Saturday, 31 December 2016

Sew and Sew Contour Series Chardonnay 2015


Here's a Chardy worth getting excited about. A serious step up from its sibling in the range, this smashes the high hats with gusto.

Jim Brand Yates Chardonnay 2015


My first look at a wine from Jim Brand and I like what I see. Interestingly, the Brand's are some of the largest land holders in the Coonawarra region - I always like finding out little bits of info like that.


Sew & Sew Sashiko Series Chardonnay 2016


Fresh and youthful, a Chardonnay that wants the street style chic but just doesn't land it.

Acidity is alive though it's a bit thin in the fruit department. Melon and watered down white fleshed nectarine do show but the delivery is a little bitsy. Fruit comes, light oak saunters by then acid rushes in and clings on. I can see where this wants to go but the tyres just seem a little deflated.

I suspect this would drink better with food.

Drink now to three years.

86/100 - Good

Region: Adelaide Hills
RRP: $25
Source: Sample

www.sewandsewwines.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Red Hill Estate Merricks Grove Chardonnay 2014


I popped in to Red Hill Estate for a quick looksy while in the neighbourhood a few weeks ago. It was my first time there and I was impressed. A great set up and wonderful view overlooking the vines and Phillip Island in the distance. The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable too which makes the experience better. Nice work team.

Gutherie The Snare Syrah 2014


I stumbled across this in a well stocked bottleshop in Blairgowrie (Mornington Peninsula) so I couldn't resist having read much about these wines. And it stacked up too.

d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2015


The search of something with richness and interest doesn't need to blow a hole in the wallet. This Viognier Marsanne blend (58/42) ticks those boxes with ease.

Four percent underwent wild fermentation and 14% of the Viognier saw old American and French oak.

Friday, 30 December 2016

d'Arenberg The Broken Fishplate Sauvignon Blanc 2016


A refreshing drink to put some chill into a sweltering day.

Sourced from the Adelaide Hills, it sits on the tropical fruit spectrum of Sauvignon Blanc steering clear of the grassy and herby types.

Firm acidity drives through cleansing the mouth - the fattiness of fish and chips would match a treat. Some phenolics linger to finish. Good going.

Drink now.

88/100 - Good

Region: Adelaide Hills
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

www.darenberg.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

De Bortoli Villages Grenache Rosé 2016


Run to this. And fast. Super refreshment guaranteed.


Friday, 16 December 2016

Soul Growers Black Cellar Sparkling Shiraz 2006


'Tis the season for sparkling Shiraz. What a piece of Australiana it is. As mentioned in a previous post, it is such a versatile drink - aperitif, with a meal (Christmas lunch is a special), or even with dessert. I tested the boundaries further and had it in the pool watching the last session of the day/night Test. And not surprisingly, it was a neat fit there too!

Terra Felix Pinot Gris 2016


Attractive aromas here of white stone fruits, mead, honeyed tones and a sliver of ginger. From Bendigo in Victoria, the fruit in the mouth comes across a little heavy and seems offset from the pleasant whiff that comes before it. A little spice tingle to finish.

Not a bad go.

Drink now.

88/100 - Good

Region: Bendigo
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

www.terrafelix.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Terra Felix Chardonnay 2015


A label taking fruit from a variety of regions.

This comes at you on the front foot. Firmish delivery - melted butter on toast, peachy. Some textural interest evident but there's a warming sensation in the mouth which pegs it back. Pithy lemons and grapefruit acidity tie it together. It just seems like an effort to get through a glass mind you despite the highlights.

Drink now to three years.

87/100 - Good

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

www.terrafelix.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Le Cirque Wine Co. Whiz Bang Shiraz 2015


I've seen this listed in a few places on premise and it's easy to see why. A solid drink and a decent food match, this Shiraz is a neat intro to the famed Barossa variety without wielding a big stick nor weighing down the wallet.

Gartelmann Phillip Alexander Shiraz 2013


This has got me thinking about osso bucco or a ragu.


The Lane Vineyard Block 1A Chardonnay 2016


Quite a satisfying drink. Pale morning sunrise appearance glistens in the glass.

Those new to Chardonnay would be happy getting knee deep here. Whilst the fruit is bright and fresh, a wisp of oak keeps an even keel without arresting away the attention.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Coulter Wines Adelaide Hills Barbera 2016

The third and last of the new release Coutler Wines I have had the privilege to look at recently. All smart and very well made. Minimal intervention is Chris Coulter's aim. His wines are bottled without fining or filtration.

Wild fermentation was used with only four months spent in older French oak.


Soul Growers Equilibrium Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2015



Happy hunting here for GSM fans.

Raspberry coulis, tinned plums, strawberry jam, dark chocolate all in sync and in cruise mode. Mocha type oak adds another layer. Firmish acidity frames is nicely but the deep fruit keeps chipping away. Moreish and delicious.

Drink now to eight years.

91/100 - Very good

Region: Barossa Valley
RRP: $28
Source: Sample

www.soulgrowers.com

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

The Lane Vineyard Lois Sparkling Brut Rosé NV


Bone dry delivering dark cherries and cherry vodka type flavours. Some strawberry eases in. Well made but nothing to make me want to go dancing in the streets.

87/100 - Good

Region: Adelaide Hills
RRP: $25
Source: Sample

www.thelane.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Coulter Wines Adelaide Hills Sangiovese 2016

Get on board here folks - damn this is impressive Sangiovese! I just want to do a forward flip with pike into it.

Delicate floral aromas of violets and purple flowers get things underway. It's pretty and nimble on its feet too. Vibrant, its youth is telling but its sheer drinkability is outstanding. I felt compelled to see out the last drop before the brother-in-law intervened.


Polperro Pinot Noir 2015


 A blend of a number of vineyards, no herbicides or pesticides are used. Sam Coverdale's long term aim is to head down the 100% organic road.

One of my lasting memories from a trip to the region a few years ago was the forthrightness of all winemakers to alert us to the Pinot clones being used as soon as we walked through the door. MV6 and Pommard are the specials in the region but no less than seven clones contribute to this wine.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Lane Vineyard Block 10 Sauvignon Blanc 2016


Gee this is good. Really good.

Super fresh but I get a sense it's holding something back. It took about ten minutes for it to get comfortable and reveal its personality - not a bad thing I suppose.

Le Cirque Wine Co. Kissing Booth Sauvignon Blanc 2016


Gee I love the individuality of this label. Quirky, funny, clever. Good gear inside too. All too often the labels a little left of centre can't follow through with the contents. You'll be pleased to know that this Sauv delivers.

Hentley Farm The Beauty NV


Comes in a cool bottle with a big booty just like Kim Kardashian - but this is classier. Way classier.

There's something about sparkling Shiraz that offers so much appeal. Drink as an aperitif, with a meal or sip alongside some dessert or a cheese board. Rich delivery plus a lick of sweetness makes for a perfect combination to throw down the welcome mat for versatility.

Coulter Wines Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2016

I've seen this label thrown around on social media for a couple of months - it looks great and certainly has great shelf appeal. Sitting in a bar I saw this in the fridge so the transaction was made.


Pewsey Vale The Contours Riesling 2011


I get a sense this is a little further developed than hoped. Expecting firmer acidity for longevity, it has certainly slipped into some comfortable shoes rolling to just the other other side of the curve.


Barambah First Grid Rack Dried Semillon 2012

Hand picked and rack dried for five weeks, the dried fruit was then re-fermented with dry Semillon wine in old French oak.

A delicious dessert wine, dried apricots, caramelised peach and honey tones. Long to finish with moreish appeal, a cheese board would sit comfortably by its side.

Drink now but will continue to develop more concentrated flavours with time in the bottle for 10+ years.

91/100 - Very good

Region: South Burnett
RRP: $39 (375mL)
Source: Sample

www.barambah.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Deep Woods Estate Chardonnay 2015


Sitting slightly on the old school side of the ledger on the Chardonnay spectrum, this is great buying for the money.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Even Keel Syrah 2015


More and more Canberra wines keep coming across my bench and I've got to say the quality and consistency continues to impress. The cool climate Syrah particularly lots of appeal. Here we go again.


Windowrie The Mill Shiraz 2015


Cracking value for twenty bucks. It sells like a Datsun and drives like a Lexus.

Scooping the pool at the 2016 NSW Wine Awards, this super value Shiraz bagged three trophies. Handy effort.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Even Keel Pinot Noir 2015


I tasted this along with a few other Pinots. Similar vintages but varying price points. Compared to the TMBT 10X which shoots for the same money, I like the shape of this that bit more - more meat on the bones so to speak.

It's a bit rustic but a bit refined all at the same time. A delicate spice is interwoven yet it doesn't wrestle the attention from the fruit. Good weight in the mouth with a persistent fruit drive keeping me keen. Oak is played well but the mid palate interest has me coming back for more.

Drink now to five years.

93/100 - Very good

Region: Mornington Peninsula
RRP: $35
Source: Sample

www.polperrowines.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Ten Minutes by Tractor 10X Pinot Noir 2015


This puts many entry level Pinots to shame. It's bright, forward and dances on its toes. Light but pristine through the mid palate, there's some acid crunch with neat consistency from the red cherry and berry tart fruit hugging the rails all the way to the post.

Smart Pinot to be had now to the next five years.

92/100 - Very good

Region: Mornington Peninsula
RRP: $34
Source: Sample

www.tenminutesbytractor.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Meerea Park Indie Pinot Noir 2015


From the Lockleven vineyard planted in 1973, this is the first single varietal release of Pinot Noir from Meerea Park. Pinot is usually blended away with Shiraz but after a wet start to 2015, this Pinot parcel was seen to be the best and it just seemed right for it to stand on its own two feet.

Angove Long Row Merlot 2015

Smells inviting - lots of red and purple fruit filling the air as I swirl the glass. Not complex just a straight up and down drop offering good, reliable drinking.

Soft in the mouth, it's good value for asking price. Chill slightly to offer even more enjoyment and versatility.

Drink now to three years.

88/100 - Good.

Region: Riverland
RRP: $10
Source: Sample

www.angove.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Angove Long Row Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Another reliable offering from the Long Row range.

Blue and black fruits are flanked by dark chocolate. A lick of cassis parades through with ease. Puckering in the mouth, it's drying to finish. A good barbecue option for a penny.

Drink now to three years.

86/100 - Good.

Region: Riverland
RRP: $10
Source: Sample

www.angove.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Monday, 5 December 2016

Ten Minutes by Tractor Estate Pinot Noir 2014


I remember having a chat with a Mornington Peninsula winemaker a couple of years ago. Among other things he simply said that when the Hunter Valley has a great vintage Victoria generally has a dud. Fair enough but interestingly the theory sticks here.

Less than a tonne was picked per acre in this case. Much of the single vineyard fruit has been declassified to this Estate label for 2014.

Soul Growers Provident Shiraz 2015


This is bloke's juice. Pardon the political incorrectness but this is ideal for a group of mates catching up with a slab of beef not far away.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Meerea Park Indie Marsanne Roussanne 2015


There's not much Marsanne or Roussanne in the Hunter Valley. There's bugger all really. This fruit comes from the Lockleven Estate - Meerea Park are renowned for sourcing fruit.

Windowrie Family Reserve Shiraz 2015


Pop 'Family Reserve' onto a label and you can expect the price to be jacked up a bit. Not here with only 25 bucks called for.

Even Keel Sangiovese Rosé 2016


Cool and crisp. Dry and moreish. There's plenty of smart Rosé on the shelves and here's another.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Meerea Park Indie Shiraz Marsanne 2014


An interesting blend but it just works.


La Bise Pinot Gris 2016

Natasha Mooney is at the helm here and I like what I see - 100% whole bunched pressed Pinot Gris thank you very much.

Faint bronze in appearance with plenty of aromas here to treat the senses.

Frangipani, white flowers, honeysuckle, poached pear and custard apple. There's a lick of sweetness but in the mouth it is quite textural due to some time spent on lees. There's good weight to it but it's not on the heavy side.

I'd easily have a glass. In fact, I snuck in a second pretty easily.

Drink now to three years.

91/100 - Very good

Region: Adelaide Hills
RRP: $22
Source: Sample

www.labisewines.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Pig in the House Organic Shiraz 2016


I first saw this wine from the 2014 vintage. Whilst the contents are good, I'm not convinced by the label. To be honest, it looks like a cheap supermarket 'homebrand' label than the more classy $30 market it is pitched for - the price has gone up five bucks since 2014 too. Put organic on it and the doors open to a new audience I suppose but you can be the judge.

Gartelmann Jesse Shiraz 2013


A new release under the old label - I prefer the old look much more to the revised version, but that's just me.

The fruit is sourced from Mudgee and made by Liz Jackson at the First Creek winery.


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

David O'Dea Organic Shiraz 2016


There's plenty of satisfaction here. Fruit forward and juicy, one glass turned into three pretty quickly. With a few wines lined up on the tasting bench, I went back here simply due to sheer pleasure.

Soul Growers Wild Iris Chardonnay 2015


A really tasty and no nonsense Chardy. Solid drinking without the frills.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Angove Long Row Chardonnay 2016


Isn't this just a little surprise packet for ten bucks.

Good fruit which carries well, good oak, some interest - nice work.

Fresh lemons and some tropical fruit influences. There's a warming caress from an oak touch and gentle spice which sits long. Good penny pinching drinking for that roast bird you're about to pull outta the oven.

Drink now.

87/100 - Good

Region: Riverland
RRP: $10
Source: Sample

www.angove.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Even Keel Pinot Gris 2016


I last saw winemaker Sam Coverdale a couple of years ago. At the time, the plans were in for the new Polperro cellar door and excitement was high. Since the opening about a year ago from memory, it's fair to say he has smashed it and arrived on the scene with an almighty bang.

A most personable bloke with an infectious laugh which fills the room, it's almost as though this Pinot Gris reflects his persona - generous, creative and welcoming.

Even Keel Chardonnay 2015


Some old school appeal here with a bit of new age hip.

Morning sunrise gold in the glass, Werther's butterscotch, jersey caramel, and vanilla pod aromas. I'm hooked.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Angove Long Row Riesling 2016


Pretty white florals get things under way. Lemony sherbet tacks on the side for the ride. Delivery has a fuller feel to it - not the clean and crisp Riesling type. Canned apple, lemon zest and pineapple husk flavours fill the mouth. It almost feels a little weighty but not.

A fair go for ten bucks.

Drink now.

86/100 - Good

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $10
Source: Sample

www.angove.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Angove Long Row Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV


You can't expect too much from a ten dollar fizz but this does the job pretty well.

Whiffs of melon, a squirt of citrus, poached apples sneak in late too. Although it is not a complex wine, toasted whole meal bread adds appeal through the mouth. Some zesty tang to finish.
Nothing amazing, nothing disastrous either. A good option for cheap fizz hunters.

Drink now.

85/100 - Good

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $10
Source: Sample

www.angove.com.au

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter Qwine Instagram _Qwine

Friday, 25 November 2016

Bowen Estate Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


2013 was a good year in the Coonawarra. I take my mind back to the Coonawarra Vignerons Cup in January this year sitting in the marquee and hearing Vignerons President Tim Bailey speaking in glowing praise for the year that it was.