An Australian Wine Blog

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Lowe Headstone Primitivo Rosé 2014

So the story goes....as a flying winemaker back in the 90s, David Lowe was awarded the title of Rosé of the Year by the Times of London in both 1992 and 1993. Lowe has been known to quip: "There’d be worse things than being remembered for making the best Rosé in the world…. But not much. Imagine your headstone being inscribed ‘Maker of the World’s Best Rosé".

From a - certified - organic block on the Lowe property in Mudgee. A lovely pale salmon with copper hues. Opens with toffee apple, strawberry and a touch of dry-tart cranberry.

Dry, savoury - chalky phenolics and crunchy acid. But it's those phenolics that - for me - define the wine. Needs food, the right kind too - I matched it with some red meat that masked the delicate flavours and phenolics. Try something like a tuna salad.

Tasted on: Thursday 26th February, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 11.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.lowewine.com.au/

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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Montalto The Eleven Chardonnay 2013


"A-won't you take me to Funkytown?
Won't you take me to Funkytown?"
~ Lipps Inc, Funkytown

Some lovely funky AKA struck-match complexity on display here - something that may not appeal to all. Winemaking on the edge, skillfully navigated by winemaker Simon Black. Florals, lemon, grapefruit - a suggestion perhaps of some melon in the aromatic medley.

Light, a wine that bounces around the palate - finesse, fragility - good focal precision and balance, pinpoint acidity and guiding length. It's undoubtedly a quality release. It commands your attention.

Possesses length in spades - you carry on tasting long after you've consumed, a sign of the quality inputs into this wine. 94

Tasted on: Sunday 22nd February, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 12.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://montalto.com.au/

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Hervé Souhaut Vin des Pays l'Ardeche Syrah 2013

Domaine Romeaux-Destezet was founded by Hervé Souhaut in 1993. Hervé has holdings across both the Northern Rhone and Southern l'Ardeche. Souhaut follows the principles of leading natural wine advocates, Jules Chauvet - whole bunches, utilising carbonic maceration at low temps, wild yeasts etc. 

Souhaut seeks "to extract a delicate balance of tannins from the grapes, to make a wine with subtlety and finesse" - the Syrah is a wine I've longed to taste

Initially bright, berry driven aromatics - the carbonic ferment there; with time - lavender, cassis, violets - background hints of char, bacon fat and perhaps even a little ash. It's inviting, pretty, for me - something I wanted to drink and savour.

Plum skins, black fruit, ever-so-sligh rub of tannin, the tang of a little sour fruit - juicy, more-ish. Again, something I wanted to consume - with gusto. With time, you see a touch more of that Rhone pan juice and meat.

It's a wine to drink - not classically 'great' in the critical sense, or of a length to consider the same. It's a compelling drinking proposition - and a beautifully proportioned one at a mere 11.3%. Drink I did. 90

Tasted on: Friday 20th February, a Flower day
Source: Retail, Craft Red Hill
Price: $65
Alcohol: 11.3%
Website: Importer

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Hither & Yon Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot 2012

Purple aromatics emanate from the glass: violets, blackcurrant, florals general - switches to a little black fruit and mint. Smells like new French oak, except it's bot, vanilla then - OK?

Quite ripe, forward - as befits the year - black fruited. Hints of licorice, herb, cassis/blackcurrant here too. Not over-ripe, made in an easy going style and alcohol wise, quite restrained. Very much a house style emerging across the H&Y portfolio.

The finish reminded me of the 'cake' from the press at vintage - a little bit savoury, of juniper and cedar - all up a combination that just made me want meat. Capisce? 90

Tasted on: Friday 20th February, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.7% 
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hitherandyon.com.au/

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Old Faithful 'The Almond Grove' Mourvédre 2006

Showing some good secondary development, yet still retaining elements freshness. Aromatics by way of black cherry, liqueur soaked prunes, dried lavender tips. Has the dark, heady, kirsch, veering to licorice and tar.

Medium-full of body, tannin is firm, raspy spread - you might say gruff, tannin. Bit of black cherry compote, herb and spice. Balance, fades to a little licorice rope, fails to set the world alight.

Shows a latent hint of citrus oil, iodine, but beyond that offers little. Not a bad wine. Fading into the sunset of its life. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 19th February, a Root to Flower day
Source: Retail, Vinomofo
Price: $30ish
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: DIAM
Website: http://www.adelaidewinemakers.com.au/pages/the-old-faithful

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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Stockman's Ridge 'Rider' Shiraz 2012

I met winemaker Jonathan Hambrook once, about 4 years back - pretty smart fellow, recognising the need to hook into the core tourism market, in addition to now having his own cellar door.

I reckon this would be an interesting site to visit too, lots of cool pepper on show here, smoke 'n' oak too - all enveloping a core of black fruit. Some semblance of fennel tops add an extra dimension.

Soft, juicy palate - at odds to the intro - disarming. Regain your composure and settle-in, enjoy the soft and sensuous berry fruit here, a little residual oak tannin. A crowd pleaser.

On a good length, licorice, black fruit and white pepper. 90

Tasted on: Monday 16th February, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: 13.1%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.stockmansridge.com.au/

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Out of Step Wine Co. Willoughby Bridge GSM 2014

I'm enjoying the creative outputs from the guys at Out of Step Wine Co, this GSM - fruit sourced out of Heathcote - has a different vibe from wines tasted previously. Equally delicious mind.

Smells brown on opening - I'm very much into colour at present I've noticed - time and air sees a little fruit drawn forward, there's a little woody edge - like the breaking down wood in a deciduous forest, spice - cinnamon,

There's more of that spice on the palate, playful fruit crumble, the carbonics lending an easy-going, juicy edge to proceedings. It just gives the wine a smashable feel, you yearn to drink it.

Dry on the finish, savoury and spice, good on length - if not particularly memorable. But I'm guessing that's not the intent here. Could go a point higher - 89 

Tasted on: Monday 16th February, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap 
Website: http://www.outofstepwineco.com/

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Friday, 20 February 2015

Montalto Main Ridge Pinot Noir 2013

Tasted single blind in amongst a trio of three Montalto single-vineyard Pinots Noir. So, wine identities are known, but hidden at the point of tasting. Why? Because I can and to keep me on my toes.

Clone: DSV12
Vineyard Profile: Red clay loam
Aspect: 156m on a North-East facing slope

Aromatic spice clearly evident here: sandalwood, possibly some ground coriander, 'brown' spice a safer bet; dark cherry, black fruit - certainly a more concentrated aromatic profile beyond the spice.

Tannin structure is exquisite here too - mineral, acid a little sharper - suggestive of a cooler site? - but balance of these elements sees a wine that is assured. Has the structure and potential to be long-lived, the longest of the three in my humble.

Again the line here is excellent, barely putting a foot out of place. It sweetens up on the finish showing a little macerated strawberry. But, by jove it's another stunner. Points aside, possibly my favourite of the three. 94

Tasted on: Sunday 15th February, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 13.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://montalto.com.au/

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Montalto Teurong Block Pinot 2013

Tasted single blind in amongst a trio of three Montalto single-vineyard Pinots Noir. So, wine identities are known, but hidden at the point of tasting. Why? Because I can and to keep me on my toes.

Clone: MV6
Vineyard Profile: Brown clay loam 
Aspect:  30m, gentle north facing slope

Seems a touch greener - not in an unripe sense, but with respect to showing a touch more leaf and stem, as opposed to fruit. That said, it still carries some rose leaf and petal; spice is here - cardamom perhaps.

Firmer, more forward - riper, from a warmer site I'd suggest - cassis, black fruit. Tannin here is firmer, giving a wine of substance, structural framework. Flowing on to the finish, again tannin and dark fruit - length is excellent. Quite simply an exquisite wine. 95

Tasted on: Sunday 15th February, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://montalto.com.au/

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Montalto Merricks Block Pinot Noir 2013

Tasted single blind in amongst a trio of three Montalto single-vineyard Pinots Noir. So, wine identities are known, but hidden at the point of tasting. Why? Because I can and to keep me on my toes.

Clone: MV6
Vineyard Profile: Grey loam over clay
Aspect: 55m elevation, due East facing

Red fruit crumble, lovely lifted, fragrant aromatics on show here. Hints of Asian spice, provides a darker glimpse into the wine.

Soft, pillowy entry, red fruit medley on display here. A little of the spice seen prior makes a re-appearance on the mid and aft palate. Tannin exquisitely enmeshed in the wine, fine grained.

Feels effortless, touch of tang aids refreshment, long on the finish. 93

Tasted on: Sunday 15th February, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 13.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://montalto.com.au/

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Te Mata Estate - Hawkes Bay - New Zealand

Peter Cowley - immaculately presented winemaker - of Hawke's Bays Te Mata Estate was in town recently. I took the opportunity to catch up with Peter and taste through a range of current releases. Thanks to Te Mata distributor red+white for the opportunity.

Notes are as written on the day, minor touch-ups and lyrical flourishes the only additions.

Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014 13% $23
Vaietal: gooseberry, grassy, fresh aromatic herb (thyme). Good acid balance; crunchy acid on show - freshness; touch of texture and long on the finish 92

Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2013 14% $29
Peter Cowley: In the mid-90s all barrel ferment; 85% SB with a touch of Semillon. Bone dry, fruit there - touch of structure (Peter).
 
Barrel work evident here; softened the aromatics, creamy with vanilla flourishes. Cream, vanilla, whiff of smokey note and flinty touches. Again, softer proposition. Long on a finish with crunchy apple acid. 93/4

Te Mata Estate Chardonnay 2013 13.5% $28
One third is b/f, a third goes through malo. It's clean, stone fruit, citrus - classic Chardonnay. Touch of barrel work evident there; closed - bit of spice (cinnamon) and vanilla; citrus to sharpen up the palate. Finishes clean, bit of meal and stone fruit. 90/1

Te Mata Elston Chardonnay 2013 14% $38-40
Oak here more evident, touch of toast; meal, melon, bread/patisserie. Barrel work, fuller of body, stone fruit (grilled), touch of phenolic/ texture - not overly ‘fruit some’ - but that’s no bad thing IMO. Good length, full and pretty broad. 92/3 

Te Mata Gamay Noir 2014 13% $23
About 50% whole bunch, a week in tank and then into old oak for three months - bottled.
Carries that floral, cherry, soft berry aromatics (redolent of some carbonic) with that gummy/berry character, touch of herb. Soft, berry character on the palate too - also a touch of structure/ grip present. More than just your easy-going ‘booj’ or nouveau Gamay. Some intent. Good lingering cherry finish. 91/2

Te Mata Estate Syrah 2013 $23-25
Sees a splash of Viognier, into 15% new oak for 12months. Sourced from a couple of different vineyard plots, some younger vines (planted about 2001/2). Berry, touch of spice - clove and cinnamon in the main; Structure, core of tannin that weaves its way through the palate; graphite, tannin - powdery/chalky - comes on toward the back palate. A veritable bargain at mid-$20s 91+

Bullnose Syrah 2013 $50
Off of a single vineyard, about 25 y.o., 30% new oak - 16m in barrel. Briar, red fruit, cedar oak; rub of sandy tannin, beautiful graphite tannin structure, framework to age. Cassis, fine/powdery tannin on show here - superb wine. 94

Merlot/Cabernets 2013 14% $25
Plum, berrie, hints of pencil shaving oak; powdery tannin, again structure here is exquisite. Tannin seems to firm up in the mouth. 93+

Awatea Cabernets/Merlot 2013 13.5% $42
Approximately 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and the balance being Cabernet Franc. Cedary oak here, chocolate and vanilla creme; sweeter floral flourishes tone down the bass a little. Tannin here finer, lovely chalky rub; acid touch of present - tannin drives the length, builds - it’s all about structure. Exquisite for sub $50 92/3

Coleraine 13.5% $90
Tighter, less expressive; A little like your grandpa’s study with rich wood, tobacco, old leather - you want to relax into this. Tannin seems finer again, exquisite, again structure; chocolate coated berries, length, intensity, power. Tightly coiled - think 20 years minimum. 95+

Tasted on: Wednesday 18th February, a Root day
Source: Tasting
Price: $ As stated
Alcohol: As stated
Website: http://temata.co.nz/

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Cooks Lot Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Tropicals clearly evident here: passionfruit fore, a little mango sorbet aft. Touch of lemon thyme and possibly some Thai basil.

Lively, zesty entry; zippy, zingy and lively on entry - a touch of chalky pucker. Fades on the middle-back, showing a bit four-square, water-colour wash.

Moerate length, think grilled barra fillets with a little mango salsa on the side. 87

Tasted on: Saturday 14th February, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cookslot.com.au/

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Giesen Wines The Fuder Matthews Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Prepare to see Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc through a different lens.

Giesen is one of the older New Zealand wine companies, and in Australia it is the second largest distributor of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Marcel Giesen, one of three brothers involved in the running of the company, is driving a push towards limited production runs, to doing things a little differently.

Here, 'The Fuder' is so named after a 1000L German barrel. The wine in question spends one year in oak, 50% of that is new. Total production is 2000L, or 220 cases.

Carries its regional marker, albeit fine tuned: snow pea, gooseberry and aromatic herb - thyme, a suggestion of pan-tossed nuts.

The palate is a wine of contrast, layered - descending into the depths. At first ethereal, a featherlight touch to it, a sense of fragility akin to fine porcelain; the barrel character that follows is at striking odds to that intro: layered, complex, spice.

Has length, and then some, spice and acid work here in unison to give substance, presence, power. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc re-thought.

Tasted on: Saturday 14th February, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $49.99
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://giesen.co.nz/

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Monday, 16 February 2015

Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy Teroldego 2013

Pours a vibrant, bright magenta rimmed wine into the glass.

Savoury, Italianate feel, chinotto - herb, wood, black fruits.

Supple, juicy - bright acidity and red fruit juiciness. Easy and fun to drink in youth - i enjoyed using the acidity here to pair with a ragu. 

Length is OK, more about the fun and frivolity in the middle for me. The acid and fruit will happily see this cellar over the short to medium term, suggest 5-8 years.

Tasted on: Wednesday 11th February, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.handcraftedbygeoffhardy.com.au/

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Saturday, 14 February 2015

Willow Bridge Estate Dragonfly Shiraz 2013

Delicious length here on this wine, with tannin that's fine-grained and veering toward a graphite profile, you'd have yourself doing a double-take at the suggested retail price.

Char, toffee, a little caramelised sweetness to lead-in. Medium bodied, smooth - easy, unforced with plum and black fruit adding an easy going entry. Tannin profile is as you'd possible see in a wine 50-100% the price.

Whatever winemaker Simon Burnell and team are doing, long may it continue. 92

Tasted on: Thursday 12th February, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 13.1%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.willowbridge.com.au/

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View Road Wines Shiraz 2013

Powerful, fudge sundae, a little residual fruit sweetness, briar, fruits of the forest. Unmistakably Sellicks foothills/ coastal McLaren Vale, with its big, ballsy, up-front style.

There's a touch of ripeness present, not overtly so, but - alcohol levels unsighted - it's got to be nudging 15. There's a touch of burn/heat, but I like it. Tannin is melded nicely in the wine and it concludes with a cocoa and licorice medley that just reeled me in for more. 

Utterly delicious in its style. The Mrs was a touch more effusive than I. Words not fit for public mind.

Tasted on: Thursday 12th February, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $37
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://viewroadwines.com.au/ (Josh's version of the sagrada familia)

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Some Young Punks Monsters Monsters Attack Riesling 2013

Purchased this with the express intent of pairing it with a favoured chilli prawn dish of the household.

Offers more in the fleshy tropical fruit spectrum than what you'd expect from a traditional dry Clare Riesling.

Textural spread, the sugar adds width and a broad fleshy spread on entry. Citrus more prevalent, comes across as a syrupy fruit salad when confronted with a little spice - sadly lacking there. Actually preferred this as a stand-alone wine, unable to take the heat, I took it out of the kitchen into the lounge. 89

Tasted on: Friday 13th, a Leaf Day
Source: Retail, Grand Central Cellars
Price: $20
Alcohol: 10.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.someyoungpunks.com.au/

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Friday, 13 February 2015

Brash Higgins FRNC Cabernet Franc 2014

Despite purposefully opening this to go with a slow roast lamb shoulder (admittedly on its second run in Le Creuset - long story), a sniff of its wild herb, underlying red fruit, with a little lavender and purple florals, had me wanting a good haunch of venison. 

Love how something as simple as an aroma (or a sound, a snippet of text flashing back into the memory, a photo) can take you back to a place visited long ago...

Here we have excellent varietal character: leafy, red fruit, a suggestion of mint even; lithe, good cut to it, a gentle meander around the palate with a chalky feel, balance of acid on the back of a good length. 91

Tasted on: Monday 9th February, a Root day
Source: Retail, Cru Bar + Cellar
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.brashhiggins.com/

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Thursday, 12 February 2015

Willow Bridge Estate Gravel Pit Shiraz 2013

Easy rock-heads, the vineyard is on the site of a former quarry from where much of the gravel for building local roads came.

In vintages past, this wine was co-fermented with a small portion of the white grape Viognier, in 2013 the decision was taken to reduce the amount fermented with Viognier and instead add small amounts of Grenache (6%) and Mataro (3%) from a neighbouring vineyard.

Chocolatey oak, soft fruits by way of a little bramble and cassis, perhaps even a suggestion of citrus (it certainly had me thinking of Terry's chocolate orange in times).

Soft and supple, we see red and black fruit - not overt, or dominating - and fine graphite tannin profile riven through the wine. It lends a composed, elegant structure, acid adds an extra dimension, a little freshness, a spur to add extra gravitas to a quality wine. 92

Tasted on: Sunday 8th February, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.willowbridge.com.au/

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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Cook's Lot 333 Riesling 2014

Leads with the blossom of apple and citrus. Those aromatics that herald the onset of the warmer months. Aromatics that mark this out as Riesling.

Lively number: zesty and zippy - a contrast to the soft aromas that introduce the wine. It's juicy, there's a touch of Bickford's lime cordial - a little shape, form and texture and all on a good length. Much preferred to the 2013 guise. 91

Tasted on: Sunday 8th February, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cookslot.com.au/

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Monday, 9 February 2015

Sojourn Wines Shiraz Mataro 2014


The Sojourn in question, is that of fellow blogger QWine and his quest to make a wine - that was commercially available -from the 2014 vintage.

A bloke I call a mate {let's get that out of the way}, he's done the right things with regards to producing an attractively packaged wine, a wine with visual appeal - bottle shot available, functioning website ready from the off. So, what's inside?

Initially sappy, stems - moves to a little briar - before coming back to stems with a little caramelised root veg sweetness. Picked on/around the 15th March 2014, the fruit comes off of 40 year old vines round Ballandean way, it sees 25% whole bunches, was plunged thrice daily and sent off to a fourth use old hog. 

Medium bodied, a glass like smoothness to the wine on entry, natural juiciness, carrying the regional marker. There's some black fruit present, by way of plum and black cherry - adding a little bass line, to the tweeter's top notes. If you'll forgive a little digression over the anatomy of a speaker.

Lacks driving penetrating length - but that's easily forgiven when you have a wine that's so approachable and more-ish in character. It had me reaching for a second and third glass. The French, more eloquent than I, have a word for this style of wine: 'vin de soif' - literally, "thirst quenchers". Think charcuterie plates, and mates; or as I did - a good old homemade burger and family. 90   

Tasted on: Saturday 7th February, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $29 (@Ridgemill Estate Cellar Door)
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.sojournwines.com.au/

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Kaesler Vineyards and Winery - Notes on a Centurion

Barossan producer Kaesler, has a reputation for producing wines in a big, rich style - that often associated with 'Parkerisation', with alcohol volumes north of 15% and lavish use of new oak, primarily American.

On the basis of this tasting, it's a reputation that is both unfair and without foundation. Yes, some of the alcohol levels are around the 15% mark (stated), but no higher than that. Oak is present, largely French, and primarily as a frame to set off the fruit - that more often than not, is being picked a little earlier these days. Let's see how this manifests itself in the wines.

Notes are as written at a tasting hosted by Cru Bar & Cellar, with some polishing up for the purpose of presentation on this site. As wines were tasted outside the parameters of my normal approach (over a day or two, with and without food), readers should approach 'scores' with ultra-caution (inferred margin of error of +/- 1-2 points) and as always just see them in the context of the overall note.

2012 Old Vine Semillon $20 10.5%
Unoaked, carries the fresh aromatics of the variety - specifically lemon curd - fine bodied, good line of acid, at three years it has softened in bottle without loss of vitality. Freshness to the fore; little phenolic 'grip' through the palate. 91/92

2014 The Fave Grenache $30 15%
For the last three years, Kaesler Senior winemaker Stephen Dew has worked vintage at Prior Roche in Burgundy. Roch family member, Chrystelle, makes the return trip to the Barossa for the corresponding vintage at Kaesler. CEO and Chief Winemaker Reid Bosward gave up a parcel of fruit off of 80 year-odd (1939 plantings) old vines. The wine is 100% bunch, wild yeast fermented, plunged twice a day for 15 days, then off to oak: French 3-4 year fills. A manner akin to how Prieur Roche approaches production of its fine Burgundies.

50-60 dozen made. Doesn't necessarily carry the spice and funk of a whole bunch PN. Instead, here, we see macerated strawberries, rhubarb; has a Pinot-esque feel to the body. Stems are more evident in the palate with spice, coupled with silken strands through the wine - the polymerisation of tannin lending elegance. Bigger spice on the finish. Excellent quality 93

2012 Stonehorse Shiraz $25 14.5%
Oak, cassis, touches of chocolate. Touch closed. Clean, simple - lacks depth, straightforward - a good glugger. 89

2012 The Bogan Shiraz $60 14%
Continuation of a lighter touch, picked a little earlier, alcohol down a half a degree -or so. Fruit comes from two blocks: Marananga (8 acres 1889 plantings, gentle slope with alluvial plain that represents about 75% of production of Bogan) & Cellar Block (behind CD, contributes about 25% of total production). Spends 15 months in oak - 90% French - of which 25% is new - the balance American third fill. 

Deep, intense aromas - 'Barossan', you might say - but oak is in the background. Black fruit primarily. Elegant, not a 'slap-you-round-the-face' style; composed. Perfume carries in the palate. Delightful. You want to drink that. The most inappropriately named wine. 94

Old Vine Shiraz 2012 $80 14.5%
100% Nuriootpa fruit, propagated from cuttings off of the Old Bastard block in 1960. Itself sited adjacent to the OB. 100% French oak, 30% new - the balance second and third fills. 

Deeper, oak seems a touch more evident (comparatively), a frame to the wine. Blueberry, black fruit, a little pastille. Lithe, supple, touch more body and depth apparent here. 92

The Old Bastard 2012 $200 14.5%
1893 plantings, cellar block. Twenty-one months in oak, 33% new and the balance is second fill. Clay soils, pretty flat. About 10 rows, low cropped. 



Oak, vanillin glaze sitting atop some fruit. Voluptuous, oak giving that silken feel to a wine in balance. Spice of the souk peeking through the back palate. It's a wine of substance, depth, length and character. Grippy, structured, without stripping your palate of life. 95

Tasted on: Saturday 7th February, 
Source: In-store Tasting, Cru Bar+Cellar
Price: $Free, Wines: prices as stated
Website: http://kaesler.com.au/

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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Grant Burge Wines Meschach Wines 2009

Grant Burge was in the news recently when it was confirmed it was in talks with Accolade Wines over a sale of the brand. Accolade (80% owned by CHAMP venture capital, with the balance owned by US beverage giant Constellation) has traditionally been a McLaren Vale centric entity, this acquisition representing a significant into the Barossa to Adelaide's north.

The Meschach is a big wine, a wine of power, presence and perfume derived of fruit. It matters little whether it's blue, black or red - encased as it is here in a dark shroud of American oak.

Unequivocally full, a mouthful of wine; black fruit, licorice, drying oak tannin - and yet it all seems so integrated. It's an impact wine - as I sat pondering this point, I was watching US high school football drama Friday Night Lights, and a particular episode where a lead player - Tim Riggins - was described as an impact player. 

Allow the digression there. So yes, an impact wine, not really for now - for it's best days are ahead of it. 94

Tasted on: Friday 9th January, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $180
Alcohol: 14.55
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.grantburgewines.com.au/

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Out of Step Wine Co. Lone Star Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2014

I've previously written up some of the wines of the Out of Step Wine Co., check here for those reviews and some background info on the duo behind the label.

Each wine is like delving a little further into the minds and métier of Nathan and Dave.

Here, they've taken a variety much maligned, that seems to have an affinity for the Upper Yarra, and sought to capture it at a point in its life. I admire that spirit and for: "hopefully chipping away at making Sauvignon Blanc at least just a tiny bit cool again...".

Sees 25% new oak, the balance being at least second use; partial malo, a touch of battonage, results in a wine leading with citrus,creme and vegetal hints (think celeriac and a little asparagus). An expressive little beast - not so much that overt pungent number, but aromatics that spill out of the glass, like a bosom inside an ill-fitting brassiere. It doesn't avoid the tropicals often associated with the variety, instead they're at one with the balance of aromatics within.

Barrel ferment character, funk and feel; waxy, slippery, segueing to a mere hint of tropical fruit, vanilla creme and hints of flintiness and smoke. Re-think sauvignon Blanc here, a wine that's interesting and just downright enjoyable to boot. I went back for a glass of enjoyment after the tasting formality was over. Spot on - 93

Tasted on: Tuesday 3rd February, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.outofstepwineco.com/

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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Pertaringa Undercover Shiraz 2013

Black fruit leads the way here, clearly on show, displaying its wares. It's pretty intense, the result of lower yields and concentrated berries, there's support from a little seasoned oak with a little sweet dried grass.

It's spicy on entry, immediately noticeable - clove, spice and licorice root. Good weight, texture, balance in the mouth.

It may not be the most complex wine, but the intensity of fruit throughout has seen it step up a notch. Married with good length - Sir, I think your cover has been blown. 91

Tasted on: Wednesday 7th January, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.pertaringa.com.au/

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