Sunday 30 January 2022

Oakridge Over The Shoulder Cabernet Merlot 2020


One of those "off to dinner and drop into the bottleo" reliable wines. A classic Cabernet Merlot blend.

Thistledown Thorny Devil Old Vine Grenache 2021


Another impressive Grenache from the Thistledown team. It's sleek with a little more weight in its carry than its siblings.

Lou Miranda Fierce III SGM 2019

Meaty and spicy, dude food kinda wine. Get your friends around for hot dogs, wings and a cheeky Chiko roll or two in the air fryer. 

Dirt Candy Pink Pet Nat 2021


A Pet Nat made with Topper's Mountain Shiraz and Gruner grown in Gamilaroi Country - New England, NSW. A sapping fizz awaits with a little touch of yeastiness still loitering.

Friday 28 January 2022

John Wallace Wines Sisters Chardonnay 2021


I was recently asked what I wanted to drink more of in 2022. Among a couple of others, Hunter Valley Chardonnay was one on my list - it's so underrated. Get out there and dip your oar into this ocean of beauty. This Sisters release from a new small producer is a ripper. Get around it.

Schild Estate Lorraine Schild Cabernet Sauvignon 2020


Named after the matriarch of the family, Lorraine Schild was a tireless worker behind the scenes. A fitting tribute. As I sip this, all I can think about is roast beef or lamb chops on the coals.

Dirt Candy The Chameleon 2021


It's not easy tasting wine with Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon on repeat in your head. But I took a hit for the team. This is a Sem Sauv that will make a lot of people very happy. It beams happiness and sunshine. Thank goodness it's not beaming red, gold and green...

Small Acres Norfolk Still Cyder 2020


A traditional medium dry alcoholic cider reflecting the style of apple wine produced in the eastern English counties when labourers were paid in cider back in the 17th century. This is a smart alternative to a crisp white wine. 

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Clandestine Vineyards Hearts and Minds Grenache 2021


Hearts and Minds is the top-tier range from Clandestine Vineyards. The fruit was sourced from Jericho's Blewitt Springs vineyard planted in 1950.

Fierce III Sagrantino 2019


Sagrantino is bold. It just doesn't know any other way. I suspect the three sisters behind this Fierce III label are quite bold too creating a label to celebrate their coming back together in the family business. A smart wine this.

1920 Wines Alcohol Removed Pinot Grigio 2021


There is a first for everything, and after more than ten years of reviews, this Alcohol Removed Pinot Grigio is the first non-alcoholic wine to grace these pages. Bravo! With the non-alcoholic drinks market suggested to increase its market share by up to 30% by 2024, I suspect I may be posting a lot more of these drinks in the future.

Tuesday 25 January 2022

Thistledown Vagabond Grenache 2021


Such a pretty expression of Grenache, I just want it all - Freddy Mercury style. An excellent wine hands down.

Bay of Fires Chardonnay 2018

I was generously gifted this wine by Tony Peters, one of the most selfless and kind people I've had the pleasure of meeting through this wine caper. He is Mr Wine Tasmania - pageant sash and all. He bleeds the stuff. I'm pleased he shared this with me, too, as I don't ever see any wines from Accolade. This is a beautifully layered Chardonnay and I savoured it until the very last drop. Superb!

Cassegrain Edition Noir 2019


A melting pot of sorts that brings Syrah and Pinot Noir together from three regions - Canberra, Central Ranges and the Hilltops. An interpretation of the Hunter River Burgundy perhaps that seems very much in vogue at the moment.

Monday 24 January 2022

Thistledown She’s Electric Grenache 2021


She's Electric alright! A superb Grenache. Dancy and pretty, just kick back and enjoy the ride. 

Fierce III Dry Rosé 2021


From a new range of wines released by Lou Miranda, this dry Rosé has picnics and charcuterie in its future.

La Bambola Vermentino 2021


Eat Italian food and drink Italian wine - life doesn't need to be complicated. This is a wine made exclusively for Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers, a chain of Italian Restaurants.

Grandis Wines Unearthed Rosé 2021


A Rosé made from Merlot that needs food by its side. There is some weight and density here. 

Dirt Candy Rosé 2021


Barrel fermented Rosé made with Shiraz grown in Wiradjuri Country. Isn't it great to see producers acknowledging the First Nations people on their labels?

Friday 21 January 2022

Gundog Estate Indomitus Rosa 2021


Lacy pleasure. Delicate and curvaceous. Gee, we are blessed with the high standard of Rosés available on the shelves. Considered winemaking continues to push the bar higher. Here is a brilliant Rosé from Gundog Estate.

Thistledown Gorgeous Grenache 2021


Delicious!  A juicy and energetic Grenache to throw your arms around. For $25, this is a fab drink.

Fierce III Pinot Grigio 2021

A new range of wines for Lou Miranda, the Fierce III is a nod to the three sisters behind the business. Here you have a neat Pinot Grigio ready to match a casual meal with friends.

Dirt Candy The Falcon White Pet Nat 2021

Made with fruit sourced from a derelict vineyard, this Dirt Candy Pet Nat has some street smart textural appeal. My only gripe with Pet Nat is that it can be a lottery with how much you actually get to drink. You see, with sediment in the bottle, like this one, you need to agitate things slightly I upended this bottle twice and opened it five minutes later. I lost close to 20% as it gushed out. Sigh. But that's Pet Nat...

Tuesday 18 January 2022

Cassegrain Wines Spring Rosé 2021


Gee, this is one out of the box! A superb Rosé from a producer you may not have on your radar. Afternoon chills just got that little bit better with this in the glass.

Lou Miranda LME Series Shiraz 2018


Give this time to shine and you'll be rewarded in spades. A new Shiraz release from Lou Miranda.

Blue Pyrenees Vintage Brut 2019


Vintage Brut made in the traditional method. This is a great drink for fizz lovers without burning a hole in your back pocket. With an RRP of $33, it's currently on the website for $28 while members pay only $21. The members are the winners here.

Grandis Wines Unearthed Garganega 2021


Garganega is the key to Soave. If you've had the chance to come across Shannon Burgess-Moore, the muscle behind Grandis Wines, you would know he is a suave kinda guy. This wine and Shannon are peas in a pod really.

Monday 17 January 2022

Pirate Cru Wines IMP's Mataro 2016


When seeking some inner pleasure, this is a great wine to turn to. So often Cabernet and Shiraz get that privilege yet this Mataro fills the brief admirably.

Pirate Cru Wines IMP's Shiraz 2015


Woah! This is what some refer to as a 'big Barossa Shiraz'. There is some muscle about this blockbuster.

Pirate Cru Wines Slurpy Puppy GSM 2017


I'm reliably informed the Slurpy Puppy GSM is by far the top-selling wine in the Pirate Cru range. It's easy to see why given it oozes crowd-pleasing appeal.

Pirate Cru Wines IMP's Delight Grenache 2017


The top Grenache from Pirate Cru Wines. This wine is a barrel select that sees 3 years in French oak, 40% of which was new.

Saturday 15 January 2022

Pirate Cru Wines Slurpy Puppy Grenache 2018


Fancy finding a $25 wine that comes from 100 year old+ vines. An entry-level wine for Pirate Cru Wines, the crowd-pleasing appeal here is sky-high. It even picked under a full blood red harvest moon.

Pirate Cru Wines William Hunt Grenache 2018


An interesting contrast to taste this 2018 beside its 2016 sibling.

Pirate Cru Wines William Hunt Grenache 2016


Sourced from Centenarian vines from the Vine Vale sub-region, I could sip on this all night. This is a very good Grenache that oozes moreishness.

Pirate Cru Wines Ban Shé Grenache 2012

I spent some time with Jennifer Graham and Dirk Pettigrew from Pirate Cru Wines earlier this week. Their passion for the Barossa and their brand is infectious. There is a terrific story behind this wine. Jen and Dirk are very well researched and the links to their wines is impressive. This Ban Shé refers to the Victorian period with "romantic" being the keyword. Romantic in terms of dreaming and what's on the horizon Dirk tells me. A period of enlightenment you could say. This Grenache provides enlightenment. Ten years old without a splinter of oak. Gee, it looks good. Very good.

Thursday 13 January 2022

Tomfoolery Wines Young Blood Grenache 2020


Australian singer Deni Hynes has an album called the Delicious Collection. This should be on the front cover. Yummo! 

Clarence Hill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2019


This McLaren Vale Cabernet will age well. Give a few more years to see it at its best. 

Penley Estate Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon 2020


This is Australia Day Cabernet. It would eat all the lamb. Entry-level Cabernet done well.

Clandestine Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2020


The fruit sweetness is what grabbed me from the outset here. It's not overly sweet, don't get me wrong, but there is enough to take note. 

Clandestine Vineyards Malbec 2020


Malbec is a variety that is a cracking drink when done well. A generous and brooding type, this release comes from the Margaret River region.

Tuesday 11 January 2022

FU Manchu Cabernet Sauvignon 2020


Super smooth. Super enjoyable. A great McLaren Vale Cabernet to curl up to. These Dr Plonk wines continue to impress.

Turkey Flat Grenache 2020


Grenache that gets in deep. It’s considered and focused. Superb stuff. Yes please!

Hofer Family Wines Aglianico 2020

I've got to give it to Marcus Hofer. He sent this wine through for a review last year and wasn't over the moon with my thoughts. Credit and respect to him for backing his product and saying indirectly, "It's better than that. Can you have another look?" Sure thing mate, I'd be happy to.

Monday 10 January 2022

Wilhelm Scream Tempranillo 2019


Tempranillo directed by La Petite Mort and filmed on location at Bents Road Winery. I only know this because this is what a very clever back label says. Oh, and this is a very approachable wine that screams (can I say that?) for food. 

Vino Intrepido Blood of My Blood Sangiovese 2020


Casual sips on an overcast afternoon to pizza and pasta night. This is a neat Sangiovese driven by pleasing savoury characters.

Lemon Villa Shiraz 2019


Not all wines can be a runaway success, but this Shiraz from Lemon Villa shows solid wines have their place. Medium-bodied, this is well done.

Lemon Villa Shiraz 2018


Brighter and more vibrant than its 2017 sibling, there is an enthusiasm about its swagger.

Lemon Villa Shiraz 2017

A savoury cool climate Shiraz already showing some aged traits. 

Yalumba Vine Vale Grenache 2020

Welcome to 2022! A couple of weeks away from the keyboard and it's time to get back into it. Best we start with a Grenache - heck, why not? This release from Yalumba is rock star material in the making, so much so I bought six. You probably should too.