Friday, May 22, 2015

Tarrawarra Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2013

Plate up a roast chook in readiness.

Wild yeast fermented and 100% whole bunch pressed, it is clear to see why this is the flagship Chardonnay at Tarrawarra.

There's more oak here than the Estate Chardonnay and the fruit offers just that bit more complexity. Fleshy white peach heading the act moving to a long and generous finish. Complexity with well weighted fruit ensures this gets all the ticks. Really smart wine this with at least ten years aging potential in front of it.

Excellent.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $50
Source: Sample

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stargazer Chardonnay 2014

Samantha Connew is on a good thing here. And to hear her say that she is nervous about producing a Chardonnay over any other variety says plenty about her willingness to succeed, particularly in an environment where Chardonnay is starting to reclaim its mojo. And this her first release, I reckon she has smashed it.

All fruit here. Apples, melon and grapefruit run the show. It's green apple city to be frank. Sensationally cool climate. Oak takes a back seat thanks to the use of second and third use puncheons. Fruit is pure and drives through gently all the way through to a long finish.

None of those warm buttery and stone fruit characteristics come within cooee. There's a trendy swagger about the texture it carries from being 100% whole bunch pressed.

It's not hard to be a fan of this. A top notch first release.

Set a reminder - available in September.

Excellent.

Region: Tamar & Derwent, Tasmania
RRP: $40
Source: Sample

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Tarrawarra Estate Chardonnay 2013

You'd pay twice the RRP and still be very happy with this. It just ticks all the boxes and will leave glasses empty in no time.

Terrifically balanced and well made. A sessional type.

Freshly cut nectarine and peach, lemony tang followed by a grapefruit overtone. Butter cream rolls through courtesy of ten months on lees. That nectarine just hangs on in desperation as does the creamy oak.

In all, it's smart. Very smart. And well priced too. Worth tracking down.

Very good.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $28
Source: Sample

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Payten & Jones Paul's Range Chardonnay 2013

I tasted this Chardy in a line up of five. This was the most golden in the glass. The wine is packaged attractively. Cool label and comes in a heavy bottle, though the pic right doesn't do it justice.

From a single vineyard, aromas were muted and the fruit lacks spark. I was a fan of the 2012 but this seems to be a step back.

Fleshy white peach and oxidised apple aromas but the fruit, highlighted by caramalised peach and honey type characters, is dominated more by the vanillin oak. Not heavily oaked mind you, but the fruit seemed restrained. A decent length to finish. Hard to justify the $40 when others a little cheaper offer more get up and go.

Good.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $40
Source: Sample

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Payten & Jones Valley Vignerons Series Syrah 2014

Smashable Syrah from the Yarra. The Kangaroo Ground sub region in fact. Really sessional sort of stuff this. The type of wine I can see winning a lot of hearts in restaurants and bars.

Plummy, red fruits are soft though there is a little fruit sweetness. Delicate spices and well integrated oak. It's juicy and long. Soft and moreish.

The type of wine you sip away completely enjoying the moment yet you aren't distracted by its make up or complexity.

I'd happily seek this out. I couldn't help myself but to head back for glass after glass. Find it.

Very good.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $27
Source: Sample

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Meerea Park Alexander Munro Shiraz 2010

I had the opportunity to have a look at this Shiraz on its initial release. Much of the it was withheld to reinvent the five year release. Lucky me to have another look a couple of years on.

Given some air, this is drinking tremendously. Soft fruit highlighted by cherries and plums. Delicious really. That rum 'n' raisin character is still evident but more of a mocha and chocolate element chimes in. Cedary oak comes to the fore more and plays its hand but there is a delicate touch. Generous in density and depth.

Still plenty of life left here too.

Very good+

Region: Hunter Valley
RRP: $72
Source: Sample

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d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 2011

A blend of 70/25/5 respectively, fruit and oak dance alongside one another nicely.

Earthen, meaty, leathery, raspberry fruit, that Mourvèdre helps to fill out the back palate. Medium bodied, there is a density to it. The edges are a bit rough and it just lacks the polish I would have hoped for. A lick of fruit sweetness chimes in on a long finish.

I'd have a glass with a lamb shank.

Worth hanging on to for ten.

Good+

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $65
Source: Sample

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Shottesbrooke Jenkins Vineyard Shiraz 2013

A single vineyard wine from a newly acquired vineyard. The vineyard itself has been long established and is owned by the local optometrist, Dr Jenkins, which happens to be on the main drag in The Vale I'm reliably informed.

Dark fruits, dirty road, leather and some meaty salami like characters too.
Its powerful and fills the palate. There's a spicy buzz motoring through the core. Give it some air to shine but from top to toe it carries a smooth swagger.
Soft tannins to finish.

Keep for ten by good to go now.

Very good.

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $40
Source: Sample

www.shottesbrooke.com.au

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Hardy's Tintara McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013

A wine which reminds me of the a bloke who comes from a good family but is a bit rough around the edges. You know the type. The family is always well groomed, live comfortably in a neat and tidy house with all siblings conforming except this guy. He's scruffy, hard edged, and just doesn't speak as softly as the others. You've met this guy I'm sure. We all have at some stage.

So this Shiraz hits the chords of a McLaren Vale Shiraz in some respects but dodges the softly softly approach to life. A day on and the onslaught couldn't be stemmed. Black pepper corns, dark and red fruits, dark chocolate are all there on the nose. But the grunt and sheer brut of the palate isn't floating my boat. Spicy and heavy, the finish is grainy and sandy.

Not my style but whack a steak and some veg beside it and that may soften the blow.

Good (but only just).

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $28
Source: Sample

www.hardyswines.com

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Yalumba Christobel's Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2014

A wine which offers good refreshment. Nothing flashy here, just a reliable wine at a fair price.

Often priced below the RRP, plenty of citrus and tropical fruit flows throughout. A whiff of pear skin and green apple also wanders on by. Green melon takes charge on the palate. Clean and crisp, chill down and enjoy with a BBQ or fresh seafood. An easy everyday type.

Good.

Region: Barossa
RRP: $15
Source: Sample

www.yalumba.com

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