Friday, 31 October 2014

Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz 2012

To get the best from this, let it hang out in the decanter for a little while and then watch it work its magic. From a what seemed a tight and spicy sucker, it mellowed and damn, gee it presented well.

Cherries, some black fruit, vanilla, plum, chocolate and sliced meat characters waft on through. I did a double take wondering if it was the same twenty dollar pop I initially poured.

Ridiculously smooth, the oak is balanced nicely. Add some baking spice to finish and what you have on your hands is a winner. A phrase which comes to mind whilst tasting this is, "batting above your average". It certainly does!

Do you best to get this into your hands. Forget the RRP, I've seen it on the shelves at $22 and a quick internet search shows a price under $20.

Cellar for the medium term but it's ready to go now.


Region: Barossa
RRP: $27.50
Source: Sample

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Plantagenet Riesling 2013

If you were to venture outside the traditional Riesling stomping ground of South Australia to try something new, this is a damn good place to start.

Coming from the Great Southern region in Western Australia, I thought this was a very good expression of the variety.

White flowers dominate the aromas. The fruit is cleansing aided by jab after jab of lemony citrus goodness. There's an undertow of minerality which drives through to a clean and dry finish.

Have with fresh seafood, I'm thinking prawns and oysters. I certainly buy it.

Region: Great Southern
RRP: $25
Source: Wine dinner

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Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Noir 2013

This is Montalto's entry level Pinot.

It's very tasty with some depth, good length, and everything you'd expect from a quality producer.

Lots of bright cherry fruit and florals, including violets, get things started with a little spice adding interest.

I really did like the smooth delivery. Just delicious! Savoury herbs kick in on a drying finish.

In all, a very good Pinot for the money.

Region: Mornington Peninsula
RRP: $33
Source: Sample

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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Soul Growers Provident Shiraz 2012

Soothing is a word which describes this wine best I reckon. It just smells and tastes good. Winter is done and dusted for another year and that's a shame because this is a great wine to tip in a glass and sip away at on a cool night in front of the fire.

Dense dark fruits, a lick of earthiness and some fruit sweetness right at the death. Chocolatey, some oak precedes a smooth and very long finish.

Very good.

Region: Barossa
RRP: $25
Source: Sample

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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Plantagenet Juxtapose Syrah 2012

Winemaker Cath Oates has dished up an absolute belter here. As she tells the story, there was something special going on in a particular vineyard and she decided to treat the fruit a little differently. Deliberately made in the style of a European or Hawkes Bay Syrah, the end result here is gob smackingly delicious.

Red berry fruits dominate all the way. The vibrancy and juicy delivery can easily have you snuggle into the lounge sipping this with a straw. Beautifully balanced, the fruit sits pretty and then ever so gradually melts away.

I'd buy it. In fact I bought a few. The only difference is this was made available for sale at a wine dinner I recently attended. Normally reserved for on premise sales only, I felt a little privileged to have the opportunity to grab some.

If you sit down and the fine establishment you are in has it on the list, don't hesitate!!

Region: Great Southern
RRP: $28
Source: Wine dinner

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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Soul Growers Single Vineyard Riesling 2014

Think of this as a lemon-a-thon. There's plenty of the stuff to keep you interested, that's for sure.

A single vineyard wine with 5 grams residual sugar per litre, it's packed with fresh lemon juice, lemon blossom and white flowers.

Some slatey minerality throws its hand up too. Cleansing, it finishes dry with a pithy character which I didn't mind.

I'd go here again. Very good and well priced. Hello summer!

Region: Eden Valley
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Lindemans Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

This is pretty handy juice considering you can find it for as little as six or seven bucks. Plenty of bargain factor for sure.

By all means, don't expect a spectacular wine for the price point, but you get enough satisfaction for the dollars you throw out.

Bright red fruit aromas kick things off but these become muted with more time in the glass. There is a little oak which contributes but the fruit does run the show. Dark fruits spill onto the palate which are very smooth. Add a touch of spice to finish.

Good length wraps it up but the hero is the smooth ride.

One of the better sub-tenners going around.


Region: Various (South Eastern Australia)
RRP: $9.99
Source: Sample

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Seppelt St Peters Grampians Shiraz 2012

Cool climate Shiraz you sexy minx!

Released in exceptional years and grown on schist and granite soils, this Shiraz is matured in oak for fourteen months in a mix of new and old oak.

Pure and plush, there is significant freakin' wow factor here.

Aromas of raspberry, dark cherry, white pepper and a little smokey action. The fruit starts bright and finishes with a beefy kick just as it rolls out. Terrifically balanced and seductive, there's no doubting the granite minerality which hides in the background peeking through ever so cheekily. Dusty tannins finish off a most impressive wine.

Shop around online and you can do up to $20 better than the RRP.

Feed this to me through a drip. Outstanding stuff.

Region: Grampians
RRP: $80
Source: Sample

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Bimbadgen MCA Series Nebbiolo 2013

Tasty booze this. It's varietal and a classic match for a meat board on a lazy afternoon.

A quick whiff and the first thing that hit me was lipstick! The red stuff, not that I'm exactly an expert on all things lipstick mind you. Add to it aromas of potpourri, and some twigs. It just smells great. The fruit provides good softness. Highlighted by red berry and cranberry flavours, they drive through to what seems a spicy fruit cake finish. The fruit and oak are balanced nicely. Real noice! Typical drying dusty and powdery tannins wrap up a very good wine.

I wouldn't say no to having a glass or two.

Region: Hilltops
RRP: $29
Source: Sample

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Monday, 20 October 2014

Friday Drinks on Radio 4BC 17 October - Top booze worth the $$

Last Friday I had a chat with Ben Davis about the Good Food and Wine Show which hit town.

We also discussed some smart very wines. The ones you'd fork out a little more for. And oh my, they are well worth it!

My picks this week:
d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2010 $65

Seppelts St Peters Grampians Shiraz 2012 $80

Listen in here

(Both wines supplied were samples)

Hahndorf Hill GRU Gruner Veltliner 2014

Larry Jacobs calls this GRU. I reckon it's more like James Bond, a man for all seasons. This is a wine that is sooo tasty and versatile. It's fresh with some texture, personality and it's dangerously smashable. With food or without, you see the bottom of the glass in no time.

This is the fifth vintage of the variety Larry has produced. Due to high yields, three separate harvests took place and each batch was handled differently. That is, different yeasts were used and a combination of cold, warm and wild fermentation took place.

A blend of the three batches, this wine exudes fresh fruits. Think of your fruit bowl and take a whiff. Green apples, pears and stone fruits. Down the hatch and it's more happiness with a little spicy edge and filling flavours. It's just damn tasty booze and you just want more. Isn't that what you look for in a top wine?

Get some in your glass. Very good.

Region: Adelaide Hills
RRP: $28
Source: Sample

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Arcadia Bohemia Chardonnay 2013

Whilst I like the label, there's not too much else I like here to be honest.

I've seen this on Vinomofo for sometime and unlike most other wines on this website, it just hangs around week after week. I can only assume they have a bucket load of it and it's not moving.

A friend of mine bought himself some and gave me this bottle to check out. A word I'd use to describe this wine is disjointed. It's all over the shop and had me scratching my head.

This is made by Brendon Keys for Vinomofo with Adelaide Hills fruit. Aromas of chunky oak, over ripe peach plus a whiff of preserved lemon and orange blossom. The palate throws up bitey acid and a waxy sensation. The fruit doesn't match the aromas and leaves a dirty slippery finish in the mouth. The acidity hangs on too and buzzes around. Not pleasant and below average for mine.

Not a wine I'd purchase.

Region: Adelaide Hills
RRP: $15
Source: Gift

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

de iuliis Aged Release Semillon 2007

It's hard to believe that this is seven years old! Whilst quite fresh, it's also dirt cheap for a seven year old of very good quality.

Squeezed lemon jumps out along with a little waxy character. Lightish in the mouth, some honey traits synonymous with aged Semillon are starting to show their hand as is the expected toasty goodness. Lively acid helps it skip around too.

Ready to go now but will easily ride out another five to ten years should you choose to throw it in the cellar.

I'll be heading to the Hunter Valley in December and a couple of these will find their way home with me.

Region: Hunter Valley
RRP: $30
Source: Sample

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2010

I must say I was excited when this arrived at the front door, but then again I was a little nervous.

Excited simply because of intrigue and what a new vintage can bring. Nervous because I did not like the 2009. Not at all.

A slosh into the decanter and whiff gave me a sense of renewal. That skip around like a school girl excitement kinda thing.

This is a wine that keeps coming in waves. A veneered effect perhaps. One highlight peels back the next; first savoury then fruit.
The fruit rises up again before a savoury finish.

Expect dark fruits, mulberries, plums, and earthy characters. Well balanced oak adds further appeal whilst dried herbs and some black olive roll out to a peppery spice finish that has superb hang time.

Some guts here with charismatic appeal. Classy stuff.


Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $65
Source: Sample

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Monday, 13 October 2014

Coldstream Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2013

To put it simply, this is a delicious wine and an excellent example of Chardonnay.

The highlight for me was the layers of flavour which just kept revealing themselves delivering a soft and sophisticated wine.

Loaded with fleshy peach, nectarine and a little toast, the restrained oak an fruit are integrated beautifully yet the fruit finishes on top. Just what you want in a classy drop. And then the nougat hits you right at the death. Yum!

A long and generous finish wrap up a terrific wine, one which I would certainly purchase.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $60
Source: Sample

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Saturday, 11 October 2014

Karra Yerta Wines Eden Valley Riesling 2008

I bought a heap of these some time ago when the winery was closing its operation and all stock was being thrown out at crazy prices. All stock has since sold out.

This Riesling comes from 80 year old dry grown vines which were hand picked.

Bang in the middle of its drinking window, this has aged beautifully.

Kero lights the flame, preserved lemons and a dollop of honey. The palate is filled with dense fruit and some textural interest leading to a long finish. Better still, there's plenty of life left in it and I'm pretty pleased I've got a lot more in the bank.

Very good.

Region: Eden Valley
RRP: $??
Source: Cellar Door

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Twisted Gum Shiraz 2012

I dig this. A lot!

Coming from a small vineyard which is all hands on, thick mulch is distributed under vines, minimal herbicide used and zero pesticides are applied. The vines are dry grown which is unique from most vineyards in the Granite Belt region. Only 1900 bottles were produced.

Winemaker Andy Williams take a bow. Juicy red berries and dark cherry fruit cut loose delivering sexy complexity and supple length that just won't go away. Wade through it some more and find a dash of granite minerality hovering in the background.

Available online and at the cellar door.


Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $30
Source: Cellar door tasting

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Friday, 10 October 2014

Friday Drinks on Radio 4BC 3 October - Granite Belt

I was in the Granite Belt region so it was more than appropriate to give the low down.

The vast majority of the wineries are small operators punching out tiny quantities and most of these don't have distribution in the retail market, though this is steadily changing. More and more are becoming available in restaurants too.

The Granite Belt has really hits its straps in the last few years producing some excellent wines which are now being recognised nationally and internationally.

Shiraz, Chardonnay and Mediterranean varieties perform best.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Summit Estate Verdelho 2010

Although Verdelho is quite successful on the Granite Belt, interestingly enough it only accounts for about 5% of the entire vintage.

This is a clean and crisp easy drinking wine offering good refreshment. Tropical fruit is meshed in nicely along with some paw paw aromas. Some varietal spice lingers on the finish.

No wow factor but it suits its purpose. Would I go back for it, probably not.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $18
Source: Cellar door

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Raidis Estate Wild Goat Shiraz 2012

Steve Raidis has tamed a wild one, and what a cracker it is! Further more, this is Steve's first go at whipping out a Shiraz. Take a bow.

The story: Steve planted this vineyard which went wild and out of control - hello Wild Goat. A little TLC and the end result is very good indeed.

Medium bodied, this is smashable juice. Dark fruit, mintiness and chocolate with vanilla chipping away in the background. It's interesting how the Coonawarra Cabernet mint character has snuck its way in here adding value ever so subtly.

Super soft and velvety smooth, your glass is gone in no time, as the length hangs on for what seems an age.

A great debut and well priced.

Region: Coonawarra
RRP: $28
Source: Sample

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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Lindeman's Bin 85 Pinot Grigio 2014

A bloody handy bargain for less than a tenner.

Fresh, clean and crisp, this certainly over delivers on what you'd expect to get for the price.

Although the region is non-specific, the fruit delivered is a winner. Think pears, green apple, florals and a lick of pineapple and grapefruit acidity. An impressive length too.

Bargain factor written all over it and often priced well below its RRP.

Drink now.

Region: South Eastern Australia
RRP: $10
Source: Sample

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