An Australian Wine Blog

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Yelland & Papps Vin de Soif 2016

A blend of Grenache/ Mataro/ Carignan on this one.
Soif by name,
Soif by nature

A wee touch of the lift here, sitting over the Grenache that leads the charge on this year's 'Soif'. Macerated strawberry, herbal twists and tinges and perhaps a little cream of tomato soup (oddly).

Good level of spice on the palate, gives more of a savoury intent over the inherent fruit that sits beneath. Nice play of tannin, the elements combining together to more than deliver on the name. There's a deft touch that the Y&P crew exhibit, and this wine is no exception. 91

Tasted on: Tuesday 5th September
Source: Sample
Price: $
Alcohol: 13.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

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BK Wines Pet' Nat' Chardonnay 2017

It's fresh, lemon balm over a bready, yeasty character. Not the strongest aromatic game.

But the fun happens on the palate. It's a lively, big bubbled mouthful of fun - to me therein lies the charm of the Pet Nat style. It enlivens, encourages and has you yearning for more. And more is what you find yourself doing. Drinking that is. 

Straightforward appeal, inherent drinkability. 90 

Tasted on: Sunday 10th September, a Fruit day
Source: Retail, Craft
Price: $25
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: Crown Seal
Website: http://bkwines.com.au/

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

De Bortoli Windy Peak Pinot Noir 2017

For a wine that tops out at sub-$15 (if you want, this can be picked up for $11 at Liquorland) this smells like reasonable Pinot. Carries a little meat, briar, seasoning. Not particularly, or expressly, aromatic - yet certainly varietal. 

Squarely medium of body, it enters the palate well and conveys a semblance of fruit: think cherry in the main. The gentlest rub of tannin to provide some structure. 

The De Bortoli team has thrown the winemaking book at this, including cold maceration prior to fermentation, inclusion of whole bunches and warm fermentation to produce a decent example of the variety. 

Topping out at $15 is impressive. 89 

Tasted on: Sunday 10th September, a Fruit day
Source: Retail, Ashgrove Wine Room
Price: $15
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: debortoli.com.au

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Tim Adams Riesling 2017

Classic Clare aromatics: lime, apple blossom, bath salt lift. It's vibrant, energetic if you will.

Zippy, zesty, lively acid with a little crunch and phenolic grip. Clare chalky profile, exquisite freshness to boot. 

Great line and length and exquisite freshness. 91 was almost tempted to go a nudge higher.  

Tasted on: Monday 11th September, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.timadamswines.com.au

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Monday, 11 September 2017

Terre à Terre Cabernet Franc 2015

Good to see more varietal Cab Franc on the market. Typically a pretty thing, light and airy. Here bright, crunchy and pippy blackcurrant, even a little blueberry. It's very evocative in the blue spectrum. 

Wickedly medium bodied. Lovely crunchy tannin and a slick of acidity whipping through the wine. Bright, juicy, straddling fruit and savoury with briar and earthen notes. Good length. 93 

Tasted on: Sunday 3rd September, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au

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d'Arenberg The Dry Dam Riesling 2017

Sub-11% Riesling with fruit sourced from across McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills. Bath salt aromatics with hints of citrus. Sure tantalises the nasal cavity.

Palate is cleansing, a mineral tickle on entry. Profile is somewhat broader, use of a bit of residual sugar to balance against natural acidity, both from the variety and earlier picking.

Fairly lean profile, quite simple in flavour profile but certainly does what you need from a Riesling. 88 

Tasted on: Sunday 3rd September, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 10.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: darenberg.com.au

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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Mr Mick Rosé 2017

Gentle berry intro, strawberry, cranberry and a little muskiness thrown in for good measure. It's a dusky pink in glass too, with something akin to a metallic hue.

The palate is soft and sensuous, the faintest of chalky pucker giving some body. Clean and dry for sure, it carries a good line of fruit through the finish - good wine. 89  

Tasted on: Tuesday 5th September
Source: Sample
Price: $17
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://mrmick.com.au

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Out of Step Wine Co CatBird 2017

I wasn't entirely sure what this was prior to opening. A good approach, take no pre-conceived ideas with you. Pouring with a slight turbidity, the winemaker's hand evident before you've taken a sip. On approach, the variety itself shows itself: unequivocally Sauvignon Blanc. 

"Sauvignon blanc fermented as whole bunches, pressed to old oak (2/3 after five days of fermentation, 1/3 after ten days) & gravity bottled under cork via hand without fining, filtration or sulphur dioxide".

It carries more of the grassy, herbal, even nettle and green tea aromas. Citrussy to boot, lemon balm - without waxing lyrical about the excess of flavoids within, it is a complex offering. Textural with a prick of acid, running crunchy, dry and long. Lots going on. And more with each sip. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 6th September, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: DIAM
Website: http://www.outofstepwineco.com/

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Thursday, 7 September 2017

Rymill The Yearling Shiraz 2016

Great nose here, carries all that lovely black fruit - think of plum, blackcurrant with a sprinkle of seasoning. There's almost a fudgey aspect to proceedings. One that invites. 

The black fruit is present on the palate - not to the same degree as yet aromatics suggest. Doesn't place a foot wrong, just doesn't walk with the same conviction of better quality examples. It's a little thin, and short on length. 

Fifteen bucks for a Coonawarra Shiraz that, for this scribe, carries itself with more than enough conviction when paired with some home-cooked lamb meatballs with pasta. 88 

Tasted on: Thursday 25th May, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 14.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.rymill.com.au/

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d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2016

Apricots sing clear on this one. It's a pretty thing, that stonefruit in tandem with florals offering an attractive intro. 

Sadly the palate comes across a little odd, missing definition and shape, in fact comes across initially as quite sweet followed by a dryness. The Hermit Crab is clearly looking for a new home on this outing.

Back palate bitterness is the lasting memory. Scuttle back into your shell on this occasion. 85 

Tasted on: Saturday 27th May, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 13.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: darenberg.com.au

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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Deakin Estate Shiraz 2016

Fruit drawn from the broader 'Victoria' regional designation.

You really cannot go wrong here for ten bucks. Berries on display that naturally flow onto the palate. It's smooth, rounded, even a little plumpness. Vanilla in the mix - at the price you can't be asking for that to be truly oak barrel derived. 

Who cares? At its price point or more than delivers and will have the dollar watching consumer more than merry. 89 

Tasted on: Thursday 18th May, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $10
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.deakinestate.com.au/

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Seville Estate Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2016

I'm pretty rubbish at remembering which melon is which, especially as they have different names betwixt the UK and Aus. All of which is somewhat of a contrived way of saying this smells of melon. Melon with a lemon barley overlaid. Lends it an incredible freshness, a springlike air. 

There's more of the same on the palate, with the addition of some subtle oak toast and spice derived from the same. Gentle phenolic tug across the mid-back palate, textural waves through the final third.  

Good line of acidity brings the wine together, an excellent wine of poise and delightful balance. 92 

Tasted on: Sunday 28th May, a Flower Day
Source: Cellar Door
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.sevilleestate.com.au/

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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Ballycroft Small Berry Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

1972 plantings; just over a tonne harvested (1082kg); pumped over four ties a day, basket pressed; 36m in shaved out French oak.

Hefty alcohol on this one Joe! Smells like turbo-charged Cabernet, but Cabernet it is nonetheless. Carries the cedar and bay with doughy hints from the time spent out in the shaved out oak.

It’s oaky, there are hints of fruit peeking through, but oak leaves a big impression. That and the resinous hints, touches of aniseed. That all said, it’s smooth as it’s slides across the palate. It’s initial presentation is quite short, a burst that then gently ebbs away. 

There’s no doubting it, this is a wine of heft. But somehow Joe has crafted something quite smooth out of a Cabernet clocking in at a high-octane 16.2% 90 

Tasted on: Sunday 14th May, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $33
Alcohol: 16.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.ballycroft.com/

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Heggies Vineyard >500m Chardonnay 2016

Made by Teresa Heuzenroeder, the winemaker of one of my favourite Yalumba Whites, the FDW Chardonnay. Captures the imagination with its mix of stonefruit and quince framed up with some nougaty oak. Fair tickles the nostrils

Stonefruit freshness with something approaching a limey tang across the mid-back palate really enlivens the senses. A guidewire of acidity snaps things back into focus. Finishes on this lemon barley citrus vibe. Fresh and about you style of cool clime Chardy. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 9th June, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.heggiesvineyard.com

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Monday, 4 September 2017

d'Arenberg Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

The icon on song.

The richness: the cedar and bay hints; the fruit: all blackcurrant and a little mulberry; it’s varietal and also offers up chocolatey elements bound up with that fruit.

Immediately noticeable is the tannin, the grain is fine and also substantial, it coats the mouth and maintains a presence. Dark fruit almost seems like an after thought, once that tannin has actually receded: it’s a core of dark fruit, added to which is a little hint of aniseed. 

Towards the back palate is a burst of acid, a brightness amongst the darkness of fruit and the depth and presence of tannin. This is an excellent release. 95 

Tasted on: Sunday 14th May, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 14.1%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: darenberg.com.au

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Mitchell Watervale Riesling 2016

Classic Clare citrus derived nose: plenty of lime, just a bit of oxidisation on it (the lime, not the wine). 

What marks this out, for me, is more than just that classical citrus. Textural hints and twists: powder-fine chalk and flinty notes give this a mineral-charged body. Acid is as you would expect in the variety.

Length is generous, with a clip of apple-like acidity bringing up the rear. This is good stuff. 93 

Tasted on: Tuesday 22nd August, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.mitchellwines.com/

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Sunday, 3 September 2017

Ekhidna McLaren Vale Rosé 2016

Ekhidna (the She-Viper in Mythology) is a McLaren Vale based brand, the work of winemaker Matt Rechner. Pretty solid in the off-trade and with a growing presence in the on within casual and bistro dining. This was my first experience of their wines.

Shiraz based saignee method Rosé, pours a light red - a contrast to the vogue for pale pink. Light Berry aromas, a little macerated strawberry in there. 

Berries and a little spice. Suggestion of sugar plum. A light creaminess gives a little textural nuance. Pretty straight down the line, no-nonsense style. Primarily about the fruit with a pleasant feel. 88  

Tasted on: Sunday 27th August, a Flower day
Source: Retail
Price: $20
Alcohol: TBA
Closure: Screwcap
Website: ekhidnawines.com.au

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d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2015

Always excellent value in the d'Arenberg 'Originals' range for my mind. Generally good for a stretch in the cellar too. Good going and 2015 seemingly no exception.

Unequivocally McLaren Vale Shiraz. Has a bit of the earth, leather and briar about it. Sweeter accents, a core of black fruit.

Carries it's calling card of McLaren Vale chocolate, again sweeter fruit driven elements add to the wine and deliver a finish of satisfying length.

Tasted on: Saturday 2nd September, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: darenberg.com.au

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Friday, 1 September 2017

Tapanappa Eden Valley Riesling 2016

The 2015 of this wine fair blew me away, and so it was with a mix of good fortune and some excellent navigation from myself that I managed to find myself back at Tapanappa's Cellar Door in early 2017.

For Eden Valley Riesling it speaks more of florals with just a suggestion of golden delicious apple and beurre bosc pear. 

The palate strikes a lovely balance of crisp front palate acid with a delicious width and textural phenolic dryness. The sensation of a little grip lends a delightful length to the wine, unforced and yet seemingly unyielding. 

It has a small of amount of stem inclusion, but not as whole bunches. This is yet again an excellent wine. Available ex-cellar door and website only.93 

Tasted on: Saturday 26th August, a Root to Flower day
Source: Cellar Door Purchase
Price: $29
Alcohol: 12.5% 
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://tapanappa.com.au

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Hither & Yon Rosé 2017

1st September is release day for this offering. Pouring a very pale pink, just kissed with a hint of colour.

Musky hints give lie to what's within. You could have me fooled into thinking this has a touch of Gewurz, the muskiness bordering on that grape. Except here Muscat (56%) has been used to good effect with unusual stable mate Carignan (44%)

An initial hit of sweetness, lures and leads, minerally and dry. This will be sure to arrest a thirst on a warm summer's day. 


Berries, a bit of Turkish Delight, spice to tickle and a chalky touch that offers something more than your average fruit-bomb. Another great follow-up by the H&Y crew. 92 

Tasted on: Sunday 20th August, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hitherandyon.com.au/

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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Rusden Driftsand GSM 2015

Rusden's Driftsand is generally well stocked in the independent off-trade. To my mind, that you can get a wine of this quality, with consistent character for around the $20 mark is testament to Cristian Canute's trade.

Hints of jube, erring on the side of raspberry mousse. Red fruited no doubt, sweet-spiced top notes, flecks of dill. Exotic, beautifully perfumed.

Quintissentially Rusden - the lightness, approachability, almost sponge like texture. Initially simply fruited, it actually grows in stature in the mouth. Fruit gives way to spice, a suggestion of mocha and milk chocolate. Cocoa fine tannin. Lots going on. Much to like and enjoy here. 91 

Tasted on: Friday 12th May, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: TBA
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.rusdenwines.com.au/

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d'Arenberg The Galvo Garage 2013

A blend of Cabernet (66%),  Petit Verdot (19%) and Merlot (15%).

Touch reductive, rubbery pong sitting in front of savoury driven Cabernet. Hints of cedar give an indication of what lies beneath.  

Fairly slick, smooth, experience on entry; minty, floral, ultra-brite fruit. I'm really not sure what it's trying to be, feels in part brisk, nervy and yes a little disjointed. It's not unpleasant, more intriguing, both in the pleasure one derives from it and the prospect of what it may settle into. 89 

Tasted on: Thursday 11th May, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 14.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: darenberg.com.au

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Bremerton Bâttonage Chardonnay 2015

Has the aromas of the worked Chardonnay: creamy, cashew, almost clarified butter.


Creamy, figgy hints in the mix - presence of both fruit, mineral edges and hint of acid. Solid, well worked. 90
 
Tasted on: Sunday 13th August, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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Montalto Estate Pennon Hill Chardonnay 2016

The Pennon Hill range within the Montalto portfolio are the more approachable, here and now wines. Here stonefruit with some residual oak spice framing things up sets the tone early. Just a hint of struck match complexity in the mix too. 


It really just hits a spot: delightful balance of fruit, a minerally edge hardens the palate away from a softer stance. Drive and length, propel the wine and, somewhat surprisingly a citrus hit delivers more. 92

Tasted on: Thursday 17th August, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $
Alcohol: 13.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://montalto.com.au

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Ferngrove The King Malbec 2015

It was something of a cheats 'cassoulet' round our way that had me reaching for this. The South Central area of WA may be some distance from France's South-West, but Malbec is not drawing too long a bow between the two. 

Leads with a dusky, dusty intro. The faintest hints of Violet meet black fruit and the savoury, briary remnants. Savoury at its core, sweet accents that add up to the profile. 

Soft, rounded, sitting nicely at the heart of the palate, drawing you in. It's quite creamy in how it resolves in the mouth and the juice factor is a distinct draw. The finish could be longer, but - regardless - this is good drinking experience. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 18th August, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.ferngrove.com.au

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Mitchell Harris Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Sourced from the Peerick Vineyard, Moonambel, Pyrenees. Spends 15m French Oak (20% new) and sees 10% whole bunch inclusion.

Delightfully almost lighter-than-medium Cabernet on offer here. Soft, inviting, more in the fruit spectrum than the inherently savoury - yet not lacking from that which Cabernet  imparts. 

Blackcurrant pastille the over-riding impression, a little vanilla in the mix from 20% new oak - and 15 months maturation time. Great length to boot, transparent and downright approachable. 93 

Tasted on: Saturday 19th August, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://mitchellharris.com.au

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Monday, 28 August 2017

Montalto Estate Pennon Hill Shiraz 2016

Whilst it may lead with savoury influences - I initially suspected a minor whole bunch inclusion (there isn't, the fruit is hand harvested and de-stemmed into 2T open fermenters - you ultimately cannot escape the quality of the fruit on offer. 

There are hints of meat, spice and a little oak. Medium bodied, it sits beautifully, easing its way across the palate. A little freshening acid, tight-grained tannin, its pace quickens as it effortlessly slips down. 

Silken slip of a thing, not lacking in substance either. 91

Tasted on: Monday 21st August, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $32 
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://montalto.com.au/

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Rock of Wisdom Mataro 2016

When I was a wee lad, my dear late mother loved a bit of Cadbury's Fruit n Nut. Now, I'm not for a minute suggesting that this smells like a bar of Cadbury's, but it sure does carry this heavenly mix of Mataro's classic plummy depths married to this nutty/ raw peanut/ walnut mix. 

A palate that belies its stated alcohol, weighing in more medium than full. Poised, balanced - set against classic Mataro depth: earth and licorice in the main. 

A creamy aspect just adds another layer to the wine: another nostalgia tinged recollection, this time a 'walnut whip' the memory of a life past. Cracking Mataro and a trip down memory lane. How could I resist? 93, possibly touch and go a point higher.  

Tasted on: Tuesday 22nd August, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 14.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://rock-of-wisdom.myshopify.com

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Sunday, 27 August 2017

Bremerton Selkirk Shiraz 2015

Serious intent from aromatics: oak with choc-mint lavishness. 

Deep, dark and bitter - a full on, not quite full-throttle manifestation of Shiraz. Nudging more the 15% by taste. Chocolate, blueberry, spice - delivering in spades. Reasonable finish, pulling up with a dark chocolate biterness. 90 

Tasted on: Tuesday 22nd August, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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Shaw Vineyard Estate Shiraz 2014

Looks a bit like this,
but more 2014ey
Canberran Shiraz often imparts this peanut husk/ nutty lead for me, an aroma that sits over the top of dusky, cool fruit. No exception, the savoury adding a foil to the fruit, a little mintiness almost like a seasoning. 

Doesn't quite back it up through the middle. A little bitterness, flash of acidity, an altogether meatier guise here. Feels a bit arms and legs at this stage, I want it to settle. Good drinking, mind. 90

Tasted on: Wednesday 23rd August, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $34
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.shawvineyards.com.au/

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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Katnook Founders Block Shiraz 2015

Short and succinct, but like this tasting note.

Fudgey, berry, oaky Shiraz. Not what I think of as Coonawarra, but it lends the impression of a well made sub-$20 wine

Medium bodied, more than a hint of cassis sweetness, not excessively jammy - perhaps more a conserve. Ok length. Does what's needed. 88 

Tasted on: Thursday 24th August, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.katnookestate.com.au/

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McNicol Riesling 2009

Beautiful Clare Riesling where the winemaker has done the work of cellaring for you. 

Clearly a Riesling with a bit of age on it, has a whiff of kero/ gun oil with the unmistakable citrus tinges of preserved lemons. 

With 8 years there's still a freshness and the palate has a delightful textural width and weight to it. There's a kumquat and lime marmalade tang about things, a gentle twist of spice and a generosity that gives hints to  the years ahead. 

That an 8yo wine can be procured, ex-winery says much for how under-appreciated the variety is. 92 

Tasted on: Wednesday 23rd August, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.mitchellwines.com/McNicolRiesling

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Thursday, 24 August 2017

Riesling Revival

Image stolen from the Internet
Pressing the "pause" button on the blog has given me some much needed time to take stock, to think about why I chose to pontificate about wine in the first place. To think what it is about wine that still gets me excited. For wine to be the reason that a holiday choice is often a veiled means to consider what regions/wineries may be able to be included in a trip, either a weekend break or something longer in form.

I think back to some of the earlier posts that reference, or reflect, some of those early influences, see Wine List, or "The Wine Everybody Loves But Nobody Buys", and perhaps wine is "Just a Drink" after all.

And after all that reflection, and perhaps the need to just have a drink, i kept coming back to Riesling. If the "Wine List" was my great introduction to both Grenache and Riesling, it seems that the former is again having its time in the sun. Well, it is if a Gourmet Traveller Wine tasting of that great variety in the September edition is anything to go by.

And so I came back to Riesling. To its ability to reflect place. To its ability to enliven. To its ability to make me think of the warmer months ahead. To its ability to make me think of buckets of prawns shared, of sand in toes, of looking forward to visiting Europe come the end of 2017 and hopefully tasting and possibly drinking more of it in its Germanic guise.

I don't profess any singular ability to revive significant levels of interest in this fantastic variety, but by jove I'm gonna give it a damn good-one-man-and-his-wine-glass try to bring a few to your attention.

Wanna join me for the ride?

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Battle for Wine and Love.....

Except, I don't claim to have saved the world from Parkerization.

You see, I've been challenged by wine a lot of late. I'm not going to go as far to say we've fallen out, it's just that, well maybe our relationship changed for a bit.


"Love changes, changes everything
Love makes you fly it can break your wings"
~ Climie Fisher, Love Changes Everything


The relationship we have with our Muses can often change. Just as change can and does occur within relationships. We find a particular aspect about a love fascinating and it acts as the most barbed of hooks to dive headfirst into, to immerse ourselves totally into that particular aspect.

We become absorbed, besotted, and then - perhaps - almost blind to that particular aspects faults.

Look, I'm still here wine, it's just we're possible having trouble understanding each other as we once used at the minute. And perhaps you're presently serving a different purpose.

I'll be back. Very soon.

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Monday, 7 August 2017

Mitchell Sevenhill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Released as a 8yo, from an interesting vintage: New Year heatwave caused some issues and arrested development. But, a vintage from which a classic Clare Cabernet has been produced.

Still fresh in the face of that age, carrying more of the Clare mintiness than perhaps the varietal hallmarks of Cabernet. 

A smooth and elegant wine in body, cassis coming to the fore with a cedary composition that rounds out the profile. A superb cellar release, go now or continue to cellar. This has the fruit and the suggestion of longevity for either. 92 

Tasted on: Tuesday 1st August, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.mitchellwines.com/

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Thursday, 27 July 2017

Toolangi Yarra Valley Syrah 2015

Offering something else with each re-appraisal. Variously savoury, meat juices, meets stem. Then, almost in defiance, sweeter edges, a glimpse of almond paste. 

Spending 11 months in oak, this is a gloriously medium bodied wine, with subtle red fruit that bobs gently along. I feel it's put its energy into that aromatic smorgasbord, feeling somewhat flat in comparison. 

Barely there tannin, a savoury reprise on the back palate. Pleasant, if not entirely compelling. 89 

Tasted on: Tuesday 11th July, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 14.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.toolangi.com/

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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Terre à Terre Rouge 2015

From Wrattonbully, a blend of Shiraz (44%), Cabernet Sauvignon (36%), Cab Franc (20%).

You could be forgiven for thinking a plainly labelled 'rouge' is perhaps a simple offering. Gives rise to this plummy, mulberry aroma - deep set, there's a suggestion of herb and seasoning in the mix. Inviting, comforting. 

Savoury on intro, a subtle double helix of fruit the contrast to this. It's medium bodied, fine - gentle tug of chalky tannin spreading its way across the palate. 

Provides a comforting presence across the palate, something to savour and captivate, before you consider the generosity of body and length. 92 

Tasted on: Friday 21st July, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Mitchell Harris Shiraz 2015

Looks a bit like this,
except more 2015
So, with 25% whole bunches and 2% Viognier. Has the vibe of a wine at ease with itself, that whole bunch making itself known, presence felt. Viognier an after-thought, present nonetheless. Plummy, hints of purple florals, black/blue fruit in the mix - almost veering to the tartness of the blueberry. 


Light, airy - on entry at least - darker elements make themselves known, black fruit, a suggestion of licorice, a grind of pepper. Lovely inherent balance and sheer damn drinkability on offer. A yes from me. 92 

Tasted on: Monday 24th July, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: mitchellharris.com.au

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Saturday, 8 July 2017

Shaw + Smith Shiraz 2015

A glorious vivid, vibrant visual outer, a stark contrast to its dark, nigh impenetrable, core. At its heart, aromatically, the presence of the inclusion of stems is noted. Together with gamey notes, and cloven spice. 

Brisk as it moves through the palate, energetically carrying its powder-fine tannin. There's a touch of cool herb, remnants of red fruit amongst the more savoury elements. 


Finishes seemingly a little short, as though that energy brought it home to a conclusion all too rapidly. Be thankful there's at least another glass in the bottle mind. 93 

Tasted on: Thursday 6th July, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $46
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.shawandsmith.com/

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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Ballycroft Old Oak Durif

Somewhat raw, almost bloody steak territory, plum and beetroot. Eschews the creosote of higher alc Durif, Winemaker Joe Evans has crafted a fresher take on what is - ordinarily - a higher alcohol variety.

That was my original view on the matter, subsequently having caught up with Joe he admits to picking a touch prematurely, this being his first stab at the variety. In future releases he opined that he'll look to make the wine more in the house style.

Still Joe, I think you've done alright here by this one.

Light, nimble-footed, almost delicate, juicy. There's a suggestion of oak, gentle wash of fine-firm tannin across the palate. Yeh, goes alright. 91.  

Tasted on: Wednesday 10th May, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.ballycroft.com/

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Monday, 3 July 2017

Wirra Wirra Church Block 2015

A quite wonderful release of the Church Block. Cabernet clearly leading the charge here. Black currant with background savoury, cedary and leafy elements mixing it up in the background. 

Black fruit, liberally seasoned, smudge of oak and a nice curl of tannin that holds a definite line. Freshens up across the back like, just making it deliciously more-ish. 92 

Tasted on: Wednesday 10th May, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.wirrawirra.com/

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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Quartz Hill Pyrenees Shiraz 2014

Bit of a stink on opening: reductive in nature with a bit of meaty pan juice action. Medium bodied. Any palate weight is overlooked with the assault of flavours that are presented immediately. Clove, anise, pepper - a classic marker of the cool Pyrenees. 

Inherently savoury in its bent, there are subtle inflections of well meshed black fruit, but the persistent undertow of savoury character just positions the wine. Tannin sits very well, a subtlety at first that simply grows in stature. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 17th May, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.quartzhillwines.com.au/

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