An Australian Wine Blog

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Pipers Brook Riesling 2015

Bath salt, Lemon, lemongrass and flinty mineral nuances. Quite delicate. 

Cool acidity, palate quenching and cheek clenching; tangy lime, lemon and pithy grapefruit - good finish. 92 

Tasted on: Monday 25th January: Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $34
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://kreglingerwineestates.com/

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Monday, 15 February 2016

d’Arenberg d’Arry’s Original Grenache Shiraz 2013

50/50 blend of Shiraz and Grenache from McLaren Vale.

Licorice, earth, plum, cherry; a good mix of fruit and darker, savoury elements.

Soft tannins, easy-going drink now nature. Often wonder at the wine’s release as a 3 year old given the price, yet to back up that strategy I have, first-hand, seen how well it can age if stored well.


Excellent balance, good length. A winner. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 23rd January
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Alkimi Wines 'The Good Earth' Grenache Noir 2015

Berry, perfume, subtle stem influence.

Light, lithe, supple. Just this side of medium bodied, touch of acid and spice. 

Fuck, this is a wine that just demands to be consumed, to be annihilated, an absolute pleasure to drink. 90 

Tasted on: Wednesday 20th January: a root day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 12.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkimiwines.com/

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Robert Stein Half Dry Riesling 2015

Whole bunch pressed, 20% of juice on skins, natural yeasts. Racked off to older French barrels. Barely Medium-Dry in IRF scale.

A little browned citrus, not much to speak of. 

Flavour profile shows a touch more of the same, backed up with residual sweetness and acid in balance. Sadly it lacks much more than that, perhaps picked a little too early with little flavour development  

OK length, but not quite hitting the mark for me. 87 

Tasted on: Wednesday 20th January: Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.robertstein.com.au/

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Friday, 12 February 2016

Felton Road Cornish Point Pinot Noir 2008

Smokey, meaty, bit of pan juice; savoury.
2012 bottle image


Silken, medium bodied, with this incredible depth of flavour. Still showing some black cherry-plum fruit character, but it's more about savoury depth - a little char even perhaps. 

Effortless, sublime, length and some. 93 

Tasted on: Tuesday 19th January: a fruit to root day
Source: Own cellar
Price: $75 (ish)
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.feltonroad.com/

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Thursday, 11 February 2016

Huntington Estate Gewürztraminer 2015

Classic lychee and Turkish delight, musk. 

Palate a touch cleaner, slighter of body, an earlier picked style (hence the sub-12% alcohol volume); flavoursome: suggestive of quince, persons fresh green herb. 

Good length, staying power: 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 19th January: a fruit to root day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 11.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://huntingtonestate.com.au/

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Patina Reserve Chardonnay 2010

Showing some age, taking on honeyed and toffee notes over stonefruit and citrus.

Substantive wine: body, volume, bit of swagger; oak inputs too. Good length. 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 19th January: a Fruit to Root
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.patinawines.com.au/

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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Alkoomi Semillon Sauv Blanc 2015

More citrus than grassy Sauv, a little lemon butter.

Minerally, acidic zing and zest; touch of texture. Finishes ok, not as much definition as you'd like. Consider the price - happy to go here. 88 

Tasted on: Tuesday 19th January: a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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View Road Wines Syrah Sangiovese 2014

Poured two glasses of this: on opening it was savoury, rich, woody, with a coolness to it.

Some 2-3 hours later: a little grilled meat, savoury, some black fruit more prominent, licorice and more of a polished veneer.

Smooth, medium bodies, powder fine tannin that accentuates its savoury bent. Possesses incredible structure with graphite tannin. An excellent blend. 92 

Tasted on: Monday 21st September, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://viewroadwines.com.au/

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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Willow Bridge Estate Dragonfly Cab Merlot 2014

It would be remiss to not mention the untimely passing of Willow Bridge winemaker Simon Burnell in early 2015. Of course Simon would have overseen the initial production of this wine, a wine that now rests in the hands of Kim Horton who took over the reigns, transferring from Frankland River's Ferngrove.

Ladies and Gentleman, here we have a veritable bargain. Shop wisely and you can pick this up sub-$20 at quality independents or online. An excellent addition to any wine rack.

Mulberry, chocolate, a little cassis; soft, generous and rounded palate; a little spice - a suggestion of licorice.

Chalky, powder-fine tannin with a gentle bitterness that enhances the wine's profile. 91/2 

Tasted on: Monday 18th January: a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.willowbridge.com.au/

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Best's Great Western Riesling 2015

We all know that Riesling should be on more folks' radars right? Well, amongst that great variety should be this example from Best's in Victoria's Great Western region. A consistent performer, a stunning achiever, for twenty-five of your hard earned.

Tropical expression of lime, florals with a little kumquat.

The palate brims with energy, a vibrancy, with the acid cutting a zorro-like swathe across the palate (well, mine at least). Has a semblance of sweetness (without being sweet), lending body and texture. A testament to the fruit, care and love. Drink now or cellar up to 15-20 years. 93

Tasted on: Sunday 20th September, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bestswines.com/

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Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy Fiano 2014

Leads with a tropical edge: honeydew melon with a little cream and white florals. Suggestion of green herb, a faint dill note.

Nicely balanced wine showing a little texture, acid, spice and generous length. A little unlike other Fiano, gives the suggestion of a racier wine, more fluidity. Certainly fresh and rewarding, perfect antidote to a sweltering summer's day. 89

Tasted on: Friday 18th September, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.winesbygeoffhardy.com.au/

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Monday, 8 February 2016

View Road Wines the International Prosecco

A lively individual on opening, I commented at the time that it went off like teenager on his first outing!

Shows a milkiness, cloudy, opens with florals, a touch soapy with spice for an extra dimension.

Fairly neutral palate, lacking more. Fared better in a flute - I normally taste all wines in a standard stem - showing more citrus. Has a pleasant tang, a sharpness, acidic. 87

Tasted on: Wednesday 16th September, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $?
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Crown
Website: http://viewroadwines.com.au/

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Claymore Wines Joshua Tree Watervale Riesling 2015

Perfumed, lime with a touch of green apple and florals. 

Minerally, dry, sharp and focussed acid. Doesn't see as much flavour on the palate as you'd expect. Has a little of that gin n tonic minerality.

Good length, would like to see a little more flavour intensity. 90 

Tasted on: Sun 17th Jan, a Fruit day
Source: Retail, The Wine Room Ashgrove
Price: $22
Alcohol: 12.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.claymorewines.com.au/

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Lark Hill Shiraz Viognier 2014

Straddles a line between savoury (shows some stems, hedgerow, meat juices) with some
stonefruit 'elevation' (4% Viognier inclusion here).

Grilled meat, savoury, black fruit, stem and modicum of red fruit. Medium weight, a little herb, Savoury length. Spicy redcurrant. Love its balance and drinkability. Excellent release. 92

Tasted on: Thursday 14th January, a leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.larkhillwinery.com/

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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Raidis Estate 'The Kid' Riesling 2015

Green apple, bath salt, a little jasmine.

Green apple, green mango, tart and tangy; mid palate acidity that blossoms and envelopes the palate. This is just going down well on a sweltering, underwear soaking Brisbane day.

Suggestive of a little borderline ripe mandarin. Will have your cheeks thinking you're sucking on a lemon. 91

Tasted on: Thursday 14th January, a leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.raidis.com.au/

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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Hither & Yon Nero d'Avola 2015

Seen quite a price increase since I first tasted the 2013 vintage (tastings), but for me the brand and wines out of the portfolio remain some of the most consistent, drinkable and exciting out of the region.

Jubey, black fruited, juicy, heavenly, intoxicating, alluring. The barest hint of licorice, fennel, touch of grilled linguica, more about black fruit. Medium bodied, easy going, straddles a line of sweet black fruit with some Italianate seasoning. 90 

Tasted on: Sat 9th Jan, a Fruit day
Source: Sample Screwcap $29 14.5%
Price: $29
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hitherandyon.com.au/

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Friday, 5 February 2016

Hart & Hunter Dr B's Fiano 2015

A pre-Christmas trip to the Hunter Valley afforded an opportunity to explore some of the emerging varieties that are making a name for themselves in the land of Shiraz and Semillon.

Opens with a fresh, citrus, brine/sea spray, aroma - indicative of a little calcium/chalky/powdery aroma. 

Extended skin contact sees a substantive wine in the mouth, plenty of feel, a textural beauty, plenty of curves to wrap your tongue around. There's a little honeyed touch, citrus and a bitey touch of ground ginger bringing up the back end.

Natural acidity in abundance, length from spice and acid. A winner. 92 

Tasted on: Saturday 9th January
Source: Cellar Door
Price: $28
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hartandhunter.com.au/

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Alkimi Yarra Valley 'The Good Earth' Syrah 2014

Two thirds of the fruit was de-stemmed and wild yeast fermented. The remainder was 100% whole bunch and fermented in a tank for five weeks.

Tell-tale aromatics of the inclusion of those bunches here. We wine ponces often waffle on about berries and bunches, and it serves as a timely reminder to offer that, in the case of bunches, they lend a spice and a woody, savoury character that supplements the natural fruit inherent in many wines. 

Here, pepper and a little mace sits atop berry derived aromas. Inviting, enticing, leading

Light to medium bodied, early onset of spice before more juicy fruit character jazzed up the palate. It's not the most complex wine, it doesn't aim to be, yet it offers great drinking appeal

Decent length. But you just wanna drink it. That there is the biggest compliment I can pay it. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 8th January
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkimiwines.com/

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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Little Wine Co Vermentino 2014

Self described dynamic wine duo, Ian and Suzanne Little, between them have more than 50 years winemaking experience, mainly for large corporate wineries. The Little Wine Co is very much the anti-thesis of that corporate experience, with its first vintage back in 1984.

Here we have an aromatic little kitty: jasmine, woody herbs - a little Rosemary perhaps - dried citrus peel.

Voluptuous, fleshy, kinda rolls around the palate; pear, suggestion of vanilla, spice. Complex, full, flavoursome. 90 

Tasted on: Saturday 9th January
Source: Cellar Door
Price: $22
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.thelittlewinecompany.com.au

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Jansz Premium Cuvée NV

Citrus, shortbread biscuit, baked goods.

Textural, substantive feel in the mouth; yet quite delicate flavour profile.

Length is reasonable, more impact than finesse. Try accompanying with marinated artichokes, anti-pasti in general 89 

Tasted on: Friday 25th December: Root to Flower
Source: Sample
Price: $31.95
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://www.jansz.com.au/

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Out of Step Willowlake Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2015

These guys *get* Sauvignon Blanc - see here.

From the Out of Step team: "
wild yeast fermented in barrel. Around 15% new oak, with a mix of one year old, two year old & neutral barriques making up the balance. Not a lot of stirring or malo, just left on lees until bottling around 6 months down the track."

Throws the mix of citrus, nettle, herb - a touch of lemon balm. Straddles a line between somewhat tropical aromas with fresh and fragrant Mediterranean lilts.

Palate sees plenty going on, a glorious mix of inherent flavour, backed up with phenolic grip and mineral acidity. It sees the citric elements racing through the palate, turbo-charged with that lovely line of acid. 

Finishes well, the texture and grip last long after the wine has gone before it. Bravo gents, indeed making the Sav a little bottle rad again. 92 

Tasted on: Friday 8th January
Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.outofstepwineco.com/

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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Macquariedale NBG (Nothing But Grapes) 2015

A purchase from the wonderfully authentic Macquariedale cellar door, on a sodden wet day just prior to Christmas, the wipers going nineteen to the dozen attempting to keep the shield clear, the rain creating channels of water flowing down the unpaved driveway, spirits instantly lifted upon being met my Ross (McDonald, owner and winemaker).

As advised by Ross, a wine made that the belief that as grapes are grown biodynamically, they want to produce a wine as pure an expression of terroir as possible. Preservative free, a blend of 90% Shiraz and the balance of Merlot.

Opens with a little funk, a little volatility, earthy and ferrous.

Pure, fresh and vital - yet I cannot escape that aromatic intro at odds to this.  It's a wine of ease, to consume; a citrusy acidic pitch aids length, giving travel. 88/89 

Tasted on: Sunday 3rd January, a Root to Flower day
Source: Cellar Door
Price: $32
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.macquariedale.com.au/

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Mount Pleasant Airport Block B-Side Field Blend 2014

A little grass, herb (dill, thyme perhaps), citrus and stonefruit. 

Fleshy, textural; stonefruit and a little phenolic grip too. Balanced: great mouthfeel and flavour, suggestive of a little spice perhaps and a gentle spine of acid.  


Good length: gentle, unforced, a little grip for company. 91 

Tasted on: Wednesday 6th January, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Cellar Door
Price: $30
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://mountpleasantwines.com.au

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Montalto Estate Chardonnay 2014

From a lower yielding vintage, when Spring frosts affected flowering - a critical period in setting up the vines for bearing in fruit.

Winemaker Simon Black’s hand is clearly on show here: has a touch of edgy funk, cashew with stone fruit and citrus aromas rounding out the profile.

Good balance of juicy flavours against a heart of acid, t’s fast and furious, a raciness if you like. Seemingly has a bit of everything: line, length and textural width through some adroit lees work I’d suggest. Australian Chardonnay at its finest. 94

Tasted on: Thursday 31st December: Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $42
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://montalto.com.au/

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Monday, 1 February 2016

Montalto Estate Pennon Hill Chardonnay 2014

Creamy, residual oak and barrel ferment character; stone fruit and florals. 

Good body with some citrus intensity for intensity. The assured hand of winemaker Simon Black sees this one with a light approach, deft in the mouth and assured on the finish.

Fresh and zesty on the finish. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 31st December: a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13.1%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://montalto.com.au/

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