An Australian Wine Blog

Friday, 31 August 2018

Montalto Main Ridge Pinot Noir 2016

Sour Cherry, veering to softer notes of wild strawberry and Pomegranate. 

Soft, sensuous and inviting. The tannin profile seems a little firmer than elsewhere in the portfolio amongst an impressive array of single vineyard wines. Yet, for that it is elegant and long as befits the cooler aspect of the Main Ridge site higher up the Peninsula. 


A fine elegant length, hints of spice and pine forest floor. 93 

Tasted on: Friday 24th August, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $70
Alcohol: 13.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://montalto.com.au/

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Tim Adams The Aberfeldy Shiraz 2014

This vintage just exhibits this bright perfume, a mix of blue fruit, eucalypt and a smattering of oak seasoning. It's wonderfully inviting to the drinker.

For all its forward nature, its still reserved and quite tight in the body. The tannin is fine-grained and also firm at the same time. 

Substantive in nature, like many a good wine it straddles that line between fine and sensuous, and yet with a fuller frame - aspects and qualities that will serve well for the future. 93

Tasted on: Friday 24th August, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.timadamswines.com.au

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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Yellow Tail Prosecco NV

Has a delicate floral, apple blossom and nashi pear profile - certainly quite inviting.

Light and vibrant with a zestiness, it’s actually quite a gentle wine - unlike many Prosecco that have a coarse, agressive mineral profile. A little additional sugar has added some weight and texture, to soften that palate profile. 

Decent finish, lacking the finesse of methode bubbles for sure, but for around the $12-13 mark the casual drinker will be happily rewarded. 86 

Tasted on: Saturday 18th August, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $14.99
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Zork
Website: www.yellowtailwine.com

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Delinquente Pretty Boy Nero Rosé 2018

Pretty aromatics here, a floral meets Berry concoction that offers an open invitational to the drinker.

The body is lose, fluid - not quite the snappy tautness of the vogue style - the Berry and spiced nuances following on. 

It's a light and flavoursome example, a good early Spring offering. 90

Tasted on: Saturday 18th August, a Flower to Leaf day

Source: Retail
Price: $22
Alcohol: 
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.delinquentewineco.com/

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Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Peter Lehmann Futures Shiraz 2016

Peter Lehmann wines, iconic Barossa Valley winery now of course owned by the Casella Group, and part of an increasingly diversified wine portfolio.

Classic Shiraz in the style and manner for which the Barossa came to international fore. It possesses that rich damson and plum character, oozing fruit and supported by a framework of dark chocolate and old leather.

It's a full wine with the addition of acidity for freshness. Its fruit presence lingers long, the tannin seemingly an afterthought from what came before, smooth and even across its finish. 

Classic mould for sure. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 16th August, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $20.95
Alcohol: 14.5% 
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.peterlehmannwines.com/

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Yelland and Papps Devote Roussanne 2017

Roussanne here in its youth, exhibiting more by way of vanilla with honeysuckle florals. 

Tremendous presence on the palate, conveys itself in an assured manner: textural width with a spice tinged presence, graceful length.

Good length, again it offers itself in a calm and measured manner. Classy. 92 

Tasted on: Saturday 18th August, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 12.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yellandandpapps.com/

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Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Alkoomi White Label Rosé 2018

An air of floral and candied fruit wafts from the glass. Petit Verdot's bright perfume unmistakable here. 

Has a fullness of body, yet a chalky dryness to it. A creamy vanilla Broulee character comes before a gentle line of acidity, tugging the wine along with it. 


Gentle, persistent length. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 16th August, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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Ridgemill Estate 'The Czar' Saperavi 2016


I love wine for many reasons, its obvious inherent joy of consumption and sharing in its experience - but also its ability for me to learn. For in the sampling of this gem, I learned that Teinturier is a term used for when grapes have both red juice and flesh (the majority of red grapes having only red skins, with the juice being white and taking their colour from extended contact with the skin).

Saperavi, a grape of Georgian (former USSR/Soviet Union, not US Deep South) origin that is gaining some traction here in Australia, from regions as diverse as McLaren Vale to the high country in Victoria's North-East, to Queensland's Granite Belt and this example from Ridgemill Estate - sadly now sold out ex-winery!

Firm, dense and purple nose - there's oak at its heart and a plethora of blue/black fruit. Full bodied, weighty and with depth and penetration that just gives and gives, yielding to none. 


For all its initial bustle and brawn, it's plush and silken threaded leading to a firmer tannin profile. A kaleidoscopic wine of many parts. 93

Tasted on: Tuesday 14th August, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://ridgemillestate.com/

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Monday, 27 August 2018

d'Arenberg Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2017

Apricot nectar leads, carries with it a white pepper - perhaps mace too - and gingerbread spice.

Palate offers vanilla creme, leading to a roundness of palate. It grows in stature, lime and tropical elements added to the picture. Pulls up a little short - minor quibble at $15, good and interesting drinking otherwise. 89 

Tasted on: Thursday 16th August, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Out of Step Wine Co Willowlake Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017

All that is true and virtuous about Pinot Noir, with its savoury charms and spicy ways. 

Feels more 'traditional' than the 2016, an observation nothing more. Then again '17 was a ripper of a vintage in the Yarra, why resort to the sophist's playbook given that? 

There's the wild strawberry and sour cherry elements present, nothing dominant; dries leaf matter warrants a mention, as does an assortment of spice. 

Fine body, powdery tannin and a surging acidic presence. An excellent follow up, that power and presence alone worthy of the inclusion in the cellar. 93

Tasted on: Tuesday 14th August, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $34
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.outofstepwineco.com/

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Sunday, 26 August 2018

d'Arenberg The Lucky Lizard Chardonnay 2017

Straddles that line here between Chardonnay’s inherent charm and the winemakers hand, there’s a mere hint of complexity matched against the feint peach and vanilla creme hints of the fruit.

Citrus cuts a swathe through the wine, some time on lees adds a little weight and a hint of green apple adds an extra dimension to the palate. 90 

Tasted on: Thursday 16th August, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.darenberg.com.au

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Sunday, 19 August 2018

Chateau Yaldara Foundations Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris typically has that ripened pear aromatic profile, this Adelaide Hills example being no exception. It smells riper, you might even say it has that Autumnal feel - as opposed to, say the Spring of Riesling - with a heavier, veering to spice aspect. 

The palate, whilst not wanting for texture, lacks a little definition. Broad in profile, the spicier elements more pronounced on through to the finish. 89 

Tasted on: Tuesday 7th August, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://1847wines.com/

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The Natural Wine Co Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Cool climate Sauvignon Blanc on offer here. Carries the cut grass and tropical aromatics, by way of a suggestion of rock melon.'

Slight herbal inflections across the palate, drying, grippy and with a vein of acidity. Finishes well. 89 

Tasted on: Sunday 5th August, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.natural-wine-co.com/

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Saturday, 18 August 2018

Bremerton Walter's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

For all its stated 15%, it sure carries it well. Typical Cabernet profile of Cassis and cedar over pencil shaving oak. It's an aromatic winning formula. 

It's a touch firmer and fuller on the palate, not quite rum and raisin territory, certainly Mulberry, plum and spirited alcoholic warmth, a contrast to the aromatics. Eucalypt notes flow gently thereon. Well and substantively framed. 

A wine with certain appeal. 92

Tasted on: Saturday 4th August, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $56
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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Friday, 10 August 2018

Huntington Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Certainly Mudgee, definitively Cabernet. Carries the fudge and oak over the red Berry heart. Faint cedar, suggestion of nuttiness perhaps.

The palate shows a wine of medium to firm body, elements of spice. A line that carries itself long across the palate, mint and herbal inflections just make me think a juicy lamb roast. 90

Tasted on: Friday 3rd August, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 13.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://huntingtonestate.com.au/

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Ballycroft Small Berry Mataro 2015

A mere 55doz produced, spends 28m in shaved out, re-skimmed American Oak.

There's a growing culture of producing barrel aged beers in Australia's burgeoning beer scene. Upon opening this heavenly concoction from old mate Joe, I was reminded of such with its come hither port, and portly, Plum, raisin and nutty vibes. 

Joe Evans is a man to be admired, making his wines in what you'd consider a house style, and perhaps the anti-thesis to himself. For Joe's diminutive size is the stark opposite to his larger than life wines. 

This 2015 guise of the Ballycroft Mataro is a richly concocted brew, very much in the rum 'n' raisin mould, with dark spice that rides through the wine. Whilst an initial smoothness greets the drinker on entry, it's stature grows and envelopes the palate. 

It's perhaps a little off balance initially for my personal ways, but fans of Joe's wines will lap this up and with some 'air time' or the cellar this settles into a nice rhythm. There's no denying the quality of Joe's hand tended fruit, when allowed to shine. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 7th August, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.ballycroft.com/

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Thursday, 9 August 2018

Rymill Shiraz 2015

Coonawarra is obviously better known for its Cabernet, then perhaps the Terra Rossa. Which comes first mind, in the hierarchy?

Dusty, dusky, Plum with oak remnants sitting around the core. 

More oak sitting prominently in the palate, swamps the fruit. Firm and forceful through the middle. Not one of finesse, it's rather stern. Smoky oak is really what leads here. 89 

Tasted on: Friday 3rd August, a Leaf to Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.rymill.com.au/

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Tim Adams Riesling 2018

Pristine Clare Valley Riesling on display here. It's that heavenly mix of spring blossoms meets bruised lime, with perhaps a suggestion kumquat marmalade lurking in the background.

Has the zip wire focus Riesling in youth so often has, a guidewire off which citrus hangs and, surprisingly, a chalky pucker is felt. Not entirely unusual in Clare Riesling, but often examples twice the price. 92

Tasted on: Sunday 5th August, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.timadamswines.com.au

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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Edenflo Old Vine Syrah 2017

Satsuma Plum meets orange oil infusion - is like an essential oil enthusiasts favourite wine. Pretty in the aromatics, jocularity aside. 

Succulent on entry, depth and and intensity of flavour with persistent tannins that roll through the palate. At once its both succulent and also firm in how it presents itself. 

Quite superb drinking. Highlighting both winemaker's skill and Eden Valley's charms. 94 

Tasted on: Thursday 2nd August, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: TBC

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Monday, 6 August 2018

Robert Stein The Kinnear Shiraz 2014

Smells dense and dark, a whiff of Pan juices - dark and sticky. It's an experience, on aroma alone. You sense the initial introduction will be intense. 

Lithe, silken on entry - then it hits. It's a liquid slap, one that reverberates across the palate sending waves of flavour. Tannin, fine-grained, many a suggestion of spice through it. There's nary a suggestion of fruit, shrouded and crowded as it is by the spice and oak. 

An experience, sullen for now - its best is ahead of it, for 24 hours later it started to sing. 94

Tasted on: Saturday 4th August, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $80
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap (Stelvin Luxe)
Website: https://robertstein.com.au/

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Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Subtlety could almost be the watchword here. For a variety known for its nigh boisterous and overt aromatic, Xavier Bizot has teased out a wine that's balance and neatness personified.

There's gentle texture, more phenolic derived than weight, that just carries the wine as it slowly ebbs across the palate. Moderate acidity, again it's more about the length and carry of flavour here. Exceptional winemaking. 92

Tasted on: Sunday 5th August
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au/

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Sunday, 5 August 2018

Yealands Estate Land Made Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Quite unsure as to what 'Land Made' means in the context of the wine, still it's attractively packaged.

Presents itself well, somewhat more delicate on the aromatic profile. It's all tropical fruit ahoy! Mixing guava, papaya and suggestion of citrus thrown in for freshness.

Palate shows the freshness, cut and acidity of the variety - giving drive and verve. Well made. 91

Tasted on: Sunday 5th August
Source: Sample
Price: $
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.yealands.co.nz/

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Babydoll Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Classically proportioned New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It's all fresh, up front, carrying that that Gooseberry and herbal opening that has come to define a style (rightly or wrongly) and certainly launched a nation's wine industry.

Clean, crisp, good line of acid that extends well into the furthest reaches. There's that lingering grapefruit acidity cut with with some zesty lemon. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 5th August
Source: Sample
Price: $17.99 (NZ?)
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.babydollwines.co.nz

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Saturday, 4 August 2018

Ferngrove Black Label Malbec 2016

Deep purple (smoke on the water...) fruit here, like a Plum or Mulberry jam, almost straddling the blue spectrum.

Fruit carries through, a list dusting of spice. Fine, powdery tannin coats the mouth here - persistent in their presence and character. 


Brings - and leaves - more of a savoury mien about it, a pleasant contrast to the initial fruit foray. 88 

Tasted on: Wednesday 1st August, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.ferngrove.com.au

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Friday, 3 August 2018

Margan Hunter and Bramble 2018

Hunter Rosé made from Barbera and Merlot.

Carries an air of delicate red fruit, with hints of rose petal and a musky touch. 

The palate shows sweeter fruit presence than I was expecting, without the cloying aspect. There's a little body, not the textural weight or width that often - for mine - accompanies the sugar. 

It carries itself well, a gentle cascading length. But I was somewhat disarmed by the fruit presence. Not a personal preference, but a well made wine. 88 

Tasted on: Friday 27th July, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.margan.com.au/

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Montalto Red Hill Block Pinot Noir 2016

From a site 110m above sea level, on the ocean side of the peninsula.

Initially on opening fresh I detected what I thought was the presence of oak. That, if it was indeed there, soon gave way to something else entirely with sour cherry and plum at the core. 

It seemed something of a shape shifter, Pinot Noir with more of that piney Pinosity - the earth and forest floor. The fruit is certainly more persistent - and prominent - on the palate, yet it is this fine minerality that pervades and persists, with an refreshening acid line. 

Two from two, the Montalto 2016 single vineyard Pinot Noir releases are looking very fine. 93

Tasted on: Friday 27th July, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $70
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://montalto.com.au/

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Thursday, 2 August 2018

Out of Step Wine Co Willowlake Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2017

I'm not going to shy away from the fact that this is a complex and challenging wine that, for me, defied conventional interpretation. Certainly aromatically. 

The palate has this cascading fluidity, nigh on slippery in the way it glides across the palate with ease. It's over-riding sense is of struck flint, as you might get as a kid, banging two stones together to reveal a flinty edge. 

It's long, generous - and at the same time graceful, even with its hard edge. Sauvignon Blanc re-interpreted. 93

Tasted on: Tuesday 24th July, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.outofstepwineco.com/

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