An Australian Wine Blog

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Yelland & Papps 2nd Take Roussanne 2015

Cloudy little beast, could fool you into thinking it's a cider, until you get the olfactory organ into it that is. Lemon drops, touch of butter menthol, florals, dribble of honey, a little thyme. Fragrant little cherub. 

Touch cidery on the palate, there's a sharpness, a little acidic punctuation somewhat unusually; carries some weight, length in spades. 

Lemon barley at its conclusion. Could drink this forever. Combines refreshment, interest, intrigue and just tastes damn good. 93 

Tasted on: Thursday 11th February: Flower to Leaf 
Source: Sample
Price: $40 
Alcohol: 12.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

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Monday, 21 March 2016

Willow Bridge Estate Dragonfly Shiraz 2014

Shiraz in WA is oft - justifiably IMO - overlooked in favour of the noble Cabernet Sauvignon (and friends). Willow Bridge Estate - from Geographe - could well make you rethink that, not only here with this standout example at $20, but also further up the portfolio with its Gravel Pit Shiraz (review).

Has a very attractive profile, an intoxicating and alluring sugar dusted mix of fruit.

Offers plummy notes on the fore palate - it's medium bodied, bolstered by some oak presence mid-palate. Segues to a lingering spice, pepper and black fruit mix; drying tannin completes the picture.

Tasted on: Monday 5th October, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.willowbridge.com.au

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Sunday, 20 March 2016

Cook's Lot Chardonnay 2014

Toasty oak, vanilla over grilled nectarine; there's a faint tropical line that lingers - kumquat jelly or such.

Lacks a little fruit in the middle for my liking - oak showing a touch more dominant - but it's supplemented by a little chewy caramelisation.

A little back end acidity completing the picture. 89

Tasted on: Monday 5th October, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cookslot.com.au/

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Tapanappa Merlot Cabernet Franc 2012

An exemplary wine, a blend of Merlot (66%) and Cabernet Franc (34%), sees 70% new French oak.

That oak here is fairly obvious: well seasoned, cedary - the rich, dark fruit sits in the background, supplemented by cigar box aromatics.

Medium-full of body, the fruit here on the palate a little more noticeable, the oak and fruit commencing their harmonious little dance that will continue over the next twenty years or so. Carries that graphite, possesses excellent structure - will serve it well for the road ahead.

Unyielding length - a superb wine. 96

Tasted on: Sunday 11th October
Source: Sample
Price: $79
Alcohol: 14.6%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://tapanappa.com.au/

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Alkoomi White Label Chardonnay 2015

Since sold out ex-winery.

Subtle stonefruit aromatics supplemented by a little citrus fleshiness.

More of the same flows on the palate, a rounded creamy profile. Mineral, a little grip adding further appeal. Cleansing acidity on back palate brings you home. 88

Tasted on: Monday 5th October, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Topper's Mountain Bricolage Rouge 2012

The artist formerly known as 'Red Earth Child' has transmorphed into 'Bricolage Rouge' due to a trademark issue.

Same crazy blend: Tempranillo (60%), Tannat (15%), Nebbiolo (15%) and Barbera (10%) - quickly checking the maths, that does indeed make 100%.

Fair chunk of coffee oak on show here - don't recall that from the 2011 guise. Good body: fleshy, juicy - with some tarry, earthen tannin on show. 

It's dry, savoury and long. The oak, present, yet the fruit should have sufficient weight and quality to hold as it matures. Impressive. 92

Tasted on: Sunday 4th October, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $38
Alcohol: 13.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.toppers.com.au/

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The Lane Block 2 Pinot Gris 2015

Nashi pear, florals, flecks of spice.

Bit it's the palate whereby the wine comes into its own, and where the hand of winemaker Michael Schreurs shows, texture with phenolics deftly presented. It's a wine of excellent mouthfeel, palate presence. 

Has a slight powdery sense to it, excellent carriage of finish with an exemplary finish. 92

Tasted on: Sunday 4th October, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.thelane.com.au/

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Friday, 18 March 2016

Angullong Pinot Grigio 2015

Green apple and tropicals, carries a lingering sweetness.

Milky, more of the sweetness, a little musk. Not entirely convinced on this outing. 85

Tasted on: Sunday 4th October, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $19
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.angullong.com.au/

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Oxford Landing Pinot Grigio 2015

Carries the hallmark aromatics of the style: bosc pear, florals, a touch of spice. Some might consider it Gris-esque in profile.

I'd actually be keen to see where this sits on the Spectrum: textural flourishes, acid spice and phenolics - all suggest it could straddle a line.

Good length too. Commendable, you don't often see this quality at three times the price. 89

Tasted on: Sunday 4th October, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $8.99
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.oxfordlanding.com/

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Monday, 14 March 2016

The Lane Vineyard Block 8 Merlot 2013

Single vineyard wine from Adelaide Hills leading light, The Lane.

Touch gamey, brambly fruit; comes from a single block up in the Adelaide Hills, a site with the least water across the Lane’s substantial holdings - treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen. Or, in this case, deliver a Merlot that’s a step up above many produced (or mis-produced) in Australia.

Feels like a wine of substance in the mouth, touch fleshy, voluminous, without being too over-bearing. Has some powder-fine tannin too, additional qualitative hallmarks.

Finishes well, a long, savoury length. 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 9th February: Root to Flower
Source: Sample
Price: $39
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.thelane.com.au/

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Sunday, 13 March 2016

Shaw Vineyard Estates Merlot 2013

Black cherry, plums, whiff of smoke, suggestive hazelnut lingers in the background.

Attractive palate profile: a seductive hint of oak, cherry, a modicum of spice. Elegant, lovely interaction of essentially savoury character with a balancing fruit aspect. Touch of tannin: fine - more structure required to really see it as a standout example.


Finishes well, black fruit - composed; good enough to pull you back for a second glass. 90

Tasted on: Tuesday 9th February: Root to Flower
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.shawvineyards.com.au/

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View Road Wines 'Picked by my Wife' Merlot 2014

No bottle image - so here's
Miles from Sideways
Savoury, tobacco, leaf, touch of game and Earth.

Mid-weight, juicy acidity, plummy depths, licorice for extra penetration; Hangs together well - balanced. 

Tannin a bit player, good savoury length.  91

Tasted on: Tuesday 9th February: Root to Flower
Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://viewroadwines.com.au/

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Saturday, 12 March 2016

Longhop Old Vine Grenache 2013

Black fruited depth, cherry mainly, oak in the mix. Has a meatiness, not quite charcuterie, more a barbecue pan aroma.

Good body: medium, juicy - fresh with reel-you-back-in acidity. Soft tannin, flavour loses its way a little in the middle, but persists on a good length.

Another great example of how Grenache can be made with a defter hand.

Tasted on: Friday 2nd October, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.oldplains.com/News.htm

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Mitchell Harris Mataro 2012

Forgive me Mataro, for I mislaid my wine nerd notebook and consequently the beauty of this number has been unseen for some 6 months.

Berry, pepper, plummy hints, Mataro's depth; savoury nuances that round the aromatic profile out.

Mataro meets the Pyrenees' elegance: spicy, fine structured, exquisite length with some good retention of acid. 

Tasted on: Wednesday 30th September, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: mitchellharris.com.au

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Friday, 11 March 2016

Ridgemill Estate Jacquez

Interesting variety is old Jacquez, for the wine nerds amongst you it's not a variety from the species vitis vinifera - that is the species from which the common wine grapes hail.

Instead it's a hybrid, a bitsa, a mongrel, the chance outcome from a random vineyard liaison some way back. There you go, it's not all check lists of descriptors round here.

Dark fruit aromatics, a little savoury lift, smells a little weedy, herbal and of florals, violets specifically. Dense, chewy palate with lots of savoury character. Reasonable length - lacks good structure to propel the wine into very good territory. Pairs nicely with appropriate food options: think osso buco, stews and casseroles. 88

Tasted on: Thursday 24th September, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://ridgemillestate.com/

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St Mary's Carillon 2013

Something approaching a 'Bordeaux' blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc), but with an Aussie twist (Shiraz).

Blackcurrant, black fruit, cedar and seasoned oak. A little sandy earth and sweet grass in the mix too.

It's medium bodied, has a beautiful glossy texture with a persistence of flavour through the wine. Acid is noticeable, and would suggest that - with the fruit quality - will age very well. That said, it drinks remarkably well in youth. 92

Tasted on: Thursday 1st October, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://stmaryswines.com/

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Taylor's Promised Land Riesling 2014

Lime, almost a brulee like character; showing some development, an early oxidative sense, yet retaining freshness.

Citrus, kumquat, stone and mineral, good retention of acid, but not particularly bold. Seems to be playing off the backfoot, rather than being forward, assertive. Some sugar adds a feeling of texture.

It's OK, given RRP and what you'd likely find it for in large format stores, yet my over-riding recommendation would be to spend a few dollars more and trade up, for there's much value to be had with the variety. 86

Tasted on: Thursday 24th September, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $13.95
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.taylorswines.com.au/

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Thursday, 10 March 2016

Wirra Wirra Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

When executed well, I am of the opinion that Cabernet Sauvignon can be McLaren Vale's hero variety. This, my pick of the Wirra Wirra 'flagship' releases, as d'Arenberg Coppermine Road often is.

Choc, choc-raspberry, gum leaf, cedar.

Light, lithe, cedar, herbal; gentle pitch of acidity, fine rub of tannin - familiar themes with these '13 premium releases from WW - black currant and dusky, dusty fruit. 


Again posseses an elegance, subtle, persistent the class of'13 top of their classes at some exclusive Swiss finishing school no doubt. Bravo. 94 

Tasted on: Saturday 6th February: Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $70
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

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Murray Street Vineyards 'Benno' Shiraz Mataro 2012

A blend of Shiraz (58%) and Mataro (42%). Barossan. Toasty oak, black fruit, hazelnut, mocha, vanilla. Big, bold, yet fruit and oak seem harmonious. 

Slick, smooth, substantive - bold and concentrated, the treble of Shiraz combined with Mataro's deep seated bass. Heady, spicy, plummy 

Cocoa, dark chocolate. Deep, dark, dense. 92 

Tasted on: Friday 5th February: Leaf to Fruit
Source: Sample
Price: $75
Alcohol: 15.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.murraystreet.com.au/

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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Wirra Wirra Absconder Grenache 2013

Made from fruit off a vineyard planted way back when we were all doing the Foxtrot or Charleston and Phar Lap was just a strange way of saying you'd been for a long run.

Red fruits in abundance (raspberry, strawberry, cherry), a little seasoning, spice. I don't like using the term 'Pinotesque', but in such a case it suitably captures what the wine is about. 

Certainly a lighter, livelier, racier example of Grenache - a perhaps shows how excellent the variety can be if made in that style.

Medium bodied, elegance personified, red fruit in spades. 93 

Tasted on: Saturday 6th February: Root Day
Source: Sample
Price: $70
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

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Yelland & Papps 2nd Take Vermentino 2015

I think I'm the outlier on this one. Have seen somewhat more favourable reviews from some peers and elder statesmen of the wine sniffing community. 

Different strokes for different folks. Or something like that. I'm not in the habit of aligning reviews to the views of others.

Sour apples, cidery, dairy, florals, a little lift.

Textural, stewed apples, a little sweet sour ying/yang going on. Fresh, green, cleansing acidity, lime and brine.

Tang, decent length....curio. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 5th February: Leaf to Fruit
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 12.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Hither & Yon Grenache Mataro 2015

A 60/40 blend of Grenache and Mataro respectively, and 100% McLaren Vale. Raspberry, red fruit, some wild herb/garrigue thing with a choc-raspberry-fudge milkshake. Trust me, it works.

Juicy, a little dark fruit, chocolate, fine tannin; palate enlivening acidity that brings back the wine full circle.


There's fruit in abundance, a little savoury tickle, good length. Another stellar wine. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 2nd February: Flower to Leaf
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 14.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hitherandyon.com.au/

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Tintilla Estate Rosato di Jupiter 2015

Made with Sangiovese fruit - not something that common in the Hunter, same could be said for decent Rosé mind.

Savoury, cranberry, segueing to some raspberry. 

Textural hints - small portion sees some barrel ferment - ultimately drying, a little grip, spice. Finishes savoury, reasonably length. Grower, not a shower. 90

Tasted on: Tuesday 2nd February: Flower to Leaf
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol:12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.tintilla.com.au/

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Monday, 7 March 2016

Hither & Yon Tempranillo 2015

Savoury, woody hints, flashes of blue fruit, a little black cherry.

In the house style: a juicy fruit-bomb, not lacking in a little savoury depth - a second pick of fruit comprising 12% of the wine was allowed a little extra hang-time, with some whole bunch inclusion - a little acidic reach into the corners of the palate. A light rub of tannin, some black licorice and a little bitter cocoa.

Juicy, moreish, another winner from the H&Y team. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 2nd February: Flower to Leaf
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hitherandyon.com.au/

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Alkimi 'Le Mistral' Rosé 2015

A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Roussanne and with that it's red berry fruit, prime front and centre, a little lemon twist furtively lurks; summer in a glass. 


More berry goodness, a fine textural rub, sharp acid brings things back into focus. 

There's a little residual sweetness on the finish, but that provides extra length. Perhaps not to everyone's liking, but paired well with a grilled lamb and pomegranate salad. 89 

Tasted on: Tuesday 2nd February: Flower to Leaf
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkimiwines.com/

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Friday, 4 March 2016

Faux Pas Shiraz 2014

Apparently sees a little addition of a few Viognier skins at the commencement of ferment. Regardless it's an aromatic little puss: citrus oil, florals, hints of violet, strawberry, lighter red berries. 

Turns things up a bit on the palate with a little black fruit, licorice; tanning is light, there's a bit of crunch but importantly it's another impressive number, a wine that reels you in and you simply yearn to drink. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 28th Jan: Fruit to Root
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website:

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Thursday, 3 March 2016

Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz 2013

Wirra Wirra's premum Shiraz release, sits alongside the Absconder Grenache and The Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon.

Fudgey, chocolate, malty oak; hints of licorice, chocolate bullets...

Slick, certainly full of body, with a lightness of touch; red fruit sits in front of black tarry flavours. A little salinity, earth. Deft, complexity. Goes now and good for a 10-15 stretch in the cellar for sure. 93

Tasted on: Thursday 28th Jan: Fruit to Root
Source: Sample
Price: $70
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

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Shaw Vineyard Estate Riesling 2015

Distinct tropical aromatics, lime and guava - had me yearning for a green curry, or spicy pad Thai. 

Open palate structure, vibrant acidity. Citrus, slight salinity, some bath salt, grapefruit. Tangy. 

Pithy length, generous, contrastingly sharp. Cracking Riesling 92 

Tasted on: Thursday 28th Jan: Fruit to Root
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.shawvineyards.com.au/

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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Savina Lane Fiano Classico 2013


Savina Lane's Cellar Door occupies a hilltop perch overlooking the vineyards laid out before it, the vines flowing downhill towards the entranceway that snakes around the property, passing the homestead on its left.

As a brand it has been operating since 2012, yet vines have been grown on the property for over fifty years. Wine stewardship is overseen by the impressive Mike Hayes (Symphony Hill, Toppers Mountain), an industry veteran and local legend. 

To the wine in question: florals - honeysuckle, a little citrus peel, stonefruit.

Nicely balanced, textural with remnants of acid; a little chalky pucker, residual mineral feel curling around the palate.

A reach that extends into the far corners of the mouth, impressive length, sustained feel 92

Tasted on: Monday 25th January: Fruit day
Source: Cellar Door
Price: $35
Alcohol: 12.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://savinalanewines.com.au

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