An Australian Wine Blog

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2019

A very good entry level Viognier, from Yalumba - the masters of the variety in Australia.

Apricots, subtle citrus (mandarin peel/ segments or such), honeyed aspects and a smattering of ginger spice that is normally only seen in the better examples.

A mix of textural richness, managing to balance that creamy aspect to the wine with an almost savoury nuanced palate. A touch of acidic drive, further hints of spice just add to the overall proposition. 90

Tasted on: Saturday 16th November, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.yalumba.com

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Auld Family Wines William Patrick Shiraz 2016

The flagship of the Auld Family Wines range. Representing the best the Barossa has to offer. It's all manner of black fruit: Blackcurrant, Mulberry; with black olive, hints of Mediterranean herb.

Firm, full, fine tannin and backed up with black pepper and nigh clove spice. Black licorice brings up the rear, all up a powerful, concentrated regional Shiraz. 93

Tasted on: Monday 23rd December 
Source: Sample
Price: $50
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://auldfamilywines.com/

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Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Chignard Fleurie Les Moriers 2018

As I understand it. Les Moriers is a steep vineyard that sweeps down into Moulin-a-Vent territory, so this comes across as something like a hybridisation of those two fine Crus. 

It certainly opens with conviction, it has an evocative fruit/ savoury mix on intro, kinda like black cherry and raspberry with a sprinkling of  earth and dried mushroom. 

It's a wine of focus and precision, an ultra fine tannin that guides the body of the wine and delivers - seemingly perpetually. There's a Fruit tartness to the wine, yet it's not out of place, feeling and fresh and vibrant. A sheer delight. 95

Tasted on: Friday 24th January 
Source: Retail, Cru Bar
Price: $38.99
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Cork
Importer: https://www.andrewguard.com.au/

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Sunday, 26 January 2020

Bremerton Special Release Vermentino 2018

Grapefruit and lemon zest carried on the briny tang of an onshore breeze. 

There's a zippy line of acidity that threads nicely through the wine, holding no prisoners, leaving all in its wake. 


It's freshness personifies it and calls for beachside calamari, with a drizzle of lemon, and perhaps a greasy potato scallop for good measure. Just because. 91

Tasted on: Monday 20th January 
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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Auld Family Wines Strawbridge Shiraz 2017

Can't fault this really, typically dark and dense fruited Shiraz, all manner of blackcurrant, Plum and mulberry. There's just a hint of oak to frame things up.

The palate, for all its heft and weight of fruit, is actually quite fleet of fruit. Smattering of coffeed oak, segueing to a touch of cloven spice. Rock solid Barossan Shiraz. 91 

Tasted on: Monday 16th December
Source: Sample
Price: $42
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://auldfamilywines.com/

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Saturday, 25 January 2020

Yalumba Wild Ferment Pinot Grigio 2019

Spiced pears, white florals, faint rock melon notes in the frame too. Delicate Crispness through the middle, spiced and with acidity adding drive and thrust. 


Well executed on the style and true to name 90 

Tasted on: Sunday 17th November, a Flower to Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $TBC
Alcohol:TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.yalumba.com/

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the dilettantes Sangiovese 2017

Single vineyard Sangiovese. Picked and left covered in the chiller for 2-3w; all 3+ year old oak. Intent being to make something in the easy going style of a vino di tavola (table wine). 

Black cherry, Plum, spiced. Light, delicate and powdery crunch; Smashable and juicy with a fine line of acidity that races through the finish. 


Wicked length of black fruit, hint of licorice, but more than that - it’s just downright smashable (yeah, I used the word twice). 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 5th December 
Source: Tasting
Price: $22
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://dilettantevino.com.au/

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Tuesday, 21 January 2020

La Maschera Rosé 2019

Grenache with a dash of Sangiovese. My kind of Rosé from the get-go. 

It invites, has an aromatic prettiness. There's a range of berry driven aromatics - unsurprising given its comprised of Grenache and dash of Sangiovese.

Possesses a Crispness and punch of acid, something akin to a toffee apple thread long across the palate. Delightful. 92 

Tasted on: Friday 10th January 
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.samsmith.com/

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Anim Field Blend 2019

A wickedly juicy and delicious all-sorts field blend - in the true sense, being a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Muscat; picked on a single day and co-fermented - that comes across as a riot of red fruit, both aromatically and on the palate. 

Something like barely ripe raspberry that has got into a tete a tete with sour cherry and cranberry. It's Pinot-esque in its representation, light lithe and supple. Sappy and stemmy notes, seemingly an afterthought to the bright and juicy fruit. Just a sheer delight to drink. 93 

Tasted on: Wednesday 15th January 
Source: Retail, The Wine Experience
Price: $32
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.animwine.com/

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Monday, 20 January 2020

Yalumba Y Series Rosé 2019

Made from Sangiovese IIRC, a bit of a go to in The Vinsomniac household, particularly when found on a 2 for $20 deal at the local large format boozeatorium. 

Wild strawberry, subtle musk and Turkish Delight aromatics. Crisp and clipped, dry and savoury, yet subtle cherry aspects; for the ask this is a cracking value Rosé. A prelude to a Sunday lunchtime sesh. 89

Tasted on: Saturday 16th November, a Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.yalumba.com/

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Auld Family Wines Wilberforce Cabernet Shiraz 2015

The classic Aussie red blend.

Blackcurrant meets a hint of kirsch, there’s a suggestion of oak in the frame, squaring things up. Coffee grounds, mocha notes, all up a solid blend of the leading players.

Slightly fuller, sweet and succulent accented fruit, latterly a vanilla creme kiss long across the palate. Tannins are fine and long, chalky to boot casting a long shadow. Generosity of flavour and intent. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 18th December
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://auldfamilywines.com/

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Sunday, 19 January 2020

Yalumba Y Series Riesling 2019

Decent entry level Rizza from a broader South Australian GI. Offers what is great and good about the variety, an attractive bouquet - floral, hints of Passionfruit even, yes lime in the frame too.

Crispness, good drive of acidity that gives length. Yes, perhaps it's not the most profound example, but it's bloody refreshing and great value.  89

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

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Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz 2017

Deep set, Mulberry touch of cedary oak, with earth and dark chocolate.

Fruits of the forest compote in profile, fruit and yet wrapped up with a smattering of oak. Concentrated, deep plum hints, bittering dark chocolate, oak.

It softens a touch, veering to red fruit. Young, will come together and develop. Enjoy as you wish. 92+

Tasted on: Wednesday 13th November, a Fruit to Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.wirrawirra.com/

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Saturday, 18 January 2020

Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio 2018

Mezzacorona is the largest grower of Pinot Grigio in the world.

Slight leesy cheesy vibe over poached pear. Fleshy, honeyed, hints of stonefruit, semblance of texture and a gentle line of acidity run through the palate.

The Italians will throttle me for this, but it feels more Gris than Grigio. Horses for courses, refreshment is high. 88

Tasted on: Monday 11th November, a Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.mezzacorona.it/en-us
Sample courtesy of: www.singlevineyards.com

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Aylesbury Estate Waterfall Gully Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

There's more background to the Estate here.

The Waterfall Gully range being a more go-now, approachable and fruit driven offering: cassis in the main, subtle savoury driven elements backing it up in support. Touches of tapenade, herb, cola.

Succulent, yet with powdery mouth-coating tannin, gives the wine a firmness and aids length, than would otherwise be evident from the initial intro. Gives a semblance of structure. 89 

Tasted on: Wednesday 13th November, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: 14.6%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.aylesburyestate.com.au/

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Friday, 17 January 2020

Taylor's Pinot Noir Rosé 2019

Well this is certainly a very aromatic expression of Rosé, pretty in bottle and the same in glass. Nice and light - on alcohol - at a stated 12.5%.

It’s all strawberries and creamy, expressly berry notes - like i say, very aromatic. More of the same on the palate, a semblance of sweetness flows, yet it is squarely dry. Refreshing to boot, this will please a crowd of that I’ve no doubt. 89 

Tasted on: Wednesday 18th December
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.taylorswines.com.au/

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Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 2018

Unusually it seems exotically aromatic, Indian sandalwood and spice; touches of stonefruit and citrus, more traditionally, sit in the background.

Generous thrust of grapefruit like acidity, oft stated as a hallmark of Piccadilly, with an almost chalk like phenolic veneer flowing across the palate. 

Aside from that initial aromatic observation, it's classic Hills - and Tapanappa - Chardonnay. Another quality release. 93  

Tasted on: Sunday 10th November, a Leaf to Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $39
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://tapanappa.com.au/

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Thursday, 16 January 2020

Pig in the House Chardonnay 2019

Organic Chardonnay from Cowra in the Central Highlands of New South Wales. Pig in the House have been following organic farming practices for over ten years now.

Clean and inviting Chardonnay here, a mix of citrus and ripe stone fruit that express themselves in a pure manner, indeed that purity of expression is something the O’Dea’s (owners of the PitH business) seek to achieve with this range - so, to that end, oak influence is minimal.

Freshness across the palate, a nice wine of acidity to match the fruit presence. Subtle mineral hint - refreshment factor high. I tasted a dribble the following day, the wine holding up remarkably well, given the fresh-and-at-you-now style. 89 

Tasted on: Saturday 9th November, a Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.piginthehouse.com.au/

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Ridgemill Estate Pinot Noir 2018

It's not the variety that springs to first association with the region, but here this example leads with a varietal expression of sour cherry, backed up with a deeper earthen aspect.

The palate is succulent, juicy, more by way of wild strawberry here, raspberry in the mix too. Balanced and supple, latent depth of flavour appears, giving some length. 

Only quibble would be a missing x factor that would propel this further in qualitative stakes. That said, it's well made, and its easy going manner would no doubt have you seeing this off in a session. 90

Tasted on: Saturday 9th November, a Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://ridgemillestate.com/

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Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Azahara Sparkling Rosé NV

Bargain bubbles to get the party in your mouth started! Made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sourced from the Murray Darling region near Mildura, in Victoria's North-West.

Subtle bready hints, touch of berry. Same on the palate before a very assertive bead that forces its way across the palate. Goes OK as an aperitif style. 86 

Tasted on: Friday 8th November 
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: DIAM
Website: https://www.wingara.com.au/Our-Brands/Azahara

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Yalumba Hand Picked Shiraz Viognier 2016

Dense Plum and Mulberry, oak; in the glass the tell-tale vibrant rim, alluding to the Viognier. Oak latterly manifests itself in that mocha, vanilla manner - never quite throwing off the dense and succulent black fruit.

The palate is energetically driven by a line of acidity, citrus like in manner, a view consistent with many Syrah/Shiraz that I've had the pleasure to know. Medium bodied, tannin fine, fruit and acid presence embrace in a race to the finish. Drink now, or go to 10 in the cellar. 92 

Tasted on: Saturday 23rd November, a Root day
Source: Sample
Price: $40
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://www.yalumba.com/

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Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Juniper Small Batch Tempranillo 2018

Inclusion of 5% Shiraz; spends 15m in oak, no new. A darker manifestation of inky blue fruit: blueberries, cassis, smattering of violets.

Feels light on entry, fleet of foot, before powder fine sweeps across the palate. Nigh chalky in feel, it feels as though it morphs in the palate, expanding first and then contracting to a fine length. 

Persistent in nature, latent black fruit intertwined with savoury structure. 91 

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

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Katnook Estate Chardonnay 2018

Delightful, invitational mix; of ripe stonefruit, melon and vanilla oak, the latter framing things up nicely. Moderate palate, nicely balanced mix of the oak, adding some bite and spice; suggestion of phenolics, textural spread and a creamy aspect.

Decent length, perhaps just missing a little extra drive and verve. 90 

Tasted on: Saturday 9th November, a Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $29
Alcohol:
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.katnookestate.com.au/

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Monday, 13 January 2020

Hill-Smith Estate Chardonnay Double Header: Adelaide Hills vs Eden Valley

Hill-Smith Estate of course being from the broader Yalumba portfolio. 

Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2018
Classic Hills Chardonnay, with a subtle oak, stonefruit and citrus aromatic lead. Where it stands out is on the palate, and with a generous intent it exhibits citrus, stonefruit and meal - again classic Hills profile. Minerally, mealy profile on the finish giving generosity and a suggestion of longevity. 92 

Tasted on: Saturday 11th January 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap

Eden Valley Chardonnay 2018

Shows the winemakers hand, with wild ferment and hints of barrel fermentation. Redolent of dried straw, and pouring a similar colour. Aspects of citrus and stonefruit in the mix too. Touch of weight, clipped acidity and a flinty edge - lends what feels an austere edge, in a good way. The flintiness subtlety cascading on a long bow across the palate. One I came around to, a wine that will add some flesh to the bones, growing with some bottle time. 91 

Tasted on: Monday 13th January 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap

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Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz 2018

I got myself into a bit of a tizz over this wine. I was sure this was always billed/labelled as a Shiraz Viognier.

Nope, I was wrong, have only reviewed one previous vintage, the 2012. That said a release relating to the 2017 does indicate the inclusion of a small percentage.

So, Perhaps looking for something that isn't there, but a vibrant rim alludes to the presence of some percentage of Viognier. Regardless, brighter raspberry with deeper notes of plum and mulberry. Hints of chocolate, warmed McLaren Vale earth and a touch of spice.

Medium bodied, an acidic freshness, before a meatier and fuller  proposition manifests across the palate. Tannin, firmer; coarser and certainly making itself known. 91

Tasted on: Thursday 7th November, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.wirrawirra.com/

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Sunday, 12 January 2020

Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard 1.5m Chardonnay 2018

2018 was a warm Adelaide Hills vintage, consequently the decision was made to not put any of the Tiers 1.5m Chardonnay through malolactic fermentation due to additional fruit ripeness.

It's a generous mix of ripe stonefruit, over hints of Nashi pear and fig; framed up with toasty oak remnants, the wine seeing one third new oak. 

The fruit presence certainly makes itself known on the palate too, driving acidity propels the wine across the palate, delivering length for days. It's perhaps a touch young at this juncture, it will meld together in a harmonious manner over the long-term. 94

Tasted on: Sunday 3rd November, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://tapanappa.com.au/

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Saturday, 11 January 2020

Auld Family Wines Wilberforce Riesling 2019

The Auld family have deep connections to the Australian wine industry, spanning a history some 150 years in the making. It doesn't stop there, with current generation Jock and Sam Auld continuing the families rich legacy through a winery bearing the family name.

Classic Eden: blossom, florals and smatterings of lime; suggestions of stonefruit in the mix too. It's certainly an inviting profile.

Lime is immediately evident on the palate, that tang and juice driven line. Not without a touch of powdery phenolic texture, nigh chalky in how it clings to the palate. Length in freshness, drive and yet with a subtlety to proceedings. Lime and lemon butter perhaps. 93 

Tasted on: Tuesday 17th December 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://auldfamilywines.com/

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