An Australian Wine Blog

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Aylesbury Estate Waterfall Gully Merlot 2018

Black olive tapenade, Mediterranean herb, blackcurrant and hints of tobacco. Varietal and true Merlot from WA's Ferguson Valley.

Full bodied, succulent, hints of sweeter - blackcurrant - edged fruit. Powdery, almost chalky, edged tannin. Depth of finish to the wine, perhaps not quite betraying its 15%. Well handled nonetheless. 90 

Tasted on: Tuesday 5th November, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.aylesburyestate.com.au/

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Wirra Wirra The Lost Watch Riesling 2019

Lime, browning lime, lemons - a very citrus driven aroma. There's a very Asian mien to the aroma, if one can lazily 'lump' a suggestion of lemongrass and perhaps galangal together to claim such.

A minerally tingle leads across the palate, brings the citrus in waves, zesty and fresh.

Delivering long, but more so than just the line and length merchants that rely on acidity only. It's fresh, balanced, a degree of finesse. But never failing in refreshment. 92 

Tasted on: Wednesday 30th October, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.wirrawirra.com/

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Saturday, 14 December 2019

d'Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Bright black and purple  fruit, violets, hints of choc-mint with a savoury and cedary undertow. Classic High Trellis, hitting a spot.

Medium bodied, powder fine tannin, a spike of freshening acidity that adds drive and verve. Made to a well worked formula and at $20 or under delivers, consistently. 88 

Tasted on: Monday 21st October, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au/

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d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2015

Black fruit, by way of Plum and Mulberry. Something almost figgy at its core.

Semblance of sweet black fruit on entry, segueing toward to a darker heart and what manifests as a savoury edge. Dark chocolate, pan juices even, exhibiting something more of a cooler clime vibe than in recent years. 


Balanced, a good release. 91 

Tasted on: Wednesday 6th November, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Friday, 13 December 2019

Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise Shiraz 2018

Sawdusty oak sitting over black fruit lurking beneath, certainly more savoury in intent in initial showing.

Fruit more pronounced on the palate yet not without that pan juice, darker edge - it feels more Adelaide Hills than McLaren Vale, observation only. Darker, firmer edge, giving and generous. 89 

Tasted on: Monday 28th October, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.wirrawirra.com/

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Robert Stein Dry Riesling 2019

As ever, a wonderfully fragrant example, all lemons and limes - hints of bath salt. Floral aspects in the aroma too, Jasmine primarily, just a hint of lavender. 

Taught line of acidity, snap and crackle across the palate, zing and zest. That burst of energy gently ebbing, lasting long and delivering what is quite simply an excellent finish. 95

Tasted on: Friday 22nd November, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://robertstein.com.au/

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Thursday, 12 December 2019

Yalumba Wild Ferment Rosé 2019

It's 42% Grenache (Barossa Valley), 42% Sangiovese (Barossa Valley) and 16% Verdejo (Eden Valley). White peach, subtle herb - thyme, rosemary perhaps - smattering of wild strawberry.

Something like an amaro bitterness, again touch of herb through the palate, crisp and clipped. Subtle manadarin/orange citrus. Deliciously dry, on a good length. 91 

Tasted on: Friday 15th November, a Root to Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.yalumba.com/

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Aylesbury Estate Pater Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

The Estate is named after the town of Aylesbury, from where the Gibbs family moved some 140-odd years ago. Ferguson Valley is part of the broader Geographe GI, tucked slightly inland, tucked up in WA's South-West corner. Prized dairy country, now producing some excellent quality wines.

Heady, cedar, chicory, cocoa nibs. Latently dusty, smouldering violets, bramble, subtle cassis. Powder fine tannin, a depth of flavour, acidic freshness; black fruit comes forth, seemingly an afterthought to the depths that sat before. 

Chocolate, subtle mintiness, generous length. Excellent Cabernet, that will only see improvement over the mid term. To 2034 94 

Tasted on: Sunday 10th November, a Leaf to Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.aylesburyestate.com.au/

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Wednesday, 11 December 2019

La La Land Rosé 2019

Made from 100% Pinot Noir, saignee method; all stainless.

Berry lead, backing it up with a hint of the savoury, as is often the way with Pinot Noir!

Palate lends more of the creamy, berry goodness, an acidic and bittering finish that pif being critical perhaps pulls a little short. Ok. 87 

Tasted on: Thursday 7th November, a Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.wingara.com.au/

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Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay 2018

Intoxicating. Perhaps the laziest descriptor there is. Yet, it conveys the allure of premium Adelaide Hills, the stonefruit and citrus aromatics supported by the nuances of premium oak that served - or stored - it so well.

Initially subtle, of guile, yet it soon blossoms - nigh balloons - across the palate. Subtlety of flavour, married to a fine vein of acid, the omnipresent oak and with a certain presence that conveys quality. 

Seemingly a hard one to pin down, undoubted quality, yet I kept coming back to that initial subtlety as it introduces itself. Poised, balanced, and before you know it, it's made itself at home and you've consumed a glass. 95

Tasted on: Wednesday 6th November, a Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $90
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://tapanappa.com.au/

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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley 2019

Pretty, pot pourri like perfume, musk, wild berries and crushed candies.

Crisp and phenolic, delicate powdery feel, juicy acidic presence, gives and pushes boundaries. Berry pitch continues long on the finish, the acid flow generous and yet refreshing. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 31st October, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.wirrawirra.com

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DAOSA Natural Reserve NV

The 2017 tirage by numbers: Pinot Noir (82%) and Chardonnay (18%), from 2017 (81%) and older reserve wines (19%), so MV or non-vintage wine by technical definition. Here's the 2016 by comparison.

Citrus, baked Quince, subtle oak remnants. Suggestions of something blackcurrant leaf (unusually), rather more likely the berry driven goodness from the Pinot Noir.

Biscuity oak hints, minerally, acidity casts long and glacier like. Fine, beautifully poised, exquisite Hills fizz. 94 

Tasted on: Thursday 31st October, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 12.8%
Closure: DIAM
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au/

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Monday, 9 December 2019

d'Arenberg Stephanie The Gnome With Rose Coloured Spectacles Rosé 2019

Pouring a darker hue than the trend, as is Stephanie's wont. Cranberry, hints of toffee apple.

Dry with an immediate punch of acid, as if to clear the palate for the modicum of fruit that sweeps across the palate; macerated strawberry and hints of citrus oil give the impression of freshness. 

A textural roundness gives some volume, but it is found wanting in other areas, feeling a little disjointed. 86 

Tasted on: Saturday 26th October, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Saturday, 7 December 2019

Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise Chardonnay 2019

A zesty, grapefruit and pith driven number. Lemon sherbet in a manner, fresh and at you, latterly stonefruit hints. It's all rather a come hither and fresh style.

Zesty mineral, prickling across the palate, more of that lemon sherbet freshness. Not the lengthiest wine, the burst of freshness delivering here instead. 88 

Tasted on: Tuesday 29th October, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.wirrawirra.com/

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d'Arenberg The Dry Dam Riesling 2019

Sadly there's more than a few dry dams around Queensland at present.

Kaffir lime, lemongrass, browning lime juice - strong aromatic showing.

A generous citrus driven acidic thrust, clean and glass like across the palate. Has plenty of zip and zesty presence, but perhaps a touch linear. Good Riesling, slakes a thirst with ease. 90 

Tasted on: Saturday 19th October, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 10%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Friday, 6 December 2019

Juniper Estate Fiano 2019

Canteloupe melon, Nashi pear, Vanilla and creamy nougat hints adding to the appeal. Spiced nuances, a fleshy fruit presence that positively grows in stature across the palate. 

There's a briny edge, citrus acidity that flows and carries the fruit long across the palate. An excellent example of the variety, has it found a new home in Margaret River? 93 

Tasted on: Tuesday 26th November, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.juniperestate.com.au/

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Pirate Cru Sin of The Mermaid Rosé 2019

A Bandol inspired Rosé, being 100% Mataro from the Barossa Valley. The inspiration doesn't stop with the variety alone, it being redolent of tangerine, orange peel and oil. So yes, it's certainly of its variety - and that's a good thing. Aromatics complete with a touch of skinsy, bergamot and Jasmine like vibes too.

The palate possesses weight, textually minded, yet is dry with a soft, gentle phenolic rub across. Not without a touch of acid in the mix, the engine of the wine, driving things along. Exactly what you want in a good Mataro based Rosé. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 30th November, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Retail
Price: $24.95
Alcohol: 12.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.piratecru.com.au/

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Thursday, 5 December 2019

Gartelmann Sarah Elizabeth Chardonnay 2018

Toasty, figgy oak meets stonefruit, drizzle of honey on grilled stonefruit.

Deep, textural and long on flavour. There's depth and a succulence too; penetrating length that's seemingly perpetual. 

Rich, inviting, can easily see how at once it's both a crowd pleaser and has the fibre to develop nicely and cellar over the moderate term. Drink to 2027 94

Tasted on: Tuesday 29th October, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.gartelmann.com.au/

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Shaw Estate Reserve Semillon 2019

A bright and nigh floral opening, lime, passionfruit and guava tropicals, hints of bath salt. 

The palate possesses both a depth of flavour and a zesty liveliness by virtue of a minerally tingle across the palate. Not without a probing line of citrus acidity, it also concludes with a resurgence of that tropical accented fruit.

A wine of many parts and paths, divergent, and yet bring it all together for the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts. 92 

Tasted on: Tuesday 3rd December, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://shawwines.com.au/

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Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Angullong Fossil Hill Rosé 2019

Rosé from Orange and made with Sangiovese grapes, often creates a delightful and savoury wine, this no exception. 

Strawberry, Turkish Delight, it seems dry just on aromatic intro. The palate, crisp and savoury, berry driven in the main, a vanilla cream aspect buoys that. A crisp acidity adds textural crunch. Chill, and chill. 92 

Tasted on: Friday 22nd November, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.angullong.com.au/

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Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Yalumba Y Series Pinot Grigio 2019

Subtle orange oil and blossom, poached pear and delicate spice; pear conveys itself on the palate, honey nuances, spice adding a tickle of length. 

For a $15 retail ask it certainly ticks the boxes, of both variety and style. 87 

Tasted on: Sunday 24th November, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $ 15
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.yalumba.com/

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DAOSA Blanc de Blanc 2015

Baked Quince, brioche, subtle spiced hints, of ginger and cinnamon. Latterly toasty, suggesting autolysis derived. Complex, is where I'm heading. 

Fine, pillowy entry, yet with an assertive line of acidity that adds length to leesy depth. A suggestion of baked apple and stonefruit add a touch of fruit presence. A fine sparkling wine from the Adelaide Hills. 96 

Tasted on: Monday 4th November, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $90
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: DIAM
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au/

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Monday, 2 December 2019

Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2018

Typically expressive example, of stone fruit and with added subtlety of florals and grapefruit like citrus.

Palate shows zip and verve, an energy that gives the wine length and intensity of flavour. A textural spread adds width to the wine, providing a multi-dimensional aspect to the wine.

It’s really that driving spine of acidity that mark this out from previous vintages, a wine of focus and precision - but don't mistake that as lacking in substance. A quite excellent release. 94

Tasted on: Sunday 10th November,  a Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $49
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.shawandsmith.com/

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Terre à Terre Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Hand picked from the Crayères Vineyard in Wrattonbully. Fermented in both tank and large format French foudres and demi-muids (25% of the total).

Certainly brighter, fruitier and fleshier than its more reserved and austere bigger brother in the portfolio (link), Passionfruit and lingering hints of creme form the dominant aspects of the aromatic profile; moderate leaf and herb coming before it, yielding to the fruit.

A firm bite of acid, phenolic presence and textural weight and width show their hand, the work of the quarter portion fermented in oak. Both combine to derive length and palate presence. 92 

Tasted on: Saturday 12th October, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://terreaterre.com.au/

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Sunday, 1 December 2019

d'Arenberg The Money Spider Roussanne 2019

Opens with this golden syrup, flax meal, honeyed offer that is sure to invite.
A richer rounded palate, married to a minerally acidity and phenolic edge. Spiced nuances, ginger primarily, set against some dripping stonefruit flavours. 

Good carriage of flavour to boot. 89

Tasted on: Monday 21st October, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Gartelmann Benjamin Semillon 2018

Re-sent for review following some strong showing on the show circuit. Good to see I'm reasonably consistent in my reviews.

It's certainly fresh and I'd offer that is its primary appeal. It's all citrus and grass with an added layer of passionfruit for good measure. 

Acidity is good, driving, adding verve. 92

Tasted on: Monday 28th October, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $27
Alcohol: 11.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.gartelmann.com.au/

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