An Australian Wine Blog

Friday, 30 November 2018

Robert Stein Riesling 2018

Always look forward to the new releases of Robert Stein Riesling, often coming as a trio (Dry, Off-Dry and Sweet). 

In 2018 the Dry instance carries its calling card of lemon grass and kaffir lime. The palate a touch broader and softer than I recall, more rounded citrus, a decent length of grapefruit acidity.

Good, but not quite the stature of precious releases. 91 

Tasted on: Friday 5th October 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://robertstein.com.au

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Pizzini King Valley Riesling 2018

Sly and the Family Stone’s “It’s a Family Affair” was the ear worm that naturally sprang to mind as I checked my assumed history of the Pizinni family along with that of winemaking up in North-East Victoria’s King Valley.

A region with a deep Italo-Australian heritage, a region originally planted to tobacco before many families saw the writing on the wall and replanted to grapes. 

The Pizinni’s planting their first in 1978 before making the first wine under their own name in 1994, under the guiding hand of patriarch Alfredo.

Beautifully aromatic Riesling, offering up an aroma as crisp and clean as I imagine the sub-alpine air of the King Valley, itself butting up to Australia’s Alpine range.

Citrus, lemongrass and hints of talcum waft from the glass - but the energy, for me, lies in the palate where a distinct minerality and verve provide the buzz from the go.

Has a width and semblance of textural presence compared to, say, the Clare or Eden Valleys. And nor should the King Valley taste like those other regional markers given the considerable distance and differences in topology.

Finishes with a citrus flourish, clean and long, on a drying finish. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 1st November
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 11.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.pizzini.com.au

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d'Arenberg The Dry Dam Riesling 2018

Kaffir Lime, Granny Smith apple - skin and blossom - certainly a fragrant Riesling, and adding weight to previously aired thoughts on the quality of Riesling from the vintage. 

Exquisitely refreshing, piercing acidity, hints of a phenolic pinch. Latterly feels a little fleshy, a nice width and weight to the wine. Also carries through an element of peachy flavour with that to the finish. 92 

Tasted on: Wednesday 28th November 
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 10%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au

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Thursday, 29 November 2018

Bremerton Selkirk Shiraz 2016

I sank into its welcome black-fruited embrace as I approached the end of a week long "holiday" keeping the kids entertained. Aniseed accents added aromatic seasoning to its fruitsome flesh. 

It's quite a simple approach: black fruit, a little oak seasoning and powdery tannin make for a damn approachable wine. Set to go now, it's balanced and integrated - a good drinking proposition. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 4th October 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au

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Margan Chardonnay 2017

Full on ripe Hunter Chardonnay, dripping with what seems like honeyed pear drops, positively oozing at that. 

It carries that 'golden', somewhat treacley feel, fancy oak in the mix too. Lavish, lush in a weighty manner - although it pulls up a little short. 88 

Tasted on: Thursday 4th October 
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.margan.com.au

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Bremerton Mollie & Merle Verdelho 2018

Verdelho has a reputation as somewhat of a workhorse like variety, offering up a veritable fruit salad of aromas and flavours - this example from the Langhorne legends Bremerton no exception.

Smells like a sweetened fruit juice, something like pineapple juice meets lemon squash. I can see how it would have its appeal for those of a sweeter persuasion! 


The fruit sweetness transfers to the palate, rolls around it nicely, has a decent thrust of flavour. It's thickly laid on, subtlety not necessarily its marker. Perhaps for those with, err, less subtle palates it would be the go. A gateway from Moscato perhaps. 87 

Tasted on: Thursday 4th October 
Source: Sample
Price: $17
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au

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Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Gartelmann Jesse Shiraz 2014

Deep set black fruit with oak remnants sitting around.

Slick and silken feel, black fruit sitting proud. Hints of aniseed, as if by a vein flowing through. Flow it does, has a nice balance, weight and energy for a wine just shy of 15%. 

Although it does feel like that balance has come at the expense of substance. 90 

Tasted on: Wednesday 3rd October 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.gartelmann.com.au

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Rymill gt Gewürztraminer 2018

Exhibits all the hallmarks of Gewürztraminer, by way of the musk and rosewater. It's a lighter take mind, and no worse for it. 

A Minerally edge is really the defining aspect to the palate, faint musk and something like a lychee bent running through. Lightness being the watchword, a subtle take on the style, earlier picking to achieve that. 88 

Tasted on: Wednesday 3rd October 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.rymill.com.au

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Huntington Estate Special Reserve Semillon 2017

Softer aromatics, the citrus and grassiness are kind of given, that's followed up by a softer bent of tropical fruit - honeydew melon meets something like peach juice.

The palate shows the softer tropical flow, with a steelier spine - as if to act as a guide. Unsure it necessarily offers too much more over the standard release. 90 

Tasted on: Wednesday 3rd October 
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 11.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://huntingtonestate.com.au

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Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Montalto Estate Teurong Block Chardonnay 2016

Greenish hue in the glass, and seems to evoke a green response aromatically, yet is all dripping ripe stonefruit. 

At turns both fleshy, yet clipped and crisp. It evokes a somewhat fleshy and sensuous response.

There's a citrus acidity running deep, both lime and grapefruit. Zesty fresh, with a drying phenolic edge that serves to pinch and accentuate the flavour. 

It's a fine wine, of focus and precision with an excellent tail of flavour. 94 

Tasted on: Wednesday 3rd October 
Source: Sample
Price: $60
Alcohol: 12.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://montalto.com.au

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Tim Adams Pinot Gris 2018

Has the delightful kiss of the barest of skin contact, a pale golden/ translucent onion skin blush, that I like in a Gris. 

Don't serve too chilled, else you'll suppress the delicate aromatics: blossom, Nashi pear (AKA 'papples' as they're known.around these parts, being a pear that looks like an apple). 

There's a textural stonefruit line that runs across the palate, more like a peach nectar - seemingly bringing with it a residual sweetness. Lends that width, in the way sugar is want. Temporarily prolongs the finish. Would work well with a dish carrying some spice, a decent Thai dish perhaps. 88 

Tasted on:Tuesday 2nd October 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.timadamswines.com.au

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Huntington Estate Special Reserve Merlot 2016

It's always with a fair degree of trepidation that I approach a Merlot sample. Do the viticulturist and winemaker understand understand the nuances of the variety in its chosen region? Or have they produced a generic dry red offering little varietal definition?
Huntington Estate traditionally used its Merlot in 'Bordeaux' blends, first producing it as a varietal in 2006 and opting to release as a 'Special Reserve' in exceptional vintages.
This 2016 release is classic Huntington Estate and typically Mudgee. Add varietal Merlot in the frame and you get mocha oak with a little tobacco thrown in. The tannin profile is exquisitely fine, it's the first thing I noticed as it floods across the palate. 
Not without a sense of freshness, backed up with a swathe of black fruit. Concludes with what can only be described as the Mudgee terroir carrying long on the finish. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 2nd October 
Source: Sample
Price: $38
Alcohol: 14.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://huntingtonestate.com.au

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Monday, 26 November 2018

Cook's Lot Pinot Gris 2018

I've never really quite understood nougat (or 'nugget' as I referred to it in my youth), save for its writ large here and offers appeal. 

Canteloupe melon, pear segments - more mineral on the palate than many a Gris offers. Has a little texture, bringing with it hints of citrus and tropical elements that bolster the profile. 

Certainly stands out from the crowd with respect to other Gris, and this somewhat straddles that Gris/gio territory. No bad thing mind. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 2nd October 
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.cookslot.com.au/

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Angullong Fossil Hill Barbera 2017

Barbera is not exactly a common variety here in Australia, and appears to fair well in some rather diverse regions. Here, Orange - and off a vineyard situated at 600-620 metres - shows the variety well in a cool climate - for Australia at least - guise. 

It's all a mix of Berry fruit married to savoury, woody/herbal hints. There's a remnant of oak in play too. Delightfully poised, with a medium bodied aspect, black fruit with liberal twists of pepper. 

Tannins are fine, powdery, coating the mouth and adding to a generous finish. We opted to pair this with a vegetarian lasagne, where it was more than a match for the juicy, tomato laden construct. Go here, easily. 92 

Tasted on: Monday 1st October 
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.angullong.com.au

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Bremerton Tamblyn 2016

Bordeaux with a little South Australia thrown in, being a blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Shiraz, 12% Malbec and 7% Merlot.
Sure packs in a bit for its $18, with Cabernet off the bat and providing the framework around which the rest hangs. Red berries with that lick of cassis and unmistakable lift of Malbec in the mix.
Soft and fleshy with fine tannins. You'd happily go here for $18. 90
Tasted on Saturday 29th September
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: 

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Sunday, 25 November 2018

Lana Prosecco NV

A subsidiary label for Pizzini, named after the town that bears the same name, located in the Trentino Alto-Adige region of North East Italy. Looking to showcase more old world techniques.

Light bead, sitting pretty and golden in glass. Apple skins, pear, yeasty autolysis and a touch of citrus. 

Spring fresh, it opens up with a large volume of wine. Dry with citrus hints, gently tugging along. 88 

Tasted on: Sunday 25th November 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Crown Seal
Website: https://www.pizzini.com.au

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Saturday, 24 November 2018

Castle Rock Estate Porongurup Riesling 2018

Wonderfully fragrant Riesling from Western Australia's Great Southern. It's all lemongrass and kaffir lime, from aromatics alone I was expecting a tropical fruit sorbet of sorts. 

It's bracing, with a fine acidic crunch and spread across the palate, all lime juice in a length of great satisfaction. It goes fantastically now, yet that natural acidity could yet see its best days ahead of it. 

Impressive in many ways. 93 

Tasted on: Tuesday 20th November 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://castlerockestate.com.au

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Saturday, 3 November 2018

Angullong Fossil Hill Sangiovese 2017

Captivating perfume, not quite able to place my finger on it specifically, plum and black fruit meets anise. Perhaps almond. Subsides.

Juicy, vibrant, a good acidic presence. The tannin powdery and fine, providing a wave and presence that is at odds to the freshness. This lapped up a shank ragu, the acidity and tannin a perfect foil for the fatty protein. 

Would happily have this at hand. Drink to 4 years 90

Tasted on: Sunday 30th September 
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.angullong.com.au

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Friday, 2 November 2018

Tapanappa Foggy Hill Pinot Noir 2017

Does nothing to supress my urge to visit this site. Looking very good this 2017 vintage, even if it warmer than average - not always great for the variety at hand - but the seasonal warmth only tells one aspect, for the preceding winter was gloriously wet, given the dormant vines a good drink. And in return how they reward us.

Sour Cherry, Leaf matter, meaty, with mushroom skins. Beautifully savoury Pinot Noir.

Soft, silken - like a scarf, threading its way across the palate. Has a slight woody, burnt ends and undercurrent of caramelisation to it. Further reinforcing its savoury credentials, backed up with a resurrection of fruit presence. Impressive. 93

Tasted on: Sunday 30th September 
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://tapanappa.com.au

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Rock of Wisdom Superfly Rosé 2018

A second, or rather parallel, label for the Rock of Wisdom crew of Peter and Sofi Hiscock. Certainly up there with respect to offering some of the best bang for buck in drinkability combined with visual 'shelf-shout' appeal. At least as far my opinion goes, FWIW.

Cranberry, rose, a little Turkish Delight. A lifted edge, augmenting - not distracting - maybe a toffee apple, caramel complexity. Bergamot, even. Complex aromatically, revealing a shifting aromatic landscape.

Pretty rich, texturally, luscious in how it wraps itself around the palate. Faint kisses of berry fruit, just touching off what is fundamentally a savoury-centric wine. 


Straddles a line, although I'm not quite certain which side of an imaginary line it sits. That said, on a 'Spring' day where Brisbane nudged the 35° mark it certainly was appreciated. 91 

Tasted on: Friday 26th October 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: Superfly

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Thursday, 1 November 2018

Silkwood Estate The Bowers Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Couldn't find too much about this wine on either the producer or distributor's website.

Certainly opens confidently and with conviction, a herbaceous, nettle and an underlying citrus aroma awakening and enlivening, leaving no doubt as to the variety at hand.

Opens with a creamy, rounded and softened palate. The nettle and herb spikes up towards the middle palate, somewhat unsettling and leading to a slight bitter, acidic crackle before settling into a gentle ending, somewhat surprisingly. 

On the one hand a a fairly commercial minded Sauvignon Blanc that at least offers some interest. 88 

Tasted on: Saturday 27th October 
Source: Sample
Price: $TBC
Alcohol:TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.silkwoodestate.com.au
Sample Via: http://www.singlevineyards.com

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