Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thomas Wines DJV Shiraz 2013

This is Thommo's tribute to Hunter River Burgundy and as he says, "It's the most exciting wine in the range." Formally coming from the Ben Ean site, the DJV Shiraz fruit now comes off a Hermitage Road vineyard which was planted in 1966. The lighter sandy soils produce fruit which is not as dense and the use of older oak (5-6 years) ensures the fruit does all the talking.

Much leaner than its siblings, there's a very good reason for this. Weighing in at 12.8% alcohol, the Shiraz is co-fermented with 11% Semillon verjuice. Deliberately made to be more of a food friendly wine, the verjuice (15g/L acid) brings a brightness to the wine whilst also adding some phenolics.

Bright red fruits with hints of rhubarb, there's a steminess about it courtesy of one third whole bunches. But this character fades with time in the glass.

The fruit is super smooth, there's a dash of pepper and a baking type spice bobs up. Hunter earth slowly reveals itself. The acid is alive. Crunchy even - thank the Semillon for that. Puckering tannins see out the ride home which just sits long. Real long. A sign of quality right there.

Drink now to eight years. A Pinot fan's type of Shiraz. Where's the duck?

Very good+

Region: Hunter Valley
RRP: $30
Source: Sample

www.thomaswines.com.au

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The Lane Vineyard Block 14 Shiraz 2013

This follows hot on the heels of the magical Stodart Trophy winning 2012 vintage. And damn, what a bloody good follow up it is!

On the face of you get mulberries, red and black fruits with a skeleton of black peppery spice. Styles like this are bringing sexy back to Shiraz. Cool climate, medium bodied and freakin succulent. A drink all night sort of wine. Satin smooth, perhaps with a little minerality, it rides all the way home. Yeah baby!

Big love here. Will age for the medium term. Have with little birds. Spatchcock will do just fine.

Excellent.

Region: Adelaide Hills
RRP: $39
Source: Sample

www.thelane.com.au

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Yelland & Papps Devine Grenache 2012

I love the way these wines from Yelland and Papps are presented. You know how serious the wine is by the type of bottle it comes in. This bottle is a weapon with a punt deep enough for your hand to disappear.

Coming off vines planted in the early 1920's, a small portion of this wine was wild yeast fermented and aged in new (25%) and old French oak for 24 months.

Take a whiff and some fruit sweetness is evident. Peel that back to reveal raspberry, red licorice and cherry fruit sitting on a bed of red earthiness. A savoury dried herb character can't be missed and plays a neat part here. Some cured meat arrives for a play and there's the hum of peppery spice doing enough to peer through the cracks without wanting to intrude too much. Nice!

It's just a beautifully rounded and soft wine. Terrific length supported by super soft and supple tannins which linger oh so long. I'm in love. Hang on, let me take another sip. Yep, I am.

Cellar for ten years but ready to rip into now.

Excellent.

Region: Barossa
RRP: $75
Source: Sample

www.yellandandpapps.com

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Giallo 2013

This is the fourth release of this unique skin contact Sauvignon Blanc. Made by Tom Shobbrook, some of the detail surrounding the wine is hard to locate, such as price.

Skin contact isn't my thing. I've given it a go a few times and just can't seem to find something that appeals all that much. This is different. It smells good. It tastes good. I like it!

Pineapple husk, canned peach syrup, peach skin and apricots. There's a bit of weight too and it carries a phenolic texture. It's quite an interesting piece and something I didn't want to over analyse. It's quite enjoyable and that's primarily what it was made for. Food will help it sing more, perhaps something like barbecued octopus. I reckon it could also cut through the fat of duck as a left field option.

Anyway, back to another glass.

Very good but not a style everyone would enjoy.

Region: Adelaide Hills
RRP: $??
Source: Sample

www.shobbrookwines.com.au

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Luke Lambert Chardonnay 2012

Like many of the Luke Lambert wines, they have a rough edge and take a little time in the glass to reveal their true personalities. As the label says, "Wild yeast fermentation, wild malolatic fermentation, no temperature control and bottled without fining or filtration."

And true to form, this Chardy warmed up to the task nicely. Margarine, lemonade, slight peach and citrus blossom aromas though the latter two were quite muted.

The fruit is soft and smooth and carries a little minerality. Great length which fleshes out well and leaves a slight cheesy type finish.

Curiosity makes you go back time and time again. That's got to be a good thing, no?

The sold out sign is up on the website but you will be able to find stock at good independent retailers.

Very good.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $28
Source: Sample

www.lukelambertwines.com.au

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Chemin Syrah 2013

This Yarra Valley Syrah was produced with 100% whole bunches. The plan here was to have minimal input into the winemaking, and it's a fair result.

Think dirt road, cured meat, capsicum. It even carries some of those stinky Pinot characters.

The whole bunch ferment brings out savoury appeal with a chalky tannin grip. A cherry compote character lingers.

I couldn't have more than a glass of this to be honest. Food could change that but I would have the Punt Road Shiraz over this in a heart beat. But this label in the range is all about doing something different and it deserves respect.

Good.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $36
Source: Sample

www.puntroadwines.com.au

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yelland & Papps Devote Roussanne 2014

Wild fermented in new and old French oak for three weeks, this was left on lees for another six months. 1000 bottles were produced.

Smells of crushed apples and apple concentrate, pear and peach skin. A little oily/greasy type feel but the fruit coats the mouth generously. There's an appealing texture where those apple characters come back into play. An almost faint hint of almond meal shimmies its way in at the death. I liked that. The type of wine that chips away at you for more.

Pan fried fish would be the go here for me.

Very good.

Region: Barossa
RRP: $35
Source: Sample

www.yellandandpapps.com

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d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2012

Forest fruits, black olive, leather, spice all lined with a savoury edge. Big and bold yet has a soft touch. The finish is smooth and a little warming (14.6% alcohol).

Well priced and is the type of wine you'd be happy to snuggle up to on a cool night to have with a hearty casserole or with a piece of chocolate lodged in the side of your mouth.

Readily available and often priced below the RRP.

Good.

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $18
Source: Sample

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Quealy Amphora Friulano 2013

Friulano is a late ripening variety which excels in cool maritime climates. There's no surprise it has found a happy home in the Mornington Peninsula region with Kath Quealy holding its hand all the way.

I was lucky enough to catch up with Kath in January last year and she isn't afraid to try something different. This wine is fermented in amphora and the result has wow factor.

Marigold flower, lemonade... forget it. I started writing some tasting notes before I put down the pen and just enjoyed what was in front of me. This is such a delicious and sessional wine, it's not for analysing, just for sharing and enjoying. Perfect for warm days with friends.

Shame is, the cellar door has sold out but there is some availability in good independent stores around the country.

Worth tracking down.

Very good.

Region: Mornington Peninsula
RRP: $35
Source: Sample

www.quealy.com.au

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Water Wheel Baringhup 5 Rounds Shiraz 2013

I remember getting very excited about the 2012 vintage. A beauty! The same excitement hasn't carried over to this 2013 sadly. I still think the label is great - as is the story that goes with it.

This wine punches out buckets of black fruit, earth and savoury herb characters. But it just tastes too warm and too ripe.

Although is softened after being open for three days (!!), I did find it hard to approach. And it carries a whopping 15.5% alcohol! I'm guessing the 1.5% allowance was used to the full here. More alcohol compared to last year (14.8%) and the price has increased too (from $20).

I'd have the 2012 any day of the week.

Region: Bendigo
RRP: $23
Source: Sample

www.waterwheelwine.com

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