Saturday, December 20, 2014

Soul Growers Slow Grown Shiraz 2013

Like its Cabernet sibling, this is another big boy.  A powerful and muscular beast with a delicate touch. An iron fist with a velvet glove perhaps. And really, it's hard to resist the gravitational pull this exudes.

Sweet oak aromas and baked raspberry skip out of the glass. A little more time in the glass reveals plums, chocolate and dark fruits. Some oak char tip toes through the earthy and gutsy fruit. But yet the delivery is smooth as.

After four days it was still sitting pretty. Made to age, time will certainly be its friend.

Do I like it? Yeah baby! A lot. I reckon I'll like it even more after a few years too.

A worthy purchase? Yes, then put it away and forget about it.

Region: Barossa
RRP: $50
Source: Sample

www.soulgrowers.com

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Mason Wines Cellar Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

This is Mason's top label. Winemaker Anthony Ramatta has been chipping away for a few years now and has produced some smart wines with the '12's demonstrating his capabilities. I had the pleasure of catching up with him a few months ago and he has some very tidy looking '14's in barrel.

Made using French and American oak, cassis, blackcurrant and a touch of blackcurrant jam typically show up. What gets my attention is the mintiness on the front palate which lingers leading to dark chocolate sitting smack bang in the middle. The fruit is generous and just hangs before finishing soft leading to voluptuous tannins.

Give it another year or two to show its best but still, a very good drop.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $30
Source: Sample

www.masonwines.com.au

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Witches Falls Wild Ferment Verdelho 2013

This is some funky booze to tantalise the taste buds. I didn't rate the Co-inoculated Verdelho, but this is the goods. Whoa!

Refreshing fruit runs the show; think spiced pear, papaya and pineapple with a spicy zip. The creamy type texture is the result of the barrel fermentation where the wine was left on lees for the duration of the twenty day fermentation. The fruit has presence and a neat vibe to it which just sits long.

I'd easily buy this, and coupled with some fresh seafood, you'll be smiling ear to ear.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $32
Source: Sample

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Angove Alternatus Fiano 2014

From the second the cap came off I knew this would be a tasty little sucker.

Sourced from the Oliver's vineyard from which Corrina Wright (winemaker at Oliver's Taranga) has made a name for herself as the queen of Fiano, this effort from Angove is very handy.

Wade through the stone fruit and tropical aromas to a palate rich with melons and textural appeal. There's a density, almost creamy like, which is enough to capture interest yet not too heavy to deter. Engaging length and nicely balanced overall.

A classic take on the Italian variety. Very good wine and great drinking.

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $25
Source: Sample

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pizzini Verduzzo 2013


Verduzzo is a variety many may not have come across. Hailing from north-eastern Italy, it is not to be confused with Verdelho which originates from Portugal.

A small portion of this wine spent time in new French oak to add texture and flavour.

Cut green apples, white fleshed peach and some tropical fruit influences highlight the wine. It hits the mid-palate and refuses to budge and that's where the influence of vanilla oak comes to the fore. The fruit, however, seems to evaporate and miss the back completely.

Although there is refreshing appeal to the wine and it was good to try, it's not a wine I'd go back to.

Region: King Valley
RRP: $22
Source: Sample

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Knappstein Shiraz 2013

Some cooler climate deliciousness right here.

Aromas of blackberry, dark cherry, cracked white pepper and cured meat. There's almost a little cassis in there too. Some time in the glass and an intriguing fennel or coriander seed thing sneaks out and lingers in the background.

Soft, fine, delicate, this is engaging finishing long and screaming out for another sip.

Still humming after four days so time in a dark place won't hurt. Yet, she's ready to roll now.

Find it around the traps for under $20 which makes it terrific buying. And if the punters at the Cellarbrations store (Valentine, NSW - $20) I popped into recently are anything to go by, it looks like they know what they are after coz there was none left!

Very good and one I'd certainly plonk one in my trolley.

Region: Clare Valley
RRP: $22
Source: Sample

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

d'Arenberg The Cenosilicaphobic Cat 2009

The name is a mouthful so just go with "fear of an empty glass" for simplicity.

A union of unusual bed fellows in the form of Sagrantino 90% and Cinsault 10% which were blended after two years in old French and Amercan oak.

Stemmy aromas first up but these settle. A good decant and airing fixes that. Loads of mouth drying and puckering tannins dominate the landscape so food is needed. Hang on, I'll rephrase that... It's bloody tannic! Behind that, and you'll need to dig, sit red berries, dark cherry, wallet leather and purple flowers. It's almost a yin and yang effect with bold structure and tannin but some softer fruit qualities.

For all its complexity and the questions tossed up, I keep going back for more. Must be a sign of a decent drop?

Although already five years old, a few more years in the cellar won't hurt to see it at its best.

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $30
Source: Sample

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Langmeil Live Wire Riesling 2014

Grab this and head to your nearest dumpling house; a perfect match!

A medium sweet style low on the sting (9% Alc) but still packed with plenty of flavour.

Green apples, lemons, limes and a suggestion of some minerality are enough to get the juices flowing. A gentle hit of sweetness (32g/L residual sugar) shifts to a cleansing finish.

Have as an aperitif or even beside something with a spicy kick such as Thai.

Two massive thumbs up from me on this. Now to get those dumplings!

Region: Eden Valley
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

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Angove Alternatus Vermentino 2014

A good Vermentino which is clean and crisp.

Pear, lime and some green melon type aromas move to lemony and lemon pith flavours. Have on its own or with fresh seafood.

Easy drinking, it's not too excitable though. I'd have a glass or two but I think the $25 asking price is a bit rich.

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $25
Source: Sample

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Rusty Mutt Shiraz 2012

What started bright morphed into a wine with a darker side. Dark fruits, baking spices and a ever so slight whiff of compost.

There's a bluntness to the fruit which hangs out at the back. Almost too shy to greet the cool kids at the front of the party. Tightish acid finds a big comfy lounge and mellows out. Blackberry fruit hits the dance floor with his charred oak buddy sitting off to the side not wanting to steal the limelight. Oak sweetness tends to lurk on the flanks as well.

The more time it sits, the better it gets. A medium term cellaring option.

Enjoyable, I'd go here again.

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $27.50
Source: Sample

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