Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Monday, 30 October 2017

Dirt Candy The Wild One Shiraz Cabernet 2017


Daniel Payne's new venture is Dirt Candy wine. Based in the Hunter Valley, he has recently finished his winemaking degree so his shoulder has been hard to the wheel to release his own label. Payne tells me, "I just want to make quality wines but I'm not aiming at the 50 year old Grange drinker."
The name was derived from his belief that grapes are sweet lollies from the ground - Dirt Candy was born.

Chateau Yaldara Classic Dry White 2017


Chateau Yaldara is celebrating 70 years in 2017. After a brief hiatus, they have some skin back in the domestic wine game - great to see. Their marketing has been reinvigorated and homage is being paid to the past with these heritage labels rolled out. This Classic Dry White is a no nonsense quaff.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Chateau Yaldara Foundations Sauvignon Blanc 2017


Australian Sauv Blanc is a good drink when done well. Find some from the Adelaide Hills or Orange and you're in business. Here's a weekend pleaser from Chateau Yaldara who have reinvigorated their presence in the domestic market.

Nimbostratus Chardonnay 2016


I caught up with winemaker Dom Valentine when he was in town recently. We shared a meal and chewed the fat. This release is a collaboration with good friend Clare Burder. Valentine is a passionate winemaker who has a few irons in the fire. This Chardonnay is a beauty!
When discussing how this wine came about, he shared a more animated version of the description below straight from the website.

Clare: ''We were eating tacos in Brunswick one night when I suggested to my friend Dom that I could perhaps convince my father to allocate some chardonnay fruit to a project wine. We'd made chardonnay in the past - beautiful wines with good bones - but for the last decade the fruit had been allocated to another buyer. With the 2016 season looking similar to the ethereal 2005, the timing was impeccable: Dom was looking for new projects and I needed a winemaker experienced with new world chardonnay. We set out to make a wine that would put Whitlands on the map - and here we are.''


Angullong Fossil Hill Sangiovese 2016

Pizza night came calling and this didn't disappoint. An ideal partner.

First Ridge Barbera 2015


I had never heard of First Ridge until wine marketing gun David Cumming sent me a mixed dozen of Mudgee wines to spread the word on the region's diversity. A quick look on the website and I like what I see. The cellar door is a basic yet trendy construction of two shipping containers. Cool as.
Planting of Sangiovese and Barbera started in the late 90's, First Ridge sits 600m above and 10km outside Mudgee.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Friday, 27 October 2017

Amble Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2016


Chef Matt Stone and partner Jo Barrett have accomplished many things in the food world - cook books and cooking shows but a few. One thing they always wanted to do was make a wine. In collaboration with winemaker Dominic Valentine, that next achievement has been ticked off the list. Brilliant Sauvignon Blanc - words I'd seldom utter.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Hofer Family Wines Lagrein 2015


Lagrein is not a variety seen as a flagship for any winemakers in Australia that I know of – not until now. Marcus Hofer of Hofer Family Wines has put a stake firmly in the ground to buck that trend. Focused on Italian varieties out of the Fleurieu Peninsula, Lagrein is his ‘main bag’ as he puts it.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Noir 2016


I wish I could drink all of this to be honest. Feet up with a big glass to get the job done. When these Montalto samples waltz through the door, I know my taste buds are in for a treat. Spine tingling stuff here once more.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Warramate Pinot Noir 2016


Warramate hitting the spot again. Respect more than deserved for the quality and consistency across the range whilst only charging reasonable prices. Hook in here folks. Quality in spades.


Penley Estate Echo Sparkling Pinot Noir 2016


Coonawarra Pinot Noir. Probably one of the better things to do with it is make it fizzy. Pinot doesn't fair that well in the region. A fair drink for twenty bucks.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Singlefile Single Vineyard Riesling 2017

Welcome to pleasure country. Scintillating Riesling from the west. Glorious stuff.

Gundog Estate Wild Semillon 2017


Something a bit different from the winemaker to challenge his customers. Semillon done on the wild side - and done well.

Vinifera Organic Graciano 2015


I received a sample pack highlighting 'Mudgee's Red Diversity'. Included was a heap of information including the history of the region dating back to 1858. A list of varieties and the corresponding hectares planted was also shared but it seems Graciano didn't make the cut. I can only assume Vinifera have the only plantings in the region.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Hidden Creek Gewurztraminer 2017


Andy Williams and his wife Leeanne have taken the reigns at Hidden Creek. The cellar door has been reinvigorated with a new menu. 2017 was the first vintage with Andy in the winery flying solo after numerous winemaking roles elsewhere. This Gewurz is the first for Hidden Creek and is the first Andy has made as well.

Soumah Equilibrio Pinot Noir 2016


Yarra Valley Pinot showing it can play a power game too.


Oliver's Taranga Shiraz 2016


Hearty stuff. This is like getting a big cuddle from your big and burly Uncle Bob.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

TarraWarra Estate Pinot Noir Rosé 2017


Get outside in the sunshine and embrace your lazy weekend with a glass of this in hand. I say this as rain taps on the roof. Sunshine isn't far away no less.
So approachable. So tasty.


d'Arenberg The Derelict Vineyard Grenache 2013


Grenache worth sinking your teeth into. Dense, pools of serenity engulf the mouth.
The back label says, "At a time when Grenache was considered unfashionable, Chester acquired many old bush vine, overgrown and abandoned vineyards." Grenache seems trendy again - one just took out the coveted Jimmy Watson Trophy for the first time - great to see. I love the variety.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Gartelmann Wines Petit Verdot 2014

Mudgee Petit Verdot getting a helping hand from 15% Cabernet Sauvignon (Clare Valley). Tasty stuff.

Angove Long Row Shiraz 2016


If you only had a tenner to part with for a bottle of red, I'd happily recommend this Shiraz. Tip top for the money.


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Punt Road Pinot Gris 2017


A good drink but it just seems to lack the get up and go expected from this producer who is currently delivering fantastic wines at more than reasonable prices.


Oxford Landing Merlot 2017


Merlot straight from the paddock to bottle. 2017 already.


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Golden Grove Durif 2016


Golden Grove's Durif has beaten Rutherglen stalwarts a few times now pipping them at their own wine show. Here's another cracker from some not so typical Durif country.

Margan Wines Shiraz 2016


Medium bodied Shiraz with soul. I just wanna slurp it all. Delicious drinking and then some.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Lowe Organic Cabernet Franc 2015


Cabernet Franc is as rare as hens teeth in Mudgee. Only 1.2 hectares sit in the ground.

Heslop Wines Zinfandel 2014


My first look at Heslop Wines from Mudgee and I like what I see. Take a whiff and it's easy to get hooked. Well presented too - I do like the wax seal. A sexy touch.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Mitchell Wines McNicol Riesling 2009


Heading into the aged phase, this is a peach. A delicious aged Riesling for those who enjoy dipping their oar into this ocean of pleasure.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Schild Estate GSM 2015


If you only had 15 bucks to throw on the counter for a bottle of red, run to this hand over fist. It's a wine I've found in recent years to be one of the best value blends going around.

Oliver's Taranga Grenache 2016

I love this duck egg label. Cool as. Great wine here too - I'm a big fan. Thumbs up all the way.

d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2015


Ever reliable, here's a wine too often punching above its weight. Great value, it can often be found for around the $15 mark.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Oxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc 2017


Nine bucks they say. It doesn't hold back either. A great little drop for those seeking a penny pincher.

Gundog Estate The Chase Semillon 2017


I like the cut of this Semillon. It's the flagship of the three Semillons in the Gundog range. Better fruit parcels and more thoughtful winemaking sealing the deal.

Gundog Estate Hunter's Semillon 2017


Come at me summer days. Splashing this in your glass will keep the heat at bay.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Huntington Estate Grenache 2015


The current release is the 2016 but I was sent the 2015. I'm not sure what's going on there but I'm happy to have a look much the same. Grenache from Mudgee. As common as Yarra Valley Durif I suppose.

Schild Estate Merlot 2015


Good drinking Barossa Merlot for your pleasure.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Hayes Family Wines Winemaker's Selection Grenache 2017


Hot off the press comes this 2017 release. Owner Brett Hayes' wife only drinks Pinot. Grenache is cheekily known as Barossa Pinot and winemaker Andrew Seppelt has smashed the brief to get the boss's wife drinking the stuff. If you don't rip into a few glasses of this, something just ain't right.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Yarra Yering Chardonnay 2016

If only I could get a paddle board and immerse myself in the delicious ocean of this Chardonnay. This makes me feel all sorts of things fancy and classy. Brilliant Chardonnay.


Lowe Wines PF Organic Shiraz 2017



The PF500 sees the rebirth of the Lowe preservative free organic Shiraz. 500 because the vineyard is 500m above, 500 is the name of the horn clay preparation used in biodynamic winemaking, and a proportion of the wine has been bottled in 500mL bottles.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

O'Leary Walker Watervale Riesling 2017

The two O'Leary Walker Rieslings present plenty to look forward to each year. It's almost a his and hers type of thing. Slate and minerality with the Polish Hill River, florals and prettiness with the Watervale. For 2017, I'm leaning towards the Watervale. What a bargain this is for Riesling fans!

O'Leary Walker Polish Hill River Riesling 2017


Organically grown, this Polish Hill River Riesling comes from a vineyard some 9km down the road from the Watervale site. Two quite different sites producing great wines nonetheless.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Penley Estate Spring Release Cabernet Franc 2017



A few months ago I wrote an article for Grapegrower Winemaker magazine (Coonawarra: Breaking New Ground) highlighting what's new in the region. This release comes after that was published. Wines like these are now putting Coonawarra on the map to a new breed of consumer showing that the region is well beyond a one trick pony.

I'm privileged to see a lot of wine each year. So far in 2017 I've reviewed 463. Some get your attention more than others that's for sure - this pretty number has rocketed to the top of the 'wow factor' list.

Yarra Yering Dry White Wine No. 1 2016


Yarra Yering have plantings of vines most others in the region don't. One is Malbec the other Semillon, and they make them work. This is a Semillon Chardonnay blend (78/22) from 25 year old dry grown vines. Winemaker Sarah Crowe spent much time in the Hunter Valley so it's safe to say the Semillon is in safe hands here.

Hayes Family Wines Rosé 2017


Summer time needs bottles of this chilled hard in your ice bucket, esky or poured generously as you laze poolside.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Angoves Wild Olive Shiraz 2016


The vines for the Wild Olive Shiraz are boarded on one side by olive trees running along a creek bank. Certified organic grape growing and winemaking practices, minimal inputs and no artificial herbicides or pesticides contribute to the overall quality of Angove vineyards. 250 hectares across McLaren Vale and Riverland form part of this strong ethos.

Warramate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015


Cabernet in the slot.

A mighty fine wine delivering buckets of pleasure and satisfaction.