodwines.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Voyager Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Something about Voyager Estate's Semillon Sauvignon Blanc that evokes images of fish and chips at a coastal locale. Nay a bad thing for a wine to engender mind.

Familiar Sauvignon Blanc here, in its herbal, grassy form; citrus butter, and faint tropical notes round out the aromatic profile.

The palate sees a prominent pitch of acid, melon and grapefruit add flesh and citrus freshness. I actually paired this with something a little spicy, it stood up well. Good stuff. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 28th May, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.voyagerestate.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Ferngrove The King Malbec 2012

Ferngrove produces what is widely regarded as one of Australia's leading examples of Malbec, from its special patch of dirt down in Western Australia's Great Southern wine region. 

Dusky, dusty, violets and black fruit. A little earthen, suggestive of a little mushroom - almost. Sweet black fruit greets the palate taking the first sip, fruit sweetness that segues to the fine tannins of the variety. 

Soft and inviting, easy drinking in many respects - yet not as accomplished as the 2011 vintage prior. To the unassuming drinker, that may not matter one jot. 90

Tasted on: Wednesday 27th May, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.ferngrove.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

K1 by Geoff Hardy Middle Hill Shiraz 2013

Made its debut in 2012 (review here), a wonderfully elegant expression of Syrah from the K1 stable, a bridge between the Pinot Noir and the Shiraz also produced out of the region.

Delightful berry driven aromatics: blackcurrant, plum - with savoury twists lurking in the back - a little briar and citrus for freshness.

A soft and elegant expression, pepper, black fruits; smooth, silken layers, flavours that cascade across the palate. Fine drying tannin - a savoury kick bringing up the rear. 91

Tasted on: Sunday 24th May, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.k1.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Waywood Wines Montepulciano 2013

Slowly gaining in popularity is Montepulciano, and finding a home - amongst a raft of other varieties of Italian origin (invariably ending in the letter o) - in McLaren Vale. 

Andrew Wood of Waywood Wines was one of the early adopters of the variety in Australia, he seems to have a good hand on the variety.

Opens with a savoury bent on offer, with purple florals, herb, woody tinges and redcurrant lift.

Crushed violets on entry - but really it's about the savoury, with a succulent palate offering effortless flow toward a chewy tannin structure. Spice, drying, chalky tannin - equally adept with food as it is flying solo. 92

Tasted on: Thursday 21st May, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.waywoodwines.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Yelland and Papps Vin de Soif 2013

This is the third consecutive release of Yelland and Papps' Vin de Soif' (literally: 'thirst for wine') - previous vintages reviewed here. The blend may be tweaked somewhat in each vintage - in this guise its a mix of Grenache, Mataro and Carignan - but for this scribe, the intent doesn't.

Florals, musky - approaching the funk of fermented charcuterie - a little spice and dark fruit. Licorice twists, crunch of texture, meat and spice. For me, this is the kind of wine where the less said is often the better. 

Yes, I could reel of shopping lists of descriptors, but the thing that always draws me back to this wine is its inherent drinkable - its 'soifness' if you like. Such easy drinking pleasure, so more-ish, does what it says in the tin. 90

Tasted on: 21st May, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Redbank Ellora Chardonnay Pinot Noir Sparkling 2012


Delicate, bready notes - bread and butter pudding even - red fruits and a twist of citrus.

Clean, a little leesy complexity, brisk and bristling acidity that cleanses. Possesses a length that surprises - at the expense of depth. Happy to go here as a Sunday aperitif. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 10th May, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $23.95
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.redbankwines.com/KingValley.html

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Monday, 13 July 2015

Christobel's Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2014


Herb more prominent on this 2014 (compared to its 2013 sibling reviewed earlier). Grassier, more chinese gooseberry, a light tropical edge, light brush strokes of honeyed florals.

More life, texture and energy here - still with that slightly green edge. Drying phenolics on the finish - aids length. 87

Tasted on: Saturday 9th May, a Fruit day 

Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: Yalumba Christobel's

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Christobel's Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2013


Citrus, chinese gooseberry, florals and fresh green herb.

Fleshy tropicals butt up against a harder, astringent mid-range; over-riding thought of it is a little unripe honeydew/cantaloupe melon.

Finishes clean and fresh - OK. 85

Tasted on: Saturday 9th May, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: Yalumba Christobel's

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Yalumba Christobel's Moscato 2014


The Australian wine industry does rather well in honouring its matriarchs, this named after Christobel Hill-Smith, the wife of former Managing Director Sidney Hill-Smith, who sadly perished in a plane crash in 1938.

Smells fresh, crushed candies - as Moscato often does to me - hints of peachy stonefruit.

The sweetness (50g/l) gives a little palate cleanse - an amuse bouche of the wine world if you like - stonefruit, a lick of citrus and cut of acid.

Can't fault it really, even if stylistically it's not to my personal taste. 86

Tasted on: Saturday 9th May, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 8.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yalumba.com/portfolio/wines/christobels-moscato

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy Aglianico 2013

Geoff Hardy uses fruit from across a number of regions in Australia to craft this Aglianico.

On opening, it took me back to the Northern Hemisphere, specifically an aroma redolent of conkers, that autumnal seed, beloved of children. Woody, herbal notes, sweeter gum and sap, a little briney note too.

On the palate an initial darkness, backed up by a briskness and liveliness; good body, texture, threads of silken tannin through to the finish.

Savoury, more-ishly so, good to go now and will server will for up to 7-8 years (if you can refrain from drinking it that is). 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 5th May, a 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.handcraftedbygeoffhardy.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Wirra Wirra Original Blend 2014

In 1972, the original Wirra Wirra Church Block (review of 2013 here) was a blend of Grenache and Shiraz, over time becoming the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot it is today.

As a tribute to that 'original blend', Wirra Wirra now releases the Original Blend wine, a mix of Grenache and Shiraz (70/30% respectively).

Coffee-mocha, raspberry, redskins, roses and milk chocolate - inviting aromatics here.

Chocolate fudge, red berry fruit, earth and lavender. Shows moderate tannin, nicely embedded in the wine. Reasonable length, off course, all that pales when you consider how easily consumed this wine is, the ultimate accolade. 90

Tasted on: Saturday 2nd May, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Wirra Wirra Church Block 2013

Wirra Wirra's Church Block remains a go-to wine that has delighted legions of wine drinkers over the decades it has been produced. Of course, over its life its composition has morphed to settle on the blend of Cabernet, Shiraz and Merlot that it is today.

The Cabernet leads - and shows its hand here: cassis, mulberry, a flash of cedar, violets - a very purple/blue profile.

Fruit carries through to the palate, chocolate too - almost a regional flag-bearer. Seems so medium bodied; plum, lush and easy-going with a fair bit of juice - no doubt would appear to the wino and the average 'punter' possibly looking for a step-up.

That it is comparatively easy on the pocket makes it a compelling proposition, the fact it tastes darn good and is so approachable only adds to that. 92

Tasted on: Saturday 2nd May, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Monday, 6 July 2015

Cook's Lot Rosé 2014

Shiraz based Rosé from Mudgee winemaker Duncan Cook, who has drawn on fruit from the Orange wine region to craft a Rosé of some character.

Pale rhubarb in appearance - an allure, prettiness aromatically: strawberry and Turkish Delight.

Zip, mineral about the palate initially, buoyed by some good red fruit presence that segues to textural nuances. 

Finishes well, showing more character and guts than some of the insipid examples out there. Another fair value wine from the Cooks Lot portfolio. 90

Tasted on: Saturday 2nd May
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cookslot.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Redbank King Valley Prosecco 2014

Redbank's King Valley Prosecco has now moved to a crown seal with this 2014 release (see the 2012 here), a smart move in my opinion.

Fresh baked pastry, white florals, pear and green apple. Seems there's a little custard apple and vanilla in the mix too.

Mineral, quite an open feel to the wine with a loose palate structure. Shows some sherbet zing, a semblance of nuttiness with a coarser back palate.

Good dry finish with citrus hints to further enliven. 88

Tasted on: Saturday 2nd May, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $21.95
Alcohol:
Closure: Crown Seal
Website: http://www.redbankwines.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac