Wednesday 27 September 2023

Skimstone Wines Cabernet Merlot 2021

Winemaker Jean Francois calls this Cabernet Merlot blend Mr Winter. Take a sip and it's easy to see why. It's a wine with a comforting embrace. From vines planted in the early 1990s, this is a great blend.

Skimstone Wines Barbera 2021

Mudgee is doing Italian varieties very well and this Barbera from Skimstone is another case in point.

Skimstone Wines Sangiovese 2021

Sangiovese done well is a classic pizza night wine and that is precisely what I thought when I put this to my lips. The wines in the Skimstone range are highly consistent and this release ticks the boxes.

Skimstone Wines Rosé 2023


Brand new in the bottle, I was fortunate to be the first to check this out with winemaker Jean Francois prior to its release. Winning! This Rosé from Skimstone is an absolute cracker for 25 bucks. Go here.

Skimstone Wines Chardonnay 2021


The cellar door at Skimstone Wines provides a beautiful vista and laid-back experience. This Chardonnay is a fabulous wine worth tracking down for its terrific drive and balance.

Tuesday 26 September 2023

First Ridge Wines Barbera 2021


This Barbera from First Ridge Wines is said to be their signature wine. Not too many Australian wineries hang their hat on Barbera, but isn't it good to be different! It matches the hype too - it's a fabulous drink.

First Ridge Wines Montepulciano 2022


I saw a couple of Montepulciano wines during my recent trip to Mudgee and this release from First Ridge Wines was one of the better examples. Bravo!

First Ridge Wines Marco 2021


Marco is a 50/50 blend of Barbera and Sangiovese. This 2021 is the first release of the wine and it looks as though First Ridge might be onto something. Rich and generous, it's such a great drink.

First Ridge Wines Sangiovese 2021


The thing that strikes me about these First Ridge Wines is the consistency across the range. Well made with interest, they are reasonably priced too. This Sangiovese showcases all its varietal traits making it very enjoyable and then some.

First Ridge Wines Rosé 2021


This Rosé from First Ridge Wines calls for casual catch-ups, even a bag of sea salt chips as you watch the sun fall from the sky at day's end. It's a good drink for all occasions.

First Ridge Wines Fiano 2022


A very well-made Fiano from Mudgee's First Ridge Wines. It's layered with detail yet there is crowd pleasing appeal due to its easy going nature. Nicely done.

First Ridge Wines Vermentino 2022


Formerly Mudgee Ridge, the name changed to First Ridge Wines in 2014. With a focus on Italian varieties, the cellar door is a must-do when in the district for its chic and glorious aspect. This Vermentino is a great wine to kick back with.

Rosby Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 2018


Rosby Wines is a beautiful cellar door perched 590m above and tucked away in Mudgee's hills. Some suggest it is one of the best vineyards in the district. This is a great expression of Cabernet that has a long life ahead. It's very nicely done.

Rosby Wines Chardonnay 2023


A cellar door with a glorious aspect to catch the sunset, this Chardonnay is a tasty wine to enjoy while absorbing the numerous sculptures throughout the property. Art lovers will thoroughly enjoy their time at Rosby be it in the onsite gallery or wandering the gardens.

Rosby Wines Riesling 2022


Rosby Wines is a beautiful cellar door perched 590m above and tucked away in Mudgee's hills. Some suggest it is one of the best vineyards in the district. This is a solid Riesling made for soaking up the glorious afternoon sunshine - something easy to do at the stunning cellar door.

Rosby Wines Rosé 2023


This Rosby Wines Rosé is made with Shiraz. Personally, Shiraz is not my preferred grape to be used for this style of wine and it proves this once more with this release.

Monday 25 September 2023

Robert Stein Reserve Chardonnay 2022

Just another great wine off the Robert Stein production cycle. This Reserve Chardonnay 2022 is a terrific wine made for relaxed vibes and deep chats.

LMB Wines Chardonnay 2021


Like a generous Chardonnay? This release from LMB Wines will hit the mark.

Heslop Wines Estate Shiraz 2019


All the Mudgee Shiraz I tasted during my recent exploration of the region was very consistent. Cudos to the region and the winemakers. This Estate Shiraz from Heslop Estate is all Glenn McGrath like - line and length. Big love.

Heslop Wines Mr Rascal Whole Bunch Shiraz 2021


Great to see some carbonic maceration used with this Shiraz. Some dislike it. Some think it is a fad. Some couldn't care less. I think it imparts some vitality. 

Heslop Wine Mr Rascal Shiraz Cabernet 2021


Dead smooth, there is plenty of interest in this Heslop Wines Shiraz Cabernet.

Heslop Wines Chardonnay 2022


A curious Chardonnay. The oak is heavy handed but it may well fall into the lap of those that enjoy generous styles.

Heslop Wines Sangiovese Rosé 2023


A tidy Sangiovese Rosé courtesy of Mudgee's Heslop Wines. 

Heslop Wines White Frontignac 2023


Also known as Muscat Blanc a Petit Grains, White Frontignac isn't too common but dry styles such as this can be good partners for Thai and Indian food.

Heslop Wines Vermentino 2023


My first look at a wine from Mudgee's Heslop Wines. This Vermentino is easy going and no fuss.

Sunday 24 September 2023

LMB Wines Shiraz 2019


This is all things Mudgee Shiraz. Voluptuous tannins and generous dark fruit are lined up for the taking. A wine of even flow, there is a calming manner about its appeal - much like its maker.

LMB Wines Riesling 2022


Lisa Bray is a winemaker to seek out. These LMB Wines are a side project to her main role at a larger Mudgee producer. With some serious runs on the board, the quality is sky-high and the asking prices are quite reasonable. This Riesling is a beauty. Hello summer!

LMB Wines Rosé 2023

 A brand new Rosé from Lisa Bray. It's so new there is no bottle pic. If a savoury Rosé is your go, burst out of the blocks for this beauty.

Saturday 23 September 2023

blü hen Montepulciano 2022

So, SO impressive! I tasted a few Montepulciano releases on my recent trip to Mudgee and this 2022 from Robert Stein was way in front. What a belter!

Robert Stein Dry Riesling 2023

Fresh as a daisy, this brand new 2023 Riesling was tasted at the cellar door with winemaker Jacob Stein. It's so new it hasn't made an appearance on the website just yet. Little has changed from previous years - it's another brilliant release.

Robert Stein Museum Release Riesling 2017

These Robert Stein Rieslings seem unstoppable. Be it the new releases of the dry Riesling, those with residual sugar or these museum releases, just sit back and embrace the beauty. This Museum Release 2017 is available exclusively for members as well as those who partake in a museum tasting flight at the cellar door ($20). It was a thrill to taste this at the cellar door with winemaker Jacob Stein.

In Two Minds Two Pairs Reserve MRV 2022


I met Kate Day, one of the two Kates behind the In Two Minds label, on my recent trip to Mudgee. Although Mudgee based, she makes her wines interstate with her sister-in-law Katherine Day, drawing parcels of fruit from a range of regions. An excitable and passionate winemaker, she says this wine pays homage to Don Lewis who was a great mentor in her early years.

Thursday 21 September 2023

O’Leary Walker Polish Hill River Riesling 2023


Why is Riesling the best value wine in Australia? Crack this for $30 and you'll sit bolt upright. What a blistering wine we have here!

O’Leary Walker Watervale Riesling 2023


Pretty as ever, the O'Leary Walker Watervale Riesling is always an aromatic beauty.

Slow Fox Wines Chardonnay 2021


2021 was also a wet and cold year in Mudgee but this Chardonnay bounds along with greater energy and presence than its 2022 sibling. 

Slow Fox Wines Chardonnay 2022


From a wet and cold vintage, this Slow Fox Wines Chardonnay is a tidy drink.

Slow Fox Wines Rosé 2022


An easy-drinking Rosé from Slow Fox Wines with plenty of Sunday Sesh appeal.

Slow Fox Wines The Blend NV


The Blend NV brings together Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec (60/30/10) from 2021 and 2022.

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Hutton Vale Farm Shiraz 2019


Curvacious, I'm a big fan of the shape of this wine. Not shy on generosity, hold this for a few more years to see it at its best.

Gundog Estate The Chase Semillon 2023


Clean, fresh and pure. The 2023 Hunter Valley vintage is said to be better for reds but this is a very tidy expression of Semillon.

Gundog Estate Wild Semillon 2023


For an off-dry Semillon, this hits the mark. The texture from skins is evident and the delish factor is high. A smart wine from Gundog Estate.

Gundog Estate Off-Dry Semillon 2023


One of two off-dry Semillons in the Gundog Estate range, this release needs some food beside it.

Saturday 16 September 2023

Chapel Hill MV Mourvedre 2022


All I want is a rack of pork ribs with this Chapel Hill MV Mourvedre in a glass to wash them down. What a beauty!

Chapel Hill MV Shiraz 2022


I like this. A great representation of McLaren Vale Shiraz, this Chapel Hill MV develops impressively in the glass.

Chateau Paul Mas Clos des Mûres 2021


This juggernaut of a bottle from France hits our shores once more. For all its hulking presence, it's only $25 but its weight certainly gives the impression that it is a lot more important than the price suggests.

Thursday 14 September 2023

Yalumba Vine Vale Grenache 2022


Sexy as always, this is always my favourite Grenache in the Yalumba range. 

Yalumba Tri-Centenary Grenache 2021


Planted in 1889, the Tri-Centenary block has been around for three centuries, hence the name. A Grenache like no other, the weight and complexity don't match the bright colour in the glass. This is an impressive wine.

Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache 2021


Ever reliable, this is a great Grenache to wrap your lips around. A glass of medium-bodied delish, some of the fruit comes from 100+ year old vines. Value much?

Chapel Hill MV Bush Vine Grenache 2022


A Grenache with some depth, the fruit and spices mingle with ease delivering a wine with an attractive presence and flow.

Gundog Estate Hunter's Semillon 2023


If you were going to introduce someone (or yourself) to Semillon, this Hunter's Semillon from Gundog Estate is an excellent starting point.

Dalrymple Pinot Meunier 2022


Something new and fabulous from Dalrymple... This debut Pinot Meunier is delicious and all I can say is just keep pouring.

Millennials love medium-bodied wines and this is right in their wheelhouse. Only a small batch production that is to be sold on premise, this oozes good times and good vibes.