Cumulus Luna Rosa Tinto 2013

I like this style of wine. It’s tasty and screams for generous pours. Buckets of cherry flavours from the Sangiovese (70%) are chased down by equal amounts of Shiraz, Mourvèdre and Merlot (10%) adding some grunt on the finish. Housed in old oak for twelve months, the fruit is fresh and expresses itself with a savoury finish. This is a classic Chianti style and priced perfectly. Match it with...

Angullong Orange Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Angullong Orange Sauvignon Blanc 2014 There’s an extra level of quality about these ’14 Angullong whites. Almost as if winemaker Jon Reynolds has gained a new grasp of how to use the fruit.  Green straw in colour this is particularly aromatic juice – aromatic yeasts doing their stuff to give melon, guava and tropical fruit. The palate is sharp edged, but there’s a smoky...

Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2014

Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2014 There’s now a photo of founder Michael Wright on the back of this Voyager Estate bottle, along with a nice vista of the estate. Good work. This smells like classic WA SBS too. A green straw colour, the nose is full of grassy lemon Sauv aromatics that jump out of the glass. The palate starts off with grassy lemon juiciness too, slightly tart but...

The new and improved (?!) Lindemans St George Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Lindemans St George Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Like the new packaging? I put this picture out on twitter today and most of the feedback was negative. I think it’s ok, though it doesn’t actually improve anything – the label isn’t the problem. What do you think? This release is all arms and legs too. Deep red, there’s clearly warm year ripe fruit on the nose and palate,...

Shaw + Smith Pinot Workshop 2015 – 10 benchmark Pinots from around the world

Shaw + Smith Pinot Workshop 2015 – 10 benchmark Pinots from around the world I'll always admire a winery that puts their wines up non-blind against the benchmarks of the world. I mean, it's one thing to upstage with the subterfuge of a wine served blind, but it takes confidence to do the same with a sighted tasting. Even more confidence is required when your winery doesn't have...

Houghton Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon

I still remember when the 1998 Houghton Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon came on the market, it received rave reviews for its intensity and being so powerful. There was general surprise that a wine company focused on high volume commercial wines could produce such a wine. The advice was to put it away for 15 years. This is what I did with the two bottles I purchased. This premium wine is named after Jack...

Bimbadgen Estate Shiraz 2013

I really like the style of this wine. Medium bodied, this is delicious and made me feel all comfy on the inside. Raspberries and plums with a scattering of dried savoury herbs and a lick of dusty road. This is soft and delicate juice which moves to a generous length where some cherries hover and complete a great example of what Hunter Shiraz can deliver. I’d have no hesitation buying a bottle...

Thomas Wines Synergy Shiraz 2013

Brighter than the Two of a Kind, it was interesting comparing the two wines. The former carried some more density, the McLaren Vale component making it more robust whilst this just sits nicely. Medium bodied, the fruit sweetness grabbed me immediately. Coming from a selection of older barrels, this throws up plump dark fruit and is smooth in its delivery. Hunter spice not making too much noise whilst...

Gundog Estate Hunter’s Shiraz 2014

Gundog Estate Hunter’s Shiraz 2014 Gundog have one of my favourite Hunter Valley cellar doors. Small. Cosy. Good service. Smart wines. One of the three cellar doors I always recommend visitors to the Hunter not miss, along with Scarborough (best overall cellar door experience) and Tyrrell’s (best wine range and sense of history). This is billed as Gundog’s modern Hunter Shiraz...

Le Cirque Wine Co. Whiz Bang Shiraz 2014

This has got some whiz but no bang. Cool as label though. Concentrated blood plum and black fruit. Clove, nutmeg and some reddish earth. Juicy fruit is delivered but that juicy character subsides and dries out just a bit too much than I’d prefer. Alas,  a ballsy style which finishes smooth with a full, drying length. Have in the medium term but I reckon your steak will thank you more now...

Punt Road Chemin Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2013

Punt Road Chemin Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2013 If there is one thing to be said about these latest Punt Road releases, it is that they’re complex drinks. Clever winemaking for sure. This Chardonnay is a suitable example. Golden straw yellow in colopur, there’s a delicate balance between oatmeal yeasty sulphide characters, vanilla icecream oak and white nectarine fruit. Intriguingly, it...

A beautiful self-epitaph from Bob McLean

The wine world lost another two leading lights this week, with Anne-Claude Leflaive and Bob McLean both departing this mortal coil, at the age of 59 and 67 respectively. While I know Anne-Claude only be reputation, Bob I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few times over the years and he was quite complementary of this little blog. In person he was an absolute character, with a wisdom that comes...

Le Cirque Wine Co. Kissing Booth Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Cool name and I dig the label. There’s the majority of the sales pitch done and dusted. A clever effort by the marketing team here me thinks. Le Cirque Wine Co. is a label falling under the ever growing Angove Family Wines banner. The contents back up the label too. Gooseberry, passion fruit, sugar snap peas, field grass and a drop of lemon juice. Flavours are clean and the fruit is crisp, lingering...

Briar Ridge Early Harvest Semillon 2014

This is all about being a crisp and zesty expression of the fruit. It’s a cracker. Deliberately picked early to capture the bright acidity of the variety, citrus characters are the highlight here with a cleansing finish. A refreshing take on Semillon, this has seafood and sunshine written all over it. Very good. Region: Hunter Valley RRP: $ 23 Source: Samplewww.briarridge.com.au Follow...

On the wine trail in Central Otago

As mentioned yesterday, I’m trying my best to make this Queenstown trip holiday rather than a wine tour. Today was all about wine, however, with visits to Amisfield, Peregrine, Gibbston Valley, Carrick and Mt Difficulty. Given this was a holiday I took no notes, but plenty of broad impressions: – Pinot Gris continues to put in a claim as Central Otago’s premium white variety....

d’Arenberg Custodian Grenache 2012

I’d wager that the red wines within the ‘d’Arenberg Originals’ range have been a gateway range for many drinker, and still provide sound drinking today. Amazing that a sub-$ 20 wine is released as a 3 year old, good track record of providing cellar-worthy wines too. Berry fruits, mulberry and plum skins – moves to woody hints, with deeper bass lines of earth and spice....

Clovely Estate Left Field Semillon 2010

The South Burnett region in Queensland sits three hours north-west from Brisbane. The climate and soils have similarities to the Hunter Valley so it is no surprise that Semillon and Shiraz work well in the region. This 2010 Semillon has won a swag of awards and justifiably so. It is moving into an aging phase where those typical traits of aged Semillon are beginning to blossom. Honeyed characters...

Henschke Louis Semillon

Semillon is of course the domain of the Hunter Valley. But the Barossa has its fair share. In fact, Peter Lehmann’s Semillon is the highest volume Semillon in Australia. Today I am drinking the 2009 Henschke Louis Semillon from the Eden Valley. This is not a well known wine, as it gets lost in the large stable of Henschke wines. After six years (under screw cap), the colour of this wine is still...

Two Hands Bella’s Garden

I thought it would be interesting to now taste a new world wine of similar positioning and age and compare. Therefore I opened a 2004 Two Hands Bella’s Garden. This is Barossa Shiraz from the premium Shiraz series and fruit from selected vineyards. The colour was equally purple and showed less development than the French wine. This surprised me. On the palate, many things were as expected. Dark...

Hilltops winery Moppity Vineyards

Hilltops winery Moppity Vineyards has never been backwards when it comes to announcing its wine show successes and other critical acclaim.  But I have to admit its performance in the Great Australian Shiraz Challenge was amazing.  392 wines were entered in this year’s 20th Anniversary Challenge, retail prices for the wines going as high as $ 300 a bottle, and many over $ 100.  During...