An Australian Wine Blog

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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Old Jarvie The Enforcer Shiraz Mataro Malbec 2016

The Mulberry and Plummy signature of the leading red varieties sing here. Twists of herb, florals, a suggestion of anise.
Medium bodied veering to full with a chewy, chocolatey body. Subtle cocoa powder tannins coat the mouth, providing a guide for a decent length of flavour. Fairly linear progression, no nonsense, flavour packed. 90 

Tasted on: Saturday 6th May, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.oldjarvie.com.au/

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Gartelmann Diedrich Shiraz 2014

Interesting one here. From the famed/ regarded/ insert superlative of choice, Hunter 2014 vintage, yet they winery saw fit to supplement things with the addition of a some Clare fruit. Not the first Hunter to appreciate some of Clare's charm I'm sure.

Carries some grunt, mint, leather and gamey notes. That's not to say fruit is missing from equation: black cherry, blackcurrant, and sugar plum. 

It's lightweight in the mouth, smooth - the black fruit consistent throughout. Spicy depths, and a gorgeous tail of light-on tannin. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 4th May, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 14.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.gartelmann.com.au

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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Quartz Hill Mencia 2016


Good to see the number of producers of Mencia in Australia on the increase.

Not the strongest aromatic game here, not from a fruit perspective at least. Then, Mencia is like that. If anything, watermelon, again not the strongest fruit aromatically. 

Aromatics not its strength. Instead, it's really a bone dry offering, flecks of white pepper - Pyrenees terroir on hand - powder fine phenolics. Does come across as a little lean and hard. Its best months - the warmer ones - are ahead of it. 88 

Tasted on: Thursday 25th May, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.quartzhillwines.com.au/

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Mr Riggs Cold Chalk Chardonnay 2015

You get the sense this is going to be somewhat bigger in style, with peach and vanilla aromatics buoyed by some gentle oak spice. 

Substantive feel with more spice presence. Vanilla and cream oak really add up to a significant presence in the mouth. 

It's quite full throttle, largesse being one of its traits. Inter stung, if not quite in the current vogue. 88 

Tasted on: Saturday 29th April, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.mrriggs.com.au/

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Margan White Label Semillon 2016

It was a wet December/January in the Hunner, consequently the grapes were left on the vine through February to dry and restore balance. 

Citrus, hints of kumquat- bordering on what be considered little botrytis aroma. Stonefruit, rounds out the ripeness on show. Shows a bit of minerality on first taste - immediately on taking into the mouth.

There's a real freshness about this wine: manages to balance citrus and stone fruit, throw in a little middle palate texture along with a touch of acid. This is no electrifying Semillon of the type often seen in youth, just showing inherent balance and approachability. 

Will it offer the longevity many seek in HV Sem? Time will tell. 92.  

Tasted on: Tuesday 25th April, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.margan.com.au

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Gartelmann 'Jonathan' Mudgee Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Fudgee, Mudgee, more of the dusky, somewhat dusty line, with plum and mulberry.

Pretty, ripe, pretty ripe. Carries a good cassis, semi-floral air to proceedings. You can't mistake it for anything but Cabernet, albeit with the freshness and juice. 

Easy going you'd say. Spot on you'd feel; classic, if not complex. 90  

Tasted on: Wednesday 10th May, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.gartelmann.com.au

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Huntington Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Classic Cabernet, unmistakably so: has that just ripe cassis/mulberry at its heart, surrounded by a leafy tobacco and bay outer, a suggestion of green olive skin.

Carries an elegance, bordering on lightness. Good carry of fine tannin, persistent in the way that it coats the mouth. 

In many respects gentle, as it ebbs across the back palate. Enjoyable. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 28th April, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 14.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://huntingtonestate.com.au/

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Zonte's Footstep Avalon Tree Fleurieu Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Leaf, tobacco, bay - touch of gum. It's kinda Autumnal, when the deciduous trees are shedding their leafery, dropping to the ground and drying up. I used to love walking through such piles of gathered leaves. 

Dusty, spiced, fair gobfuls of flavour. Not the most vital of Cabs, but you could see it easily winning folk over. 

Minor back palate bitterness my only real quibble. 88 

Tasted on: Tuesday 25th April, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.zontesfootstep.com.au/

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Monday, 26 June 2017

Alkimi Good Earth Syrah 2015

Off the Warramunda Vineyard in the Yarra Valley's Coldstream sub-district. The terroir evident through judicious use of whole bunch. An approach that initially comes to characterise this wine. 

Time and perhaps air soften that herbal, sapid note. That's not to say the savoury eludes entirely, cola notes, caramelised root, along with a peppery top note. Carries a fair weight, an almost sinewy, chewy, substantive presence.

Yet, for all that, it seems light and airy through the mid. Not without fruit: blackcurrant, mulberry, with a soft weave of powdery tannin. Loved it. 91 

Tasted on: Wednesday 17th May, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkimiwines.com/

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Yelland & Papps Second Take Mataro 2016

The whole bunch toned back a touch this vintage (73% versus last year's 100%). Spends 17 days on skins, 9m in barrel (100% French, 23% new). Sent to bottle unfiltered and unfined.

That whole bunch inclusion here adds a savoury background to the kirsch like notes sitting squarely in front. I'm not sure why we don't see more stem use in Mataro TBH, being a later ripening variety you'd think the stems would be nicely ripened. Just an aside. 

Splash of camp coffee essence meets a drop of Cola that's gone a little flat. A little herbal, though you cannot escape the inherent darkness of Mataro, here the boldness of fruit jostles with black licorice and black cherry. A flash of acid perks things back up again. 

You feel it's all over too quickly, before it seems to put itself into slow motion, gently receding back across the palate. Spice and tannin seem an afterthought, perhaps just the epilogue to what appears the main feature. 

Finishes on a kinda sweet/sour edge that has me just yearning for more. 92 

Tasted on: Monday 1st May, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

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Soumah Hexham Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

'Soumah' is so named in a manner akin to one of those trendy New York neighbourhoods (like SoHo or TriBeCa), its name being derived from an abbreviation and concatenation of SOUth of MAroonda Highway. That particular highway being a major thoroughfare in the region, connecting it to Melbourne.

In a world where savoury is often craved in PN, it's refreshing to encounter something that's, well, fresh. Carries an elegance, there's a pomegranate vibe to proceedings here, pure in how it manifests itself in the glass. 

There's no contrast in the mouth, straddling this cassis veering to something like Grenadine, its refreshment personified. A fine rasp of tannin adds a little something else. But at just 12.5% see this for what it is: a lighter of body, refreshing red of easy going nature. 90

Tasted on: 27th April 2017
Source: Cellar Door Purchase
Price: $35
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://soumah.com.au/

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Sunday, 25 June 2017

Margan White Label Chardonnay 2016

This veritably leaps out of the glass, unequivocally Chardonnay. A lovely deep straw, you couldn't mistake it for anything but what it is. 

Power-packed peach and something like a toffeed, butterscotch flavour. It's bold, carries a tickle of spice and a gentle flowing length. 89 

Tasted on: Saturday 6th May, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.margan.com.au

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Margan Shiraz Mourvèdre 2015

Another field blend from Margan, where the two varieties are inter-planted and picked in-situ. 

Leathery, earthen, slight animale aroma, mixed with a little smokey caramelisation. Touch of malt-choc in the mix too. Medium bodied. Carries an initial fruit sweetness that across a chewy, almost sinewy palate. It's a seemingly brief experience, yet with a decent tail of flavour. 

Quite bold in its manifestation, chewy and more of that malty depth to it. To me, more Hunter than necessarily varietal composition. Decent drinking given a challenging vintage. 89

Tasted on: Friday 28th April, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: Friday 28th April, a Fruit to Root day

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Margan Tempranillo Graciano Shiraz 2015

A field blend, so the exact quantities of each constituent part are somewhat unknown. 

Oak, plum, mulberry - more like the Shiraz - there's a little suggestion of the blue fruits, some earth and coffee. Bold and bright on aroma.  

Medium bodied, soft, juicy. There's some fine coca tannin immediately mid-palate, before this tangy acidification that casts flavour wide and long across the palate. Flavour per se non-specific, requisite black fruits in the mix. 

Touch of spirited warmth at the wine's conclusion, warming on a cooling night. 90

Tasted on: Monday 24th April, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.margan.com.au/

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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Shaw Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Bit of mint, leaf, blackcurrant. Very fresh, youthful - interesting for a 4 year old. 

Medium bodied, vibrant, fresh. Not much of substance, more about fruit. Gummy flavours.

Fairly short - bit like this note - on length, but good fun. 88 

Tasted on: Sunday 23rd April, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website:

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Huntington Estate Block Three Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Strong capsicum aromas, bordering on a little greenness; tomato leaf, herbal.

Savoury on entry, scorched earth, licorice - varietal? A little mulberry, cassis - is this a warmer year? Slightly chocolatey, mud cake even. 


Slight concerns over varietal character - particularly at the asking price. 89 

Tasted on: Sunday 23rd April, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 13.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://huntingtonestate.com.au

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Friday, 23 June 2017

Alkimi The Good Earth Marsanne 2016

Good to see Yarra Marsanne on offer at a fairly affordable price, it’s something I think of as being at least north of $30. 

The aromatics here are fairly intriguing: cut fennel, honeyed florals for sure, but also backed up with a liberal sprinkling of exotic spice. Exotic a term - one imagines - is relative to your familiarity with your spice rack.

Reasonable degree of texture, with a generous length of lemon balm flavour coursing through the middle. It feels fairly nimble on the palate, backed up with a little phenolic pinch. A resurgent wash of citrus across the back palate just reels you back in for a second sip, lo and behold it’s an action you find yourself repeating. Great drinking. 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 23rd May, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkimiwines.com/

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Yelland & Papps Devote Greenock Shiraz 2015

Sees a bit of American oak action too. Unusual for the brand, if not the region or variety.

Rich, dense, black fruit compote - Greenock on the Western fringes of the Barossa is known for this rich, almost chocolatey style. Bit auto-suggestive, but it's somewhat akin to a cherry ripe in that marriage of fruit and hedonistic oak sweetness. Classic Barossa. 

More of the same on the palate: slick, rich, mulberry and plum fruited depths. Has a glycerol slickness, a liqueur essence and beyond that ultra-fine tannin that elevate the wine to another level. 

Has a decent length that resolves fairly quickly. Classic Barossa, if not what I've come to think of as quintessential Yelland & Papps. It will have its fans. 92

Tasted on: Thursday 1st June, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 13.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Katnook Estate Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Spending 24 months in predominantly French barriques, of which 35% new. Vinification that lends character to this Coonawarra icon.

That time under oak shows and dominates the wine in this early youth. Glimpses of fruit peek out from the under the wooden shroud. Majorly about mocha, seasoned timbers, touches of vanilla.  


Akin to rum n raisin, there's plenty of fruit, in spades - all bound up in this package of oak. For all that it's decidedly medium bodied and backed up with spice. It is dense and a powerhouse that essentially demands cellaring time. 92+ The plus here somewhat speculative, it's certainly going to need time to settle.  

Tasted on: Sunday 16th April, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $100
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: www.katnookestate.com.au

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Highland Heritage Patrono Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Second of a pair (Shiraz review here) of flagship wines for Highland Heritage Estate, marking the 70th anniversary of the d'Aquino family and their involvement in winemaking in Orange.

Clove, some kalamata olive skin in the mix, peanut shell, a little greenness, sandalwood - spice. 

Medium weight, earthen, cocoa powder tannin. Buoyed with boysenberry and plum fruit. More savoury than fruit driven, quite light on, yet without lacking vitality. Preferred over the Shiraz. 92 

Tasted on: Sunday 16th April, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://highlandheritageestate.com.au

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Highland Heritage Estate Shiraz 2015

First of a pair of flagship wines for Highland Heritage Estate, marking the 70th anniversary of the d'Aquino family and their involvement in winemaking in Orange, the first such winemaking operation in the region. Heritage indeed.

Cool climate Shiraz exhibited here, ticks the right boxes and exhibits the hallmark characteristics: spice, plum, and a suggestion of cloven oak.

Substantial in form, full bodied, slick and smooth. Cherry, plum, blackcurrant. Nicely meshed and integrated oak. Classic cool climate Shiraz, done well. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 15th April, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://highlandheritageestate.com.au

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Katnook Prodigy Shiraz 2012

"Taste Me, Taste Me!
Succumb to me, Succumb to me!"
~ Prodigy, Serial Thrilla

I just find it hard not to think of Brit electro-dance mob 'Prodigy' in relation to this wine. 

Anyway, the wine in question spends a whopping 25 months in French and American, of which 50% new. It's funny to, now at least, think two years under wood a long term given the current vogue for fresher, drink-now styles. Good to see this regional flag-bearer still marching to its own tune.

Sullen, reserved, what is present is a mass of black fruit framed up with toasty oak, leather, figginess.

Lighter of body than anticipated. Disarming in some respects. The expected black fruit is present in spades: cassis, raspberry, currants. Ultra fine choc-tannin bound up in more of that black fruit, a freshening resurgence slight choc-salinity. Generous, good length. 92 

Tasted on: Saturday 15th April, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $100
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: www.katnookestate.com.au

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Monday, 12 June 2017

Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2015

Powerhouse of a Chardonnay, has an edge of complexity, subtle citrus and stonefruit, meal and cashew creaminess. The complete package backed up with oak derived spice. 

Doesn't disappoint here either: flinty complexity, fruit presence too, balanced acidity, giving generous length. 

Superb 93+ 

Tasted on: Sunday 23rd April, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $46
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.shawandsmith.com/

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Yelland and Papps Second Take Roussanne 2016

Spends 9.5m in old French oak; sent to bottle unfined/ unfiltered - ergo is (even if accidentally) Vegan friendly.

Honeysuckle, honeydew, suggestion of pineapple even. White florals, somewhat estery - in a good way - biscuity and a faint whiff of nuts. In many ways it defies description. This is not your normal Roussanne, even just visually it is something different, and most certainly a welcome addition to the ever shifting landscape of Australian wine. 

Has this partial sour tang, balance of fruit/acid and a real penetrative reach into the far flung recesses of the palate. Good drive, zesty and fresh, gives a real lasting reach. 92 

Tasted on: Friday 14th April, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 12.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://yellandandpapps.com/

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Sunday, 11 June 2017

Alkoomi Wandoo Semillon 2013

Very much enjoy what the Alkoomi team do. Generally consistest, certainly a quality producer. The tyranny of distance of the Great Southern region doing nothing to quell their intent and approach to making fantastic wines.

Here, a four year old Semillon sits grassy and herbaceous, with herbal, citrus, lemongrass and a little kaffir lime. 

Cool and crisp on entry, hints of kiwi fruit; green, in taste - lots of green apple - and sense; creamy menthol butter, and a swirling vanilla essence about it. Gentle, decent length. Very good. 91 

Tasted on: Friday 14th April, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 11.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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Shaw Vineyard Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Blend of two: 85% Semillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc.

Lime, lemongrass, freshness personified. Buttery menthol.

Passionfruit, touch of blackcurrant leaf, citrus; fresh, rounded, touch of zest and mineral. Little truncated bitterness at the back end, a minor distraction from an otherwise decent package. 89  

Tasted on: Friday 14th April, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.shawvineyards.com.au/

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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Alkoomi Jarrah Shiraz 2011

Released on 1st April - no fools at Alkoomi - as a 6yo.

Cassis, a little smokey and oaky, there's to be a little Viognier in the mix for sure? Vibrancy in glass, plus a freshness that belies its 6y

Medium bodied, great structure, still with superb fine tannin, black fruit and a little freshening acidity. Gentle lasting presence, the structure providing the bones for fruit to hang from. Impressed at the vitality at the age. 93 

Tasted on: Wednesday 12th April, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz 2015

Smells like a darn fine Vale Shiraz in the vanguard. Yes it's rich, ripe, with blackcurrant and fudgey, choc goodness in spades. 

Thick, chewy, the blackcurrant is present on the palate, lending prettiness against a substantive backdrop of that full-bodied nature. There's a flash of acidity, a touch of boozey warmth, but all up quite approachable. 89 

Tasted on: Thursday 13th April, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.wirrawirra.com

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Friday, 9 June 2017

Gartelmann Verdelho 2016

Overflowing with the fruit salad aromatics that Verdelho is renowned for: the full range  of tropical fruit spectrum, calling out some candied pineapple for special mention.


You might expect sweetness on the palate, there's some and yet it's balanced with a little acid and some phenolic bitterness. Does it work? So-so, it's Jancis Robinson's "workmanlike variety", perhaps one for the warmer weather. 88 

Tasted on: Thursday 13th April
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.gartelmann.com.au/

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Thursday, 8 June 2017

Alkoomi Blackbutt Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

"The Blackbutt is a fine tuned blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (80%), Malbec (14%), Cabernet
Franc (5%) and Merlot (1%) from the oldest blocks of estate grown fruit."

Unsure of the release strategy here, but it is sent to market as a seven year old wine.

Subtlety is the watchword here: restrained, refined, almost regal. Cassis, mulberry and a savoury sense about it.

Composed, balanced, possesses structure that carries the black fruit flavour long across the palate. 91

Tasted on: Friday 14th April, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $62
Alcohol: 13.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay 2016

A bit more about this vintage of the 12th Man. See here for a couple of previous reviews.

Subtle changes to the 12th man over the years, here more of the stonefruit, citrus and grapefruit freshness than the oak and meal of yore. Still retains this vanilla creaminess. 

Fairly loose, open - good balanced acidity and spice. Good length, generosity. 91

Tasted on: Wednesday 12th April, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.wirrawirra.com

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Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Enjoys a bit of time in wood, seeing 13 months in 50% French (10% new) and 50% older American oak barriques.

Coveys itself by way of choc-mintiness, leaf and oak. Classic Cabernet wearing its heart on its sleeve. Sweet fruited, pretty ripe to boot, long on flavour: dark, fantastic depth and somewhat gravelly tannin. 

It’s a depth of flavour that cannot be escaped, haunting, lingering. Needs some time to settle, to come together. 2020 - 2035 92+  

Tasted on: Monday 10th April, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.katnookestate.com.au

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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Zonte's Footstep Violet Beauregard Malbec 2015

"It's amazing! Tomato soup, I can feel it running down my throat
It's changing... roast beef and baked potato. Crispy skin and butter!" 
~ Violet Beauregard, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 

Well, not quite. But it's certainly very vivid. Violet. Giving beautiful regard to that name, not only does it shine brightly in the glass, florals, spice and a little supporting oak are in the mix too. 

Woody oak, comes across quite hard on the palate, spicy summoned from the deep, somewhat of a waxy feel flowing across the back palate. Somewhat angular, not quite gelling or flowing mellifluously. 

But it's certainly no slouch either in the flavour department. Long tail of spice and fine tannin. 89 

Tasted on: Tuesday 11th April, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.zontesfootstep.com.au/

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Zonte's Footsteps Canto di Lago 2015

A trio of Italians in this blend, being Sangiovese (75%), Barbera (20%), and Lagrein (5%).

Quite a powerful mix, sour cherry leads and provides significant aromatics to the wine. Pomegranate molasses, certainly something sweet and syrupy. Florals - a complex aromatic mix.

Medium bodied, berry fruit, a surge of spice; juicy back palate with some fine-grained tannin. You could see how this could work with a variety of foodstuffs: lapping up tomato pasta, antipasto or something off of the grill. 90 

Tasted on: Monday 10th April, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.zontesfootstep.com.au

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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Yelland & Papps Second Take Vermentino 2016

Alright, I'm going to put my hairy ones on the line here: this is my favourite of the '16 second Take Releases. There, I said it. Sadly since Sold Out ex-Cellar Door.

The numbers: Picked 19th February, spending a whopping 279 days on skins, bit of Wild ferment action, unfiltered/ unfined (Vegan friendly).

Simply beautiful: lemon barley, nectarine, beeswax, a little lavender and jasmine. Great depth of aroma, yet at the same time a delightful freshness and simplicity. Could I be more effusive?

Of substance, a presence, textural, but of freshness and spice. Layered, a sheer delight in the mouth. A fantastic wine that combines elegance, freshness and downright moreishness. Lingering long on the palate, the mind too. 94 

Tasted on: Sunday 9th April, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: yellandandpapps.com

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