An Australian Wine Blog

Friday, 22 April 2016

Tapanappa Riesling 2015

A number of firsts here for Brian Croser and Tapanappa: his first revisit of making a wine with Eden Valley fruit in forty years; the first wine made with Con Moshos (former Petaluma Chief Winemaker, now returned to the Tapanappa winery); and the first wine under the Tapanappa label made with fruit off of a vineyard not their own.

Jasmine, florals, lime, bath salts; delicate on entry, leading to mineral and sharp citrus; great acidity. A mere 300 dozen made of this wine, available ex-cellar door and website only.

Be sure to seek some out - it possesses a beautiful flow, on to a textural spread across the back palate. Exquisite finish. 93 

Tasted on: Monday 28th March: Flower to Leaf
Source: Cellar Door
Price: $29
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://tapanappa.com.au/

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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy Lagrein 2014

Inky black, violets and black currants: cracked pepper, Earth and mushroom. 

Bold mouthful of black fruit, silken threaded, spiced, peppery and powder puff tannin. 

Finishes well, on a good length - combination of fruit, spice; 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 24th March: a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.winesbygeoffhardy.com.au/

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Quartz Hill Pebbles Shiraz 2013

A little of that Pyrenees peppery profile on show here. Exudes a cool air, with grilled meat asserting its authority, herbal twists. 

Gravelly tannins, yet smooth entry; shows Black cherry and plummy notes, decent composed palate. Blue fruits appear in the mix too - giving a little juicy freshness to further enliven. 90 

Tasted on: Sunday 20th March: leaf to fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.quartzhillwines.com.au/

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Orange Mountain 1397 Shiraz Viognier 2012

Comes across as big 'n' minty: eucalyptus, oak, meat pan juices; florals - violets, bramble/briar - yet of an elegant, cool mien. Suggestive of whole bunch action - although I couldn't evidence to corroborate this.

Medium-full, has a cool air, a little mintiness, pepper; Viognier apparent - not overblown. Silken, slick,effortless. 92 

Tasted on: Sunday 20th March: Leaf to Fruit
Source: Sample
Price: $42
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.orangemountain.com.au/

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz 2014

Sweet, malty oak; blue and black fruit - a little fly spray, don't let that put you off dear reader - chocolate shavings. 

Medium-full, powder-fine tannin, black fruit, fleshy and loose knit. Touch of char, licorice. 

McLaren Vale writ large across the wine. Little spike of acid generates extra length - goes alright. 90 

Tasted on: Saturday 19th March: leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

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Cook’s Lot Allotment 689 Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Grassy, gooseberry, passionfruit, guava-like tropicals emanating from the glass - very Orange, very Cook’s lot, very Sauvignon Blanc.

Electrifying citrus dances it merry dance across the palate, crisp and minerals - carries an excellent line across the palate but falls short a little at the finish, where it gently cascades to its conclusion.  91

Tasted on: Saturday 19th March, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cookslot.com.au/

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Yelland & Papps Second Take Shiraz 2015

The fresh, sappy, aroma of new growth - the 50% whole bunch evident here. Hints of cinnamon, cola, furtive red fruit, but somewhat more savoury. 

As with others in the Second Take range, shows a lighter hand on the tiller. Rethink: Barossa Shiraz; plum, cherry, light tannin.  

Elegant, lots going on, yet incredibly at ease. 93 

Tasted on: Saturday 19th March: Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

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Alkoomi White Label Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Fresh and fragrant: blackcurrant leaf, passionfruit and gooseberry. Great varietal character without being overblown or blousy.

Tropical fruit flavour jostles across the palate, a little citrus sharpness, vibrant acid. This is pretty fine for $15 wine - blows many examples up to double the price out of the water. 

There’s a little texture, shape, flow and a pretty good finish. 90


Tasted on: Saturday 19th March, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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Monday, 18 April 2016

A Rich Tapestry: St Hallet Blackwell and Old Block Vertical Tastings

To simplify the Barossa as a 'rich tapestry' pays little respect to the myriad of sub-regions that are increasingly identified as making the whole. Begins to provide a glimpse into the wines that for many define its very identity, but yet totally neglects the other resource, without which it would be faceless: it's people. 


But a rich tapestry it is, the French have one word for it. Terroir.

And so it was that, on a rainy June day, I found myself in the Barossa Valley as a guest of St Hallett wines, here to examine some of that tapestry, explore some of the individual elements that make up its signature wines, and to then undertake a vertical tasting of two of those Signature wines: The Old Block (20 year tasting) and Blackwell (10 year tasting).

Obst Vineyard, Moppa Hills, Barossa Valley
Obst Vineyard, Moppa
At 14 years old, it was commented that Obst was: "transitioning into definitive Shiraz vineyard”. A not unsubstantial 25 hectares, it is largely over ironstone and quartz. Moppa is considered to give structure, and supple grainy texture. 

Two barrel samples tasted that day revealed this further: vivid, florals, black; showing guts, a good line of ferrous powdery tannin. A second sample from top of rise, where the vines see more afternoon sun saw a wine richer, (opulence), with finer, more wood tannin; flesh.

Milhinch, Seppeltsfield
Considered the ‘backbone’ of Blackwell. At 320 metres, it is - for the Barossa - of good elevation. Limestone/calcrete gives wines that are inky black coloured. Indeed barrel samples tasted showed base wines of of concentration, gutsy dark fruit and firm, ripped tannin. 

People
Visiting vineyards, surveying the landscape, tasting barrel samples is all well and good. Yet without one significant asset, people, all of that wouldn’t exist. Meeting the growers for whom this is a passion, a livelihood - where an ill-timed frost can wipe out vintage for a whole year. Understand that and then look at the not-insignificant investment in frost fans in a different light. 

It is the coming together of all of these elements that makes the wines they are. Terroir indeed.


Blackwell 20 Year Vertical (all notes as written on the day)
Bracket 1: 1994-1998
1994: Taint, colour looking good, brickish tones; palate fairly stripped out. NR
1995: Good secondary development; light palate - deft, savoury elements, spongey tannin. 92
1996: Good structure, fruit still present - fine, powdery tannin - not totally dropped out. Spice(?) 91
1997: Looking more developed than 1996, (warmer year); Oxidisation aroma; dry, tired. NR
1998: Still possessing a strong core - depth, drying, chalky tannin still present. Still much to offer. 94

Bracket 2: 1999-2003
1999: Certainly more elegant, finesse (the emergence of the style); Still hanging on to some of its fruit - exemplary. 93
2000: Poss a little desiccation, primary fruit, oak (perhaps); retention of fruit on the for/mid palate - starting to fade a little on the back, good length. Possibly underscoring? 91/2
2001: Still possesses good structure - a little warmth coming through (warm year?) - lovely layered, texture; 92/3
2002: Good strong core - looking in good shape; red fruit, perhaps a little liquorice? Excellent length 93/4
2003: Fading, fruit not holding up, looking a little tired. Some good structure - again poss underscore? 90/1

Bracket 3: 2004 - 2008 - More consistency across this bracket.
2004: Impenetrable, strong, kirsch; Light, lithe - a little liquorice root. 94
2005: Boysenberry, cherry - lots of fruit still here - polished oak? Tight, fine-grained tannin. Closed. 92/3
2006: Black fruit perhaps, some ‘gummy’, grassy notes - again quite elegant; liquorice 93
2007: Fine, mocha-grain, powdery tannin. 90
2008: Structure here interesting - coarser, possibly more oak driven (or just not dropped out at this stage?). 92

Bracket 4: 2009 - 2013 Summary: Overall now looking for brightness of fruit, but power.
2009: Warmer, spicier, more linear - yet still possessing good length 91
2010: Black - the Spinal Tap edition, none more black; silken threads, finesse - liquorice, powdery/ chalky tannin 92
2011: Avoids the swampy notes that many ‘11s are inflicted with, lacks the fruit and presence; stylistically - of it’s pedigree. Lacks…90
2012: Raspberry, strawberry - brightness of fruit; Still primary, raw, liquorice, juicy - briar?; 92/3
2013:  Very vibrant, fresh, still possessing the primacy of youth (colour alone); Sawdust/oak, but of the brands style - silken, layered - long on the finish. 93

Old Block Vertical - Not Scored
Typically hitting its sweet spot at about 20 yrs of age, the original ‘Old Block’ is from a 1912 planting and on the Estate, there are a couple of other ‘Centurion’ blocks (per the Barossa Vine Charter) that fruit is drawn from.

1980s
1985: Leathery, old, chestnut skins, mahogany; still retains a freshness, some semblance of acid (far reaches of the palate!)
1989: A little of that balsamic, rancio/porty, note - touch figgy perhaps; still possesses good length, presence.

1990s
1991: A little dried straw (poss taint, suggestive), caramel edges; fine palate, finesse - a little sweet fruit still lingers.
1992: Much darker core (less developed than the ’91); fine - lacks a little? drive, perhaps some red fruit still lingering?
1994: Good grip still, fruit faded elegantly; good drive - one to savour, to linger
1995: Fading to cherry brick at the edges, still possessive of a solid core at its heart; strawberry/ macerated raspberry still present - grippy tannin.

2000s:
2002: Fudgey, chocolate; rich, decadent in a way, elegant-finesse; good grip, structure
2006: Is there a bit of VA in there? Certainly lift - expressive; cherry compote, graphite, structure, drying and grippy; blackcurrant, 
2010: Fresh, up-front - yet amazing depth, old vine structural charm, for a 5yo it’s showing more savoury nuances than one would expect. 
2012: Toast, depth and grunt - slick  

Source: Winery Tasting
Website: https://www.sthallett.com.au

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Teusner The Independent Shiraz Mataro 2014

A 50/50 Shiraz/Mataro blend. Bass tones of Mataro evident here: plummy, black fruited depth; blue fruit, heady, sweet spiced accented.

It's clearly full bodied, with Szechuan spice, firm and raspy tannin; deep, savoury twists, bitter licorice.  

A thick, chewy, brawny wine. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 19th March: leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.teusner.com.au/

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Yalumba Y Series Shiraz Viognier 2014

Subtle mix of dried earth, red/black fruit, possibly a little tapenade in the mix too.

Medium bodied, spiced on entry, plum and cherry in the mix; tannin is fine, well integrated, however it’s the spice that dominates.

Finishes OK, a plushness against a chicory bitterness or some such. 88

Tasted on: Friday 18th March, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $12.99
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.yalumba.com/

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Terre á Terre Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

I was almost prepared to write it off this wine from the Terre á Terre close planted vineyard down at Wrattonbully, such was the relaxed manner in which it chose to open up for me.

It's 95% Cabernet Sauvignon with a small addition (5%) of Cabernet Franc.

Quite reserved initially, slowly unfurling, red fruit showing its wares. Medium bodied, ultra-fine tannin, have a little roll around the palate; it has presence, building, yielding a little more each time. 

Lingering finish. Tight, fine tannin. 92+ and I'm suspecting that could prove foolishly conservative.  

Tasted on: Thursday 17th March: leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14.3%
Closure: DIAM
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au

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Saturday, 16 April 2016

Signature Wines Signature Reserve 2009

Residual oak hints and sweet black fruit provide the aromatic mix that greets you here: give it time, some air and be rewarded as it slowly unfurls in your chosen vessel. 

More of the same is evident in the palate, a little fruit: blackcurrant primarily lingers, yet it has not quite developed the secondary characteristics as yet at 7. It's from a warm year - it shows - with a lingering warmth, spice and depth of flavour. It's suggestive of having enough in the tank to hold the course. 90/1

Tasted on: Thursday 17th March: Leaf
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.signaturewines.com.au/

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Best's Great Western Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

A little mint over predominantly black fruit, a little dark chocolate; violets, savoury hints.

Oak, rich, layered; juicy, well pitched acid, blue fruit. Tannin is composed - easy to drink now. 90

Tasted on: Tuesday 15th March: Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bestswines.com/

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Mitchell Harris Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Herbal, touch green, woody, sappy.

Medium bodied - barely - leafy, touches of tobacco; drying, light and delicate palate.   

Has a presence, a satisfying and sustained length, tannin is gentle, composed - a little acid pitched up perfectly. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 15th March: a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol:12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://mitchellharris.com.au/

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Friday, 15 April 2016

Yelland & Papps Second Take Mataro 2015

Yelland and Papps is a story about new beginnings, a story about a couple with a young family, forging their own path within a region as first generation winegrowers.

A new addition to the Second Take range, sees 100% whole bunch use and spends 22 days on skins.

Has a wild, natural vibe to it, whole bunch aromatics lending a spicy, sappy feel - certainly wouldn’t pick it as Mataro on aromatics. Some of that plummy, hoi sin starts to eke out….intriguing for sure.

Light, elegant, certainly demonstrative of a light hand on the tiller - spice in bags, very much a middle eastern soukh coming through.

Yet despite, or perhaps in spite of, that lightness and approachability, it still carries the unmistakable fingerprint of Mataro’s depth: blackness and spice. Bravo Michael and Susan, you’ve done it again. 92

Tasted on: Saturday 12th March: a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

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Yalumba Y Series Tempranillo 2014

Somewhat generic red territory here, yes there are some glimpses of that blue fruit and savoury seasoning.

The palate: drying, fruit in the mix, with a little dried herb. You’ll not be disappointed at the price point, but for an extra $7-10 you’ll likely be able to find stablemate Running With the Bulls - with more varietal character.


Finishes OK - a little fruit, drying. 87

Tasted on: Saturday 12th March: a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $12.99
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.yalumba.com/

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St Mary’s Pinot Noir 2013

Bold aromas force their way out of the glass, spirited - the alcohol making itself known as it tickles the olfactory organ. There’s pomegranate molasses, cherry and menthol-eucalypt here in large quantities. 

The palate has a strange medicinal feel to it - all that eucalyptus and cherry throat sweet - there’s fruit, vanilla oak, all in abundance - a fairly substantive wine.


The fruit itself feels of good quality - but it does get flooded with the regional eucalyptus hints. Not quite doing it for me, the plus sign to see how that oak and eucalypt settles. 87+

Tasted on: Saturday 12th March: a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://stmaryswines.com/

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Stockman’s Ridge Rider Pinot Noir 2014

Aromatic opening: Vanilla, strawberry and raspberry.

Light, lithe, possibly a bit under - weighing in at a mere 12% - more vanilla, a little creme that adds a little extra. Decent spine of acid, a little pepper n spice to add some punch.


Pretty good going - not bad at all. 90

Tasted on: Saturday 12th March: a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.stockmansridge.com.au

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Windowrie Estate The Mill Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Gooseberry, passionfruit, perhaps even a little citrus peel here on show with the little expressive number. 

Has a steely, harder edge that doesn’t quite flow from the softer aromatics that introduce the wine. 

Nothing to particularly excite - neither anything to particularly offend. A good spine of acid, just little fruit to hang off of it. 86 

Tasted on: Wednesday 9th March: Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $17.99
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.windowrie.com.au/

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Terre a Terre Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2015

The wine saw a portion - 28%  - fermented in large format oak barrels, foudre, spending a further four months on lees (both foudre and stainless steel portions). I like to include this information as it provides an indication of what to epxect. Fruit from the close planted vineyard in Wrattonbully.

Has a citrus air - kinda like a GnT with a slice of lemon, hints of green melon, stone fruit, fresh herb about it - tropical hints, yes - but subtle in its way and approach. 

Textural, some of that oak influence showing through with a flinty, steely edge; spice and a zesty, zig-saggy citrus acidity. There’s lots going on, as ever an excellent showing from the - so called - junior part in the TàT portfolio.


Finishes well with pithy citrus, lemon tang with the aftertaste of a bit of grapefruit bitterness. Enjoy. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 9th March: Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au/

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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Wirra Wirra Hiding Champion Sauvignon Blanc 2015

For a Hills SB it manages to eschew the overt grassiness that I oft associate with that variety and region combo. Instead of focussing on what it’s not, it’s about vanilla, florals, yes there’s some of that grassiness, but it’s also augmented with a little lime curd and lychee. 

There’s a bit of cut and thrust to it: line, length and width. Tropical fruit, some lemongrass - would go alright with ‘Thai’ - to generically lump all cuisine from that country together - lime, and a general citrus mien.


Good length, grip, rare amongst the variety that it had me yearning for more, reeling me back.  A yes from me 91

Tasted on: Wednesday 9th March: Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://wirrawirra.com/

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Brash Higgins GR/M (Grenache Mataro) 2015

A 70/30 blend of the two respectively, co-fermented. Biodynamically farmed, from the Blewitt Springs sub-region.

Luscious red fruit leads: red currant, perhaps a little cranberry - over a subtle herbal twists.

Light, incredibly so; red fruit opens, making way to deeper notes of plum; freshening acidic body, tannin is drying, fine and persistent. 

Spice builds a little, the carry - and concentration - of flavour impressive. A wine that envelopes you, superb. 92 

Tasted on: Saturday 9th April: Root day
Source: Gift
Price: $37
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.brashhiggins.com/

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K1 Adelaide Hills Shiraz 2014

Opens with plum, cherry, hints of oak seasoning. 


The palate shows a wine that's fine, embedded tannin, black fruit, can see structure and savoury mien the wine will morph into. Some depth of flavour, firmer body.

Picks up a little on the finish, a surge of flavour, a little crest to ride the wine's finish - qualities that will serve the wine well for those patient enough to see out at least a few years in the cellar. 92

Tasted on: Saturday 5th March: fruit to Root
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.winesbygeoffhardy.com.au/

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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Swinging Bridge Reserve Chardonnay 2014

Creamed corn, oak, seasoning, buttery, stonefruit.

Worked, buttery, hint of steely edge, taking on some weight, teenage puppy-fat, fleshing out around a spine of acid.

It's long, elegant, the acid carrying you long across the back palate - superb. 92

Tasted on: Sunday 6th March: Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $38
Alcohol: 12.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.swingingbridge.com.au/

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K1 Middle Hill Shiraz 2014

Bramble, blackcurrant/cassis, sandy earth, latent red fruit.

Possesses Middle Hill's familiar medium bodied ease, fruit, spice, a perky - almost pippy - acidity. 

Finishes well: surge of black fruit on a good length. Not quite as complete in previous years, yet scores just as well.  That says as much about wine, as it does about the fallibility of the scribe. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 5th March: Fruit to Root
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.winesbygeoffhardy.com.au/

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d'Arenberg Sticks n Stones 2011

Blueberry and vanilla, some violets, woody spice.


Medium bodied, blue fruits, savoury, vanilla and some residual oak. Spice, a little clove. Waxy, smooth and rounded. 

Good length, generous, savoury - little spike of red fruit. 91 

Tasted on: Wednesday 2nd March: Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 14.4
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Monday, 11 April 2016

Ridgemill Estate Cabernet Malbec 2010

Leads with a funky edge, slightly herbal, bit of black olive, damp undergrowth. 

Soft, supple, rounded black fruit profile. Gentle tannin, almost velvety in texture. It's barely medium bodied, spice disarms, a little licorice. 

Seemingly yields each more each subsequent visit. Mouth coating feel. A delight. 89 

Tasted on: Wednesday 2nd March: Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://ridgemillestate.com/

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d'Arenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay 2015

d'Arenberg draws from fruit from both McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills to produce this exceptional value Chardonnay.

The perfume is interesting, showing citrus, husk and more than a little spice.

The palate sees more of that line of citrus coming through: lemon, lime, a little mandarin; residual oak adds some depth, but really it's the texture - a good weight - that rounds out the palate, along with a spine of acid for length. 90

Tasted on: Tuesday 24th November
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 13.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Dodgy Bros Pinot Gris 2015

All nashi pear, skinsy feels, bruised apple hints; honeysuckle and a little stonefruit panna cotta.

It's lavishly textured - seeing some 30% of solids included to build texture without sugar - layered, spiced. Skin contact - four hours - sufficient to lend a little blush and aid that textural feel. Generous length.

I could go here. Could have gone a point higher, 91

Tasted on: Sunday 22nd November 2015
Source: Sample
Price: $ 22
Alcohol: 12.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.dodgybrotherswines.com/

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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Patina 'Little Wood' Chardonnay 2011

Owner/winemaker Gerald Naef's not afraid to release his wines with a little age on them. This Chardonnay, from Orange in NSW, is released as a 4 year old.

I struggled to see the aromatics I'd expect from the variety, somewhat muted, subtle creaminess, a little oak and stonefruit.

It was more about the palate: oak, stonefruit, some texture to broaden the profile. For me it lacked the decisive character I'd come to expect from the producer. 87

Tasted on: Sunday 15th November, a Fruit to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.1%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.patinawines.com.au/

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Toolangi Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2014

Chicken stock, stonefruit, meal and a little quince.

The palate opens up, a little more expressively: citrus, kumquat, it's honeyed and demonstrates a god line of acid through only partially going through malolactic fermentation.

Length is decent. 90

Tasted on: Saturday 14th November, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.toolangi.com/

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Lark Hill Mr V Marsanne Roussanne Viognier 2014

Assured golden notes of honey, master stock, florals and stone fruit. Colour suggests some skin contact - a deep golden hue.

Textural wonder, a little grip and weight. Citrus and cream are absolutely spot on. Unyielding savoury length. Superb. 93

Tasted on: Friday 13th November, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.larkhillwinery.com/

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Saturday, 9 April 2016

Terre á Terre 'Rouge' 2014

A new wine to the Terre á Terre portfolio, a blend of Cab Franc/Shiraz/Cab Sauv (60/28/12% respectively).

A beautifully vibrant winning, brimming in wine. Cedar, bay, mulberry, fruits of the forest. Light of body, delicate, almost fragile; dried herb, red fruit, semblance of structure, a framework the fruit hangs off of. 

Savoury on the finish, a delightful little bitter note at its conclusion. 89 

Tasted on: Thursday 25th Feb: root day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: terreaterre.com.au

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Friday, 8 April 2016

Teusner 'The Dog Strangler' Mataro 2013

Oak, coffee accented plummy depths; a dollop of fruits of the forest compote, florals and a little garrigue/dried herb. On song. 

Chewy, richly spiced, game and dried meat; Dutch licorice, a textural swathe across the finish segueing to a Jamie Oliver style sprinkle of nutmeg. 

Long on the finish, you could indeed choke a dozen dogs on this fellow. 93

Tasted on: Wednesday 9th March: Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.teusner.com.au/

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Cape Jaffa Rip Tide Red Blend 2014

Titled as a 'red blend' yet is an interesting mix 70% Viognier and 30% Shiraz. 

Smells primary, of red fruit and stonefruit. Across the palate it's nimble, light, skips around the palate; stonefruit, almost jubey, light grip, juicy acidity 

Bloody easy to drink...plays with your mind a little. 88 

Tasted on: Thursday 25th February: Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $29 ($22 club price)
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.capejaffawines.com.au/

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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Yelland & Papps Second Take Grenache 2015

"wild ferment, 31% whole bunches and 21 days on skins before heading into 100% old, seasoned French oak barrels for eight months ageing. It then heads to bottle unfiltered and un-fined"

Grenache, Grenache, Grenache - let me count the ways I love you. When Grenache is made this well, it's a no brainer. Buy some. Now.

Sweet spice: cumin/coriander; segues to red fruit, a little dried herb. 

Supple, lithe, silken scarf of a wine; to call it Pinot-esque sells it short, gossamer threads of tannin provide a fine web structure the wine hangs itself off. 

Fresh and juicy, no simpleton, it has a delicious carry of flavour - spice a little tang under-ripe strawberry as a counterpart. Superb. 93

Tasted on: Sunday 21st February: Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol:
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

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d'Arenberg Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2011

A blend of 90% Shazza (Shiraz) and 10% Vajazzle (Viognier) - the latter, the 'V' weed, appearing in a percentage in a red wine not seen since the early noughties! 

Opens with a curious mix of savoury, woody hints, freshened up with a little v-weed. The savoury strikes me as a calling card from a cooler vintage, the apricot softening the profile. 

Silken, glossy feel in the mouth; spice presents itself, gently tickling the tongue, slowly rolling across the palate. 

This has settled nicely since first tasted back in September. 89 

Tasted on: Thursday 11th Feb: Flower to Leaf
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 14.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Dodgy Bros Rosé 2015

A blend of Shiraz (60%) and Grenache (40%), a Rosé made from the saignee method - the bleeding off of some juice from red wine ferments, serves to make a cracking Rosé and concentrate the red wine, win:win. Full solids ferment, aids texture without sugar.

Red berry aromatics leap out of the glass, a little seasoning adds to the aroma. Texture, presence - gorgeous weight to the mid-palate; spice, pepper and berry fruit. Offers some grip on a good length. 91

Tasted on: Thursday 5th November
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.dodgybrotherswines.com/