An Australian Wine Blog

Friday, 31 May 2019

Harewood Estate Flux-V Pinot Noir 2018

I'd heartily recommend a good look at the Harewood website for its dynamic representation of the various terroir at play here. Impressive stuff.

From the accompanying PR: With (winemaker) James Kellie’s attractive FLUX wines, there is more freedom - but an equal attention to detail - as his meticulously composed wines that we know well from Harewood Estate."

The Rieslings in the portfolio are impressive, a meticulous look at a range of Riesling terroir across the great Souther. James' winemaking career started at the exemplary Howard Park, an experience he brings to his own Harewood Estate label.
 
Sits in a DMZ between an aromatic Pinot Noir and a light, dry red. Floral, something like Pomegranate meets hibiscus. 

Light on entry veering towards a firmer palate, that drier red territory. Fine tannin, light spice. It's perhaps somewhat angular, yet it remains inherently enjoyable with spicier notes bringing the wine home. 91 

Tasted on: Monday 13th May, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.harewoodestate.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Liv Zak Rosé 2017

I'm liking these Warramunda and Liv Zak wines, a suggestion of early picking (on both ABVs and flavour profile), with an approachability now, and structure to boot.

Delicate Berry aromatics, florals and a softness that reminds of talcum (or such). 

Crispness, a delicate acidic crunch that meets a textural roundness that lends a waxy feel - somewhat like apple skin. Suggestion of tart acidity freshens things up a touch. 90 

Tasted on: Thursday 15th November 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://warramundaestate.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Bremerton Malbec 2016

Blue fruit, bramble, hedgerow - aromatically intriguing, alluring. Of interest for sure.

Smooth, silken (maceration/skin s?), fine tannins. Dusky violets, cassis - in the realm of baked blue fruit - where it loses sweetness, retaining 'fruit' preserve. Good length, unforced 90 

Tasted on: Sunday 18th November 
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Thursday, 30 May 2019

d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2017

A modest $2 increase for the Footbolt over the prior vintage, although that represents a 10\11% increase if you look at it that way. 

Still bloody banging bargain, for what is a stellar performer. 

I was a touch concerned about some jangly acidity last time round, not so here. It's freshness personified - both on aromatics and in initial palate expression. Fine tannins, finer than perhaps you'd expect for something at the price point, the usual expression of Plum and Mulberry fruit. The freshness and carry of acid are there, much more in balance. 

The wine finishing well, given the ask. I've often remarked how I've seen this wine age well, that fruit and acidity the markers suggesting this vintage no exception. 91 

Tasted on: Sunday 27th April, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Ferngrove Black Label Merlot 2016

Darn good Merlot for the dollar. Carries a freshness from the off, reminds of stewing plums in a kitchen - as a preamble to assembling some form of pie. A slight menthol hint adding to that aromatic profile. 

It's rather light in colour, almost garnet-like with a shimmering irresdesence. Firmer than one might suspect, given the colour and aroma. Elements of licorice lift the wine beyond the plum, raspberry and kiss of vanilla - again it reminds of a summer Plum pudding, a suggestion of grainy tannin bolstering the wine through the final third. 90 

Tasted on: Sunday 28th October 

Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.ferngrove.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Brand's Laira Blockers Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Chocolate and wafts of menthol. A rich and heavenly brew that veers toward rum 'n' raisin territory. 

Possesses a thick and chewy palate, certainly defined and purposeful, yet somewhat singular in its conviction. There are elements of the black fruit and oak inflections that make up the style. Solid. Blockers.  89

Tasted on: Saturday 27th October 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.brandslaira.com

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Atze's Corner Rosé 2018

But my name was Elisa Day. Coppery hued number here, positively radiates a berry led vibe on approach. Think more like redcurrant and cranberry over a little of the raspberry. It's made from Grenache - primarily - with a dribble of Mataro thrown in. 

Crunch and spice through the middle, a nice phenolic rasp and something like a dried earth twist. Dried citrus somewhat completes the profile. 90

Tasted on: Saturday 30th March, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://atzes.com

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Atze's Corner Wild Rose Vermentino 2018

It's been a while since I've had the pleasure of seeing some Atze's Corner releases. Sadly in the month that has passed since tasting this release, the "Sold Out" sign has gone up on the Atze's website for it.

Vermentino has been amongst the next "great white hopes" of Australian wine for approaching a decade now. As a variety it's clearly suited to warm regions, with its ability to retain acid even with heat. 

As a wine, this particular example, highly fragrant, floral. Honeysuckle, apple blossom meets peach skins. 

Has a semblance of texture, mouthfeel, rock melon kind of vibe going on. Generous all round package with that texture, flavour and a clip-along acidity driving length. 91


Tasted on: Thursday 4th April, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://atzes.com/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Harewood Estate Porongurup Riesling 2018

Nettle, cut grass, florals and citrus. Fainter tropical hunts lie underneath, mango and perhaps a little lychee.

Sharp, razor-like green apple and citrus acidity greets you on entry. Has a distinctive tang, induces a salivatory experience across the palate from the lemon/lime acidity.

Good length, flowing - a fine wine, perhaps a little too youthful at this juncture. 91+ 

Tasted on: Friday 7th December 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.harewoodestate.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Pizzini Nonna Gisella Sangiovese 2017

Evocative of cherry, even a little macerated raspberry as it veers toward the lighter end of the red fruit spectrum.

Dazzling palate, soft and supple on entry. Acidity freshens and awakes in what seems a secondary movement. Tannin is soft, almost powdery. All this makes up to deliver good length. 

Has enough about it to be versatile with foodstuffs, delivering now in youth and with the structure for ageing. 92  

Tasted on: Sunday 25th November
Source: Sample
Price: $21.5
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.pizzini.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Huntington Estate Special Reserve Shiraz 2015

It's hard to keep up with the extensive range from the Huntington stable, here a reserve Shiraz, as ever with a bit of cellar time already under the belt. 

It's drawn from fruit off of fifty year old vines, on skins for 11 days and then seeing 20 months maturation in American oak, a quarter of which is new. It's an aromatic riot of blackberry, cassis, coffee grounds, perhaps a suggestion of sage too, 

In the main it's all about the fruit and supporting oak structure; bramble/briar, tannins are fine and powdery. Savoury structure, generous tail of flavour. 92 

Tasted on: Sunday 14th October 
Source: Sample
Price: $42
Alcohol: 14.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://huntingtonestate.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Monday, 27 May 2019

Superfly Grenache Mataro 2018

Ah yes, the one for making love with the lights on. Don't tell the Mrs, but I reckon these two are the other great loves of my life!

Fresh, vibrant, juicy. We had this accompanied by Charles Bradbury covering Black Sabbath's 'Changes', perfect juxtaposition of soul with some depth. Kinda takes that almost jammy, sweeter edge before plunging you head first into the darker elements.

Slick, like riding on the coattails of a silken jacket. The fruit an excellent carry of flavour that flows gloriously, in a succulent wave. Gorgeous, no nonsense. 89 

Tasted on: Friday 26th October 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://rock-of-wisdom.myshopify.com

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Coppabella Sirius Chardonnay 2017

Winemaking at the margins here, up in the high country of Tumbarumba. Coppabella being a sister company to Jason and Alecia Brown's 'Moppity', with a singular focus to produce cool-climate wines of finesse and precision under that label.

The wine itself seemingly as pristine and clean as the air amongst which the vines precariously grow: citrus and hints of stonefruit. 

It's tight, focussed, a wire-taught line of acidity; grapefruit, hints of melon and just there nougat oak. Possesses almost a fragility, a barely there existence - yet it keeps going, perpetually flowing in its manner. Indeed a fine wine, of precision and complexity. 94  

Tasted on: Friday 24th May, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $60
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://coppabella.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Zonte's Footstep Lady Marmalade Vermentino 2018

Vermentino a few years back was touted as the next "great white hope" of Australian viticulture - they come along every so often, championed by a producer, well regarded scribe or such - being a somewhat drought tolerant variety that retains natural acid well. Such things take time, particularly amongst a wary consumer. 

There were some amongst the wine cognoscenti that tried to associate the variety with the humble Sardine, that went seemed to go down like a led herring. Pun certainly intended. 

As a variety it, and this example indeed does so, offers a fresh and fragrant aroma, redolent of Summer days. Here: stonefruit, citrus, so yes fresh and fragrant. 

But the palate offers both texture, how it feels in the mouth, roll and around and it's almost chewy. Beyond that a minerality, a tingle as it dances across the palate. Fresh and refreshing. Perhaps more for the summer months. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 24th May, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.zontesfootstep.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Friday, 24 May 2019

Shaw Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Jeez, I doubt this could be any more varietal if it tried! The Cabernet is strong in this one. 

Just exudes and emanates Cabernosity (it's not a word, I made it up) from the get go. All cedar, bay, bit of tomato bush in the mix. Smidge of sawdusty oak to book. It invites, lures, reels you back for more - in short, it's a bit of an aromatic ripper! 

Black fruit, cassis specifically, smooth with a eucalypt tang. It's all in check, an acidic fresh and at you finish, fine tannin on the profile. Happy to go here any time. 93 

Tasted on: Thursday 16th May, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://shawwines.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2017

Always a wine that exhibits the winemakers intent well. Here, the meal aspects of the Chardonnay combined with stonefruit hints sit first, with biscuity notes supplementary to that. 

The body a textural and minerally delight, with a fine spine of acidity. A wine of presence, elegance and balance. 93 

Tasted on: Wednesday 22nd May, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $49
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.shawandsmith.com

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Huntington Estate Barrel Ferment Chardonnay 2018

Toasty, barrel fermented funk going on. Grilled stonefruit softens that initial hit, adding a fruity succulence to the wine. Nougat, cashew - both serve to supplement things. 

That all flows through to the palate, a citrus edge adds flow and length to the wine. Hints of acid cut and thrust, perhaps a touch domineering at this early juncture. 

Impressive release, as ever, from the Huntington crew. 90 

Tasted on: Monday 6th may, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://huntingtonestate.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Saturday, 11 May 2019

d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2018

Has this golden aura, a succulent and rounded aromatic profile with stonefruit top notes. The Viognier is principal variety here and it shows. 

It's rich and loaded on the palate, the vanilla edged Marsanne staking its claim here. It's got a sweeter edge too, akin to a baked apricot pastry or such. It's fleshiness singing, filling the void of your oral cavity. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 10th May, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Terre à Terre Piccadilly Rosé 2018

Pinot Noir (82%) and Chardonnay (18%) drawn from the Bizot, Heysen and Summertown vineyards in the Piccadilly Valley (Adelaide Hills) originally destined for sparkling base, this being made from the pressings. 

Onion skin accents lure the eye in, red fruit and stonefruit tickles the olfactory organ. Time on lees in old oak for 9 months adds palate depth and weight, a light phenolic edge adding to that further. 

A crispness with lingering acidity, tugs things along, luring you back for another glass. 93

Tasted on: Thursday 9th May
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 12.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au/

Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac