An Australian Wine Blog

Friday, 15 November 2019

Shaw + Smith Shiraz 2017

Savoury, briary, stemmy, of hedgerow - unsure as to exact percentage - of whole bunch for sure. Throws a fair offering of both black fruit, and with a fine and minerally structure.

Structurally sound, a freshening acidity, giving both length and focus. That said, it did feel somewhat less wholesome and together than in previous vintages. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 2nd November, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $49
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.shawandsmith.com/

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Thursday, 14 November 2019

Harewood Estate Denmark Riesling 2019

Wasn't too fussed with the 2018 version of this, pleased to say that in 2019 it's certainly hitting the  spot. It's all lemons, hint of bath salt adding its hand to the aromatic profile.

Lemon sherbet with a thrust of minerally acidity, it's of the style that at once both puckers and enlivens, dancing its way energetically across the palate.

That said it's fairly languid across the finish, as if sauntering to its end at its own pace. 93 

Tasted on: 2nd October 2019
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.harewoodestate.com.au/

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Taylor's Estate Shiraz 2018

The Taylor's (outside of Australia AKA Wakefield) Estate range has been in rather good form of late, blending succulent blue fruit with a savoury mien backing this up. Exuding the air of cooler climes, with a suggestive pitch of oak framing things up.

Seasoning, blue fruit, hints of white pepper - all aiding and abetting length. Subtle structure. Whilst aimed at drinking now, will happily cellar in the short term. 90 

Tasted on: Friday 27th September, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $19.99
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.taylorswines.com.au/

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Tuesday, 12 November 2019

I Am George Shiraz 2017

I Am George being a Pernod Ricard brand that honours pioneer of the Aussie wine industry, George Wyndham.

Smattering of black fruit over vanilla oak; dusky cocoa nibs, succulent cassis and hints of licorice root, Mediterranean herb. Not exactly hiding from its 14.5% alcohol I add.


Tasted on: Wednesday 25th September, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $19.99
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.iamgeorge.com.au/

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Moppity Vineyards Escalier Shiraz 2015

Escalier (meaning staircase) and representing the Browns' continuous quest for improvement.

It's a single block wine, this vintage being block 7, the vintage prior was block 8. Intended to only be made in the very best years, it would seem that fortune is looking kindly on Moppity, this being the third consecutive release.

Offering subtle aromatics, of dusky violets and smatterings of black fruit. Partial whole bunch inclusion with a cold soak, prior to fermentation - the small inclusion of co-fermented Viognier.

It's silken, slight, subtle and lithe; there's a beguiling subtlety to the wine, yet it also manifests itself in a depth and intensity of flavour.

Cloven spice and black pepper, yet augmented with black fruit. It's a wine of depth, subtlety and balance. Worthy of the many accolades it has a massed. 94

Tasted on: Saturday 28th September, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $130
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://moppity.com.au/

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Monday, 11 November 2019

Pirate Cru William Hunt Old Vine Mataro 2015

WIlliam Hunt, in the words of Chief Pirateer Dirk Pettigrew: "Bearded Christian pugilist, a realist and traditionalist with an enquiring eye for natural beauty found in the detail." Old vines, planted back in the Victorian era, and hence a nod to the artisans of the day. A time of a search for reform and improvement, of fighting against the church.

To the wine in question, the stawart Mataro, from a small block of dry grown, old vine Mataro in the Barossa's Vine Vale sub-region. 

At four years it's redolent of what might be considered the markers of old Vine Mataro: of blue fruit and subtle licorice hints. 

Medium bodied, fine grained tannin, yet it grows in stature across the palate. Blueberry and Mulberry, primarily, form the predominant flavour across the palate. Initial fruit hints borne of the Blueberry and Mulberry deliver a subtle pop of flavour that delivers - generously. 92 

Tasted on: Saturday 28th September, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: www.piratecru.com.au

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Patina Jezza 2016

A blend of Merlot, Cabs Franc and Sauv; blend unknown. Made only in the best years (and the first such release I'm aware of in some 8-9 years of knowing the brand/label).

Certainly more oak dominant on the nose, deep and heavy, suppressing the fruit initially. Beyond that, it's an attractive offer of roast capsicum, green leaf, veering to violet and something like choc-mint.

Palate reflects a similar bent, deep and heavy set; a suggestion acidity for added freshness, but really built for the long haul. Impressive structure and framing, nice to see a wine (not billed as such) in a reserve moniker and the quality matching the same. This will live long. 95

Tasted on: Wednesday 30th October, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $65
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://patinawines.com.au/

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Sunday, 10 November 2019

Moppity Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Unmistakeably classic Cabernet profile, cedar and seasoning - subtle mint hints sitting beneath.

Medium bodied, mulberry and subtle plum hints; tannin offers a fine rasp, structure ahoy and serves as a vehicle for delivering fruit and an acidic presence.

Drive, presence, persistence. Quality. 94 

Tasted on: Saturday 21st September, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://moppity.com.au/

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Moppity Vineyards Shiraz 2017

Hints of char and meat juices, black fruit and dusky violets.

Smooth, silken slip of a palate, black fruits adds to the sense of gloss and sheen. Tannin is minor, the wine conveying a sense of freshness. Fruit presence is generous, length in spades. 93

Tasted on: Monday 23rd September, a Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://moppity.com.au/

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Saturday, 9 November 2019

Moppity Vineyards Lock & Key Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Blackcurrant, Mulberry, cedar, spice - quintessential Cabernet aromatics, pitch perfect one might suggest.

Rich, a maelstrom of flavours, fruit and savoury ebbing and flowing; cassis, freshening and providing a surge of youthful energy - segueing to a fine tannin profile, adding structure to the primacy and vibrancy of fruit.

Delicate tail of flavour, still flowing well across the length of the palate. 91 

Tasted on: Monday 16th September
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://moppity.com.au/

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Moppity Vineyards Crafted Syrah 2017

Moppity Vineyards 'Crafted' range focuses on smaller batch and single vineyard/block expressions, varieties from the alternative path, as well as regional standards.

Initially coming across as what may be perceived as a bolder expression of the variety, yet sitting underneath that intro is an inviting array of blue and black fruits.

Woodland and spice notes add seasoning to the core of fruit, soft and succulent. Tannin is fine, savoury twists extend a generous length. 91

Tasted on: Friday 13th September, a Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://moppity.com.au/

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Friday, 8 November 2019

Tim Adams Skilly Ridge Riesling 2018

From the associated release notes: Produced using only free-run juice, fruit flavours are kept pure and the resultant wine mirrors the berries tasted in the vineyard at harvest. 

It's fragrant, floral - lavender and violets; stonefruit and dripping honeydew melon. Textural width and weight married to a fine minerally length. Treads a path that is light, yet one also of verve and a touch of minerally swagger. 

Delicate length, citrus and zest with more of that textural feel. Light, balanced and assertive. A delight, a wine that will serve in the cellar well for 10-15 years. 93

Tasted on: Wednesday 9th October, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.timadamswines.com.au/

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Brash Higgins MRLO 2017

From the Lennon Vineyard in McLaren Vale; sees 7m in amphora and has an addition of 10% Nero d'Avola included in final bottling. I was feeling creative this day.

Black fruit and herbal tangs, something darker lurking beneath; 
Seven months in Clay amphora, Nero d'Avola added for extra relief;

A silken palate, racy - possessing verve;
Easily consumed, pour another serve. 

A touch of wild herb across the middle;
Perhaps a contribution from the Nero, not content to play second fiddle.

Finishing well a touch of fine tannin;
Deliciously savoury, to your cellar you should be adding. 92 

Tasted on: Thursday 3rd October, a Leaf day
Source: Wine Club Purchase
Price: $39
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.brashhiggins.com/

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Thursday, 7 November 2019

Pig in the House Organic Rosé 2019

I was surprised to learn that this was the first release of a Rosé under the Pig in the House label, organic fruit of course.

Strawberry, rose petal, Turkish Delight. Musky hints, veering to savoury nuances on the palate. 

Drying, but long on flavour, the musk and savoury elements delivering on the length. Good Rosé. Enough about it to refresh, complex enough to interest. Solid. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 5th November, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://windowrie.com.au/

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Pirate Cru Slurpy Puppy Centurion Vine Grenache 2015

At 4 years it may have started to lose some of the lustre of youth in glass, yet the aromatics still speak of spicy and earthen Grenache over the pretty red fruit for which the variety is known.  

Light and silken palate, long-threaded gossamer tannin connects generosity and depth of flavour. 

Spice, touch of scorched earth, grain of tannin - all add to bring this one home. 92 

Tasted on: Friday 20th September, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $26.95
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.piratecru.com.au/

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Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva NV

Reserva Cava (meaning ageing for a minimum of 15 months on lees) and Brut (maximum 12g/l residual). Unsure of specific varieties, typically though made from Chardonnay, Macabeo, Paralleda, Xarello - all listed for indexing purposes).

Green apple, hints of peach skin; soft and sensuous, textural with a depth and lusciousness of flavour. Perhaps lacking acidic drive and minerality, nonetheless a generous wine. Impressive for $20 suggested retail. 90 

Tasted on: Saturday 28th September, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $25.99
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://www.campoviejo.com/

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Tim Adams Cabernet Malbec 2016

A lively one here, both full bodied and yet also with softer black fruit and violet aromatics. It's deep and intense - to a degree - cedar and oak seasoning adding an aromatic lift, but also present on the palate giving length. 

Tannin is generous, a nice firm counter to the succulent blackcurrant fruit that flows long across the palate. Touch of chalky pucker to conclude. 

Generous to a fault, you'd happily go here now, but also be richly rewarded with a stint in the cellar. Drink to 2028 92 

Tasted on: Tuesday 15th October, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.timadamswines.com.au/

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Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Harewood Estate Frankland River Riesling 2019

Kaffir lime, lemongrass, stonefruit, suggestions of Passionfruit; Certainly of tropical bent.

Generous line of zippy acidity, phenolic pinch adding depth to the length. Generousity - certainly a consistent theme - of fruit intensity, subsiding somewhat with honeyed and lemon peel notes. Subtle spice, lingering, following on the Asian theme from the aromatics. 93 

Tasted on: Tuesday 1st October, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.harewoodestate.com.au/

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Moppity Vineyards Crafted Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

The Moppity 'Crafted' are crafted from specific blocks or rows of fruit that exhibit certain characteristics. This 2017 from the vineyards block 2, and identified for "an ideal juice to tannin ratio which we knew would result in a wine with great structure and generous varietal flavour".

A subtle example of Cabernet Sauvignon on initial presentation, a soapiness. Being light, lithe, possessing a suppleness - stonefruit strangely - then veering towards cassis. Fine, nigh powdery, tannin - barely there - ethereal - quite unusual for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Fine structure, something else; Franc like prettiness, Merlot like fine structure. 93 

Tasted on: Tuesday 17th September, a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: Screwcap
Closure: 14%
Website: https://moppity.com.au/

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Monday, 4 November 2019

Campo Vieja Rioja Reserva 2014

Reserva classification, meaning it must be aged for a total of three years, with at least one year in oak barrels and at least six months in bottles.

Slightly reductive, meaty; neither of fruit or particularly savoury bent - at least aromatically.

Light of body - certainly in an Aussie context - yields to Blueberry with vanilla accents. Fine grained, almost silty tannins, mouth coating and carrying generosity. Good quality wine, particularly the $20 ask. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 26th September, a Leaf to Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $19.99
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: DIAM
Website: www.campoviejo.com

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Sunday, 3 November 2019

S.C.Pannell Basso Garnacha 2018

Spice and Berry driven Grenache from the considered hand of Stephen Pannell and the lands of McLaren Vale. 

Light, supple, medium bodied with a crunch of acid and tannin. Black fruit intertwined with smatterings of red. Times like these (you learn to live again) you suspect the flow and feeling of greater importance than defining a particular Berry presence. 

Generosity and presence a contrast to the lightness on the palate. 92 

Tasted on: Friday 20th September, a Root day 
Source: Retail
Price: $28
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://pannell.com.au/

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Moppity Vineyards Cato Nebbiolo 2015

Of cherry and herb; a similar bent on entry, yet with an immediate powder fine tannin to follow. Good acidic freshness, more by way of morello cherry. 

Black fruit and a savoury aspect, akin to tobacco and smoked oak shavings. It all comes together: fruit, tannin and acid to create a harmonious, balanced wine. 91 

Tasted on: Wednesday 11th September, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://moppity.com.au/

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Friday, 1 November 2019

Heartland Sposa e Sposa 2016

A mix of Lagrein and Dolcetto and an early attempt at future proofing (2003 first vintage), winemaker Ben Glaetzer: "it looked ideal for SA (specifically the Creek) because it has very good natural acidity, thick skins and dense, hardy canopy meaning that it remains fresh with good acid balance and the canopy prevents sunburn and the cooked/stewed flavours that can result.".

An unholy union of varieties under Italian DOCG laws, they Permissible under slightly more liberal Australian Grape growing rules. Italianate herbal vibe, black fruit, hints of licorice.

Black fruits on the palate, fine tannin and a savoury edge, moderate acid providing a freshness. 89 

Tasted on: Tuesday 1st October, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $19
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.heartlandwines.com.au/

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Schloss Volrads Volrats Riesling Trocken 2016

Lychee and pulpy tropical fruit. It's an odd feeling for a palate used to - primarily - Eden and Clare Valley Riesling, to not see the lime and apple florals so redolent in those examples. 

Still debates about terroir would be far shorter if everything were homogenised. Minerally palate, a delicate tingle, long and bringing with it a sense of fruit sweetness, yet it's assuredly dry (Trocken). 

I'd wager it's stronger game is one the palate, the aromatics a little subdued for me. Green apple, hints of peach and pithy citrus. Very interesting, and piquing interest further in German Riesling. 91 

Tasted on: Sunday 15th September, a Leaf day
Source: Retail
Price: $18.99
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.schlossvollrads.com/

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