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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