How the team at Mitchell Wines can release a wine at 8 years of age for $30 and make money has me scratching my head. But take the business cap off and the consumer hat on and all signs say run to this - don't walk. Superb cool climate Cabernet from an ever-reliable producer.
A traditional method Blanc de Blanc from Queensland's South Burnett - three hours north-west of Brisbane. With a climate not too dissimilar to the Hunter Valley, cool nights and fertile soils in prime dairy cattle land have enabled good fruit to be grown.
A Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend (50/50), it's lean but layered. Think a squeeze of lemon, green apple skin, slivers of almond, brûlée, and delicate brioche. So fresh and cleansing, textural interest adds to the complexity as it drives through with plenty of width and length. More please!
Deliberately held back, this aged released Semillon is showing some of the characters synonymous with the variety when it sees some time in the bottle.
Whilst the toast and honey start to show their hand, the citrusy fruit is lean in the delivery, only to be carried through by brutish phenolics. There's a tartness to the acidity too before an oily finish.
This will certainly age well beyond a decade and still sits outside its optimal drinking window.
I was given this as a gift recently and my interest levels spiked - New Zealand Pinotage! We don't see much Pinotage on Australian shores although there are small pockets of it around the place. The best example would be the Granite Belt's Mark Ravenscroft who sells out of production soon after release each year.
I'm reliably informed wines at Hitchen Road are all estate grown and produced in small batches whilst also relatively inexpensive too.
Ochre and copper in appearance, this bone dry Rosé exhibits aromas of cranberries, dried red fruits, mandarin peel and tangelo. Nicely balanced those dried red fruits and mandarin peel kick on to a long and satisfying finish. Top ups come with ease.
There's so many fascinating stories behind the O'Leary Walker label. This sparkling is named after Nick Walker's great grandfather Hurtle who was a sparkling winemaker of some repute in the early 1900's. As the label says, this wine ensures the Walker name is still 'fizzing'.
Bone dry, this a delicious aperitif. A glass certainly hit the spot on a warm afternoon.
Pale straw in appearance, aromas of bread, grapefruit, yeast and lemon rind. Eighteen months on lees has ensured a veneer of creaminess coats the palate whilst also adding some texture and complexity. Made from Adelaide Hills fruit (60/40), there's an acid crunch before a long length sets in. Refreshing indeed and delivers well for the asking price.
I'd be happy to share this with friends no worries at all.
Winemaker Glen Robert loves Marsanne and he has worked some magic here.
I remember tasting this upon release with Glen in his shed. Whilst it was lively and fresh in late 2010, it still possesses a youthful exuberance but the hand of time has been placed on its shoulder.
More mellow, it comes across softly softly. Bees wax and preserved lemon ride a wave of honey. Kerosene attempts to peer through as it heads over the crest into an aging phase. Hazelnuts kick in late. Well structured, the acidity still has some life. Fruit and minerality roll through with grace. Length for days.
There's still years left in it. Lucky me I have another stashed away. The winery sold out long ago.
Region: Granite Belt RRP: $18 (?? can't recall) Source: Cellar door purchase
Impressive deluxe. A superb example of Coonawarra Cabernet.
The best of the best has been thrown at this. There's even a splash of Petit Verdot to wet your whistle (3%). It spent two years in new French oak before another three in bottle prior to release.
Violets whisper out before delicate and elegant (yet robust) fruit parades its way effortlessly. This is all despite the depth and a whack of tannin. A tremendously satisfying and long finish only begs for more. If only this could be my every day drink.
I licked the glass out. So will you.
Longevity is not an issue here. Cellar long term. Or not.
There's plenty of cheap imported Champagne on the market but wines like this only drive home how blessed we are in Australia with the quality of sparkling coming out of Tasmania.
The winemaking notes that accompanied the bottle say Méthode Tasmanoise. Clever.
Fifty percent was fermented in old French oak and it was aged for four and a half years on lees. The complexity delivered is absolutely delicious. Brioche, toast, slithers of cashews and zippy lemons. Flavours are neatly poised and balanced ensuring the mouth is coated generously leaving a long satisfying finish in its wake.
Tassie sparkling is in a great place at the moment and here is yet another reason why. The bottle is eye catching and the contents are just as captivating.
Having spent 36 months on lees, this Chardonnay Pinot is deliciously rich and complex.
Sour dough toastiness, some citrus twang, brioche and almond meal. Yeasty complexity lurks whilst the freshness of green apples saunters through. The palate is coated generously led by zippy lemon. Superb length with a dry finish; water cracker like perhaps.
Region: Coal River, Tasmania RRP: $60 Source: Sample
From Sellicks Hill on southern boundary of McLaren Vale. Cuttings for this came from Seppeltsfield, d'Arenberg, Rockford and Shottesbrooke. 548 dozen were produced. Other wines coming off the five acre site include Shiraz, Graciano, Malbec and Mataro.
This sits in a happy place. Gentle spice rides through wallet leather and plush raspberry fruit. Engaging mouth warmth, there's depth and generosity here. It's hard to believe it carries only 13.5% alc. as it gives the impression there is much more kick in the belly. A long and supple finish cries give me more.
Great drinking now and will keep for another 3-5 years.
Aged Riesling fanatics have plenty to get excited about here.
Bottled and held back for three years, there's a youthful fist pump about it only held firm by a maturing hand.
Classic citrus drive and balanced acidity with a terrific length sum it up. Toasty characters are starting to show and ride behind a burst of lemons and lime pith. Citrus flower aromas seem to last for days. Great balance and soft to touch, it sits long and is very satisfying.
I liken this to a that long week feeling. All you want is to sit in a big comfy chair and chill out soothing the insides with something delicious. This in your hand would suit ideally.
Dark fruits and super smooth, oceans of depth enable you to sail away to a land of great satisfaction. Rum n raisin-ish, Christmas cake but there's a red flower perfume about it too. Milk chocolate and cedary oak sits in the background
Twenty eight months in new French and American oak has softened this a treat. Tannins are plush and delicate. Most enjoyable now though it will cellar for decades.
Give this some air and it will run to you faster than Bryan Adams.
From the Wrattonbully vineyard, this is dripping in dark fruit and plums reign supreme. Bottled in June 2014, there's a feel good touch about this wine. New American and French oak works well with the generous fruit offering. A nip of spice and delicious dark chocolate rolls through effortlessly. I felt compelled to jam some dark chocolate in my mouth all the same. Yum!
A sip all night kinda wine. Will sit for ten years easy.
I wish I was sitting in front of an open fire with this in hand. The fruit is wholesome and dense giving a warming embrace. The type you get from an old friend you haven't seen for a while.
A 55/45 blend, think black fruits, wallet leather, there's a neat waft of violets too. Oak has a presence but doesn't have too much clout. There's a persistence about it that makes it sit just about right. Those plum fruits aren't flashy but put the shoulder to the wheel and do the job driving through to a long finish.
Five years old and drinking really well and I reckon it will hang out for up to another ten. I'd happily have a couple of glasses of this, no sweat.