An Australian Wine Blog

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Huntington Estate Special Reserve Shiraz 2012

Residual oak, dark, creosote, rum 'n' raisin. Thick, sludgy, almost tarry; the oak - even at five years is very obvious. 

Pretty tough going, not sure it's ever going to break free of its oak shackles. 87 

Tasted on: Sunday 5th February, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $36
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://huntingtonestate.com.au/

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

Zonin Ice Prosecco Demi-Sec NV

Recommended to be served over ice. 

Doing so does seem to embolden the wine.Without, it's soft, delicate, you can almost sense the fuzzy peach skin. 

Given that, it would perhaps suit a Bellini, its inherent sweet pitch a natural against that. A little minerally zing. No doubting the freshness of the wine, a little sweetness and spritz is probably best how to sum this up. No frills fun. 87

Tasted on: Saturday 4th February, a Fruit day
Source: Sample (courtesy of: https://umm.com.au)
Price: $12.99
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://www.zoninprosecco.com/

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

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Cush & Cush Wine Co. Mataro 300 2016

If this wine an episode of Friends, it would be billed as somethign akin to: "The one that's impossible to resist". A single barrel 'reserve' Mataro, admittedly $65 is a big ask for a relatively new label. Still the wine holds up to it.

Brambly fruit, perhaps a little stem over kirsch, milk chocolate. Medium bodied, voluptuous, silken. Has a substantive presence on the palate, without being unctuous, mouthfeel that catches you off guard before you notice the gentle rasp of tannin that coats the mid and back palate. 

I keep thinking of the winemakers experience with Pinot Noir and cannot escape the gently textured palate, a mille-feuille of layered texture. Residual black fruit/ kitsch, coffee bean and the texture carried across the finish. A gentle expression of the variety.  

Yet given time, the milk chocolate seems just as prominent, perhaps a touch more Earthen presence, and less primary fruit; medium of body, a touch more blood and stock, ironstone, acid more prominent - but giving freshness and vitality. An altogether different wine with just a little patience. 92  

Tasted on: Sunday 5th February, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cushandcush.com/

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

Friday, 28 April 2017

Cush & Cush Wine Co. Grenache 2016

Essentially a barrel selection: from 3 standout barrels that were kept aside from that which went into the Grenache/Mataro blend.

This is McLaren Vale Grenache that carries an inherent red berry charm, in the wrong hands that can manifest as jam or a coulis like sweetness. Here, renowned cool climate winemaker, Dave Cush has harnessed that without sacrificing, or at the expense of, savoury intent.

Possesses an incredible lightness, barely medium bodied, peppery spice and tantalising acid. The palate awakened, positively alive and energised. Tannin feels like an afterthought beyond that onslaught, it's there with burnt spiced edges. The length is intense, seemingly perpetual, with receding tannin. Holds up well with time, if you, dear drinker, can keep your hands off of it. 92+ 

Tasted on: Thursday 2nd February, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cushandcush.com/

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

Seville Estate

"So why's it called Seville?" I asked of CEO Grahame Van der Meulen, "it looks nothing like the brown, dusty plains of Spain". 

You see, the town is actually pronounced Seh-vull, named after the daughter of a long-forgotten Mayor who was taken early in somewhat tragic circumstances. 
Seville Estate was a part of the Yarra Valley’s early renaissance. Despite the establishment as Victoria’s first recognised wine region, the combined challenges of phylloxera, along with general economic decline, saw to its decline by the 30s. Roll forward some 30 years to the early 60s when Wantirna was founded. 

And so it was in 1972 that Dr Peter MacMahon and wife Margaret established the first plantings for Seville Estate, and it was the establishment of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir plantings, somewhat pioneering back in the day, that have ushered in the varieties that the region is now known for.

The MacMahon’s hung around until retirement in 1997, selling to the Hunter Valley’s Brokenwood who subsequently offloaded to the Van der Meulen family some 8 years later. And whilst the core Yarra varieties have remained a constant presence at Seville Estate, so ownership changes have been a constant, with the Van der Meulen’s selling up to Chinese investors in 2016. 

Like many things in wine, it is also somewhat a case of back to the future for Seville Estate, for Dylan MacMahon - grandson of the estate’s founders - has been winemaker there since the Brokenwood days and continues to raise the bar for this South-Central Yarra icon.

Wine Reviews
Blanc de Blanc 2014
Aggressive, minerally, quite coarse. Zero dosage. Grapefruit/ citrus acidity does flow, but it lacks finesse 89

Estate Chard 2016
Peach and Melon with a little cashew, familiar and present throughout. Fresh and clean, a little of that cashew creaminess and spice. Long and dry. 92

Reserve Chardonnay 2015
White peach, delicate citrus; delightful minerally acid, vital. Zesty. 94

Estate Riesling 2014
Riesling was present on the property until the mid-90s when it was grubbed out. A block was grafted back in 2006. Barrel fermented - giving that textural mid-palate richness. Florals, a little kaffir, good length. 91

Rosé 2016
Shiraz, Cab, Merlot: strawberry aromatics. Palate shifts more to savoury and spice. Good length. 92

Estate Pinot Noir 2015
25% bunch, 30% new oak for 8m. 1996 plantings. Bramble red fruit, savoury, great tannin and acid. 93

Old Vine Shiraz 2013
Brambly fruit, underlying black fruit, concentrated. Less savoury, but that shifts more to savoury nuances, peppery spice in the palate. Soft, gossamer body, grains tannin. Subtly mintiness perhaps 94

Old Vine Cabernet 2015
Leafy, tobacco, green olive; structured, medium, well trained tannin.

Tasted on: Sunday 26th March, a Flower day
Source: Cellar Door Tasting
Website: http://www.sevilleestate.com.au/

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

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Cush & Cush Wine Co Chardonnay 2016

Whole bunch pressed Chardonnay here, unfiltered, giving a delightful haze in glass.

Citrus, fig paste, barest hints of oak - a small amount of new French used.

Oak on entry, stonefruit, grapefruit citrus; has a textural spread, not battonage, the result of bottling unfiltered - hence the slight haze. Hints of spice - savoury to boot. Inherent complexity. 

The back palate shows more savoury charm, drying, a touch of phenolics. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 26th January
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.cushandcush.com/

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

Hentley Farm Blanc de Noirs 2016

Billed as a BdN but pours a very distinct blush, more Rosé like - that intent flows through the wine, a very fruitsome individual all about strawberry and cherry.


It possesses an ease, an elegance and charm if you like. Not necessarily simple, perhaps casual is the word I am looking for. 89 

Tasted on: Thursday 26th January
Source: Sample
Price: $27.50
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Cork
Website: www.hentleyfarm.com.au

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

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Zontes Footsteps The Hills Are Alive Shiraz 2014

Fruit, oak, spice and alcohol; served correctly: florals, stonefruit (Viognier inclusion?).

Jammy, pretty high octane (admittedly at the wrong temp initially); correctly served: medium bodied, lighter in approach, possibly too much so. No shortage of fruit driven flavour, if not as driven. 90  

Tasted on: Wednesday 18th January, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.zontesfootstep.com.au/

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

Mount Avoca Old Vine Shiraz 2013

From vines planted in 1971. Two years in oak (25% American, 25% Hungarian, the balance being French) shows on this wine. Less Pyrenees, more rich, sweeter, hedonistic if you like. 

Incredible depth, both from fruit concentration and frame of oak. Chewy, coffee-caramel, intense and deep wine. 

Not quite where I'm at personally, but it will have fans and will cellar exceptionally well. 92 

Tasted on: Mount Avoca Old Vine Shiraz 2013
Source: Sample
Price: $45.95
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://mountavoca.com

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

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Leeuwin Estate Siblings Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015

The herbal Sauvignon Blanc clearly leads here, it comes across as unequivocally Margaret River in its presentation. Tinges of citrus, faint passionfruit, like a neighbourhood pet marking its territory.

Things step up a level on the palate, a modicum of texture  - it's a 66/34 blend and some portion of it sees some barrel ferment - shows its hand, blackcurrant leaf, requisite citrus. More of that leafy, herbal composition. 

Not necessarily one I took a personal shine to. Nonetheless, states its case, being what it is. 89 

Tasted on: Thursday 19th January
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: leeuwinestate.com.au

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

Hentley Farm Brass Monkey Vineyards Pinot Grigio 2016

Beurre Bosc pear over creamy slithered almond and faint spiced hints.

Has a touch of body, unusual giving the low alc and 'Grigio' designation. Pear, florals, not wanting for cheek-clenching acidity. 

Freshness, with bags of citrus bringing up the rear. High bronze. 90  

Tasted on: Monday 16th January, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $24.50
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.hentleyfarm.com.au

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

Monday, 24 April 2017

Alkoomi White Label Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Carries the dried grass/straw, citrus of the constituent varieties, 67% and 33% respectively. 

Citrus, a little slate, feels a little flat, dilute. Not my favourite in the range, freshness goes OK to lift and enliven. 86 

Tasted on: Monday 16th January, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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

Patina Scandalous Riesling 2014

Very pronounced citrus here: lemon, lime, lemon butter. There's even something a touch more tropical: suggestive of pineapple juice


The palate thick and broad, the residual sweetness (18 g/l) shining through - albeit lacking some balancing acid. Fruit quality high, giving some length. Overall simple, missing that balancing acid, but inoffensive. 87

Tasted on: Wednesday 11th January, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.patinawines.com.au/

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

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Mount Avoca Shiraz 2013

Real burst of mixed berry goodness. A little oak, pepppery spice. Nothing's dominating, or jockeying for prime position. Balanced. 

Medium bodied, a wine incredibly at ease with it itself. Balanced. It comes up again. Red, black fruited - savoury edges: leafy, pepper. Tannin is not too much to speak of. Ease, flow and comfort. 90

Tasted on: Monday 9th January, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $29.95
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://mountavoca.com

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

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Alkoomi White Label Shiraz 2014

Black fruit, fudge, licorice and spice. Fairly non-descript; medium - and perhaps veering to full - a touch of earth in the middle. 

It's a line it straddles well, if a little monotonously. You'd be happy to drink this with ease, more so when it remember it checks in at $15. 88 

Tasted on: Sunday 8th January, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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

Alkoomi Black Label Chardonnay 2016

Has an old school feel to it: less of the funk and more of the oaky hunk. There's citrus, stone fruit and more oak present on the palate via spice and cedar.  

In addition: creamy citrus, stonefruit. Excellent value wine for those seeking something  deliciously 'old school'. 91 

Tasted on: Sunday 8th January, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 12.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Gartelmann Philip Alexander 2013

A little right bank blend thing going on here (Merlot, Cab Sauv, Petit Verdot) that sings of its constituent parts: plum, leaf, tobacco hints 

Herb and earth add an extra edge to what is a medium bodied blend. There's more of that delicious and juicy plum character and something like a tomato juice sauciness. Lends itself nicely to a ragu. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 7th January, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.gartelmann.com.au

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

Pertaringa Undercover Shiraz 2015

Ripe blackcurant sits proudly on the nose of this one. A little violet floral.

Smooth, almost black currant pastille like. Richness, ripeness, hints of mintiness. A little chocolate underneath, but it's really about freshness of fruit. Go now. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 6th January, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.winesbygeoffhardy.com.au/

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

Monday, 17 April 2017

d'Arenberg The Money Spider Roussanne 2016

Stone fruit, more peach than anything, nicely spiced with woody hints - celeriac, fennel perhaps. 

Has plenty of body, the textural feel you'd expect from a variety as this. Spice resurgent on the mid to back palate, on a good length to boot. 

Good release. Roussanne at $20 a winner. 90 

Tasted on: Sunday 8th January, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: darenberg.com.au

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

Skinner Vineyards Roussanne 2013

Preddominantly Roussanne with a few other varieties of Southern French origin thrown in (85% Roussanne | 8% Grenache Blanc | 5% Marsanne | 1% Viognier | 1% Picpoul Blanc).

Softly imbued with a little honey, there's a little nuttiness at the core, florals. 

It really is a textural wine, 2 years on gross lees might do that. Spice - cinnamon, a little ginger - zest, and cleansing acidity that cut nicely through the dairy of the Risotto that I paired this with. 

Slight astringent note on the back palate - barely noticeable with food. Great memory of a fantastic visit. 91 

Tasted on: Friday 6th January, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $28 (US$)
Alcohol: 14.3%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://skinnervineyards.com/

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

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Terre á Terre Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Lychee, citrus, barley, faint pineapple juice, black currant leaf.

Balance of fruit presence, texturally nuanced, acid. Tickle of spice brings up the rear. 


Fades to a gentle finish. Assured. Composed. Doesn't quite excite in the way it has before. 91 

Tasted on: Friday 6th January, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 13.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au

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

Robert Stein Half Dry Riesling 2016

I do like a little off-dry Riesling, something with just a little retained sugar (here 10g residual), just works wonders at cutting through some devilish spice.

Lime, florals, a suggestion of fennel pollen. 

Immediately it marries both acidity balanced against a little sweetness.  It's a punch of flavour, a veritable explosion that just gently recedes across the palate. 

Paired this coconut milk and chilli poached chicken. The RS here more than a match for that touch of spice. Preferred this to the 2015. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 5th January, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.robertstein.com.au/

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

Saturday, 15 April 2017

d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2015

Blend of Viognier (58%) and Viognier (42%). Carries an interesting herbal edge on opening, kinda like a cold Jasmine tea perhaps. Requisite florals, a little apricot nectar.

More stonefruit on the palate, more defined this time. Sweeter, more of that nectar seen earlier. 

Not particularly profound in length, or textural. But pleasant enough.  88

Tasted on: Thursday 5th January, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 13.1%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: darenberg.com.au

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

Topper's Mountain Barrel Ferment Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Unmistakably Sauvignon Blanc, yet with more twists and turns than a Riviera hairpin. Your senses are greeted with preserved citrus, lime brûlée, stonefruit.

Medium bodied, part-textural with remnants of acid, albeit softened with fermentation in oak. 


Great length, with a waxy, slippery finish long on presence. 93 

Tasted on: Thursday 5th January, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 11.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.toppers.com.au/

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

Friday, 14 April 2017

Gartelmann Jesse Shiraz 2013

Greets you with a grilled nut, meaty vibe that sits over a little red fruit. 

Medium weight, nice sweet fruit at juxtaposition to that primarily savoury nose. There's cherry, plum, a little gummy/mintiness. 


Pleasant drinking. Falls a little short, but enjoyable. 90 

Tasted on: Wednesday 4th January, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.gartelmann.com.au

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

d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2014

Choc-fudge, berry fruit, smidge of oak. A fine Footbolt, regional and varietal in composition. 


Smooth, thick, glossy and spiced. Rough tannin can be overlooked for a wine that packs a punch. Serve with something oozing with a little blood, or a generous rich stew. Fine form. 91  

Tasted on: Wednesday 4th January, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Saample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au/

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

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Bremerton Special Release Fiano 2016

Floral, honeyed, snow pea and a little sea spray overlaid. 

Texture + with acid. Good balance, food friendly. Generous in nature. Very pleasant. 


Good length from that generosity. 90 

Tasted on: Wednesday 4th January, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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

Pertaringa Stage Left Merlot 2015

Somewhat generic in its aromatic profile: plummy, damson. You get the drill.

Medium-full bodied, ripe, herbal, palate warmth - showing its 14.5%. Back palate mintiness and a rich dose of choc-salinity.


Seen better from the label. 88 

Tasted on: Tuesday 3rd January, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.winesbygeoffhardy.com.au/

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

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Bremerton Racy Rosé 2016

Ripe, red, berry fruit - cranberry primarily. Hints of wild strawberry.  

Thick, almost textural in nature. Sugar adds body and provides a chewy, substantive feel. 

Finishes well, fruit laden and a hint of spice. Consistent. 89 

Tasted on: Monday 2nd January, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $17
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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

Patina NV Rosé

"Back in 2008 I co-fermented Pinot Noir and Chardonnay destined to become a sparkling wine. This wine would have made great bubbles but I just couldn’t get my heart into it. So in 2013 I decided to change direction and added it to the juice of 2013 Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc to re-ferment and make it into a non-vintage rosé. The result was an absolutely delightful wine that set the direction for my rosé style."

Dried Citrus peel, lifted, spice. Very attractive,  citrus and stonefruit tinged.  

Textural, almost challengingly so, with a drying quality across the back palate. Chalky, powdery, red apple sweetness. 

Citrus oil. Complexity. 93 

Tasted on: Sunday 1st January, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.patinawines.com.au/

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

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

d'Arenberg The Anthropocene Epoch Mencia 2016

Anthropocene
ˈanθrəpəˌsiːn/
adjective
relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.

At the time of writing, only the fourth producer of Mencia - a grape of Spanish origin, largely found up in the rather hilly Ribeira Sacra - in Australia that i’m aware of, after Oliver’s Taranga (also McLaren Vale), La Linea (Adelaide Hills) and Dell'uva (Barossa Valley).

Vivid in the glass, smells exotic - Middle Eastern: pomegranate, hibiscus - really bright and somewhat evocative.

Thick, chewy, fairly substantive in the mouth. Silken, it glides across the palate - at striking contrast to this are meaty, somewhat ferrous tannins - provide an additional element for the palate to latch onto. Back palate shows a spike of heat/ acid, subsiding against the mouth-coating  tannin.  

A colourful addition to Australia’s technicolour winemaking landscape. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 30th March, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 14.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://shop.darenberg.com.au/

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

d'Arenberg Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2012

The "laughing Magpie' was an old favourite back in the UK, the familiar red stripe (or sash as I think of it) with the beautiful lilac denoting this wine. All changed now, of course, with the re-imaging some 3 years or so back. One thing that hasn't changed mind is the significant input of Viognier (7%) with the balance being the Shiraz. 

Vibrant, purple-rimmed wine in glass - tell-tale sign of the v-weed. Black fruit, has floral lift from the Viognier. Almost black currant cordial like in its expression, concentrated and pure. 

Lavish, thick wine, layered, sweet black fruit cascades across the palate. It's thick, chewy - there's no denying the physical presence, but it's somewhat simple. 

Good presence, but a wine of heft more than guile and subtlety. 89

Tasted on: Wednesday 28th December, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 14.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://shop.darenberg.com.au/

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

Monday, 10 April 2017

Ballycroft Small Berry Shiraz 2014

Just over one and a half tonne of fruit picked in Feb 2014 (1.675 tonne from 5 acres on 13/2/13, that's only 335kg to the acre) pumped over 4 times a day for 10 days. Just under 100 dozen made. Spends 24 months in shaved out American Oak. Sent to bottle unfiltered. Due for release later this year.

Alcohol dialled back a notch in this ’14 (14.7% compared to the 16.2% of 2013). It shows. Not such a bombastic, powerhouse comparative to its prior year stablemate. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still rich and carrying that potent line of plum in the glass.

Supple in the mouth, silken, a glossy and polished line of - primarily - black currant fruit races through the palate. It’s a more considered take on the style. Greenock fruit tends to be quite a warm, chocolatey, rich manifestation and this is no exception.

Again I would caution those buyers who have perhaps become accustomed to a trend toward a lighter style of wine. For those who savour this richer, hedonistic take: back up the truck! 92

Tasted on: Saturday 1st April, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 14.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.ballycroft.com

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

Ballycroft Small Berry Shiraz 2013

Just over a tonne of fruit was picked from Joe and Susan Evans' dry grown vineyard on Feb 2013 (1.3 tonne from 5 acres on 17/2/13, a mere 260kg to the acre). It was pumped over 4 times a day for 15 days. Only 93 dozen made, spends 36m in shaved out American Oak. Unfiltered.

Unashamedly ‘big’ style of wine from the self-styled “little winemaker”. It exudes a rich, powerful, high-octane, nigh on porty aroma. Think soaked prunes, dense and heady plum, blackberry jam.

Thick, chewy, somewhat hedonistic. You’ve got to like a bit of fruit sweetness to your wine; residual oak tannin that courses through your palate, leaving a drying sensation. Lingering black fruited beast that you just cannot escape from.

The quality is undeniable. But, caveat emptor, you’ve to appreciate the intent and full on nature of the wine Joe has nurtured and crafted here. 91

Tasted on: Saturday 1st April, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 16.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.ballycroft.com

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

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Edmunds St. John Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2014

Essential research prior to a visit to California's Sierra Foothills was undertaken by way of Jon Bonné's "The New California Wine". You see, the Sierra Foothills, and particularly the area around Fair Play AVA are the original gold rush country, and Fair Play sits atop a huge Granite monolith. And Granite and Gamay are happy bedfellows.

Steve Edmunds is the principal of Edmunds St. John, and whilst he might ply his trade in the Bayside city of Berkeley, he largely sources fruit from up in the Sierra Foothills. It was his Gamay that I was particularly keen to sought out.
Inherent brambly red fruit, a little underlying meat and funk, a suggestion of fennel. Possesses a gently spiced palate, black pepper that traverses. Fine tannin that carries that fresh cracked pepper across the finish line.

Tasted on: Sunday 25th December, a Flower day
Source: Retail, Chambers Street Wines
Price: $21 (US)
Alcohol: 12.6%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://edmundsstjohn.com/

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

Bremerton Special Release Malbec 2015

Malbec from Langhorne Creek and those wily Willson sisters, Rebecca and Lucy.

Fruits of the forest, a little creamy vanillin from oak use.

Medium bodied, moderate acidity, good raspy tannin. A real mouthful of ripe black fruit - present on both the nose and backed up on the palate delivering satisfying length. 


Good presence of fruit, flavour and indeed feel. 90 

Tasted on: Saturday 24th December, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website:

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

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Robert Stein Reserve Riesling 2016

Long history of winemaking down at Robert Stein, marking 40 years. This superb Reserve Riesling comes off vines just shy of that milestone. Marvellous vinous heritage.

Lemon rings strong here, bit of lemongrass, soap. Very strong aromatic profile. 

Tang, sweet/sour kinda feel. Great zip of acid to it, with a gentle flow. Freshness personified. 


Lingers long on the memory. Superb. 94

Tasted on: Saturday 24th December, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $50
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.robertstein.com.au/

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

Robert Stein Mudgee Riesling 2016

Lemon, bath salts, lemongrass perhaps.

Tangy freshness, ease and flow. Good acid, without being too tart. Only quibble is a somewhat truncated finish, but it does gently lead the drinker 91 

Tasted on: Sunday 18th December, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.robertstein.com.au/

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

Friday, 7 April 2017

Barambah First Grid Verdelho 2016

Winemaker Peter Scudamore-Smith MW: "I used my experience of making Riesling with this wine, that in conjunction with use of phenolics from skin contact wines". It shows.

From Queensland's South Burnett region, some three hours Nort-West of its capital Brisbane.

A little dried grass, peach skin.

Palate shows good balance between texture with retained acid - providing width and length. Fruit character shines through with pear segments, lychee


Good length, flowing, phenolics add extra interest, grip. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 24th December, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://barambah.com.au/

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

Mount Avoca Limited Release Viognier 2015

Just say Vee-on-yay.

Pretty, aromatic wine: honeysuckle, apricot. 

Substantive, chewy, spicy. Textural and yet drying, achieves a lot in its frame. Spicy, a bit of that gingery pucker that you often see in quality Viognier. 


Good bite, length, quality. 92 

Tasted on: Sunday 11th December, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $33.95
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://mountavoca.com

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

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Huntington Estate Reserve Semillon 2015

Grassy, herbal, lemongrass.

Packs a punch, livewire acidity that shoots bolts across the palate. There's suggestion of lime and stony minerality - really carried by that energy. 

I want more all up. It's not bad, just come to expect more from the Estate and so with a 'Reserve' moniker appended. 90 

Tasted on: Sunday 11th December, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://huntingtonestate.com.au/

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

Mount Avoca Malakoff Vineyard Shiraz 2013

Exemplary Shiraz from the famed Malakoff Vineyard, up in the Pyrenees region of Victoria.

"Selected parcels of fruit sourced from the exceptional Malakoff vineyard were fermented on skins for eight to ten days in open oak barrels and hand plunged to maximise fruit aroma and flavour without excessive tannin extraction.

Two hundred case produced. A particularly rich, opulent wine in the glass - sheer class (and oak, admittedly) waft out of the glass. That optimal combination of fruit married to oak, spice. Touch of violet florals and you’d suggest there’s some Viognier in this, with that floral lift and it’s vibrancy in glass.

Packs a punch in its refined manner: classy black fruit, intense pepper, oak. It has an exquisite spice tinged structure, that effortlessly carries the wine. Length in spades, 94.

Tasted on: Friday 9th December, a Leaf Day
Source: Sample
Price: $47.50
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://mountavoca.com

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