Friday, November 21, 2014

De Bortoli Yarra Valley Villages Pinot Noir 2012

De Bortoli have a knack of producing bargain priced Pinot Noir, and here we go again.

There's so much to like about this. It's soft and supple with dark cherries, hints of plum, a sliver of cured meat, and a little dash of spice to top it off. A savoury character lingers nicely on the finish too urging you to go back for more. And it's not hard to I can assure you. One of the descriptors on the label is, "calm". Yep, it is. Very calming indeed.

And if you think this is a smart drop, you better check out the Villages Chardonnay.

Have a look around as you can often find it below the RRP.

Excellent value for money. Very good wine.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $20
Source: Sample


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Oakridge Over the Shoulder Pinot Noir 2012

This is Oakridge's entry level range, and it's pretty damn fine particularly as it is hand picked and sourced from five vineyards.

A word I'd use to describe this wine is fleshy. The fruit delivered is just that. Dark cherries, some mushroomy composty action, dried herbs and what I can only nail down as stewed rhubarb. There's plenty going on, that's for sure.

With some texture in the mix, it's still bright with a soft, fine length.

Spot it under $20 and it's a no brainer.

Very good.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

www.oakridgewines.com.au

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bilgavia Estate Pinot Noir 2014

The easiest way to look at this wine is a light bodied Shiraz.

Whilst the Hunter is now not seen as one of our premium Pinot producers of Pinot Noir, you need to remember the climate here is different to Victoria and Tassie where the Pinot dance floor is pumping and the music is up loud!

More red fruits like strawberries and raspberries than cherries. More red earthy like than forest floor and mushrooms. There's a good whiff of oak and a little spice and fair length, but in terms of what you want from a good Pinot, it's probably not here. I lined this up against two $20 Yarra Valley types, and whilst it perhaps wasn't a fair contest, this was beaten hands down.

In the words of Cold Chisel, this is standing on the outside looking in, and I don't want to ask for a dance.

Region: Hunter Valley
RRP: $26
Source: Sample

www.bilgaviaestate.com.au

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Balnaves The Blend 2012

A classic blend of Cabernet (51%), Merlot (43%) and Franc (6%) with some attitude and finesse. The minty character of the Cabernet skips through hot on the tail of juicy blackberry and blackcurrant fruit and smokey oak. Medium bodied, this is soft with depth and a lingering grip.

I found the open sample bottle after three days and the contents were still rocking it. Age worthy and slurpable. What's more, I still can't believe the price. A great buy and well worth aging for up to ten years.

Very good.

Region: Coonawarra
RRP: $19
Source: Sample

www.balnaves.com.au

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Raidis Estate The Kid Riesling 2014

Steve Raidis could well pose as a superhero under the guise of Bang for Buck Man. He is making some seriously good booze at very reasonable prices. And here is yet another example.

There's some slight fresh cut apple aromas but you get swarmed by lovely citrus and florals. Coonawarra is not your "go to" region when it comes to Riesling, but this is a terrific expression of the variety which punches out some tasty fruit. Dry and cleansing, it slides down with ease.

Match it with prawns, I did!

Very good.

Region: Coonawarra
RRP: $20
Source: Sample 

www.raidis.com.au

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rolf Binder Heysen Shiraz 2012

The vines for this wine were planted in 1972 and what struck me was its balance and silky smooth touch. It just possesses a delicacy which you cannot help but to be charmed by. Despite being a 2012, you can get a good picture of where this wine is heading.

Grown on sandy soil, the fruit is rich, long and moreish. It's overflowing with all the quality traits of a great Barossa Shiraz, whilst not being too heavy nor over the top. Certainly not a knife and fork type, just soothing like Rolf's dulcet tones.

Delish now, but give it another year or two. I reckon it will see its best days in the next 5-10 years.

Excellent.

Region: Barossa Valley
RRP: $70
Source: Tasting

www.rolfbinder.com

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Symphony Hill Gewurztraminer 2014

Owner Ewen Macpherson says this wine has jazz hands. I know what he means. Well, sort of. There's something very special and alluring about it. So much so, it was recently awarded the Best Other Single Varietal Wine at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.

Although Symphony Hill is a winery part Queensland's Granite Belt region, winemaker Mike Hayes sources the fruit from the New England region just down the road.

Pretty and attractive aromas of rose petals and Turkish delight run riot filling the glass. These move seamlessly to delicious fruit highlighted by lychee and some lavender. A gentle flutter of spice lingers brilliantly on a long and soft finish.

It's just one of those wines you shake your head at in amazement. I did a bit of head shaking, and some buying. A couple made their way home.

Outstanding.

Region: New England
RRP: $35
Source: Cellar Door

www.symphonyhill.com.au

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Bilgavia Estate Shiraz 2013

This is a label I haven't seen before which naturally brings some excitement.

On first look the colour seemed dull and a little lifeless sadly. It appeared advanced if anything. Ignoring that, the wine presented aromas of stewed fruit and plum compote followed by a good core of fruit. There was a smokey character which rolled through but this seemed to remove itself the following day.

A day on and not only was the smokey character gone, the fruit seemed to find some more life, almost finding a second wind to be bouncy and lively. Black fruits came to the fore but the finish just flattened out.

A wine that needs some time for it to show its best but I'm not convinced time will improve it dramatically.

Region: Hunter Valley
RRP: $26
Source: Sample

www.bilgaviaestate.com.au

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Golden Grove Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2014

The Granite Belt is not the place you'd expect Semillon and Sauvignon to flourish but this blend (62 & 38% respectively) has summer time flashing in neon lights.

Grassy and green melon aromas from the Sauvignon Blanc take charge followed by a rush of citrus via the Semillon. There's a pithy character in there too. Lifted and fresh in the glass, but what wins me over is the textured palate.  The small Semillon portion that is wild yeast fermented (15%) in new French oak is responsible for this.

Winemaker Ray Costanzo is becoming somewhat of a textural gun with his whites. His take Vermentino exemplifies this.

Cleansing acid is balanced with the fruit beautifully. But in the end, it's that textural thing going on which just lingers and hums that has sucked me in.

Excellent wine and super value at $18.

Available online, at the cellar door or Brisbane's Wine Experience at Rosalie.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $18
Source: Sample

www.goldengroveestate.com.au

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

d'Arenberg The Money Spider Roussanne 2013

An interesting wine but one which left me more questions than answers.

Upon opening there were aromas similar to canned peach and apricot syrup with a dash of lemon butter. With more time in the glass this morphed into subdued pear, green mango and some green melon.

Soft fruit but front palate dominant, it doesn't draw to the back and leaves it feeling empty. You get a sense it is trying to stretch itself but just doesn't have the elasticity to get there. The acid is not balanced and is bitey and feels like it's tearing at my teeth. Some fatty food wasn't able to help me out here either. Sad face.

Despite going back a few times, it just couldn't woo me. No thanks.

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

www.darenberg.com.au

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