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Sunday, 8 August 2021

Tim Adams Riesling 2021


So it would appear 2021 is being lauded as a stellar vintage in Clare, at least something of potential has come from what has been quite a troubling period.

Bath salts, lavender, suggestion of lemon grass and lime juice.

There's a sharp and focal intensity to the wine, geared around citrus, possessing drive through to the finish.

It fades on that length, lingering sufficiently to leave a lasting presence on the palate - before the next glass that is. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 28th July
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 11.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.timadamswines.com.au/

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Saturday, 7 August 2021

Jules Taylor Pinot Noir 2020


Firmer, meatier style of Pinot Noir from the Marlborough region and the hand of Jules Taylor.

Dark fruit, oak seasoning and tilled earth on offer. Stylistically it's medium to full bodied, dark fruits represent and segue to a firm - yet fine - tannin profile that carries a dark and firm line through the finish. 91

Tasted on: Thursday 29th July
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.julestaylor.com/
Sample courtesy of: Single Vineyard Sellers  

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Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Parish Vineyard Coal River Valley Riesling 2020


Tasmanian Riesling from the Coal River Valley, some 30KMs north-east of Hobart.

It's of a prominent citrus bent, a little marmalade, green mango and apple - add some freshening sea spray on the nose and you're pretty much there.

The palate is fresh, tangy, hint of salinity flowing through - seemingly adding both length and width. The backbone to the wine is long, with a finer length than - say - the bristling acidity of an example from Eden Valley, where proprietor Robert Hill-Smith and winemaker Louisa Rose ply their trade.

This calls for a dozen, freshly shucked and with a simple squeeze of lemon to compliment. That briny edge just matching the Oyster shell for me. 93

Tasted on: Monday 2nd August
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.hsfv.com/

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Saturday, 12 June 2021

Calabria Three Bridges Grenache 2019


Three Bridges named after the three weigh bridges built adjacent to the original winery.

The brand is now multi-regional, here sourcing premium Barossa Grenache.

Dense and plummy, as much about region.as variety. It's succulent on initial entry, cushioned and supple across the palate.

Latently there's a darker edge, almost blackcurrant like, and with a licorice and spice edge that adds a deeper complexity to it. 92

Tasted on: Sunday 9th May
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.calabriawines.com.au

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Friday, 11 June 2021

Geoff Merrill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


A blend of McLaren Vale (53%) and Coonawarra (47%) fruit.

Released with the age on it, still retaining an element of youth, vigour and freshness.

Plummy, damson, blackcurrant notes on the nose. The palate conveying an acidic freshness, tannin is firm and somewhat robust still now. Gives a firmness and provides length and depth of flavour.

Somewhat older school in its presentation, an observation - nothing more. Matched this a medium reverse seared rib fillet on the bone, the tannin/protein match-up a perfect pairing to highlight the depth and even of a touch of char in the oak.

In the zone now, yet still with plenty ahead of it. Bottle August 2017 after a whopping 36m in a mix of French and American oak. 94

Tasted on: Saturday 5th June
Source: Sample
Price: $50
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.geoffmerrillwines.com.au/

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Thursday, 10 June 2021

Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 2020


Very Hills and Tapanappa in profile, citrus and nectarine with a smattering of oak (one third new) in support: there, yet allowing the fruit to shine.

Decent length here, a fine line with a just there acidity. It's all about the balance.

Something like a grapefruit tang through that length, leading to a somewhat straightforward package overall (in the context of its brethren within the portfolio). 91

Tasted on: Sunday 23rd May
Source: Sample
Price: $39
Alcohol: 13.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://tapanappa.com.au/

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Wednesday, 9 June 2021

De Bortoli Melba Amphora Cabernet Sauvignon 2019


Cabernet from the Yarra Valley doesn't normally spend 150 days on skins in 1000l  amphora, being then pressed off and sent to older French oak. On this showing perhaps it should.

It's less about the aromatics, as perhaps is logical given from the techniques employed in its making.

It's both silken, velvet smooth, switching to a fine and tight grain of tannin that acts as a vehicle for a wine of depth to emerge through to its finish.

It's deep, classy and displaying a persistence of flavour through to its lengthy conclusion. A worthy inclusion in any cellar. 94

Tasted on: Wednesday 26th May
Source: Sample
Price: $80
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: DIAM
Website: debortoli.com.au

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Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Castle Rock Estate Pinot Noir 2019


Castle Rock is an excellent producer under the watchful haze of winemaker Rob Diletti, churning out exemplar wines across Riesling, Chardonnay, and reds through Shiraz and here Pinot Noir.

It's cool, savoury - reflecting its maritime location - leading with sour cherry, herbal inflections and even a touch of sarsaparilla in the mix.

The palate is delicate, softly structured with a fine emery tannin. There's a length - subtle at first - building and growing in stature.

A Pinot Noir that will grow with time - if you can keep your hands off. 92

Tasted on: Thursday 3rd June
Source: Sample
Price: $34
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://castlerockestate.com.au/

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Sunday, 18 April 2021

d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Marsanne 2020


Honeysuckle, flowering Jasmine - a very spring like vibe here in this Hermit Crab, even if suggestively it's hibernating for the next couple of months perhaps.

Nice mid-weight, acid a touch sharp and seems out of focus - compared to that lovely aromatic intro. 88

Tasted on: Wednesday 24th March
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Tapanappa Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019


Sour cherry and dark fruit profile, touch more of the savoury - almost hedgerow, stem like - than I necessarily recall.

For that depth of aromatics, it carries a lightness to itself; silken in its flow across the palate and not sacrificing length nor depth of flavour.

Tannin is exemplary: both fine and minerally. A quiet achiever, needs time or cellaring. 93+

Tasted on: Saturday 6th March
Source: Sample
Price: $55
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://tapanappa.com.au/

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Tuesday, 13 April 2021

d'Arenberg d'Arry's Grenache Shiraz 2018


Grenache the hero here, deep raspberry compote aromatics with black fruit adding depth and a layered aspect.

The palate is similar in profile, with the additional of typical McLaren Vale earth. Good release, good value. 90

Tasted on: Saturday 27th March
Source: Sample
Price: $21
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Wirra Wirra Lost Watch Riesling 2020


Subtle lemongrass and kaffir lime notes here, supplemented with a touch of citrus across the palate. 

There's a touch more texture, a fleshy suppleness with a chalky phenolic pucker. A lemon/ lime acidic line adds a spine and precision to the finish. It may be perceived as quite lean in style, yet has much to offer. 91

Tasted on: Tuesday 25th August 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://wirrawirra.com/

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Amigo de la Terra Organic Tempranillo Syrah 2018


Organically farmed Tempranillo and Syrah from the high Plains of Northern Syrah, a vino de Espana. 

Earthy core with black fruit accents that act as a counter to that initial aroma of the land. 

Plum and blackcurrant vibes across the palate. Soft, fleshy and yet with an edge of spice at the finish. Reasonable. 88

Tasted on: Wednesday 19th August 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Sample courtesy of: www.singlevineyards.com

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Monday, 15 February 2021

Angullong Shiraz 2019


Opens with what might be variously interpreted as a char and bacon fat/ meat aroma, or a mercaptan
(onions or such) vibe.

The palate is a touch softer, fleshier, black fruit abounds - almost blackcurrant pastille like. A touch of residual fruit sweetness offsets the more savoury intro. 

Tannin is fine, persistent, carrying long across the palate. Definite carriage of flavour leaves a finish that bookends its somewhat more playful middle. An altogether enjoyable package. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 6th August 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.angullong.com.au

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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Henty Farm Riesling 2019


Curry leaves and Fenugreek - certainly a Riesling on the more interesting side of the aromatic spectrum. 

It's cool and crisp, yet somewhat lighter in flavour and texture. Henty is certainly cool, on the more marginal fringes of Australian viticulture and this excellent Riesling reflects that, with a somewhat austere - nigh Germanic take on things. 92

Tasted on: Saturday 21st November 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Sample Courtesy of: https://www.singlevineyards.com/

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Ballycroft Small Berry Cabernet Sauvignon 2018


Dusky black fruit over pencil shavings and rolling tobacco. 

It's on the fuller side for Cabernet Sauvignon, which is exactly where winemaker Joe Evans likes the variety. 

Tannins are ultra-fine, a combination of graphite and cocoa. Latterly the wine reveals its power and potency, overt in nature. This is as good as I've tasted a Cabernet from the producer. 92

Tasted on: Sunday 22nd November 
Source: Sample
Price: $45
Alcohol: 14.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.ballycroft.com/

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Monday, 8 February 2021

Huntington Estate Tim Stevens Signature Shiraz 2017


Alongside its Cabernet/Shiraz [link] counterpart, the Tim Stevens Signature Shiraz represents the upper echelon of the Huntington portfolio. 

From the off it's rich and somewhat hedonistic. A deep, intense wine, yet it does so whilst letting fruit and region sing. Oak is present, yet a part, not the lead in this particular scene. 

Milk chocolate and sage lead, segueing to a palate that shows intensity of blue and purple fruits. 

Latent spice asserts a presence too, amidst this body of fruit and chocolate. Tannins are substantive, whilst this feels good to go it will only improve over mid-term. Drink to 2038 94

Tasted on: Sunday 31st January 
Source: Sample
Price: $100
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://huntingtonestate.com.au/

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Thursday, 4 February 2021

Edenflo Quincy J 2020


A delicious skinsy blend of Eden Valley Gewürz, Riesling and Viognier.

Eden Flo is Andrew Wardlaw and sidekick (dog) Quincy Jones. Andrew was at pains to express how to best sample his wines - attention to detail a boon - advising to avoid excess cold and allow time and air for fuller expression. 

Pouring a somewhat hedonistic golden colour, and immediately redolent of florals, Quince and stewed apple. 

The palate conveyed an immediate nuttiness, followed by lavish texture and generous spiced nuance across the finish. 

Respecting the winemaker's wishes, after 24 hours the skinsy, Quincey vibe is more pronounced on the nose. Across the palate, ginger is pulled forward and caressed by quite a lavish textural throw. The spice is really quite prominent now, seemingly adding to the sustain of the wine's finish. 

A rather exquisite wine of detail, texture and interest. 94

Tasted on: Sunday 31st January 
Source: Sample
Price: $33
Alcohol: 
Closure: Cork
Website: https://edenflowines.com.au/

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Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Clandestine Vineyards Pinot Grigio 2020


Fresh and bold, Passionfruit, pear and herb - more like the illicit offspring resulting from a vineyard tryst between Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. 

Cut and thrust of acidity, gentle phenolic rub across the palate. Can't escape the fact that this seems more akin to Hills savvy. 89

Tasted on: Monday 7th December 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://clandestinevineyards.com.au/

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d'Arenberg The Anthroprocene Epoch Mencia 2019


On aromatics alone it's a good rendition of a Ribeira Sacra, with a dense core of red fruit amidst a savoury, almost smokey - but not quite rubbery (an oft sighted quality in this appelation) - background

It's soft, gentle, with a fine and tight tannin structure. Seemingly a wine of contrast: fruit and savoury; gentle and grainy. It's all the better for it, approachable and yet cerebral. 

Well made, also perhaps a nod to vines hitting their straps. 92

Tasted on: Thursday 10th December 
Source: Sample
Price: $30
Alcohol:
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.darenberg.com.au

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Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Barossa Boy Young Wisdom Mataro 2018


Diam sealed, pretty serious intent coming in a heavy set - deep punted - bottle. 

Initially sullen, Mataro needs some air  - IMNSHO - to reveal its true colours. 

This example itself to be tightly coiled, fine grain of tannin, heft of a wine - subtlety and guile not necessarily the calling cards on first show. That said there's a depth and penetration of flavour, length creeping. 

It has the hallmark, needs to open up further. 91++

Tasted on: Wednesday 16th December 
Source: Sample
Price: $50
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: DIAM
Website: www.barossaboywines.com.au

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Monday, 1 February 2021

Ubertas Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2020


It's a fruitier expression of Chardonnay here, the winery seeking to express character of the variety over
oak. Picked a little earlier, with a somewhat moderate 12.5% alcohol, fermented in tank before half sent to 2nd year French barrels. 

Notes of pineapple and melon in the main. Segues to a citrus derived juiciness, dare I suggest it as lime, running long across the palate. 

Lacking perhaps the depth and substance of other examples that might score higher, it's freshness and clarity will win many over. 90

Tasted on: Sunday 31st January 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://ubertaswines.com.au/

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Huntington Estate Merlot 2019


Image to follow
"2019 has been characterised by intensely dry heat spells followed by short, heavy rainfall. We picked our
fruit very early to beat the heat and secured stunning, evenly ripened fruit with clean, restrained acids." 

This 2019 has been released before the 2017 and 2018. Sitting in the spot within the portfolio where the Grenache normally would (2019 Grenache sold out, none made in 2020).

Initially bright perfume of cherry on initial pour, settles nicely into more familiar plum and typical black fruit profile. 

The palate shows every inch of its early picking, light and bright with a tangy acid profile across the palate and through the finish. 

A delicious lick of spice curls across the back palate, delivering length to boot. Do not underestimate its lower alcohol profile, the freshness makes this a marvellous supping wine for consumption in youth. 91

Tasted on: Saturday 9th January 
Source: Sample
Price: $32
Alcohol: 12.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://huntingtonestate.com.au/

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Sunday, 31 January 2021

Cantine D'Alessandro Regio


Frizzante white from Puglia (IGT: Indicazione Geografica Tipica) made from a variety - new to me - called Verdeca. Retained with a minor amount of sugar (5%) adding body, not so much sweetness. 

Quite light aromatically, suggestions of citrus and stonefruit. The palate has a stone, minerally quality that seems to expand and grow across the palate. There's a touch of creaminess that builds presence. The light spritz makes this a good candidate for a light aperitif style. 89

Tasted on: Sunday 10th January 
Source: Sample
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: DIAM
Website: http://www.bonciani.com.au/about/

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Monday, 18 January 2021

Ballycroft Small Berry French Oak Shiraz 2018


Dare I say, but perhaps the least obvious rendition of the French small berry Shiraz I've had the pleasure of sampling, certainly compared to the overt and brazen American counterpart. 

Conveys a blueberry compote over chocolate aspect, and for all its depth there's a freshness and youthful presentation to it. 

As the vines with age impart their own mark on the wines of increasingly assured winemaker Joe Evans, there's a meeting of the minds with respect to their presentation. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 13th January 
Source: Sample
Price: $ 49
Alcohol: 14.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.ballycroft.com/

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