An Australian Wine Blog

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Huntington Estate Semillon Chardonnay 2019

Stonefruit, melon, grapefruit citrus.

Zip and slide. Textural feel on entry with a racy acidity brimming along. Delivers length and flow. Feels quite short, but some of the rides can be like that.

For me, on a night with 77% humidity, sometimes that's exactly what you need. 89 

Tasted on: Wednesday 19th February 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.4%
Closure: Sample
Website: https://huntingtonestate.com.au/

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Hastwell and Lightfoot Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Chocolate, cedar, spice. Classic, rich, robust Cabernet from the maritime influenced McLaren Vale. 

Soft, fleshy, touches of grilled nut against violet florals, cassis, moderate eucalypt. It's soft and inviting, nigh sensuous across its length. Good going. 91 

Tasted on: Friday 27th March 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://hastwellandlightfoot.com.au/

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Saturday, 30 May 2020

Tahbilk Marsanne 2019

By their own admission, Tahbilk - in Victoria's Nagambie Lakes - has the world's largest single holding of Marsanne, including plantings dating back to 1927. 

Opens with a nigh musky, husky accent over softer florals and stonefruit. Delicate palate, subtle textural roundness that calming envelopes the palate. 

A gentle phenolic rub that casts a fine shadow across the palate, conveying citrus tinged with tropical fruit hints. Not quite packing the depth and intensity that it can - at this early juncture - it has the pedigree to age well. 90 

Tasted on: Tuesday 3rd March
Source: Retail
Price: $12.99
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.tahbilk.com.au/

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Chateau Paul Mas Coteaux de Languedoc Clos des Mures 2018

Classic GSM blend from the Languedoc. Possibly a Dan Murphy's exclusive in Australia.

Scorced earth and old leather, more of that savoury bent for sure. 


Palate showing a modicum of fruit, seeming a touch tired, tho the back palate does come through with quite a juicy, acidic presence - not bad considering it's 14.5% alcohol. 88 

Tasted on: Sunday 12th April 
Source: Sample
Price: $20.99
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://www.paulmas.com/
Sample courtesy of: https://www.palatepr.com/

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Friday, 29 May 2020

XO Wine Co Game Night Single Vineyard Riesling 2019

A vibrant and zesty offering from old mate Clackers (winemaker Greg Clack); initial aromatics suggest something mute and sullen - it sure challenges that on the palate with a riot of citrus, apple and musky spice.

A hint of phenolic grip marks this out as somewhat different from more renowned Riesling growing regions of note further North, adding palate presence to the zip and zing of acidity that ricochets about the place. 92 

Tasted on: Thursday 26th March
Source: Retail
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://xowineco.com.au/

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Yangarra King's Wood Shiraz 2018

The evolution of what was originally a whole bunch Shiraz, that over time incorporated use of large format oak (foudré). With time a single block started to reveal itself in a style suited to that which was sought, to become the King's Wood.

Deep and dark Plum and Mulberry notes, spiced nuances around the periphery before a descent into a palate that shows its finesse. 

Hints of bunch and spice caress across the palate, where an ultra fine grain of tannin makes itself known, asserting its dominance - in a very even handed way - toward the finish. 

For all its flavour and texture, the wine is incredibly composed and assured. Unhurried, seemingly perpetual. 94 

Tasted on: Friday 1st May 
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.yangarra.com/

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Thursday, 28 May 2020

Paul Mas Marsanne 2018

Quite unsure how this can be pumped out, exported and retailed for under ten bucks - particularly when it - at least - smells varietal. 

It's a soft and sensuous blend of florals, smatterings of stonefruit and a little confectioners creme. 
Yes it's a little devoid on the palate in interest terms, but offers up  a delicate texture married to a subtle acidic carriage. 

Light carry of stonefruit nectar across the finish. There's balance and a gentle persistence. You could do far worse for your money. 87 

Tasted on: Tuesday 3rd March 
Source: Retail
Price: $9
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.paulmas.com/

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Shaw Wines Merlot 2017


Consistent profile from that which I recall last year, the tobacco perhaps a touch more prominent.

Juicy blackcurrant fruit sitting over the top of that and flowing through the core of the wine. 

Smooth, medium bodied, purity of fruit with a fine touch of tannin. Slight spike of warmth toward the back palate, perhaps a showing of its 14%, yet for that it feels in balance to that glass-like purity of fruit. 92 

Tasted on: Wednesday 8th April 
Source: Sample
Price: $28 
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://shawwines.com.au/

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Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Yangarra Rosé 2019

Grenache based Rosé from those masters up in the McLaren Vale high sands, Yangarra. 

They've long been held in high regard for an affinity with the variety, over time exploring use of different fermentation vessels including ceramic eggs - more about that later. 

Here, subtle Berry and rose aromatics waft gently, sweet-spice accentuating those softer elements. 

The palate: Crisp and yet nuanced, served through both stainless tank fermentation in addition to use of older French barriques. To me, the ultimate picnic wine: rug spread out underneath a tree, dappled sunlight through the branches, good company to your left, a cracking Rosé in your right. Perfect. 93

Tasted on: Tuesday 14th April
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.yangarra.com/

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Taylor's Jaraman Pinot Noir 2017

Taylor's branches out to the Yarra, a fair way from its Clare Valley base. Its been a while between drinks from the Jarraman range, if memory serves if was historically a range that celebrated dual regionality, clearly not something adhered to here. 

It's fresh, herbal and stemmy hints married to pure fruit aromas. Supple, savoury imbued, the cooler clime edginess leading and carrying through the finish. 

This is a solid regional offering, nothing to fault. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 2nd April 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.taylorswines.com.au/

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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Jules Taylor Pinot Gris 2019

Redolent of pear drop lollies, supplemented with melon and stonefruit.

Quite delicate across the palate - getting the impression that could well be a marker of these Jules Taylor wines, that and originating from a somewhat cooler clime than Aussie examples I'm used to. 

There's a minerally mien across the back palate, a gentle tickle that conveys a cool edge with that. 91

Tasted on: Tuesday 24th March
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.julestaylor.com/

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Rusty Mutt Rocky Ox GSM 2018

The thing that's most impressed me about the Rusty Mutt wines is the balance. Approachable now, yet not without depth and substance. They're just there, unforced, just so. 

The palate on this GSM shows the leading Grenache based red fruit presence, with the accompanying depth of its counterparts.

A generous tail of flavour casts a long shadow across the palate; generosity, balance and persistence. 91

Tasted on: Saturday 29th February 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.rustymutt.com.au/

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Monday, 25 May 2020

Huntington Estate Special Reserve Chardonnay 2019

Comes across full, not quite buttery, something like lemon butter. Hints of grilled nut oak in support, stonefruit gloss. Adding up to an up and at you aromatic profile.

Voluptuous, textural, rolls across the palate, nigh chewy, touches of nougat; a wine to stop and consider. It's balanced, although you wouldn't necessarily consider it a delicate wine.

It's fullness - and volume - seemingly command attention. Good wine, generous to a tee. 92 

Tasted on: Monday 24th February 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://huntingtonestate.com.au/

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Wirra Wirra Church Block 2018

Excellent value here in this stalwart red blend (51/ 38/ 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot respectively) from Wirra Wirra in McLaren Vale.

Deep, rich, cedar, mulberry with remnants of cassis barely riding shotgun. It's of its parts, its place, and its heritage. The palate is of a darker bent than in previous years, it's assured of a road ahead of it, yet give it a good decant and it will reward now. 

Flowing evenly across the palate, assured in its conviction; tannins are tight and fine, suggestive of that structure around which it will gain in complexity. Length and conviction. Drink now to ten years. 92 

Tasted on: Wednesday 13th May 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.wirrawirra.com/

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Sunday, 24 May 2020

Liv Zak Malbec 2018

Rose, damson, smattering of new oak in the mix. More of a lightness on entry, with a spike of acidity; a real openness and airy kinda vibe. Yarra Valley Malbec - as a single varietal - is not a common occurrence, part of a blend - yes.

Token black fruit hints, touch of pastille about it, but not quite the full picnic for mine. Just feeling a touch hollow. 88 

Tasted on: Wednesday 19th February 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://warramundaestate.com.au/

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Friday, 1 May 2020

Shaw Vineyard Estate Riesling 2019

Green apple, hints of bath salt; fragrant and floral - pleasant aromatics before a cool acidic thrust on the palate.

Lemon sherbet acidity dazzles across the palate, veers toward a little orange and tropicals to add further presence and appeal. A release of generosity and appeal. 92 

Tasted on: Friday 3rd April
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://shawwines.com.au/

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Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Franc Merlot 2016

Classic right bank (Bordeaux) blend of Cabernet Franc (as opposed to Cabernet Sauvignon being king on the left). Wrattonbully in the far east of the state of South Australia has a cool, maritime influenced, climate - from memory the whalebone reference being to the fact the region was under sea way back in the past, and whale bone have been found in the region.

Cabernet France's aromatic play is on show here, bright and intense, puppy blackcurrant and suggestions of redcurrant. Can be mistaken for a mintiness; bright, fragrant and fresh. The palate seemingly at odds to that, carrying a depth and intensity. It conveys the freshness, granted; fine and silt like tannin building in intensity, drawing flavour with it.

The Tapanappa wines are generally exceptional, this carrying on that fine lineage. Should be in the cellar of every Australian wine lover. 95 

Tasted on: Sunday 1st March 
Source: Sample
Price: $90
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://tapanappa.com.au/

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