Sunday, February 7, 2016

Stockman's Ridge Rider Pinot Noir 2014

What a pleasant drink!

Quite light in the glass, kicked up red earth, dark cherries, raspberries and something twiggy roll about with ease. Looks can be deceptive but this packs more punch than you'd guess. Before all is gone a wash of vanillin oak caresses the palate finishing with a dab of spice.

I could sink a couple of glasses based purely on its approachability.

Drink now to five years.

Good+

Region: Central Ranges
RRP: $23
Source: Sample

www.stockmansridge.com.au

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Soumah Ai Fiori 2015

Ai Fiori means amongst the flowers so the back label tells me.

Shiraz and Pinot Noir are used with a splash of Savagnin.

Red berries with raspberries and strawberries leading the way. Red flowers and dried petal type aromas release an engaging perfume. A whiff of Bickfords Raspberry cordial tries to nudge its way into the fray.

A taste of this and all I want is sunshine and bbqs. The berry fruit skips to a steady beat. Bone dry with well balanced acidity, the savoury finish wraps it up well.

Chill it hard and share with friends wearing big smiles.

Very good.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $26
Source: Sample

www.soumah.com.au

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Tellurian Marsanne 2015

Solid as a Hilux. This is just reliable and good drinking.

Honeysuckle, peach, pear, a little nuttiness and the rattle of ginger spice pushes through on a layer of creaminess thanks to six months in oak. Lots to like.

I'd be interested to see how this ages but it's certainly ready to rip into now.

Good+

Region: Heathcote
RRP: $27
Source: Sample

www.tellurianwines.com.au

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Oakvale Ablington Shiraz 2014

A bit stinky initially. Mushroom compost amongst others things blow off after time in the decanter.

Loaded with black fruit, blueberries and dark cherries, there's plenty of depth but it still holds its medium bodied shape. A fine sprinkle of pepper hums through to a long finish.

Twenty percent whole bunch fermentation has added some textural interest. Some oak seems to poke through but perhaps a little too much.

In the end it needs air to show its best but will mature into a better wine. Will cellar long term.

I'd be interested to see where it is in five years but I wouldn't buy one just yet.

Very good.

Region: Hunter Valley
RRP: $50
Source: Sample

www.oakvalewines.com.au

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Toolangi Emanai 2015

Gee I like a surprise and we have one here.

A Chardonnay Viognier blend (50/50), the fruit is hand picked from a Dixon Creek vineyard before being co-fermented and aged in French oak for four months.

Smells of yellow flowers, canned peach, fresh apricots and margarine. I'm liking it already.

Delivery is generous with good weight, there's plenty of depth and interest. The fruit drives through with refreshing persistence. Mandarin peel shoulders its way in but sits in the background. But I keep sticking my snoz in the glass. Superb aromas. Whipped butter like creaminess drapes itself around the fruit leading to a delicate ginger spice finish. Tasty stuff. and super drinking for the $$.

Drink within five years.

Very good.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

www.toolangi.com

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Soumah Savarro 2015

An eye catching label which oozes shelf appeal. It stands out for all the right reasons. The contents are fab too.

Made from the Savagnin variety which calls Northern Italy home, it's almost clear in the glass with a golden straw kiss. A whiff of pears, lemony citrus zip, subtle florals, honeyed notes and a spice tickle to keep you enthused. The fruit is deliciously mouth coating and moreish.

Wines like these generally go well with food. Forget the food, I'm happy for it to steal the spot light and fly solo.

I'd happily queue up to grab this time and time again. Ideal for the warmer climate. More please.

Very good.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $28
Source: Sample

www.soumah.com.au

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Seppelt Drumborg Riesling 2015

Summer has turned the temperature gauge up hard in recent days and my fire extinguisher seems to be in hand. This Riesling is nothing short of excellent.

Cool climate Riesling characters ooze from the glass. Granny Smith apple peel and white flower aromas are wrapped up in a lemony fruit package. That lemony fruit just seems to coil itself around the mouth. Apples then chime in with a deft touch of lime zest on exit. Wowsers!

Drink now but will cellar for the long term.

Excellent.

Region: Henty
RRP: $35
Source: Sample

www.seppelt.com.au

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Parker Coonawarra Estate First Growth Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Impressive deluxe. A superb example of Coonawarra Cabernet.

The best of the best has been thrown at this. There's even a splash of Petit Verdot to wet your whistle (3%). It spent two years in new French oak before another three in bottle prior to release.

Violets whisper out before delicate and elegant (yet robust) fruit parades its way effortlessly. This is all despite the depth and a whack of tannin. A tremendously satisfying and long finish only begs for more. If only this could be my every day drink.

I licked the glass out. So will you.

Longevity is not an issue here. Cellar long term. Or not.

Excellent.

Region: Coonawarra
RRP: $110
Source: Cellar Door tasting

www.parkercoonawarraestate.com.au

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Meerea Park The Aunts Shiraz 2014

Superb buying for 30 bucks.

From fifty year old vines and aged for sixteen months in French oak hogsheads, 45% of which were new.

Be welcomed by rich and dense plummy fruit. Smooth yet wholesome, this has sip all night feels. Fruit and acid is balanced well with a generously long finish. It's savour every drop material. Would I buy it - absolutely.

Will cellar long term but ready to go now.

Very good+

Region: Hunter Valley
RRP: $30
Source: Sample

www.meereapark.com.au

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ridgemill Estate The Lincoln Shiraz Viognier 2013

A new grandchild means a new label for owner Martin Cooper. He started this tradition when his first grandchild was born in 2011 when Eloise the Blanc de Blanc also came into the world.

This is Ridgemill's first Shiraz Viognier, and whilst the labelling is a little different to others in the range, I actually prefer it.

Popurri and purple flowers, cedary oak and harissa aromas.

Red fruits a plenty with a splash of Ribena. Perky acidity present on the first day of tasting settled into a neat groove on day two. The fruit fills out well and sits comfortably not wanting to budge. A pinch of five spice rounds up the finish well offering plenty to think about. The asking price is just about right too. Worth a look if you can get hold of it.

Decant for best results.

Drink in the medium term.

Good+

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $25
Source: Sample

www.ridgemillestate.com

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Mason Wines Petit Verdot 2013

He's a big'un.

Loaded with dark brooding fruit, there's a fraction of something which suggests Turkish Delight but if anything it's more sweet blueberry than anything too aromatic. Toss in some purple flowers, everything else is big, dark and powerful.

Juicy delivery with voluptuous tannins, this needs something beside it to settle down and cool its heals. A hearty casserole or steak will do the trick. It comes across a little rough around the edges which takes it a few pegs back.

Drink medium term.

Good.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $22
Source: Sample

www.masonwines.com.au

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Innocent Bystander Pinot Gris 2015

This makes me feel like lounging. It's cool and relaxed, the way I want to be when throwing back a glass or two. I'm thinking somewhere shady with a cool breeze and a pool not too far away. Damn fine refreshment.

Hand picked and whole bunched pressed, barrel fermentation (30%) has been used for a small portion to impart more texture and mouth feel. Another portion goes through a long fermentation in stainless steel to give a creamy spine. Wild yeasts drove the ferment for 80% of this wine.

Super bargain factor here for those looking for something fresh with a textural appeal.

Poached pear, cut green apple, honey notes, nutmeg and lick of of whipped butter creaminess. Lemony like acidity ticks through at a nice tempo. Deliciously moreish and that texture just hangs on for dear life. The acidity lurks on the finish too, something I didn't mind.

A wine that packs more punch than your average 'Gris'. Character and layers a plenty.

Drink now.

Very good.

Region: Yarra Valley/King Valley
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

www.innocentbystander.com.au

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Taltarni Pyrenees Shiraz 2013

There's lots to like about this Shiraz.

The fruit is wound up and takes a little while to unfurl. Dark fruits, aniseed, tilled earth, cedary oak all prominent. An enjoyable core of fruit strolls down the middle. Smooth but with a raspy rustic and flavoursome finish. I certainly wouldn't refuse a top up.

Cellar medium term or decant now to get the best from it.

Very good.

Region: Pyrenees
RRP: $35
Source: Sample

www.taltarni.com.au

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Meerea Park Black Shiraz 2014

This is the second release of this label which is reserved for exceptional years. The first release was in 2011 followed by this 2014 which is touted by many as the best or potentially better than the famed Hunter vintage of 1965.

This had the Rolls Royce treatment thrown at it. Aromas of cocoa bean, oak char, and some vanilla.

It's fascinating how wines like these stand head and shoulders above others in a blind tasting. Poised with class, the medium bodied weight sits pretty. Dark fruits waltz through with ease. Generous offerings of plums and dark berry fruit are complemented by vanilla and dark chocolate. The package is superbly balanced with a tremendously long and satisfying finish.

Keep it as long as you want.

Excellent.

Region: Hunter Valley
RRP: $225
Source: Sample

www.meereapark.com.au

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Ballandean Estate Nebbiolo 2014

I popped in to the Ballandean Estate cellar door a couple of weeks ago to see Leeanne Gangemi who is always vivacious and welcoming. She threw me a bottle of this Nebbiolo which has made a come back into the range. When I said, "It's only a 2014!" I was met with the reply, "We've Australianised it." And that sums it up perfectly.

Fruit forward yet it retains varietal characters. Freeze dried raspberry, fruit compote, bark and twiggy. Some clove but it's not completely there. Chalky/powdery tannin finishes dry. There's a moreish appeal to it I've got to say.

Cellar for the medium term.

Very good.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $35
Source: Sample

www.ballandeanestate.com

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