Thursday 31 December 2020

The Best of 2020!

What a year 2020 has been!

Sincere thanks to you, my readers, for your support. Based on conversations through various channels it seems more and more people are becoming increasingly open-minded to the diversity of wines now on the market while also supporting small businesses - be it producers or through independent wine stores, long may this continue.

I've had the privilege of reviewing over 760 wines in 2020 - by far my busiest year. I thank the winemakers, wineries, reps, and marketers for their ongoing support.

Paralian Grenache 2019

A very smart Blewitt Springs Grenache to end the year.

Mr Mick Riesling 2020


Wines like these are made for summer days. So juicy. So delicious.

Saturday 26 December 2020

Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz 2013


I caught up with Jane Ferarri a few years ago. Such a generous individual with her time, she is so fantastically hilarious and ever so knowledgeable about her patch of Barossa dirt. 

We sat and ate breakfast at her favourite Angaston cafe and chewed the fat on a range of topics. She loves poetry, too, but she wasn't about to sneak a cheeky insight into her upcoming gig at the Elvis festival in Parkes (she went on to win the best poet of the whole shebang). Those who've spent time with Jane know she speaks sense. So when she does talk, you just listen.

Piano Piano Sophie's Block Chardonnay 2018


I've read a bit about Piano Piano wines but I have never had the opportunity to make an acquaintance. Things changed when I saw this on the shelf ($36) at an independent store. Let's just say I am very impressed by my purchase.

O'Leary Walker Nero d'Avola 2020


The second wine in the new Seasonal Release range, beautiful scents capture your attention from the outset. A cracking debut Nero d'Avola from O'Leary Walker.

O’Leary Walker Armagh Cabernet Sauvignon 2018


Like its Shiraz sibling, this is a great wine and a classic expression of Cabernet.

O’Leary Walker Armagh Shiraz 2018


Clare Valley Shiraz done well. Really well. Gee, this is a good drink. One of those wines which ticks the boxes with ease yet without the fanfare. Great stuff. 

Dodgy Bros The Dilemma 2019


A wine suitable for medium-term cellaring, this needs some beef or lamb by its side. 

Gerler The Fog 2019

Quite a blend! Touriga, Montepulciano, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo and Nero d'Avola from McLaren Vale. 

Thursday 24 December 2020

d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2018


As reliable as old boots. A wine that always delivers, this is a handy buy particularly when you can find it around the $15 mark.

d'Arenberg The Custodian Grenache 2017


Big and dense, we've come to expect The Custodian as a powerful Grenache. This 2017 is no different.

Tuesday 22 December 2020

Gundog Estate Shiraz 2019


I love this. It is such a great drink. There are no losers here. 

Soumah Brachetto Frizzante d'Soumah 2020


The back label says 'liquid Turkish delight' and that just about sums it up. Something a little different to take the sting out of a sweltering day perhaps?

Sunday 20 December 2020

Scorpo Pinot Noir 2018


I was sent on a mission into retail land to find a good Pinot. I spied this Scorpo and tucked it under my wing. I've read much about these wines but yet to have the pleasure of its company. Well, thank you very much, the pleasure was all mine...

Big Easy Radio Perpetual Holidaze Grenache 2017


Big Easy Radio. Lots of easy-drinking. Boom time Grenache. Light, bright and gushing with smash factor.

Cake Rosé 2019


A visit to one of those fancy Asian fusion restaurants and this kicked off my night. A very tidy and refreshing Rosé it is.

Friday 18 December 2020

Silkman Shiraz Pinot Noir 2018


Brilliant. Just brilliant! And this is proof you don't have to spend up big to indulge in exceptional wines. I found this on the shelf at an independent wine store for $28.

Schwarz Wine Co. Shiraz 2019


Barossa Shiraz hitting the mark. Such a tasty number, it trundles along delivering plenty of satisfaction.

Thursday 17 December 2020

Carillon Block 22 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

A fabulous Cabernet from South Australia's Wrattonbully region. Just a stone's throw from Coonawarra and sitting on Limestone soils, you'd be forgiven for confusing the two given the similarities shown.

Schwarz Wine Co. META Shiraz 2019


These Schwarz META wines deliver wonderful savoury appeal that draws a long bow as it slowly drip feeds you happiness.

Monday 14 December 2020

Hidden Creek Prieto Picudo 2020

Prieto Picudo. Never heard of it? Nor had I until now. The exploration of emerging varieties never ceases to amaze and this release from the Granite Belt's Hidden Creek is a beauty.

Oliver's Taranga Mencia 2019

Oliver's Taranga produce Mencia two ways - a Rosé and this table wine. This is wonderfully expressive and screams pleasure factor - Corrina Wright's best Mencia release to date.

d'Arenberg The Anthropocene Epoch Mencia 2019

d'Arenberg's marketing gun Jack Scupham might need to start sending through some arthritis cream with these samples which possess such incredibly long names. Gee, that took some typing. All that aside, this is another fab Mencia release from Chester Osborn and his team.

Hidden Creek Mencia 2020

The lighter of the three Mencia samples recently tasted, this release from Hidden Creek leans more towards the savoury spectrum and sits just under medium-bodied. This is a wine sure to win a new legion of fans.

Gundog Estate Marksman's Shiraz 2019


The fruit for Gundog Estate's Marksman's Shiraz is sourced from the Canberra district.

Sunday 13 December 2020

Clandestine Vineyards Grenache 2018

Grenache is a great drink and McLaren Vale is steaming ahead as Australia's premium region for the variety. This wonderful Clandestine release is sourced from Blewitt Springs seeing 10% bunches before being sent to old French oak.

Nature en Heritage Organic Chardonnay 2019


An organic imported French Chardonnay that is readily available, but the detail has me scratching my head.

Vignes de St Pierre Blanc 2018


An approachable and easy drinking import from Domains Paul Mas.

Vignes de St Pierre Rosé 2019

A very simple Rosé offering.

Friday 11 December 2020

Gundog Estate Rare Game Shiraz 2019


Pretty aromas hook you in. Give it some air and it sings. A wonderful Hunter Valley Shiraz.

Maude Pinot Noir 2018


Maude's entry level Pinot (and I use 'entry' loosely). This is an absolute ripper and super example of Central Otago Pinot at the right price. 

Schwarz Wine Co. Chenin Blanc 2020

Chenin Blanc from the Barossa. There is not much in the glass to get me skipping about admittedly.

Friday 4 December 2020

Brand and Sons Single Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon 2018


Super Cabernet. There's pretty factor here and then some. 

Tyrrells Vat 1 Semillon 2015

As with all Tyrrell's aged Semillons, they show so much vitality and freshness. A brilliant Vat 1 release once again.

Gundog Estate Poacher's Blend Semillon 2013

A fabulous Hunter Valley aged Semillon. A museum release from Gundog Estate, this runs deep before asking some questions and then pulling you in closer. Superb!

Brand and Sons Baker's Run Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

A classic Coonawarra Cabernet from Brand and Sons.

Schwarz Wine Co. Rosé 2020


The label says to share with friends. Bugger that. One glass just ain't enough. I'd lean towards not sharing at all - a terrific slurp gone in seconds. 

Brand and Sons Night Owls Shiraz Malbec 2018

A really enjoyable Shiraz Malbec blend. Burgers and barbecues kinda stuff. 

Chateau Yaldara Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2016

A refreshing fizz good for a toast, or to drink by the pool. Made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Adelaide Hills, top ups come with ease.

Tuesday 1 December 2020

Dodgy Bros Juxtaposed Old Vine Shiraz Old Block Sherry Vineyard 2019


The last hurrah for this block for Dodgy Bros. Recently sold off, the fruit from this vineyard was often blended away. As a tribute, Wes Pearson has bottled this in its own right. A fabulous example of McLaren Vale Shiraz.

Schwarz Wine Co. Meta Grenache 2020


Funky, bunchy and a little meaty. Wicked Grenache. 

Dodgy Bros Juxtaposed Fiano 2020


A little cloudy - just the way Wes Pearson likes it. A textural rollercoaster ride to your happy place. It ducks and weaves while you sway and swerve. Yum!

Clandestine Vineyards Malbec 2019

These Clandestine Vineyards wines are a tidy bunch. Sourced from Margaret River, this Malbec will mop up a steak or hearty meal with ease.

Unsung Hero Fiano 2020

This starts out all casual before doing up the top button, slipping on a tie and jacket before striding out with suave appeal. 

Sunday 29 November 2020

Carillion Wines Origins Fenestella Shiraz 2018

A must-do on your next Hunter Valley excursion is to eat at Bistro Molines. Trust me. It is here you will also find the home of Tallavera Grove, one of the best vistas in the district, and the home of Carillion Wines. This Fenestella Shiraz is their flagship wine.

Heartland Director's Cut Shiraz 2018

Big and rich Shiraz just the way Heartland like 'em.