An Australian Wine Blog

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Angullong Fossil Hill Sangiovese 2013

Cherry leads supplemented with a little earth and licorice root.

Good juice laden body, moderate intensity; red fruit tinged with a little woody spice. Finishes on a good length - all present and correct Sir! 90

Tasted on: Saturday 1st August, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.angullong.com.au/

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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Redbank Emily Brut Cuvee NV

A little quince here, and in the wrong glassware smells sweeter than one anticipates.

Fine moussey texture, marmalade citrus - in a normal stem it's actual coarser in texture - bready with some yeast autolysis character. A decent fizz for the price. 88

Tasted on: Saturday 1st August, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $14.95
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.redbankwines.com/

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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Mitchell Harris Fumé Blanc 2014

Always a classy addition to the Sauvignon Blanc scene, a world away from the overt fruit of many examples on the market.

Familiar passionfruit - sans the grass - augmented with a little pineapple. Feels rounded, textural and savoury - but doesn't quite reach the heights scaled in previous vintages.

Good length, a little grip, some vanilla/creme on the finish adds to the overall package. 91

Tasted on: Saturday 1st August, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: mitchellharris.com.au

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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Lane Block 10 Sauvignon Blanc 2015


Passionfruit, a little nettle, Hendricks and cucumber G'n'T - clean and cool.

Fleshy, showed a bit of texture - interesting given it's tank fermented - carried by a sharp line of acid. Impressive achievements given it sees no oak, a thorough approach to picking achieves the same.

Good length, generous, perfect for the onset of the warmer months ahead. 91

Tasted on: Tuesday 28th July, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.thelane.com.au/

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Monday, 24 August 2015

Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc 2015

So fifteen is being hailed as a great Hills vintage. On the basis of this classy Sauvignon Blanc, you'd believe the hype.

Classic aromatics, albeit a little paired back, controlled - nettle, a little grassiness, some tropicals and hints of butter menthol.

Abounds with citrus, pithy grapefruit that cuts a swathe through the palate and carries with it a shape and phenolic texture often lacking with the variety. Easy to drink - you'd go here easily. 93

Tasted on: Tuesday 28th July, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.shawandsmith.com/

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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Mitchell Harris Shiraz 2012

Shiraz from the Pyrenees with the inclusion of 2% of Viognier (not really evident). Also sees 20% whole bunch, but really it's all about red berry aromatics with a fair twist of the regional pepper grinder over the top.

Medium bodied, elegance personified, the wine caresses your throat as it glides its way down. Simply exquisite: balance, poise, graceful length. Tannin and oak are present, deftly handled, sensitive inputs to a classy wine.

Another to put Pyrenees Shiraz on the map. 93

Tasted on: Monday 27th July, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://mitchellharris.com.au/

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Leeuwin Estate Siblings Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2014


Blend of Sauvignon Blanc (68%) and Semillon (32%) from leading Margaret River winery Leeuwin Estate.

Grassy, nettley, touch of bath salt and grapefruit sharpness, tropical edges creep through assuredly for a balancing act.

Clean on entry afore a little chalky phenolic edge. Green herbal twangs and a nice pitched acidic profile to bring further balance. Grip and length on a finish of spice. 91

Tasted on: Monday 27th July, a Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol:13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.leeuwinestate.com.au/

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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Ferngrove Majestic Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Classic aromatics on offer with this Frankland River Cabernet Sauvignon from Ferngrove.

Intense, powerful fruit of mulberry and cassis is immediately on offer. Violets, plum and a little residual oak seasoning further to seek to highlight the quality here. 

Minerally, good firm tannin, all the essential pre-requisites to see this being an age-worthy proposition, especially when considered with the powerful fruit. 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 18th August, a 
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.ferngrove.com.au/

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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Topper's Mountain Barrel Ferment Gewürztraminer 2014

A wine that could easily lay claim to the title of Australia's best Gewürztraminer, a title it may only be challenged by its stable-mate, or the Symphony Hill Gewürz from just over the border, but made with New England fruit.

A little oak here frames classic Gewürz aromatics: musk and rose water. The barrel fermentation has added depth and weight to the palate, it grows in stature as you contemplate it. 

A wonderfully balanced pitch of acid, a little grip, and seems dry, yet retains a little fruit sweetness. It just works. Bravo. 95

Tasted on: Wednesday 29th July, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.toppers.com.au/

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Yalumba Galway Shiraz 2013

Juicy little number here and despite not being the most complex number, there's plenty going on, with spice and earth backed up with plenty of berry fruit. 

Easy going moreish nature, just slides across the palate and backed up with a nice rub of tannin and more spice. Get in. 89

Tasted on: Wednesday 29th July, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $16
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yalumba.com/portfolio/wines/galway-vintage-traditional-shiraz

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Monday, 17 August 2015

Oxford Landing Estates Sauvignon Blanc 2015

A sub-$10 Savvy B that I was more than happy to chug a glass of.

Fresh, pithy citrus, hints of grapefruit and gooseberry.

Clean, fresh - if a little dilute, easily overlooked at the price-point. Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself.

Reasonable length of citrus carry. Nothing here to fault. Bingo. 86

Tasted on: Monday 27th July, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $8.99
Alcohol: 10.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.oxfordlanding.com

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Sunday, 16 August 2015

Rusden Full Circle Mataro 2012

I first wrote on the 2009 vintage of Rusden's Full Circle Mataro back in the early days of 'Project Mataro'. Whilst that particular initiative has lost a little focus as varietal wines became more ubiquitous, it's still nice to get the chance to reacquaint oneself with one of the early players.

A little lift: stylistic pursuit combined with Vine Vale elegance - lies over the inherent cherry compote aromatics, supplemented with a little woody spice.

Sour cherry, herbal/ garrigue savoury notes, each weaving their way through the palate. Freshness to the wine, a hallmark of Rusden's Mataro is its lightness - a comment-worthy aspect of that 2009 mentioned earlier.

Good length here too. Producer first, variety second, region third. 92

Tasted on: Sunday 26th July, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 14.8%
Closure: DIAM
Website: http://www.rusdenwines.com.au/

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d'Arenberg The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Red fruit, herb, oak - hints of cedar can be seen peeking through - but it is a very different Coppermine Road this year, of its time for sure.

Savoury - wood and spice, fruit present - but a minor part of the mid-composition. Structure is good, tannin is fine. An enjoyable release, if not quite scaling the heights of where the wine can often be seen soaring. 91

Tasted on: Monday 20th July, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 14.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Saturday, 15 August 2015

Esperanza Monastrell 2013

I reviewed the 2010 debut release of Wirra Wirra's 'Esperanza' (Spanish for hope) a few years back. Since then, the range has expanded to include a Tempranillo and, more recently, a varietal Touriga Nacional.

Still shows that heavenly mix of briar, black fruit - particularly blackcurrant for me - tilled earth, licorice and sweet oak seasoning.

Juicy, medium bodied, slick and silken - indeed it races across the palate faster than Juan Manuel Fangio used to take corners. Has a fine, gossamer-like structure, the sort that keeps reeling you in, back and forth, each sip accompanied by another. Dangerous territory. What more does one need to say when a wine does that to you? 91

Tasted on: Saturday 25th July, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

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Patrick Sullivan Jumpin' Juice Raz Ultra NV

"Jumpin' juice Raz, it's a gaz gaz gaz..."

This is winemaker Patrick Sullivan's winter take on the Jumpin Juice wine produced. He describes it as "just for drinking...an introduction". Primarily Shiraz (hence the raz) and intended to be consumed with friends.

Savoury, shows some stems and sap, a little meaty funk, some lift - not one for the technocrats.

Lean, light and juicy - fresh with bright acids. Giggle juice for sure. Juice on the finish - fresh, lures you in repeatedly. 89

Tasted on: Sunday 19th July, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Retail, The Wine Emporium
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: DIAM
Website: http://patricksullivan.com.au/

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TarraWarra Estate Pinot Noir 2013

Caveat emptor: The wine tasted was leftovers from a day being poured in the trade, as such I cannot confirm how long the wine had been open. The tasting note below reflects how I see the wine.

Blue/black fruited, lovely aromatic profile: sour cherry, blueberry, florals - violets, peonies perhaps - in the mix too.


The palate doesn't quite carry the intensity that the aromatics would suggest: cherry, musky, fine tannins - albeit with good flow, persistence and carry of flavour. Subtle, a good line. 91

Tasted on: Thursday 16th July, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Leftover trade samples
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.tarrawarra.com.au/

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Friday, 14 August 2015

TarraWarra Estate Chardonnay 2013

Caveat emptor: The wine tasted was leftovers from a day being poured in the trade, as such I cannot confirm how long the wine had been open. The tasting note below reflects how I see the wine.

Whole bunch pressed direct to barrel, wild yeast fermented, some portion of tank fermentation and seeing about 10 months on lees for added body.

Beautifully golden, florals, frangipani; sweet oak, melon and creamy cashew.A wine of finesse, segueing to spice and toast; excellent length and intensity - such poise here. 

To say that the wine ticks all boxes really undersells it - yet it has balance, seems effortless and does indeed have something for everyone. 94

Tasted on: Thursday 16th July, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Leftover trade samples
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.tarrawarra.com.au/

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Bremerton Special Release Graciano 2013

Woody, herbal, hints of almond and cherry - in fact there's more than a suggestion of cherry bakewell about it.

Lightness, assumed elegance - soft, woody, cherry with spice and anise. Touch of texture present too, lots going on, much appeal. 90

Tasted on: Tuesday 14th July, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy Graciano 2014

Often used as a blending component alongside Tempranillo, increasingly Graciano is being seen as a varietal in its own regard. This example from Langhorne Creek shows floral top notes with a darker underbelly of ink, licorice, spice and a little beetroot earthiness.

Light-medium of body, it possesses an elegance, a slippery-glide-around-the-palate experience, like a teenager's first forays into kissing.

Sour cherry and victoria plum provide a restoration of normality after that. Effortless, fine tannins, flow and length. 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 14th July, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.handcraftedbygeoffhardy.com.au/

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Monday, 10 August 2015

Terre à Terre Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Exemplar of the barrel fermented style of Sauvignon Blanc, that is associated with Bordeaux blanc, a style pursued by premium producers of the variety.

From the close planted vineyard in Wrattonbully that is starting to come of age. It sees 15 days in tank, followed by 10 days in 600 litre demi-muids.

Chinese gooseberry and lime, tropical juice in conjunction with oak and a little of the herbal twang in the background.

A little nervy on the palate, a swirling mix of acid, fruit and texture. It provides freshness about the palate, shape and flow, a delicious textural spread with an even carry of flavour. Give it a little time to pull together. 92++

Tasted on: Saturday 11th July, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 11.95%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au/

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Sunday, 9 August 2015

Waywood Wines Tempranillo 2013

From the Blewitt Springs sub-region of McLaren Vale comes this inviting Tempranillo.

Soft red-black aromatics lure you in, leading to savoury - nigh herbal - twists. Dry and dusty, good grain of tannin enmeshed with blue/black fruit flavour profile.

Good length of flavour, tannin providing carry. 91

Tasted on: Friday 10th July, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.waywoodwines.com/

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Saturday, 8 August 2015

Bremerton Mourvédre 2013

The reductive hand of Mataro shows with this special release from Bremerton in South Australia's Langhorne Creek.

Initially sullen, it starts to reveal some of that meaty funk, with time further varietal character reveals its hand: florals and plummy depths.

Licorice, plum and black cherry on the palate, moving to a more savoury bent; a fine rub if tannin on a long seam of flavour.

Good length, carry and travel - just could do with a little more stuffing. 90

Tasted on: Tuesday 7th July, Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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Giesen Clayvin Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012


Of the three Giesen single vineyard (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay) wines, I struggled to appreciate this Pinot Noir the most.

From the acclaimed 'Clayvin' vineyard, reputedly Marlborough's oldest Pinot Noir plantings, a site off which both Fromm and Tongue in Groove draw fruit, it's a dark red fruited number. Shows some deep red florals - a suggestion of hibiscus perhaps, over smoky oak scents.

Feels a little hollow on the palate, a little astringency doing little to recover this, a palate lacking the finesse often associated with the variety.

Some red berry character lurks, but overall a disappointing wine given the pedigree of its stablemates. 88

Tasted on: Tuesday 7th July, a Flower transitioning to Leaf day

Source: Sample
Price: $65.99
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://giesen.co.nz/

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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Sailor Seeks Horse Pinot Noir 2013

Barnie Herbets never did get the horse that he sought. He did get himself a bike though and his equine requirements inspired a couple to take the name for their new wine project.

Paul and Gill Lipscombe purchased a neglected vineyard site in 2010 and set about transforming it, restoring it to something resembling an actual vineyard. They made a wine in 2012 - which I had the good fortune to taste - and this 2013 is their first commercial release. A stunning debut.

Earthen, fresh sods, some truffle, a little char; floral notes come through, augmenting the aromatics with a little lift.

Soft, sensual, layered - a palate that yields, gives - so generous; fleshy, a little pomegranate and black cherry. Such excellent fruit presence, length, again generous in the way that it gives. Superb - a most excellent release. 94

Tasted on: Saturday 4th July, a Root day 
Source: Gift
Price: $45
Alcohol: 12.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://sailorseekshorse.com.au/

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Monday, 3 August 2015

Murray Street Vineyards Sophia Shiraz 2012

We honour the pioneers of the Australian wine industry through gracing bottles of wine with their names, in their memory. But there remain those who maintain we don't do enough to encourage the continued participation of women from the current generation.

Soap-box away now, time to remark on the contribution of Sophia Seppelt, a woman who bore a large number of children; strong and strong of will.

The wine that bears her name shows depth, concentration, power; savoury old wood adds seasoning - suggestive of a little meat and gravy. But give it time for the fruit to start shining through.

Dense and intense, layered - waves of flavour cascade across the palate. There's a regional mix of mulberry, plum fruit and a little cedar/ oak seasoning, plus acid freshness for good measure.

Waves of flavour, a gentle lapping of the back palate, as opposed to a crashing breaker, gentle, forwards and back it shifts, long shore drift bring flavour that ebbs, flows, comes and goes. 95

Tasted on: Thursday 25th June, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $75
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.murraystreet.com.au/

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