Monday 27 March 2023

Colmar Estate Reserve Riesling 2022


Sleek and pure, this is a superb Riesling from Orange, NSW. This was my first introduction to Colmar Estate and I hope it isn't the last. What a stunning beacon of deliciousness!

Colmar Estate Block 5 Riesling 2022


What a great exercise it was to taste this Block 5 Riesling beside its sibling the Colmar Reserve Riesling. The two sites are 100 metres apart from one another but both wines are very different, and it must be said, both are excellent.

Clandestine Vineyards Shiraz 2021


If you like your Shiraz rich and generous, head on over this way. 

Clandestine Vineyards Malbec 2021


Clandestine Vineyards source fruit from a range of districts. Here we have Malbec from Margaret River ready for that ragu or osso bucco. 

Sunday 26 March 2023

Break Free Enfant de Lune Syrah 2021


Frankland River Syrah harvested by moonlight and fermented for ten days with some Viognier skins tossed in to lift aromatics. This is a great drink.

Jean-Claude Mas Le Rosé 2021


An easy-drinking Rosé from Jean-Claude Mas, owner and winemaker at Domaines Paul Mas. Readily available nationally, chillax with its cool and composed vibes. 

Jean-Claude Mas Le Pinot Grigio 2021


A really pleasant drink at an affordable price, this imported Pinot Grigio from French producer Domaines Paul Mas goes well. 

Thursday 23 March 2023

Sorby Adams The Thing Shiraz 2018

Generous and rich, this brilliant wine is sourced from the Sorby Adams Home Vineyard in the Eden Valley that was planted in 1932. Dripping with longevity, it comes in a big, weighty bottle with a cork and wax seal as well as the heft to match. 

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Dr Plonk The Good Doctor's Antidote Montepulciano 2021


The entry-level FU Manchu Montepulciano is a dangerously slurpable beast, but this Good Doctor's Antidote from Dr Plonk just takes things to another level. Is it the best Australian Montepulciano I've tasted? All signs point to yes!

Sorby Adams Morticia Sparkling Shiraz NV


Sparkling Shiraz is a great drink but sadly it gets pigeonholed as a "Christmas drink". Park that idea and reap the reward when you pop that top off this on any of the other 364 days of the year.

FU Manchu Montepulciano 2022


If Montepulciano translates to "yummo" then the crew at FU Manchu and Dr Plonk have nailed the brief. Yikes! This is a great slurp. 

Clandestine Vineyards Pinot Noir 2022


15% whole bunch, 30% new French oak and 100% juicy. This is the second Pinot Noir release from Clandestine Vineyards and it's a vibrant and perfumed bomb of pleasure. Well played.

Friday 17 March 2023

Sorby Adams Jutland GSM 2021


From an excellent Barossa vintage comes this delicious blend. GSMs are made for burgers and barbecues, well I think so anyway. The detail and slurp factor presented here demand large pours.

Break Free Little Wing Shiraz Noir 2022


Carbonic maceration is a sexy thing - thousands of little ferments all happening in one big ferment. It's a flavour orgy of sorts. This Shiraz/Pinot Noir blend comes from the Adelaide Hills, and if low-fi wines are your thing, get this on your radar. 

Clandestine Vineyards Pinot Grigio 2022


Here we have a Pinot Grigio that is ready to refresh and delve into all at the same time. This is a great expression from Clandestine Vineyards.

FU Manchu Mourvedre 2022


Dry and mouth-sapping, waves of spices wash through effortlessly. One thing you can't miss is the layers of interest that seem never-ending.

Thursday 16 March 2023

A Podcast! Something a little different...


I sat down with Tom Massey from The Cellar Door Podcast for a chat. Usually, I'm asking the questions of winemakers and producers but this time it's me under the microscope. I really enjoyed this conversation and I hope you enjoy it too.

You can access the link here.

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Sunday 12 March 2023

Hayes Family Wines Mickan Block Releases 2021

The Mickan Block brings together cuttings of some super premium vines from across the Barossa to be grown on the same dirt at the Hoffman Vineyard in Ebenezer. The vines are still young at five years of age but already the differences between each are telling. Hayes Family Wines have made a barrel of each of the three (300 bottles) plus a blend. 

These wines are available for members only, but a cheeky phone call or email will get your foot in the door to snare a sneaky four pack.

Dallwitz 2021

These cuttings come from the Dallwitz block in Ebenezer. Muscular, this is by far the biggest wine of the group. This is the bouncer at the door. The safety. No one dies on Dallwitz's watch. Lots of dense plums, blackberries and a cheeky suggestion of Ribena. Add some dried herbs and a flash of mint, it's dusty and powdery which brings those 90% cocoa feels through the mouth. Drying and sapping, it's mouth-filling and incredibly long. Give this beast some time but I get a sense it will bloom and potentially outstrip the others. 



These cuttings were sourced from the Becker ancestor vines in Koonunga.

This is a wine for later, purely and simply. Follow that simple rule and you'll be rewarded in five+ years. Dense dark berry fruit, fruit bun spices, licorice bullets and some meatiness, it is drying and sapping. Powdery tannins scatter about. Still quite reserved and tight, it is yet to show its hand. Over a number of days of tasting, it started to show itself on day three. One for the cellar, this will improve over time as will the score.

Drink to fifteen years+



These cuttings came from the cooler Eden Valley and it was a great expression compared to its Mickan siblings. The cooler climate traits in its DNA shine through with brighter and pretty aromas. Think chocolate brownie, dried petals, blackberry jam, dense plums and dancy purple fruit. Baking spices and waves of earthiness build terrific momentum. Easily the most approachable of the four Mickans for now, it will age beyond a decade make no mistake.

Drink to ten years+


Hoffman Mickan Block

A cool Friday night and a glass of this curled up on the lounge would be a winning combo.

A blend of the Dallwitz, Becker and SCC, each contributes roughly a third to this wine.

As with the others, this is still so young and no where near its best. Blackcurrants, mulberries, licorice, dark chocolate set the scene. Ribbed with exotic spices, this is long and almost refuses to move. Dense, brooding and structured, those firm and drying tannins certainly make a statement. It's a wine with a decade of aging easily in its veins. Mouth-sapping dryness swoop on close as those characteristic Barossan spices do laps around the mouth with absolute ease. I'm fixated on its mystique. 

A clever wine that will only get better.


Region: Barossa
Source: Sample

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Dr Plonk The Good Doctor's Tonic 2014


The Good Doctor knows best. A muscular wine busting out with Tannat leading the charge, there is an elegance about its carry that I find irresistible. I loved the 2012 release and my sentiments haven't changed with this 2014.

FU Manchu Mourvedre Rosato 2022


Savoury, skinsy and lip-smackingly dry, this is a great starting point if you'd like to step into the world of natural wines.

Wednesday 8 March 2023

FU Manchu Cabernet 2021

Cabernet bliss 101. You can't go wrong here, be it now or stashed away for a few years.

Soumah Single Vineyard Pinot Grigio 2022


Pinot Grigio with a little colour! You have my attention. That slight copper appearance has me snapping my fingers. More like this, please.

Soumah Tutto Bianco d'Soumah 2022


A blend of all the white varieties on the Soumah property, Viognier, Savagnin, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay come together to deliver a textural and thought provoking white. 

River View Shiraz 2018


Give it a swirl and scents of Old Gold Rum 'n' Raisin skip about. That dark chocolate is definitely not shy. 

River View Cabernet Sauvignon 2018


Much like its stablemates, this Cabernet starts strong with attractive aromas. Think choc mint, blackcurrants and handfuls of dried herbs. 

Monday 6 March 2023

Dr Plonk The Good Doctor's Cure Mataro Shiraz 2019


Mataro and Shiraz are a killer combo when done well! Silky with some muscle, gimme it all!

Lagoon View Sparkling Cuvée 2022


I really like the simple pleasure of this fizz from the Goulburn Valley. It's a non-pretentious crowd-pleaser with an easy-going appeal. 

Saturday 4 March 2023

FU Manchu Carignan 2022


I taste this and my mind goes back to a McLaren Vale trip in 2020. I learnt that unique parcels of Carignan are all over the district, but most of the fruit is blended away. When allowed to stand tall on its own (which is rare), it's a great drink - just like Exhibit A here.

FU Manchu Mourvedre Rosé 2022


These FU Manchu wines are fun and interesting. Loaded with personality, there is satisfaction and joy around every corner. This Rosé hits that mark once more. 

River View Rosé 2019


It's not often you see a new release Rosé at four years of age but here we are. A Rosé with some depth and muscle, this is best served with a casual barbecue.

River View Chardonnay 2018


An easy drinking Chardonnay but it's one of those wines where I found the aromas more enticing and vibrant than the flavour profile.

Wednesday 1 March 2023

Hayes Family Wines Hoffman DV Shiraz 2021

Boom! The power and the poise. The longevity of this Shiraz will have you punching the air no end. With superb structure and balance, go here. One sip is far from enough for this excellent Barossa Valley Shiraz.

Hayes Family Wines Primrose Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2021


Right in the slot, this is an impressive Cabernet. Sure it's young but brace yourself for what the future holds. I must admit, Barossa Cabernet is not my go-to when I search for the variety, but isn't it just a great thing when you get wines like this that turn those perceptions on their head?