An Australian Wine Blog

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

David O'Dea Preservative Free Organic Shiraz 2016


The bottle reminds me that I need to book an eye test.

Quite raw, primary, the purity of fruit singing here. Black fruit, mulberry and plummy hints

A Wine of contrast: at once both substantive and chewy, yet with an incredible lightness to it. This wine resonates, suggestive of having been raised on volcanic soils, deft hands applied in its upbringing. 


No, it's not classically structured, but it's contemporary in its light and lithe, here and now manner. 90 

Tasted on: Saturday 26th November, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap

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Deviation Road Altair Brut Rosé NV

It could well be said that Kate Laurie has bubbles coursing through her veins, having - at the tender age of 19 - decided that winemaking was to be her chosen passion and promptly headed off to study at the Lycée Viticole d’Avize in Champagne.

This cracking fizz comprised of Chardonnay and Pinot Npir speaks clearly of its constituent parts: strawberry, raspberry, all round summer berry aromatic intro. 

Lively, energetic on entry; sprightly in glass, a good persistent bead. Supple, silken, has a good weight and elegant presence; red apple skins, a little spice in the mix. 

Damn good length 92 

Tasted on: Saturday 26th November, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.deviationroad.com/

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Monday, 28 November 2016

Pig in the House Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Organic Sauvignon Blanc from Cowra (better known as the site of a PoW camp in WWII, from which there was a mass breakout - a little bit of Aussie military history for you there) in New South Wales.

There's a stand of lantana at the local markets i attend of a Sunday, this wine is somehwat redolent of that. Backed up with a little lime and nettle, it's entirely displeasing.

The palate carries capsicum, herb and a little green tomato. A touch of back palate bitterness is a nice counter to sharp acidity. Works well, balanced. 89

Tasted on: Saturday 26th November
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.piginthehouse.com.au/

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Mount Avoca Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Had me yearning for that classic entree: melon and prosciutto, a particularly association if I do say so. There's a drizzle of honey in the mix too.

That doesn't quite carry through to the palate, it is fresh and racy with a little lime and lychee. 87

Tasted on: Saturday 26th November
Source: Sample
Price: $22.95
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://mountavoca.com/

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Wirra Wirra Hiding Champion Sauvignon Blanc 2016

The Adelaide Hills and Sauvignon Blanc are a winning combination - typically offering a up a grassy, pungent manifestation of the variety. 

In the right hands it works well and The Hiding Champion is typically a solid offering. There's hints of raspberry leaf and passionfruit, a particularly pleasing aromatic combination.

Nice rounded mouthfeel, it sits well on the palate, acid is nicely balance and there's a supportive phenolic (mouthfeel) component that adds to the package. Lemongrass, lemon, zesty. Could happily go here. 92

Tasted on: Saturday 26th November
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.wirrawirra.com

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Mount Avoca Moates Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Fairly neutral once you pop the old olfactory organ in there (not to be confused with the organ that the Queensland MP popped into his Cabernet Sauvignon). 

A touch Riesling-esque: lime, hints of latent tropical fruit. Clean, crisp, a little jarring acidity on the back palate. Touch too bitter for my liking. 86

Tasted on: Saturday 26th November
Source: Sample
Price: $15.95
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://mountavoca.com/

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Bremerton Betty & Lu Sauvignon Blanc 2016

"A wine who’s name is quite simply derived from the nicknames we (Rebecca and Lucy Willson) have always called each other!"

If I were a winemaker, I could think of many other varieties that I would put my name too!

That said, it's playful, fresh and zesty - I cannot comment whether that is as one may find the Willson Sisters, but fair do's. Yes it has the cut grass, a little bitter lemon and a freshening acidity - without being too jarring. Picked judiciously one would suggest - fair play. 89

Tasted on: Saturday 26th November
Source: Sample
Price: $17
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay 2015

Stonefruit, a suggestion of wheat, cashew and bready hints - subtlety, not exactly singing aromatically for me.

Offers much more in the palate where the stonefruit is prominent also. Grapefruit acidity spikes up toward the back end, Offering up a volley that the spice and cashew take gleefully. 


Decent length, creamy, a little vanilla and spice. Balanced. 90 

Tasted on: Sunday 4th September, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $31.50
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.wirrawirra.com

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Pipers Brook 9th Island Chardonnay 2014

Lemon cream, slight sour/saline edge to proceedings. Rounded entry, segues to tangy citrus acidity, even a little green apple. 


Sharpness as its focal point and conclusion, you've got to understand/enjoy that to get on here. 87 

Tasted on: Sunday 4th September, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $22.50
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://kreglingerwineestates.com/

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Grande Vignes 100% Groslot Vin de France 2015

"Groslot" is a play on the grape variety known officially as  Grolleau Noir. Produced by the Vaillant family  (a brother and Sister team), it's lo-fi in production without any SO2 added. 

This was just one fantastic example of a natural wine that could be found in a cracking booze store in the US for not very much dollar. Oh the envy.

A little meat and crushed Berry funk - perhaps a suggestion of toilet block (trust me). Light on the nose really, 

Light, lithe supple - silky threaded as it moves across the palate. The merest suggestion of tannin implies a very light hand. 


Good acidity gives carriage. Fun to drink and at 11% drink you can. 89 

Tasted on: Monday 14th November
Source: Retail (Chambers St Wines)
Price: $13.99 (US$)
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Cork
Website: Available in Aus through http://www.livingwines.com.au/

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Friday, 25 November 2016

Rock of Wisdom Shiraz Viognier 2014

Dark, leathery, meaty and clove spice - it's the broodiest of the three aromatically, and it doesn't disappoint. 

But like its portfolio brethren its light, juicy - a little sweeter mind. A little stonefruit sweetness gives an indication as to the Viognier's presence. 


Good length and a little savoury twist - choc bullets - on the back end just adds to the proposition. What an impressive trio of wines. A label to keep an eye on. 93 

Tasted on: Monday 29th August, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.rockofwisdom.com.au

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Gartelmann 'Stephanie' Orange Pinot Gris 2016

Pear sorbet, lime zest, lemongrass; fresh and freshening - like a summer slushie.

Pear drops, a semblance of texture, palate presence - but fundamentally clean and linear. Straddles a Gris/gio line, a little fruit presence. 


Little to excite, nothing to reject. 87 

Tasted on: Monday 29th August, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13.1%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.gartelmann.com.au

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Cush & Cush Heathcote Vermentino 2016

Ultra-fresh, fragrant - fresh herbs (Rosemary, thyme), a little citrus perhaps, over dry stones. 

Soft, elegant - a little stonefruit, with a drying undertow, zestiness and phenolics for added appeal. Pretty complete package, balanced and a long drying finish that effortlessly lingers. 

Concludes a trio of stunning debut releases from Cush & Cush (see also Verdelho and Grenache/Mataro).  91

Tasted on: Sunday 28th August, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cushandcush.com/

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Alkoomi Black Label Riesling 2016

Lime, sour citrus, Granny Smith Apple acidity, has the jowel standing to attention and snapping a crisp salute as the wine enters the mouth. Good, even spread of texture - much more than a line or length merchant. 


Fabulous length, exquisite purity of flavour, more than a little GnT freshness and minerality. Prima! This is superb Riesling 94 

Tasted on: Monday 29th August, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 11.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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Alkoomi White Label Riesling 2016

Lemons and Limes, florals - frangipani, attractive aromatic proposition. 

Clean, light citrus, lacks the intensity that the nose suggests. A clean wash otherwise.  


Reasonable length, but somewhat like a dilute cordial. 87 

Tasted on: Tuesday 30th August, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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Hentley Farm Eden Valley Riesling 2016

Ooooh crisp green apple, blossom, lemongrass and lime. It's fresh and exactly what you want from a youthful, pristine Riesling. 

Crunchy, zesty, razor like acidity - cut, thrust, jab as it probes every crevice of the palate. Has some powdery texture, talc-like. Bickford's lime cordial, summer in a glass. 92

Tasted on: Friday 26th August, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $21.5
Alcohol: 11.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.hentleyfarm.com.au

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

St Hugo Barossa Shiraz 2013

Black fruit swaddled in oak: cassis, mulberry - this reeks of old school Barossa. 

Thick, chewy presence as it enters the mouth; slick, glycerol, oak, black fruit, licorice and clove. Tannin slowly reveal themselves once the wash of oak clad fruit has passed. 


You've got to like this sort of thing, and if you do you won't be disappointed. Just the job for a Friday long lunch and an old school steak. Medium rare. 93 

Tasted on: Tuesday 23rd August, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 14.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.sthugo.com/

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Zonte's Footstep Scarlet Ladybird Rosé 2016

Red berry, boiled lolly, very cranberry-esque in how it presents itself. Suggestive of a little higher seasoning

Berry driven entry, quite a substantive wine, full volume, fair bit of residual sweetness balanced against tart, lemony acid. 


Might smash alright on a warm Summer's day. 87 

Tasted on: Tuesday 23rd August, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.zontesfootstep.com.au/

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Lerida Estate Cullerin Pinot Noir 2014

Faint whiffs of citrus, cinnamon, red fruit crumble.

Smooth, soft entry - lacks the finesse of good Pinot, manifesting itself as a somewhat generic, dry red. 


There's reasonable spice riven length here, lacks overall. 87 

Tasted on:Monday 22nd August, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.leridaestate.com.au/

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Monday, 21 November 2016

Cush & Cush Grenache Mataro 2016

Bright, vibrant, berry driven goodness. Stylistically right up my alley, is it classically good or great? No. Is it the sort of wine that's perfect for quaffing with gay abandon? Abso-ding-dong-lutely. 

Medium-bodied, something pure, unadulterated - like drinking a still fermenting wine. Fresh, vibrant - a recurring theme - juicy, a hint of minerality, structure and spice. 

Black fruit, hint of licorice, spice - happy days and very happy drinking. 89  

Tasted on: Thursday 25th August, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cushandcush.com/

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Montalto Pennon Hill Chardonnay 2015

Cracking aromatics: a little funkiness interspersed with stonefruit, florals and a little citrus.

Sees a small portion of new oak, and that sensitive input is still noted, offering a suggestion of cream and toast that lingers long through the finish. 

Avoids both the 'skinniness' that afflicts many Chardonnay in the wrong hands, and the over-wrought and flabby. Assured hands from Simon Black and team. Again. 92 

Tasted on: Thursday 18th August, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: montalto.com.au

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Robert Stein Semillon 2015

Hints of cut Apple, a little cut grass and citrus. Tight, offers little. 

Citrus and acid. As a wine in glass it doesn't offer too much, yet it smacked a spicy coconut milk poached fish out of the park. 

That acid will see it long lived. Does it have enough fruit to carry with it? 87+ 

Tasted on: Wednesday 17th August, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.robertstein.com.au/

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Torzi Matthews Vigna Cantina Sangiovese 2014

Black cherry, suggestion of oak, coffee, a little mint; slick, glossy representation. 

Fair same on the palate, fruit sweetness, savoury hints, pitch of acid. It's medium bodied, fairly rounded, a little grainy tannin. 


Finishes ok - more about fruit than savoury. 89 

Tasted on: Sunday 21st August, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.torzimatthews.com.au/

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Mount Avoca Limited Release Pinot Grigio 2015

A visually appealing copper tinged wine on pour, bookended with hints of spice and stonefruit kernel that give the wine drive and length, lingering long on the finish. 

The sensory feast doesn't stop with the visuals: stonefruit, segueing to a delicate suggestion of citrus rind and tropical edges. Interesting palate, an initial intro of soft stonefruit makes way for cut marmalade, bolstered by the thrust of acid that carries the wine through the mid palate. A Gris I enjoyed. 91 

Tasted on: Wednesday 17th August, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $28.95
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://mountavoca.com/

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Cape Jaffa 'Samphire' Skin Contact White 2015

A blend of Chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer, Viognier that spent six months on skins with a further six months in barrel. It's a textural monster, full, lavish. Dry, chalky tannin, a little bitterness on the back palate, white pepper. 

It's not the strongest aromatically: there's a suggestion of stonefruit in the mix, particularly some dried apricot. A light squeeze of lemon. 

Hard to rate. 89 

Tasted on: Tuesday 16th August
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.capejaffawines.com.au

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Saturday, 19 November 2016

Montalto Estate Chardonnay 2015

Stonefruit, a liberal sprinkling of toasted spice - that carries through to the palate, with a delicate lemon essence. It's powdery, chalky form clings to your cheeks - before a resurgence of citrus and stonefruit. 

At times lean, a quickening of pace before it develops further toward the back palate. Impressive. 92 

Tasted on: Saturday 13th August, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 13.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://montalto.com.au/

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Donkey & Goat Grenache Noir 2015

Donkey and Goat is Jared and Tracey Brandt, a couple who ply their trade from that hotbed of social activism, Berkeley. Making their wines in what could be considered a 'natural' manner, and in their own words: "a term that covers both the vineyard and the cellar. That is what distinguishes natural wine– the extension of natural farming philosophies that drive the practices for sustainable, organic and biodynamic farming into the cellar". The brand gets its name from two animals prominent during time spent learning their craft in France with Eric Texier.

This Grenache Noir is a blend from the Fenaughty, Lightner and Girard vineyards off loamy soils in the Sierra Foothills, specifically the El Dorado AVA (American Vitucltural Area).

Opening well, it exhibits a touch of black fruit, loose leaf tea, spice. 

The palate is where the fun happens: vibrant, juicy, energetic. Light, life, it draws you in with its acidic profile, light tannin that coats the mouth. Touch of Stonefruit on the finish: soft, delicate, generosity in spades. A great intro to this powerhouse duo. 91 

Tasted on: Sunday 6th November

Source: Retail, K&L Wines
Price: $24.99 (US$)
Alcohol: 13.4%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://www.donkeyandgoat.com/

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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Bremerton Special Release Vermentino 2016

Lemon, with a husky note, melon, sea-spray, chalky. 

Dilute citrus, fresh, green snow pea and chalk. Doesn't feel quite as accomplished as in prior years. 88 

Tasted on: Thursday 13th October, a Flower Day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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Saturday, 5 November 2016

Toolangi Yarra Valley Rosé 2016

Pretty serious Rosé here from the Toolangi crew. Made from Syrah, 300 dozen made, crafted at Dominique Portet.

Well Summer appeared to have started in Brisbane - so a Rosé was the perfect antidote to a sultry day. 

Pours a gorgeous coppery hue - veering to a suggestion of onion skin - this was an ideal kick-starter. Lurid pink nectar this ain't. Floral hints, strawberry, the merest suggestion of creaminess. 

A freshness about the palate enlivens. Zippy acidity, suggestion of spice, little lemon tang. Refreshment plus. 90


Tasted on: Tuesday 1st November, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.toolangi.com/

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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Yelland & Papps Pinot Blanc 2016

From memory, a first for Y&P, a varietal Pinot Blanc. They've used the grape previously, as a blend with Gris (previous tastings). CORRECTION: this includes 19% Pinot Gris. 

Ooooh hello. Touches of marzipan/almond paste, bananay esters, under-ripe apple, fleshy tropical touches. 

Possesses a fullness, a fleshy, nashi pear like texture, positively rolls around the tongue, not quite chewy but a getting there semblance to it. Golden delicious apple veering towards a little tinned pineapple - more the syrup I'd suggest. 


Gorgeous Wine. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 27th October, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13.1%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Segura Viudas Reserva Cava NV

I'm sure plenty of you will be tucking into the fizz as this gets published!

A Reserva Cava, made in the methode traditionelle, from the Penedes region just outside Barcelona. A blend of 50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada and 15% Xarel-lo.


Delicate. Bread dough, citrus, quince. Stonefruit hints. Quickly loses a decent bead/mousse of any note.

Stone, quartz, citrus. Gentle minerality tickling across the back palate. Goes alright, not outstanding. Though I would suggest you'd be hard pushed to find something of this standard for the price. 88 

Tasted on: Sunday 30th October, a Root to Flower day

Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.seguraviudas.es/en

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Murray Street Vineyards Rosé 2016

Plenty of red fruit on offer here: strawberry, raspberry, a little cherry essence. You get the feel of the wine on aromatics alone. Yes, there’s a suggestion of sweetness on offer, more fruit based.

Fruit in abundance on the palate, some drying powdery tannin that bolster the palate profile and give it greater length and presence. Good balance of fruit presence, palate texture and a little sweetness. 89 

Tasted on: Thursday 13th October, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.murraystreet.com.au/

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