Saturday, 30 April 2022

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2018


From the producer of Australia's greatest Chardonnay comes a Cabernet that certainly pitches its case to be standing on the podium too. All class, this is something.

Curly Flat Western Pinot Noir 2020


From a low cropping vintage, the always anticipated Curly Flat Pinots will be released in May. Pardon the bottle pic with 2019, but you get the idea.

Friday, 29 April 2022

Getting ready for International Viognier Day with a Yalumba Viognier Masterclass


I had the opportunity last week to spend some time (virtually) with Yalumba's Louisa Rose and Jessica Hill-Smith as well as Langmeil's James Lindner to chat about all things Viognier. Yes, Viognier, that white grape that seems to have an issue with people pronouncing its name correctly. Say "vee-on-yay". 

What a most interesting and informative hour this was.

Yalumba Signature Cabernet Shiraz 2018


Sip slow and sip all night. Behold another brilliant Yalumba Signature release. Given the incredibly high-level consistency of the red wines produced by winemaker Kevin Glastonbury, surely some higher honours beckon? This is a class act all the way.

I had the pleasure of looking at this pre-release sample over a few days. Wines of such acclaim deserve that privilege and this Signature is shining the torch brightly once more.

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Shiraz 2019


Dark cherries dipped in chocolate. Have I got your attention? A great Margaret River Shiraz from Leeuwin Estate.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Oakridge Vineyard Series Henk Chardonnay 2020


Hello to freshness and energy. This just sizzles. Over a couple of days it found some shape and looked more refined. Oh, I like it now but the future looks bright should you choose to hang on that bit longer.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Lienert Estate Laudamus Shiraz 2016


A bit of old-school charm, this flagship Lienert Estate Laudamus Shiraz is named after pioneering father John A Lienert 1941-2014. Meaty, black dense fruit plus some warmth, I took a likening to it as time went on.

Ayelsbury Estate QO5 Tempranillo 2020


Not the Tempranillo I was hoping for. A wine that asks more questions than gives answers. 

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Yalumba The Virgilius Viognier 2019

Yalumba's flagship white wine, this Virgilius Viognier sees 11 months in old French oak. Coming off vines planted in 1980, this is flirtatious yet it wants to get serious all at the same time. It's excellent really.

Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2020


I really like the mouthfeel here. It weaves and bends around with ease. A quality Viognier from the Eden Valley.

Yalumba FSW Botrytis Viognier 2020


Long and luscious, this incredibly silky botrytis Viognier was part of a tasting in preparation for International Viognier Day coming up on 30 April. Rich and generous, this is a kiss from the nectar gods. 

Ross Hill Pinnacle Series Chardonnay 2019


I haven't seen a Ross Hill wine since 2014 when I hosted a dinner featuring a number of NSW high country wines so it's great to be reacquainted. Owner James Robson spoke that night with tremendous passion about his wines and the Orange region. Luke Steele came on board as the new winemaker in 2019 and it seems things have gone up a notch since my last interaction with Ross Hill. Awarded 'Best in Show by Varietal' London Wine Competition 2022, this is a very clever Chardonnay. 

Soumah Hexham Vineyard Chardonnay 2021


Hexham. I dig it. Big time! A site that keeps hitting the high hats time and again I find, this is a fabulous Chardonnay for $40.

Guigal Cote Du Rhone Blanc 2019


This Guigal arrived as part of a sample pack from Yalumba in readiness for International Viognier Day on 30 April. If you were to describe this wine using an emoji, it would be 'meh'.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Domain A Lady A Sauvignon Blanc 2019


A lovely wine with a delicate touch but there is also richness here. It's focused with furrowed eyebrows - the game face is on. The level of complexity is ultra-impressive.

Moorilla Praxis Pinot Noir 2019


Part of the Praxis Series, "Be liberated from the mundane," the label says. You sure will be here. Bunchy and funky, loads of savoury delish come rushing at you. 

Ayelsbury Estate QO5 Gamay 2021

You could be mistaken that a Shiraz was in your glass. This is bigger and more robust for a Gamay than I expected, that's for sure.

Monday, 18 April 2022

Tonic Shiraz 2020


A smooth and lacy Barossa Shiraz - just like its maker. This is quite something and not your usual big Barossan. Nor is it weighed down by oak. The heaviest thing about it is the bottle - eye-catching shelf presence 101.

Leeuwin Estate Prelude Cabernet Sauvignon 2019


A Prelude to the Art Series but this stands tall in its own right. What a great expression of Margaret River Cabernet we have here.

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Vickery Eden Valley Reserve Riesling 2019


The suggestion of some aged characters already in play surprised me a little, but rest assured, this Reserve Riesling will live long. 

Schild Estate Edgar Schild Grenache 2020


A Barossa Grenache showing some density and weight, the result of those clay soils it comes from on the southern end of the valley floor. Friday night dude food and the footy with plentiful glasses of this for the win.

Soumah Chardonnay d'Soumah 2021


Sunsets under fairy lights set the scene for this entry-level Chardonnay from Soumah. There is a buzz about it.

Friday, 15 April 2022

Oakridge Horst Riesling 2021


From a 1970s planting of Riesling and named in recognition of the Oakridge founder, find some spicy Thai or Malaysian and you're set.

Hesketh Ebenezer Shiraz 2018


Looking for a big Barossa Shiraz? This release from Hesketh ticks all the boxes and is sure to satisfy.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Lienert Estate Grenache 2021


It's juicy. It's vibrant. It's delicious! The first Grenache off the Lienert Estate block and it's a belter.

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Sauvignon Blanc 2021


A sizzling expression of Sauv Blanc from Leeuwin Estate. Clean and crisp, bright acid whips through the mouth.

Yalumba Organic Viognier 2021

Part of Yalumba's Organic range, this Viognier is sourced from the Riverland.

Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2021


The Rick Astley of the Yalumba Y Series range. It's never gonna give you up, it's never gonna let you down and it's never gonna run around and desert you - only because it's readily available. A crazy good Viognier for the money.

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Tonic Chardonnay 2020


This Tonic Chardonnay normally comes from an Adelaide Hills vineyard but it was destroyed in the devastating fires of 2020. As a result, the fruit was sourced from the Yarra Valley to produce this fantastic expression of the variety.

Schild Estate Narrow Road Shiraz Cabernet 2019


Australia's gift to wine blending is Shiraz and Cabernet. This second release of the Narrow Road is dangerously smooth with generous fruit. Drinking well now, it will continue to develop immeasurably.

Sunday, 10 April 2022

Tonic Wines Grenache 2020


I love this. It oozes class and deliciousness. Juicy fruit and silky feels reach out and pull you in - and I don't want to let go.

Leeuwin Estate Prelude Chardonnay 2020


If only all entry-level Chardonnays looked like this. What a beauty! Sure there is a big step up from this Prelude to the Art Series, but this wine still walks tall holding its own.

Schild Estate Old and Survivor Vine Grenache 2020


Much like the 2019, this is a juicy and excitable drink. It bounds along and you can't help but join in. A blend of two vineyards, one planted in 1926 and the other in 1985, the fruit quality is sky-high.

Hesketh Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2021


Lots of yum factor from Hesketh Wines highlighting the Lobethal sub-region of the Adelaide Hills. Perched 420 metres above, this Chardonnay was barrel fermented in second-fill French oak and aged for 8 months prior to release. A smart wine.

Leeuwin Estate Siblings Shiraz 2019


Leeuwin Estate's entry-level Shiraz is a common sight in many restaurants and cafes.

Lienert Estate Shiraz 2017


Gee the label is pretty schmick. A salute to pink pin strips on the inside of a suit. The 2016 was a cracker at 93pts - no pressure on this 2017...

Friday, 8 April 2022

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 2021


Clever. Very clever. A Riesling that is bursting with freshness for now yet has some tension readying itself for later. But I'm happy with it now to wash down some calamari or fresh prawns and some sea spray blowing on my face. Excellent buying for the asking price!

Hesketh Regional Selections Riesling 2021


A Riesling that left me a little flat. There is not too much to report here sadly.

Domain A Pinot Noir 2016


Something the Kiwis do better than Australians is releasing Pinot Noir with some age on its side. Generally, once Australian Pinot is bottled, the wine is thrown into retail land but something I really enjoyed over the ditch was the desire to hold Pinot Noir back to let it express itself in full. It is great to see some Australian producers such as Domain A being patient and rewarding consumers with an excellent wine with some bottle age.

De Iuliis Limited Release Chardonnay 2019


Rich and generous, comforting and embracing, this is a fabulous Hunter Valley Chardonnay from De Iuliis Wines.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Ridgemill Estate WYP Chardonnay 2021


Peter McGlashan bleeds for his Chardonnay. Such is his passion, I must admit I keenly await this release each year. This 2021 can be best described as lean and delicate.

Hayes Family Wines Glengrae Old Bush Block Grenache 2021


Here's a challenge... Pour this and take one sip - I bet you can't stop there. It's hard to resist. A pretty and vibrant Barossa Valley Grenache awaits.

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Moorilla Muse Pinot Noir 2017


Dense, twiggy, delicately spiced and autumnal, this is cool nights and deep chats with your love along with an optional side of duck. From the get-go I'm hooked. A superb Pinot Noir.

Flametree Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Big love here - a Cabernet going places. It's that wine to impress your fancy friends if your price point is not as lofty as theirs. Decant, let it breathe and embrace. 

Hesketh Regional Selections Sauv. Blanc 2021

Garden party wine. Clean and fresh and ready to please.

Leeuwin Estate Siblings Sauvignon Blanc 2021


Bright and energetic, this will please Sauv Blanc fans no end.

Monday, 4 April 2022

Hesketh Regional Selections Grenache 2020


A works burger from the local fish 'n' chip shop, a slice of supreme pizza or nuggets in the air fryer, this is a wine to match those easy (lazy) meals. 

Oakridge Meunier 2021


Cool evenings call for autumnal wines just like this partnered by a charcuterie board or a bowl of chips. It will take a slight chill too. 

Hayes Family Wines Barossa Valley Shiraz 2020


A good drink without the bells and whistles. It's dense and moody offering appealing fruit and handfuls of depth. 

Saturday, 2 April 2022

Payten and Jones Shit Show Mataro 2021


Step right up. Step right up! 

Stop-Start Touring and Covid Interuptions Management present the Shit Show! A Yarra Valley Mataro unleashing a few frustrations born from the impact of the pandemic.