Saturday, 30 September 2017

Golden Grove Estate The Skins Vermentino 2017


I don't know who Ray Costanzo is anymore. He's gone from being a conservative introvert to a guy unleashing his creative juices and flexing his grand master funk muscle. This hipster version of the man formerly known as is creating some kick arse booze - get on board.

Thomas Wines Dam Block Shiraz 2015

A new release from Andrew Thomas, I had the opportunity to taste this at Thommo's members dinner a couple of months ago. Lined up with others in the range, this grew on me with time in the glass giving a big cuddle on the inside.

De Bortoli Winemaker Selection Chardonnay 2016


Winemaker Julie Mortlock has worked with De Bortoli for 25+ years at the company's Riverina base. A new range, she says these DB Winemaker Selection wines are, "Go-to wine perfect for unwinding at the end of the day."

De Bortoli Winemaker Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2017


Winemaker Julie Mortlock has worked with De Bortoli for 25+ years at the company's Riverina base. A new range, she says these DB Winemaker Selection wines are, "Go-to wines perfect for unwinding at the end of the day."

Friday, 29 September 2017

Hayes Family Wines Ebenezer Shiraz 2015

If I were charged with awarding a prize to the best newcomer for 2017, Hayes Family Wines would be right up there to take the gong. The quality across the range has been mightily impressive and is capped off in style by this Shiraz - their flagship.


Warramate Chardonnay 2016


If this was your daily tipple, you'll live a satisfied life. Crank the delish dial to 12! Super value drinking for 28 bucks!

Montalto Pennon Hill Shiraz 2016

A pepper bomb coming at ya in stealth mode. This Shiraz is quite expressive and may catch a few on the hop. Soft and generous no less, there's lots of pleasure here.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Usher Tinkler La Volpe Prosecco 2017

If you're in the Hunter Valley, Usher Tinkler's Cellar and Salumi is a must do. There's a point of difference everywhere you look be it the furniture, relaxed atmosphere, engaging staff or simply the trendy booze on offer along with a wicked array of salumi and cheese.

Savina Lane Lamiro Lady of Spain Graciano 2013


The only Graciano on the Granite Belt and it hits the spot. There's a magnetism about it. Great stuff.


Schild Estate Sparkling Shiraz 2016


One of the great gifts of the Australian wine industry to the world - Sparkling Shiraz. You could put a hole in this with ease.

Whiskey Gully Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


Two Cabernets tasted on a recent Granite Belt excursion and two wins. This Reserve Cabernet is big and buxom with a long future ahead of it.


Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Margan Chardonnay 2017


In a line up of four Chardonnays, this got my attention for different reasons. Of the four, this was the only one from a warm region. Interestingly, this weighed in at 12.5% abv compared to the 13.5% of the others. I would have expected this to be riper.

Pyramids Road Petit Verdot 2016


Two big thumbs up. Things have started to heat up but find a steak to sit beside this nifty Petit Verdot.

Monday, 25 September 2017

La Bise The Thief? GSM 2016


A curiously named label in Natasha Mooney's La Bise range in honour of Walter Mooney from the mid 1800's. He was pinched for stealing a neighbour's cow in the Flinders Ranges' town of Melrose. It seems crime finds its way through that town with a fraudster among others hitting the oldest town in the area in recent memory too.

View Wines Alvarinho 2017

Sancerre Estate is a B&B nestled in the hillside at Ballandean. With a picturesque view overlooking the vineyards across to the hills in the south, you can't help but feel relaxed.

The vineyard was purchased a couple of years ago by Brett and Stacey Allan and renamed Sancerre Estate after being inspired by a trip through the French countryside. Wines produced from estate grown fruit fall under the View Wines label. Old vines have been reinvigorated and new plantings have also taken place. Only four wines make up the range at this stage - Semillon, Sauvignon Semillon blend, Merlot Rosé and this Alvarinho.

This one of a few Alvarinho (Albarino) plantings in the Granite Belt region and it seems to have found a happy home.

Whiskey Gully Reserve Chardonnay 2014

Owner John Arlidge is a quite entertaining when he runs you through a tasting at his historic cellar door. The building itself, Beverley Station, was established back in the 1870's. John and his wife Denise bought the property back in 1997 establishing a vineyard and winery.

John will share with you his love of Chardonnay. Great value here for the asking price.


Whiskey Gully Division Bell Shiraz 2014

One of two Shiraz produced by Whiskey Gully Wines.


Sunday, 24 September 2017

Margan Semillon 2017


Andrew Margan looks for Lime Splice in his Semillon. He has hit the target with this 2017 release.

Pyramids Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2015


I have found Cabernet on the Granite Belt to be hit and miss. While some winemakers suggest it is their best performer, others don't seem to quite nail it. Warren Smith plies his trade without fuss and produces reliable wines. Of his 15 tonne production, I feel this Cabernet is the best wine in his range at the moment.

Pyramids Road Verdelho 2017


It was only right to drop by Pyramids Road Winery after scaling the Pyramid at nearby Girraween National Park. A great climb which works up a thirst. Verdelho is a consistent performer from this 15 tonne winery.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Sticks Cabernet Sauvignon 2014


What's there to do at the airport when your flight is delayed by an hour? That's right, find the bar. But all bars have generic wines overtaken by big companies so I found a book shop with a modest list different from the rest. I needed something to wash down my Cherry Ripe Slice and gave this a crack.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Yarra Yering Dry Red No.2 2015

This is pretty. This is class. It's always a privilege to taste wines of such prestige and history in the Australian landscape. The least common blend you'd expect in the Yarra Valley yet it's one of the most revered.

Langmeil The Long Mile Shiraz 2015

I haven't looked at a Langmeil wine for ages, so when a mate bought this at a steak restaurant recently, intrigue got the better of me. The list seemed quite limited but a good drink this is suiting the purpose just fine.


Oliver's Taranga Fiano 2017


Corrina Wright is a Fiano gun. But something just isn't right here.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Schild Estate Alma Schild Reserve Chardonnay 2015


There's lots of great stories behind the Schild Estate labels. I had the privilege to be walked through many of them in January this year. A passionate family with Barossa Dirt in their veins. This Chardonnay is a tribute to Alma Schild, wife of founder Ben, who raised eight children in primitive conditions.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Huntington Estate Block 3 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Block 3 is a single vineyard sitting 500m above. A delicious wine with longevity in its veins - a great Cabernet release.

Warramate Riesling 2016


You don't see a lot of Riesling in the Yarra, though the small patches I'm aware of are producing some good wines. This is no different. Planted in 1970, it's a most enjoyable wine.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Huntington Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet + Mudgee + Bargain isn't the typical equation but this is a cracking drink. Everything is in alignment delivering oceans of pleasure.

Yelland & Papps Vin de Soif 2016


A good easy drinking Barossa blend of Grenache, Mataro and Carignan.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

d'Arenberg The Dry Dam Riesling 2017


I saw a different perspective on this wine a couple of years ago when sharing lunch with winemaker Chester Osborn, his supercharged media gun Tash Stoodley and a range of other media folk. Chester pulled out a couple of aged Rieslings to prove that this label can mix it with some of the best in the business. There's room for growth with this wine too.

Hayes Family Wines Semillon 2017


Call me daft, but Barossa Semillon is something I still find hard to warm to. It lacks that get up and vibe which can be seen in other parts of the country.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Yarra Yering Dry Red No.1 2015

From one of Australia's cult wineries, it's a privilege to taste such wines. Nothing but sheer pleasure here.


Indigo Vineyard Pinot Grigio 2017


Another winner from the Indigo Vineyard range. Track these guys down - smart wines.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Hofer Family Wines La Epico 2016

After a few set backs, Marcus Hofer is back on his feet. His label officially launched in 2017 with a focus on small batch production. Hofer bleeds Langhorne Creek and its surrounds - his passion clear from the few conversations we've had. This blend slips down the throat all too easily.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Yarra Yering Underhill Shiraz 2015

Sit back and let the magic happen. Effortless is the first word that comes to mind.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Indigo Vineyard Secret Village Shiraz 2015


The wines I've seen of late from Beechworth's Indigo Vineyard have been impressive with quality across the board. Medium bodied Shiraz getting the thumbs up this time.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Flametree SRS Wallcliffe Chardonnay 2016

Quality Chardonnay. Cliff Royle and his team at Flametree have been making a statement of late. One whiff and my heart is beating through my chest - I do love quality Chardonnay. This doesn't miss a beat.

d'Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2014


Super value Cabernet from a Shiraz stronghold.

Warramate Black Label Yarra Valley Shiraz 2015

A fraction heavier on its feet than some of its Yarra counterparts, yet still comfortably in the medium bodied realm, it's hard to resist going back for another sip. Clever Yarra Shiraz.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Yarra Yering Agincourt Cabernet Malbec 2015

It's hard to look past the curved lines and silky feel of this blend. Cool climate wine on song.

Soul Growers Provident Shiraz 2016


This Shiraz gets a tick. I like what the team at Soul Growers are on about. They are literally bringing small growers together and sharing their fruit with the world.

Penley Estate Atlas Shiraz 2016


Straight up and down Shiraz played with a straight bat. Fair going for around $20.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Strenua Syrah 2016


I was in Melbourne last week. I couldn't help but drop in to the City Wine Shop. I love that place. Such great diversity, the atmosphere is relaxed and the food is pretty damn smart too. In search of something I haven't seen before and this caught my eye. Cool climate Syrah from the Yarra is firmly on my radar at the moment. All boxes were ticked so the purchase was made. I happily drank this at the bar. What a beauty!

Angove Family Crest Shiraz 2016


The Family Crest label has taken on a face lift and gee I like it. The crest is still the centre piece with an addition of five dots above it referring to the five generations. A pick and shovel link to the family's mining past. Clever. Good drinking Shiraz too to cap it off.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Hayes Family Wines Shiraz 2015

I've seen four of the Hayes Family Wines now and to say I'm impressed would be an understatement. Andrew Seppelt is making a bold statement with the wines he is producing under this label; a statement which I feel is considerably appealing to many wine lovers. Better still, the pricing is quite modest - best you jump in while the going is good.

Rymill Coonawarra Maturation Release Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


Coonawarra nights can be bitterly cold. This will warm your insides with ease. Rymill's Maturation Release at five years. Quality Coonawarra Cabernet.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Indigo Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir 2017


Spring is the season of new growth - and to drink pink. I could drink buckets of this. Delicious!


d'Arenberg Stephanie the Gnome with Rose Tinted Glasses 2017

For the record, Stephanie is a he. It's a long story but Chester likes it that way. Great drinking Rosé dished up front and centre. Gluggable deluxe.


Saturday, 2 September 2017

Behind the Brand - Delinquente Wine Co

The Riverland is barely seen as a region to produce premium wines, but Delinquente Wine Co's Con-Greg Grigoriou is keen to change that perception.


Patrick of Coonawarra Aged Riesling 2011


Write off Coonawarra whites at your peril. There's some terrific aged Riesling deserving your attention. This is a beauty.