An Australian Wine Blog

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Wills Domain Mystic Spring Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Certainly an expressive individual is our Sauvignon Blanc, no mistaking the variety here. Guava, passionfruit, blackcurrant leaf all present - and correct - here.

Succulently playful fruit flows generously. There’s hint of spice, cedar, a gentle phenolic rub lifts the palate beyond the ordinary, adding some substance to style.

Suffice to say I think this a well worked example. 89 

Tasted on: Sunday 8th September, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://willsdomain.com.au

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Alkoomi Blackbutt Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon (73.3%), with Malbec (21.5%) and Cabernet Franc (5.2%).

Again, I probably offer, or remark on this release strategy each time of the asking, 8 years old on release. 

And for that, there's still a fair throw of fruit primacy, deep and dark, bolstered by oak, framing it up, seasoning to the mix. Savoury, against the fruit. 

Appearance wise it is talking on some of those brickish tones around the edge. It still remains youthful and vibrant in entry, yet as the tannins kick in it is developing well, secondary elements making up the back end of the wine and delivering savoury hints long onto the finish. 

Black fruit, milk chocolate, herbal notes - Bay, a little Sage - add and aid length. It's certainly a wine of substance and yet, finesse. 92

Tasted on: Thursday 29th August, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $62
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Zonte's Footstep Excalibur Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Suffice to say that this one is a tad easier to retrieve from the wine rack than the sword from which it takes its name.

Gooseberry, pithy and zesty grapefruit hints - hints of custard apple in the frame too. Rampant acidity cutting a swathe across the palate, like its namesake. Dry, a little phenolic edge that aids and gives extra life.

A generous and bracing style that could perhaps bring the driest of occasions to a happy conclusion. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 8th September, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.zontesfootstep.com.au

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Moppity Vineyards Cato La Pendenza Sangiovese 2017

'Cato' is the banner under which Moppity Vineyards has chosen to explore winemaking with, what may be considered, alternative varieties. 

Bottled in a high shouldered 'Malbec' bottle (more correctly designated as an "ACI Reverse taper Chateau BVS"), and what's in the glass is pretty as a picture, pouring a shimmering magenta, translucent as if to bare its soul to the approaching imbiber.

Cherry, subtle tobacco, over a light caramelisation and mint. Redolent of drying woodland after a long and hot summer.

Light and noble on the palate, cherry in the main, with subtle woodland spice. Faint tannin, a gentle touch from the winemaker exhibited in this manner. A delicate thing, nigh fragile, yet with a gentle kick-on. Quite superb. 92 

Tasted on: Friday 6th September, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://moppity.com.au

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Monday, 9 September 2019

Juniper Small Batch Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Whole bunch pressed to French barriques (of which 20% new) for 15 months. It's predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon (86%), with small additions of Malbec (5%), Merlot (5%), and Petit Verdot (4%) in the blend.

Intentionally made in a juicier and earlier drinking style of Margaret River Cabernet. The vineyard from which the fruit was harvested was planted in 2008, it lies on Metricup Road in Wilyabrup.

Fresh and fragrant, black and red fruit mix with a subtle savoury line extending from the initial aromatic play.

Soft and inviting, delicate tannin; latent hint of cocoa bitterness sit square and extends length through to a twist of pepper, anise even. 90

Tasted on: Wednesday 28th August, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.juniperestate.com.au

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Alkoomi Melaleuca Riesling 2017

Produced from a single block of Riesling, vines that will soon be celebrating their half century in a couple of short years (1971 plantings). 

Lemon and lime, touch of development about it. Butter menthol, lemon balm, thyme. Aromatically complex. It's pressed off in the cool of the morning, being left on lees to allow that complexity to develop,

A tartness on the finish, length through acid. There's a texture to it too, the complex aromas seen here in the palate too. Initially there's a touch of Bickford's cordial about it, minerally twists. It offers much: textural, flavour in abundance, generous spine of acidity and thrusting length. Bravo! 94

Tasted on: Saturday 31st August, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au

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Sunday, 8 September 2019

Zonte's Footstep Shades of Gris Pinot Grigio 2019

"One man on a lonely platform
One case sitting by his side
Two eyes staring cold and silent
Show fear as he turns to hide
Aaah, we fade to Gris..."
Ripe nashi pear, something tropical - rock melon and stonefruit - what seems like estery notes (certainly those mini banana lollies at any rate). 
Width, weight and palate sweetness. Dry it's not, and doesn't purport to be so. Carries a decent length to it, but certainly one for this seeking a bit of fruit sweetness. 89 

Tasted on: Wednesday 4th September, a Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.zontesfootstep.com.au

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De Bortoli Woodfired Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Sourced from De Bortoli’s own vineyard at Corop in Northern Heathcote, adding to a range that already includes Heathcote Shiraz and Heathcote Sparkling Shiraz. As a style it was intended to complement wood-fired and charcoal based cooking.

Jam packed with black fruit, it's a pretty robust red with a warming length across it.

Lick of tannin bolsters the middle, but it's rather a simple and straightforward affair. It calls for some solid grilled protein to lap it up, snags and some lamb kofta did the trick for us. 88

Tasted on: Sunday 1st September, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14.55
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.debortoli.com.au

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Saturday, 7 September 2019

Angullong Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Not playing the strongest aromatic game on first showing, needing a little time to play to its strengths.


Good fruit presence, structure, herbal tangs, and spicier elements that build up to a wine that serves well. 88 

Tasted on: Saturday 24th August, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.angullong.com.au/

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Alkoomi White Label Cabernet Merlot 2017

Black fruit leads with doughy, nigh fudgey oak character. Hints of seasoning add to that - giving overall appeal of a crowd pleasing. easy going red.

Fairs better on the palate, the fruit being more prominent, over tobacco and leaf, albeit with an astringent, bittering. 


That is an aspect that forms the lasting impression of the wine, sadly. 86 

Tasted on: Thursday 29th August, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au

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Friday, 6 September 2019

Wills Domain Cuvée d'Elevage Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV

Brioche hints with red apple and macerated strawberry. Subtle stonefruit adds to the profile. 

Citrus and zest, a liveliness across the palate. Semblance of texture and weight, after the initial verve and swagger. Loses some urgency, but makes for a subtle style of fizz. On this showing, the least impressive of the Wills Domain sparklers. 88 

Tasted on: Sunday 25th August, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $39
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: DIAM
Website: https://willsdomain.com.au

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Terre à Terre Crayères Vineyard Shiraz 2016

The 2016 releases are in exquisite form, the Shiraz no exception. Wines of finesse, gentle, not overwrought. 

It really is about remarkably fine tannin, seemingly endless and bringing with them an array of flavour. 

Hints of blackcurrant, it feels rather boorish to list specific descriptors, with fine oak in support. Elements of violet, savoury nuances suggestive of briar, even graphite. Truly excellent releases. 93 

Tasted on: Sunday 25th August, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au

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Thursday, 5 September 2019

Shaw Wines Rosé 2019

A curious wine, and one that I have no doubt will please many, in refreshment we trust. Opens with a red berry mix, subtle blackcurrant - it's delicate, a balanced aromatic offering. 

The palate was tart and tangy, almost sherbet like in its initial presence. It certainly makes itself known - and there is the draw - the refreshment factor is high. 

Critically I'd suggest it unbalanced, the acid forming the dominant aspect, but also acknowledge it will be sure to please many, particularly with its ability to slake a thirst on a hot day. 85  

Tasted on: Wednesday 14th August, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://shawwines.com.au

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Juniper Estate Chardonnay 2017

Whole bunch pressed to barrel; wild ferment, with early battonage to build texture; 10m in French barriques (of which 45% new). 

Almost reads as a textbook for well worked, premium Chardonnay. Oak and seasoning the dominant characteristic. Something like a peppery note over a smattering of stonefruit, the juices of tinned fruit and juicy, pithy grapefruit character. 

The worked portion shows its hand early; textural, with width and weight - flesh about the bones of the spine of acidity. Oak again makes itself known with a persistent finish. It's quality Chardonnay, appealing now and with time ahead of it to develop further. Drink to 6 years. 93 

Tasted on: Monday 2nd September, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.juniperestate.com.au

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Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Wills Domain Mystic Spring Shiraz 2018

All manner of red fruit pervades here: plum, mulberry, smattering of raspberry; darker earth, tar and meaty vibes follow. Certainly comes across as cool climate, I think I'd perhaps pick this as a Hills Shiraz. 

Hints of violet and maybe some vanilla oak in the mix. Grilled meats a more than ample bed fellow. 88

Tasted on: Thursday 22nd August, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://willsdomain.com.au/

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Ottelia Riesling 2018

Riesling from the deep south here, instead of Bayous and tropical humidity, instead think a cool maritime influenced climate, moderated by the Great Southern Ocean. 

Florals in the main, lavender and jasmine notes over citrus, thyme, perhaps a touch of rosemary (certainly fragrant woody herb).  

Bracing acidity certainly softens the drinker up, a minerality that performs its merry jig across the palate, lemon pith and zest. It's certainly an up and at you style, laps up food equal to its verve swagger and zing! 94 

Tasted on: Wednesday 28th August, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Retail
Price: $24
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://ottelia.com.au

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Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Clovely Estate Saperavi 2016

Saperavi, an interesting one, seemingly finding a home in Queensland two recognised GIs. 

Dark fruited with a savoury undertow, spice tinged and that all manifests itself on the palate. 

Somewhat large tannins, good structure, the kind of wine that demands a red protein, perhaps in a lavish sauce to counter that tannin. 


Mouth-coating and palate filling. Certainly true to variety and gives the impression of conveying the rich South Burnett soils too. For $25 an excellent addition to an ever shifting vinous landscape. 90 

Tasted on: Tuesday 27th August, a Flower day
Source: Winery Purchase
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://clovely.com.au

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Alkoomi White Label Riesling 2019

Hotly anticipated at Chateau Vinsomniac, the White Label releases from Alkoomi represent great value - and yes, I appreciate I likely offer this words each vintage - across the range.

A veritable pot pouri here: suggestions of lemongrass, apple blossom, even a touch of lychee and peach skins in the frame. It’s sure to hell inviting, reeling in on aroma alone.

Touch of texture and weight to it, acid is not wanting, but it’s not just a “linear Larry” (as one might imagine), being of an altogether softer bent in the wine.

A subtle generosity to it, although I did find myself anticipating greater length and intensity of flavour, and indeed that’s what I would be expecting to consider it an excellent wine. Still, bloody happy to go here. 90 

Tasted on: Thursday 29th August, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au

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Terre à Terre Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

From the close planted Crayères vineyard in Wrattonbully. A site that is beginning to distinguish itself as one of Australia's finest. It's 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, the balance being Cabernet Franc (9%) and a splash of Shiraz (5%).

It carries an aura of a wine of finesse. Subtle, delicate: redcurrant, cedar herb, and bay. Finesse, structure - whilst the tannins are filling they are fine, gently extracted and yet set to serve the wine well over the future. 

It feels totally unforced, and long on the finish. This will cellar exceptionally, twenty years plus. 95

Tasted on: Saturday 24th August, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 14.4%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au

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Monday, 2 September 2019

Angullong Shiraz 2017

Plummy hints, cool climate Shiraz, peppery seasoning.

Similar flow on the palate. Initially feeling quite sullen, it does slowly start to unfurl, to open up a little. It reveals itself to be a fine-grained, medium bodied, wine. A nice flash of acidity adds a little freshness and energy.


It doesn't seek to make any claims for greatness at this early juncture, but is certainly a solid offering. Angullong wine club members can pick this up for $18.70/bottle too! 89

Tasted on: Friday 23rd August, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.angullong.com.au

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Wills Domain Cuvée d'Elevage Blanc de Blanc NV

Biscuit notes, citrus, a touch of pepper perhaps. Citrus, more by way of a lemony tang, green apple acidity, tickle of mineral. Quite assertive across the palate, reasonable generosity of intent and persistent flavour here. 89

Tasted on: Wednesday 21st August, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $39
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: DIAM
Website: https://willsdomain.com.au

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Max & Me Woodcutter's Vineyard Mirooloo Road Riesling 2019

Max & Me being Sarah Lehmann - former ballet dancer - and Max (the dog), with Phil Lehmann as principal grape nurturer.

Exquisite Riesling from the Eden Valley here, whilst the familiar lime notes are present, it also comes along with twists of Thai basil.

Complexity could well be its subtitle, that said its name is long enough. Browning lime juice more present on the palate, running long on flavour; subtlety and guile, not as in your face - that for me is where it's true beauty lies. 

Minerally, hints of that slatey character you can often see. I feel like a Halliday reviewer giving this score, well deserved mind. 96 

Tasted on: Wednesday 21st August, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Winery Purchase
Price: $30
Alcohol: 11.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.maxandme.com.au/

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Sunday, 1 September 2019

Shaw Vineyard Estate Winemakers Selection 2017

An attractive and succulent, go now style of Shiraz from Shaw in Canberra District. It's redolent of a blue and black fruit mix of blueberry, mulberry and a suggestion of plum. 

Specifics perhaps don't matter, rather it's more about the approachable fruit forward manner with a smattering of oak. Fine tannin, medium bodied to its core. Fruit on the periphery and a moderate finish. 

I'd happily drink this at $20 til the cows come home. And then perhaps enjoy with a Cheeky midweek steak. 89 

Tasted on: Wednesday 21st August, a Leaf to Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://shawwines.com.au

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Mystic Spring Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2019

The unmistakeable aroma of Sauvignon Blanc here; it's grassy, Gooseberry, touch of Passionfruit ways dominating proceedings.  

Piercing citrus acidity on the palate, textural glossiness added to that. Refreshingly sharp in a sorbet like way. 88

Tasted on: Tuesday 20th August, a Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://willsdomain.com.au/

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