Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rymill Coonawarra The Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

This is a departure from the normal style of Cabernets made at Rymill hence the name The Dark Horse.

Juicier with little tannin and eight months in second and third year oak make up the different approach.

Black fruit, mulberry, tobacco leaf, cedar, and mint with some slight dried herb to wrap it up. It kicks off juicy but thins out on the mid palate with a drying finish.

Find it on premise or at independent retailers only.


Region: Coonawarra
RRP: $24


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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Robert Channon Pinot Noir 2011

This is Robert Channon's third vintage of Pinot Noir and it was made by Stephen Oliver with estate grown fruit.

Strawberry, earthy, gamey and twiggy aromas straight up plus a raw steak type character too.

Quite weak in the mouth, the fruit disappears quickly along with some savoury spice. Soft tannins do hang around for the ride however.

It's okay for the money but not great. I'll pass though.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $19.50


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Ridgemill Estate Pinot Noir 2013

This wine was literally an after thought.

There was a surplus of Pinot Noir remaining after making some sparkling so it was put to use here. The only problem is the fruit is not ripe enough.

Morello cherry aromas exactly as you'd get them from the jar, along with fresh raspberries and cold tea. There is also a twiggy character.

Only 10% alcohol, it's quite green and stemmy in the mouth with tight, bitey and tart acid.

Sure it is varietal but the polish is lacking. But hey, it was an after thought. Get the fruit right and I reckon this could be going somewhere.

Not a wine I would be buying. It's quite average.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $25

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Knappstein Insider Shiraz Malbec 2013

I liked this wine. A lot! So much so I just wanted to drink it and not write about it.

Will it win gold medals? Probably not. Will it win lots of fans, hell yeah!

If you are looking for something oozing drinkability with a little point of difference, perhaps your search ends here. And let's face it, it all comes back to whether a wine has that drinkability/smashability factor. This does and then some.

Made with 40% whole bunches, what you get is sleek and damn fine to drink. All the fruit comes from the Clare Valley and is a blend of 70% Shiraz and 30% Malbec.

Opening with red liquorice type aromas and purple flower florals, this is jam packed with juicy red fruits and plummy Shiraz along with some mulberry and blueberry bobbing up. Not too dense but with a muscular kick, all this is tied together by a dash savoury goodness and soft acidity.

A great match for beef dishes or just to smash with good friends.

Hands down a winner for me. Step right up and rip right in!

Region: Clare Valley
RRP: $27


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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rymill Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

A very good Cabernet this, made in the traditional Coonawarra style.

Black berry and red capsicum aromas flow through to the palate.
Thrown in oak for 18 months, it has excellent length and balance. The oak is used well with the fruit still sitting firmly on the front foot.

After a while the wine settles into a neat groove and tosses up some savoury dried herbs.

Interestingly enough the wine is sealed with Diam cork. It's the first cork I've had to pull from a sample bottle in a long time. When I asked Managing Director John Rymill why it was used, his reply was simple. "There's two reasons: there's something about cork which gives a sense of special occasion and ceremony, and the wine ages differently with cork. Aging with stelvin keeps the wine fresher for longer but cork gives the chance for some oxidative aging to take place."

Readily available via retail and on premise, this drop has been a favourite for the last eight years on the list at Sydney's Rockpool.

Region: Coonawarra
RRP: $29


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Yelland & Papps Devote Greenock Shiraz 2012

I'd love to peer over the shoulder of Michael Papps during vintage while he is plying his trade. He just seems to have a knack of delivering gems. Here's another.

Coming from Greenock on the western side of the Barossa, this Shiraz is plump and juicy. Deep plum and black fruits get the ball rolling. Add a scattering of red fruit, dark chocolate and spice, tip in some slight oak char and the stage is set for a scream.

Tremendously smooth and very well rounded, the fruit just hums. Expect the usual alcohol (14%) from a Barossa red, but you certainly don't feel you need a knife and fork to get through it.

As with many of the Yelland & Papps wines, this is ready to go now but will kick on for a decade.


Region: Barossa
RRP: $35


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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Knappstein Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

So juicy and so delish!

Big on fruit and big on taste but the price sets this free. Tremendous drinking now and will cellar medium term. By why wait?

Juicy black fruits and mulberries explode here. A chip or two of chocolate and nicely integrated oak are all wrapped up by silky smooth tannins.

Roast lamb and this would make great friends.

It can be found around the traps for under twenty bucks...bargain!

Region: Clare Valley
RRP: $22


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Dandelion Wines March Hare of the Barossa Mataro 2012

After ripping into into this, you gotta wonder why more punters don't explore the wonders of Mataro. But this is a variety with an identity crisis of sorts simply because it hides behind the guise of three names, yet all three are the same: Mataro, Mourvedre and Monestrell.

This is a very good example of the variety and priced nicely too. Much Mataro is priced above the thirty dollar mark, so this is a handy starting point for those willing to give it a crack.

Sourced from a single vineyard there's a little sweet raspberry and lots of cherry ripe and plummy fruit. Great depth and mouth filling with neat earthiness plus a lick of spice. Soft fine tannins to finish which are a little drying but only encourage another sip.

A quick internet search reveals this can be picked up for around $22. Would I buy it, yes sir!

Region: Barossa Valley
RRP: $27.50


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Friday, August 22, 2014

Leo Buring Clare Valley Dry Riesling 2014

An excellent example that defies the theory some hold that all Rieslings are sweet. Nothing affirms this more than the three bold letters emblazoned across the front of the bottle, DRY.

A fresh squeeze of lemon and a pretty scent of little white flowers are followed by river stone and citrus goodness. Crisp and cleansing with a chalky finish, this is banging for twenty bucks. I suspect you'd find it a little cheaper around the traps.

Fish and chips and a bottle of this at the beach... Yes please!

Region: Clare Valley
RRP: $20


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