An Australian Wine Blog

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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