Thursday, November 27, 2014

Golden Grove Vermentino 2014

Here's another textural delight from Ray Costanzo.

Small white flowers and citrus aromas spill from the glass. There's a sprinkle of spice with a wash of lemon juice at the death, but that lingering textural thing Ray has perfected with some of his white wines sits pretty well. Many Vermentinos wipe the slate clean at the finish but this just loiters with intent. Partial barrel ferment the key here.

Whatever Ray is doing with this variety,  I hope he doesn't change it.

Very good.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $26
Source: Sample

www.goldengroveestate.com.au

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

de iuliis Steven Vineyard Shiraz 2013

This is an outstanding wine made from the famed Steven vineyard in the Hunter Valley which was planted in 1968 on red volcanic soil.

Picked a little early, the initial plan was to blend this parcel away. But Mike de Iullis was so impressed with how the wine presented he left it as a single vineyard label. The result is a medium bodied (12.5%), pretty and fragrant bottle of juice.

The dark cherry fruit is pure, sitting softly and delicately. Red earth characters run underneath the fruit which has great drive yet delicate poise. Soft spice rattles through to a supple and long satisfying finish.

This will comfortably cellar for ten years and I'd certainly go here again.

Region: Hunter Valley
RRP: $40
Source: Sample

www.dewine.com.au

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Witches Falls Wild Ferment Grenache 2012

There's not too much Grenache on the Granite Belt with most of it blended away. So it's good to see one from the region standing tall without the need of a wingman or two.

Wild fermented, it comes across quite clean and not too funky. This is a respectable drop which is perfectly suited to a barbequed steak.

Lots of raspberry and earthy traits plus a lick of granite minerality. It's a lighter style of Grenache as seen by the crimson appearance. Black pepper rides the wave all the way through and the finish is soft and fine.

I'd happily have a glass but I don't think it is worth the stated $32. Winery members receive a discount and pay only $25 which I think is more reasonable for what you get.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $32
Source: Sample

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

O'Leary Walker Watervale Riesling 2014

This is all flowers and citrus, and just like its sibling, it's balanced with poise and precision. I love the juicy lime fruit and then the big "don't argue" palm off as the acid cleanses all before. A touch of lemon juice just hovers delicately on the finish too. Classy.

This strolls without the minerality of the Polish Hill, so if you prefer more fruit, head this way.

Excellent and super value.

Region: Clare Valley
RRP: $20
Source: Sample


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O'Leary Walker Polish Hill Riesling 2014

Steely and minerally as always with a delicate and pretty fragrance. Attractive florals but the beautiful balance of fruit and acid here just make it perfect. The fruit drives through with purpose too.

I'm mad keen on the cleansing finish, but really, I'm just mad keen on this Riesling.

Match with prawns. Please do.

You can find it just below $20 around the traps; a bargain!

Excellent.

Region: Clare Valley
RRP: $22
Source: Sample


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Friday, November 21, 2014

De Bortoli Yarra Valley Villages Pinot Noir 2012

De Bortoli have a knack of producing bargain priced Pinot Noir, and here we go again.

There's so much to like about this. It's soft and supple with dark cherries, hints of plum, a sliver of cured meat, and a little dash of spice to top it off. A savoury character lingers nicely on the finish too urging you to go back for more. And it's not hard to I can assure you. One of the descriptors on the label is, "calm". Yep, it is. Very calming indeed.

And if you think this is a smart drop, you better check out the Villages Chardonnay.

Have a look around as you can often find it below the RRP.

Excellent value for money. Very good wine.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

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Oakridge Over the Shoulder Pinot Noir 2012

This is Oakridge's entry level range, and it's pretty damn fine particularly as it is hand picked and sourced from five vineyards.

A word I'd use to describe this wine is fleshy. The fruit delivered is just that. Dark cherries, some mushroomy composty action, dried herbs and what I can only nail down as stewed rhubarb. There's plenty going on, that's for sure.

With some texture in the mix, it's still bright with a soft, fine length.

Spot it under $20 and it's a no brainer.

Very good.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

www.oakridgewines.com.au

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bilgavia Estate Pinot Noir 2014

The easiest way to look at this wine is a light bodied Shiraz.

Whilst the Hunter is now not seen as one of our premium Pinot producers of Pinot Noir, you need to remember the climate here is different to Victoria and Tassie where the Pinot dance floor is pumping and the music is up loud!

More red fruits like strawberries and raspberries than cherries. More red earthy like than forest floor and mushrooms. There's a good whiff of oak and a little spice and fair length, but in terms of what you want from a good Pinot, it's probably not here. I lined this up against two $20 Yarra Valley types, and whilst it perhaps wasn't a fair contest, this was beaten hands down.

In the words of Cold Chisel, this is standing on the outside looking in, and I don't want to ask for a dance.

Region: Hunter Valley
RRP: $26
Source: Sample

www.bilgaviaestate.com.au

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Balnaves The Blend 2012

A classic blend of Cabernet (51%), Merlot (43%) and Franc (6%) with some attitude and finesse. The minty character of the Cabernet skips through hot on the tail of juicy blackberry and blackcurrant fruit and smokey oak. Medium bodied, this is soft with depth and a lingering grip.

I found the open sample bottle after three days and the contents were still rocking it. Age worthy and slurpable. What's more, I still can't believe the price. A great buy and well worth aging for up to ten years.

Very good.

Region: Coonawarra
RRP: $19
Source: Sample

www.balnaves.com.au

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