An Australian Wine Blog

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Yelland & Papps Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cigar box, cedar and bay - soft aromatics, distinctly varietal. 

Fresh, more upfront palate character, gentle acid that freshens, awakens the palate. Good fruit character - black fruit: blackcurrant, a little plum - and the acid carries a line. 90 

Tasted on: Saturday 7th May: Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Deakin Estate Shiraz 2015

A little funk, reduction, fermented meats; savoury. 

Savoury, touches of fruits of the forest. Well made, not confected - avoids all the pitfalls of wine at this price point. 88


Tasted on: Thursday 5th May: Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $10
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.deakinestate.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Yelland & Papps Vin de Soif 2014

A blend of Grenache/ Mataro/ Carignan (75/17/9% respectively). For the first time the blend eschews Barossa stalwart Shiraz. Fermented in old French and American 18 months, the usual wild ferment, unfined and unfiltered.

Grenache leads with its pronounced red berry aromatics. Some herbal seasoning, a little cracked pepper - but really it's the sensuous red fruit that reels you in. 

Medium bodied personified: it's light, almost fragile, tart red fruit provides a lift, a hit of refreshment, the kind to slake a thirst. Very soif!

There's some length too, a little interplay - a footballers' one-two - between sweet and savoury elements on the back seat. Just reels you in. Dangerous territory. 90

Tasted on: Monday 23rd May: Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Monday, 23 May 2016

Samuel's Gorge Kaleidoscopic Horizons Garnacha Tempranillo 2013

A little lift on opening, distorts the fruit; given time: coffee bean, garrigue, lavender.

Big and bold, oak is prominent - American at that - tannin is assertive, gruff and drying; clearly one for the long-haul, the fruit is there - although somewhat suppressed by the oak. Slowly, it starts to open: vanilla, spice, meat, blood and earth.

A wine of intensity, depth and lingering spice - it's best is clearly ahead of it. 93

Tasted on: Sunday 1st May: Root to Flower
Source: Sample
Price: $75
Alcohol: 14.6%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.gorge.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Hither & Yon Muscat Blanc 2015

Pass the Oysters? Husk, almond meal, touch of briny character. 

Immediately dry, citrus, briny, with a freshening acidity; good dryness to the wine. Persistent, comes with a light dry chalkiness, a grip that gives and gives. Good wine, very enjoyable. 91

Tasted on: Sunday 8th May: Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hitherandyon.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Huntington Estate Special Reserve Shiraz 2011

Released as a 5yo - and i'm not entirely sure where it is trying to position itself. 

The heavy hand of oak lingers long on this wine. Something earthen, muddy, treated timber - as if for a freshly prepared garden bed. 

The oak is clearly evident on the palate too, black fruit mixes in, has a plushness to it. 


Not quite sure what it wants to be, or where it will go. It drinks reasonably well, as long as you enjoy - or can tolerate - the oak on show 89 

Tasted on: Thursday 5th May: Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $36
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://huntingtonestate.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Friday, 20 May 2016

Mitchell Harris Shiraz 2013

Sees the inclusion of 25% whole bunch and is co-fermented with 2% Viognier. Sweet-spice, root veg, sappy hints - evidence of the effective use of whole bunches and stem inclusion.  

It's medium bodied, silken, slippery textured; spice, Pyrenees pepper, excellent penetration of flavour: black fruit, smoky - oak? - hints. Fine rub of tannin, balanced acid - well structured wine. 92 

Tasted on: Thursday 5th May: Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://mitchellharris.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Thursday, 19 May 2016

La La Land Tempranillo 2015

Great aromas! Berry, cherry and plum leap from the glass here. It has that sense of juiciness, of inviting you in. Great start. 

Medium bodied, good juice on offer, a bit of raspy tannin - sure it's not the most complex wine, doubt it purports to be at 16 sheets. Enough about it to take a chill. Not looking to denigrate it when I suggest a great pizza or tapas option. 

Happy here at $16. 89 

Tasted on: Wednesday 4th May, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $16
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.lalalandwines.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Mount Avoca Back Block Shiraz 2014

Plummy with a liberal seasoning of white pepper; seductive, a hint of French oak in the frame too, again seasoning.

Medium bodied, quality fruit abounds. There's a combination assault of acid and beautifully powdered tannin - it kinda happens all at once, it's not schizophrenic, rather just rushes at you...then gracefully recedes, leaving this glorious tail of flavour in its wake. 

Fruit quality is excellent - a determined presence across the palate. Great wine. 92 

Tasted on: Monday 2nd May: Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $43.75
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://mountavoca.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Mount Pleasant Leontine Chardonnay 2013

From the Mount Pleasant Legacy range, honouring the Mother of arguably Australia's greatest winemaker: Maurice O'Shea.

Fresh cut stonefruit underpinned by tangy citrus, perhaps a little like marmalade; delicate hints of oak framework here, adding depth and spice. 

The aromatics transpose to the palate, the spice more prominent. It's medium bodied, but certainly not lacking in depth of flavour, a generous acidic line seemingly driving the wine on. Misses a beat a little towards the final third, but a good solid length and carry of flavour. 91 

Tasted on: Monday 2nd May: Flower day
Source: Cellar Door
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://mountpleasantwines.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Coriole Nero d'Avola 2015

Expressly aromatic wine, exquisitely perfumed: cherry compote, with a seasoning of sage and perhaps some fresh coriander seed. 

Light, supple - a lightness, fleet of foot as it dances it way around the palate - a sting in the tail: spice tinged, aniseed twists, black fruit that just adds depth and volume. 

It's fresh, abounds with acidity and will have have you emptying your glass quicker than you can say: "by Jove, that's a tasty wine". Such great drinking. 93 

Tasted on: Sunday 1st May: Root to Flower
Source: Cellar Door
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.coriole.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Schwarz Meta Mataro 2015

Really enjoying the lighter, sympathetic styles of Mataro on offer. An even hand without sacrificing Mataro's inherent character. Here beautiful perfume: kirsch and aromatic spices, with 27% whole bunch lending a little additional depth. 

It's light, lithe and nimble - treading it's silken path across the palate. Free from the shackles of oak, at 13.7% it's clearly picked with intent to be a lighter expression. A squeeze rather than Mataro's usual hug. 

Finishes clean, fresh and with a lick of licorice for a final flourish. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 30th April
Source: Cellar Door | Artisans of Barossa
Price: $38
Alcohol: 13.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://schwarzwineco.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

d'Arenberg Custodian Grenache 2013

They’ve certainly got the coulis out on this release: raspberry aplenty here on offer. 

Fair bit of palate sweetness - sure to be a crowd pleaser in many camps. In many respects it’s a revert to how I was introduced to McLaren Vale Grenache. 

Shows a bit of tannin on the finish, drying. Spice, a little chocolate round the picture out. 89 

Tasted on: Friday 29th April
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://darenberg.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Ballabourneen Wines Pinot/Gamay 2015

A Pinot Noir/ Gamay blend from the Hunter Valley, unsure of the cepage. Somewhat surprised to see the alcohol recorded at 15%.

Opens with cherry, a little wild strawberry. Squarely medium bodied, a tasty little juice bomb; black cherry, a little savoury edge - earth, fine tannin. Not the most complex wine, not intending to be. 

Takes a little chill happily. Chilled this consumer. 89


Tasted on: Saturday 9th April: Root day
Source: Cellar Door
Price: $30
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.ballabourneen.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Chaffey Bros Wine Co Düfte Punkt White Blend 2015

Meaning the aromatic point - and boy does this beast live up to its, albeit Germanic, name.

A blend of Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Kerner - 41/38/21 respectively: musky, lychee, further tropical elements - aromatic complexity. 

Textural, nice acid line, dry and phenolic - there's a lot going on, and yet it's balanced and in synch. Has presence in the mouth, substantial volume, and the grip just creates a memory long present after the wine has slid down the throat. 93  

Tasted on: Saturday 9th April: Root day
Source: Cellar Door/Taste Eden Valley
Price: $24
Alcohol: 12.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.chaffeybroswine.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Friday, 13 May 2016

Pigs in the House Organic Shiraz 2014

Plum, a little pepper - leading spice - sweeter edges.

Well balanced wine with inherent savoury elements of earth, pepper against natural fruit sweetness. A little bitter tea tannin on the back palate. Decent wine. 90 

Tasted on: Thursday 7th April: a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.piginthehouse.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Thursday, 12 May 2016

S.C.Pannell Arido Rosé 2015

Blend of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Pinot Meunière (44/36/20 respectively).

Strawberry, rose, a little of the boiled lolly; its fresh, fragrant and opens up nicely with little floral waft. 

Dry, savoury, crisp - crunchy acids that reach into the corners of the palate; phenolics here add depth, complexity, carry. Drink with gusto, eat what you like and with whomever you chose. 92

Tasted on: Friday 8th April: Leaf to Fruit
Source: Cellar Door Purchase
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://pannell.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

St Hallett Old Vine Grenache 2015

Grenache in 2015 is looking superb, coupled with a defter hand on the variety and I'm a very excited blogger. Shows savoury intent - via some partial whole bunch (% unknown) - over juicy, Jubey red fruit. 

Lighter end of medium: spice, a suggestion of spritz that gives life, vitality; manages to pull of good presence of fruit, balanced against savoury character - soft - very fine - tannins. 


A little darkness against the light - Barossa rethought. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 7th April: fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.sthallett.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Bremerton Racy Rosé 2015

Hints of watermelon over strawberry, toffee apple, boiled lolly. 

Has a bit of zest and zing on the front palate - a line that coarses across, interspersed with some green herbal bitterness. 

I can't quite work it out - certainly offers refreshment, but not quite hitting the mark for me. 86 

Tasted on: Thursday 7th April: fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $17
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Bremerton Special Release Fiano 2015

Floral, stonefruit and kernels (you do smell them, don't you?).

Peach, honeyed edge, quite full flavoured, a little gingery spice that lingers long on the finish. Good acidic punch. 

Really digging this - needs to be served at the right temp mind. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 7th April: fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2011

Chocolate oak over savoury cedar, bay, with bilberry and squishy black fruit; it's intoxicating, seductive, alluring. 

Fuller of body, taking the wine into your mouth is a seductive experience, it has good presence, fine tannins and a faintly bitter carry of flavour. Tobacco, a bit of spice - a wonderful mix of savoury and quality black fruit. 94/5

Tasted on: Wednesday 6th April: Flower to Leaf
Source: Sample
Price: $70
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.voyagerestate.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

St Hallet Eden Valley Riesling 2015

Smells sweet on opening, a little syrupy, like feint rose water syrup; then classic lemon and lime classic kicks in, flowing onto the palate

The palate showing hallmark citrus hints, a chalky mid palate, of reasonable length. 89 

Tasted on: Wednesday 6th April: Flower to Leaf
Source: Sample
Price: $19.95
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.sthallett.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Friday, 6 May 2016

Millon Estate 'The Roots' 26 Riesling 2014

New label for me, and an interesting release strategy to have a 2014 Riesling as current release. Spot on Eden Valley Riesling mind: Bickfords lime, lemon, lemon butter; starting to take on some hints of development.

Tangy citrus, more orange - almost like an orange cordial - there's more lime, stonefruit hints.

There's a spreading textural presence, pinch of acidity all backed up on a good length. 91/2

Tasted on: Wednesday 6th April: Flower to Leaf
Source: Sample
Price: $19.95
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.millonwines.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Sassy Wines 'The Ivor' Arneis 2015

Citrus, peel, pear - a delicate aromatic expression. Initial hints of fruit give way to a dry, savoury palate long on phenolic structure.  



Flinty acid - good length. Great savoury appeal initially - but it loses its way for me rather quickly, a single glass proposition. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 3rd April: Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.sassywines.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Bremerton Wines Cellar Reserve Vermentino 2015

Spot on aromatics: fresh garden peas, white florals, chalky, a little sea spray.

Lacks on the palate, almost like flavour has been sacrificed for some texture. A little sourness, tart, bit of acid to punch home the finish. 89 

Tasted on: Sunday 3rd April: Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Monday, 2 May 2016

Montalto Estate Pennon Hill Shiraz 2014

Challenging vintage on the Peninsula, you wouldn't know it based on these releases from Montalto Estate. Of course challenging barely tells the story, quality exceptional but volumes low. Get in while you can.

Plums, mulberry - definitely on the plump and juicier side. 

Medium bodied, soft and round across the palate; chewy, powder-fine tannin. Plum and cherry form the core of the middle. Decent length - persistent. 91 

Tasted on: Friday 1st April: Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 13.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://montalto.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

The Lane Block 5 Shiraz 2014

Cherry, a little plum, exhibiting the cool with a little bacon fat; florals and a sprinkling of white pepper complete the picture.  

Medium bodied elegance personified, graphite tannin, spice. Tannin deserves a greater mention: in having tasted this over a couple of vintages it's the hallmark of the wine.  

Good length, carry of flavour. 92

Tasted on: Friday 1st April: Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.thelane.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Sunday, 1 May 2016

WayWood Monastrell 2014

Somewhat unusual tasting note in that it is somewhat of a hybrid formed from two separate tasting notes, so same wine from two different bottles tasted about a month apart. 

The rationale for this approach is partly that I simply could, and partly that I possibly enjoyed the first bottle a little too much. I'm nothing if not honest.

Meaty, a little funk, reductive nature of the beast in question; with time, air and it's familiar spiced plum and black fruit. Does come across as somewhat sullen surly; varietal some might say.

Elegant, soft intro - spice, powdery tannins. Acid, unusual, early picking one expects; a little dusting of dark cocoa; spice segueing to a little blue fruit, lavender/purple florals. 

Decent finish, gentle rub of tannin, good length of fruit carrying the line. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 31st March: Fruit day; Thursday 28th April: a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.waywoodwines.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy Montepulciano 2014

Very purple smelling, violets and blue/black fruit mix - a handful of blackberries crushed in the hand, juice dribbling down the wrist; darker aromatics lie beneath: a little resinous edge, sweet accents.

Light and lively, brisk acidity - lends energy, carries the plum and black cherry long to the finish. Tannin is fine grained, adding an extra dimension. 92


Tasted on: Thursday 24th March: a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.winesbygeoffhardy.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac