An Australian Wine Blog

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Bunnamagoo Estate Cab Sauv Merlot 2016

Sent as part of a sample pack of winners from the 2018 Mudgee wine show, this wine bringing home "Winner of the Best Red Wine (not Shiraz or Cabernet).

Dusty and earthy, savoury notes emanate forth more than any fruit. Dark chocolate, nuts - each component is fermented separately, with elevage then in a combination of old and new American barrique. 

Deep wine, chewy, muddy tannins that seem - quintessentially and in perhaps a somewhat contrived label - typically Mudgee. 90

Tasted on: Tuesday 26th February
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.bunnamagoowines.com.au

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d'Arenberg d'Arry's Original Shiraz Grenache 2016

Ripe 'n' spicy, it conveys that nigh juby and redcurrant red fruit married to a veritable cornucopia of spices drawn from across the spice rack. 

Tannin fine, acid high, the fruit a central presence throughout. Medium to full, classic McLaren Vale and d'Arry's. It balances an intensity, in that surging relentless way, against the considered winemaking approach. 89

Tasted on: Tuesday 19th February, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.darenberg.com.au

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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Alkoomi Black Label Riesling 2018

Black Label is typically a highly expressive Riesling from the cool of Franklin River. This vintage is no exception, offering a complex range from the usual lime and kaffir lime through to more specific lemongrass.

Texturally it offers more than your typical line and length merchant, possessing a touch more width and textural presence. The aromatics that were present are also evident on the palate.

A lingering minerality really gives this wine extra carry, leaving a memorable presence on the palate. That’s if you can resist having another glass that is. 92 

Tasted on: Thursday 11th April, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au

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Pizzini Forza di Ferro Sangiovese 2015

Savoury aroma, meaty/bonoxy. Hints of Plum and violet florals lurking. An edge of brown spice. 

Soft, inviting, an onset of spice and yet with a sweet edge - initially - with the spice winning out across the length of the wine. Fine tannin, reinforces that sweet/savoury balance. And that's a key word, so unforced. 93 

Tasted on: Sunday 3rd February, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.pizzini.com.au

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Friday, 28 June 2019

d'Arenberg The Galvo Garage 2014

A wine I always look forward to on release. In part for its representation of an Aussie dream (for, which home owner doesn't want a 'Galvo' shed) and also its nod, deferential or otherwise, to the 'garagistes' - those artisan French winemakers, churning out their small batches in their 'sheds'. 

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (54%), PV (23%), and Merlot (23%). From the off it doesn't disappoint, it's varietal composition rings true, and even for a 5yo the freshness and vitality of fruit is still present.

Black fruit, subtle savoury twists, fine tannins. It gives the impression that it's been released just to start hitting its stride about now. On a good length. An excellent example of a release strategy. 92 

Tasted on: Tuesday 25th February
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.darenberg.com.au

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d'Arenberg The Money Spider Roussanne 2018

Skinsy, stonefruit feel, creamy vanilla nuances. Acidic freshness, a minerally spritz that dances along the palate. Certainly not wanting with respect to flavour, packing a punch - perhaps at the expense of more texture. 

Decent length and carry of flavour. For all those elements, it still feels like it needs time to pull together and settle. Good, regardless. 89

Tasted on: Tuesday 30th April, a Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.darenberg.com.au

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d'Arenberg The Cenosilicaphobic Cat Sagrantino Cinsualt 2012

Unsure what happened to this release, whether it was forgotten about, laying dormant for some time, or it actually is intended to be released as a 7 year old - rather unusual. 96% Sagrantino, 4% Cinsault.

Cherry, Plum, woody spice - almost exotic, with its fragrance lifting gently out of the glass. Drying, powdery tannin structure. Savoury, very little of the fruit presence, yet retaining the acidity. Remnants of oak linger, it's home for 24 months. It certainly needs some form of protein to lap up the gravelly tannins. 92

Tasted on: Monday 18th February, a Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap 
Website: www.darenberg.com.au

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Thursday, 27 June 2019

Westcourt Wines Liqueur Muscat 2000

A liquid time capsule - not sure I can definitively recall what I was doing back in 2000!

Toffee, rose water/petal, vanilla accents. It's the sweeter notes that lead, heady and aromatic, before the softer aromatics.

Slightly raisined, yet again the sweet toffee meets that initial dried fruit aspect, latterly itself transitioning to a spirited and alcoholic note. It possesses incredible depth for a wine at 19 years of age. Quite incredible. You feel it still has much ahead of it. 94 

Tasted on: Monday 27th May, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $50 (375ml)
Alcohol:18.4/22.2% (both listed)  
Closure: Screwcap
Website: N/A

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Juniper Small Batch Fiano 2018

Fairly neutral aromatic profile, faint husk and citrus pithiness. 

Delivers more across the palate, both in weight and texture along with flavour - half the wine being barrel fermented, adding weight and textural width. Good bracing acidity moves things along, and delivers a generous and spice tinged finish. 91 

Tasted on: Sunday 7th April
Source: Sample
Price: $
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.juniperestate.com.au

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Taylor's Estate Pinot Noir 2017

Macerated Strawberry, raspberry - a light red fruit manifestation, just with that slight edge of wildness, hints of carbonic maceration - but in fact isn't - and an inclusion of some whole bunch (suggestive).

Light to medium bodied, perhaps lacking depth and intensity. For the ask it's more than a viable proposition. In fact I thought it great value for an Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir. 90 

Tasted on: Thursday 14th February, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.taylorswines.com.au

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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Bremerton Batonnage Shiraz Malbec 2017

Bremerton are making a bit of a name for themselves with the Malbec variety, a pursuit which has led to the creation of this Shiraz/ Malbec blend.

Plummy Shiraz notes married to elements of purple. Fruit and florals of Malbec. Sweet, almost sugar accented, fruit.

Carries through to the palate. Soft, supple, good carry of dark fruit. Tannin is of good grain. 91

Tasted on: Sunday 3rd February, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au

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Peterson's Semillon 2012

Preserved lemons, lanolin, it's developing nicely - taking on the kero-like characters that we see in an aged Semillon.

The palate maintains freshness and vitality, citrus in the main and veering to something like a Weiss mango sorbet character.

It draws long across the palate, and you feel it has much to offer. 93

Tasted on: Saturday 15th June,
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 12.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.petersonswines.com.au

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Golden Grove Rosé Brose 2019

A recent trip to the Granite Belt led to the Cellar Door of Golden Grove Estate, jeez the Costanzo family are putting out some rippers, this Rosé no exception.

A ripping Rosé from Ray Costanzo of Golden Grove Estate in Queensland's Granite Belt. Made from parcels of Shiraz (43%), Sangiovese (34%), Grenache (23%).

A beautiful pale salmon Rose, strawberry kissed fruit accents, hints of cranberry. It's sensitively staking it's case, pitched nicely. Subtle fruit hints on the fore palate, entwined with an acidic freshness that lends a tang to the body and drives an exquisite length, partial barrel fermentation enhancing that. 

It's dry, not overtly so, just a very well made wine. 92

Tasted on: Thursday 20th June, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Cellar Door
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.goldengroveestate.com.au

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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Ridgemill Estate The Lincoln Shiraz Viognier 2017

The vibrant rim gives a clear indication of Viognier's presence in the blend. For mine it doesn't necessarily convey its presence aromatically, instead that consistent earthen presence, consistent with my thoughts on the 2016 (link) release. 

Deep and dark fruits convey their presence on the nose, yet - somewhat paradoxically - the softer fruit elements, perhaps even a little of Viognier's stonefruit, being present in the palate. 


Soft, seductive and sensuous, it's silken threaded tannins cascade across the palate. A resurgence of fruit provides some extra drive through the final third. A generous wine, though perhaps Joshua has the edge on Lincoln this year! 92 

Tasted on: Monday 17th June, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://ridgemillestate.com/

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Ridgemill Estate Joshua's Pup Shiraz Grenache 2017

Ridgemill have gone to town on the Rhone components in this vintage, whilst badged as a Shiraz Grenache, it also contains portions of both Viognier and Mourvedre (Mataro). 

It opens with the allure of warmed fruits, akin to a summer pudding; darker vibes - most likely from the Mataro - by way of plummy hints and earth. 

Medium bodied, it's a style - with accompanying spice - that the region does so well. The balance of sweet accented fruit with savoury depth creates a drinking proposition to weaken even the most resistant. This graphite meets black fruit marriage through the middle is compelling. 

A fine rasp of tannin completes the picture, a seasoning of black pepper just adding an accent to the wine. Superb stuff. 93 

Tasted on: Monday 17th June, a Leaf to Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://ridgemillestate.com

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Monday, 24 June 2019

Yelland and Papps Second Take Vermentino 2018

A whopping 310 days on skins, before the Papps kids earned their supper by pressing it off. 

Has that skinsy, herbal tea/Jasmine tea vibe going on, a suggestion of tart citrus ripples across the nose. Beautifully balanced, aspects of baking spice sit meshed into the wine's core, it's textural as it conveys presence across the palate, a fine acidic line the nervous system about which the wine brims.  

Multi-faceted, offering something at each and every turn. You feel that Michael and Susan have this finely tuned now, the seventh vintage for the Second Take range, fifth for this Vermentino, and it's a slick operation. 93 

Tasted on: Thursday 30th May, a Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 11.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yellandandpapps.com

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Yelland and Papps Second Take Mataro 2018

Savoury, whole bunch derived notes (84%). Peppery, briar, that stemmy goodness.

Delicate, black fruited body, fine grain of tannin. It's persistent in its manner. Perhaps less varietal, in what you might consider typical from a Barossa perspective. Doesn't make it right. Or wrong. It's a second take, perhaps, on the variety. Prettier, for sure, fresh and nimble.

It's lighter on its feet, with 5% new oak (for 9 months), clocking in at sub 13 points of alcohol. For a variety that, typically, is both later ripening and, again typically, allowed to hang a little longer on the Vine, it was still harvested towards the end of March. 


It's a fine wine, of that I am in no doubt. 92 

Tasted on: Saturday 1st June, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 12.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yellandandpapps.com

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Sunday, 23 June 2019

Ubertas Project D Shiraz 2017

Ubertas is the family owned and operated winery of Sung-Po Liu, who emigrated to Australia in 2007 after running a series of tech businesses across China and Taiwan. Sons, Phil and Kevin found great interest in the wine industry and after completing master degrees - in marketing and oenology respectively. - took on running the business. Project D being their dry grown Shiraz, from declared Old Vines.

Mulberry, Plum, kiss of oak - just an accent to the fruit. It's deep, touch of that earthen character in quality - and old Vine - Barossan Shiraz. 

A well made wine should possess inherent balance, clocking in at 15% you'd barely know it with this, that blue/black fruit mix reasserting its authority. 

Incredible depth, and persistence of flavour here. Tannin is fine, seemingly an afterthought to the wine's substantive presence. 92 

Tasted on: Wednesday 29th May, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $50
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: Cork
Website: http://ubertaswines.com.au/

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Bremerton Vermentino 2017

Floral and fragrant, has that peachy pop of flavour right at you from the off. Lemon fresh and pulp add the essential elements that take you to a rocky Mediterranean shoreline, waves breaking and adding a saline zip to the air. 

Briney, with a moderate phenolic edge and generous tail of crisp acidity. Chill hard and enjoy. Statements that apply equally to consumer and wine. 90 

Tasted on: Saturday 6th April, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au

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Pizzini La Volpe Nebbiolo 2017

Nebbiolo, beloved variety originally from Italy's Piedmonte region. Here, instead, from Victoria King Valley. Has the beautiful radiance, a garnet hue, redolent of cherry and pomegranate, spice tinged.

It's soft, encompassing, for a variety renowned for its tannin structure, it barely rates a mention. The aforementioned aromas flow onto the palate as flavour, again in that softened manner. 

It's not the most structured on wines, yet the combination of fruit presence and gentle tannin makes for a formidable combination - a versatile one at that. 91 

Tasted on: Friday 25th January, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $28
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.pizzini.com.au

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Saturday, 22 June 2019

Tapanappa Cabernet Shiraz 2015

Deep and rich, the appropriate representation of the two varieties. Plummy depths, cedary spiced.

Succulent, oak framed palate, still feeling somewhat raw for now, it will settle with time. It's deep, somewhat dense, grain of tannin. This just lapped up a lamb roast, the protein no much for that tannin. 

As stated, still pretty raw at this stage, will just need some time to settle, but the quality is undoubtedly there. 93 

Tasted on: Thursday 9th May
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 14.9%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://tapanappa.com.au

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Castle Rock Estate Skywalk Riesling 2018

Sold out ex-winery - I can understand why!

Seductive tropical aromatics lure from the off, of fleshy mango, orange oils and a husky, musky note.

The palate somewhat somewhat tighter than the openness might suggest. A fine minerality, delicate tail, running long and curtailing with a clip and crispness. 92 

Tasted on: Tuesday 2nd April, a Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://castlerockestate.com.au/

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Zonte's Footstep Dawn Patrol Pinot Noir 2017

Red currant, sour cherry, sarsaparilla. Delicious mid-weight, texture and presence. More of the red fruit elements weighing through the middle, subtlety so - a minor quibble in that I was seeking more from it. 

Barely there tannin, on a gentle ebb and flow. 89 

Tasted on: Tuesday 25th December
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.zontesfootstep.com.au

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Friday, 21 June 2019

d'Arenberg Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Mulberry, damson, chocolate oak. Something more medicinal coming through, trough-lolly like perhaps. Showing a little warmth. 

Slick and silken, lovely bonded tannin across the length of the palate - fine, the barest rasp. More blackcurrant and Mulberry fruit in generous proportions. 

Feels a little awkward at this early juncture, it will grow into itself. Generous wine nonetheless, will reward the patient. 92+ 

Tasted on: Monday 24th December, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $75
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au

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Robert Stein Farm Series Riesling 2018

Kaffir Lime, piney hints with tropical fruit rounding out the profile. Produced from the younger blocks of the Robert Stein holdings, a good strategy. 

Has some width, body to it, feels slick as it glides across the palate. Lacks depth, penetration, that which can be found elsewhere in the portfolio (at $12 more per bottle, mind). Slightly pithy exit, but offers the refreshment sought in the variety. 87

Tasted on: Tuesday 19th March, a Leaf to Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://robertstein.com.au

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Taylor's Estate Shiraz 2017

Plummy, hints of oak by way of vanilla. Touch of briar, evolves with some time losing that initial freshness, segueing to more of a savoury bent.

Similar feel and flow on the palate. Has that Clare Valley black fruited feel, smooth and glossy, hiding its just under 15% alcohol, doing so well. A sure fire hit with the crowd! 89 

Tasted on: Saturday 22nd December 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.taylorswines.com.au

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Thursday, 20 June 2019

Wirra Wirra Original Blend 2018

Ah the OG blend - Grenache (70%), Shiraz (30%); McLaren Vale (100%).

For a Grenache dominant blend, its rather more subtle in comparison to what can be produced in the region. Yes, there's certainly a suggestion of the jubey raspberry for which the region/variety conjunction is known. However, here it sits somewhat further back in the profile. 

The palate shows its hand: fuller and plumper; rounder in the red fruit spectrum. There's a freshening acidic aspect to the wine, set against the fruit and with a fine-grained tannin. 

Good wine. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 5th April, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.wirrawirra.com

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Tuck's Ridge Chardonnay 2016

An absolute riot of stonefruit and oak just presenting itself here. Cheesy, leesy elements sit around the periphery here, supplementing the core. 


It's a heavy, worked example - with toast and flint notes spreading rapidly across the body. It's grunty, chunky, blocky - perhaps not the most elegant of examples. You'd come here for flavour, if not finesse. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 17th March
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://tucksridge.com.au/

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Zonte's Footstep Canto Sangiovese Lagrein 2017

Savoury, woody, hints of anise. Plum hints, adding succulence to the spice. 

Juicy, mid-bodied; blackcurrant and Blueberry, gives freshness and a semblance of acidity, gives length and flow. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 22nd December 
Source: Sample
Price: $27.50
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.zontesfootstep.com.au

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Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Yelland and Papps Second Take Shiraz 2018

Sub 13% Barossa Shiraz, who'd have thought that 10-20 years ago when the world was enthralled with full throttle, high-octane Shiraz of 15-odd percent? 

That said, there's much evidence (anecdotal, and empirical) that prior to those 'Parkerised' styles that Barossan Shiraz was regularly in the 13s.

Picked seemingly no earlier, on 13th March, and employing judicious use of whole bunches to add spice and savoury nuances to the aromatic profile. It also sees little new oak, just 5%, again a departure from those hedonistic fruit--bombs of yore.

It is still very Barossan in the fruit profile, with the black fruit of Mulberry, Plum and subtle cassis on offer. It's light, supple and juicy - a rich vein of acidity energetically flowing across the palate. Tannin's fine, almost sandy in its presence, as if having absorbed from fine and loamy warmed soils. 

Delicate length tugging along, on the back of a good length derived from the dark fruit and spice. The Grenache remains my pick of the reds this release, this Shiraz level pegging with the Mataro. 92  

Tasted on: Friday 7th June, a Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 12.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.yellandandpapps.com

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Windowrie Family Reserve Chardonnay 2017

Cool climate Chardonnay from the Cowra region here. It's a beautiful balance of peach stonefruit, lime citrus and flinty hints. 

The oak and gentle complexity aid length, ebbing along toward a conclusion. Unhurried, unforced, elegant. 91

Tasted on: Sunday 17th March, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.windowrie.com.au/

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Warramunda Estate Pinot Noir 2016

Sour Cherry, has the slightly wild edge, suggestive of natural Ferment. Minor whole bunch inclusion.

Light, Berry driven, maraschino cherry. Tannin an afterthought. Good wine, questions on price/value given $50 ask. 90 

Tasted on: Saturday 22nd December 
Source: Sample
Price: $50
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: DIAM
Website: https://warramundaestate.com.au

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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Pocketwatch by Robert Oatley Shiraz 2017

Cool climate Shiraz, just speaks of cooler climes, with Plum, a smokey edge and meaty hints. 

Clovey edge, on a smooth, silken, milk chocolate body. It's slips across the palate, fair gliding in its way. Unforced, unhurried, Plummy fruit, barest hint of a minty edge. A good release and a fair good price. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 21st December 
Source: Sample
Price: $17
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: robertoatley.com.au

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Harewood Estate Denmark Riesling 2018

Look, I'm not infallible, this - for me - was the least impressive of the sub-regional Rieslings produced out of Harewood. The others having an impressive pedigree and showing from the 2018 releases reviewed. From something of a rare planting of Riesling in sub-maritime Denmark.

Cut grass, herb, blackcurrant leaf, Passionfruit. Acidic, this similar to the Porongurup, comes across more like a Sauvignon Blanc, with its herb and grapefruit acidity. Tart, more of a bitter lemon conclusion. 

Unsure. 89 

Tasted on: Thursday 27th December, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.harewoodestate.com.au/

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Warramunda Cabernet Sauvignon 2016



Spends three months on skins before being pressed off to tank, then racked back to French Oak barriques.

Yarra Cabernet is an interesting beast, ripeness can be an issue in cooler spots. Here it's borderline, carrying the herbaceous, woody edge over a red fruit undercurrent. 

That said it's beautifully poised, weighted. Black fruit imbued with the savoury, fine tannin and a gentle flowing length. 92

Tasted on: Thursday 21st February, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: 50
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: DIAM
 




Monday, 17 June 2019

Juniper Small Batch Tempranillo 2017

The first Juniper wine I tasted, possibly some ten years ago when friends shared a bottle back in the day. If only serves to show how long Juniper have been playing with a variety that can be very hit and miss in Australia. 

Carries the Berry driven lines of Tempranillo, with that furtively lurking savoury undercurrent, just present. 

Cherry, a tart Blueberry pop, a creamy vanilla sweep. A rasp of tannin that casts across the palate, long and fine. Cocoa powder finish. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 30th March, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.juniperestate.com.au

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Pizzini Pinot Grigio 2018

Succulent pear, almost brimming and dripping with the flavour and aroma one hopes, certainly expects of a Grigio (of Italian heritage).

That said, I was hoping for more of a clipped an acid forward line. Rather, here, it has more of a rounded and textural resolve. No denying the quality, just the designated marker. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 2nd March, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $21
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.pizzini.com.au

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Castle Rock Estate Shiraz 2015

Classic cool climate Shiraz here. I saw this peanut brittle character - something i've often seen in Shiraz from the Canberra district.

Complete with delightfully balanced blackberry, briar - smooth, mellifluous fruit; firmish graphite tannin completes the picture. Medium bodied, nice freshness.  92

Tasted on: Saturday 15th December 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://castlerockestate.com.au

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Sunday, 16 June 2019

Huntington Estate Tim Stevens Signature Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

A 50/50 blend of Cabernet and Shiraz. The Cabernet portion from the estate's Block 3 and sent off to 70% aged French oak; Shiraz was taken from Block 1, being sent off to 60% New American. And yes, those things matter for what they impart to the wine, whether you care or not is up to you. 

It's deep, rich, a subtle toast is present, lurking seated in the wine. There's a Plummy aspect to the wine, certainly a dark black fruited nature. It's nimble, quite deft, for all its heft. A freshening acidic presence, carrying a wash of fruit across the palate. 

Delicately poised, not something I expected to say, ultra-fine tannin and a seemingly perpetual finish. It's balanced and well set for a duration in the cellar, easily 2030. 94 

Tasted on: Tuesday 28th May, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $100
Alcohol: 14.1%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://huntingtonestate.com.au

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Robert Stein Farm Series Rosé 2018

Strawberry, rose, elements of Turkish Delight. Soft, inviting, a suggestion of fruit sweetness juxtaposed against the tartness. 

An acidic bitterness judges the wine rather harshly, somewhat punctuating it before its sweeping softness on a length. It drinks OK, though there are better. 88 

Tasted on: Friday 18th January, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://robertstein.com.au

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Hastwell & Lightfoot Sands of Time Shiraz 2016

The Sands of Time being a reference to McLaren Vale's ancient sands which make a significant contribution to the wines of the region. That said, the 20 months spent in oak plays a significant part too!

Rich, ripe, robust - comes across as a touch porty. Bit of jamminess, fruits of the forest

Thick, chewy, powdery tannin. It's pretty full, with a depth of blackcurrant fruit to it. 89

Tasted on: Saturday 15th December 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://hastwellandlightfoot.com.au/

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Saturday, 15 June 2019

d'Arenberg The Danger Mouse Nero d'Avola 2018

A wonderfully fragrant first release, the only I'd suggest is perhaps how quickly you'd consume this given the aromatic seduction. It's floral, redolent of violets, segueing to seductive fruit, plums and Mulberry. 

The tannins tale it on a further ride, altogether more savoury, earthen, nay ferrous. That gorgeous interplay of fruit and savoury that Italian varieties, particularly in McLaren Vale, *can* do so well. 

Acidity adds an additional kick, (fleeting glimpse of chocolate too) to freshen things up, as if to give a secondary motion, and yet deliver a generous tail of savoury flavour. 92

Tasted on: Tuesday 11th June, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au

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