An Australian Wine Blog

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Ferngrove Frankland River Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Easy-going Cabernet on offer. Certainly offers classic Cabernet character without being too stern: cedary oak, cassis. All flowing nicely onto a palate that offers that and more. 

Subtle licorice twists add an additional layer of complexity to the wine. Powdery but firm tannin provides a solid platform for the aniseed twists to flow on to the finish. 89 

Tasted on: Sunday 3rd September, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.ferngrove.com.au

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Old Jarvie The Even Hand GMS 2016

The blend being 50/45/5 respectively.

Choc-fudge meets tilled earth and spice. More about the savoury for me, though fruit presence is noted. Mediums-veering-to full bodied, chewy wine as you roll it across the palate. 

Grainy tannin, has a licorice/fennel twist towards its back end, hints of  pepper. The depth of Mataro really filling out the mid-palate with the sensual Grenache giving the lift and fruit. Good length, easy-going. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 1st September, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.oldjarvie.com.au/ 

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

d'Arenberg Stephanie The Gnome With Rose Tinted Glasses Shiraz Sangiovese Rosé 2017

It wouldn't have surprised me if the title for this one broke the field length validation rules of the underlying database for this 'site.....

Classic Berry leads here, with herbal tints. It's not particularly pronounced, or overt, no bad thing IMO. Rounded palate entry, initial hints of very fruit sweetness against a balancing savoury aspect. 

The lasting memory is of berry fruit tied to a skinsy phenolic feel. Good wine; fun and no-nonsense. 87 

Tasted on: Friday 1st September
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 11.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: darenberg.com.au

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Hither & Yon Petit Blanc 2017

Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains (aka Frontignac). Soft, inviting, expressly aromatic: characteristic musk and rose. 

Interesting palate composition, fruit obviously present and set against a backdrop of mouth-watering acid with a powdery, drying phenolic grip. Plenty going on. The grip gives a real sense of lasting presence. 

It doesn't finish there, a dilute sense of lemon lingers long too. Refreshment plus here. 89

Tasted on: Friday 1st September, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.hitherandyon.com.au/

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Out of Step Wine Co. Willowlake Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

"Pinot has long been on the agenda. We certainly drink a bit of the stuff. But it’s a challenging variety to make & site plays an enormous part in its expression. So there’s been no rush until the right opportunity presented itself."

Black cherry, wild strawberry, the Berry aromatics have it all going on here. Initially feels substantive in the mouth, almost chewy, perhaps a by-product of a slightly warmer year. A liveliness then takes over, has a vibe that makes one think of a more natural bent, with some minor bunch inclusion.  

Excellent length, giving. Minerality, fine and powdery tannin that urges the wine on further. Downright drinkability on offer here. A fantastic debut foray into a PN release under their own label. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 30th August, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $33
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.outofstepwineco.com/

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Rock of Wisdom Shiraz Viognier 2016

Always the more serious proposition within the RoW portfolio to my mind. Dark, earthen, leathery, perhaps a touch pruney. Spice accents sit atop, as if to provide a seasoning to the wine. There's more than a hint of creamy vanilla that gently, with some glass time, emanates from glass. 

At odds to that is a medium bodied palate, at turns minerally-graphite in feel with slick fruit, juicy. A wine at ease and carrying itself with good conviction. 

Interestingly I feel the Viognier shows its hand more toward the back palate. Good wine, again. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 29th August, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 14.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://rock-of-wisdom.myshopify.com

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Monday, 15 January 2018

Old Jarvie The Saviour Tempranillo Monastrell Garnacha 2016

Temp leading the way: classic Berry driven aroma, a suggestion of rhubarb. Bright and inviting. 

Succulent middle, fruit singing; bolder towards the final third with the Mataro adding depth and spice. Plenty of flesh on the bones too, delicious, juicy and moreish. Dangerous trifecta. 91  

Tasted on: Sunday 27th August, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.oldjarvie.com.au/

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Jacobs Creek Classic Riesling 2017

I shit you not, a bottle of wine purchased for a touch under 6 clams. It speaks well aromatically - pronounced lime, hints of florals, 


Citrus and zest on the palate, quite sharp and severe - though I do have to remind myself it's sub $6 a bottle. It's vaguely varietal, in that crisp, fresh manner. Fairly linear, short. Would you regret drinking it? No, not by a long-shot. $6, I ask you. 86 

Tasted on: Sunday 27th August, a Flower day
Source: Retail (Dan's)
Price: $5.90
Alcohol: 11.1%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.jacobscreek.com/

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Sunday, 14 January 2018

Bernard Baudry Les Granges Chinon 2015

Opens with what I can best describe as bucolic aromas: unspoiled, leading to gamey hints. The palate at odds to that: light, lithe, supple and juicy. A hint of the savoury and of the rustic in the mix. 

Good length, of spice and fruit. Interesting getting my eye in to vins, somewhat, nature. 88 

Tasted on: Friday 15th December, a Flower day
Source: Retail, Frenchie 
Price: $25 approx.
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://bernardbaudry.com/en/

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d'Arenberg Bonsai Vine GSM 2015

A new one for me, but it appears to have been around some time. Of course the Ironstone Pressings is d'Arenberg's premium GSM, not a bad older sibling to look up to. 

Good and generous mix of red fruit aromatics on offer here. Soapy hints, red frogs, veering to earthen hints. Medium bodied, supple - classic tannin profile, moderate grain, good structure. Little carry of macerated fruit through the middle. But really just a bloody good all round drinking package. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 1st December, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.darenberg.com.au

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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Mino & Co A Growers Touch Shiraz 2016

New producer to me, not entirely sure how they came across my doorstep mind. Lovely packaging and concept, honouring the growers that deliver the fruit that make up the wine.

Carries the leather and earthen elements of Shiraz, combined with floral hints (lavender, violets) with spirity top notes.

Medium bodied. Has a soft, open and airy feel to it. Berry fruit sweetness and juicy to boot. Light and easy. 86 

Tasted on: Sunday 3rd December, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://minoandco.com.au

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Zonte's Footstep 'Lady Marmalade' Vermentino 2017

Green apple, freshly podded peas, snow pea tendril, briny-seaspray-on the wind scents. Wonderfully aromatic, capturing the essence of the variety.  

Lavish in its initial offering, full - glycerol almost. Grapefruit, curd, a suggestion of passionfruit - somewhat unusually. 


It's fresh, expressly so, and that is its primary offer. It delivers freshness in spades, even if it lacks the complexity of better examples. Very enjoyable. 89 

Tasted on: Thursday 11th January, a Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.zontesfootstep.com.au/

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Friday, 12 January 2018

Rymill Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cellar release from Coonawarra stalwart Rymill. My change at this winery over the last year or so, much change. Still, it's what inside that counts, eh?

Colour is showing a little development at 5yo. Aroma-wise, it's still pretty fresh, throwing the shackles off and avoiding the excesses of eucalypt that can dominate this region. 

Instead, it's all cedar and bay leaf. There are hints of fruit, sitting quietly in the background. Squarely medium bodied. A little of the acid still haunts through the final third. It's an exercise in restraint, that aside. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 5th December, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: DIAM
Website: http://www.rymill.com.au/

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Zonte's Footstep Doctoressa Di Lago Pinot Grigio 2017

Comes across all a bit pear and peach. I'm not quite sure where to go with that, save for a fruit salad.

Marries a little texture to some retained acidity, more like a Pinot G - betwixt the too. A little phenolic bitterness distracts being my only quibble. 87

Tasted on: Friday 12th January, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.zontesfootstep.com.au/

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Zonte's Footstep Excalibur Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Excalibur, is it so called due to the razor sharp acidity for which the variety can be known? or because, like King Arthur's sword, you couldn't pull it out of the rock (or off the shelf) if you wanted?

Personal proclivities aside, I've gotta write about the weed.....

All that said, this is a softer aromatic example, still carrying the passionfruit, blackcurrant leaf and citrus balm. The palate is a little drier, a light phenolic touch against moderate acidity.

Good length to boot. You'd happily go here. 90

Tasted on: Friday 12th January, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.zontesfootstep.com.au/

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Mr Riggs McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014

Regional, varietal. Carrying the fudge, muddy; married to dark plummy fruit, ably supported by good use of (mainly older) oak

Pretty thick, chewy wine on entry. There's a good fruit presence, tannin somewhat moderated, yet a firm persistence of flavour pervades and carries long. Some of that salt-licorice-bitterness on the back end, again regional-varietal. 


Goes alright now, better with a stint in the cellar. 91+ 

Tasted on: Thursday 7th December, a Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $50
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: DIAM
Website: http://www.mrriggs.com.au/

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Thursday, 11 January 2018

Domaine Catherine Bernard IGP Pays d'Hérault Mourvèdre 2016

The Pays d'Hérault is in the Languedoc in France's South-West. Taking its name from the Herault River that forms one of its boundaries, it sits in a natural amphitheatre over predominantly Limestone and Schist, the former being Mourvèdre's beloved foundation.

Caveat: tasted in shite Air BnB stemware

Black fruit at its heart, herbal essences with a licorice undertow. Medium bodied and light touch on entry, its juiciness surprises - disarms - given the variety. 

The licorice elements make their presence known, ably supported by the freshness that characterises the wine. There's a gentle play of tannin that sits well through the finish. Very good wine. 92 

Tasted on: Sunday 17th December, a Leaf day
Source: Retail, Frenchie
Price: $30 Approx 
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: DIAM
Website: n/a

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Pig in the House Organic Rosé 2017

Winemaking by the book here. Fragrant wine, offering up strawberry, hints of raspberry and a suggestion of these delightful boiled lollies I affectionately recall from childhood called 'Rhubarb and Custard'.

Palate of moderate acidity; gentle rasp of tannin - a dryness balanced against a little residual fruit sweetness. Generous in length - surprisingly so - accentuating the fruit quality. Predominantly Sangiovese with a touch of the Shiraz for additional depth. 90

Tasted on: Wednesday 10th January, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.piginthehouse.com.au

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