Friday 30 June 2023

Briar Ridge Albarino 2023


We have a lively one here! It was well away from my nose yet the aromas were exploding from the glass to get my attention. Clean, fresh and oh-so refreshing, fun in the sun awaits with this one. Bring on spring!

Juxtaposed Fiano 2022


This is quite a lovely drink. From the Lacey Vineyard in McLaren Vale, attractive aromas and the detailed textural appeal make this a delicious Fiano to savour.

Mount Pleasant Fiano 2022


A wonderfully textured white for a cool winter's afternoon. I'm keen on a creamy pasta dish after making friends with this.

Wild Game The Dame Shiraz 2014


The value this represents given the age is exceptional. A quality Coonawarra Shiraz hands down. All you are doing here is winning.

3 Rings Barossa Shiraz 2020


Blueberries and dark plums hit the palate in earnest with a thick smear of dark plums. 

Paringa Shiraz 2020


A stock delivery of Shiraz. That Glenn McGrath delivery on repeat. Fair gear for 15 bucks. 

Wednesday 28 June 2023

So how does a $600 Yarra Valley Chardonnay stack up?


I was recently offered the opportunity to take a look at the debut release of Levantine Hill's Optume Chardonnay 2020. Rather than tasting it in isolation, a bracket of 2020 Chardonnays was assembled to see where things were at. And what a fabulous exercise it was! 

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2020


The momentum is pulsating. It gathers you up as you're skating along with minimal friction and maximum flavour. What a Chardonnay we have here! 

Levantine Hill Optume Chardonnay 2020


This is clever. Classy without question. A Chardonnay that glides with precision and speaks of winemaking excellence. Tasted blind in a lineup of six 2020 Chardonnays, this Levantine Hill Optume certainly captured my attention from the outset.

Oakridge 864 Funder and Diamond Drive Block Chardonnay 2020


Lean and pristine, big love for the precision of this exquisite Chardonnay from Oakridge. Tasted blind in a lineup of six 2020 Chardonnays, this wine sat at the top of the podium alonside another.

Seville Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2020


Tasted blind in a lineup of six 2020 Chardonnays, the focus and fruit purity of this Seville Estate Reserve brings the mouth to water.

Yarra Yering Carrodus Chardonnay 2020

A captivating wine, this Yarra Yering Carrodus caught my attention in more ways than one. Tasted blind in a lineup of six 2020 Chardonnays, its tension was gravitating.

Hoddles Creek Syberia Chardonnay 2020


A super Chardonnay. Spicy and tight, there is an entrancing measured depth and complexity about its swagger. Tasted blind in a lineup of six 2020 Chardonnays, it stood tall among those twice and nine times the price.

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Terre à Terre Crayères Sauvignon Blanc 2022


From now on, if you ask me what Australia's best Sauvignon Blanc is, this Terre à Terre Crayères will be my bullet-like response. I can guess what some may suggest countering this statement, but find me a better example that is highly consistent, considered, layered, and most of all, damn good drinking.

Juxtaposed Home Block Minchella Shiraz 2021


Wine and food matching is overrated. Pour a glass of this Home Block Minchella Shiraz and have it with a packet of Freckles by your side. Job done. Oh, and this is a great wine too! It's very impressive.

Mount Pleasant OP and OH Shiraz 2022


An energetic number on opening, this Old Paddock & Old Hill needs a lie down. After three days of tasting, the momentum it built was superb. One for the long haul with a proven track record for aging, tuck this away and be rewarded deluxe.

Colmar Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2021


The presence and mouthfeel of this Reserve compared to the Block 2 is significantly different. A wine that is focused and precise with a leaner drive, there is plenty to get excited about here.

Colmar Estate Block 2 Chardonnay 2021


I preferred to drink this Block 2 Chardonnay from Colmar Estate for now rather than the more highly rated Reserve. A nutty thing, hazelnuts cut loose with some cashews for good measure. A very clever Chardonnay from Orange, NSW. 

Friday 16 June 2023

Briar Ridge Dairy Hill Semillon 2023


Three 2023 Semillon releases from Briar Ridge have come and they are three very different expressions. The racy Stockhausen to the purity of the Black Cluster and now the concentrated Dairy Hill. We're spoilt for choice here.

Juxtaposed Wait Vineyard Grenache 2021


More sophisticated than the Smart/Wait Grenache blend, this walks with a furrowed brow and intent. The focus of this release is quite noticeable and is a step to the right compared to the usual joyful and juicy Grenache wines seen in the past.

Terre à Terre Sauvignon Blanc 2012


I must admit, I've never had a Sauvignon Blanc that was over ten years old. No one I know keeps them and nor do I. This Terre à Terre sample landed on the doorstep and what a surprise it was.

Briar Ridge Hilltops Cabernet Shiraz 2022


Briar Ridge's take on the classic Aussie claret blend of Cabernet and Shiraz.

Thursday 15 June 2023

Briar Ridge Black Cluster Hunter Valley Semillon 2023


Brilliant. Classy. All that. A superb Hunter Valley Semillon from Briar Ridge.

Briar Ridge Stockhausen Semillon 2023


The first Hunter Valley Semillon hits the tasting bench for 2023. Full of energy and zip, find the seafood platter and a large pour of this.

Wednesday 14 June 2023

Mount Pleasant Tempranillo 2022


Every winery needs a pizza and pasta wine in their portfolio and this Tempranillo is Mount Pleasant's take. 

Stonehaven Limited Vineyard Release Cabernet Sauvignon 2021


Good gear loaded with juicy black fruits.

Max and Me Cabernet Sauvignon 2021


From the cooler climate of the Eden Valley, this is a wonderfully fragrant and approachable Cabernet. The sleek touch and easygoing vibes of winemaker Phil Lehmann seep through its pores.

Briar Ridge Big Bully Cabernet Sauvignon 2021


A members only wine once upon a time, the Big Bully is now out there for all. Made with fruit from Wrattonbully, you can take a guess where its name comes from. Let this breathe and you're in for a treat.

Juxtaposed Smart/Wait Grenache 2021


From the hands of the AWRI guru Dr Wes Pearson comes this Juxtaposed Grenache. A blend of fruit from the famed Smart and Wait vineyards (Clarendon and Blewitt Springs respectively), this 2021 is a muscular rendition.

Barossa Boy Double Trouble Shiraz Cabernet 2020


A solid drop for 30 bucks that sees the fusion of Barossa Shiraz and Eden Valley Cabernet.

Monday 12 June 2023

Mount Pleasant Rosehill Shiraz 2022


Mount Pleasant Rosehill Shiraz 2022 hits the tasting bench. It's an interesting wine and one that you want to just hang out with. That curious friend who seemingly asks more questions than gives answers and that mystique creates more curiosity.

Terre à Terre Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2022


If you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, dive into this. It's fresh, vibrant and a little textural. Well made, it is considered and sophisticated with a racy persona.

Angullong Fossil Hill Chardonnay 2022


With a little more sophistication than the entry-level wine, this Angullong Fossil Hill is a clever expression of cool climate Chardonnay.

Angullong Chardonnay 2022


Fresh and citrus-driven, there is some good energy here for a $25 Chardonnay. 

Sunday 11 June 2023

Briar Ridge Briar Hill Chardonnay 2022


Sometimes I wish wine reviews could be as simple as, "This is brilliant! You should buy it." But life isn't that simple, is it?

Briar Ridge winemaker Alex Beckett is doing some great things at the moment and he is certainly one to watch. I enjoyed this Chardonnay so much I didn't share a drop. What a beauty it is!

Briar Ridge Briar Hill Chardonnay 2017


A museum release from Briar Ridge, this Chardonnay is all arms and legs early but it then settles into a neat groove. Give it some time to compose itself and it comes good. Really good.

Stonehaven Limited Vineyard Release Padthaway Shiraz 2021


A softer and more approachable wine for now, this is my preferred Shiraz out of the Stonehaven Limited Release Vineyard range. With similar characteristics to its siblings, it's a wine that has a soothing appeal.

Stonehaven Limited Vineyard Release Wrattonbully Shiraz 2021


Like the Robe, it's warm but generous. A cuddly warmth I must clarify, it's not that hot alcohol warmth which is not where you want to be. A solid Shiraz - tick!

Stonehaven Limited Vineyard Release Robe Shiraz 2021


From a strip of Terra Rossa soil in the Limestone Coast region, Robe is a place where many South Australians go on holidays. Did I mention the crayfish!! This is a big and generous Shiraz ready for steak night.

Saturday 10 June 2023

Slow Wine Co Riesling 2021

Steelier than your ex's heart.

This Riesling could be mistaken to be from the Clare Valley's Polish Hill River sub-region. But oh no, it's a beauty from Orange, NSW.

Jim Brand Silent Partner Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Firm and generous, this Coonawarra Cabernet is big, dry and sapping - mouth puckering stuff.

Friday 9 June 2023

Briar Ridge Dairy Hill Shiraz 2010


I reviewed this Briar Ridge Dairy Hill many moons ago on release and what a treat it is to see it again over a decade later. Made by Scott Coymns at the time, subsequent vintages saw a change in the making of this wine. Wonderfully smooth and luscious, it's a fabulous Hunter Valley Shiraz.

Barossa Boy Little Tacker GSM 2018

This is my first look at these Barossa Boy wines and the consistency across the range is what stands out. Well made with plenty of personality, this GSM is a blend that you can faithfully keep going back to time and again. 

Wednesday 7 June 2023

O’Leary Walker Doctor’s Cut Riesling 2022


From a certified organic vineyard in Polish Hill River that is owned by two Adelaide heart surgeons, the Doctor's Cut is only made in exceptional years. Racy with chiselled acidity, this is an electric Riesling from O'Leary Walker.

Slow Wine Co Tribus 2022


A blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer (55/27/18), this blend is incredibly food friendly. Pretty scents and some textural pleasure, there is something here for everyone.

Hesketh Penola Cabernet Sauvignon 2021


Penola is the main township of Coonawarra and this 'Penola Cabernet Sauvignon' is in the slot without being extravagant. There is a lot to like for those seeking a solid red wine.

Hesketh Twist of Fate Cabernet Sauvignon 2021


Tense and puckering, but for the money, I like the flow. An easy-going camping wine for fifteen bucks from Hesketh.

Barossa Boy Lifeblood Shiraz 2018

The Boy can do no wrong! I'm getting through a batch of samples from Barossa Boy and what a neat set of wines they are. There is a regal feel with this Lifeblood Shiraz in hand. Big and rich, every drop reaches out with comfort.

Briar Ridge Hillrose Shiraz 2022


Sourced from a single vineyard in the Hilltops region sitting 450 metres above, this medium-bodied Shiraz is a riot of sour cherries.

Tuesday 6 June 2023

Mercer Wines Picpoul Blanc 2023


"Keep an eye out for Picpoul," were the words of Yangarra Estate's Peter Fraser a couple of years ago when I had a chat with him about emerging varieties. When Fraser speaks, it's best you pay attention. And he was right. The rise of the variety has been noticeable around the landscape in recent years. This new release from Mercer Wines was sourced from the NSW Central Ranges and it is a beauty! A variety with high natural acidity and lemony fruit, charge at it with some oysters in hand.